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One way to identify dividend growth stocks is to look for dividend increases. Companies that pay rising dividends are likely to be financially healthy and generate consistent cash flow. Here is a list of US and Canadian companies that increased their dividends this week.



US Dividend Increases
Waste Management, Inc. (WM) , +9.41% dividend increase

Waste Management, Inc. has declared quarterly dividend of $0.4650 (+9.4118% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 03-08-2018 and is payable on 03-23-2018. Annualized dividend is $1.86 at a yield of 2.2012%. Waste Management, Inc. has 14 years of consecutive dividend increase.


Genuine Parts Company (GPC) , +6.67% dividend increase

Genuine Parts Company has declared quarterly dividend of $0.7200 (+6.6667% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 03-08-2018 and is payable on 04-02-2018. Annualized dividend is $2.88 at a yield of 3.0991%. Genuine Parts Company has 61 years of consecutive dividend increase.


Walmart Inc. (WMT) , +4.0% dividend increase

Walmart Inc. has declared quarterly dividend of $0.5200 (+4.0000% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 03-08-2018 and is payable on 04-02-2018. Annualized dividend is $2.08 at a yield of 2.2421%. Walmart Inc. has 43 years of consecutive dividend increase.


Essex Property Trust, Inc. (ESS) , +6.29% dividend increase

Essex Property Trust, Inc. has declared quarterly dividend of $1.8600 (+6.2857% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 03-28-2018 and is payable on 04-16-2018. Annualized dividend is $7.44 at a yield of 3.3576%. Essex Property Trust, Inc. has 24 years of consecutive dividend increase.


Xcel Energy Inc. (XEL) , +5.56% dividend increase

Xcel Energy Inc. has declared quarterly dividend of $0.3800 (+5.5556% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 03-14-2018 and is payable on 04-20-2018. Annualized dividend is $1.52 at a yield of 3.4854%. Xcel Energy Inc. has 14 years of consecutive dividend increase.


Old Republic International (ORI) , +2.63% dividend increase

Old Republic International has declared quarterly dividend of $0.1950 (+2.6316% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 03-02-2018 and is payable on 03-15-2018. Annualized dividend is $0.78 at a yield of 3.8614%. Old Republic International has 36 years of consecutive dividend increase.


Albemarle Corporation (ALB) , +4.69% dividend increase

Albemarle Corporation has declared quarterly dividend of $0.3350 (+4.6875% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 03-14-2018 and is payable on 04-02-2018. Annualized dividend is $1.34 at a yield of 1.1787%. Albemarle Corporation has 14 years of consecutive dividend increase.


Canadian Dividend Increases
Goeasy Ltd (GSY) , +25.0% dividend increase

Goeasy Ltd has declared quarterly dividend of C$0.2250 (+25.0000% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 03-28-2018 and is payable on 04-13-2018. Annualized dividend is C$0.9 at a yield of 2.3597%.


Magna International Inc. (MG) , +20.0% dividend increase

Magna International Inc. has declared quarterly dividend of C$0.3300 (+20.0000% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 03-08-2018 and is payable on 03-23-2018. Annualized dividend is C$1.32 at a yield of 1.8511%.


Stantec Inc. (STN) , +10.0% dividend increase

Stantec Inc. has declared quarterly dividend of C$0.1375 (+10.0000% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 03-28-2018 and is payable on 04-12-2018. Annualized dividend is C$0.55 at a yield of 1.6866%.


Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM) , +2.31% dividend increase

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce has declared quarterly dividend of C$1.3300 (+2.3077% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 03-27-2018 and is payable on 04-27-2018. Annualized dividend is C$5.32 at a yield of 4.5497%.


Royal Bank of Canada (RY) , +3.3% dividend increase

Royal Bank of Canada has declared quarterly dividend of C$0.9400 (+3.2967% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 04-24-2018 and is payable on 05-24-2018. Annualized dividend is C$3.76 at a yield of 3.6805%.


Disclaimer: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.


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Dollar-cost averaging is an investment strategy that tries to reduce the risk of investing (volatility) by investing a fixed amount of money over a specific duration of time. The time frame is typically long-term. If the time frame is smaller it tends towards lump sum investing. It goes by few other names e.g. Unit cost averaging.




To illustrate the benefits of dollar-cost averaging I wanted to pick a real life example. The graph below shows the variation of Vanguard S&P 500 index fund (VFINX) from 04/25/2008 to 4/16/2010. I chose this particular time frame as it includes the lowest value of the fund. In addition, the fund value on beginning and end date are almost same. So, 10,000$ invested on 04/25/2008 would be worth slightly less on 04/16/2010.

Obviously the best point to buy would have been on 3/6/2009 at $63.26. Selling point then would be at $110.09. The return would have been 74.03%. That is the best case scenario. What if we had invested our money and the market kept going down? Unfortunately, we do not have the power of hindsight to help us in real situations. How than can we get a fair return in a volatile market? The answer to that question is dollar-cost averaging.

Let’s say we had $10,000 to invest on 04/25/2008. Instead of investing as a lump sum, money is distributed equally across a time frame. In the above time frame there are 104 weeks (2 years). If $96.15385 is invested every week then at the end of 2 years $10,000.00 would have been invested. The final value of investments on 4/16/2010 would have been $11,664.23 (16.642% returns on investment). This by no means is spectacular compared to the 75% return above. However, we have successfully navigated a volatile stock market and ended up with 17% returns. Not too shabby.

DRIP provides a natural way to dollar-cost average. Here is a table showing the dividends payed out by Vanguard S&P 500 index fund (VFINX) between 4/25/2008 and 4/16/2010:

Now, assuming we invested $10,000.0 on 4/25/2008. We would have 77.65 units of VFINX (at $128.78 a unit). On 4/16/2010 we would have 81.36 units (including 3.70 units from dividend reinvestment). The value of 81.36 units would be $8792.055 (at $108.07 per unit). This would still be a loss (12.07%) compared to our $10,000 initial investment. This loss is still better than the 16.08% loss without dividend reinvestment. In effect the dividend reinvestment (dollar-cost averaging) has led to additional gains of about 4%. This 4% is close to twice the yield of VFINX.

The immediate question than is what is a good time frame for dollar-cost averaging? Some people tend to dollar-cost average weekly to exploit the volatility of the market. I looked at three possible time frames to dollar-cost average i.e. Biweekly, Monthly and Yearly. Typical paychecks are biweekly or monthly. The graph shows the growth of $100,000 invested over a 15 year time frame. Investment is in Vanguard S&P 500 index fund. In the case of bi-weekly dollar-cost averaging the $100,000 is invested uniformly across the span of 15 years on a biweekly basis. A similar strategy is then adopted for monthly and yearly scenarios.

Biweekly and monthly returns are comparable. They do have minor fluctuations. So, depending on what we consider as the end point one or other might be better. On the other hand yearly dollar-cost averaged returns are much better. This is kind of expected as we are in the middle of a significant bull market i.e. Money invested earlier the better.

This brings us to an alternative strategy i.e. lump sum investing. If we had invested the $10,000 on 3/6/2009 at $63.26 our returns would have been a stellar 75%. As mentioned earlier, this strategy works the best in a bull market.

If we had invested with our dollar-cost averaging strategy we would have invested $169.49 per week over 59 weeks. This would have given us a return of 19.244%. Not a bad return, but nothing compared to the 75% return we got with lump sum investing.

The final decision is based on risk tolerance. Lump sum investing maximizes returns and risk. Dollar-cost averaging spreads the risk of investing and corresponds to a reduced return. In a bull market lump sum investing is a sound strategy as it gets you invested immediately. In a volatile market dollar-cost averaging is a better strategy.

If you have a million dollars by all means invest it immediately. Just be cautious and diversify your investments. Dollar-cost averaging a million dollars would provide sub optimal returns. A decision to dollar-cost average a million dollars is mostly emotional.

In my opinion the best investment strategy for someone in accumulation phase with a regular pay check should be lump sum investing coupled with dollar-cost averaging. Lump sum does not always mean a significant chunk of money. It is a relative term. For e.g. Investing 50% of ones paycheck can be considered a lump sum investment. Repeating this for every pay check makes it dollar-cost averaged. Although we think we are using dollar-cost averaging strategy we are actually taking a hybrid approach. This approach might be the most effective.

One additional consideration is the brokerage fees for transactions. In my article, I assumed zero brokerage fees. Vanguard funds trade for free with a vanguard brokerage account. Services like Robinhood provide zero dollar trades for stocks and ETFs. Nevertheless, brokerage fees can have a negative impact on the overall dollar-cost averaging strategy.

Source:
Historical data was obtained from Google finance.
Dividend information is from Vanguard.com


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I have been lacking contributions to my tax-advantaged space and missing out on the benefits of tax-deferred growth. I would like to diversify my portfolio by adding some retirement assets to it.



I have two choices (1) Traditional IRA or (2) Roth IRA. There used to be another option called MyRA. MyRA is a lot like Roth IRA except the initial minimum is $25. Although limited, I would have preferred MyRA as it would have allowed me to grow my portfolio with lower capital infusion. Unfortunately, this option is no longer available.

Now coming to the question of Roth vs Traditional IRA? I am eligible for both based on our income criteria. Given our current income, I would prefer making tax deducted contributions. Today’s tax rates are at historical low (Thanks in part to Tax Cuts and Jobs Act). With the burgeoning deficit and interest rate increases, I expect the tax rates to go up in the future.

The biggest plus for Roth IRA is the withdrawal rules. Unlike Traditional IRA, Roth does not require any required minimum distributions (RMD) in our life time. Beneficiaries of Roth IRAs don’t owe income tax on withdrawals and can stretch out distributions over many years. This would provide me an ideal vehicle to build wealth for my future generations. Although, I strongly feel education is the most valued asset I would like to pass on.

Secondly, Roth IRA contributions can be withdrawn tax and penalty free (as we have already paid taxes on it). The same does not apply to the earnings though. This gives me an opportunity to withdraw a portion or all of my Roth IRA contribution if needed.

I opened my Roth IRA in 2017 (April) with Vanguard. I have not ended up funding this account. In 2018, I plan to start funding it. The next step was to choose a mutual fund for my portfolio. Since, this would be a tax advantaged account I wanted to pick an asset with a broad mix of bonds in it. My portfolio is exclusively invested in equities. So, I decided to pick a mutual fund which had at least 30% bond allocation.

I did not want to pick a target date fund for two reasons. (1) The dividends are on an annual basis and as such I thought it would not be conducive for dollar cost averaging. (2) It has exposure to international equities and bonds. I have exposure to international equities in my taxable account and I wanted to avoid exposure to international bonds all together.

I ended up shortlisting (3) funds,

  1. Wellesley Income Fund (VWINX)
  2. Wellington Fund (VWELX)
  3. Balanced Index Fund (VBINX)

I like the Wellesley Income fund. But, it is a bit too conservative. It allocates 60% to bonds and 40% to stocks. This fund is run by Wellington Management Company, which has a decent track record.

VWELX on the other allocates 65% to stocks and 35% to bonds. VWELX is one of the oldest funds and has been around since 1929. VBINX allocates 60% to stocks and 40% to bonds. VWELX is an actively managed fund and VBINX is an index fund. In my original post I mentioned VWELX as my final choice. I was probably driven by the fact that it was the oldest Vanguard fund and has had good returns over the last 10 years.

In terms of diversification VBINX is better. VBINX holds 3,344 stocks and 7,160 bonds. VWELX on the other has only 101 stocks and 888 bonds. This exposes me to diversification risk.

Neither of these funds have an ETF version. In the long run to reduce my ER I would need to switch to a lower-cost admiral fund. To switch VWELX to its admiral version I need $50,000. In comparison I need only $10,000 to get the admiral version of VBINX. Being an actively managed fund VWELX is slightly more expensive (0.26%). VBINX has an ER of 0.19%, with a yield of 1.91%.

I ended up funding my Roth IRA with $3,000.00 invested in VBINX. I will be reporting these additional dividends starting next quarter (March 2018). My goal is to rapidly reach $10,000 to switch to admiral funds and thus reducing my ER to 0.07%. I will keep these dividends separate from my FIRE dividends as (1) they are not readily available to me and (2) I would like to use it to build wealth for future generations.


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One way to identify dividend growth stocks is to look for dividend increases. Companies that pay rising dividends are likely to be financially healthy and generate consistent cash flow. Here is a list of US and Canadian companies that increased their dividends this week.


US Dividend Increases
Dun & Bradstreet Corporation (DNB) , +3.98% dividend increase

The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation is the source of commercial data, analytics and insight on businesses.

Dun & Bradstreet Corporation has declared quarterly dividend of $0.5225 (+3.9801% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 02-21-2018 and is payable on 03-09-2018. Annualized dividend is $2.09 at a yield of 1.7250%. Dun & Bradstreet Corporation has 11 years of consecutive dividend increase.


Jack Henry & Associates, Inc. (JKHY) , +19.35% dividend increase

Jack Henry & Associates, Inc. is a provider of information processing solutions for community banks.

Jack Henry & Associates, Inc. has declared quarterly dividend of $0.3700 (+19.3548% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 02-28-2018 and is payable on 03-16-2018. Annualized dividend is $1.48 at a yield of 1.2123%. Jack Henry & Associates, Inc. has 14 years of consecutive dividend increase.


L3 Technologies, Inc. (LLL) , +6.67% dividend increase

L3 Technologies, Inc., formerly L-3 Communications Holdings, Inc., is a prime contractor in Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) systems, aircraft sustainment, simulation and training, night vision and image intensification equipment and security and detection systems.

L3 Technologies, Inc. has declared quarterly dividend of $0.8000 (+6.6667% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 02-28-2018 and is payable on 03-15-2018. Annualized dividend is $3.2 at a yield of 1.5031%. L3 Technologies, Inc. has 14 years of consecutive dividend increase.


Clorox Company (CLX) , +14.29% dividend increase

The Clorox Company is a manufacturer and marketer of consumer and professional products.

Clorox Company has declared quarterly dividend of $0.9600 (+14.2857% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 04-24-2018 and is payable on 05-11-2018. Annualized dividend is $3.84 at a yield of 2.9157%. Clorox Company has 40 years of consecutive dividend increase.


Robert Half International Inc. (RHI) , +16.67% dividend increase

Robert Half International Inc. provides specialized staffing and risk consulting services.

Robert Half International Inc. has declared quarterly dividend of $0.2800 (+16.6667% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 02-22-2018 and is payable on 03-15-2018. Annualized dividend is $1.12 at a yield of 1.9929%. Robert Half International Inc. has 14 years of consecutive dividend increase.


T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. (TROW) , +22.81% dividend increase

T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. is a financial services holding company.

T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. has declared quarterly dividend of $0.7000 (+22.8070% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 03-14-2018 and is payable on 03-29-2018. Annualized dividend is $2.8 at a yield of 2.5342%. T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. has 31 years of consecutive dividend increase.


Sherwin-Williams Company (SHW) , +1.18% dividend increase

The Sherwin-Williams Company (Sherwin-Williams) is engaged in the development, manufacture, distribution and sale of paint, coatings and related products.

Sherwin-Williams Company has declared quarterly dividend of $0.8600 (+1.1765% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 02-23-2018 and is payable on 03-09-2018. Annualized dividend is $3.44 at a yield of 0.8551%. Sherwin-Williams Company has 39 years of consecutive dividend increase.


AbbVie Inc.  (ABBV) , +35.21% dividend increase

AbbVie Inc. (AbbVie) is a research-based biopharmaceutical company.

AbbVie Inc.  has declared quarterly dividend of $0.9600 (+35.2113% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 04-12-2018 and is payable on 05-15-2018. Annualized dividend is $3.84 at a yield of 3.2378%. AbbVie Inc.  has 45 years of consecutive dividend increase.


Perrigo Company plc (PRGO) , +18.75% dividend increase

Perrigo Company plc is a global healthcare supplier that develops, manufactures and distributes over-the-counter (OTC) and generic prescription (Rx) pharmaceuticals, infant formulas, nutritional products, animal health, dietary supplements, active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), and medical diagnostic products, and Multiple Sclerosis drug Tysabri.

Perrigo Company plc has declared quarterly dividend of $0.1900 (+18.7500% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 03-01-2018 and is payable on 03-20-2018. Annualized dividend is $0.76 at a yield of 0.8487%. Perrigo Company plc has 15 years of consecutive dividend increase.


Coca-Cola Company (KO) , +5.41% dividend increase

The Coca-Cola Company is a beverage company.

Coca-Cola Company has declared quarterly dividend of $0.3900 (+5.4054% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 03-14-2018 and is payable on 04-02-2018. Annualized dividend is $1.56 at a yield of 3.4682%. Coca-Cola Company has 55 years of consecutive dividend increase.


Canadian Dividend Increases
Restaurant Brands International (QSR) , +114.29% dividend increase

Restaurant Brands International Inc. is a quick service restaurant (QSR) company.

Restaurant Brands International has declared quarterly dividend of C$0.4500 (+114.2857% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 03-14-2018 and is payable on 04-02-2018. Annualized dividend is C$1.8 at a yield of 2.4275%.


TransCanada  (TRP) , +10.4% dividend increase

TransCanada Corporation is an energy infrastructure company.

TransCanada  has declared quarterly dividend of C$0.6900 (+10.4000% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 03-28-2018 and is payable on 04-30-2018. Annualized dividend is C$2.76 at a yield of 4.7908%.


Crown Capital Partners (CRWN) , +15.38% dividend increase

Crown Capital Partners Inc. is a private equity firm specializing in acquisitions, special situations, management and leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations, mezzanine, bridge loans, and growth capital investments in private and public middle market companies.

Crown Capital Partners has declared quarterly dividend of C$0.1500 (+15.3846% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 02-15-2018 and is payable on 03-02-2018. Annualized dividend is C$0.6 at a yield of 6.4103%.



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This post is inspired by dividend diplomats monthly side hustle report. Starting January 2018, I have started including side hustle income to my monthly review. This post deals with my side hustle strategies.

Warning: This article contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and sign up for something that I recommended.


Credit cards

Credit cards are an awesome way to get cash backs and other rewards. These rewards are based on spending patterns. However that’s not the only way to maximize credit card benefits. I typically rotate credit cards. I sign up for a credit meet the spending limit get my rewards and close the account. I do this every 6 months so that it does not impact my credit score. I can rotate the same credit card after 24 months.

However, after the breach at Equifax I have frozen all my credit scores. I am no longer able to rotate credit cards. I still get good cash back from my cards. My cards give me 6.0% on groceries, 3.0% on gas and 2.0% on everything else. Try to make a conscious effort to use the right credit card at the right place.

Swagbucks

Swagbucks provides umpteen ways to make swag bucks. Swag bugs are converted to dollars at 1:100 rate i.e. 1 Swag buck is 0.01$. Earn Free Gift cards when you Shop online, Watch Videos, Take Surveys, and Discover deals and promo codes.

I found watching videos to be worst. The cash received is very low. I felt the power consumed while watching these videos would probably cost me more than the rewards. It is not something that can be automated in the background. There is a captcha after every video completes.

With searches I have had slightly better luck. Just switch your default search engine to Swagbucks. Swagbucks are awarded after searches. The awards are random and I generally get one per day. However, I have found their search engine to be bad.

My biggest draw is “swag code”. Swag code are available daily and when entered provide a few swag bucks. If you install their browser plugin, you will get a notification when new codes are available.

Swagbucks tends to have deals where you get payed to sign up for an offer. In my opinion they provide the best value. I always use a Visa gift card for the recurring deals. Some deals offer more Swagbucks than the cost associated with the deal. Some of my recent rewards,

I earned 2,825 Swagbucks ($28.25). My total expenses were around $15.00. In addition, I ended up with a year’s worth of supplies. Put cash back in your wallet!

Raise

Raise is all about gift cards. How many times have you ended up with a gift card which you are unable to use? Raise provides a platform for buying and selling gift cards (Walmart, Amazon and Southwest to name a few).

I use raise exclusively for buying discounted gift cards. If I am at a Walmart shopping, just before checkout I get out my app and buy gift card for an amount close enough to what I am going to spend. Typically, I get discounts around 2-3%. Similarly, before booking airline tickets or filling gas I buy the gift card for the specific airline or gas station.

The discounts vary based on categories. Restaurants/Home categories tend to be the most heavily discounted. Very useful if you plan on performing home upgrades. The Raise app (android and iOS) makes it easy to buy and spend gift cards directly from your phone! Furthermore raise has periodic sales where it is possible to get an additional 5%-10% off selected gift cards. I saved $10.46 using Raise. It is also possible to stack Raise with TopCashBack (see below). Simply sign up to get $5 off your first purchase!

Total savings: $10.46
Gift Card Savings
Olive Garden $2.12
Walmart $0.78
Speedway Gas $0.27
Aeropostale $1.76
Southwest Airlines $1.00
American Airlines $2.28
Stop & Shop $1.81
Amazon $0.44
Cardpool

Sometimes the gift card you are looking for might not be available on Raise. Another site I frequent is Cardpool. Similar to Raise, Cardpool offers a large selection of discounted gift cards. On occasions Cardpool has offered better discount rates than Raise. Just like Raise, tt is also possible to stack Cardpool with TopCashBack (see below). I use Cardpool exclusively for buying airline tickets. As of today, I have saved $48.00 in air travel. You can get $5 off your first purchase with this special offer!
TopCashBack

A TopCashBack website is a reward website that pays its members a percentage of money earned when they purchase goods and services via its affiliate links. TopCashBack was voted Cashback Site of the Year in 2016 and 2017 at the Moneyfacts Consumer Awards. Topcashback can be used with online purchases only. But, by using TopCashBack to buy gift cards (using raise or cardpool) you can extend its rewards to brick and mortar stores. As of today TopCashBack is offering 2.0% cash back with Raise and 1.0% cash back with Cardpool. Sign up to get $5 free cash back!

Total savings: $60.79
Merchant Savings
Jet.com $1.61
Raise.com $9.66
Cardpool.com $49.00
Target.com $0.52

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One way to identify dividend growth stocks is to look for dividend increases. Companies that pay rising dividends are likely to be financially healthy and generate consistent cash flow. Here is a list of US and Canadian companies that increased their dividends this week.


US Dividend Increases
Spectra Energy Partners, L.P. (SEP) , +1.72% dividend increase

Spectra Energy Partners, L.P. through its subsidiaries and equity affiliates, is engaged in the transmission, storage and gathering of natural gas, the transportation and storage of crude oil, and the transportation of natural gas liquids.

Spectra Energy Partners, L.P. has declared quarterly dividend of $0.7388 (+1.7212% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 02-16-2018 and is payable on 02-28-2018. Annualized dividend is $2.955 at a yield of 7.1985%. It has 11 years of consecutive dividend increase.


RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. (RNR) , +3.13% dividend increase

RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. provides reinsurance and insurance coverage and related services to a range of customers.

RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. has declared quarterly dividend of $0.3300 (+3.1250% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 03-14-2018 and is payable on 03-29-2018. Annualized dividend is $1.32 at a yield of 1.0325%. It has 13 years of consecutive dividend increase.


Archer-Daniels-Midland Company (ADM) , +4.69% dividend increase

Archer-Daniels-Midland Company is a processor of oilseeds, corn, wheat, cocoa and other agricultural commodities.

Archer-Daniels-Midland Company has declared quarterly dividend of $0.3350 (+4.6875% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 02-16-2018 and is payable on 03-13-2018. Annualized dividend is $1.34 at a yield of 3.2406%. It has 42 years of consecutive dividend increase.


Church & Dwight Co., Inc. (CHD) , +14.47% dividend increase

Church & Dwight Co., Inc. develops, manufactures and markets a range of household, personal care and specialty products.

Church & Dwight Co., Inc. has declared quarterly dividend of $0.2175 (+14.4737% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 02-14-2018 and is payable on 03-01-2018. Annualized dividend is $0.87 at a yield of 1.8362%. It has 12 years of consecutive dividend increase.



Canadian Dividend Increases
BCE Inc (BCE) , +5.23% dividend increase

BCE Inc has declared quarterly dividend of C$0.7550 (+5.2265% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 03-14-2018 and is payable on 04-15-2018. Annualized dividend is C$3.02 at a yield of 5.3708%.


Manulife Financial Corporation (MFC) , +7.32% dividend increase

Manulife Financial Corporation has declared quarterly dividend of C$0.2200 (+7.3171% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 02-20-2018 and is payable on 03-19-2018. Annualized dividend is C$0.88 at a yield of 3.5074%.


Suncor Energy Inc (SU) , +12.5% dividend increase

Suncor Energy Inc has declared quarterly dividend of C$0.3600 (+12.5000% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 03-02-2018 and is payable on 03-26-2018. Annualized dividend is C$1.44 at a yield of 3.4749%.


Firstservice Corporation (FSV) , +10.2% dividend increase

Firstservice Corporation has declared quarterly dividend of C$0.1350 (+10.2041% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 03-28-2018 and is payable on 04-06-2018. Annualized dividend is C$0.54 at a yield of 0.6472%.



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(Source: Fidelity.com)

I had written an earlier article on the need for international investing. This is a follow up article on different international mutual fund and ETFs offered by Vanguard. As a passive investor I will be focusing exclusively on index funds.

Related: Reasons you should invest internationally?


Vanguard international funds are broadly spread across two different markets, developed market (Japan, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland etc.) and emerging markets (Brazil, Russia, India, Taiwan, China, and South Africa etc.) funds.

The first awesome fund from Vanguard is Total International Stock Index Fund. In fact it is one of the few Vanguard select funds. A Vanguard select fund is a long standing fund (history) that is diversified with at least 10 billion dollars under management (AUM). It provides a cheap way to get broad exposure to international stocks.

It tracks the FTSE Global All Cap ex US Index. It gives broad exposure to both emerging and developed markets. Its market capitalization based and hence is tilted towards developed markets and large capitalization stocks. Emerging markets constitute 20.3% of the total holdings and 79.7% of holdings are in developed markets. It is categorized as a large cap fund.

Market Capitalization Diversification

This fund includes 6,283 stocks spanning 45 countries. Considering the number of stocks it is almost impossible for one or two holdings to have a sizeable impact on the fund. The largest position is Tencent Holdings (China, 1.20%). The top 10 constituents account for 7.95% of the holdings. The top 10 holdings are,

  1. Tencent Holdings (China), 1.20%
  2. Nestle (Switzerland), 1.02%
  3. Samsung Electronics (Korea), 0.84%
  4. HSBC Hldgs (UK), 0.81%
  5. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (Taiwan), 0.80%
  6. Novartis (Switzerland), 0.76%
  7. Toyota Motor (Japan), 0.67%
  8. Roche Holdings (Switzerland), 0.65%
  9. Royal Dutch Shell (UK), 0.60%
  10. British American Tobacco (UK), 0.59%

17.41% of the stock holdings are from Japan and is the largest holding in the fund. It is followed by UK (12.53%), Canada (6.63%), France (6.37%) and Germany (6.35%). From the emerging markets China has the largest exposure at 5.98%.

Market Region Diversification

This fund is also diversified across different sectors. Technology constitutes only 7% of the portfolio. In comparison S&P 500 has 23.8% in Technology. Financials are the largest category at 26%.

Market Sector Diversification

For comparing performance I used the US Total Stock Market Index. VGTSX/VXUS has outperformed the US stock market index in the last year. However, the 10-Year average annual performance is very poor. As a passive investor we don’t pick winners and losers. We try to hold the market as whole (Based on the average 3/5/10 Year average performance the US stock market should have outperformed international index in 2017). Use past performance to determine consistency and risk.

Total International Stock Index Fund is available in 3 flavors. As an investor fund (VGTSX), as an ETF (VXUS) and as an admiral fund (VTIAX). VTIAX requires a minimum investment of 10,000 dollars.

Related: ETF vs Mutual fund? Which one is a better choice?

VGTSX has an expense ratio of 0.18%, 83% lower than the average expense ratio of funds with similar holdings. It has a trailing twelve month (TTM) yield of 2.68%. VXUS has an expense ratio of 0.11%, 90% lower than the average expense ratio of funds with similar holdings. It has a TTM yield of 2.59%. Total International Index fund has a P/E of 15.9. VGTSX has $121.8 billion assets under management.

One of the cons of this fund is lower exposure to emerging market stocks. Over a time I have seen that investors tend to tilt their international exposure towards emerging markets. This might be because of lower valuations and higher (predicted) growth rates. Vanguard has an excellent emerging market index fund (VEIEX/VWO). VEIEX provides a low-cost way to gain exposure to emerging markets. VEIEX has an expense ratio of 0.32% (VWO: 0.14%) and a yield of 2.14%. It has a low P/E of 15.4.

On the other hand not everyone has the appetite for risk associated with emerging markets. Developed markets might provide the necessary international diversification with lower risk. The way to go about it would be through Developed Markets Index Fund (VDVIX, VEA). VDVIX has an expense ratio of 0.17%, yield of 2.68% and P/E of 16.1.

By using the developed and emerging market ETFs it is possible to slice the portfolio based on a particular risk assessment.

Another con of Total International Stock Index fund is they lack exposure to small capitalization stocks. I have noticed that younger investors tend to tilt their portfolio towards small caps. Vanguard has that covered through their FTSE All-World ex-US Small-Cap Index fund (VFSVX/VSS). It provides low-cost exposure to stocks of small-capitalization companies in non-U.S. markets. VFSVX (mutual fund) has an expense ratio of 0.27% (82% lower than the average expense ratio of funds with similar holdings) and 12 month trailing yield of 2.73%. VSS has an expense ratio of 0.13% of and yield of 2.84%.

www.betterment.com: “Tax loss harvesting is the practice of selling a security that has experienced a loss. By realizing, or "harvesting" a loss, investors are able to offset taxes on both gains and income. The sold security is replaced by a similar one, maintaining an optimal asset allocation and expected returns.”

There are two Vanguard international index funds. I already mentioned Total International Stock Index Fund (VGTSX, VXUS). The other international fund is FTSE All-World ex-US Index Fund (VFWIX, VEU). There is no real difference in their holdings and performance. You could potentially own either fund as a part of your core international stock holding. Alternatively you could use it for tax loss harvesting. The reason I did not mention VFWIX before is because it has a slightly higher expense ratio of 0.23%. VXUS has the same ER as VEU.

Disclaimer: Tax loss harvesting is not for everyone. You should not make any decision, financial, investments, trading or otherwise, based on any of the information presented on this blog without undertaking independent due diligence and consultation with a professional broker or competent financial adviser.

I checked out Vanguard Canada for equivalent funds. Similarly, FTSE Emerging Markets All Cap Index ETF (VEE) invests primarily in the emerging markets. VEE has a MER of 0.24% and 12 month trailing yield of 1.89%. I believe the difference in yield is due to currency differences.

For developed markets a combination of ETFs need to be used, FTSE Developed Europe All Cap Index ETF (VE) and FTSE Developed Asia Pacific All Cap Index ETF (VA).

If you want to avoid the hassles of owning multiple ETFs, you could try FTSE Global All Cap ex Canada Index ETF (VXC). VXC invests primarily in developed and emerging markets, excluding Canada. It has a MER of 0.27% and 12 month trailing yield of 1.68%.


Source: Vanguard, Vanguard Canada, Google Finance


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One way to identify dividend growth stocks is to look for dividend increases. Companies that pay rising dividends are likely to be financially healthy and generate consistent cash flow. I am interested in stocks with at least ten consecutive years of increasing annual regular dividend payments. Here is a list of such companies that increased their dividends last week.


Aflac Incorporated (AFL) , +15.56% dividend increase

Aflac Incorporated has declared quarterly dividend of $0.5200 (+15.5556% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 02-20-2018 and is payable on 03-01-2018. Annualized dividend is $2.08 at a yield of 2.3191%.


California Water Service (CWT) , +4.17% dividend increase

California Water Service has declared quarterly dividend of $0.1875 (+4.1667% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 02-09-2018 and is payable on 02-23-2018. Annualized dividend is $0.75 at a yield of 1.8094%.


Chevron Corporation (CVX) , +3.7% dividend increase

Chevron Corporation has declared quarterly dividend of $1.1200 (+3.7037% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 02-15-2018 and is payable on 03-12-2018. Annualized dividend is $4.48 at a yield of 3.5677%.


SJW Group (SJW) , +27.27% dividend increase

SJW Group has declared quarterly dividend of $0.2800 (+27.2727% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 02-09-2018 and is payable on 03-01-2018. Annualized dividend is $1.12 at a yield of 1.8858%.


Avista Corporation (AVA) , +4.2% dividend increase

Avista Corporation has declared quarterly dividend of $0.3725 (+4.1958% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 02-22-2018 and is payable on 03-15-2018. Annualized dividend is $1.49 at a yield of 2.9752%.



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This is a weekly post on Canadian stocks that have dividend increases. Companies that pay rising dividends are likely to be financially healthy and generate consistent cash flow.


Enbridge Income Fund (ENF) , +10.05% dividend increase

Enbridge Income Fund Holdings Inc., through its investment in Enbridge Income Fund, holds energy infrastructure assets. Enbridge Income Fund has declared monthly dividend of C$0.1883 (+10.0526% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 2018-01-30 and is payable on 2018-02-15. Annualized dividend is C$2.2596 at a yield of 8.2527%.


Whitecap Resources (WCP) , +4.9% dividend increase

Whitecap Resources Inc is a Canada-based oil-weighted growth company focused on its existing assets enhanced by oil-based acquisitions. Whitecap Resources has declared monthly dividend of C$0.0257 (+4.8980% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 2018-01-30 and is payable on 2018-02-15. Annualized dividend is C$0.3084 at a yield of 3.4574%.


Methanex Corporation (MX) , +10.0% dividend increase

Methanex Corp is a Canada-based producer and supplier of methanol to a range of international markets. Methanex Corporation has declared quarterly dividend of C$0.3300 (+10.0000% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 2018-03-15 and is payable on 2018-03-31. Annualized dividend is C$1.32 at a yield of 1.7747%.


Exco Technologies (XTC) , +6.25% dividend increase

Exco Technologies Limited is a designer, developer and manufacturer of dies, molds, components and assemblies, and consumable equipment for the die-cast, extrusion and automotive industries. Exco Technologies has declared quarterly dividend of C$0.0850 (+6.2500% increase). It goes ex-dividend on 2018-03-14 and is payable on 2018-03-29. Annualized dividend is C$0.34 at a yield of 3.4102%.



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This is my first monthly update for 2018. Stock market has been on fire and my portfolio grew significantly in January. However, high stock prices have brought down my yield and hence my forward dividends have increased at a slower rate.

My forward dividends reached $825.37, this a 5.81% increase from prior month. My new goal for 2018 is $1,500 in forward dividend. My forward dividends are at 55.02% of this goal.

My overall investment portfolio grew by 11.71%.

6.20% of this growth came through infusion of new capital (inorganic growth). 5.52% of the growth came through change in stock market valuations(organic growth). In comparison S&P 500 grew by 5.59%. The inorganic growth has been on a downward trend for months (8.91%, 8.07%, 7.33%, 6.66% and 6.20%). This is to be expected as my portfolio increases in value, additional inflows will not have the same impact.

Largest position in my portfolio is S&P 500 ETF (35.78%) and average expense ratio is 0.106%. I added a goal of being Financially Independent (FI) by 2032. With my current investments and dividends I am at 5.28% of FI.

In addition to dividends I plan on including my side hustle income in my monthly summary. My side hustle income is Swagbucks, Topcashback, credit cards (cash back) and raise. My total side hustle income for January was $127.25.



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