How to invest in the final few years of a bull market

The following is a guest post from Troy Bombardia from BullMarkets.co

The current bull market and economic cycle are extremely stretched. But remember that bull markets don’t die of old age – they die of excess. And although economic and market excess aren’t as high as they were in 2000 or 2007, excess is starting to creep in. You can see this slowly rising excess in rising debt, rising valuations, etc.

But the key point is that although these signs of excess are concerns, they are not significant enough to end the bull market in stocks and economic expansion right now. This means that although the economic expansion and bull market are getting old, they still have a few years left.

Here are the best ways to invest during the final few years of an economic expansion.

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3 Recent Buys – BIP, CU, FIH

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A quick update on a couple of recent purchases in my portfolio. For this round, I added to existing positions.

  • First purchase: I added 48 shares of Brookfield Infrastructure Partners (BIP.UN.TO) @ $50.00. There’s been significant pullback lately and after waiting a long time to add more shares in this, I finally got the opportunity. I had a lowball offer sitting open on this company for a while and it was triggered yesterday when the stock fell below $50.00 mark. The stock currently yields close to 5% and is a dividend grower, while providing excellent infrastructure exposure around the world. BIP has a 10-yr dividend growth track record. The 1-, 3-, and 5-yr dividend growth rates are 12.5%, 10.8%, and 11.7% respectively.
  • Second purchase: I added 50 shares of Canadian Utilities (CU.TO) @ $32.92. The utilities sector has been in pressure as the interest rates are rising providing investors with better risk-free return. However, I think this presents a good opportunity to buy companies in this space currently. The current yield is hovering close to 5% and the company has a long track record of increasing dividends year after year. In fact, it occupies the top spot in the Canadian Dividend All Star list, with a 46-yr dividend increase streak.The 1-, 3-, 5- and 10-yr dividend growth rates are 10%, 10.1%, 10.1%, and 8.6% respectively. Not bad at all for a 5% yielder!
  • Third purchase: I added 100 shares of Fairfax India Holdings (FIH.U.TO) @ US$17.20. This was the third iteration of purchasing and I am far from being done accumulating this company. The company provides a great way to invest in India and has plenty of great investments already for a 3 year old holding company. I wrote about this company in the past here. No dividend from this company — the company follows the Berkshire Hathaway model and all funds are reinvested.

Full Disclosure: Long BIP.UN.TO, CU.TO, FIH.U.TO. Our full list of holdings is available here.

Top Dividend Raises for April 2018

Dividend growth investing is a popular model followed by the investing community to build assets. Companies which not only pay dividends, but raise them year after year have been shown to perform better overall for investor returns. On the flip side, it is also important to keep an eye on the dividend cuts, which could signal troubling times ahead for a company. This post captures the announcements of changes in dividend amount for the week – both increases and cuts.

Note that only $2B+ (Midcap+) companies are included in this list.

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Is whole life insurance worth it?

The following post is written by Brian So from Brian So Insurance

If you have ever spoken to a life insurance broker or researched life insurance online, you may have come across a type of insurance called whole life insurance. What is whole life insurance and how does it compare to term insurance? More importantly, is whole life insurance worth it?

What is whole life insurance?

Whole life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance. Its premium is guaranteed and level for the life of the insured until age 100, when the policy is paid up and no further premium is necessary.

Because the premium never increases over the life of the policy, it starts out much higher than the premium for term insurance. The premium in the earlier years is more than necessary to cover the cost of insurance. The excess is kept inside the policy as a cash reserve. As the insured ages and his mortality rate increases, the premium he pays is no longer sufficient to keep up with the mortality rate. The excess premium paid in the early stages helps supplement the policy in the latter stages.

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Passive Income Update – Apr 2018

Welcome to our monthly passive income update for April 2018. This is part of the scorecard series where we track our dividends and other sources of passive income. We also include changes and updates related to our investments during the month – showing the overall progress.

Passive Income  Update

Passive income for the month ofApril 2018 was C$1,024.27. The passive income for the month comprised of US$271.77 and C$673.69 (exchange rate is US$1 = C$1.29).

The change for the month is 18.44% QoQ and +72.23% YoY for the month. This brings our passive income to $3,478.89 YTD and achieves 31.6% of our annual goal of earning $11K.

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