First of all, I hope everyone will enjoy the most beautiful holiday season filled with quality time with the loved ones! Take some time to relax as well, this holiday can easily become tiresome.
I’m the kind of guy that likes to make a lot of graphs/tables and keep tabs on how my performance is holding up to past years. I present to you my performance since I started investing. We’ll take a look at the reports for 2013-2016, this will serve as a reference point for later reports. You can expect my 2017 report early January.
It wasn’t until 2017 that I opened my RRSP and started making transfers from my TFSA to RRSP. The two accounts will be considered as one. It would serve no additional purpose to divide them (I’m telling you this mostly for the 2017 upcoming report.
*Definitions: Contributions will be defined as any amount of money that comes from outside these accounts and is deposited INTO these accounts. Transfers from one account to another will be disregarded as these are intra-portfolio and don’t affect the overall growth or value. Growth % will be defined as (Dividend Growth + Value Growth) / (Initial Portfolio Value + Contributions).*
Here we go!
- Initial Portfolio Value (Dec 31st 2012): $0
- Contributions: $7,000.00
- Dividend Growth: $12.43
- Value Growth: $1,494.98
- Final Portfolio Value (Dec 31st 2013): $8,507.41
- 2013 Growth: 21.5%
When I started investing I put all my money into 5 Mutual Funds (MF) with low Management Expense Ratios (MER) from TD. These were generic US, Canada, Healthcare, International and Money Market. I had a system where once a month I would rebalance if need be.
Highlight: I made a few stock plays later (TKMR and AAPL) in the year. Both of these averaged me a 38% return but the amount was small. They gave me a taste for stocks though. My MF technique was fairly fool-proof and quite secure. I think I will revert to this later on in my life where security will be a priority.
Lesson: I really like investing and the more money I invest, the more I will generate. My new mentality going forward would be to make money more efficiently in Stocks and put profits into my safer MFs while reinvesting profits into more stocks.
- Initial Portfolio Value (Dec 31st 2013): $8,507.41
- Contributions: $10,505.75
- Dividend Growth: $78.30
- Value Growth: $3,130.36
- Final Portfolio Value (Dec 31st 2014): $22,221.82
- 2014 Growth: 16.8%
This was the first year I invested more in Stocks than in MFs.
Highlights included GILD (+45%) and VTNR (+29%). This is also the first year I invested in FTN which traded sideways for 2014 but did give me the $78.30 in dividends. Losses included OCRX, SPPI, SNTA and PDLI.
Lesson: I need to better identify my stocks and avoid the anchors that kept me down. My MFs performed as usual (around +15%) and while being quite pleased with this, I can help feeling I could have made more with careful stock selection.
- Initial Portfolio Value (Dec 31st 2014): $22,221.82
- Contributions: $11,145.00
- Dividend Growth: $920.47
- Value Growth: $-6,344.21 (AAAHH!!!)
- Final Portfolio Value (Dec 31st 2015): $27,943.08
- 2015 Growth: -16.3%
Way to beat the market on that one chump…
Highlights in this year included mostly losses as you see. These were AC (-34%), CHR.B (-10%) and CTCM (-50%). The small profits were mostly made on GILD, FTN and GE.
Lesson: The stock market has 2 directions. At first I thought ‘I should sell my weak positions sooner’ but then I remembered my 2014 mentality and realized that careful stock selection, based on fundamentals would correct this. ‘When my stocks drop, I should want to buy them, not sell’. If you worry when the price drops, it means you don’t (or no longer) believe in the fundamentals. Carefully picking stocks for long-term targets should make price drops as attractive as price rises.
- Initial Portfolio Value (Dec 31st 2015): $27,943.08
- Contributions: $14,950.00
- Dividend Growth: $4,777.95
- Value Growth: $17,713.06
- Final Portfolio Value (Dec 31st 2016): $65,384.09
- 2016 Growth: 52.4%
Ok. That will be hard to beat… This was the first year I invested ONLY in stocks. I took everything out of MFs and made strategic stocks purchases. I really kicked it into gear in 2016.
The highlight is definitely my FFN play (If you follow my blog, it’s pretty much the equivalent of FTN) I bought at around $6.70 per share and it rapidly climbed at the end of the year to >$8.50 making me a smooth >$14k. While holding I also benefited from a >20% yield… I also made some quick $ on Core Civic Inc (CXW), a private prison company in the US (thanks Trump). Small losses include ZAR, NWBO and ABT.
Lesson: I’ve since then calmed down a little bit on the value plays and concentrated on dividend payers as these tend to be more secure. I was really put off by looking at the amount of $ in losses as well. The careful stock selection still needs work, but is getting better.
There you have it. This is how I got where I am now and have definitely learned a lot from these 4 years. I hope you enjoyed these reports and hope you can benefit for the lessons without having to go through the same mistakes as me.
I will publish a yearly Report to see how I have performed and what my Highlights and Lessons are. Feel free to follow along the journey!
Money Lover, Dividend Growth Investor, Youtuber, and Blogger!