Sunday, July 30, 2017

Benefits Of The Rate Hike For Investors

        The FED and the Bank of Canada have recently raised their interest rate by 25 bps each.  What does that mean?  It meant the cost of borrow money will increase and payments on variable rate mortgages and lines of credit will be increased immediately. Consumers and businesses will have their expenses increases due to the cost of borrowing increasing.  Shortly after the Bank of Canada raising their rate by 25bps, the big 5 banks in Canada followed suit within 24 hours.

         A way for banks to make money is too have savings accounts.  The bank then takes the money savers deposit and lend it out at a higher interest than they pay the saver.  The bank "promises" the saver that for the use of the saver's money, they will be paid interest.

         A lot of banks have not raised their rates on the savings accounts along the rates on their lines of credit, loans and mortgages.  So that means the bank will make more money. Therefore the shareholders of the banks will likely be rewarded with increased profits and therefore possible larger dividend increases than the banks have recently done.


     I am a shareholder in 4 of the 5 big banks.  Currently, the only bank stock I do not own is Royal Bank.  So, if North America does no go into recession in the near future then the banks will do well.  I always hear people complain how profitable the banks are each quarter.  My response to them if they are talking directly to me is "With them being so profitable, do you own any shares in any of them?".  I will often get a snarl or " I am too poor to invest!!" response.

     There are ways to invest with very little money.  A person can buy stocks the old way directly through the transfer agent.  How this works, at least in Canada, is that you go to a website like and try to buy a share of a company.  I will talk about the way I have done through this site.  I posted a message on the share board looking for a share of Enbridge (ENB) and BNS.  Eventually, some will respond and agree to sell you a share.  You then send the person a check with that amount agreed upon. In return, you will get an actual share certificate with your name and I believe your new account number will show up.  The transfer agent sends you the share certificate and not the individual.  The seller as to follow steps outlined by the transfer agent to make their transaction to go smoothly. Once the share certificate is received the buyer can make purchases directly with the transfer agent for that particular stock operating within the guidelines outlined in the company's DRIP program.  Most of the times, investing this way you get to purchase shares at a discount with reinvested dividends.  The downside you do not know the price of shares when you make purchases of additional shares directly with a check or a debit from your bank account.  When buying stocks this way, you directly own the shares in your name.  When you purchase the shares in a brokerage account, you do not own the shares directly but are given all the rights of shareholder ownership  such has voting, dividends, distributions, buyouts, and interest.

    In United States, Capital One (formerly Sharebuilder) allows you purchase fractional shares and the entire dividend gets reinvested. I believe if you put in the order Monday night, to invest X amount of dollars into "ABC", then the shares are purchased the following day.  With Capital One, you can also buy shares like any other brokerage and pay a commission of around $7.00.  Also, with Capital One, you can turn the drip on or off with a click of the mouse.  Most brokerages you have to call or e-mail the brokerage to tell them to turn the drip on or off for each stock in the account.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Turning Off The Taps A Bit

Over the past couple of years I have had DRIPs turned on for a few positions. I haved DRIPped shares and units of Boston Pizza Royalties Income Fund (BPF.UN), Cominar REIT (CUF.UN), Dream Office REIT (D.UN), Killam Properties REIT (KMP.UN), Enbridge (ENB.TO) and Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO). Some of these positions are through the brokerage while others are directly with the transfer agent. The latter is the basically the "old" way of buying stocks where you get actual stock certificate. The downside of the "old" way of purchase stocks is that you do not have control over the purchase price or sell price as you just send in a check and the shares or units are purchased on a certain date. Also the purchase prices could be averages of the last few days or some other criteria that would be often spelled out in the documentation.

Recently, I have had DRIPs turned on the Enerplus Corporation (ERF.TO), D.UN, CUF.UN, BNS.TO, and ENB.TO. The DRIPs for BNS.TO and ENB.TO are directly with the transfer agent and these positions are in the investment tab spreadsheet and have partial shares. Some brokerages off partial shares, but they are few and far between.

I have turned off my DRIPs for D.UN, CUF.UN, and ERF.TO. The dividend payout for ERF.TO is no where close to being able to purchase 1 whole. D.UN was dripped in both my TFSA and margin accounts. I have turned off the DRIPs due to my current financial situation. I would prefer to keep the DRIPs on for both D.UN and CUF.UN as these positions are trading above my average cost basis per share.

I am keeping the DRIPs on for ENB and BNS with the transfer agents. For disclosure, I also have positions in ENB in my TFSA and BNS in my margin account.

The benefits of DRIPs, is that it is a way to acquire more assets for doing basically nothing. Also, a lot of DRIPs have discounts on the shares purchased with re-invested dividends. Does this apply to DRIPs by brokerages? Some brokerages pass the discounts along while others do not. My brokerage, Questrade, does not pass the discount along.

There is also some posts on DRIPs in my DRIP tab above.

I am not a financial planner, financial advisor, accountant or tax attorney. The information on this blog represents my own thoughts and opinions and should NOT be taken as investment or business advice.

Every individual should do their due diligence to make their own financial decisions based on their financial situation and tolerance for risk.

Friday, July 14, 2017

What Happened to Big Banks After The Rate Hike?

         I recently wrote about the recent rate hike by the Bank of Canada.  On July 12th, the Bank of Canada announced that they are increasing the interest rate from 0.75% to 1.00%.

        Shortly afterword the rate hike, the big banks raised their rates.  Royal Bank of Canada even raised the rate prior to the rate hike on their 1,3, and 5 year terms by 0.20%.

        The chart below compares how the big banks on the Toronto Stock Exchange have done this week.  The announcement was 10am Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday.  As we can see from the chart, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce was the leader over the last week.

Click to Enlarge

         As you can see, the investors and trades liked the rate increase.  Royal Bank (RY.TO) went up the morning of the rate increase but dropped  back down.  As state above, RY raised their 1,3, and 5 year term rates by 0.20% prior to the rate hike, and the rate hike was likely factored in. When people go get a mortgage or renew their fixed rate mortgage will have higher payments.

     After the rate hike, Royal Bank was the first to raised there prime rate from 2.70% to 2.95%.  The other 4 big banks followed suit.  The increase in the prime rate affects loans, variable rate mortgages and line of credit. Anybody with variable rate loans, lines of credits, and variable rate mortgages will see an immediate increase in their payments due to higher interest rates.

      Why is the rate hike good for the banks?  The rate hike means more profits for the big 5 banks. The big 5 banks do not immediately increase the rates on their savings accounts, therefore the spread of interest paid to savers and the interest the banks received from payments of individuals or companies is larger.

       The banks offer very low interest rates on their respective savings accounts.  This makes savers to look elsewhere for yield, and they usually turn to the stock market for dividends and interest. This is why the stock market is trading near all time highs as their is more buyers than sellers for majority of blue chip stocks.

       Currently I own shares in 4 of the big 5 banks. I do not own RY.TO as of this date.  The big 5 banks in Canada are known around the world to be some of the best run banks in the  world.

      How do you like the rate hike by the Bank of Canada?

Disclosure: Long TD.TO, BNS.TO, CM.TO, BMO.TO

I am not a financial planner, financial advisor, accountant or tax attorney. The information on this blog represents my own thoughts and opinions and should NOT be taken as investment or business advice.

Every individual should do their due diligence to make their own financial decisions based on their financial situation and tolerance for risk.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Bank of Canada Announcement

         I recently wrote on the possible rate increase by the Bank of Canada.  This made the markets relatively quiet.  Although investors and analysts were factoring in a rate increase, there is always the possibility of a rate remaining unchanged.  Some analysts and people in the higher ups on the corporate ladder in the big 5 banks said it is not a good time to raise rates.  This is largely due to the economy in Alberta being in the gutter and the housing prices in Vancouver and Toronto.

        Although housing remain expensive in Fort McMurray and Calgary, the economies of these 2 Alberta cities is struggling.  There has hint of optimism in the air in Calgary in recent months.  The Alberta government based their budget on the price of a barrel of crude oil averaging $55 per barrel. Well, three and a half months into Alberta's fiscal year, an oil is currently trading around $46.00. The price of oil has not come close to $55 per barrel.  The price of oil actually dipped below $43.00 per barrel a few months ago.  Some analysts are predicting oil to go to $80 dollars a barrel while others believe oil will trade between $45 and $55 per barrel for the foreseeable future.

       At 10am eastern standard time on July 12, the Bank of Canada governor raised the interest rate from 0.50% to 0.75%, which is a 25 basis point increase.  This is on the heels of the Fed raising the rate in the United States recently.  Did the governor of the Bank of Canada raise the rate because the FED raised their rate?  Our economies are different.  The economic engine of Canada currently is Alberta.  With Alberta having a carbon tax along with the low oil prices, this is making companies hesitant to drill for oil.

      The increase by the Bank of Canada has lead, to no surprise, the big banks increasing their rates. So borrowing money will be more expensive for mortgages and loans.  I believe this could affect interest rates on line of credits and credit cards in the very near future.


     I believe the Bank of Canada should not of raise the rate due to the state of our economy.  Although Canada is doing well as a whole, there are provinces struggling with their economies and finances.  We hear every month recently that jobs have been created.  These jobs are often part time jobs though.  People often have to work 2 or 3 jobs to get by nowadays.  Also with part time jobs, their are no benefits which adds a lot of expenses to people who have lots of medical expenses.

    Vancouver and Toronto have home prices that are through the roof.  On the other extreme, we have houses that are super cheap as their are not buyers available.  For Vancouver and Toronto, people are paying over a million dollars on average for a home.  The mortgages will come with high payments.  With the rate increase, when it comes to a new mortgage or renewables, the payments on their mortgages will be higher.  This 25 basis point increase is the first time, the Bank of Canada has raised rates in over 7 years.

   North America, as a whole, as not seen a recession since the financial crisis of 2008-2009.  History has shown that a major recession occurs every 8-10 years.  When recessions do occur, the interest rate by the Bank of Canada and the FED usually decreases by a few percentage points.  See, the FED and Bank of Canada raises the interest rate to slow the economy.  Likewise, the effect of decreasing the interest rate, is to in courage people  to spend money as they have more money available due to lower payments.

   In the past several years, we have seen people buy homes for the first time due to the low rates.  These people might be OK now, but when time comes to renew their mortgages, their payments will be higher.  The term of mortgages are 1, 3, or 5 years.  See, a mortgage could have an amortization of 25 years but a mortgage has to be renewed towards the end of the term.  The United States, unlike Canada, can have an amortization of say 30 years and have a 30 year term mortgage. This is advantageous to US residents who take out mortgages when interest rates are low as they are right now.

   On the flip side, there is no major announcements of the banks raising the interest rate on savings account. The bank that I have my high interest savings account, if you can call it that, has not increased their rates as the time of this writing.  However, prior the interest rate hike by the Bank of Canada, Tangerine is paying an interest rate of 2.97% on new deposits up to a maximum $500000 for a few months.  Currently , the interest rate is 0.80% for Tangerine high interest savings accounts and the Tax Free Savings accounts.

   Some analysts and investors believe we will see another rate increase by the Bank of Canada this year.  This possible future rate increase is believed, by many, is going to happen in December 2017.

I am not a financial planner, financial advisor, accountant or tax attorney. The information on this blog represents my own thoughts and opinions and should NOT be taken as investment or business advice.

Every individual should do their due diligence to make their own financial decisions based on their financial situation and tolerance for risk.


Saturday, July 8, 2017

Possible Rate Hike Next Week

         In the years between 2007 to 2009, the world experienced the biggest recession since the Great Depression. This recession is commonly referred to the subprime meltdown or the financial crisis.  As a result of this, the interest rates in the United States and Canada were lowered to below 1% by the Federal Reserve and the Bank of Canada, respectively.

         With the interest rates so low, it made borrowing money cheaper.  At the same time, savers felt the pinch as they were getting little to no interest on their high interest savings account or GICs.  GICs, equivalent of CDs in the United States, is a guaranteed investment certificate. The low interest rates mean lower mortgages for people who are renewing their mortgages and buying there first house.

        These  people who took out mortgages to buy a house might be in for a shock in the future.   When their term of the mortgage is near done, the individuals will have to renew their mortgage for another term.  When this time comes, the interest rates will likely be higher than they currently at this point in time.  This means that they will have higher mortgage payments in the immediate future.

        Recently, the Fed raised the interest rate from on June 15 2017 from 1% to 1.25%.  Previously, they raised it from 0.75% to 1% in March.

       Currently north of the 49th parallel has Bank of Canada interest rate of 0.50%.  Bank of Canada has not raised its rate in over 7 years. The consensus is the Bank of Canada is going to raised the rate to 0.75% this coming week.

       During the last week, Royal Bank has raised their rates on their 1 , 3, and 5 year-term mortgages by 0.20% each.  Has history has shown, usually all the other banks in Canada follow by raising some of their rates.

       Canada has a excellent jobs report during the last week, fuelling the likelihood of them raising their rate for the first time in 7 years.  Although Canada has strong economy, their economic engine is the province of Alberta. Alberta has been hit extremely hard since late 2014 with low oil prices.  Alberta received money from oil and gas royalties, which have been falling due to low oil prices and exploration companies not drilling as much due to the low oil prices. In Canada, the wealthy provinces help out the not so wealthy provinces via transfer payments. The 2 provinces that do this are Alberta and Ontario.  In Alberta, there has been massive layoffs in the oil and gas sector and companies the service the oil and gas sector.  In my case, the latter applies.  My company has since closed their doors in November 2016.


     People from all over Canada, work in the oil and gas industry in Alberta.  The oil and gas industry is spread out over British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan.  Most of the oil and gas in in Alberta.  People fly in and fly out of the jobs , besides the people who work nearby.  The reason is the a lot of the shifts in the oilfield and oilfield service companies are  like 15 days on and 6 days off or 14 days on and 7 off. For oilfield services, the workers involved in field operations are on call 24/7 along side with showing up to work at their shops. For example at a previous job I did years back, the shift would start Wednesday at 8am.  I would have to show up to work and if their was no rig book for our services within a day, I would work in the shop.  If an exploration company booked our services for later in the day or evening, our team would decide a plan of action.  This could be going home to sleep, what time to meet back at the shop, and what route to take to rig.   For oil rig workers such as drillers, roughnecks and derrick hands, their shifts 12 hours long and they stay in camps or nearby hotels on off time.

      Some analysts in Canada are on the record saying that this is not the right time for Bank of Canada to raise its rates. Besides what is going on with the economy is Alberta, there is a potential for a major housing crisis in Toronto and Vancouver. These two cities have extremely high prices on homes compared  to the rest of Canada.  Calgary is not far behind.

    North America has not had a recession since 2009.  With interest rates so low, a recession now would be horrendous.  It would likely mean negative interest rates. The Fed and Bank of Canada raise their rates in order to slow the economy down.  During a recession the price of oil usually goes lower.  I believe the Bank of Canada, should really think twice of raising the rates at this time. Alberta does not have a sales tax, whereas all other provinces and territories in Canada do have a sales tax in one form or another.

    It does appear rather odd to have the stock market in Canada flirting with all times highs despite having price of oil below $50 dollars per barrel.  Neither Alberta or Canada are members of OPEC, which is the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.  The price of oil will have a huge negative effect on Alberta for years to come.

I am not a financial planner, financial advisor, accountant or tax attorney. The information on this blog represents my own thoughts and opinions and should NOT be taken as investment or business advice.

Every individual should do their due diligence to make their own financial decisions based on their financial situation and tolerance for risk.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Dividend Income Update - June 2017

      The month of June is another month of dividend income landing in my accounts. This money is used to help pay my expenses if it is needed. If the money is not needed, it is ALL used to purchase new investments to further increase my cash flow.

        The price of barrel of crude oil has falling during the month, and it currently sits $47.00 per barrel as the time of this writing.  The price of oil previously dropped to below $43.00 per barrel in the last week and a half.

        The Bank of Canada is hinting at a rate increase possibly next week.  If so, it will be the first time the interest rate would be increase in 7 years.  When interest rate is increase, usually the banks are not far behind raising their rates.  Basically, it cost more to borrow money and current interest payments for most people will be higher.

        I personally believe Alberta is going to struggle for the next few years. As we are due to for major recession , if history repeats itself, in the next few years, the price of oil usually remains low or decreases.

      One thing for sure, is that I was paid dividends and distributions for being a shareholder or unit holder in  various companies or funds. In  Sept 2016, the Dream Office REIT in the margin account will be counted as dividend income  for the first time.

 Non-registered Account

  • Enerplus (ERF)  -$ 5.58
  • Dream Office REIT   (D.UN)  - $78.00
  • Highliner Foods (HLF) - $14.00
  • Shaw Communications (SJR.B)    - $19.75
  • Enbridge Inc. (ENB) - $9.85  (Transfer Agent) 

    • A&W Royalties Income Fund (AW.UN) - $5.05
    • Boston Pizza Royalties Income Fund   (BPF.UN) - $26.91
    • Canadian National Railway (CNR) - $15.68
    • iShares 1-5 yr Laddered Canadian Corporate Bond ETF (CBO) - $0.62
    • Cominar REIT (CUF.UN) - $21.32
    • Dream Office REIT   (D.UN)  - $ 20.75
    • Horizons Natural Gas Yield ETF (HNY)  - $3.90
    • Killam Properties REIT (KMP.UN) - $  15.60
    • Enbridge Inc.  (ENB) - $20.13

    Total = $257.14
        As the amount of distribution from D.UN inside my margin account, will have a large impact on the comparison of dividend income from 12 months ago. This dividend income total of $257.14 represents an decrease of 2.54% from 3 months ago.

         Dream REIT has reduced the amount of distribution they pay monthly which was announced in February 2016.  Recently, I wrote about purchasing more units of D.UN inside a margin account.  Starting in September, the distribution from this D.UN inside the margin account will be included in my dividend income.

        I received $59.10 in June  2017.

         I will update my dividend income tab with the new amount I will include my option premium income also.  It is great to see money from passive income sources deposited into my brokerage account every single month.

    How was your dividend income for June?

    Disclosure : Long all securities above.

    Photo Credit: www.mipaq,

    I am not a financial planner, financial advisor, accountant or tax attorney. The information on this blog represents my own thoughts and opinions and should NOT be taken as investment or business advice.

    Every individual should do their due diligence to make their own financial decisions based on their financial situation and tolerance for risk.

    Saturday, July 1, 2017

    Portfolio Update : June 2017

            The month of June 2017 is now behind us. The markets have seen some major news during the month.  Amazon announced they are purchasing Whole Foods for around $13.7 Billion dollars. Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has made a deal to help out Home Capital Group. 

            Home Capital Group is a Canadian public company that writes mortgages to people at a higher interest rates than at a bank. I have lost some money with Home Capital Group. So,  Home Capital Group has been in the news the last couple of months with Ontario Security Commissions investigation over the last year or so.  Savers who had the high interest savings accounts offered by Home Trust, part of Home Capital Group, pulled most of their money out of these accounts.  Banks depend on deposits by savers to be able to make mortgages and loans to their customers.

            Home Capital Group received a $2 billion line of credit from HOOPP, which is Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan.  The interest on the LOC was quite high, and the company decided to try to find a replacement source of cash to keep them solvent.

           They were in discussions with several financial organizations, which included some Canadian Banks, but the felt Bershire Hathaway was the best source to help them out.  Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, offered a line of credit and equity ownership in the company. 

    Under the agreement, Berkshire will make an initial investment of $153.2 million for 16 million Home Capital shares at a price of $9.55, representing a 19.99 per cent stake in the company, subject to approval by the TSX.  
    Berkshire Hathaway has also agreed to make a second investment of $246.7 million for nearly 24 million shares at a price of $10.30, which would take its stake in Home Capital to 38.4 per cent, subject to shareholder approval. (Source

            Another major topic in the markets is the price of a barrel of crude oil.  The price per barrel of WTI crude oil had fallen to below $43.00 US per barrel, but rallied towards the end of the month close at $46.33 US per barrel. 

             British Columbia, Canada had a provincial election recently in which the Liberals retained power.  The won 2 seats more than the NDP and the Green Party won 3 seats.  So NDP and the Green Party came to a agreement that would mean these 2 parties will work together.  Last week, the liberals lost a non-confidence vote in the legislature.  Their premier and Liberal party leader accepted the results of the vote and visited the Lt. Governor. The Lt. Governor has given the NDP the right to form the government.

              So, now we will have NDP governments in both Alberta and British Columbia who are at "war" with each other.  Oil and gas plays a huge part in the economy of Alberta.  The federal government gave their OK for Kinder Morgan to build their pipeline from Alberta to the British Columbia coast.  The cost of this pipeline is $7.4 billion.  The NDP government and Green Party of British Columbia, along with environment activists and indigenous people.

            I made a purchase in my margin account in a stock that does not pay a dividend.  Titanium Transportation Group Inc. is a transportation and logistics company based out of Bolton, Ontario.  This company was created in 2002 and went public in April 2015 with the ticker symbol of TTR.  TTR trades on the Venture Exchange in Canada.

           I sold 2 put options in the month of June. I previously, had a put option expire on June 2.  The 2 short put options were 1 contract of $RY.TO with a strike price of $92.00.  The first short put option expired on June 16.  Few days after this expired I sold another put option for June 30 expiration.  I collected $24.05 and $35.05 in net premiums on the 2 short puts for a net profit of $59.10.

           I made two small purchasing in my TFSA to add to my units of HNY.TO.  This is Horizon's Natural Gas Yield ETF. I purchased these units with small commissions (i.e. ECN fees) has my brokerage offers commission free ETFs.

    •  June 13  ->  4 units at $12.98 with $0.01 ECN fees
    •  June 19  ->   2 units at $12.72 with $0.01 ECN fees

    Shares Acquired Through DRIP

    4 Unit of D.UN.TO @ $19.32137  for a total cost of $77.29 (Margin Account)

    1 units  of CUF.UN @ $13.03499 for a total cost of $13.03 (TFSA)

    1 unit of D.UN @ $19.32137 for a total cost of $19.32 (TFSA)

    0.192 shares of ENB.TO @ $51.3021 for a total cost of $9.85 (Transfer Agent)           

    Please note, that the DRIPs inside my margin account and TFSA are synthetic drips which indicate the distribution or dividend must be enough to purchase whole shares. 

    I recently wrote about Dream Office REIT after they made an announcement. They are once again, cutting their annual distribution by around 33% starting with July's distribution which will be paid on August 15.  There annual distribution will be cut from $1.50 per unit to $1.00.  So, my annual dividend income will be cut by approximately $400.00.

    As of July 1,  the value of the portfolio is $103266.23. This is a 1.485%  decrease over last month's total.  The spreadsheet in the investment tab above has been updated.

    Note:  I do not have any option contracts currently in my portfolio as of July 1.

    Disclosure:  Long D.UN, ENB, CUF.UN, TTR.V, HNY.TO

    Please Note:  All stocks are from the Toronto Stock Exchange except TTR which trades on the Venture Exchange.

    I am not a financial planner, financial advisor, accountant or tax attorney. The information on this blog represents my own thoughts and opinions and should NOT be taken as investment or business advice.

    Every individual should do their due diligence to make their own financial decisions based on their financial situation and tolerance for risk.