End of Summer

I am sick today. My husband was kind enough to take all the children out of the house to visit some family while I recover. We had a glorious summer in our new rental. I did absolutely no investing over the summer. I checked my accounts only a handful of times. Although I did not check often, the dividends continued to pile up. Almost $600 in cash in my TFSA and $50 in my RRSP. The good news is, a portion of my inheritance came in. I felt it necessary not to decide what to do with it immediately but to wait. I eventually decided to pay 15% to my mortgage, and then wait with the remainder. I am glad I waited. It was very difficult and emotional, more so than I anticipated. The bank kept calling, asking what I planned to do with the money. They had plans for the money. I told them I had my own plans and I wasn’t interested. They called back. I told them I didn’t live near a branch and going to see them was an inconvenience. It’s true. The big banks don’t service rural Canadians but they sure want our money.

Spending wise, in the end I went a head and made one large purchase this summer. Three violins, all for my children who have started music lessons. A great investment in my eyes. (I am biased, I play the violin). My father loved classical music (specifically the UK’s Classic FM) and the Opera Lyra, and my mother was a cantor at church. A lovely purchase in their honour. I have yet to buy a piano, however I am looking for one on Kijiji. Maybe for Christmas.

Although I didn’t purchase any stocks, I made a very important investment. I invested in my husband. I used some of my savings and some of my inheritance to help him start a plumbing company. Setting up costs like corporation fees, accounting fees, a used van, decals, business cards, mechanical repairs, different types of insurance, tools, material, small advertising and many types of government licenses. Some say buying a house is the largest purchase one will ever make. But investing in your own family business must be one of the largest investments one can ever make.

To think that many of the companies we invest in were started by someone, a family, or a small group of individuals. They grew, maintained profits and continue to exist many decades later. That’s an amazing feat. They even share their profits through dividends. I am not sure I would be as generous – ha! These companies, although many started by men, must have had great wives behind them.

Farewell for now. I will be back with my newest purchases soon. I won’t make you wait as long.

Happy investing,
Heather

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2018 – A Year In Review

December 31st… It’s my eldest daughter’s birthday. She wants everyone to know it’s her birthday, and she’s turning six. She also learned how to earn money this year, and why it’s important – So she can buy food. Long story short, she went to school one morning after refusing to eat any food I would offer her, knowing full well the school was serving breakfast, albeit for $1. My daughter happily ate some plain toast (yes, plain toast for $1! don’t get me started) and when she arrived home, mom saw the $1 receipt in her lunch box instructing me to pay up. Now, I don’t judge how French Quebeckers raise their kids but this mom is not ‘un guichet automatique’ aka GAB or ATM as it is known in the rest of the world. I gently explained to my daughter that things cost money and that I wasn’t going to pay for this bill because I had already spent all my money at Costco šŸ˜‰ (technically true, I buy a lot of food). I told her that in order to pay for it, she would have to earn $1 through work. When dad got home, she did a handful of kid sized chores for 25Ā¢ each and brought the money back to school the next day. The following week I asked if she had any money left in her purse and she said no… she bought more $1 toast at school. So, moral of the story is… I taught my kid how to earn money but not how to spend it wisely. That will be my task for next year.

In other news…

I made one last purchase this year. On December 5th I purchased $1140.88 minus $5.31 in fees of Transalta Renewables (RNW), 102 shares for $11.19 each. We all know what happened several days later in the Canadian and American markets. However, I am still pleased with the dividends this company pays. This purchase should add $7.98 per month in dividend income for a total monthly dividend of $14.65 (Whoot! Whoot!). It is also crazy to think that the extra $140.88 was from dividends sitting in my cash account!

So, how did I fair this year? Drum roll please!!…..

Well, I hit my annual dividend goal of $750! As of December 31st, this stay-at-home mom brought in $1008.69 in dividends. I surpassed $1000! The good news is I kept my fees below 2%, and yet I missed making 2 purchases. One in October and another in November. However, I’m not disappointed about missing these purchases since prices have come down since then increasing my purchasing power momentarily.

A few months ago on a fellow dividend blogger’s site (I can’t remember the name! If you know the name comment below so I can credit them), he broke down his dividends into an hourly wage. I thought this was ingenious. Although I don’t receive an hourly wage (solely the Canadian and Quebec Child Benefit – which fluctuates with each tax season), I still work pretty darn hard. So, if I worked 40 hours a week for 48 weeks of the year (2 weeks off in summer and 2 weeks off at Christmas), I would be working 1920 hours per year. So, $1008.69 dividend by 1920 hours = 0.52Ā¢ per hour (roughly). Almost the equivalent to the American minimum wage of the 1940s. Hopefully, next year I can give myself another hourly pay increase that will propel me into the 1960s!

Here is something else you might find interesting…

My 7 year old made $105.52 in annual dividends.
My 5 year old made $48.69 in annual dividends.
My 3 year old made $18.83 in annual dividends.
My 1 year old made $12.15 in annual dividends.

My newest baby is 2 weeks old as of today! I should be starting his first DRIP in the coming months, it will most likely be a share of BMO like his siblings.

Also, I only contributed $50 in optional cash purchases to each of their accounts this year. However, pretty much since my oldest got his first share as a newborn he has had fairly consistent annual dividend increases.

So, that’s it for this year. I still need to think about 2019. There are a lot of details to go over in terms of how much I should contribute and competing priorities. As of January 1st my husband is officially incorporated as a “SociĆ©tĆ©” and has started his paternity leave, we are looking at putting our eldest back into some much needed therapy and my parents estate will be officially complete sometime this coming year.

Happy New Year! Happy Investing!
Heather

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Purchases | September 2018

Hey everyone,

I am very pregnant right now. Like a breathless beached whale. However, even though I waddle around slowly like a penguin, my money is still working for me.

This September I didn’t purchase any new companies but I focused on bulking up the ones I currently own and hold in my TFSA.

I purchased 23 shares of Laurentian Bank at $44.40 dollars, for a total of $1026.23 including commission. This is all in keeping with my 2018 goal of $1000 per month in new month and keeping fees below 2%.

Lately Laurentian Bank has been trading lower than my original purchase price average. With this month’s buy, it brings my holdings in Laurentian up to a similar dollar amount compared to the other companies I hold in my TFSA.

My new total holdings in Laurentian Bank is 38 shares. The great news is that earlier this year Laurentian increased their quarterly dividend from $0.63 to $0.64. 

So far, this company has proved to be a good holding.

Happy Investing,
Heather

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Why you Need to Start Investing NOW!

Welcome to Part 2!

“Investing should be more like watching paint dry or watching grass grow. If you want excitement, take $800 and go to Las Vegas.” – Paul Samuelson

When most people think about investing, they conjure up the image of a day trader, hedge funds and options traders glued to their monitors filled with complex graphs or the raucous New York Stock Exchange trading floor.

Buy low, sell high. Someone wins, someone loses. Big wins, but also so many, many thunderous losses.

This is also no different than going to the casino and gambling. Iā€™d rather keep my money, thanks!

However, what if I told you – you never have to sell your shares in order to make money? Itā€™s true.

But first, in this post letā€™s go over the basics. Ā Iā€™ll touch on 3 topics:

  • The importance of time
  • The power of compounding interest
  • Dollar-cost-averaging

Time

“You get recessions, you have stock market declines. If you don’t understand that’s going to happen, then you’re not ready, you won’t do well in the markets.” – Peter Lynch

Recessions happen. However, when you invest for dividends you are in it for the long run. Just like the four seasons, after winter spring is just around the corner. the economic cycle starts all over again and markets recover. Just be sure you are still around for when things go back up and you don’t leave when a downturn occurs.

I am not a fortune teller. I can’t tell you when the next recession will happen. The last one was in 2008, 10 years ago. So no matter what, there will be another recession. A mini one or a big one, I don’t know, but it will happen.

Remember, it is not the timing of the market that is important, but the time spent in the market. This will all make sense when we take a look at compounding interest and dollar-cost-averaging next.

The Power of Compounding Interest

What is compounding interest? Sweet and simple, it’s literallyĀ interest on the interest. Once your money earns interest and is reinvested, that interest earns interest etc. Compounding on itself – thusĀ compounding interest.

Why is it important? Your money grows faster and faster over time. The more time you allow your interest to compound the quicker you accumulate more money.

Check out this cool illustration over atĀ Direct Investing. They even have a nifty calculator to see how much you can earn over time.

Now, onto dollar-cost-averaging…

Dollar-Cost-Averaging

Yep, more math. But I promise, it is not hard!

All dollar-cost-averaging is, isĀ putting in small amounts of money on a consistent basisĀ (like once a month or once a quarter).

By buying shares in a company slowly, you are in turn buying the stock at different price points. Sometimes high, sometimes low.

Here is a nice example.

If you are putting in the same amount each time, lets say for simplicity sake $100 per month, and the price this month is $50 per share. You will end up buying 2 shares. Next month the price drops to $25, with the same $100, you buy 4 shares. Then the price jumps to $80 by the third month, you only buy 1.25 shares.

After 3 months you would have 7.25 shares and spent $300 total, at an average price of $41.38 per share. If you bought $300 worth at $50 the first month, you would only own 6 shares. At $80 per share, you would own just 3.75 shares! Dollar-cost-averaging can help you buy more shares, which will earn you more dividends in the long run.

If the price is high, you buy less. When the price of the share is low, you buy more. Over time the price at which you purchased your shares averages out to be a bit lower.

Neat, eh? Besides, I really love it when the things are on sale šŸ˜‰

AND… the cool thing is, if you reinvest your dividends automatically you are already putting dollar-cost-averaging and compounding interest to work!Ā Easy-peasy.ļ»æ

That’s it for this post!

Join me next week for Part 3, where I get into the nuts and bolts of how to buy your first share.

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Why Women Need to Invest

why women need to invest

Why Women Need to Invest…

So, why do women need to invest anyways?

To make our money work for us, instead of us working for money.

Easy to say, right?

Basically, if we don’t do it for ourselves, we should not anticipate that others will do it for us. Whether they be our spouses, government social security or company pensions. Sounds grim? Allow me to go on…

Statistics

Besides this point, there are a few other stats to bring to your attention. Although not all women are the main breadwinners of their family, they control a large portion of the financial decisions that go on in a household. (See debatable statsĀ here) I am of the opinion that those stats are higher particularly if there are children in the household. We yield much of the responsibility of where and how the family income is spent, and therefore should not shrug off our responsibility to wise fiscal management.

Another, but rather sadĀ statisticĀ here in Canada, is that women are more likely to be in ‘low income after tax’ in the later stages of life compared to men. Although the reasons vary for why this is (I can only assume – job type, no pension, child rearing), this stat would hopefully provide more reason for women to invest.

Financial Goals

Generally speaking, as women, we also tend to haveĀ different long term goalsĀ when it comes to saving and investing. Through my observations, many men tend to focus on #FIRE, or financial independence retire early. That’s not a bad thing, but for most women that might not be the primary concern. I can’t speak for all women, as there are plenty of women interested in #FIRE, however, I am more concerned about the well being of my kids and ourĀ quality of life. In my mind, sometimes I think to myself… “Why would I want to retire early? I’m already at home all the time! Let me afford to do something enjoyable.”

As well, I can’t emphasis enough the importance of wanting financial security. Let’s face it, life happens and someone has to deal with it. For example, instead of posting this article yesterday, DH was at the emergency all day for septic bursitis…Ā fun. No limbs lost yet! Real life means a disability, job loss, sick kids, temporary illness, bereavement, care of the elderly… and much of this falls on our shoulders. It also makes our financial situation more precarious. These situations greatly impact our current and future income as women.

So, heck yeah… I want more security and an enjoyable life.

And nothing brings security or being able to afford ‘divertissements’ (French for fun+entertainment) like consistent and varying streams of income. Passive income streams other than working, such as theĀ dividend incomeĀ I speak of so often that can come from owning stocks (more on this later in Part 3).

When it comes to income, the media likes to talk about the ‘wage gap.’ I’m not here to debate whether it exists or not for women. However, there is no wage gap in dividend investing. The best dividend companies give raises and do not discriminate against individual shareholders because they are women or men.

I could go on about Canada’sĀ pitiful income growthĀ (Rob Carrick wrote an interesting article), inflation and our current purchasing power but I’ll leave that for another day.

If you are a fellow gal reading this, please consider saving and investing as a means to achieving whatever your longterm goals might be.Ā 

Happy investing,
Heather

Join me for Part 2 next week where I will discuss ‘Why You Should Start InvestingĀ Now‘ and not wait.

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What I’m Reading | September 2018

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This post contains affiliate links.

A nice short post today.

I finished Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits by Philip Fraser earlier than expected. (Thanks Audible!) However, I’m not sure how much I retained. My kids have amazing mom-is-busy-radar. “Look, mom is reading. Now is the time to ask her for x, y, z…”

If I sneak off to my bedroom. The door is closed and locked. The kids are at the door.Ā “Mom, the door is locked. Can you get my x, y, z…”

Me, “Go ask your father. He said he would watch you while I read.”

Kids, “He’s already asleep on the couch.”

Husband, “I’m awake. They just don’t come ask me.” (Insert laughing face emoji here…)

The only difficulty I had with Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits was it’s broadness. For some reason my brain was expecting something more practical. However, it still contained good insight for those whom I would consider ‘private investors’, i.e. not me or not me yet.

This month I’m going to reread Stephen Jarislowsky’s Investment Zoo.Ā I inherited it from my dad’s collection of investment books. It’s a short read, so I’m hoping I can squeeze in a second short investment book this month if I’m lucky.

Really lucky.

Wish me luck. I might just have to escape to my mini-van to read.

Happy investing,
Heather

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How to Start Investing…

investing

Hey Everyone!

The whole purpose of my blog is to get more women investing and bring you along on my investment journey. There is no better way to get more people investing than to show them how it’s done.

Let me helpĀ youĀ get your hands on your first share!

To help you achieve this goal, I decided to create a 5 part blog series on how to start investing, with a particular focus on those who may not have a large amount of disposable income or knowledge on where to start. Which is exactly how I started, so have no fear!

In this 5 part series, I will touch on the following topics:

  • Why women need to invest…
  • Why you should start investing NOW…
  • How to buy your first share…
  • How to pick stocks easily and where to put them…
  • Other tips and tricks…

So, without further ado, let’s get this series started!

Happy Investing,
Heather

Note: As I publish each post, I will put a link on this page šŸ™‚

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