Then and Now – TD Bank

Then and Now – TD Bank

Welcome to another Then and Now post, a continuation of my series where I revisit some older blogposts and either rip them to shreds (because my thinking has totally changed on such subjects) or I’ll confirm my position on various personal finance topics or specific stock and ETF investments.

Today’s post is about a dividend favourite with many DIY investors in Canada: TD Bank.

You can read about my previous Then and Now posts on certain stocks (good and bad!) at the end of this post.

Then and Now – TD Bank

To start off, I started to write about TD Bank well over a decade ago on this site. I suggested it might be a good bank stock to own by screening some the higher cost mutual funds available back in 2011, that consistently owned this company as part of their top market cap holdings. 

To that point, skimming some of the biggest mutual funds and low-cost ETFs in Canada can help make stock selection somewhat easy.

Canadian Dividend Stock Selection Made Easy

Of course, there are real metrics you should consider for any stock selection. Some of those are:

  • Low/lower debt or at least very manageable debt over time. 
  • Modest dividend payout ratio, where applicable. 
  • Does the company buyback shares?
  • Modest P/E ratio.
  • Growing Earnings Per Share (EPS) – demonstrating profitability.
  • Higher cashflow / free cash flow over time.

In more tangible terms, why I bolded the metric above, stocks with higher EPS rates are generally more desired by investors than those with slower or lower rates. You might want to check out what really drives stock returns below:

What drives stock returns?

Of course, you should likely avoid just picking stocks for the fun of it, skimming work only, by avoiding some of these mistakes:

  • Buying a stock on a hunch.
  • Buying a stock because it’s popular at the time.
  • Investing in a company and not knowing that its debt, dividend payout ratio, or the P/E.
  • Investing in a company that’s not demonstrating a trend for higher profits.
  • Thinking short-term about any one stock.

Then – TD Bank

After I bought my first dividend paying stock some 15 years ago, my attention turned to owning new / more dividend paying companies in 2009. I started buying Canadian bank stocks, and TD was one of them. At the time, I also got some BMO stock with some others. I recall with my purchases that bank stocks would make a great home in our registered accounts (like TFSAs, RRSPs) because you can reinvest dividends tax-free or tax-deferred respectively. 

I snatched up some TD Bank stock starting in mid-2009 since I wanted to participate in the capital growth and dividend raises it has historically delivered shareholders moving forward – even though it was a very trying time to be a shareholder coming out of the Great Financial Crisis. I did have convinction however that higher growth and higher dividend raises might occur in the future coming out of this financial storm. I was confident TD would grow through acquisitions and make more inroads into the U.S. market specifically.

(Note: TD is one such stock that has paid dividends for generations since 1857).

I recall buying some TD stock around $30 per share. 

Now – TD Bank

Since 2009, I’ve been buying more TD stock, periodically at least. 

I retained my convinction in TD years later when I shared some equities (including low-cost, diversified ETFs) were built to last for your portfolio.

I continued to buy more TD stock years later in 2018. 

I nibbled again on TD stock in 2022, among others, when I felt opportunities were good.

We now own hundreds and hundreds of shares. 

Index investors will argue you can avoid all individual stock selection risk and simply ride the market returns in Canada, that include TD, by owning a low-cost, diversified ETF. Very true!

However, I’ve decided in unbundle my Canadian dividend ETF for income (and growth) and never look back. 

Have you considered unbundling your Canadian ETF for income?

Indexing is great, yes, but in Canada, I believe you can take some individual stock risk for more reward.

Your mileage may vary. 

Then and Now – TD Bank Summary

The big banking crisis brewing in the U.S. could be just beginning. For sure, the U.S. has endured quite a few regional bank failures over the years and Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) is just the latest to make major headlines – but it won’t be the last. TD Bank, arguably Canada’s most American bank has been in the news too – shorted by some investors and analysts. 

Investors with a long-term buy and hold timeframe, have little to worry about, according to this post and expert strategist.

“No Canadian should say ‘Holy s–t, TD is the most shorted bank! Should I get my money out of TD?’” said Barry Schwartz, chief investment officer at Toronto-based Baskin Wealth Management. “I think we’re trying to create a story where there isn’t one, we’re trying to backfill a narrative.”

I feel the same.  

My returns with TD have been very good over the years. Total returns are meaningful for sure…

Then and Now - TD Bank

Source: Portfolio Visualizer

Will that continue?


That said, I do expect individual stocks to either exceed or even lag the index from time to time.

That’s what individual stocks do.

Yet I’m more focused on our collection of stocks (even the odd one that cuts dividends! – that’s you Algonquin Power (AQN)) that should continue to reward us as shareholders over time via meaningful total return (i.e., the sum of dividends and capital gains).

So, I’ll keep you posted on what I/we own, why, even when we hit a few bumpy spots along the investing journey.

Thanks for reading.



Selected Then and Now posts and stock ownership:

I recently posted this Then and Now update about Telus. 

Check out my 2022 update with Waste Connections (WCN)

I’ve owned Canadian National Railway (CNR) since 2016.

I started to own Canadian Apartment REIT (CAR.UN) in 2013 – and still own it.

How long I’ve owned Royal Bank (RY) and why.

My 10-year+ ownership in Procter & Gamble.

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.

27 Responses to "Then and Now – TD Bank"

  1. Hi Mark. I like the TD bank. I do all of my banking there – chequing, savings and investment accounts. They have a great website where I am able to compare stocks. However, I have chosen to not invest in the TD. Instead I invested in the National Bank of Canada. Why? My investment decision was based upon how much the dividend and stock price has increased in the past 5 years vs. other banks and the National Bank came out the winner by far. Their dividend is up 56% vs 43% for TD and the stock price for the National Bank is up 67% vs 19% for TD. I don’t have much else to go on since I am not an economist but rather somewhat of a lazy investor. I look at the 5 year history of capital gains and dividend increases every year. So far the National Bank has come out on top and I haven’t read anything yet to suggest that this trend will not continue at least for the next year or two.
    Your thoughts, comment?

    1. Yes, NA is flying of late (i.e., last few years) and doing well likely with some no-fee ETFs to buy via their brokerage drawing in more customers. I have no idea if the trend will continue to be honest but I can’t think of any reason why NA cannot continue to grow its dividend and move higher price wise/for capital gains.

      FWIW, I own all big-6 bank stocks in my portfolio.

  2. Hello Mark; Thank for your thoughts on TD bank. This bank is our second largest position. ( after CNR) Modest purchases in early 2000,s have grown considerably over the years. I use historical yield ranges from 3.5 % to just over 5%(Note, just a few weeks ago TD traded at a 5% yield, so we added a number of shares in our TFSA at that time. AT the start of the year we transfered shares from our taxable account into out TFSA as well. When the story of the stock is stable (S&P credit rating, dividend revenue and EPS growth, , payout ratio, PE ratio and reserves) I am happy to let our ” winners ” run and continue to hold whilst making small additions, generally through dividend reinvestment tactics. Over time this asset has become ( in my eyes anyway) ” bondified ” and a solid position in our portfolio that we will continue to hold and reap the benefits.

    1. I’m a big fan of TD Mike and will continue to own it unless I otherwise see fit. CNR (and CP) are outstanding “moaty” companies in my opinion and I’m only buying more of them over time. Just happy I bought CNR when the price was much, much lower 🙂

      I continue to let some “winners run” as well but mindful I don’t want too many stocks over a 5% asset weighting in my portfolio unless that is QQQ, XAW or other so I watch that closely and buy up more stocks to offset and balance over time to my liking 🙂

      Great work if you have owned TD for that long, likely some very good income and capital gains there!

  3. What’s the old saying by peter lynch…if you like the product, buy the co.

    years ago I was getting along nicely in life, had a CIBC Aeroplan Visa card, $22,000 limit. Sometimes when I was going to travel for a bit, would prepay $$ but always paid it off 100%, payment was due 28th of month

    then somebody over at TD bank thought…how can we get a piece of Aeroplan? Pictures of CEO with farm animals?
    Next thing I knew, TD was my Aeroplan Visa provider with a $8,000 limit….remember the TD BS…NOTHING IS GOING TO CHANGE.

      1. I appreciate your problems but my experiences and observations with TD have been different I often wait in line and notice at the end of the counter, an elderly person, seated, getting help from a teller. This often takes 15 to 20 minutes while the teller patiently helps this person with his/her banking. Another time, standing in line, I overheard a man and his wife telling the teller that they needed $1 800 to pay the CRA. The teller asked the couple if this was the result of a telephone call and they said yes. She called over her manager and they talked the man out of withdrawing the funds. I feel TD, and I am sure other banks are the same. In my opinion.not only are the banks great investments but they give great service.

        1. I’ve seen this before, as well. I’ve witnessed in a few banks, tellers and staff helping clients sincerely and taking their time to do so including the elderly. Businesses are in business to make money. Banks are not exception. But there are some kind and geniune people everywhere.

          Thanks for your comment, Barry.

    1. As a customer I not trust the big banks and figure they are always trying to rip us off. I commend you on holding a grudge on the bank I hate all the big banks and how they treat customers. As a shareholder/investor the big banks are bullet proof money making machines that I love.

  4. I have owned TD Bank since 1996. It is now my biggest holding (I am probably overweight in It). I have taken some big hits over the past 27 years but this bank has always recovered. I believe the stock has split twice in this time period. Each year I get about 80 shares under the DRIP program so I am acquiring shares both high and low. I will never sell. The stock will go to my heirs.

    1. I also got into TD in 1996 in a big way. In 1990 a TD manager went way over his head to get us a small business loan. Six years later we sold for a large capital gain and I socked a bunch into my wife’s RRSP . No regrets I can assure you!

  5. When the banks are trading at a P/E around 10 they’ve been historically a buy.

    Last spring I asked what course should we take with a conflict in Europe. How does that affect your investment decisions? At the moment with the release of leaked documents we now know that the Sec. of Defense Lloyd Austin lied to the Senate. Things are not going well. All wars end in diplomacy, at the moment there doesn’t seem to be a diplomatic off ramp. If the West is seen to be openly lying about the situation, what does that mean? Are we being pushed closer to Nuclear conflict?

    Cash outflows at regional Banks in the States are ramping up. How does that affect TD ? SVB failed due to excess withdraws in an extremely short period. Social media helped build that storm. Had that not occurred, they would’ve been able to weather the storm. Doesn’t change the fact SVB made some very bad investment decisions, and got caught holding the bag. Remove regulations and this will always occur. History has shown us this over and over again.

    The level of uncertainty is not going down, closure of Swift was the financial nuclear detonation last year. Janet Yellen over the weekend pointed out the risk to the US dollar hegemony. So nice that a year later this is acknowledge (I’m rolling my eyes). Not much we can do about the global conflict, but it is good to be aware.

    When uncertain, my preference is to do nothing, and roll with the storm. As this too will pass. Granted we are still in the accumulation phase and around 2 decades out to retirement.


    1. Gosh, David, I don’t know where to begin. So many themes in that comment!
      All that to say, I believe Canadian banks like TD are well-regulated, well-capitalized, and they have a growing user-base including more acquisitions coming over time from U.S. consumers. Lots of macro factors out there too 🙂

      Do you own TD and plan to own more of it over time?

      1. Canadian banks well regulated, sure, maybe. If you ask most people did our banks get bailed out during the Great Financial Crisis, they will say no, solid like the Canadian Shield (quoting PM Harper). If you bring up the Asset Backed Commercial Paper bailout, then the metric changes. Ah what is true, I don’t know and neither does anyone.

        Recently Elon Musk has pulled back the curtain a little bit on the collusion between social media and government agencies. Actively suppressing ideas and pushing forward others. If you don’t like dissenting views, no problem, open honest debate should always be allowed. Otherwise you will have very big problems. This is extremely disturbing. Can Elon Musk say it loud enough and long enough to push through the fog?

        Back to our banks which enjoy an oligopoly, they are under pressure from groups for their investments in resources, openly shamed. If we look at the fact between $4 to $5 Trillion (with a T) has been spent in the last 15 years on renewable energy and it has moved the needle by 1% point. This shows that Oil, Natural Gas and Coal will continue to play an outsides roll in our energy requirements for decades to come. Approx 82% of all energy is still carbon based. Yes math is hard.

        We own over 1000 shares of TD, similar numbers with the other big banks. Like you we keep the financial segment overall portfolio percentage below 30%. Drip lots of bank shares each quarter.

        Our family is heavily invested in the Canadian economy, and global. We want to see things go well. It troubles me the level of deceit we see, and it is only getting worse. When I followed one of your links and saw the twitter profile of the one fellow with the Ukrainian flag. That gets me fired up. Peace is what we should all demand. Russia bad, Ukraine good is the analysis of a child, much more complex. Sending more weapons equals more death. More than 500K male soldiers have died, this is horrific. Should never have happened. But as Elon Musk has shown, most people are feed a stream of lies.


        1. Very thoughtful stuff, I’ll try and stick to investing here but you can email me about politics – anytime – ha. 🙂

          All industries can and should be under a bit of pressure. Complacency is not good for anyone.

          I can’t figure out which of our top-5 or 6 banks will always thrive for the coming decades so I own them all. Same goes with many utilities in Canada. Energy, I have a bit too. I don’t see our transition away from oil and natural gas, globally, for at least 50+ years. There will and need to be a transition but it’s simply not automatic.

          Check out the Mark Mills video:

          I would be curious to know your thoughts.

            1. Hi Mark,

              While 2022 was a mediocre year, I still managed to have my RRSP value higher than in January 1st 2022, while withdrawing around 70000$ (50000$ dividends + 20000$ shares sale).

          1. Nope not an Elon Musk fanboy.

            The intersection of politics and finance is right on the bulls eye.

            Thank you for making my case. More than happy to discuss ideas at anytime.


            1. Hi David,

              Giving any credibility to him and supporting conspiracy theories like in your original message makes you lose credibility. Stop watching Faux Noise and similar channels.

  6. We’ve owned shares in TD in the non-registered account since 2004. I also admit to selling some TD along with other Canadian banks in late 2009 for the simple reason that the idea of sector diversification had never occurred to me before that. After seeing the catastrophic results of the U.S. and British/European banking sector during the 2008 to early 2009 financial crisis I decided that 50% of this portfolio allocated to just the financial sector was way over the top. The Canadian financial sector in that portfolio in now just a smidgen over 20%, and for now, that’s just about my own personal limit.

    Like Ben Graham I believe in regression to the mean, so I don’t try to play favourites. The five largest Canadian banks by market cap are all included in that same portfolio.

    1. I think that’s very smart not to have too much of a good thing per se. We’re just over 20% in Canadian banks and financials over here and that seems to be my/our sweet spot.


        1. Yes, I noticed that. Thanks for posting for other readers 🙂

          I like Canadian banks but don’t intend to own too much, just in case other sectors thrive too.



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