April 2015 was a slow month for me. I did not make any purchase as I wanted to build up some cash for next volatility. I was quite confident that market volatility isn’t over as Canada is heavy on oil & gas, financial and mining industries and the industries show severe symptoms of volatility here and there. Everyone knows that Canadian housing is bubbled up, the extremely low interest rate helps and accelerate the bubbles here in Toronto and Vancouver and oil & gas have been recovered to in its $60’s per barrel within a month from in its $40’s. That’s crazy ups and downs in relatively short time.
In March 2015, I was able to start many initial positions in solid dividend growers. Canadian market has been volatile for last 5-6 months due to some bad news related to low oil prices and overvalued housing market which gave me perfect opportunity to jump in. As you may know I purchased Bank of Nova Scotia a while ago and several more when they faced downturn volatility (Yay~!). I looked hard to find good values here and there and decline in oil price has resulted very good entry points in great oil&gas as well as banks, mortgage and insurance service companies in Western area and that’s mainly where I started my initial positions at. I purchased
- 270 shares at of Ensign Energy Services Inc (ESI)which will add $130 to my annual dividend income.
- 225 shares of Canadian Western Bank (CWB)which will add $190 to my annual dividend income.
- 71 shares of Home Capital Group Inc (HCG) which will add $63 to my annual dividend income.
- 24 shares of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, CIBC (CM)which will add $102 to my annual dividend income.
- 62 shares of Atco (Aco.X) which will add $62 to my annual dividend income.
That’s $550 annual free cash ($46 per month) that will compound itself out over the years and make my life a bit more comfortable.
This is my fourth 2015 net worth update. Net worth update is posted monthly to keep track of the progress of my journey to become a millionaire. I believe anyone can be a millionaire with right habits and smart investing plans. If you would like to join the journey, please like my Facebookpage and subscribe your email for free updates. I started this blog in August 2014 and my net worth has been grown by 58% so far from $79,352 to $125,725 which shows average monthly growth of $5,152. Keep it steady and slowly which is the key to become a millionaire. In April 2015, total net worth increased by 1.0%. My portfolio grew by 1-5% here and there however severe drop of US dollar offset the growth. My local currency Canadian Dollar has been recovered significantly compared to last month. The exchange rate on the April 30 was at $1USD = $$1.2119CDN compared to March month end at $1USD=1.2681CDN. Unfortunately, My 80% of portfolio value is connected to US stocks and ETFs and due to weakening of US dollar, my net worth dropped together with it by $4,000-5,000. Well, I may have to make a decision to see whether I should sell some of my US stocks and buy some more Canadian stocks before Canadian dollar recovers back fully.
As I mentioned above, I have been building up my cash position. It went up from $1,451 to $4,070 during the month. My credit card debt is around $700 which is at exactly how I want it to be. I am close to debt free and I like it that way. I just love the feeling of keeping my credit card balance low as I feel empowered to be debt free.
My majority of cash is sitting in President choice Debit account. I use it for the most of the money transfer, bill payments, cheques etc… as there is no transaction fee in this amazing card. Due to its partnership with CIBC bank, I can use their extensive CIBC ATMs network which is awesome. Their customer service is great as well.
I use TD bank card as well which is used for only investment transfer purpose as it is connected to TD warehouse brokerage account which gives me some convenience of transferring fund and invest. Check out the following section to see what credit cards and debit cards options we have in US and Canada.
Our TFSA has dropped by 1.8% from $78,438 to $77,041 and our RRSP has dropped by 0.2% from $45,409 to $45,299 over the month. All from weakening US dollar. As you probably know, TFSA annual contribution room has grown from $5,500 to $10,000 so I will deploy the cash that I built up to take advantage of it. Checkout the following section for more investment tips- Investing
We tried to minimize spending over last couple of months and it worked out pretty well. We use Capital one Costco credit card as it gives us 3% cash back on restaurants (6% on first 3 months). I spend about $500 per month on my team meals at work so that would be $15 ($30 for first 3 months) cash back per month. Remember. Everything adds up.
We also have MBNA cash back card that we use mainly for grocery and gas for 2% cash back and everything else for 1% cash back (5% on first 6 months) without any annual fee. Unlike capital one cash back card and all other cash back cards out there, MBNA card is well beyond expectation. First of all, MBNA pays cold hard cash back (not points toward purchasing goods and services) and secondly, MBNA directly deposits the cash right away to your bank when it hits $50 mark. That’s great as I don’t have to wait until the end of the year to collect cash. Check out the following links if you are interested in getting awesome credit cards like MBNA and Capital one credit cards.
We have been tightening up spending. We set up two major rules and following religiously so far.
- My wife added some more healthy option after watching some documentary films about how chickens, milk cows etc… are raised so we have been purchasing quality organic ingredients, cook home meals most of time and go out and enjoy restaurant meal once a month together in a mutually agreed restaurant.
- We shop at Costco once a month for majority of grocery (They are always fresh and love their AAA beef so much for very attractive prices) then for urgent needs, my wife goes grocery nearby our place for eggs, milks, vegetable and fruits as in need basis. Our monthly grocery budget is $500 per month. I know it is high for just two people but we love healthy and good quality food and I am a meateatarian.
- We will keep being frugal on all other expenditures. See the following links for excellent ways to save money.
Hope you enjoyed this month’s net worth update. Remember, if you haven’t, set your saving & investing plans up and try to see how much net worth you have reached as of now and how much it has fluctuated in the past. Knowing where you are and where you will be headed is a great starting point to be a millionaire and retire comfortably. Hang in there. I will be on the journey with you.
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