Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Canadian General Investments Announce Year-End Dividend

Another of the holdings in my DRiP portfolio has announced a good surprise for the end of the year. Canadian General Investments (Toronto: CGI) has announced a year-end capital gains dividend of $0.50 per share.

CGI is a peculiar beast called a "closed-ended fund". A closed-ended fund is a bit like a mutual fund or an ETF, except that is has a fixed number of shares. So people who want to buy in have to purchase their shares on the market. Compare that to a mutual fund, where the managing company will issue new "units" whenever someone adds money (thus diluting the purpose of the fund). Closed-ended funds are often traded at a discount to their net asset value. Which isn't so bad, since it allows one to purchase a dollar's worth of equities for less than a dollar.

CGI invests in Canadian publicly traded companies, with a long-term outlook. It pays out a small $0.06 quarterly dividend (treated as an eligible dividend for Canadian tax purposes), and usually pays a year-end capital gains dividend (which is treated has ordinary income). The year-end capital gains dividend is a way for the company to pass on to its owners the net capital gains realized throughout the year on the investments it hold.

Last year, CGI was unable to pay a year-end dividend because of the market turmoil (they had more capital loos than capital gains). Seems like this year things went better. :o)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Pfizer Raises Dividend

Today, Pfizer has announced it was raising its dividend, from $0.16 to $0.18, starting with the next payment on March 2, 2010.

While this 12.5% increase is good news, one cannot forget that the company cut its dividend in half just a few months ago when it announced it was acquiring its rival Wyeth. It remains to be seen whether the new merged Pfizer will be able to integrate its activities and solve the problem posed by the expiration of important patents in the coming years.

I hold a few shares of Pfizer in my my DRiP portfolio. I may decide to add more money in 2010, but probably only a fairly small amount.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Enbridge Increases Dividend by 15%

One of the companies I own in my DRiP portfolio, the pipeline operator Enbridge Inc., has announced that it was increasing its dividend by 15%. The quarterly dividend is being bumped from $0.37 to $0.425 per quarter.

The fact that Enbridge announced an increase was no surprise, but it is higher than I expected (I thought it would be about 8 to 10%). This is particularly nice considering that Enbridge gives a 2% discount on the shares purchased by reinvested dividends.

Based on my current small ownership of Enbridge, this will increase my dividens by $3 in 2010. Small? Of course. But I don't have to work for that $3 and it will keep growing.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Net Worth Update

As of December 1st, my net worth was $105 161 (up 3.9% from $101 220). If I exclude house-related assets and liabilities, my net worth was $68 196 (up 5.7% from $64 503). That's the fifth month in a row where my net worth increases significantly. It looks like my predictions that the equity markets would have another downward leg were incorrect, at least for now. I still don't think we're out of the woods yet.

Assets ($168 279, up 1.7% from $165 447)

  • Bank Accounts $4 452 (down 9% from $4 907)
  • Emergency Funds $2 041 (up slightly from $2 040)
  • RRSP Accounts $44 587 (up 3.7% from $42 966)
  • Non-Registered Investments $20 123 (up 9.7% from $18 351)
  • Home $96 330 (stable)

Liabilities ($63 117, down 1.7% from $64 227)

  • Credit Cards $3 481 (down 20% from $4 384)
  • Mortgage $59 365 (down 0.4% from $59 613)
  • Line of Credit $0 (stable)


  • Debt / assets: 0.375 (down from 0.388)
  • House value / total assets: 0.572 (down from 0.582)

So, a bit less cash in the bank accounts at the end of the month, but I also spent less (as shown by the amount on the credit cards). December is upon us, so I expect a bit more spending to be done for Christmas -- either as gifts or as preparations for the Holiday feasts. I usually budget around $500-$700 for Holiday spendings.

This is also the part of the year when I complete my gifts to charities for the year. My budget for charities is around $300 per year, and slowly increasing as the years go by.

How much money do you spend for the Holidays? Do you give to charities?