November 2022 Dividend Income Update

November 2022 Dividend Income Update

Wow, this year is flying by…

Welcome to my latest monthly dividend income update: my November 2021 dividend income update.

Putting assets in the right location

As a passionate investor and subscriber to this site, you already know that I have a two-pronged hybrid approach to investing:

Generally speaking:

  • In our non-registered accounts + our TFSAs we own mostly Canadian stocks.
  • In our RRSPs we own mostly U.S. stocks and ETFs.

This approach remains helpful to highlight since it aligns directly with my income needs related portfolio drawdown thoughts. 

Dividend income taxation versus capital gains taxation

When I was just starting out my dividend income investing journey, I found the rules around dividend taxation very messy and confusing to say the least. Yet, over decades in support of my investing journey I’ve learned dividends can be an efficient form of taxation while delivering the sought-after meaningful income I intend to spend in semi-retirement as I work part-time.

In fact:

  • In Ontario (where I live), a person can earn up to $35,000 in non-eligible dividends, or about $50,000 in eligible dividends and pay no tax (other than health premiums) as long as they have no other income.
  • If a person is entitled to a spousal tax credit, dividend income can sometimes be transferred between spouses on their tax returns to minimize tax.

But, dividends aren’t everything:

  • For seniors receiving Old Age Security (OAS) benefits, the dividend gross-up system can cause the loss of benefits if the dividend gross-up causes a senior to have income above the clawback threshold. (Really, I’ve always mentioned that any OAS clawbacks are a nice high income problem to have!!)
  • Dividend income is taxed, certainly when combined with other income sources above certain levels in a taxable account, so when an investor has significant dividend income, capital gains could be a much more efficient form of taxation.

That brings me to this: income types are treated differently by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) which makes our tax system very challenging to navigate. For example, like employment income, interest income typically earned on such investments as Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) or savings accounts is taxed at an individual’s highest marginal tax rate, making it the least efficient form of investment income. This means, any GICs and/or bonds that deliver interest bearing income should usually be owned in registered accounts (such as TFSAs, RRSPs, RRIFs, etc.). Again, not always just some considerations for you.

This information is important to impart because it has provided long-term guidance to me (and hopefully to you?) on what assets you could consider owning where for tax purposes WHILE optimizing portfolio growth over time. My investing investing approach includes dividends but also capital gains/growth, purposely. 

  • Dividends paid to shareholders from Canadian corporations receive more favourable tax treatment, since this type of income benefits from the federal dividend tax credit. Therefore, far more than interest income, dividend income is more tax-efficient which ultimately means that investors in dividend-paying investments keep more of what they earn after taxes.
  • Capital gains are an outstanding way to invest – given gains materialize when you sell your investment for a higher price than what you paid for it. This difference is recognized as taxable income. Capital gains also receive relatively favourable tax treatment, since only half of the capital gain is subject to taxation. 

Here is a quick summary of in table format what I shared above, distributions you may receive and how they are taxed:

Type of distributionDescriptionTax Treatment
InterestInterest is earned on investments such as GICs and bonds.Fully taxable at the same marginal tax rate as ordinary income, like employment income. 
Canadian dividendsIncome when you invest in shares of Canadian public corporations that pay dividends.Preferential tax treatment for individuals through dividend tax credits as either eligible or non-eligible dividends. 

Check out my post on the Canadian Dividend Tax Credit (DTC) here.

Capital gainsRealized when an investment is sold for more than the adjusted cost based (ACB) of the investment.Preferential tax treatment as only 50% of a capital gain is taxable.

There are also foreign dividends and return of capital (ROC) as potential tax liabilities, but I’ll leave that post for another day. 

Dividend income versus self-made dividends via capital gains

Some points to hit on, as they relate to this debate:

  1. Total returns (always) matter. That means, whether my income is derived from a mix of capital gains, dividends or interest, it is my hope to get the best possible returns to help realize my spending goals. 
  2. Income really matters to me/us. That means, while I strive to achieve strong total returns, as an investor I can’t help but feel and invest in a way that gives me comfort: dividend investing delivers tangible, usable, real income from my portfolio. I will be using the income generated from our taxable portfolio that is part of these reports, in a few years in fact, to help fund part of our lifestyle. 
  3. Optimal tax efficiency is great but not at the expense of #1 or #2 above. That means, achieving tax efficiency while very important should never be the first consideration in any investment plan – at least this is not for us. This means, while lower taxation is great and remains an objective, I don’t want taxation to veto my personal finance objectives.

So this brings me back to my income needs and portfolio drawdown thoughts. 

November 2022 Dividend Income Update

Income needs

Earning $30,000 per year inside our tax-free (thanks TFSA) and inside our taxable accounts has always been a multi-decade goal on this site since we believe that income will cover most of our basic living expenses for as long as we live.

We believe earning $30,000 per year, from part of our portfolio, excluding all RRSP assets, ignoring all workplace pensions, not including future government benefits like CPP and OAS, let alone part-time work at all should be “enough” to start semi-retirement with. That income is intended to cover “the big 3” expenses: food, housing and transportation without any debt. 

(I’ve always figured if you get the income managed to cover those expenses and decisions in life right – you’re way ahead in the financial independence game….)

Portfolio drawdown thoughts

Depending on when you plan to retire or semi-retire like I might, the tax consequences involved, and much more, you can probably appreciate the drawdown order could be very different between any two retirees.

This means for us, even if/when we hit our desired target above, it is very likely we will not tap any TFSA assets in particular for the coming decades. Rather, the TFSA income stream will be there when we need it.

Here are some key ideas/sequences to consider and I’ll link to my currently preferred drawdown order later.

1. NRT = Non-registered (N), RRSPs (R), TFSAs (T)

This sequence might work well if you have built up a modest taxable account value by your 50s or 60s and you might have higher income needs and wants in retirement.

To fight longevity risk, you can exhaust your non-registered account first, allowing tax-deferred money (RRSP) and tax-free investments (TFSA) to grow and compound away.

NRT might work well for those to fight longevity risk, may apply to those retirees with any workplace pensions to draw from, and help those investors who wish to defer Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and/or Old Age Security (OAS) benefits until a maximum age. 

When to take your CPP benefit.

2. NTR = Non-registered (N), TFSAs (T), RRSPs (R)

Also in this sequence, you can consider tapping your taxable account first but reverse the order between TFSAs and RRSPs – keeping RRSP assets “until the end”.

The benefit of this approach is you have some long-term income splitting opportunities, while money continues to compound tax-deferred. (If you are the recipient of a pension and are 65 or older, you may split income from your RRSP, RRIF, life annuity, and other qualifying payments.)

The challenge however for some retirees is by keeping RRSP/RRIF assets preserved well into their 70s and 80s, these seniors could be subject to OAS clawbacks depending on their income level. Recall OAS is an inflation-protected government benefit that few retirees want clawed back!

What is OAS and how to avoid OAS clawback?

Of course, there are combinations of orders to consider including blended approaches that might work well for many but the punchline is usually the same when it comes to any of my portfolio drawdown analysis:

  1. the ability and opportunity to “smooth out taxes” is ideal (to avoid lumpy tax hits in any one year), while
  2. meeting income needs every year that rise and combat inflation and other retirement headwinds, while
  3. preserving some smart tax-efficient estate management approaches as you age. 

Don’t forget the fine print – consider beneficiaries and more for your investment accounts here.

My drawdown order

As a planned (hopefully!) semi-retiree in a few years, I’m thinking my portfolio drawdown order will be primarily NRT.

That means:

N – Regarding non-registered accounts

  • Work part-time in our 50s.
  • In our 50s and 60s, “live off dividends” from non-registered accounts and/or make slow capital withdrawals. 

R – Regarding RRSPs/RRIFs

  • In our 50s and 60s, slowly drawdown RRSPs and eventually convert RRSPs to RRIFs. This will help “smooth out taxes” and offer up some income splitting opportunities for our RRIFs when we turn age 65. 

T – Regarding TFSAs

  • We don’t intend to touch our TFSA assets in any early retirement. 
  • By our late-70s and early-80s, with likely non-registered assets and our RRSPs/RRIFs nearly gone, we can potentially “live off tax-free dividends” (thanks TFSAs!) along with some government benefits (CPP and OAS).

November 2022 Dividend Income Update Summary

At this point in the post, you’ve learned about why I’ve been so focused on building up various income streams across our portfolio over the years, what assets go where, and hopefully how I’m intending to tap those income streams in some possible drawdown orders. 

We started 2022 with a potential dividend income target. 

January 1, 2022 Dividend Income Target

We’ve blown past that target thanks to reinvested dividends, adding some new capital but also thanks to many, many dividend raises in 2022.

While dividends from any stocks are never guaranteed (looking at you AQN!), we continue to believe owning a collection of dividend paying stocks puts the odds of long-term income and growth for semi-retirement fun in our favour. 

As of this past month, our November 2022 forward dividend income for the year now sits at $28,909.

November 2022 Dividend Income Update

That income accelerated a bunch thanks to these recent raises:

  • TD – 7.9% increase
  • NA – 5.4% increase
  • BMO – 3% increase
  • RY – 3% increase
  • CM – 2.4% increase.

That income total is what we should earn, by the end of December 2022, should no dividends get cut, no dividends get reinvested, and I don’t buy anything else this year inside some of our key wealth-building investment portfolio accounts. 🙂

I do of course hope no dividends get cut or reduced and I will reinvest my dividends earned inside the TFSAs for sure – so this income should be higher in another few weeks.

This income level by far and away exceeds our desired 2022 goal when we started investing this year.

To put that forward dividend income into perspective:

  • Almost half of that annual income is tax-free for future retirement spending and fun. 
  • This income translates to earning about $2,409 per month.
  • This income also means we earn close to $80 per day. 

Thanks for reading and sharing.

I look forward to your questions or just comments as I plan to publish our final 2022 tally in a few more weeks!

Further reading including my perferred drawdown order:

Overlooked retirement income and planning considerations

And other reads:

Tax treatment of Canadian dividend paying stocks

And if you want to hire me, never an obligation of course since my content is always free here!

I also run a site with my partner called Cashflows & Portfolios, a site dedicated to free content for any age but also low-cost services about how to drawdown your retirement portfolio and provide personal, tailored answers to these time-tested questions:

  • How much can I safely spend in retirement?
  • Will I run out of money?
  • What accounts should I drawdown first?
  • What is the best drawdown order for tax efficiency?
  • When should I take CPP or OAS?
  • How much will my estate be taxed?
  • And more!

Cashflows & Portfolios

Hit me up with an email anytime.

More new content is coming soon!

Mark

My name is Mark Seed - the founder, editor and owner of My Own Advisor. As my own DIY financial advisor, I've surpassed my goal and now investing beyond the 7-figure portfolio to start semi-retirement with. 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.

35 Responses to "November 2022 Dividend Income Update"

  1. Hi May: That it is. I didn’t accumulate it over night though. I started slow because I wasn’t making a lot and my situation made it so the only thing I could do was save and invest money. It has built up and this month is the highest at a little over $28,000.00, but January is not to far behind at about $22,000.00. February is the lowest at a little over $3700.00 and than there is the $17,000.00 that I make at home annually. This doesn’t take into account interest earned or the pensions. Most were bought in the $12.00- $32.00 range and there have been many stock splits.

    Reply
  2. Congrats, Mark. You are one year ahead of your target.

    When I look into our RRSPs account, we are actually also pretty ahead. We would be 17% ahead of investment income from RRSPs account if we retire this year and using group RRSPs to buy DGI stocks. The bear market actually helped us to achieve our target sooner as we definitely dripped more shares. That’s the nice part of DGI strategies.

    So plans have to be changed when things changed too. When we eventually retire, I guess we will just buy higher growth equities using our group RRSPs instead of dividends stocks.

    Reply
    1. Thanks very much. Decades in the making, really. Ha.
      We hope to cross $29k in December and I hope $30k by mid-2023 if things go OK although I suspect there is a dividend cut coming to AQN which could hurt me a bit. Luckily, AQN <1.5% of my portfolio value, closer to 1%, so not a big hit.

      Not sure about 2023 TFSA contributions yet, don’t know what to buy but thinking of BCE and maybe some WCP too.

      I own a mix of dividend growth stocks (as you know) and some low-cost ETFs for growth although growth might be hard to come by in the coming years but I should be able to “live off dividends” from the ETF distributions too. That’s the plan anyhow as to not touch any capital in the first 5 years or so….

      Mark

      Reply
        1. Analysts have the target price closer to $14 in a year. We’ll see! Industry leader as well and ripe for any acquisition over time. Somewhat speculative, I admit. Dividend payouts are variable and fluctuate which is OK by me in a taxable account.

          Mark

          Reply
  3. Hi Mark: The reason I mentioned options was because one of my golf captains was into covered call options. His favorite was First Quantum and he tried to explain it to me but I couldn’t grasp it, so I dropped it as a bad idea. Actually what he was doing was making small capital gains every so often. I can make more money with a large stream of dividends coming in, which increase in value every year.

    Reply
  4. What are your thoughts on using XAW or XEI in a corporate investment account?
    I thought about the Horizons all in one ETF’s but wonder about regulatory risks down the road for products such as HBAL.
    From a practicality point of view, do you maintain a spreadsheet that keeps track of all your dividend income coming in per month?

    Reply
    1. That’s the only thing really holding me back, Sue.
      XEI seems to be good but I need to better define how the dividends might “flow through” for me over time.
      Here is a good reference:
      https://enrichedthinking.scotiawealthmanagement.com/2022/11/04/passive-income-taxation-for-canadian-controlled-private-corporations/

      XAW would be very simple and very lazy and I own some in my TFSA for that reason 🙂
      I’ll keep you and others posted on what I decide in 2023.

      Mark

      Reply
  5. Hi Mark: I think you will find that you don’t need as much money when you retire. Every day I had to travel 30kil. to and from work, but that all changed when I was laid off. Putting off buying gas for later as the car was not used as much. Only driving to the supermarket or the golf course and a few trips through the year to visit my brother in Brockville. When I got laid off I had $400,560.00 and 6 3/4 years later I was over a million. I remember saying to dad that what would I do and he said that I had enough to worry about just looking after my portfolio and he was right. I have a large capital loss on the books, but it is just on paper. A lot of it came from BCE as when they took over Aliant and I had a lot of Aliant shares, they averaged the price at $30.43 and my average was over $33.00. That on paper was a loss of over $27,000.00. My 9387 shares of Aliant became 5960 shares of BCE. That gave me 9620 shares of BCE so in 2020 I evened up and bought another 80 to bring me to 9700 shares of BCE. Investing is a lifelong occupation an when you retire there should be no draw down, just reinvest when there are opportunities to reinvest. I was at the wedding of my next door neighbor and there was a guy there who worked for Daniel Reeves. He had written a paperback on invest and this guy gave me a copy. Part of the strategy was called the 3 buckets were you invested in registered plans, outside registered plans and insurance. All great, but I saw if I did all this my portfolio would be rich but I wouldn’t have anything to live off of. Some people invest in options. Some people invest in real estate, but my dad always said to stick to your own knitting and he was right as I really don’t understand options and being a landlord has its drawbacks, so I think I will stick to the stock market and buy blue chip stocks.

    Reply
    1. Awesome details, Ronald.

      “Some people invest in real estate, but my dad always said to stick to your own knitting and he was right as I really don’t understand options and being a landlord has its drawbacks, so I think I will stick to the stock market and buy blue chip stocks.”

      I agree. Invest where you can and what you know of – such that you can stick to that approach over time – for better chances of success.
      Mark

      Reply
  6. Hi Mark: I go by the saying that its not what you make, its what you keep. I try to make best use of the tax system, but being single it is hard. I have most of my money in dividend paying stocks in non registered accounts. My pension I can’t live on and it drips into a high interest savings account along with my CPP. The OAS is all clawed back and thanks to Justin I am now in the 33% bracket. My monthly earnings are about $19333.34 and per day is about $635.62. I pay a lot in taxes, but I would pay more if I couldn’t take off a little over $46000.00 in dividend tax credits. Like my brother say’s nobody will feel sorry for me. Part of money management is building your net worth and making a Will. The only time I take money out of the Waterhouse account is to transfer to my checking account so I can pay Revenue Canada.. The TFSA will be added to and the RRIF will just sit there as the government will take a small slice out of it and it will build up again for next year.. As mentioned above being single I have no one to split taxes with or any kids for the child benefit and I have to spend a lot of money to make use of the medical benefit. But cash and earnings from dividends sure make a nice security blanket. On that other subject you may be right ,but the market value of the fund is over $73,000.00 while the base cost is around $40,000.00.

    Reply
    1. Ronald, congrats, because if all your OAS is clawed back you have done amazingly well.

      My understanding is that about 5% of all seniors receive some reduced OAS pension; around 2% or so lose all of OAS.

      So, in the grand scheme of things, losing all your OAS government benefits is a very good income problem to have.

      Incredible income stream: “My monthly earnings are about $19333.34 and per day is about $635.62.”

      I think you’re in incredible shape and you’ve done tremendously well with investing.

      I’ll never get to that level but if we can get to $30k in dividends per year from a few accounts, I’m quite confident part-time work can be done within the next 24 months. I look forward to that!

      Mark

      Reply
  7. Hi Mark, great post as always. I understand the tax benefits of dividend investing in Non Registered accounts for individuals but I’m curious what investments you would buy in a Corporate Investment account?
    Thanks, Alice

    Reply
      1. Hi Mark
        Yes I agree with you, an ETF for the tax efficiency of the capital gains exemption. But which one to buy is another matter? Yes an all in one looks enticing, I’m looking for something simple as I get older.
        Cheers, Alice

        Reply
  8. Hi Mark,
    another month and another milestone before you know it you’re there! I’m also so thankful myself my yoy income from the 26 companies that I hold is increasing steadily every month and when I check Year over Year it’s impressive , it’s mostly because I switched couple years ago from total indexing and holding 40% in bonds into 26 Canadian dividend growers and I’m happy about all my holdings except for AQN 🙂 which I’m down really bad on that position everything else is running smooth and thanks for holding the 6 banks and getting the raises this months it came as a Christmas bonus I guess as well and also Enbridge’s increase.
    For 2023 TFSA contribution I’m a bit hesitant because I’m not sure if I should use the 13K in our tfsa to increase existing position or maybe buy two new ones , between the two of us we hold 29 companies and after the trouble with AQN I’m leaning more towards buying two new one but still haven’t decided 🙂
    What’s your list of purchases for 2023 ? mine if I decided to add new positions it’s going to be ATD and BIP and here I would like to ask you if it’s better to hold BIP.UN or BIPC ? I do have BEP.UN in my rrsp.
    Three more weeks for Christmas which I hope it will be a great one for you and everyone , I’m to excited to celebrate with the whole family after two years of not being able to gather with everyone.

    Reply
    1. Thanks, Gus!

      Very thankful we can invest the way we do…

      Not happy about AQN myself but alas, as I say on the site, nothing is guaranteed with any individual stock. I will continue to hold for now.

      As for 2023 TFSA contribution purchases, I’m really not sure yet.

      I could go very safe and just buy some XAW.
      I could be more aggressive and buy some CNQ and WCP or both. I see energy needs going higher.
      I could also stay the course and be boring and buy more telcos like BCE and Telus.
      Maybe more ATD and WCN for growth 🙂

      I own BIPC and BEPC in the corporate structure. I decided that a few years ago based to move assets around over time, as needed.

      My friend Dividend Earner agrees:
      https://dividendearner.com/understanding-bipc-bepc-shares/

      “While the dividend from the corporation is equal to the distribution from the income trust, the after-tax benefit could be better with BIPC or BEPC depending on the account you hold it. For selection simplicity, if you plan to hold one of them in a non-registered account go with the corporation.”

      “The shares are not equal as in you cannot swap back and forth. The BIP.UN and BEP.UN cannot be exchanged for the BIPC and BEPC shares. Brookfield did a one time transfer to setup the corporation and after that you can transfer your corporate shares back into income trust shares but not the other way around.”

      I might consider buying BEPC and BIPC for my TFSA too!

      So many decisions 🙂
      Mark

      Reply
      1. Haha I’m glad I’m not the only one with the dilemma of what to buy 🙂 but definitely the funds are ready to deploy as of January 1st, its now my first financial goal to max out our TFSA every year hopefully! Thanks for the explanation about Brookfield not sure why they complicate things it’s like they have their own family tree of tickers;)

        Reply
  9. Deane Hennigar (RBull) · Edit

    Well done Mark. Enjoy seeing the great progress for you.

    Excellent message above on everything. I agree.

    Buffet is a unicorn with very special skills, and very special access to ownership deals and offers. I really doubt emulating a unicorn will help this average investor.

    Reply
  10. I’ve been gradually selling smaller positions and concentrating for a few years now. I dont see the point of having many Really tiny positions and it’s not possible to have so many top quality companies. Getting a few dollars a quarter on a small position I’m not really enthused about doesnt move the needle. I found in the last 2 years concentrating in Telus BCE Enbridge BEP, BIP and a few others has really supercharged my dividends, plus trying to save 30% of each paycheque has been a big help. DRIPing is great as I can see the quarterly compounding in action.

    Buffett does it right-as he says, he revealed most of his secret to success but too few people actually try to implement it… buy a few good companies, hold forever and buy more when they’re on sale

    Reply
    1. Ya, some smaller positions are fine (I mean, I have WCN and ATD as smaller positions and they are helping my portfolio…and rising more over time due to capital gains) but the biggest holdings remain VTI, BCE, Telus, RY, TD, FTS, and a few others for sure, like BIPC and BEPC.

      I look forward to some portfolio consolidation over time, just not right now 🙂

      How many companies are you holding now?
      Mark

      Reply
      1. I’m at about 21 or 22 now and dont want much more than that. Most of the DRIPers are Canadian, but looking to add more in US-Nike, DEO, SYY, BF, SBUX, V, ABBV. Between concentrating and higher savings divvie income went from $2600 last year to $4400 this year

        Reply
      2. I’m at about 25 right now, don’t want to go above this and could really trim it down by 4 or 5. I’m in my early 40s so I have a mix of higher dividend growth and higher yield. Most of my DRIPers are Canadian, I’d like to buy more in US but valuations are high. I like when the market overreacts to a temporary problem and knocks a stock down! I’ve recently bought GoEasy, Nike, McKormick, EMA and BIP when they sold off quickly… Gone from $2600 in divvies last year to about $4350 this year due to concentrating and putting in more $$

        Reply
  11. Years ago I came across Jacob’s blog, Early Retirement Extreme. He no longer posts new articles, just cycles through his old. As there is nothing new to be said, he isn’t selling anything so no need to grind. PIE/Dividend Earner, yourself and others grind, which is fine as you have something to sell.

    That said, and you’ve said it yourself, there is no secret, live below your means, save, invest, rinse and repeat. At this point you will start to see dividend income increasing by $500/month. Easily. You are there. Having being there and still rocketing forward the magic once it starts, will push your dividend income well beyond what you and your wife require. So why all the worry? Keep the lifestyle in check, and you’ve got it made.

    All the best for the upcoming Christmas season. It’s a great time of year with kids, as they are still super excited by it all. Us old people, not so much. Though we do enjoy getting together with family and friends.

    David

    Reply
    1. Thanks David, great comments.

      Yes, little secrets but hard to do I find over time: live below your means, save, invest, rinse and repeat.

      At this point, our finish line is extremely close.

      Not too much worry, other than trying to plan the next phase and part-time work accordingly.

      I wish you the best back from the holidays 🙂
      Mark

      Reply
  12. Hi Mark, other than consistent saving and buying dividend growers, and tax treatment do you have any other insights on growing your dividend income? I have found concentrating my positions is more effective than holding many smaller positions for example

    Reply
    1. Great question. Well, I must say, owning almost 40 stocks is a bit of work and not for everyone for that reason!

      I have found, over time to your point, that some form of portfolio concentration is good for returns. In fact, I think my top-10 holdings make up about 40-50% of my portfolio including ETFs. So, in a way, doubling down on a few stocks or ETFs has helped generate my returns.

      Certainly none of us are Warren Buffett but look at his portfolio. Hardly that diversified really. The top holdings dominate his income and assets.

      From a recent article I read:

      “One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is Buffett’s preference for maintaining a highly concentrated portfolio. Berkshire Hathaway’s five largest holdings comprise 75% of the portfolio’s total value. The top 10 account for 87%. But whether we’re talking about Berkshire’s biggest bets or the scores of stocks it maintains at the margins, Buffett’s focus shifted after the COVID-19 pandemic drastically altered the investment landscape.”

      Thoughts?

      Nice to hear from you!
      Mark

      Reply

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