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Gotta Love The Banks...

As I start to write this article the Bank of Nova Scotia is about 15 minutes away from releasing their quarterly results. They are widely expected to increase their dividend which is the big thing that I am going to be looking for (disclaimer: m owns BNS in her portfolio).

Last week BMO increased their dividend once again to 62 cents. They had earnings in the quarter of $1.24 per share (after making some adjustments). They also changed the target for dividend payouts as a percentage of profits from 35%-45% to 45%-55%. This means that they want to give investors between 45 and 55 percent of the 'earnings per share' number they report. The dividend increase this time was 9 cents or 17%. Going back to when I originally bought the stock in February 2004 for $54/share the dividend is now yielding just over 4.5% ( .62 * 4 quarters a year = 2.48 / $54 = 4.59%), not including re-investment of dividends. When I originally bought the stock in February 2004, 27 months ago (or 2.25 years) it was paying out 40 cents a share in dividends per quarter. Now it is paying out 62 cents, a 55% increase. That is 24.4% per year (not annualized that is just 55%/2.25 years). Once again, I wish my salary could come close to keeping up with that pace.

Ok, Bank of Nova Scotia has announced now. They have increased the dividend to 39 cents from 36 cents, a 3 cent increase or about 8.3%. I was hoping for a little more than that but that is still pretty good. M has only had the stock since the beginning of February of this year and the stock is now trading at less than what she bought it at so I don't have any impressive comparisons to make like I do with BMO.

Overall the banks have had another quarter of good earnings. TD seemed to disappoint a little bit but that should be a fairly temporary thing. In this rising interest rate environment the banks should start to get squeezed a little bit as their margins should come under pressure (the difference between the interest they have to pay to borrow money and what they charge to lend it out) and as their loan losses start to increase (the number of loans that people default on and the bank just writes off) but it seems like they have generally been doing fairly well in this past quarter.

Disclaimer: I am not a financial advisor or investment professional. The information I have presented here should not be taken in any way shape or form as financial advice. Before investing in anything you should do your own research and come to your own conclusions.
category: Personal Finance posted on Monday May 29, 2006 at 14:14:55 by: 0xCC

Tax Refund - Direct Deposit vs. Cheque Update

I'm sure that everyone is eager to find out what happened with m's tax refund. Ok, maybe not but I'll tell you anyway.

As I mentioned in the earlier post on this, I have my tax refund deposited directly into my bank account, m gets a cheque sent to her. My refund was deposited into my account on May 11 and on May 15 I got my Notice of Assessment in the mail, but there was no sign of m's Notice of Assessment and refund cheque. On May 16 m's cheque and Notice of Assessment came, 5 days after my refund was deposited into my account and a day after I received my Notice of Assessment. Obviously if you are interested in getting your tax refund as fast as possible you should sign up for the direct deposit option if you haven't already.
category: Personal Finance posted on Wednesday May 24, 2006 at 10:09:40 by: 0xCC

Sam Spendalot - Payday and Update

When we last left Sam his accounts looked like this:
Main account: $2127.01
Cash in pocket: $55
Credit Card balance: $0
High Interest Savings account: $400.57

Sam got paid last week. As usual that meant a total of $1600.04 deposited in his account. Sam then took $100 and put it into his high interest savings account.

Cash Spending
There have been 10 working days since the last update. Sam is still getting his morning muffin and coffee for $3 a day for a total of $30 over 10 days. Sam has tried once again to bring brown bag some of his lunches. He managed to brown bag it twice over the last two weeks so he only bought lunch 8 times at an average of $8 each time, a total of $64. Sam had $55 in his pocket after the last update and he has spent $94 so he had to go to the bank machine again, taking out $60. That leaves the cash in his pocket at $21.

Regular Expenses
The 15th of the month has come and past since the last update. That means that a bunch of Sam's regular expenses had to be paid. These include the hydro and water ($95), the phone ($100), the cell phone ($50) and the cable ($70) for a total of $315.

Groceries
Sam went to the grocery store twice over the last couple of weeks, spending a total of $130. Also, with this weekend being the long weekend Sam decided that he should celebrate the unofficial start of summer by getting some beer. So he spent $41 on a case of beer.

Gifts
Last weekend was mother's day. Of course Sam couldn't get away without spending any money on gifts. So he got some nice flowers and a card for a total of $35.

Car Expenses
Sam has had to fill up the car twice in the last two weeks. Gas prices have been fairly high until the last few days so Sam had to pay 109.3 cents/litre for one fill up and 101.5 cents/litre for the other. At 45 litres each fill up that makes a total of $94.85.

Sam also had to get some maintenance done on his car. He had a regular oil change for $40 but when the car got the regular once-over the mechanics suggested that his brake pads and rotors needed to be replaced. So $420 later Sam had new rotors and pads on his car. He put the total repair bill of $460 on his credit card.

So after all this Sam's accounts now look like this:
Main account: $2539.49
Cash in pocket: $21
Credit Card balance: $460
High Interest Savings account: $500.57

Just finding out about Sam Spendalot? Use these links to navigate through the series:
Start of series.
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category: Personal Finance posted on Sunday May 21, 2006 at 09:49:52 by: 0xCC

That hurt...

The TSX dropped about 1.7% today, most of the drop coming from the metals and energy sectors. The effect on our portfolio was pretty much in line with the effect on the overall market, maybe slightly less. It really sucks to see that much market value evaporate in one day however, this may be the time for a little perspective. The 1987 crash saw the TSE 300 (it was still called the TSE then, not the TSX) lose 11.5% in one day. That's almost 10 times what happened today. I wasn't involved in the markets then (I was only 14 at the time) so I have no idea what that day was like, but today, only 10% of Black Monday really hurt. I'm just glad I'm trying to focus on income, not portfolio value. I'll just keep telling myself that...
category: Personal Finance posted on Monday May 15, 2006 at 21:36:15 by: 0xCC

Tax Refund - Direct Deposit vs. Cheque

M and I filed our tax returns via Netfile two weeks ago today (April 30). M hasn't signed up for direct deposit but I have been getting my tax returns via direct deposit for as long as I can remember. My tax return was deposited into my account on May 11. M is still waiting for her cheque to come in the mail. I think we will probably see it tomorrow or Tuesday, it depends on how energetic our mail person feels tomorrow. The other problem with not using direct deposit is that you still have to make the trip to the bank to actually depoit the cheque. I use online banking for most of the banking I do for the both of us and really only go to the bank to take out cash. Now we are going to have to make another trip to the bank, hopefully this week.

And by the way both of our refunds are earmarked for investments. The cash will make a brief stop in the bank account on its way to the brokerage account.
category: Personal Finance posted on Sunday May 14, 2006 at 22:19:20 by: 0xCC

Sam Spendalot - Payday and Update

When we last left Sam his accounts looked like this:
Main account: $2709.02
Cash in pocket: $23
Credit Card balance: $226
High Interest Savings account: $300.07

That was 8 working days ago. Sam is still spending $3 a day on a coffee and muffin and on average spends $8 on lunch at work. So for those 8 working days that works out to $24 in coffee/muffins and $64 in lunches for a total of $88. Since Sam only had $23 in his pocket at the end of the last update so he actually went to the bank machine twice, withdrawing a total of $120. That leaves $55 in Sam's pocket ($23 + $120 - $88). Once again Sam used the bank machine that he found recently that is a little further away from his work but is his bank's machine so he saves $3 in bank fees by using it.

Since the last update we have passed the first of the month. This means that a bunch of Sam's regular payments were due. These expenses are the mortgage ($871.55), car insurance ($122.58), car loan ($280.33) and condo fees ($240) for a total of $1514.46.

Sam has bought groceries twice since the last update, spending a total of $130 on groceries. Sam has also had to fill up his car twice since the last update. Gas prices has been up a little bit lately so Sam had to pay $1.034 for one fill up but the second fill up a couple of days ago was a little cheaper at 95.7 cents. At 45 litres each fill up that is $46.53 and $43.06. Sam also had to pay his credit card bill. His credit card balance was $226 when we last left him and he paid that off totally on May 1. Finally, at the end of the month $3 of bank charges from his bank were taken out of his account because he used a bank machine that wasn't his bank's machine twice in April.

Sam also got a little bit of interest paid to him in his high interest savings account. At the beginning of April Sam had $100.07 in that account. So that $100.07 accrued interest for the full 30 days of April. The interest rate on this account is 2.9% which translates into a daily rate of 0.0079%. On April 6 Sam added another $100 so that was in the account for 24 days and finally on April 20 Sam added another $100 and that was in the account for 10 days. So we have 100.07 * 0.0079% * 30 = 23 cents and 100 * 0.0079% *24 = 19 cents and 100 * 0.0079% * 10 = 8 cents for a total of 50 cents. So Sam's high interest account is now at $300.57.

Finally, Sam got paid last week and it is a good thing that he did. After his regular monthly expenses and the other expenses listed in this update his main account balance is down to under $650. Sam's net pay is 1600.04 and of that he immediatly puts $100 into his high interest savings account. Here is what Sam's accounts look like after this update:

Main account: $2127.01
Cash in pocket: $55
Credit Card balance: $0
High Interest Savings account: $400.57

Just finding out about Sam Spendalot? Use these links to navigate through the series:
Start of series.
Previous update.
Next update.
category: Personal Finance posted on Sunday May 07, 2006 at 09:02:07 by: 0xCC