Portfolio Update

I got married in September 2013 and so far avoided combining my portfolio with my wife’s – in order to track and check how my 2013 progress went without any skewing of the numbers. With 2013 ending in a couple of days, I have decided to include her holdings and starting 2014 – this blog, Roadmap2Retire will track our combined portfolios.
My wife’s portfolio consists of two mutual funds:
  • Scotia Canadian Balanced Fund – which is a index fund tracking the Canadian S&P/TSX Composite Index and the DEX Universe Bond Index and has a MER of 2.03%.
  • Scotia Diversified Monthly Income Fund – also tracking the same indices as mentioned above, with a MER of 1.45% (How does Scotiabank justify the difference in MER fees when tracking the same two indices?)
After including her holdings into a combined portfolio, our current portfolio diversification is as shown below. For the sake of comparison, I have included both the Before and After merger diversification charts. I think the portfolio is fairly well balanced, although I would like to see more exposure in Industrials, Technology and Telecom Services (In the old chart of sector allocation, I had merged Tech and Telecom into one group, but I have split that up now to follow the traditional 10 sectors of the economy).
Our asset allocation is still fairly well balanced after the merger.


Due to the addition of the new funds which are concentrated in the Canadian market, our combined geographical distribution is skewed more towards Canada with a 57% weighting. This is one area of balancing that we need to work on.

 

I have updated my Holdings page here.

What are your thoughts on this portfolio composition? I would love to hear thoughts, comments and feedback from the readers.

Chatter Around the World – 26

Chatter Around the World is a weekly link update of economics, investing, dividends and personal finance articles that have caught my eye. In these weekly updates, I also capture my blog updates and news related to my holdings.

2013 in one image

New Blog Posts

Let dive into the links that caught my attention this week.

Updates from My Portfolio Holdings

General Reads

Dividend Reads

Have a wonderful weekend.

Image source: Unknown

Goals for 2014

Just a few more days left over in 2013 and I have been looking into setting goals for 2014 over the last couple of weeks. My 2014 goals are summarized below:
1. Passive Income of $4,000
My passive income for 2013 has surpassed my original goal of $2,000 and I am on track to reach a passive income of $2,600-$2,700. In addition, my wife’s portfolio (which is currently unaccounted for on this blog) generates about $600 in dividend income. So, between the two of us we should be able to see our passive income grow by $700-$800 easily. The reason for this low target is because of Goal #2.
2. Buy a house
My wife and I have been building up our savings over the past few months. We intend to have 20% for the downpayment saved by the middle of 2014 to buy our first house together.
3. Rebalance portfolio with my wife’s portfolio integrated
In 2014, I intend to merge my portfolio with my wife’s for a balanced portfolio. Her portfolio consists of two funds – a Canadian index fund and a monthly dividend income fund, both held as mutual funds. I have a few ideas in my mind and floated the ideas to my wife who is still thinking about it.
4. Sell all my positions in mutual funds and cut down on the fees
This has been my goal for the past couple of years, but I havent come around to do it since I am not able to find comparable ETFs with similar performance. This goal might finally get achieved in 2014 since I intend to use these funds for Goal #2 above.
5. Read More Books
I have fallen a bit behind on reading books over this year, and I intend to pick those books back up and read more. My interests vary a lot – from finance and business to psychology and family/health-related topics. Readers can look forward to seeing more book reviews on this blog in the following year.

In addition to the main financial goals above, I intend to continue to:
6. Expand my knowledge of business and finance.
7. Educate myself about home buying.
8. Expand my knowledge of options trading.

I have updated my Goals page with the new goals set.

2013 Review

With the year 2013 drawing to a close soon, its a good time to reflect. This year has been one of the most eventful ones on a personal level – but even financially, its been a great year as I have been able to meet most of my goals.

2013 Goals review

  1. Earn $2,000 in passive income
    • I was able to achieve this goal comfortably, thanks for increased capital investment in my portfolio and added sources of passive income. I am on track to earn approximately $2700 of passive income in 2013.
  2. Start blogging
    • I was finally able to get started on blogging with this project. After many months and years of procrastination, I am happy that I was finally able to start blogging and all of you readers have been very supportive and encouraging to keep me continuing.
  3. Add atleast one more source of passive income
    • I was able to add more than one source – monetization of this blog, cash back rewards credit card and writing out-of-money covered call options.
  4. Sell all my positions in mutual funds and cut down on the fees
    • This has been a stickler for the past couple of years as I have not been able to find a comparable ETF with similar composition and performance. But I am glad I did not sell this during the year as the mutual funds are performed fantastically.
  5. Get  a life insurance
    • This was on my books for the following year, but I fast-tracked it to this year as I am in the best shape of my life and qualified for Elite premium rates, so I decided to lock in the low premium rates for the 30-year life policy.
  6. Expand my knowledge of business and finance
    • The learning continues…I took an online course on financial accounting as part of this exercise. I have also been reading books, magazines, blogs, articles and everything I can get my hands on to expand my knowledge.
  7. Educate myself about home buying
    • This has not been as productive. I have read some articles, blogs and posts, came across compiled lists of things to look out for, but I think unless I officially start house hunting, this will be on a back burner.
  8. Educate myself about options trading
    • After months of struggling to understand how options work, I was finally able to understand the basics and how to use some basic strategies of options trading. I have started trading options with simple trading strategies such as writing covered calls. I am not able to write put contracts as most of my assets are in RRSP and TFSA accounts and the government rules stop me from writing puts under these account types.

Portfolio changes

2013 saw a lot of changes in my portfolio. When the year started, my portfolio consisted of a random collection of stocks and ETFs without any proper strategy and improper allocation. Although my current asset allocation is far from what I consider idela, its headed in the right direction. Hopefully I will be able to balance out my portfolio in 2014 to a state which I will be happy with.
Deletions: In 2013, I sold and exited positions in the following stocks/ETFs.
  • Citigroup Inc (C)
  • CML Healthcare Inc (CLC)
  • CPFL Energia S.A. (CPL)
  • Crescent Point Energy Corp (CPG)
  • Husky Energy Inc (HSE)
  • Consumer Staples Select Sect. SPDR ETF (XLP)
  • ING International High Dividend Equity ETF (IID)
Additions: 2013 saw a lot of new investments in various strong names in the corporate world.
  • Archer Daniels Midland (ADM)
  • BCE Inc (BCE)
  • Chevron Corp (CVX)
  • CHS Inc (CHSCP)
  • IAMGold Corp (IMG)
  • Inter Pipeline Ltd (IPL)
  • Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)
  • Medtronic Inc (MDT)
  • Omega Healthcare Investors Inc (OHI)
  • Qualcomm Inc (QCOM)
  • Realty Income Corp (O)
  • The Jean Coutu Group (PJC.A)
  • The Southern Company (SO)

How was your 2013?

Chatter Around the World – 25

Chatter Around the World is a weekly link update of economics, investing, dividends and personal finance articles that have caught my eye. In these weekly updates, I also capture my blog updates and news related to my holdings.

New Blog Posts

In other blog related news, I was contacted for potential interest in contributing my articles at Seeking Alpha – which I have agreed to partake. I will be linking to my posts on Seeking Alpha as and when they appear.

Let dive into the links that caught my attention this week.

Updates from My Portfolio Holdings

General Reads

Dividend Reads

Have a wonderful weekend.