Then and Now – Waste Connections

Then and Now – Waste Connections

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 Waste Connections (WCN).

It’s been many months since I updated this series, so I’ll link to all previous Then and Now posts and stock positions later on! 

Then and Now – Waste Connections

As a primer, I started initially writing about Waste Connections (WCN) stock that I owned back in 2018, as a quick reference on this site, as one of many Canadian dividend stocks that have rather friendly dividend histories. 

The friendly dividend histories of great Canadian stocks

Passionate readers and subscribers of this site will know, I’m a HUGE fan of not just dividend paying stocks but rather dividend growth stocks – companies that tend to increase their dividend payments to shareholders year-after-year. 

This is a good time to remind you that only owning higher-yielding stocks (say in the 4-5% range) aren’t the be all, end all. Yes, for sure, that dividend yield is great but the ability for some companies to payout lower dividend payments, then continually grow their dividends WHILE delivering price appreciation is also a benefit to shareholders as part of earning total return.

This is one of my favourite graphics that highlights this point. 

Honest Math - Dividends


I like dividends and dividend growth stocks in my portfolio, for a few reasons:

  1. I continue to believe there are simply too many unknowns about the future. Having ample income generated from our portfolio (via dividends) will give us financial options/retirement draw down options. 
  2. If we are able to keep our capital intact we don’t need to worry as much about when to sell shares or ETF units when markets don’t cooperate.
  3. “Living off dividends” is my form of forced savings – there is motivation to reach our $1 million portfolio goal and spend the income from it – leaving the capital intact for a few years. I intend to spend the dividends or distributions from our portfolio only in the early years of semi-retirement as I/we work part-time. 
  4. Dividend income is tangible, real money I can spend if and when I choose without worrying about stock market prices or gyrations.

Back to the point about total return, have a look below. 

Many dividend investors love Telus (T) stock – as do I.

In recent years, Telus has increased their dividend sometimes twice per year, rewarding shareholders like me. 

But when you look at total return, that’s what matters and usually does for many investors.

So, when I compare recent return history to Telus, against low-cost dividend-like ETF XIU, you’ll see WCN clobbers them with success. I also added another dividend income investor favourite Enbridge (ENB) for fun too:

Then and Now - Waste Connections

Source: one of my favourite sites:

The takeaway message for you should be: dividends are great, I love them, and while they are not magical they remain an important part of an investor’s total return. 

Then – Waste Connections

I started buying WCN in early 2017, which inspired my friendly dividend income post above. 

I purchased Waste Connections because simply, producing and manufacturing products also carries the inevitable creation of waste for excess materials used in manufacturing. Somebody has to do the dirty work!

Waste Connections is an integrated solid waste services company that provides non-hazardous waste collection, transfer and disposal services, along with resource recovery primarily through recycling and renewable fuels generation. 

From the company’s site:

“The Company serves more than eight million residential, commercial and industrial customers in mostly exclusive and secondary markets across 43 states in the U.S. and six provinces in Canada.  Waste Connections also provides non-hazardous oilfield waste treatment, recovery and disposal services in several basins across the U.S., as well as intermodal services for the movement of cargo and solid waste containers in the Pacific Northwest.”

So, they are a major player in this space.

  • I bought most of my WCN around $90 per share. They even did a stock split in 2017!  


  • When I purchased WCN, initially, the dividend was $0.12 per share in USD $.

Now – Waste Connections

Thanks to price appreciation over the years, along with those sustained dividend increases, WCN stock now makes up 1%-2% of my overall investment portfolio. 

  • At the time of this post, the share price is approaching $180 CDN per share – double what it used to be in the spring 2018. 
  • I have continued to purchase WCN stock over the years. 
  • WCN now pays a dividend of was $0.23 per share in USD $ or the equivalent of $0.297 CDN – which should increase again very soon!

Then and Now – Waste Connections Summary

I like boring when it comes to investing. I don’t trade, I try to avoid tinkering with my portfolio, and I would like to think I own companies that have a strategic moat/higher barrier to entry. 

Waste Connections (WCN) is one of those companies. 

However, not every stock in my portfolio is a winner.

Far from it. 

That said, many of the individual stocks I own continue to reward me as a shareholder via growing dividends and capital gains. 

Total returns matter. 🙂 

You can read more about my wealth-building path using dividend paying stocks here:

However, through a disciplined buy and hold and buy some more approach for the majority of my holdings, the dividends and distributions keep flowing in pushing my income stream higher and higher.

I’ll keep you posted on more holdings and changes as they happen, good, bad or in between!

Thanks for reading and a reminder about my previous Then and Now posts below.


Previous Then and Now posts and stock ownership:

As promised above, you can see some of the stocks I’ve been buying and holding, or not (!), over the decades below. I welcome your thoughts and feedback on any of these stock selections and holding periods – happy to discuss anytime!

I finally pulled the trigger and bought some Canadian National Railway for my portfolio.

When I started to own Canadian Apartment REIT – good or bad!

How long I’ve owned Royal Bank and why.

Why I own CIBC 11+ years later.

My bond-like income from owning Fortis.

Johnson & Johnson – my longest running U.S. stock in my portfolio, for now!?

Bell Canada (BCE) is my dependable telco dividend payer!

Bank of Montreal has been a dependable dividend grower with capital gains.

Check out my long-term love for Bank of Nova Scotia

H&R REIT – and why I no longer own it actually!

Enbridge – my first Canadian dividend paying stock and a company I own hundreds of shares in today

Happy investing as always. 


Disclosure: None of these stocks, including WCN, are recommendations for purchase. You are responsible for your investment decisions.

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.

4 Responses to "Then and Now – Waste Connections"

  1. Good post! Thanks. I’ll have to look into these. I’m not up with all the abbreviations and headers or standards of comparing investments. Question: In your graphic comparing Waste Connections, Telus, Enbridge and XIU, does the final tally include the dividends paid or reinvested from each? I ask this after reading, “and they don’t increase compounding” in the first graphic.

    1. Thanks Paul. Yes, dividends and distributions are reinvested for total return comparison.
      Look at CSU for total returns – phenomenal and I missed that one 🙂

  2. Nice one CSU is pretty good in that space as well WCN / CNR / CP / TFII / TRE / DOL Canada has some decent growth stories

    35.84% –> CSU , 10k invested in around 2008 would be = $916,890 today(dividend reinvested)

    I have plans to buy more of Opentext and CSU.


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