In Budget Roundups, Money

January 2020: The Investments Budget Roundup

General Investment Strategy

I try and keep it simple.

I still have some indices in my portfolio way back when I wasn’t paying attention and invested in oil/energy back in 2014. I am now, 5 years later, still waiting for something to happen.

My strategy aside from these mistakes (really, only a $20,000 mistake in hindsight, which is one month’s pay), is to have 50/50.

It goes like this:

50% of my portfolio in index mutual funds
50% of my portfolio in dividend-paying stocks

The ultimate goal is that my portfolio for dividend paying stocks will yield $12,000 at a minimum in dividend income each year, up to $50,000.

I am also playing the other side by having money invested in index mutual funds, and letting them grow slowly and appreciate.

They too, pay out dividends at about 1.24% so it isn’t zero, just not as fast.

Mutual Funds Breakdown


I am obviously heavily invested in the U.S. I want them to do well. LOL.

I also have a solid chunk in Canada, and lately, started to take a position in Asia-Pacific as you can see the small beginnings of index funds in my pie chart above.

From the news, and monitoring general trends, I think in the long-term, having a stronger hold in Asia-Pacific indices would do well for my portfolio, if nothing, to diversify it away from how North American-heavy i am.

I would very VERY much like to divest of that 2% in Energy/Oil.

I am obviously waiting for something to happen across the border or the Middle East to spark a huge spike in oil prices (lowered supply, anything!), and I shall sell and get out of it. *shakes fist*

Dividend Breakdown across Industries

I am very heavily invested in banking which I am trying to steer away from.

It’s just that banking for dividends are SO EASY TO INVEST IN.

Plus, they give you pretty solid capital returns, which goes to tell you how much they’re really making off the rest of us. :-/

Actually, what’s best would be to just cap every individual stock at $10,000 and not own any more than that, up to a max of $25,000 for blue-chips.

There are a few I am itching to get rid of, but I am waiting to see how it goes, and then I might just trim my position or dump them completely and buy something else, most notably the REIT Chartwell Retirement.

My instinct was — Boomers = Retirement Homes = Perfect REIT.

But Chartwell Retirement versus Morguard, has not been doing well in terms of capital appreciation.

I don’t just want dividends, I want the company to grow as well. I need to re-examine why the stock is not doing well, but perhaps it is just a blip and they’ll be fine.

I’d like to push Utilities up to a higher percentage of the portfolio. Utilities are a way of life here.

On my buying list these upcoming months:

  • Quebecor
  • Algonquin Power – a stronger position than what I have now
  • Fortis – Need a bit more in this
  • Enbridge Energy
  • Emera – I only have 1 stock of this. Haha. I need more!

To give you an idea of what I have been earning since 2013 with dividends, here it is:

There was me starting out in 2013, and then a dip in 2017 to $4652.05 because I divested of my holdings and paid my home in cash.

In 2019, I got serious about dividend income again, and really plowed quite a chunk of money into the market, which accounts for the jump.

This year, I am doing much better as well, and will hit the $12,000 a year mark quite soon, I suspect. I may have to increase it to $15,000 as a goal.

Private Lending = $14,862.66

I usually top up the account with cash and then it slowly auto-invests itself.

This is how you get started in private lending with Lending Loop.

Right now out on loan I have $14,862.66 committed to businesses, and my gross yield is 13.8%.

My loans are spread across these industries:

And across these loan grades:

As you can see, I am more into the A, B and C loans, and the rest are smaller parts of my portfolio because I am moderately risky, not super risky.

Obviously A is the best and “most likely” to pay you back, but I have had B grade loans default as well.

As for their status, there are loans that default, but if you lend out to a lot of businesses in small amounts, you diversify your risk and investment and the chance of “losing” that $25, or whatever amount you lent them.

I play around with my setup from time to time, but it is generally:

  • $100 = A and A+
  • $50 = B and B+
  • $25 = C, C+, D, D+

I got rid of the E loans because I just felt like they were too risky to deal with.

$25 is the minimum to invest.

Right now, 98% of my accounts are in good standing, meaning they are paying everything on time:

If I remove fees (1.5%), then my net yield is 12.3%, which isn’t so bad and means I am making $1828.10 a year.

I plan on increasing this income stream to $12,000 a year as a third viable income stream but that will take a while, and $100K in fully invested capital that will keep feeding itself with the interest earned to lend out to more lenders, etc.

I will get there maybe in 10 years? I am not focusing on this right now, I am shoring up in mutual funds and dividend stocks for the moment.

FYI my investments are all here:


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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have paid my $600K home in cash (my half was $300K), my $180K casr in cash, worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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