5 stocks I bought more of in 2020

5 stocks I bought more of in 2020

I’ve been a DIY investor for over 10 years now.

So, coupled with a prior decade of leveraging an advisor and largely investing through trial-and-error, I believe I have some genuine “do’s” and “don’ts” when it comes to investing to share.

Earlier this year, I posted this article – 5 stocks I want to buy more of in 2020.

5 stocks I want to buy more of in 2020

I figured it would be interesting to recap what I did actually buy (or didn’t), why, and how things turned out.

Telus (T)

Our Canadian telco space remains rather unique in that only a handful of players dominate the market: Telus (T), Bell (BCE), and Rogers (RCI.B). 

Over the last decade as a DIY investor, I’ve focused on owning just Telus and BCE.

Earlier this year, I wrote: “I hope to add another 100+ shares of Telus to my portfolio to this year. That could be inside my Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) with upcoming available contribution room.”

Well, I did just that. I bought more of Telus stock inside my TFSA around their pre-split adjusted price of $25 per share back in early January. Basically, I bought at a slightly lower price than it trades today at the time of this post.

Shares in Telus now make up about 3% of our overall portfolio. I’m now DRIPping over 10 shares per quarter.

Canadian National Railway (CNR)

Canadian National Railway (CNR) is in the rail transportation business, with a network of some 20,000 miles across North America. If you need to ship something across our continent, it’s probably coming via use of CN rail.

CNR map

Based on the need for this business, a company that has a very wide moat in this sector, I have full confidence CNR will continue paying a dividend let alone increasing their dividend over time.

I bought a few more shares of CNR inside my RRSP this summer when their stock market tanked due to the pandemic. I bought those shares around $120. CNR now trades close to $140 at the time of this post. I’ll continue to add more shares when I can – but my RRSP is fully out of contribution room and has been for almost an entire year.

Canadian Apartment REIT (CAR.UN)

Buy land, they’re not making it anymore.” – Mark Twain

Love that quote. 

CAPREIT remains one of Canada’s largest real estate investment trusts, and they also own residential units beyond Canada’s borders. I like this type of built-in type of diversification from many of my Canadian stocks.

I had good intentions of owning more CAR.UN this year but I simply didn’t buy as many shares as I would have liked. Earlier this year, I wrote: “…I would be very happy to add a few hundred more shares of this stock for income and growth, and to reinvest all dividends paid with.”

I only managed to purchase a few dozen shares but that brought up my total to a few hundred shares now owned. At the time of this post CAR.UN now trades at about $50 per share but I suspect it’s going to move higher in the coming years!

Emera (EMA)

I was very bullish on EMA following an earlier acquisition, Florida-based TECO Energy.

Well, I put my money where my mouth was and bought more of EMA inside my TFSA earlier this year as well.

Shares in EMA now make up about 4% of our overall portfolio. I’m now DRIPping 5 shares of EMA per quarter. EMA was purchased just shy of $56 in early January 2020. At the time of this post, I’m underwater from that price point – EMA current trades around $54. I have no intentions of selling EMA right now.

Brookfield Property Partners (BPY.UN or BPY)

While this member of the Brookfield family remains a diversified global real estate company (that owns, operates and develops one of the largest portfolios in the world) of office, retail, multifamily, industrial, hospitality, triple net lease, self-storage, student housing and more – this stock has taken a beating.

I was very giddy about the growing capital not to mention yield from this stock about this time last year, but my, have things changed due the pandemic.

In early January 2020, BPY.UN was priced closer to $26 per share. The pandemic pushed this real estate company down to a low of nearly $10 in early April this year. BPY has steadily come back over the last few months, now trading just over $19 CDN at the time of this post.

Did I buy some, yes, a small portion also in the summer but I’m actually a bit nervous about a future dividend cut. We’ll see if that happens…Thoughts?

Did I purchase other stocks or ETFs in 2020?

I certainly did.

In fact, I did some minor housekeeping in my portfolio you can read about here.

Lessons learned in diversification – reducing my Canadian home bias

Given I already have a healthy amount of Canadian banks and pipeline stocks from our dominant financial and energy sectors respectively, I recently decided to buy more low-cost ETFs to both simplify my portfolio while increasing my diversification beyond our borders. That seems like a win-win.

For the curious, I continue to keep the Canadian portion of my overall portfolio aligned to some of these personal rules:

  • Keep 20-30% maximum in Canadian financials including banks.
  • No more than 20% energy stocks including pipeline stocks such as ENB, TRP. 
  • Target about 10-15% utilities. Although I’m a huge fan of Canadian renewable stocks like AQN, INE, CPX and others. Hint: I intend to buy more of these in 2021. 
  • Keep 5-10% communications; including Telus above.
  • Keep any one individual stock holding at <5% of the overall portfolio, although I’m fine should some of my low-cost indexed ETFs become weighted at >5% of my portfolio – and they will over time. 

2020 was a challenging investing year yet despite many ups and downs, I didn’t make many trades which was good for my overall plan. In fact, I frequently bought more stocks when things were on sale.

At the end of this year I further diversified my portfolio and throughout the year I managed to save up money to fund the gift that is our Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) in another week.

Overall, a very good investing year.

As 2020 comes to a close and 2021 draws near, including some new TFSA contribution room, I’ll highlight any new purchases and how those investments may help any future income stream for our semi-retirement plans in the coming years.

Happy Investing in 2021! See you here often next year!


My name is Mark Seed - the founder, editor and owner of My Own Advisor. As my own DIY financial advisor, I'm looking to start semi-retirement soon, sooner than most. Find out how, what I did, and what you can learn to tailor your own financial independence path. Join the newsletter read by thousands each day, always FREE.

18 Responses to "5 stocks I bought more of in 2020"

  1. Mark, I own and agree with you on 4 of the 5 you mention. I owned BPY.UN for a few years but tired of its perpetual underperformance and sold about 3 years ago. I replaced it with CAR.UN and the ETF RIT. Both have outperformed their peers. Also did well with NVU.UN this year and hung on thru the takeover for the attractive capital gain. I then used the proceeds to purchase VRIF to add a little more diversity to my portfolio.

  2. A bit of a big personal struggle I am going through lately is the support of REITs. On the west coast through political and community work on affordable housing I am seeing the damage that REITs are doing to the housing and rental market. The commodification of housing in Canada (North America) continues to drive up rental prices to ensure shareholders see returns and growth. This in turn harms lower income earners and families. I will continue to divest from any REITs I continue to hold. Housing Affordability in Canada is in a perilous spot. I struggle to do the right thing and in todays society it seems money has the largest voice.

    A friend on Vancouver Island, specifically Nanaimo wrote on this topic which I have pulled excerpts from…

    “So, there was a time when there were no fewer than 21 multi-unit affordable rental properties in Nanaimo in various states of repair or disrepair, some of them real slums, that were snapped up by Calgary-based Northview REIT, a real estate investment trust trading on the Toronto stock exchange.

    Last year I moved into one of these slums sight unseen, renting from afar, trusting the online photos, and knowing nothing about REITs. (I’ve since moved out.) What little interest the company showed in repairs and maintenance was more than compensated for by their interest in rent increases and collection. Last year the company enjoyed a 6 per cent yield for investors, off the backs of renters who mostly had nowhere else to turn, given the low vacancy rate.

    I’ve just now read that Northview REIT, which has a hand in cookie jars all across the country, was taken over last month in a $4.5 billion all-cash deal that goes down as the largest acquisition in the Canadian multi-residential sector in history. The new corporate landlords, Starlight Investments and KingSett, are themselves real estate investment trusts. They promise to build on “Northview’s tenant focus by maintaining high-quality, well-operated and sustainable buildings,” but what REITs are all about, of course, is financializing the housing market, which is the last step in the logic of commercializing it for heavy profits.”

    1. That’s a great example of things going wrong with real estate Chris. I often wonder where this will all end? Higher rates won’t trigger a collapse. I suspect something else might happen since affordability is getting out of reach, although I don’t blame all REITs for that.


      1. I agree on the point that there has to be some good well run REITs out there, they all cant be bad (I hope). It goes a bit back to the return on investment growth that is built into our stock market system when something is publicly traded and requires annually shareholder return. The only way to show growth is by raising rents. Ones that tell investors that you will get XX dollar per year, no more no less, are probably the ones that are for the long term return on the dollar. I’m struggling to wrap my head around being mindful with my investments as I continue to move forward.

        If you have time watch this full documentary, otherwise a good start is 1hr:02min remaining on the time bar

        1. Thanks for the link Chris. That should be interesting. I will try and find some time to put it on in the background in the coming weeks.

          Happy New Year and looking forward to sharing my interview questions with you in January sometime 🙂

  3. Good job Mark. I’m also looking to add more Telus in my TFSA next week. My big winner in 2020 is AcuityAds Holdings, which is up over 300% four months.

    1. Whoa, 300%??

      Ya, I don’t see EMA or CNR or others ballooning that much. More so, slow and steady about 7-8% in the coming years. Speculative plays can pay off big!

      Happy New Year to you Calgary_Girl – I hope all is well.

  4. 4 out of 5 winners is pretty darn good Mark! I too bought BPY and have taken a beating. I think if I get back close to my purchase price I’ll get out. I’m happy with my other purchases AQN and VYM. Good luck in 2021.

    1. AQN seems poised for great long-term returns and dividend income increasing over time. I expect a 5-10% raise by March 2020 from them.

      VYM should continue to churn out 3% yield for life and offer some price appreciation over time as well. 10-year returns are about 11% I recall from VYM. It’s had a terrible year (2020) but I expect the top holdings will recover with time!

      Happy Holidays to you!


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