March Dividend Income Report – The End of the Bear Market… Already?


In September 2017, I received slightly over $100K as a result of the commuted value of my pension plan. I decided to invest 100% of this money into dividend growth stocks. Each month, I publish my results. I don’t do this to brag, I do this to show you it’s possible to build a portfolio during an all-time high market. The market will crash… eventually. In the meantime, I rather cash some juicy dividends!

Portfolio review– The End of the Bear Market… Already?

When I looked at my portfolio after the market closed on April 1st, I thought it was an April Fool’s joke: the total value of my investments were showing a new all-time high. Am I surprised? Not that much. I’ve seen the latest market drop more like a correction than a bear market. Therefore, showing a full recovery about 7 months after the market’s peak is a normal delay.

Before I start discussing my results, I wanted to share a thought with you:

Have you noticed that all pessimist investors (read: bear lovers) were all saying it was a crazy drop and that we were not done yet not too long ago? Those investors are generally the same calling that bull markets make geniuses. In other words, it’s easy to make money on the market when you simply follow the trend. The market is like a wave; when it rises, everything goes up at the same time. You then have to wait for the wave to break and crash on the shore to see what remains on the top of the water.

According to those investors, we are in a bear market. After all, the S&P 500 dropped by 19.2% from its highest point and hasn’t yet fully recovered from it. Therefore, if you managed your portfolio through the latest bear without getting hurt too much, I guess they can’t tell you that bull markets make geniuses. Yet, I’ve been told it was easy to stay invested during a bull market when I wrote my shocking article “I’m going 30% cash” (don’t worry, I’m still 100% invested).

Perceptions matter

I guess the main problem with this perception is that we quickly recovered from a brutal drop. I don’t give much attention to those kinds of stats, but I remember reading that December 2018 was one of the worst months of December in the market’s history. Then, we are not seeing one of the best 1st quarter in the market’s history as well.

Is it me or are investors maybe just overreacting both ways? What happened in 2008 was a mix of a real crisis fueled up by short sellers, hedge funds, and highly leveraged portfolios. The bubble was real and the burst was also very real. However, the amplitude of the movement was created by massive money swings due to the above-mentioned factors.

Unfortunately, for all of us, those factors are still present in today’s market. It’s part of the new investor’s reality. They are not likely going to manipulate the market per se. But let’s just say that it’s quite easy to push a washing machine down the stairs and watch it crash once someone brought it to the first step.

Now, it seems that many investors would only consider a bear market if all shares drop by 50% or more in value. The statistical aberration has become the norm in many investors’ minds. Do you really think it’s normal to see the market losing 50% of its value within a few months? I’m not saying it is never going to happen again. I’m just saying that such events are not and will never become the definition of a bear market.

In the meantime, I rather stay invested ?…

Numbers are as at April 1st 2019 after the bell:

Canadian portfolio (CAD)

Company Name Ticker Market Value
Alimentation Couche-Tard ATD.B.TO $6,746.70


Andrew Peller ADW.A.TO $5,419.90
National Bank NA.TO $4,903.20
Royal Bank RY.TO $6,150.00
CAE CAE.TO $5,980.00
Enbridge ENB.TO $7,805.28
Fortis FTS.TO $4,879.71
Intertape Polymer ITP.TO $5,508.00
Lassonde Industries LAS.A.TO $3,654.00
Magna International MG.TO $4,699.09
Cash   $898.50
Total   $56,644.38

My account shows a variation of +$635.35 (+1%) since the last income report.

When I mentioned in my introduction that my investments were at their all-time high value, this is not exactly the case for all my portfolios. As a whole, I’m showing a higher value, but my pension plan is shy from a few hundreds to reach that limit. For example, my August 2018 report showed a CAD value of $56,802 as of August 31st. This was the highest value my Canadian portfolio never reached. I guess it would be very possible that I’ll beat that milestone in the upcoming months.

You can read about how I managed my portfolio as a Canadian (e.g. mixing both CDN and US investments): Investing the Canadian Way – Tricks I use to Boost My Returns. I discuss my sector allocation, how I manage currency fluctuations and my favorite sectors.

Numbers are as at April 1st 2019 after the bell:

U.S. portfolio (USD)

Company Name Ticker Market Value
Apple AAPL $5,928.44
BlackRock BLK $6,137.46
Disney DIS $5,062.95
Garrett Motion GTX $46.59
Gentex GNTX $4,963.20
Hasbro HAS $3,941.28
Lazard LAZ $3,800.52
Microsoft MSFT $7,141.20
Resideo Tech REZI $100.19
Starbucks SBUX $6,286.60
Texas Instruments TXN $5,432.00
United Parcel Services UPS $4,233.91
Visa V $7,863.00
Cash   $386.56
Total   $61,323.90

The US total value account shows a variation of +$1,922.25 USD (+3.2%) since the last income report.

When I look back at the summer of 2018, my best results for the USD portion of my portfolio was in August (as of October 3rd) with a value of $61,884.13. Then again, I’m pretty close to it right now. Most of my holdings reported a strong quarter and shares continue to rise following the overall market trends. But what’s even more interesting is the record dividend income I received this month!

New – My entire portfolio quarterly update!

Each quarter, we run an exclusive report for Dividend Stocks Rock (DSR) members called DSR PRO. The PRO report includes a summary of each company’s earnings report for the period. We have been doing this for an entire year now and I wanted to share my own DSR PRO report for this portfolio. You can download the full PDF giving all the information about all my holdings.

Download my portfolio Q1 2019 report.

Dividend income: $580.54 CAD (+108%)

As I previously mentioned in my latest dividend income report, Lazard (LAZ) decided to pay their dividend on March 1st instead of late February. This created a distortion in the dividend income graph above. Nevertheless, my Q1 dividend income is up from $780.73 to $958.29 or + 22.74%.

Once again, I’ve enjoyed larger dividends from many of my holdings:

  • Fortis: +5.9%
  • Enbridge: +10%
  • Lassonde: +32.8%
  • Magna Intl: +15.5%
  • Visa: +19%
  • UPS: +5.5%
  • Microsoft: +9.5%

Canadian Holdings payouts: $290.69 CAD

  • Fortis: $44.55
  • Enbridge: $118.82
  • Lassonde $17.01
  • Magna Intl: $34.16
  • Intertape Polymer: $56.15
  • CAE: $20.00

U.S. Holding payouts: $217.70 USD

  • Lazard: $31.42 + $64.46 (special dividend)
  • Visa: $12.50
  • UPS: $35.52
  • MSFT: $27.60
  • BLK: $46.20

Total payouts: $580.54 CAD

*I used a USD/CAD conversion rate of 1.3314

This is not only my largest dividend month, but also my largest quarter so far. This is quite exciting to see dividends increasing at such a rapid pace.

Since I started this portfolio in September 2017, I have received a total of $4,283.85 CAD in dividend.  Keep in mind that this is a “pure dividend growth portfolio” as no capital can be added int his account (it’s a LIRA). Therefore, all dividend growth is coming from stocks and not from additional capital.

Final thoughts

Over the past 6 months, I’ve made little modifications to my portfolio. The recent market events didn’t affect my strategy at all as I’m in for the long haul. I think taking care of my portfolio is like taking care of my body. It requires simple actions that are difficult to maintain over the long run. Next week, I’ll be discussing how to maintain your portfolio. We often talk about getting your beach body in summertime, I’ll discuss about how to get your beach money ready! Make sure to follow me to get the webinar invitation!


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