Informative and Interesting Blogs/Sites that look at personal investing, DIY and an overall snapshot of the Markets 

 A Fintech, RoboAdvisors and Dividends Journal; My financial Trek through the risky business of​ investing online


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February 14th

My first Canadian REIT, Killam (KMP.UN) I bought over a year back has your average comparable monthly dividend to REITS on the TSX but unit growth, which doesn't happen much or at a slow pace, is the exception here where Killam was at $12.59 in February of 2018 and now at $21.88 per unit today.

A 3% dividend increase was announced a couple days ago

February 11th

Interesting, where in the latest Workshop edition with Millennial Revolution; their ETF approach and Wealthsimple's pick for their investing exposure, returned near the same results in earnings and volatility. Their next workshop article is about going for it and funding ... to be published soon.

I'm reading a lot of different investing approaches in Blogs, newsletters and articles. Some are basically following another's portfolio with some additions/subtractions. In the end, an investor on a mission ... should study and choose what's right for him or her. Personally, I'm currently 100% into dividend paying stocks with REIT'S and ETF's with finance and the aim of having some or all 'dividend aristocrats' among the ETF holdings. Stand alone stocks that have potential are also on my radar as I grow my portfolio. Junior Mining and Oil, knowing the higher risk involved but just following at this time. On the fence, type of thing.

February 4th

On the Blog, Millennial Revolution ... there are money related Workshops and the latest (#55) is about Wealthsimple as the author dives into popular Fin-teck. From background, to registering and exploring the site. Their next article will be about the ETF selection and their performance.

I'm researching 3 REIT related ETF's these days from these financials ... Vanguard, Blackrock and BMO. I'm kind of leaning towards the BMO (ZRE) currently at a price of $26 with a dividend per unit of 0.09 paid monthly. 

Also with BMO, I like the ZWC, CDN Covered Call ETF, currently at $19.02 with a monthly dividend of 0.11 per unit.

On a stand alone REIT, Been researching Morguard REIT (MRT.UN), based in Quebec at $12.53 currently, with a monthly dividend of 0.08 per unit.

I primarily use the TD bank of Canada for their investor (WebBroker) site but funded Wealthsimple Trade to try out their no Trade fee and no minimum fund service.

January 30th

In 2019, I did a lot of reading and studying, getting some tips and feedback from a Canadian friend out in BC about the stock market where he's been in the Bank and Tax business. Currently running a Tax office.

So, it's time for action with still a ton to learn about the various aspects and the pulse of the stock market.

I made some Trades over the last week where I'm mainly seeking Dividend paying stock at this time and need to be in by the 31st of January to collect the dividends I bought.

One of the more interesting is an Automotive Property REIT, APR.UN. Growing steady with property acquisitions that are leased by the major car companies out there. I also bought a TD ETF, TD Q Canadian Dividend ETF that concentrates on financials and REIT's. So far so good while looking to keep fees low and to a minimum. Mistakes will happen but we learn from them.

January 24th

A no fee, no minimum amount with a 2.4% (annum, added monthly) savings/spending account is the latest product Wealthsimple out of Canada is offering. Secure and insured, I found that offer hard to resist. 

They also offer tailored investment solutions, tax services and a no fee stock trading site, Wealthsimple Trade ... currently for cell phone 'App' use only. Desktop to come later.

January 3rd

A new year and with the building ETF craze, it's about comparisons, choices and monitoring prices ... holdings and dividends.

Blackrock and Vanguard continue to be competitive and off a wide variety of investments at decent 'Fees' in Canada. Looking at their REIT offer on both sites, one can see some similar holdings but also a different mix with different 'weightings' or more funds into one REIT compared to others.

Buying individual REIT's and stocks, investors just have the 'buy' and sell' fee, if any depending on the online trading site, bank, etc. No associated fee that comes with an ETF or Mutual Fund.

I'm also a fan of High Interest savings account as some institutions offer some attractive rates. '2% per annum' is more common these day as some outfits go higher, others lower with winter and summer rate boosts over 2% with Tangerine for example.

Let's compare using $2000 for example:

High Interest Saving Account at 2% per annum. $40 gain on the year but actually more as monthly interest is added building the account for the next month's addition of interest. And, good to have as a backup for the unexpected and liquid cash.

​RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) REI-UN.TO  ... @ $26 per unit fluctuating. 76.92 units from a $2000 CAD funding.

REIT's usually don't move a lot in price but the current monthly dividend is 0.12 cents per unit: 76.92 x 0.12 = $9.23 or $110.76 for 12 months if nothing changes in the dividend distribution amount. Investors can repurchase more units at a discount or save the dividend cash. Compounding builds up over time. There's risk involved although it's low risk in my opinion, RioCan valued at near 15 Billion CAD. 

Big difference in gains depending on how much risk, if any, one wants to take on.

Doing both is ideal in this scenario. Liquid cash with savings and ... building in the Markets with the option of having liquid cash in monthly dividends.

December 16th

In the US, fees are coming down quicker than they are in Canada and with some major investment outfits wanting to outdo the competition, down to zero or no fees. The only zero fee for buying and selling stocks 'and' ETF's I know of in Canada is WeathSimple Trade but there are limitations and there are exchange fees with the USD/CDN, CDN/USD currencies. There are other brokerages that offer zero fee for ETF's only.

However, fees have dropped a lot over the past couple years depending where the 'Trading' is done. Billions have poured in ETF's this year alone where they offer attractive bundles depending on what an investor is looking for and the 'weighting' (more invested in companies than others). Just to keep in mind, there may be zero fees to buy and sell depending on the firm but ETF's come with their own fees, many dropping the percentage as the months go by.

November 17th

During my regular browsing thru news articles and finance subscription emails, a title about cash ETF's and High Interest caught my eye. So, I opened up that link and explored.

An interesting write up about 2 ETF's that are into harvesting High Interest Savings from top bank names in Canada. There is one for the US as well, all with nice monthly dividends.

For the Canadian products both have a cost of $50 each. With PI or Purpose Investments,  the dividend is 0.0936 cents per unit currently, per month. The interest rate the ETF brings in is 2.15% accumulated with a yearly MER fee of 0.16%. (Ticker: PSA)

CI First Asset has the same price of $50 each and a current monthly dividend of 0.0901 with a lower management fee of 0.14%. (Ticker: CSAV)

The price in each doesn't go up much... perhaps a 1+% a year but the dividends are the highlight and got that investor 'high interest' attraction thing happening.

​Blackrock, probably the top fund management outfit in Canada also has a $50 iShares Premium Money Market ETF with dividend of 0.07 per month with a lot more holdings for the cash distribution ... 46 currently including the top banks. 

Those 3 products are popular now as some Canadians seek somewhat safer ways to invest that are quick to liquidate to cash.

November 8th

Despite the noise about a recession coming and many an investor thinking sell some stock for cash, looking for deals when a rebound occurs ... there is good news where there's competition going on with ETF providers and the lowering of fees to attract and keep investors happy with their products. Notable are Blackrock, Vanguard, Horizons and Banks among others. Higher returns on savings accounts with various banks and fintechs are an attraction to stash cash while and when a significant downturn in the markets occurs usually triggered by the US with some fallout felt in Canada.

October 27th

For Canadians wondering about the pros and cons with RRSP's and TFSA's, a great article here with short explanatory videos ...

October 12th

All the talk these days is about a rescission coming in the US and Canada feels the effects of that but not so harsh according to past history. 

A lot selling going on already for cash according to the investor scuttlebutt. Others will hold and ride it out, while others sell and move into Gold, Bonds and a lot of news about REIT's where they don't move much regardless, favored for their dividends. High interest savings accounts and GIC' s become more popular at times like these but both just keep on par with inflation or fall behind.

When ever that happens and an eventual rebound occurs in the Markets, that's a good time to get in on the up swing with currently held holdings and 'watched' picks. 

Sept 14th

ETF's and buying individual stocks. There are pros and cons to both.

ETF's, depending on what I'm looking for, can provide a basket of companies and there is now competition between financial institutions to provide low fees. They are adjusted as well, shifting how much is owned or 'weight' in each company for general 'rebalancing' to provide an expected or increasing yield.

Stocks or REIT's; when you buy there are no additional fees except buying and selling with that being either being zero or low depending where I go to purchase.

I prefer both ETF's and individual stocks with the majority ... 'monthly' dividends to boot. Starting out slow and cautious, I think ETF's are the way to go and then monitor the companies/REIT's within individually. You get a feel of which stocks are performing the best and they are usually the 'top weighted' in an ETF Take that stock and look at it's past history, 5 years, 10 years or lifetime. Keeping in mind, past history is not what can happen tomorrow or in the future but normally, if a top Bank stock is solid with steady dividends, that's ideal in my opinion.

August 10th

It's old news, yet causes a stir when a new/additional Tariff is slapped on China by the US, Markets dive and last week was no exception with a recovery in the latter part of the week. I read a couple articles where investors are trying to time this; get wind of it and sell ... then buy when the Markets have adjusted to the news and on the way up again. Ideal when stocks or ETF's 'bottom out' but that's tough to time.

Ignoring that, although it takes some discipline to stay on a long term path with goals to meet is a proven course to take.

Reading up on 'Millennial Revolution''s path to be millionaires, it's mainly about chosen Blackrock and Vanguard ETF's with the right balance. However what's tough and again needs discipline, is setting aside monthly cash and distributions to keep building. They mentioned 50% of their income was going to build their portfolio, which is tough to do for most households. I remember reading 'The Wealthy Barber' years ago and 10% of every dollar earned for long term growth is the key. What ever is doable and being able to sacrifice some unneeded expenses along the way. Eating out too much, Tim Horton's coffee everyday, high interest payments on credit cards that needs to be eliminated. Then there's the 'you only live once' quote.

Personally I'm at about 6.5% currently and also have a percentage go to savings from each debit card purchase I make so that does accumulate after awhile plus online ventures I pursue to raise additional cash or 'coin'. Collective, that's over 10% of funds coming in going towards savings and invests.

Good example here with an average 5% with the Markets (Usually around 6%)

Save $10 per day ($300 per month) over 10 years = $49,174

                                                                  15 years = $83,646

                                                                  20 years = $127,643


July 22nd

I'm always browsing around online for 'what works' for investing. With Blogs ... there are some awesome ones out there loaded with information on saving, debt and investing, which go hand in hand. Ideal, is to scratch any outstanding high interest debt to get down to the basics ... car payment, mortgage or rent.

Gaining enough with investments to cover the monthly bills tips the scales to being 'independent' from those debts and eventually some financial freedom.

As I view and read, I come across blogs that catch my eye and I add them to my reading list. For example, thruTawcan , I came across  Millennial Revolution  and the author FIREcracker. with a recently published book ... Quit like a Millionaire. Check it out ... very interesting and I find it addictive reading.