What’s in your portfolio? Dividend Ninja

Last month I reached out to various bloggers and financial experts to ask what’s in their portfolio.  More specifically, I wanted to pick their brains to find out what their investing goals were, learn a little about their investing strategies, uncover some of the products they own and see what advice they might have for other investors.  As it turns out they had lots to share.  So far, here is what some experts shared:

Larry MacDonald’s portfolio.

The Passive Income Earner portfolio.

Here is what I asked Dividend Ninja and what he kindly shared back:

1. Describe your investing goals in a few short sentences:

No doubt about it, I’m strictly after a steady flow of monthly income. Since I’m nearing 50, and plan to retire at 55 (or earlier), retirement income is of prime importance for me.  Combined with my Defined Benefit Pension Plan through work, business income, my dividend stocks and bond ETFs give me a predictable cash flow.  I am able to know exactly my monthly income, and this gives me a very objective view of my income for retirement.  So far retirement at 55 is looking realistic.

2. Describe your investing strategy that helps you fulfill your goals:

From an investment point of view, high quality dividend paying stocks and bond ETFs give me consistent cash flow.  I don’t need to worry about what the stock market is doing, whether it’s breaking record highs or falling like a knife.  As long as my high-quality companies continue to pay dividends, I’m generating cash flow. I can simply ignore the market fluctuations in my portfolio. Even with the market breaking record highs, I have no need to sell.  In fact I hardly check my portfolio at all.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that I can’t partake in growth.  It’s no secret that dividend stocks have performed and recovered very well since the financial crisis. This has certainly helped offset the declining yield of dividend portfolios. But since I’m not planning to sell any of my shares, it’s a moot point.

One big advantage I see about holding dividend stocks is companies can raise their dividends over time.  These dividend increases are definitely an inflation-fighter, and the compounding power of dividend-growth simply can’t be beat.   My bond ETFs also provide monthly income. It’s also my cushion if and when the equity markets tank. Whether we have a crash or correction in the foreseeable future, my bond ETFs allow me to sleep at night.

3. List some of the investing products you own that help you with your investing strategy:

All of my equity holdings are now in dividend paying stocks:  Husky Energy (HSE), Bank of Montreal (BMO), McDonald’s Corp. (MCD), Coca-Cola (KO), Telus (T), and Teck Resources (TCK), to name a few.  I also hold other dividend paying stocks which are not dividend growth companies, but pay consistent dividends, such as Rogers Sugar (RSI). For bonds I continue to hold only 3 positions, TD Canadian Bond Index Fund e-series (TDB909) and iShares CLF and XBB.

4. What advice do you have for other investors based on what’s working with your approach?

Once you buy a great company just stick with it and hold for the long term. Don’t worry about the ups and downs. Imagine if I had have kept my shares in Shoppers Drug Mart I paid $34 for (now close to $60), or topped up my holdings of Cisco Systems when it as down to $15 per share (now over $20).  I also sleep at night by having a portion of my portfolio in fixed-income. So far I’m very pleased with my shift from mutual funds to dividend stocks and bond ETFs. I have no regrets – I’m set for retirement by focusing on income rather than the market activity.

The real key is to have a plan and stick with it!  As so many great investors have said, “it’s not timing the market; it’s time in the market that counts.”

Although Dividend Ninja’s approach is not passive per se, it’s the same strategy, he understands how wealth is established, money invested in the market over time.  He is not chasing performance nor does he seem to care what the latest stock fads are.  His approach reminds me of some recent investing advice that never goes out of style:

“If done properly, successful investing entertains as much as watching clothes tumble in the dryer window – William Bernstein.

A big thanks to Dividend Ninja for participating in my series what’s in your portfolio?  Stay tuned for more profiles in future blogposts.

Disclaimer:  The contents of this post are not recommendations for any individual investor but have been shared to educate readers and provide insight into how others are managing their portfolios.  My Own Advisor is not a financial professional.   Every reader is encouraged to seek help from a financial professional before making any important investment decisions.

Filed in: Investor Profiles

17 Responses to "What’s in your portfolio? Dividend Ninja"

  1. Wow, you’re getting close to your retirement age – you must be looking forward to it. I love seeing some of the stocks in other people’s portfolios. I’ve heard a lot of advice about holding for the long term despite the ups and downs. Sounds like good advice.

    • Hi Daisy,

      Thanks! Yes I’m certainly looking forward to retirement… and I may even consider taking the leap before 55 if the business income will support it. I’d love to stay on to 55 to get the pension if I could – but its a tough grind in the healthcare field these days.

      Yes, no doubt about it. Buy and Hold! Anything I sold, turned around and went on to increase in value… Once you view your portfolio as an income generator, it takes out needing to worry about the value of your holdings. Makes it easier for me to stay the course!


  2. Brian So says:

    Glad to hear you don’t have to worry about your portfolio. Must be much easier to sleep at night :)

    • Hi Brian,

      Well what’s the point in worrying? I have no control over the market or the outcome of my holdings, so just hold and stay the course…

      When are you going to come back and write for me? :)


  3. Mark, thanks for including me in your series! Glad to be a part of it…


  4. Great interview! Congrats on getting so close to retirement… the end is in sight! :) Best of luck and thanks for sharing for wisdom!

  5. Moneycone says:

    Nice read Ninja! You can’t go wrong with high quality stocks. What is your dividend reinvestment strategy? Do you DRIP or you follow an accumulate-invest strategy?

    • MC welcome back!

      Funny you should ask, becuase I was going to write a post on this.

      Until recently I have DRIPped everything I can, for two main reasons. (1) I can purchase new shares without having to pay a commission , and (2) I can get extra money working for me right away without sitting on cash. Of course the main reason to DRIP is to take full advantage of compounding dividend growth.

      However two weeks ago I stopped the DRIPs on everything, except for one holding (HSE), and am now accumulating cash. Part of the reason is increasing stock prices. I also want to accumulate more cash to invest in other companies other than what I currently hold. Maybe even top-up fixed income…


    • Hey MoneyCone,

      Good to hear from you again, glad you enjoyed the post!

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