Quarterly Update – Q1 2015

Welcome to my quarterly update for Q1 2015. This is part of  a series where I track my progress on a quarterly basis. I present four parts in this series: (i) Investment & Portfolio Update, (ii) Passive Income Update, (iii) Blog Update, and (iv) Goals Update.

1. Investment & Portfolio Update

Q1 2015 has been a busy one with some new names finding their way into my portfolio. Over the course of the quarter, our portfolio expanded from 23 stocks + 4 funds to 26 stocks + 6 funds. I initiated/added to the following positions during the quarter.

In my wife’s portfolio, we closed position in one expensive mutual fund (listed below) and initiated positions in new more diversified and balanced ETFs. Click here to read details about my wife’s portfolio and why we chose the route of index ETFs.

  • BMO S&P/TSX Capped Composite Index ETF (ZCN.TO) – New position
  • Vanguard FTSE All World Ex-Canada Index ETF (VXC.TO) – New position
  • BMO Aggregate Bond Index ETF (ZAG.TO) – New position
  • Scotia Canadian Balanced Fund – mutual fund – Closed position

Dividend Increases

Q1 is off to a great start and my portfolio saw 13 dividend increases. The companies from my portfolio increasing their dividends and details of my addition are summarized below.

Q1 - DG

2. Passive Income Update

Another quarter passed and another great quarter for passive income. The quarterly passive incomes from 2014 are a bit skewed as some of our holdings had annual distributions over the year. I owned one fund which had an annual payout in Q1 2014 and one of wife’s fund had an annual payout in Q4 2014. Nevertheless, even considering the annual payout from a year ago in Q1 2014, our passive income this quarter has a positive change with the passive income for the quarter adding up to $1,546.87.

Year

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4

2013

$383.65 $516.32 $718.33 $1,063.97

2014

$1,322.47 $951.18 $1,055.79 $1,803.90

2015

$1,546.87  

Suffice it to say, I am very happy with the progress so far and crossing $1500 per quarter.

 

PI - Q1 2015

“Other” Passive Income

Passive income that we achieve seems to be evenly split between investments from  dividend paying companies and what I call other sources of passive income, which includes cash back rewards credit card, advertising revenue from this blog, interest on cash and writing premium articles for Seeking Alpha. As you can see from the chart below, my other category has performed well. For Q1 2015, my other passive income totaled $858.77 (down from $934.35 from last quarter). I look forward to investing proceeds of these sources into stocks and funds to compound my growth.

 Other PI - Q1 2015
I realize that some of my sources of passive income are not completely passive, as it requires me to put some time and effort into it. However, I consider these sources to be semi-passive and I wrote an article to capture my thoughts on the scale of passivity of each income type. Be sure to check out Passivity of Income.

3. Blog Update

Pageviews
The three months in the quarter saw the following figures:

  1. Jan 2015: Total pageviews = 11,101. Unique visitors = 3,423
  2. Feb 2015: Total pageviews = 11,906. Unique visitors = 3,798
  3. Mar 2015: Total pageviews = 12,453. Unique visitors = 4,002

The 20,000 pageviews per month remains elusive, a target that Ive been chasing for months now. The good news is that the traffic is rising slowly and heading in the right direction. I will keep working away and hope to increase my pageviews.

4. Goals Update

Right. Onto the goals that I set and see how I am progressing on that front. I set the following goals for 2015.

  • Earn $5,500 in annual passive income
    • My passive income YTD is $1,546.87  and I have achieved 28.12% of the goal so far. I’m really happy with this progress – as I have crossed the 25% mark in three months. I hope to keep that passive income growing, so hopefully I will be able to meet my goal this year.
  • Focus on reducing debt (mortgage) – Pay down more than the minimum mortgage amount.
    • We paid an extra 52% on top our mortgage dues during Q1. I don’t think we will be able to keep up with such high payments through the year, but I am happy about that progress so far.
  • Maintain a 3-5% cash position in portfolio
    • This goal was motivated by the fact that last year I had to pass up on some good investing opportunities due to lack of liquidity in my portfolio. I now maintain the desirable amount of 3-5% cash in our portfolios and will be able to move and take advantage of investing opportunities when they present themselves.
  • Re-balance portfolio with my wife’s portfolio integrated
    • We sold the expensive mutual funds in my wife’s portfolio in January and have started building an ETF portfolio starting February. I am happy to say that we have now completed one of our goals for the year 🙂
  • Take atleast one finance related e-course – No progress here yet. Needs attention.
  • Write an e-book – No progress here yet. Needs attention.
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That’s all folks! Thanks for reading. Be sure to leave a comment at the bottom – I love to hear from the readers on your thoughts and opinions.

 

22 thoughts on “Quarterly Update – Q1 2015

  1. R2R…

    Congrats on all the progress you’re making. Each quarter you seem to be doing better and better. I love your stock selections. Take care and I wish you continued success.

    Respectfully,
    Dennis McCain.

  2. Bernie says:

    R2R,

    Interesting read & nicely done! Two questions: (1) Do you not also track total return (price + dividends)? (2) I realize it’s a matter of choice usually by MER but I wonder why you would prefer index ETFs over the better performing “Mawer Balanced Fund” in your wife’s portfolio?

    • Bernie,
      Thanks for stopping by and the comment. I dont really track the return and compare to the indices as my focus is only on building income. What the price of my portfolio does on a monthly/quarterly/annual basis is irrelevant to me. I might start tracking the total returns for my wife’s portfolio though as we use index funds there.
      A few reasons for not choosing the Mawer fund – our account isnt big enough as they require a min $50K investment and last time I checked, it wasnt available with other asset management companies. Besides, we want to avoid active management of the funds as we have chosen a route of active DGI for my portfolio, and passive investing for my wife’s. We just pick the composition with decent diversification and leave it at that.

      Best wishes
      R2R

      • Bernie says:

        R2R,

        If you’re using a discount broker you can buy any Mawer fund with as little as $5K. As for diversity Mawer Balanced fund is a fund of funds with hundreds of securities rather than your ETF mix of thousands. That said, the Mawer fund is more diversified overall as it covers the small cap space better. The MER is 0.96% but more importantly the performance has consistently trumped comparable indexes for it’s entire 27 year existence. I’m suggesting this fund for my survivors instead of maintaining my dividend growth stock portfolio which is too “hands on” for most.

  3. JC says:

    $1,500 in dividends and over $800 from non job related income is pretty fantastic. Approximately what % does each category make up of your other income? You’re making steady gains on most of your goals. Any specific reason y’all decided to pay extra on the mortgage? Just feel more comfortable or is the interest rate on the high side?

    Keep up the good work and looking forward to your H1 update.

    • Hey JC,
      The dividends and “other” sources are pretty evenly split right now. Hopefully I will be able to keep both streams growing over the years. About the mortgage, my wife and I feel that paying extra down now will help us reduce our debt load over the long run. So, we decided that we will start putting away a bit more each month. Unlike the US tax system, we dont get a tax credit here in Canada for our mortgages, so paying down mortgages early is a good deal. Yes, the interest rates are extremely low, but we feel that we still want to pay down a bit more than our minimum requirements.

      Thanks for stopping by
      R2R

  4. R2R,

    Wow! Great progress. You other passive income really starting to spike at the end of last year. Your overall passive income from 2013 Q1 to 2015 Q1 is insane. You may have to adjust your full year 2015 passive income goal up to $6000 or so.

    MDP

  5. R2R,

    Awesome Q1 across the board! $688 in dividends for the first quarter, if my math is right. That’s pretty solid work. And the writing/blog income is adding up nicely as well.

    I’ve thought about moving some of my work over to SA, redirecting some of my posts over there. It looks like you published seven articles over there this quarter, which added up to a good chunk of change (factoring out blog income and interest on cash). I may have to start doing that. 🙂

    Thanks for the update. Keep it up!

    Best regards.

    • Yup, your math is right DM. The writing/blog income is supplementing well. Hopefully I can keep things growing over the coming quarters/years.

      That would be great if you start publishing on SA. I know you already publish some. Im sure theres some good readership numbers there – looking forward to see if you start publishing more on SA.

      Thanks for stopping by
      R2R

  6. R2R, Congrats on a great quarter. Over $1,500 in passive income is no small feat. And good that you got rid of high cost funds and rebalanced the portfolio. I have 4 ETFs in my portfolio and cost is a factor that I definitely look when buying a fund.
    Quick question on mortgage payment: When you make additional payments, does it bring the end date of mortgage ahead?

    • DGJ,
      Thanks for the wishes. I think ETFs are a good way to complement our investment strategy of selectively picking a few stocks. Ive always used some index ETFs to complement my stock holdings.
      Yes, additional payments bring the end date of our mortgage closer.

      Thanks for stopping by
      R2R

  7. That’s a very solid quarter right there, R2R! I love how you show the actual dividend increase percentages in that chart, that makes the visualization of the strategy even that much more powerful. It’s great to see your other income rising as well, you’re a very talented writer and really deserve all the success you’re having and loads more. Can’t wait for you go blow up further!

    • You are very kind, Ryan. Thanks for the words of encouragement and the wishes. I hope to keep my income growing year over year. The income from writing will probably plateau out but the dividends will keep growing and with new funds added every month – that should see some good growth over the months/years.
      The image of div percentage increases helps me in visualizing how each company in my portfolio is doing overall and also how I am adding them thru the year.

      Thanks for stopping by
      R2R

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