Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Johnson & Johnson 1st Quarter 2016

Johnson & Johnson reported their 1st Quarter earnings for 2016, which can be found here.

Beating expectations despite facing some currency headwinds, Johnson & Johnson demonstrated their ability to provide slow and deliberate growth. With fast growing pharmaceutical sales and a solid stable of well recognized personal care products, they continue to be a solid holding that delivers. The results should also insure that the annual tradition of dividend increases continues unabated.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Alcoa Announces 1st Quarter 2016 Results

Alcoa (NYSE:AA) announced their 1st Quarter 2016 results, the presentation for which can be found here.

There was a lot of information to digest, but the overall story was one of continued pressure on the commodities portion of the business (aluminium and bauxite production), and increase opportunities and product movement in their value add business. The split of the company still seems to be on track for later this year, and Arconic (the announced name of the value add split of) would appear to set for some solid performance should the global economy hit its stride.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Surge Energy Dividend Reduction, Asset Sales, 2016 Guidance

Surge Energy (TSE:SGY) announced a 50% reduction in their dividend, as well as the closing of previously announced asset sales, as they continue to position themselves for a 'lower for longer' oil price scenario.

While it's a hit to my annualized dividend, it wasn't unexpected and I view it as a positive development. They are well capitalized for the current low price environment, and have room to move on other producers who might be under more financial stress. It was interesting to me that the CEO specifically mentioned Twin Butte Energy, a producer with neighbouring lands that's currently looking for a suitor, during a recent presentation as an example of a more stressed asset that could prove worth looking at.

Information is here.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

March 2016 Performance

The rising Canadian dollar had a somewhat negative impact on projected dividend payments, as the exchange on some of my Canadian stocks that pay in US funds took a bit of a hit. Nonetheless, I'm still well ahead of plan on the dividends, and as there will likely be a few larger purchases this month, I should be able to bump it up.

I'm well on track for an excellent year, beating all the indexes I measure myself against. For the first quarter of 2016, almost all my groups are in positive territory, some by a significant degree. I have a dozen holdings that are holding on to gains of over 10% for the year so far.

Bear Stock: Superior Plus continues to be a bit of a drag on my portfolio, but it's been creeping back up. Hoping that it can hold the line and not take further losses until they can see the benefits of the Canexus merger.

Bull Stock: Innergex has been on a tear. Apart from being a renewable energy company in the midst of a seismic shift in the investment landscape preferring renewables over fossil fuel sources, they've announced their move in Europe with assets in France. Definitely happy to be holding on to this one for now.

* Indicates a purchase or sale of the security within the month

NEU GRUFTI PORTFOLIO (3/31/2016)
2016 Dividend Payments: $3009.86 (+8.29% over previous year)
2017 Dividend Payments: $3058.11 (+1.60% over previous year)

Speculative Growth (+0.02%)
Canopy Growth Corporation (TSXV:CGC): -12.12%
Organigram (TSXV:OGI): -19.15%
Prairie Sky Royalty (TSX:PSK): +13.89%
Sherritt International (TSX:S): +10.96%
Superior Plus Corp (TSX:SPB): -12.45% *
TELUS (TSX:T): +11.74%

Long Term Growth Canadian (+8.35%)
Alliance Grain Traders (TSX:AGT): +12.09%
Brookfield Renewable Energy (TSX:BEP.UN): +9.83%*
Canadian Apartment Properties REIT (TSX:CAR.UN): +8.74%
Capital Power Corp (TSX:CPX): +3.39%
Corby Spirit and Wine (TSX:CSW.A): +2.84%*
Innergex Renewable Energy (TSX:INE): +26.34%
RBC Global Corporate Bond Fund (RBF1009): +2.77%*
Surge Energy (TSX:SGY): -0.57%*
TD Monthly Income Fund (TDB622): +4.48%*

Long Term Growth US (+11.37%)
Alcoa (NYSE:AA): +10.79%
Disney (NYSE:DIS): -4.82%
Investors Bancorp (NASDAQ:ISBC): -5.95%
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT): +0.20%
Nordic American Offshore (NYSE:NAO): -12.71%
Realty Income Corp (NYSE:O): +19.92%
Unilever (NYSE:UL): +5.53%
Verizon (NYSE: VZ): +15.24%

Canadian Retirement (+8.82%)
Anglo  Pacific (TSX:APY): +8.99%
Alterra Power (TSX:AXY): -5.39%
Boralex Inc (TSX:BLX): +14.88%
Chartwell Senior Housing REIT (TSX:CSH.UN): +12.25% *
Dream Global REIT (TSX:DRG.UN): +3.10%
Methanex (TSX:MX): -0.18%
RBC 1-5 Year Laddered Bond (TSX:RBO): +0.35%
Rogers Sugar Income Fund (TSX:RSI): +24.09%
Royal Bank (TSX:RY): +23.29%

US Retirement (+8.01)
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ): +6.07%
Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW): +10.56%

Tax Free Income (-4.00%)
RBC US Monthly Income Fund (RBF1503): -4.00% *

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Innergex expands into France

Innergex (TSE:INE) has announced it's first official foray outside North America, picking up assets and development prospects for wind farms in France. The announcement can be found here.

The ongoing global expansion of renewable energy assets has proven to be one of the better asset classes to be invested in this year. All of the renewable energy companies in my portfolio are currently at market beating levels, Innergex, for example, is currently showing a 22.49% gain for the year. Global expansion should provide them with a diversified and stable growth platform while securing their ability to continue paying dividends.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Surge Energy 4th Quarter 2015 results

Surge Energy announced their 4th Quarter 2015 results, which can be found here.

When it came to the collapse in oil prices, I largely lucked out. Prior to the crash, I'd sold a lot of my oil holdings at a gain, and was looking for somewhere else to put them. I scattered it throughout my assets, but wanted to hold on to some energy assets. I looked for solid producers that could whether a downturn. I picked Prairie Sky Royalty (TSE:PSK) and Surge Energy (TSE:SGY).

Unfortunately, I held on to a speculative asset as well that cratered and went bankrupt. Those things happen. However, the remaining two energy assets I'm more than happy to hold on to, and Surge Energy's latest results demonstrate why. In a challenging environment, they are holding on and rewarding shareholders for doing so. With the recent upswing in prices for oil, it's likely their 1st Quarter for 2016 will be significantly improved.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Alterra Power reports 2015 Year End Results

Alterra Power reported 2015 Year End Results which can be found here.

Renewable power continues to be a bit of a theme in 2016. Alterra Power posted their results, including the start up of the Shannon Wind project in the US, and it looks to provide them with steady growth in both energy and revenue generation over the next few years. I'm hoping to see execute on their plans over the next five years and once they've got a stable plate, I would expect to see a dividend announced sometime in that time frame. So far, so good!

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

February 2016 Performance

Good start for Neu Grufti in 2016. While the greater markets have been down for the year, overall I'm up (final numbers aren't in, but January was a 1% gain and looks to be slightly larger for February). There's no complaints for me there.

There have been some bigger hits and misses this month, but overall, I'm happy to keep things where they are and look to my quarterly re-balancing for any major changes at the end of March. There were several companies that raised their dividends, and combined with small reinvestments and re-allocations, I'm well over halfway to the goal of a 15% increase over dividends paid in 2015.

Bear StockSuperior Plus has taken a big hit with lacklustre results and some serious overhang resulting from their takeover of Canexus. I was expecting subpar performance until the deal closes, but the hit so far this year is enough to drag down my entire speculative growth index. Ouch.

Bull StockRogers Sugar has had a stellar year so far. For a boring but dependable stock, it's produced some out sized returns for me so far this year.

* Indicates a purchase or sale of the security within the month

NEU GRUFTI PORTFOLIO (2/28/2016)
2016 Dividend Payments: $3037.36 (+9.28% over previous year)
2017 Dividend Payments: $3066.95 (+0.97% over previous year)

Speculative Growth (-4.79%)
Canopy Growth Corporation (TSXV:CGC): -0.67%
Organigram (TSXV:OGI): -18.09%
Prairie Sky Royalty (TSX:PSK): +1.49%
Sherritt International (TSX:S): +4.11%
Superior Plus Corp (TSX:SPB): -18.36% *
TELUS (TSX:T): +4.16%

Long Term Growth Canadian (+3.31%)
Alliance Grain Traders (TSX:AGT): +8.27%
Brookfield Renewable Energy (TSX:BEP.UN): -2.18%
Canadian Apartment Properties REIT (TSX:CAR.UN): +7.58%
Capital Power Corp (TSX:CPX): -0.45%
Corby Spirit and Wine (TSX:CSW.A): +0.38%
Innergex Renewable Energy (TSX:INE): +13.54%
RBC Global Corporate Bond Fund (RBF1009): +0.56%
Surge Energy (TSX:SGY): +2.77% *
TD Monthly Income Fund (TDB622): -0.72% *

Long Term Growth US (+5.21%)
Alcoa (NYSE:AA): +7.34% *
Disney (NYSE:DIS): -8.42%
Investors Bancorp (NASDAQ:ISBC): -8.52%
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT): -8.29%
Nordic American Offshore (NYSE:NAO): -8.35%
Realty Income Corp (NYSE:O): +14.71% *
Unilever (NYSE:UL): -0.7%
Verizon (NYSE: VZ): +8.64% *

Canadian Retirement (+4%)
Anglo  Pacific (TSX:APY): +5.54%
Alterra Power (TSX:AXY): -3.24%
Boralex Inc (TSX:BLX): +14.38%
Chartwell Senior Housing REIT (TSX:CSH.UN): +2.83% *
Dream Global REIT (TSX:DRG.UN): -4.5% *
Methanex (TSX:MX): +1.49%
RBC 1-5 Year Laddered Bond (TSX:RBO): -0.86%
Rogers Sugar Income Fund (TSX:RSI): +15.91%
Royal Bank (TSX:RY): +21.48%

US Retirement (+3.5)
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ): +2.42%
Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW): +5.67%

Tax Free Income (-3.52%)
RBC US Monthly Income Fund (RBF1503): -3.52% *

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Canopy Growth Corporation reports 3rd Quarter 2016 results

Canopy Growth Corporation reported their 3rd Quarter 2016 results which can be found here.

Canopy Growth Corporation is a Canadian holding company that owns Tweed Farms and Bedrocan, producers of medical marijuana in Canada. While recreational marijuana isn't legal as yet in Canada, the current Liberal Government campaigned on and announced their intention to legalize marijuana. Companies like Canopy, which operate under Canada Health's regulated program to provide access to medical marijuana, are strongly positioned to take advantage of any change in those laws.

Canopy is Canada's largest producer, and their growth speaks to the growing base of patients they've been bringing on board. With 41% growth over the last quarter, and 430% two year growth, this is one of my speculative holdings that I am holding on to as things play out.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Innergex Reports 4th Quarter 2015 Results, 3% dividend increase

Innergex reports their 4th Quarter 2015 results, which can be found here.

The renewable energy sector performance train rolls forward. Innergex reported ongoing project success, bringing in their latest developments on time and under budget, while continuing to expand their portfolio of projects.

As I mentioned previously, renewable energy has become increasingly attractive as nations look to divest themselves of fossil fuel assets such as coal burning plants, and that effort can do nothing but benefit renewable energy providers.


Boralex reports 4th Quarter 2015 results, raises dividend 7.7%

Boralex reported their 4th Quarter 2015 results, which can be found here.

Renewable energy continues to be outperforming other asset classes in my portfolio to a significant degree, and Boralex continued that trend, demonstrating tremendous growth over 2015 and raising their dividned 7.7%. With the world increasingly moving away from fossil fuels as a source of electrical generation, renewable energy companies are reaping the benefits of their long term investments, planning and growth. Boralex has excellent exposure to wind and hydro generation in Canada, the US and France, and their current focus on the European continent has provided them tremendous opportunities with recent purchases of growth projects.

RBC posts 1st Quarter 2016 results, raises dividend 3%, energy loan losses soar

RBC (TSX:RY) posted their 1st Quarter 2016 results, which can be found here.

RBC Royal Bank may have mollified investors by raising the dividend 3%, but the results were largely mediocre. With the exposure of the big banks in Canada to losses on business loans in the energy sector, it was hardly surprising that results in that area would be subpar, and that extends out in to all areas of business. As the economic fortunes of Alberta continue to fail, every branch of finance that touches on the Province has demonstrated that it is not immune to the effects of the disaster unfolding there.

That said, the rest of Canada and the world continues to chug along in slow growth mode, mitigating the damage done, and while I don't expect to see spectacular results out of RBC over the next year or two, they continue to be a stable part of my portfolio.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Superior Plus Reports 4th Quarter Results for 2015

Superior Plus reported their 4th Quarter Results for 2015 which can be found here.

Superior Plus (TSX:SPB) is currently preparing to take over Canexus, another chemical producer, which has put a lot of pressure on the company of late due to concerns over financing (Superior Plus still carries a high debt load, though it's been steadily getting lower over the years) and Canexus has been an underwhelming performer over the last few years as well. Superior Plus is, however, obtaining assets that will make it a global leader in sodium chlorate and chloralkali, which over time should prove a positive benefit. However, until the deal finalizes, there's not much room for this to move up.

Capital Power 4th Quarter Results

Capital Power reported their 4th Quarter Results, which can be found here.

Capital Power has, by far, been one of my most underwhelming performers this year, though for entirely understandable reasons. It's the only power generation company I have that still uses fossil fuels, in a Province transitioning away from coal, while also experiencing an economic recession. Despite all these headwinds, the results were better than expected, and with their expansion into renewable energy sources, I find them to be one of the 'old school' power companies that is looking ahead to the future and doing what they can to capitalize on it.

Friday, 19 February 2016

Dream Global REIT Reports 2015 4th Quarter

Dream Global REIT reported their 2015 4th Quarter results, which can be found here.

Dream Global is the portion of my real estate holdings held outside of North America, and focuses on office space in Germany. Their results shown continued strength in this area, bolstered by an ongoing strength of demand and solid economic results within the country. While it can be tempting to view Canada as representative of the global economy, it isn't. It always pays to diversify outside your own country.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Global pulse demand increases demand and pricing for Canadian crops

This trend, while probably temporary (as all commodity booms usually are), should have a positive impact on AGT Food and Ingredients (TSX:AGT) throughout the year, as they are heavily focused on processing and shipment of pulse crops. They have been low on the radar due to the focus in Canada on other crops, but the demand for pulses has been growing over the years and they are in a good position to capitalize on it.

Pulses have been popular as a source of non meat protein, and as a flour to fill in nutrient gaps. Many popular pastas have been using portional pulse content to do this. In addition, pulse flour has been used to produce gluten free pastas. While I personally find gluten free to be more of a popular 'me too' trend, it's increased demand for pulse crops and does have the benefit of providing more goods on the market that actual celiacs can benefit from in their diets.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/pulse-crops-lentils-canada-prices-agriculture-1.3450271

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

CAP REIT reports 4th Quarter 2015 results and record growth

Canadian Apartment Properties REIT (TSX:CAR.UN) reported their 4th Quarter 2015 results, which can be found here.

With record growth, CAP REIT is continuing with the slow and steady trend that I like to see out of my work horse holdings. As I'd mentioned before, a holding like this allows me the benefits of collecting rent without actual being a land lord. While Alberta continues to struggle, people still need places to live, and when a home becomes unaffordable, they often look to rentals. Despite the economic downturn, CAP REIT continues to collect the rent and pass it on to people like me.

And unlike owning a rental property, I have the reliability of knowing the cheque is in the mail, that it will be the right amount and that even if a tenant leaves, thousands more wait in the wings.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Sherritt International 4th Quarter 2015 earnings

Sherritt International declared their 4th Quarter 2015 earnings last week, which can be found here.

Sherritt International has had a rough few years with the steady decline of commodities pricing across the globe. Aside from being focused on Nickel, with some of the largest and lowest cost mines around, they also have exposure to Oil & Gas through their operations in Cuba.

Cuba is one reason I hold on to Sherritt, aside from the speculation that at some point, commodities will rebound and as a lower cost producer, they will benefit. With Nickel, Oil, and power operations in Cuba, and the island watching the US embargo melt away, I think there's opportunity for Sherritt to see some knock on benefits down the road as the economy there matures and expands, particularly in power production. Currently, Sherritt is the only foreign power producer in Cuba and as such has tremendous upside potential as the island upgrades its power infrastructure.

Friday, 12 February 2016

TELUS 4th Quarter 2015 Earnings results

TELUS announced their 4th Quarter 2015 earnings results, which can be found here.

One of Canada's largest full spectrum communications companies (along with Rogers and Bell, and soon to be joined by Shaw), TELUS has a large focus in Western Canada, and the results demonstrated how Alberta's current problems can impact even a large company like TELUS. By the same token, it also demonstrates how that impact, while serious for Alberta and all companies that do business there, the rest of Canada is not in nearly as dire straits, and despite their problems, companies with national exposure can continue to post solid growth and earnings.

They also reiterated their intention to raise dividends by up to 10% this year, a commitment they have made over the last half decade and maintained.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Realty Income (NYSE:O) 4th Quarter 2015 exceeds expectations

Realty Income (NYSE:O) announced their 4th Quarter 2015 and annual results, which can be found here.

Realty Income beat expectations, demonstrating again why it's a lot easier to hold a solid, diversified REIT rather than being a landlord. They'd previously announced a 5% increase in dividend payments, and this follows on the heels of several quarterly increases.

As a landlord, try raising rents every single quarter and see how often you keep tenants. I also don't have to worry about plumbing, termites, or keeping up the property. I just sit back and collect my share of the rent.

Realty Income leases space to some of the largest names in the US, and no one company (not even Walgreen's) makes up more than a few percent of the their overall tenant base. Across 49 States and Puerto Rico, they are one of the more solid commercial landlords out there.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Rogers Sugar 1st Quarter 2016 Results

Rogers Sugar announced their 1st Quarter 2016 results, which can be found here.

Rogers Sugar is a bit of a boring staple in my portfolio. In Canada, sugar is a somewhat protected industry, with only two major producers (Rogers and Redpath), and their markets protected by anti dumping duties levied by the Canadian Government. Never mind the fact sugar is a product found in hundreds of consumer goods, but it has industrial applications as well. While I don't expect to see massive value appreciation out of it, delivers a solid, steady dividend and has been a reliable staple in my portfolio for years.

The results demonstrate that, nothing spectacular, nothing upsetting. Solid and steady as she goes.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Disney 1st Quarter 2016 Results

Disney has posted their 1st Quarter 2016 results, which can be found here.

The results surpassed expectations, though with the release of Star Wars:The Force Awakens, and the catalogue of Star Wars movies that enjoyed a resurgence in the lead up to it's release, it should hardly be considered a massive surprise. As one of only three movies to surpass $2 billion, it's been a blockbuster on multiple levels. With merchandising tie ins, the new trilogy of movies will be an ongoing source of positive revenue.

ESPN results showed why there are concerns over cord cutting...there's an ongoing weakness that is fundamental as people are moving more and more to on demand media consumption rather than subscriptions to premium services. This is likely to provide a bit of a ceiling on any gains Disney can enjoy, as they will need to find a way to address this phenomena, or watch as it continues to decline in importance.

Definitely going to continue holding on to this for some time to come.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Brookfield Renewable Energy 4th Quarter 2015 Results and Distribution Increase

Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners (TSX:BEP.UN) announced their 4th Quarter 2015 results, and along with it a 7% distribution increase. Details can be found here.

I'd previously mentioned that I hold this particular stock for the growth that renewable energy represents in today's world, as well as the US currency denominated distribution, and these results delivered on both fronts. With a global network of renewable energy in multiple areas, and a growing asset base, Brookfield Renewable looks like it will be able to deliver on dividend growth for some time to come.

The previous quarterly distribution of  $0.415 US has been increased to $0.445 US. This may not sound like a lot, but that original $0.415 US worked out (as of last distribution) to $0.574 Canadian. A 7% increase makes the $0.445 US into a $0.614 Canadian distribution. This is one of the reasons having a US denominated distribution can help mitigate the damage of a falling Canadian dollar.



Sunday, 7 February 2016

Long Term Growth, Part 2: US Holdings

While I already spent some time with what defined 'Long Term Growth', there's a second side to it. Quite apart from wanting to hold on to quality companies for the long term, the simple fact is Canada is a small part of the global economy. Our currency (as many Canadians are now finding) is subject to the fluctuations of a global market that views ours as a petro dollar. Many of the worlds largest companies aren't on Canadian markets.

That's why I hold a significant chunk of my retirement holdings in US stocks, denominated in US currency. As the Canadian dollar declines, they become even more valuable in maintaining the value of my portfolio.

Alcoa (NYSE:AA) is one of the world's largest producers of aluminium and aluminium products, and it's a recent purchase on my part. With the global commodity route in full swing, Alcoa is at record low prices for what I believe is a solid company with good long term products. They are also planning to split into two different companies by the end of the year, one focusing on aluminium production, the other on their 'value add' business of products. This is something I personally believe will provide a lot of value to the company, as their value add business is (at current stock prices) something that seems to have been lost in the commodity prices crash.

Disney (NYSE:DIS) does not really require a ton of explanation. It's a global entertainment and media powerhouse. Most of the successful studio films of the last five years after been produced by the House of Mouse, and they are a theme park juggernaut. They show no signs of slowing down and continue to churn out hit movies, which provide a long term revenue stream once out of the theaters in merchandise and opportunities. Pixar, Marvel Studios, Star Wars...it all rolls up to Disney's bottom line.

Investors Bancorp (NASDAQ:ISBC) is my exposure to US financials. I wanted something small (but not too small), regional, with the opportunity for long term future growth. So far, looks like it's been a solid pick, with a recent dividend bump and good prospects with the recovering US economy.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is, as I already mentioned, a long term holding based on the growth of cloud computing. Sure, they have a solid entertainment devices division, with XBox and XBox Live providing solid returns, but with the world reliant on data for almost every aspect of our lives, control and access of data has moved increasingly towards cloud based systems, systems Microsoft is currently providing dominant services in.

Nordic American Offshore (NYSE:NAO) is a bit of an outlier. I only have a few shares in the company, they landed in my lap from a spinoff by an old holding of mine, Nordic American Tankers (NYSE:NAT) that I sold off last year for a solid gain. I haven't bothered to sell them off as they continue to pay a dividend, and were essentially 'free' as a result of the spinoff (I already booked a gain on my Nordic American shares).

Realty Income Corp (NYSE:O) is a REIT in the US that has solid real estate holdings in almost every single State. As the landlord for some of the biggest and most solid retail names in the US (Walgreens, FedEx, AMC Theaters), it allows me to collect rent without being a landlord myself.

Unilever (NYSE:UL) is a global consumer products powerhouse. Most people have Unilever products in their home without even realizing it. Dove, Axe, Hellman's, Lipton, Ben & Jerry's...all Unilever. A consumer products company is a critical part of any portfolio, in my mind, because these are products people use every day, buy every day, and even in an economic downturn, many of them are products people won't do without.

Verizon (NYSE:VZ) is one of the largest mobile telecommunications and online media companies in the US. In a world connected by the Internet, those who provide the connections and delivery systems, the phones that we use every day, is an integral part of any long term plan.




Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Dow Chemical 4th Quarter 2015 Results

Dow Chemical has reported their 4th Quarter 2015 results, which can be found here.

Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW) continues to benefit from lower oil prices and the shedding of low margin businesses as it prepares to merge with DuPont. Not much more to say than that, I'm hoping I can pick up a few extra shares before the merger, as I believe that long term the merger is going to produce some excellent gains, especially as the ultimate splitting into three focused area should produce some tremendous benefits.

Sunday, 31 January 2016

January 2016 Performance


Well it's been a wild ride for the markets in January, and Neu Grufti road that wave. I wound up in the black for the month, so I'm off to a good start beating the indexes. It wasn't the result of anything more than having a diversified portfolio in solid companies, the class and boring 'don't put all your eggs in one basket'. With dividend reinvestments and some dividend increase announcements, my annual dividend totals are off to a great start as well. Both my Long Term Growth Holdings, Canadian and US, are up an identical amount (4.34%) and as they make up the largest chunk of my holdings, I am glad for it.

Bear Stock: Methanex is down 11.46% in one month, really hoping to see an upswing as increased capacity at their Geismar facilities blunts the impact of lower product prices

Bull Stock: Canadian Apartment Properties REIT is up 11.82% for me this month. Predictable cash flow that`s grown regularily over the years, some overseas exposure (with ownership in an Irish REIT they spun off), and a place to put over peoples heads in good times and bad. It`s being a landlord without the hassle.

NEU GRUFTI PORTFOLIO (1/31/2016)
2016 Dividend Payments: $3009.62 (+8.28% over previous year)
2017 Dividend Payments: $3024.46 (+0.49% over previous year)

Speculative Growth (-1.71%)
Canopy Growth Corporation (TSXV:CGC): -9.76%
Organigram (TSXV:OGI): -18.09%
Prairie Sky Royalty (TSX:PSK): -8.54%
Sherritt International (TSX:S): -4.11%
Superior Plus Corp (TSX:SPB): -2.48%
TELUS (TSX:T): +3.0%

Long Term Growth Canadian (+4.34%)
Alliance Grain Traders (TSX:AGT): +3.77%
Brookfield Renewable Energy (TSX:BEP.UN): +2.12%
Canadian Apartment Properties REIT (TSX:CAR.UN): +11.82%
Capital Power Corp (TSX:CPX): +8.21%
Corby Spirit and Wine (TSX:CSW.A): +0.81%
Innergex Renewable Energy (TSX:INE): +4.94%
RBC Global Corporate Bond Fund (RBF1009): +0.12%
Surge Energy (TSX:SGY): +5.49%
TD Monthly Income Fund (TDB622): -0.24%

Long Term Growth US (+4.34%)
Alcoa (NYSE:AA): +0.00%
Disney (NYSE:DIS)
: -8.14%
Investors Bancorp (NASDAQ:ISBC): -6.03%
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT): -0.70%
Nordic American Offshore (NYSE:NAO): -23.15%
Realty Income Corp (NYSE:O): +8.43%
Unilever (NYSE:UL): +2.67%
Verizon (NYSE: VZ): +6.8%

Canadian Retirement (-2.18%)
Anglo  Pacific (TSX:APY): +0.0%
Alterra Power (TSX:AXY): -2.17%
Boralex Inc (TSX:BLX): +8.16%
Chartwell Senior Housing REIT (TSX:CSH.UN): +0.78%
Dream Global REIT (TSX:DRG.UN): -6.26%
Methanex (TSX:MX): -11.46%
RBC 1-5 Year Laddered Bond (TSX:RBO): -1.01%
Rogers Sugar income Fund (TSX:RSI): +0.74%
Royal Bank (TSX:RY): +22.33%

US Retirement (-2.12%)
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ): +1.67%
Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW): -8.7%

Tax Free Income (-0.19%)
RBC US Monthly Income Fund (RBF1503): -0.19%

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Organigram 1st Quarter 2016

Organigram has reported their 1st Quarter 2016 results, the announcement can be found here.

Positive news for one of my two Medical Marijuana holdings. They hit positive cash flow from operations, and have exceeded their previously announced goals (which had also been increased over previous expectations).

Canada's Medical Marijuana space is fairly crowded, however I tried to pick two holdings that could prosper even if, for some reason, the planned legalization of marijuana for recreational doesn't go through, or goes through in a form that isn't beneficial to the medical companies. Organigram benefits by being the only major, active supplier east of Ottawa, offering fully bilingual services, and having product strains that are organic certified.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Investors Bank 4th Quarter 2015 Results and Dividend Increase

Investors Bank (NASDAQ:ISBC) reported their 4th Quarter 2015 results today, which can be found at their investors relations link here.

With that report came the announcement of a 20% increase to their dividend, bringing it to .06 per quarter.

Investors Bank is a small holding for me, but an area I wanted exposure to, which is regional banking in the US. I'm not a huge fan of the big US multinationals, but there are a lot of good regional banks in the US that held the promise of growth and expansion in the financial sector. It took me a while to pick one for my US Long Term Growth portfolio, but Investors Bank was the winner, and I'm glad I chose them.

Dividend growth potential is an important part of my portfolio. If every one of my dividend stocks increased their dividend by 20% a year, I'd never need to make another a purchase again. That isn't going to happen, of course, but every time one of my stocks increases their annual payout, it's that much less effort I have to expend on my side to grow the dividend payouts on my own.

Microsoft 2nd Quarter 2016 Results

Microsoft announced their 2nd Quarter 2016 Results today after the market closed, the press release is here.

Microsoft has been a core holding in my US Long Term Growth segment, and today's better than expected earnings is a demonstration of why. I was hesitating about holding on to Microsoft while Ballmer was in charge, but once they put Nadella in charge, I knew the company was going to focus on areas that would be nothing but growth potential. Since then, it's been a positive ride, with growing dividends along the way.

Cloud computing was the future of business computing when a lot of initial decisions about where to focus ecosystems were taking place. I think Microsoft made some mistakes and was taking the wrong approach when they tried to follow Apple's closed ecosystem approach, and Nadella gave the company the right focus and purpose to swing things around. It's no accident that since Nadella took over 2 years ago, Microsoft stock is up 37%. I'm up slightly more at 39.42% in that same time period due to good timing, but I think this is one of those situations where I picked the right horse.

I don't think I'll see it up another 37% in 2 years, but I'm holding in for the dividend growth potential at this stage.

Long Term Growth Defined

So what is Long Term Growth within Neu Grufti?

Long Term Growth is the old school 'buy and hold' philosophy. While it may well contain speculative stocks or value stocks, the general core of Long Term Growth is picking something that I won't be letting go of within the next ten years. So it's generally an eclectic mix of Canadian (covered here) and US (covered in my next component update) stocks.

Alliance Grain Traders (TSX:AGT) recently underwent a name change to AGT Food and Ingredients, which I'll probably start using once I get used to it. That name change covers why it's here. AGT is a pulse processor and shipper as well as food ingredient company that has global exposure. As they are focused primarily on pulse crops, they are also riding the wave of people looking for alternatives to long grains, and they have recently opened a center in Minot for food ingredient processing. Everyone needs to eat, that's why this is here.

Brookfield Renewable Energy (TSX:BEP.UN) is engaged in the production and delivery of power through renewable sources on a global basis. Even a cursory glance of my portfolio will show a bit of a heavy weight on the power and energy side, and it's due to the simple fact that electricity runs the modern world, and those who produce it tend to do so under long term contracts with Governments and their populations. Brookfield has Canadian and US exposure, but also has a large presence in Brazil, Wind Farms in Europe, and has recently finalized the purchase of one of Columbia's largest renewable energy producers. They also pay their dividend in US currency, which protects the revenue stream from fluctuations in the Canadian dollar.

Canadian Apartment Properties REIT (TSX:CAR.UN) boils down to the simple fact that as well as eating and keeping the lights on, people need a roof over their head. Why be a landlord when you can own a landlord and collect on the rents? CAP REIT is one of Canada's largest landlords, with holdings in almost every Province.

Capital Power (TSX:CPX) is another power generation company, although more traditional than Brookfield in that they own several coal burning power plants in Alberta. However they have been slowly moving over into Natural Gas generation as well as renewable, so this holding is more to keep one foot in the old school of power generation while things transition over to renewables.

Corby Spirit and Wine (TSX:CSW.A) is a long term play on the fact that everyone loves their vices, and Corby Spirit and Wine owns some of the most popular brands in Canada when it comes to Whisky, Rum and Vodka. In good times and bad, people drink.

Innergex Renewable Energy (TSX:INE) is another renewable energy provider, although focused in Canada. I own them for the same reason I own Brookfield, as power generation isn't going away any time soon, and the switch to renewable sources from fossil fuels is going to be advantageous to companies like this.

RBC Global Corporate Bond Fund (RBF1009) is focused on owning investment grade corporate bonds, and as any balanced portfolio needs a mix of equities and fixed income. I am not even close to a novice when it comes to fixed income and bonds, so rather than purchase individual bonds, I am more inclined to look at ETFs and Mutual Funds for those particular aspects of my portfolio. In the Online Investing world, funds like this have a D series where online investors pay lower management fees than they would through a broker, so Canada's traditionally high mutual fund fees didn't turn me away from this one.

Surge Energy (TSX:SGY) happens to be one of the big drags in my long term growth at the moment, but that's a product of the oil industry being in the middle of a bust in their traditional boom bust cycle. Long term (as in, the next 10 years), I expect it to see it rise, and I wanted a mid range producer that is capable of providing a cash stream that isn't focused on hyper accelerated growth, and had a solid balance sheet. Surge fit that profile.

TD Monthly Income Fund (TDB622) is largely in the long term growth portfolio to provide additional monthly income to help keep assets balanced. I use proceeds from the Fund to keep the portfolio relatively balanced. I wanted something that was a fire and forget purchase that could produce a reasonably stable monthly income within the portfolio for 'dry powder'.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Methanex 4th Quarter 2015 Results

Methanex reported their 4th Quarter 2015 results after the market closed, the presentation can be found here.

This has been a core holding of mine since I started investing. One of the worlds largest producers and marketers of methanol, it carries very little debt and a commanding market position in the production of a feedstock chemical used in a variety of applications. And the dividend is paid out in US dollars, so the revenue grows as the Canadian dollar declines in value.

I don't expect the results to do Methanex any favours with respect to the recent decline in price, but as I originally picked this up 7 years ago, even the recent share price collapse hasn't phased me. It'll be a rough ride, but this one was always intended to provide a steady and growing stream of dividends that are priced outside the Canadian dollar, and so far, it's always delivered.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Johnson & Johnson 4th Quarter 2015 Results

Johnson & Johnson reported earnings this morning, and their full earnings presentation can be found here.

Johnson & Johnson is one of my core holdings under the US Retirement category (I haven't gone over this category yet, but short version is, it's my US currency retirement account). As a Canadian, it's important to have exposure to US currency holdings to protect retirement dollars from fluctuations in the Canadian dollar. That's pretty evident right now as the Canadian dollar hovers near lows it hasn't seen in a decade.

As a global conglomerate in consumer goods and health care, Johnson & Johnson doesn't promise a lot of explosive growth, but it delivers stable returns and a slowly growing dividend. While the stock price may not promise massive returns, the dividend has increased every year from $0.425 annual in 1997 to $2.95 today. It's that steady march upwards in dividend that's earned it a place in my US Retirement portfolio.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Speculative Growth Defined

So the first category in my portfolio is Speculative Growth. How do I define that, and how do these fit in? Well, the idea is that these are stocks with the potential for significant growth, but on a very speculative basis. I have these in an account outside any tax shelters, so if I lose money, I can use that against any gains I experience as well. So essentially, this will contain most of my higher risk bets.

So why each one?

Canopy Growth Corporation (TSXV:CGC) and Organigram (TSXV:OGI) are both Canadian medical marijuana companies. Canopy is by far the largest in the space, having recently purchased Bedrocan, another operator in this space.

The rationale here is fairly straight forward. Canada's new Government announced their intention to legalize recreational marijuana. While medical marijuana is currently legal, no matter how legalization is implemented, current players in the marijuana space stand to significantly benefit.

I picked these two up before the last election so I've already seen some good gains, but they are here because of the potential. Canopy I picked because it's well run, well capitalized, and has already demonstrated it wants to lead the way in this space. Organigram is smaller, but it's the only operator east of Quebec, it's the only fully bilingual one, and it's the only one certified as an organic grower, while also being well capitalized. I figure in the new market, these are two that stand to thrive and survive.

Prairie Sky Royalty (TSX:PSK) is a bet on future oil price recovery. I may have bought too early, but their model offers a higher potential return over time than your traditional oil company. They don't actual drill or produce, they own the land rights on which production takes place, and get a cut of every barrel of oil. So they are less tied to the ups and downs of the oil market, have no capital expenses beyond purchasing more land rights, and stand to benefit tremendously in any market upswings.

Sherrit International (TSX:S) is a bit of a commodities bet, as well as one on normalized relations with Cuba. They are nickel/cobalt producer with operations in Cuba and Madagascar, with oil and electricity operations in Cuba as well. In addition to the commmodities/Cuba bets, it's also a bit of tie in with growing demand for electric vehicles, which could drive up the price of cobalt. The question is if they'll be able to navigate the low commodity price environment long enough to take advantage of those areas.

Superior Plus (TSX:SPB) has been a long term bet of mine that's already paid off handsomely (I tripled my holdings at one point when they were trading below $6 several years ago), though it's still a bet long term. I've long wagered they'd get their debt issues under control (they have) and since then they've now almost finalized a deal to buy Canexus (TSX:CUS), a struggling chemicals manufacturer, which now gives Superior Plus a significant increase in production capacity in that space.

TELUS (TSX:T) is a strange pick for 'speculative growth' you might think. Solid dividend that has shown steady increases over time, in an industry where it's one of three dominant players with little room for explosive growth.

However, they operate in digital Health records, and that is a space where they could conceivable grow by leaps and bounds over the next decade as Canadian Provinces look to streamline record keeping and lower costs.

So, there we go, a peek into my Speculative Growth space.

Back in the Game

Well, I'm back.

I had to put this blog on hiatus (and ultimately delete the old contents) due to a change of employment that saw me enter financial services. I loved doing what I was doing, but ultimately I decided to leave. I found that while I loved the work, and the prospect of helping people in their financial goals and dreams, the reality of people WANTING to make bad financial decisions for immediate gratification was draining. I thought I would be helping people, and instead more often than not I was watching them happily self destruct their financial futures.

So I moved on to something else.

The upside is, I get to return to something I genuinely loved doing and missed...blogging about finances, and hopefully learning a few new things along the way.

I decided when I came back that I wouldn't change much about the formula that had been working for me...why should I?

So here I am, and why not dive right in since we're still in the first month of the year?

Early retirement always has been and always will remain the goal. To do that, there are a few things that I need to achieve with the Neu Grufti Portfolio.

Primary Goal: Dividend Growth

Neu Grufti is based on the idea that whatever else happens, like spice, the dividends must flow. Every year needs to see a growth in dividend income. In an ideal world, dividend income alone will provide for retirement, but even if that isn't possible, it must show ever increase improvement.

Currently, my annual dividends for 2016 will amount to $2978.10
The goal is to see that grow to $45,000 by 2038 (22 years).

How to do that? It sounds difficult, but if I can capture 15% (average) dividend growth per year, I can actually hit that goal by 2035. So really, my goal is 12% per year (average), with a stretch goal of 15%. So while the goal for 2016 is $2978.10, the goal for 2017 is between $3335.36 and $3424.70.

Secondary Goal: Beat Inflation

The secondary goal is to beat inflation. If your investments don't outpace inflation, you're losing money. If they outpace inflation, you're making money. It's straightforward, and unless you keep your money under a mattress, in a coffee can, or these days in a regular savings account, you should be able to beat inflation. While simple on the surface, it's the second most important goal because it determines whether or not you'll actually be able to afford to retire or if you're falling behind on the lifestyle you want.

Final Goal: Beat the Indexes

While not as important for retiring, it's important to measure yourself against some simple goals. The TSX (Canada), the Dow Jones (US) and the S&P 500 (US) are the three markets I measure myself against, because if I can't beat them, I may as well just invest in index funds and be done with it.

I originally wanted to provide my results of the last 5 years (and for the record, it's been 5 up years), but on thinking about things, I decided I want to start from a clean slate.

So, without further ado, I present the holdings (and YTD performance) of the Neu Grufti Portfolio.

NEU GRUFTI PORTFOLIO (1/22/2016)

Speculative Growth (-3.81%)
Canopy Growth Corporation (TSXV:CGC): -8.75%
Organigram (TSXV:OGI): -15.96%
Prairie Sky Royalty (TSX:PSK): -13.15%
Sherritt International (TSX:S): -1.37%
Superior Plus Corp (TSX:SPB): -4.16%
TELUS (TSX:T): -0.69%

Long Term Growth Canadian (-1.27%)
Alliance Grain Traders (TSX:AGT): +9%
Brookfield Renewable Energy (TSX:BEP.UN): -3.5%
Canadian Apartment Properties REIT (TSX:CAR.UN): +8.72%
Capital Power Corp (TSX:CPX): -0.06%
Corby Spirit and Wine (TSX:CSW.A): -2.75%
Innergex Renewable Energy (TSX:INE): -2.4%
RBC Global Corporate Bond Fund (RBF1009): -0.55%
Surge Energy (TSX:SGY): -14.07%
TD Monthly Income Fund (TDB622): -4.25%

Long Term Growth US (-0.15%)
Alcoa (NYSE:AA): -2.19%
Investors Bancorp (NASDAQ:ISBC): -7.48%
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT): -5.85%
Nordic American Offshore (NYSE:NAO): -21.44%
Realty Income Corp (NYSE:O): +5.33%
Unilever (NYSE:UL): -1.93%
Verizon (NYSE: VZ): +1.02%

Canadian Retirement (-3.49%)
Anglo  Pacific (TSX:APY): +0.0%
Alterra Power (TSX:AXY): -4.32%
Boralex Inc (TSX:BLX): +3.98%
Chartwell Senior Housing REIT (TSX:CSH.UN): -1.65%
Dream Global REIT (TSX:DRG.UN): -5.33%
Methanex (TSX:MX): -10.48%
RBC 1-5 Year Laddered Bond (TSX:RBO): -0.91%
Rogers Sugar income Fund (TSX:RSI): -1.66%
Royal Bank (TSX:RY): +21.09% *

*Royal Bank is a bit of an outlier, I have a tremendous return since I cashed out my company shares when I left RBC, and this was the gain I achieved on those shares when I moved them into my own retirement account

US Retirement (-5.79%)
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ): -5.69%
Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW): -6.14%

Tax Free Income (-0.16%)
RBC US Monthly Income Fund (RBF1503): -0.16%

There's a lot of red up there, but so far in January, the market has taken a massive hit, so that's not really something that's terribly surprising. I'm not really judging my portfolio by the first few weeks of January, although I'm managing to stay ahead of the worst losses on the market. We'll see how things end the month.

I'll also be going over these categories and their holdings over the new few days, to go more in depth over why they are set up the way they are.

Welcome back!