Your Ever Growing Income – Giveaways and U.S. edition

Your Ever Growing Income – Giveaways and U.S. edition

“Do you want to find a simpler method of investing, one that makes sense and will help you earn a growing income during your retirement?” – Henry Mah, CMA, author of Your Ever Growing Income.

You bet Henry. 

I post my dividend journey here to share my own approach as well!

Another giveaway!

Thanks to the success of the last giveaway on my site – about Your Ever Growing Income by author and fan of this site, Henry Mah – I thought it might be nice to offer more copies to win, interview Henry some more, and share details about the U.S. edition of his book as well.

I’m happy to hear Henry feels the same!

Welcome back to the site Henry!

Thanks Mark. I was overwhelmed by the response and positive comments to the first post and your review of my book.  Not just on your site but on Amazon and from emails I received, stuff like:

  • “I’ve created my DG stock list using your excel sheet.  Very user friendly and I particularly enjoy the detail oriented nature of this exercise.  I feel more confident of knowing my own game plan”.
  • “I am retired, reading your book and planning on shifting allocations toward dividend growth and dividend stocks”.
  • “Your 4 step plan is excellent”.
  • “As I read your book, I felt like you were preaching to the choir because of the success that we have experienced with the approach but what I didn’t expect was how many new wrinkles that you have added to the concept”.
  • “Easy to read and very informative. No matter what investing knowledge you have, you will still learn something from this book. For anyone doubting if they can do their own investing, look no further this book explains it easily. So glad I purchased it”.
  • “Great book! Formatting just a little distracting”.
  • “I was a late adopter of the Connolly Report but discovered it a few years ago and subsequently have brought my portfolio in close alignment with Tom’s advice, which I find well documented and clearly reasoned. Your book reinforces and expands on that”.
  • Thank you for writing your book. I have recommended your book to my sons and extended members of our family”.

It’s one thing to say I tried to accomplish something with my book, it’s more satisfying to have others acknowledge it. Thanks everyone!

So, like Mark wrote above, I’m back and I’ve offered Mark three (3) copies of the Canadian version and one (1) copy of my U.S. version to giveaway.

Your Ever Growing Income - U.S. edition

Great stuff Henry!  So, in both the Canadian and U.S. editions of your books, you focused on repeating this mantra frequently: “…instead of concentrating on capital appreciation (price of your stocks rising), we will focus on the income your stocks generate.”  What are the reasons you feel this is so important?

My simple explanation is that you don’t need to watch the daily stock price changes or worry about market movements.  Look at what happen at the end of 2018 and how did one feel, even though the market recovered several months later.  I believe by concentrating on (your ever growing) income, you will see your income grow each and every month or quarter regardless how the market does.  Receiving good news all the time beats stress and worry.

In your book(s), you suggest investors focus on stocks that grow their income (i.e., they raise their dividends consistently over time).  I’ve shared this list of shareholder friendly Canadian stocks here.

How can investors be assured this will always occur?  I don’t think they are any 100% guarantees, including dividends, with investing.  Thoughts?

Income investing, as opposed to Dividend Growth, is not just about dividend increases. The Canadian banks did not raise their dividend for several years 2009-2011, but even without dividend increases, by following the process described, ones income will still increase each year. All our bank stock income increased during those years of no dividend increases.  That’s what the strategy teaches, a constant increase in income regardless of how much one invests, even if they stop adding money or if the dividend is not raised. The income will increase faster with dividend increases and the more one invests.

In the U.S. edition of your book, you suggest investors start their stock selection process using U.S. dividend aristocrats.  Why?  What are those companies?  Is there a U.S. ETF they can use as a proxy?

The 57 U.S. dividend aristocrats (they can easily be found with Google) have increased their dividend 25+ years, which means one need not search out U.S. dividend paying stocks.  I would add, these are likely the best of the U.S. dividend growth stocks available.  The NOBL ETF holds the same 57 companies.

I believe you profiled that as one of your top U.S. dividend ETFs to buy and hold.  (I did!)

Why not just buy the ETF? Well Mark, like most ETFs not all the holdings are equal. I want to teach one how to sort through the ETF holdings to identify the best of the group; companies that can further increase their potential income.  I believe no fee (to hold ongoing stocks) is better than even low fees.

What other criteria should investors consider when buying and holding dividend stocks?  In Canada or U.S. or beyond?

I came up with some simple rules for evaluating dividend growth stocks.  Four rules apply for Canadian stocks and three different rules for U.S. stocks.  They are simple and the process to evaluate the stocks is clearly spelled out.  For example if a Canadian company has cut their dividend in the past 10 years, eliminate it as a choice to consider buying. This rule would not apply to the U.S. dividend aristocrats, since they’ve increased their dividend for 25+ years. The other rules are not as strict and allows one to use some discretion on whether a stock qualifies or not for their dividend growth portfolio.

Henry, in our last interview together, you mentioned you owned 30% telecommunications companies, 24% banks, 24% pipeline companies, and 22% utilities.  Can you highlight some of those stocks you own and why you don’t own any U.S. stocks at this point?  Do you keep a cash wedge of emergency money?

Don’t just copy what others own or suggest!  I want to teach others how to evaluate and develop their own list of stocks to choose from; you’ll be much happier. Having said that, you’re right, I own just 12 Canadian stocks.  Most Canadian (or U.S.) dividend investors could likely guess my holdings:  I own 5 banks, 3 pipelines, 2 utilities, and 2 communication companies.  (We own many of these same stocks across accounts.)

Since you asked about U.S. stocks, I sold the two remaining ones when our Canadian dollar was way down and the U.S. dollar was way up.  We reinvested the money back into the Canadian stocks we already held and increased our income considerably.  For folks in their asset accumulation phase, like you Mark, I would definitely recommend investors if they hold U.S. stocks to hold them inside their RRSP – to avoid withholding taxes.

Regarding the emergency fund, yes, I have sold some stocks to hold cash (about $80k) and I keep the money with Tangerine.

Henry, I own some U.S. ETFs and I’ll likely own more units as I get older. I know you’re not a fan of ETFs. In fact, you also don’t care (too much!) about the latest set of all-in-one ETFs including any VEQT from Vanguard.

Honestly, I think these funds are great for many investors.

Why do you not like these products? 

One of the reasons I wrote the book Mark was to show that by investing for income, growing income, possible to grow your portfolio to meet your retirement needs without investing in as large an amount as most believe.

In other words, as you say, you can live off dividends.

To achieve that goal, one has a better chance of success by investing in individual stocks, than ETFs.  Consider what might happen during the next financial crisis (and how many might there be before one retires).  The value of ETFs and DG stocks will drop, but with a portfolio of quality DG stocks, it is very unlikely ones income will drop (our income actually increased during the most recent financial crisis).  I doubt we’d had the same results with ETF distributions.

With VYM as an example (a U.S. ETF) it had an income growth of 117% over 10 years (which is excellent for an ETF by the way – XIU in Canada only had 31%).  Now, the U.S. stocks I screened out of the NOBL ETF, had a 166% income growth over the same period (42% higher). It is likely the difference would be the same regardless what happens in the future. I believe in quality over quantity.

As for those All-in-One ETFs, I think any ETF with 12,000 holdings is a bad investment. What percentage will be quality and what percentage is just speculative? And how does one determine it? I suggest sticking with what you can evaluate.

I’m not saying one can’t achieve their retirement goal by concentrating on price growth or ETFs, but, I know that income investing works, it’s easy, you will see the results grow as time passes, and you won’t have set backs when the market or your stock prices drop.


Henry was very kind to answer these questions, and even though we differ in our investing approach.

One thing we certainly agree on:  we both enjoy seeing our dividend income rise over time from our respective portfolios!

I have no doubt Henry’s book, either edition, can help some investors – even if those investors decide to follow a different path.  At least it’s an informed decision.

A BIG thanks to Henry’s contributions to this site and offering up another book giveaway. 

Visit his site to buy his books 🙂

Enter to win one of four copies of the book.  Three random names will be drawn for a copy of the paperback of the Canadian edition plus a pdf of the U.S. edition and one random name will be drawn for the U.S. edition paperback and a pdf of the Canadian version.  Good luck!

Related Reading:

Check out Your TFSA Compounder – Work Your TFSA Harder to Retire Sooner!

How to earn a Salary for Life.

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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.

76 Responses to "Your Ever Growing Income – Giveaways and U.S. edition"

  1. Hi cannew
    my luck didn’t hold to get one the the giveaway copies – Darn! 🙂
    I went to buy a copy on but it seems only the US version is available for Kindle download – is there any way to get the CDN version as an ebook (.epub)? direct sale from you? I could e-transfer the cost to you directly.

  2. This book sounds very interesting, especially if it shows you how to select the right DG stocks if one doesn’t know how. Since I missed the draw, I would like to buy a copy of the book but have a question about the two versions. Is the US version just for US stocks vs. the Canadian?

    1. I recall the U.S. version focuses on U.S. stocks to buy and hold and reinvest dividends with. The Canadian version does the same for the CDN stocks. The author (Henry) can likely provide more details for you since I know he subscribes to these articles on my site.

      All the best Sharon – I think the book is a good investment even if you don’t follow all the advice since you’ll be a more informed investor!

    2. Sharon: The US book caters specifically to the US investor (ignoring Cdn stocks), while the Cdn concentrates on Cdn stocks but does include a section on US stocks as well.

      1. Sharon: Let me add that the book does not recommend specific stocks, but teaches one how to select their own stocks by following our process and specific guidelines. After you do that, it’s up to you to decide if a stock should be added to your list as a good stock. It may sound complicated, but I believe I’ve made the process simple, easy to follow and understandable.

          1. Thank you both. I think the Canadian version will be helpful then. I have all four types of registered plans that really requires quite a bit of work done. Have considered hiring a fee-only investment/financial planner, but they can get pretty expensive as well. However, after learning about Connolly Report which I read about through Mark’s website, says that financial planner is not the way to go. I think I will try reading the book first.

  3. NOTICE: Anyone who purchased my book, Your Ever Growing Income, please email me (listed in About the Author). Morningstar changed its access to their data, requiring me to suggest an alternative evaluation process. I will send you a pdf update which includes the new process.

  4. Cannew, I really enjoyed your book and have learned a great deal from it. I tried to write a review on Amazon, where I purchased the book, but it wouldn’t let me because I didn’t spend at least $50 this year from Amazon!

  5. I want to win because I am doing everything I know to do to ensure my future but a book like yours will help me complete my journey. Thanks so much for the opportunity.

  6. Hi Mark, I always enjoy your posts and the comments. I am in a similar situation but closer to retirement, about three months away from retirement to a condo in downtown YOW.
    Regarding your comments about the cost of owning a car, I don’t own one now as I am working out of the country, but I will consider buying a decent used economy car when I get back.
    My recollection about the estimated average cost of car ownership (going back several years repeatedly, although maybe not recently) has always been around 10K per year, all in, but your estimate is much less. Are there new (Tpt Canada?) figures out on those costs, or were you just giving a ball park figure?
    Thanks and keep up the good work.

    1. Thanks Biff. Always great to hear reader feedback!

      Well, we have one car (2012 KIA) now that we’ve moved into a condo (don’t need two cars) and I suspect going down to one car should save us about $3,600 or more per year. Conservatively.

      Back to you, I think you’re very smart to buy a used car, 2-4 years old, vs. a new car. I’m not sure I would ever buy a new car again knowing what I know now 🙂

      I arrived at my cost ($3,600 per year) assuming $100 or per month in maintenance ($1200 per year) + $60 per month for car insurance in Ottawa ($720) + another $1200 per year in gas. Licensing and registration is only a few hundred bucks per year and some rounding errors get me to $3,600 per year. You’re probably right that it’s closer to $10k for many depending on the fancy SUVs some people buy vs. my $3,600 per year. There is also the capital cost to consider in buying nearly new cars to replace the old ones every 10 years or so and saving up the money to pay cash for cars. I paid cash for my last car (close to $15k) but now sold.

      One article for costs?

      When are you moving back to Canada?


      1. Thanks a lot Mark for your response and the very useful link to the CAA article. That makes car ownership a lot more attractive, and comparable to the cost of car rentals 7 or 8 times per year. Plus the convenience factor of always having the car available.
        Of course choosing the right vehicle is key. The last vehicle I owned in Canada was a huge (also old) SUV with an enormous V8 engine and full time 4WD. I used to drive it 40+ kms each way every day between Russell and downtown Ottawa. Gas was more than $100 per week and daily downtown parking $18. I think It was costing me half (only slight exaggeration) as much to go to work as I was earning. Retirement driving will be much less expensive and stressful. I am fortunate to have DB pension income and some dividends coming in, so I feel pretty confident about pulling the plug at 58 and returning to Ottawa in September. Not exactly Freedom 55 but I will take it and try to make it work. My portfolio will need some better scrutiny as some of my dividends could be on shaky ground, but I am hopeful that I can use the additional free time in retirement to sort that out.
        All the best to you and your readers.

        1. It’s funny you mention rentals Biff because my wife and I were thinking after the next few years, we’ll see if we really need a car in the city and we can Uber or Lyft or rent a car as needed. We figure the breakeven point is about $300 per month. If we can spend less than that on all other options combined (vs. car ownership) then it makes it worth our while to not own one again. We’ll see. We’ll live in the new condo for another year or so and track our expenses.

          That’s a lot of commuting on your part. re: “Gas was more than $100 per week and daily downtown parking $18.”

          Well, retiring at 58 seems great if not 55. The earlier the better I say to work or live on your own terms.

          “My portfolio will need some better scrutiny as some of my dividends could be on shaky ground…” depends what you are invested in of course. What changes are you considering making?

          All the best back.

          1. Hi Mark,
            something to consider if you go the car non-ownership route is maintaining your insurance “status” while not being a car owner (ie. not having car insurance) – if you should go back to car ownership after longer time you get downgraded by the insurance company eg. my friend when back to university and sold her car for the four years of education and bought another after graduating – even though she’d been a in low risk category (10+ yrs claims free, no tickets etc.) she was downgraded to “new” driver status (with the same company!) and had the attendant higher premium costs – other insurance companies were even worse for rates – just something to think about – heard but haven’t confirmed (I like my car to much 🙂 ) that if you join Zipcar (or equivalent) you can maintain your insurance status.
            Also if you’re renting cars and you’re Costco member, their rates are very competitive and include your partner as
            a second driver at no extra cost.
            I’m also very curious how your condo lifestyle will turnout. I’ve looked into going that route but each time I visit the open houses my gut says “no way” – townhouse maybe but not urban cliff dwelling :). The monthly condo fee also bugs me – in a lot of cases the monthly fees (with utilities or taxes) exceed the total monthly cost of my house expenses (taxes,utilities,insurance, maintenance) -just keeps me in my house a little bit longer.

            1. A good reminder about that for sure… Zipcar is in our area. So is Virtucar. Both provide built-in insurance into their pricing I recall but I would need to confirm that.

              We’ve rented cars from Costco in the past. A great low-cost option.

              I suspect we won’t give up our car in the near-term (as in keep it for the coming years) but longer-term (10+ years) I’m not sure we’ll have one. Our intentions are to travel more abroad and the condo is a turnkey solution for that.

              I totally see where you are coming from with the condo fees. Ours will be $500 or so per month in year #1 and will go up over time no doubt. However, insurance and maintenance where we lived was expensive so I have little doubt once we get settled the costs here (condo) will be less and/or at least very comparable to owning a single family home in Ottawa (in the city).

              I’ll keep you posted 🙂

          2. Hi Mark. Fully agree on “the earlier the better “ when it comes to retirement. Now I wish I would have done it several years ago when I had more physical energy and flexibility. But retirement at 58 is much sooner than many can attain so I am grateful.
            Regarding my dividend stream, I bought the usual CDN banks, one comm (BCE), some Brookfield stocks, and they are all doing well, although now I know I should have bought a lot more at the time (e.g. RY up 40 %). But who knew?
            Some of my losers have been on the US side. I had some good dividend payers like UNIT, OPI (formerly GOV), SNR and MRCC that have really tanked and some have cut their dividends. Also Ford has been underwater since I first bought it 4 years ago but at least it’s still paying and I am doing the DRIP.
            I have all stocks and no bonds . I don’t really understand what bonds are about or how to buy them, and now seems like a bad time to start anyway.
            I need to get smart on ETFs as they seem a safer option in retirement. I have one, ZDF, that I think I first read about on your site, and that seems to be going well.
            I will keep reading and hopefully learning in retirement.
            Good luck to all.

            1. That’s the thing eh Biff…with some dividend stocks they will go through some very rough patches at times. Currently ABBV is doing that. In going the U.S. ETF route over time, I won’t have to worry about individual stock selection. That’s part of my plan.

              Did you check out my ETFs page yet?
              Lots of good information there to pick some good low-cost funds!

              Happy investing!

  7. My retirement income comes almost exactly from the same system you describe but with somewhat more diversification. One surprisingly strange occurrence – I have had to lighten up on 2 positions that were doing too well and getting to be bigger than my comfort level. In each case they were stocks I bought strictly for diversification because they were outside the bank, utility, pipeline, telco standard holdings.

    1. Thanks Cannew. I think the process of filing a U.S. tax return sounds like a bit of a hassle, so Canadian listed ETFs holding U.S. stocks seem like a good way to go for now.

  8. One question I have about owning individual U.S. stocks is the impact they will have on estate taxes. It is my understanding that if your U.S. holdings exceed $60,000, your estate will have to pay U.S. estate taxes in addition to the Canadian capital gains and probate taxes. I have read that Canadian listed ETFs holding only U.S. stocks are not subject to U.S. estate taxes. Comments?

    1. Here’s an off topic item which relates to inheritance left to a sibling living in the US:
      Paying taxes on an inheritance:
      Q: I have a son that is living in the U.S. (for the last 20 years). Would he have to pay taxes in the U.S. when he inherits from his parents? How would the taxes work in this case?
      A: Generally speaking no, your son will not have to pay any tax on inherited money or property. That being said there are assets that when inherited in the U.S. are taxable to the beneficiary—such as U.S. retirement accounts and U.S. savings bonds.
      If the parent is Canadian and the asset has been taxed on their final Canadian tax return, the beneficiary will inherit the account/asset with a basis equal to the fair market value on the date of death.

    2. Your estate is required to file a US tax return but unless you have worldwide holdings over $10M USD (plus inflation adjustment) it will not have to pay any US estate taxes.

      If your executor is intent on following this requirement it will be a long haul since you need a tax payer identification number or a Social Security number so your return can be filed.

      1. Thanks, Mark.

        To make things simpler, it sounds like sticking to Canadian listed ETFs for my U.S. investments will keep things simpler for my heirs.

  9. It’s nice to see more copies to win. I didn’t win last time and planned to buy a copy. I will try my luck this time again before I put the order.

    One question for Henry. You said: “The Canadian banks did not raise their dividend for several years 2009-2011, but even without dividend increases, by following the process described, ones income will still increase each year. All our bank stock income increased during those years of no dividend increases. ” I assume this is because you did not spend all the dividends and kept dripping some? If one has to spend all the dividends in retirement, then the dividends increase will be completely depending on dividend raises? Hopefully the average raise will always beat the inflation.

    1. May: Correct, we reinvest all dividends and as ShareOwners is our broker we received fractions of shares even though we didn’t add additional funds. Reinvesting dividends is key to growing ones income.
      Beat inflation by sticking with quality companies and improve your odds.

      1. May: Just read an article in the Fin Post, “Risk of outliving your assets”.
        That is the exact opposite of what I propose. I want investors to generate a growing income from their investments so that they will know long before they retire what their income will be and that it will continue to grow after they retire.

        1. I haven’t read that article yet. But, I know if we can have income from our portfolio > our basic living expenses I’m sure we’ll have “enough”. I continue to figure $30k per year in dividend income from assets inside x2 TFSAs + 1 non-reg. account will do the trick. Now that we’re into the condo, here are our planned expenses FWIW:

          “Here are some examples of what this $30,000 per year in dividend income, growing over time thanks to dividend increases alone, should cover in 2019 dollars for the rest of our lives:

          food/groceries, basic household supplies = $8,000 per year or $667/mo.
          condo utilities (heat, hydro, water, internet, cell phone bills) = $6,000 per year or $500/mo.
          condo property taxes = $6,000 per year or $500/mo.
          condo fees = $6,000 per year or $500/mo.
          1 car (insurance ($50-100) + gas ($50-100) + maintenance = $3,000 per year or $250/mo.
          healthcare costs (various).”

          1. Hope your condo has sufficient reserves so you don’t face any special assessments to address future maintenance needs.

            Also your basic budget doesn’t include entertainment or travel or charities or income taxes? Also suggest adding a contingency category for life’s surprises?

            I expect you will have more than enough.

            1. I hope so too! We’ll see long-term. We bought into a building that does not have tons of glass; no pool; no hottub nor other features that could be a major capital expense long-term. Time will tell though of course.

              Yes, good insight, my basic budget does not include entertainment or international travel but I figure we could withdraw from RRSP to the tune of $20k per year for that – and that’s without touching the capital at all.

              I hope to have a small cash wedge in retirement of $50k in cash savings (emergency fund) + $50k in chequing account for everyday expenses. That’s the plan for the coming 5-10 years.

              Do you keep a cash wedge with your dividends rolling in? 🙂

      2. Before retirement, reinvesting dividends is easy to do. After retirement, it won’t be possible for everybody. You are really in an amazing position being able to continue to reinvest some of your dividends even in retirement years.

        Well, my goal for now is to have enough dividends/investment income to cover the expense. I would consider I am ready to retire as long as I achieve that? So if I retire at that point, at least for the first couple retirement years, there might be no dividends reinvestment possible.

        1. May: Consider what your withdrawal process might be as well. Mark plans to hold off on his pension and cpp and draw down RRSP. That will leave his TFSA and non-reg holdings to continue to pay and reinvest the dividends. Even those without pensions, they might be better off drawing down RRSPs and hold off on cpp, then their TFSA & non-reg will continue to grow the income.

          1. That is my plan for sure cannew. You have a good memory 🙂

            Not sure if this helps May or not?

            “In our 50s and 60s, start withdrawing assets from RRSP when not working or working part-time to cover retirement or semi-retirement expenses. This will start reducing the deferred tax liability that is our RRSPs before any workplace pensions kick in.
            In our 60s, exhaust all RRSP and/or RRIF assets.
            In our mid-60s, consider taking CPP and/or OAS government benefits. There is the real potential for us to delay our CPP and/or OAS until age 70.”

            Going this route as cannew says will allow us to let dividends become reinvested tax-free inside the TFSA for decades to come.

        2. Thanks Mark and Cannew. Yes, I have similar plan, drawing down RRSP first, leave TFSA to last. While I am doing this though, I will also need to draw down some capital from RRSP too, not only dividends.

          A very simple case: Assuming that I will have $10K dividends from TFSA, and $70K dividends from RRSP. Nothing else. And I need $80K for retirement. As I will not withdraw from TFSA yet, in addition of withdraw $70K dividends from RRSP, also $10K capital from RRSP. In this case, the $10K new capital (from dividends reinvestment) in TFSA washed out the $10K capital withdraw from RRSP.

          1. Well, I will too May (re: eat capital) but in the short-term I intend to focus on a “living off dividends” mindset to help keep my savings approach intact.

            I think $80k in retirement for a couple (assuming that includes CPP and OAS) is VERY financially healthy. My wife and I hope to earn about ~ $60k per year but likely only need about $50k per year (after tax) to meet our needs. We’ll see how close we get to that or keep working until we do!

            Good to hear from you.

  10. Henry and Mark — This post and the last interview with Henry really helps those of us who are already retired. (Of course it helps those planning retirement as well)
    I haven’t had time to get out and purchase the book yet but I will. Thank you both for these very informative interviews.

  11. Looks like an interesting book that I will read since Henry’s investing style appears to be similar to my own (confirmation bias?). I enjoyed the list of questions and Henry’s answeres. I noticed that Henry commented that ” I own 5 banks, 3 pipelines, 2 utilities, and 2 communication companies” which seems similar to my own portfolios (registered and non-registered). I own 5 banks, 2 pipelines, 2 utilities and 3 communication companies which compose more than 50% of my holdings. However, I also hold about 30 additional equities which keep me busy monitoring their business performance. At some point, I will likely consider more ETFs over individual stocks.

    1. I’ve thought about that too over the years Colin. I own 5+ banks, 2+ telcos, 3+ pipelines, 4+ utilities, a couple of railroads…etc. But the thing is, I look at TSX (ETFs such as XIU, XIC, VCN) and that’s all there really is for dividend growers and payers.

      Unless the Canadian investing model is turned on its head – why change? We’re > 60% towards our semi-retirement goal investing this way. Why stop now? Thoughts? Too risky? It seems you’ve “been there, done that” 🙂


      1. The best and largest Canadian dividend companies seem to boil down to a fairly common list. I have been retired more than a decade and the dividends I receive exceed my spending needs and wants. I feel very fortunate that I can help my children now. I likely have too concentrated a portfolio according to many but I prefer strong, large companies that can grow their dividends vs wide diversification. I learned in 2008-9 that in a global financial crisis, most equities and asset classes go down together as everything gets sold. Bonds were the general exception but I sold my bonds in 2009 and having been waiting since then for interest rates to go up again. haha

        I expect you will achieve your financial goals with reinvesting dividends and new funds given enough time horizon without taking on excessive risk. First million takes the longest.

        1. @Colin: “The best and largest Canadian dividend companies seem to boil down to a fairly common list”.
          A true statement, but those still in the accumulation phase should know that even with those few, make sure you are buying the right ones at the right time.
          I feel the US DG stocks fall into the same category, that they are easy to identify even though the list will be a bit longer. One does not need to own them all. You hit it on the head with ” I prefer strong, large companies that can grow their dividends vs wide diversification”

        2. I started to get out of bonds about 10 years ago, as I began to realize my DB plan at work is really “a big bond”. So, I starting taking more equity risk with my personal portfolio by owning a collection of CDN and U.S. dividend paying stocks. About 30 CDN and 10 U.S. dividend paying stocks are held. We also own U.S.-listed ETFs like VYM (~500 units) that make up the rest of our portfolio.

          So, like you, like I have read about from you – our plan seems to be working similar to yours. We hope to surpass $19K in dividend income derived from our TFSAs x2 and one non-reg. account in the next 2 months. RRSPs provide income beyond that too!

          We probably hold 50% of the same CDN stocks I bet. I’m sure we both have similar plans as to not sell them, but you can confirm 🙂

          I hope we do reach our financial goals in the coming years. That will be outstanding and it will certainly verify my investing approach was the right one to take all along.

          Thanks for your comments. I look forward to reading more of them.

          PS – first million is the hardest. Yes, seems that way, but I hope our portfolio will get there!!

          1. Most of our holdings are non-registered and address our current income needs.

            I haven’t really worked TFSAs into our income plans. The contributions go in, get invested and remain in the TFSAs.

            Our RRSPs are our tax achilles heel if we both die before we can withdraw most of their funds. Paying over 53% income taxes on our RRSPs or RRIFs in the future on a final estate return will be disappointing but one doesn’t plan on cancer or other early retirement health problems.

            I likely should have transformed our non-registered holdings away from dividends/income generation into total return ETFs like Horizon’s offerings before the federal government decided to restrict this option in the last budget.

            Advice or articles on TFSA usage strategies or better retirement management of RRSP/RRIFs would be very welcome.

            Great discussions on your site.

            1. You must have a great benefit from dividend tax credit.

              “Our RRSPs are our tax achilles heel if we both die before we can withdraw most of their funds.” This is another case for making RRSP withdrawals before mandatory age 71. Probably best to move assets from RRSP to non-reg. or TFSAs over time but you already know that.

              Interesting play: away from dividends/income generation into total return ETFs. I haven’t considered that yet but I might at some point.

              Any worries about rule changes coming to swap-based funds like Horizon’s offerings?

              Duly noted and I will consider that Colin! (Advice or articles on TFSA usage strategies or better retirement management of RRSP/RRIFs would be very welcome.) I know of a few fee-only planners that might be of some help.



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