Recent Buy – BND


A quick update on a recent purchase in my portfolio.

Over the course of past few months, I’ve been thinking a lot about protecting assets from the ongoing (and increasing) instability in the equity markets. I have a sizable position in defensive positions with a lot of gold equities exposure, but that comes with a lot of volatility. I wanted to provide some more inertia in my portfolio here.

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2 Recent Buys – SLW, VWOB

A quick update on a couple of recent purchases in my portfolio. Things have been busy, so this post is a couple of weeks late…but better late than never.

Silver Wheaton Corp (SLW.TO) – added 50 shares @ C$28.50…which it turns out I was too early to pull the trigger. I still see tremendous value and will continue nibbling although I am getting close to a full position on this stock. Not much has changed…the business is sound and the fundamentals are fantastic. In addition, the company announced a great quarter earlier this month followed by a dividend increase of 20% (forward yield is just a shade under 1%). You can read about my original SLW purchase here.

Vanguard Emerging Markets Govt Bond ETF (VWOB) – Ive been interested in emerging market bonds for a while (see this post from May 2015) and finally decided to initiate a position. The fund gives me an exposure to emerging market sovereign bond market and pays approx 4.4% in fixed income going forward. This is only a very tiny position of a few hundred dollars for now as I dip my toes and think more about this position before committing more capital.

Disclosure: Full list of holdings can be found here.


Emerging Market Bonds

Back in February, I shared details of one of our long term plans for my wife’s portfolio of moving funds from an expensive mutual fund to low cost diversified ETF portfolio. This was also one of our financial goals for the year, which we were happy to put behind us. The post Building an ETF Portfolio can be found here. The long term goals of the portfolio remain the same as discussed, which includes passivity (following the passive investing route), simplicity, diversification, expense check, and dollar cost average into the selected funds. One thought that I’ve been debating for that portfolio is adding diversification in the fixed income portion. The fixed income exposure, which makes 40% of my wife’s portfolio comes from a single ETF called the BMO Aggregate Bond Index ETF (ZAG.TO). The ETF consists of high quality bonds (43% of the fund is made of AAA rated bonds) – consisting of federal, provincial and corporate debt.

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Bond Allocation

Investing in bonds provides an investor with a diversified investment portfolio. Every investor’s portfolio should consist of some bond component. Bonds provide stability in the portfolio and a predictable income stream.

Asset Allocation

It has become a common advise from most advisors that the percentage of bonds in your portfolio should be ‘100 – your age’. This gives you a rough idea of the importance of bonds, but should not be followed as a hard written rule. Benjamin Graham, the father of value investing, gives a simple (and in my opinion, better) rule of thumb to follow. Relative allocation between stocks and bonds should be between 25% and 75%, one way or the other. He goes on to say “any such variations should be clearly based on value considerations, which would lead [the investor] to own more common stocks when the market seems low in relation to value and less…when the market seems high in relation to value”.

My Bond Allocation

Bond allocation in my portfolio in Aug 2013 is about 11% – a relatively low value. This is because of the historically low interest rates that we currently have. The chart below shows the US 10-year treasury yield. The yields are at their lows and are already starting to creep up. When bond yields rise, bond fund prices lose value, so I have decided to keep my bond allocation to what I consider minimal.
historical bond yields

I only hold high grade near term maturity bonds as of this writing. I hold bonds using the iShares 1-5 Yr Laddered Government Bond Fund (TSE: CLF) ETF, which is composed of Canadian federal and provincial bonds maturing between 1 and 5 years.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational purposes only. All opinions here are my personal opinions and should not be taken as financial advice. I am not qualified to be a financial advisor. Always consult with your financial advisor before investing in any of the companies mentioned on this blog.