Dividend Income – Dec 2018 Update & 2018 Summary

Happy 2019 everyone! I sure hope everyone enjoyed their holidays. It’s hard to believe that 2018 is in the rear view mirror and we now have a completely new year ahead of us.

For me, my favourite part of the holidays was dancing and singing around the Christmas tree with the kids and Mrs. T before opening our presents on Christmas Eve. The kids really liked the festivities and had a hard time falling asleep that night! It was also nice to slow down and spend more time playing with the kids during the holidays. Somehow, Mrs. T and I didn’t get to watch any of the Christmas movies before Christmas (one of our traditions), so we ended up watching movies like Die Hard 1, 2, 3, and Home Alone 1 and 2 after Christmas. Do you have any Christmas traditions in your household?

Our very hyggeligt cat enjoying the holidays in front of the fireplace.

When it comes to finances, 2018 was a solid year for us. Stay tuned for a post for a more detailed breakdown with a lot of numbers!

December Dividend Income

In December we received dividends from the following companies:

  • Brookfield Renewable (BEP.UN)
  • Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO)
  • Canadian Tire (CTC.A)
  • Canadian Utilities (CU.TO)
  • Chevron (CVX)
  • Dream Office REIT (D.UN)
  • Dream Global REIT (DRG.UN)
  • Dream Industrial REIT (DIR.UN)
  • Enbridge (ENB.TO)
  • Evertz Technologies (ET.TO)
  • Fortis (FTS.TO)
  • Hydro One (H.TO)
  • High Liner Foods (HLF.TO)
  • H&R REIT (HR.UN)
  • Intact Financial (IFC.TO)
  • Intel (INTC)
  • Inter Pipeline (IPL.TO)
  • Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)
  • KEG Income Trust (KEG.UN)
  • Coca-Cola (KO)
  • Magellan Aerospace Corp (MAL.TO)
  • McDonald’s (MCD)
  • Manulife Financial (MFC)
  • Magna International (MG.TO)
  • Prairiesky Royalty (PSK.TO)
  • Qualcomm (QCOM)
  • RioCan (REI.UN)
  • Saputo (SAP.TO)
  • SmartCentres REIT (SRU.UN)
  • Suncor (SU.TO)
  • Target (TGT)
  • Unilever plc (UL)
  • Visa (V)
  • WestJet (WJA.TO)
  • Waste Management (WM)
  • Wal-Mart (WMT)
  • Exco Technologies (XTC)

In total we received pay cheques from 37 companies. The 37 pay cheques added up to $1,834.96.


Talk about ending the year with a bang. We did just that! Not only we broke the $1,700 milestone, we broke the $1,800 milestone too! Needless to say, I’m over the top with this result.

In December we received $391.26 in USD and $1,434.70 in CAD. That’s about a 20-80 split between the two currencies. Please note, we use a 1 to 1 currency rate approach. We do not convert dividends received in USD to CAD. We are ignoring the exchange rate to keep the math simple. This is our way to avoid fluctuations in dividend income over time due to changes in the exchange rate.

The top 5 dividend payouts in Dec 2018 came from Enbridge, Intact Financial, Manulife, Canadian Utilities, and Suncor (not in order). Dividend payout from these 5 companies accounted for $880.15.

Dividend Breakdown

As long time readers may recall, we hold our dividend stocks in taxable accounts, RRSPs, and TFSAs. Every year, we maximize tax-advantaged accounts first before investing in taxable accounts.

We already transferred $6,000 to each of our TFSA on Jan 2nd to max out our 2019 TFSA contribution limits. Now I’m waiting to purchase stocks on a discount.

For the Dec 2018 dividend income, here’s the breakdown of the different accounts:

  • Taxable: $533.59
  • RRSPs: $799.97
  • TFSAs: $501.40

Dividend Growth

Compared to Dec 2017, we saw a YOY growth of 43.59%! Damn, that’s a crazy YOY number. +40%? I thought we’d be facing the law of big numbers in 2018 but I guess we avoided it. This mostly had to do with us continued investing fresh capital throughout the year. Hopefully we’ll continue to see such crazy performance in 2019.

Note: In case you’re wondering why the YOY % numbers changed for the previous months, I had realized that my YOY calculation was wrong throughout 2018. Instead of dividing by the monthly total from 2017, I was dividing by the monthly total from 2018. Calculation error, oops!

Dividend Increases

In December, we saw a number of stocks in our dividend portfolio announced dividend payout increase:

  • Bank of Montreal raised its dividend by 4% to $1.00 per share.
  • National Bank raised its dividend by 5% to $0.65 per share.
  • Laurentian Bank raised its dividend by 1.6% to $0.65 per share.
  • Enbridge raised its dividend by 10% to $0.7375 per share.
  • AT&T raised its dividend by 2% to $0.51 per share.
  • Ventas raised its dividend by 0.32% to $0.7925 per share.
  • Waste Management raised its dividend by 10% to $0.5125 per share.

All these raises have increased our forward-looking dividend income by $275.21. At 4% dividend yield, this meant we didn’t have to invest $6,880.25 of new capital. Gotta love getting a raise without doing anything! 🙂

Dividend Stock Transactions

We added some stocks throughout December, just not on Christmas Eve when all major stock indexes dropped significantly. Oh well, you can’t time the market, right?

Below are some stocks that we added to our portfolio to reduce our cost basis

  • 32 shares of Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO)
  • 12 shares of Vanguard All Cap ex-Canada index ETF (VXC.TO)
  • 13 shares of Vanguard Canada All Cap index ETF (VCN.TO)
  • 20 shares of Target (TGT)

All these transactions added roughly $185 toward our annual dividend income.

Summary & 2018 Review

In 2018 we received a total of $18,734.29 in dividend income. This was an increase of 26.29% from $14,834.38 in 2017. This was the highest YOY performance since 2014. Somehow we have reversed the downward YOY growth trend! This higher-than-expected growth was definitely fueled by the large fresh capital that was invested throughout the year. In 2018 we made some tough decisions and sold a few underperformaning stocks like Corus Entertainment, Sabra Health Care REIT, ConocoPhillips, and BP. Looking back, it was definitely a good idea to cut the tie with Corus Entertainment. You could argue whether the liquidations of COP and BP was a good decision or not, but these transactions allowed us to reduce our exposure in the oil sector.

Monthly dividend Income summary
Annual YOY %.

In case you’re wondering, we made the following purchases in 2018.

  • 76 shares of Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO)
  • 36 shares of National Bank (NA.TO)
  • 378 shares of Enbridge (ENB.TO)
  • 20 shares of Starbucks (SBUX)
  • 131 shares of Laurentian Bank (LB.TO)
  • 210 shares of Canadian Utilities (CU.TO)
  • 122 shares of Smart Centre REIT (SRU.UN)
  • 150 shares of Emera (EMA.TO)
  • 50 shares of BCE (BCE.TO)
  • 100 shares of Magellan Aerospace Corp (MAL.TO)
  • 50 shares of TD (TD.TO)
  • 100 shares of Enbridge Income Fund (ENF.TO)
  • 119 shares of Vanguard Global Ex-Canada (VXC.TO)
  • 63 shares of Vanguard Canada All-Cap (VCN.TO)
  • 20 shares of Target (TGT)

I think the dollar value was over $65,000? As mentioned, most of this amount was fresh capital with the minority from sales of a few stocks and dividend reinvestment.

When it comes to the $18,734.29 received for 2018. The income from the different accounts are:

  • $7,062.92 was from RRSP
  • $6,802.49 was from TFSA
  • $4,868.88 was from taxable accounts

I think we did a pretty decent job at being as tax efficient as possible in 2018. For 2019, we plan to continue doing what we’ve been doing – maximize TFSAs and RRSPs before investing in taxable accounts.

At $25 per hour salary, our dividend income in 2018 has saved us over 749 hours worth of work. That’s over 93 days or almost 19 weeks. That’s almost 40% of the 52-week working week! In 5 years, we went from an annual dividend income of slightly over $5,000 to over $18,000. We feel blessed to be on this amazing journey.

So if you are just starting out with dividend growth investing and wondering how good are these $20 or $30 dividend monthly incomes, look no further than our monthly dividend income. Just like how Rome wasn’t built in one day, it takes time to build up your dividend portfolio.

Dear readers, how was your December dividend income? What was your 2018 dividend income total?

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48 thoughts on “Dividend Income – Dec 2018 Update & 2018 Summary”

  1. Hi! Can you have a post to show your CAD to USD exchange techniques especially now that the exchange rate is so bad. I have CAD $ to invest but just not sure if I should wait to buy USD or just do it. I’ve done the Norbert Gambit with Questrade before and according to my calculations I don’t even think it’s worth it because I don’t do CAD to USD translation very often (maybe 1-2 times a year).
    My second question might sound a bit dumb but I have an excuse because I’m a beginner with the dividend stock investing. You mentioned in your post that you bought additional shares to reduce the cost basis. Does that mean that you bought this stock at some point at a high price and now you’re buying the same stock at a better/lower price just to average it out, so if you have to sell it in the future, you will be profitable? I was thinking to do the same thing and just wanted to understand it better from your point of view.
    Thanks a lot and I really enjoy reading your blog, keep it going!

    • Hi Anastassia,

      I haven’t written anything on CAD to USD exchange but the easiest way is through Norbert’s Gambit. If you just purchase US listed stocks in USD with CAD with Questrade (i.e. conversion involved), I think Questrade charges like 1 or 2% on top of the exchange rate.

      For your question 2, yes that’s exactly what it means by averaging down. 🙂

  2. Awesome year Bob!. My 2018 dividend total went from $16168 to $29113. It was a big increase because of some rejigging of my portfolio to more dividend oriented stocks. Also included some money market “dividends” for cash sitting in transition to the market.

    My question to you would be – do you compare your annual total return (gains/losses plus dividends) against some benchmark just to see how you are doing? It’s alot of work to research and monitor 50 stocks. So just curious if you ever check to see how you are doing against different benchmarks.

    I was comparing ZDV (CDN dividend stocks) against ZCN (TSX Capped Composite) just to see what difference there was. To my surprise, the total return of the ZCN from Oct 2011 to Jan 2019 was slightly better. 50% total return vs 45% total return for ZDV. I was using perfcharts from stockcharts.com. From a tax perspective, I think the ZDV would still be better overall because of the tax treatment in Canada.

    I also did ZDV against SPY from the same period. Shocking difference. 40% gain for ZDV vs 140% for SPY! Makes me wonder sometimes….

    Anyhow just wondering if you have some benchmark that you compare against. It’s difficult to compute when you’re adding to the portfolio throughout the year I suppose.

  3. My 2018 dividend income was a little over $400, a record for me. My goal for 2019 is to double that, so hopefully next year I’ll be over $800. Reading your blog definitely gives me the inspiration to grow my dividends!

  4. Great job…I am not sure you have mentioned somewhere but I would ask…what is your dividend yield? If you receive any dividend in the first week of Jan, 2019, do you count that dividend as part of 2018 or 2019 year? Thanks

  5. “I love it when a plan comes together.” – John “Hannibal” Smith from TV show the A team.
    Great work Bob! It’s so encouraging watching the numbers grow. Recently converted some of my RRSP to RRIF and started collecting money instead of saving money. That’s a different feeling. Thanks CU for the nice raise.

  6. Incredible Bob! $1,800 + for December and $18k+ for the year. I’m guessing your forward dividends are something like $20k and what’s awesome about that is if it’s invested at a 4% yield that’s an $800 boost to your dividends without factoring in new capital or any dividend growth. That’s the real power of dividend growth investing and compounding. All the best in 2019!

    • Thanks JC. Yup DRIP and organic dividend growth are so very powerful because that means you don’t need to add new capital. So you can get a $400 increase from DRIP and organic dividend, that means when you add a new capital of $10,000, at 4% yield, you’re getting another $400 increase in dividend income. You’re essentially doubling your income. 🙂

  7. I have just discovered your site and I love it. Great work! There is a high risk that I will be regular visitor now 🙂
    Congrats on your impressive achievements in 2018!

  8. What a great year Bob! That’s a huge increase. Congrats, especially since I believe you are single income family of four! The $25/hr salary is hypothetical right? Because you invested more cash than the gross income of $25/hr salary for the year! 😉

  9. Congratulations Bob!! Great work on the YoY numbers!! You’ve done a great job stick to the plan! Like you said, the dividends start off small but they compound quickly. Pretty soon it’ll give you enough income to give you the lifestyle of your choice!

    Keep up the great work on your blog!

  10. Congrats on a great year, tawcan.

    I guess you will have a greater year looking at so many cheaper stocks out there.

    My 2018 did not end so great as my bonds mutual fund did not perform well and have a distribution way lower than previous years at year end. But overall, I still get about $3000 growth of forwarding investment income from dripping and dividend raises. I consider that as $75K invested. So really should not complain I guess.

    • Hi May,

      Thank you. Well I’m hoping for a market correction/dip in early January but that hasn’t happened yet. 🙁

      Sorry to hear the poor performance on your bonds mutual fund. Time to get out of mutual funds and invest in bonds index ETFs?

  11. You definitely finished 2018 on a strong foot. A nice laundry list of quality dividend payers sending you cash not to mention an impressive year over year increase as well. Keep it going in 2019. Best Xmas movie = Die Hard.

  12. Congratulations on the dividend haul, Bob! That’s awesome to achieve over 43% yoy growth! I am a bog fan of a lot of the stocks that paid you in December. Amazing total income too! You’ve already hit my baseline target for FI. My December income was over 300% yoy growth and my overall total was up 571%. Of course, my income is lower so the percentages are higher for now. I’m looking forward to your reports in 2019. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you Reverse The Cruch. The 43% YoY growth in Dec has a lot to do with Enbridge and Enbridge Income Trust merge. Congrats on your 300% YoY growth, that’s very impressive! Keep it up.

  13. Tawcan –

    MONSTER MONTH MAN!! WOW! Also, similarly, I had a strong YoY dividend increase. That’s a ton of capital deployed, too, just before the end of the year. What’s nice is you’ll see the benefit in all of 2019 hopefully. One other item I’ll tip my hat to, is the consistency in each month of income you have. It’s inspiring. Keep doing what you’re doing, because… it’s working.


  14. Wow, such spectacular numbers! Over $1,800 in dividend income, over $18,000 in dividends for the year, and an annual 26% plus YOY from last year! Congrats! Now that is a Happy New Year! 😀 Can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store. Should be another exciting year of records! Keep it up! 🙂

  15. Awesome results, and one of the things I really love is seeing multiple months that are pushing beyond the upper range on your chart! You’ve had excellent growth particularly given the level of dividends that you’re receiving and the boost that you received just from raises in December is fantastic!

    December was very kind to me, however much of it was from the index funds we own given that our DGI portfolio is still less than a year old.

  16. Hi Bob,

    I think I remember that some time ago you published the web address where I could buy a chart
    of my holdings, dividends, etc. similar to yours. I am frugal too, but not too good with spreadsheets, so I am prepared to pay a few bucks to get the proper chart.

    Thank you

  17. Nice job on the dividend income growth Bob! 26.29% growth YoY is impressive.

    The law of large numbers certain hit us this year! Our dividend income actually went down due to some preferred share redemptions! That, and I was a bit lazy at investing our excess cash.

    Overall though, our dividend growth engine keeps marching forward! Most investments raised dividends, and I just keep compounding the cash!

    • Thanks Mr. Tako. I was very surprised with the YoY number.

      At your dividend level, you’re getting hit hard by the law of large numbers. I’m anticipating that we might get to that point pretty soon too.


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