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Statistics, Smoking and some Friday Random Thoughts

A busy week for me at work, which is always a good thing, so let’s just bounce around to some thoughts on my mind and some ideas.

  1. Let me state that I am NOT in favor of the Government banning smoking in some one’s house. I never meant to imply that should be the case, however, I am all over parents who ban smoking from their house (even their spouses) when there are kids involved. To paraphrase a famous (infamous) Canadian, The Government has no place in the bedrooms of Canadians (kind of creepy to think of my MP hanging out in my bedroom).
  2. TD announces amazing profits yesterday after last week’s DOOM and GLOOM statements, so what does this mean? You should have bought TD last week? That’s about my only view on this, whether there are still more ramifications from the below prime fiasco in the states, we shall see. My DRIP keeps dripping along happily.
  3. The back to school insanity continues in my financial world, with that sucking sound you hear my kids going back to school.
  4. My visit to the Passport office this week was not the horror I expected, it took me 20 minutes once I was in the door and I paid only $2 parking at 240 Sparks Street, amazing. I didn’t see Lotta Hitchmanova anywhere around however. Just go after 9:00 AM on a Wednesday before the Lunch rush.
  5. My company (my real job remember) just changed their parental leave benefits (naturally lowering it’s top up (was 75% after first 9 weeks are at full pay, now is only 55%) ), which has caused a great deal of discussion internally, with one side crying FOUL and the other pointing out that a great deal of companies do not offer any “top up” of the EI benefits and we are lucky to still have them. Given I am not planning on having any more kids, I am not part of the discussion.

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Investing: BCE Smokes Along

With the sale of their A-Channel assets and the rumors of a takeover BCE shares have been rising nicely lately, they are almost at their preNortel sell off price, which is just fine by me! I bought the stock for it’s dividends. Now of course, if the take over does not occur, the stock value will drop again, but that would be good for my Dividend Reinvestment Program as well (DRiP), so it’s all good on my side of the world.

In other areas my investments are not doing as well, but at least I can point to one area of happiness for me.

Always glad to see the mainstream media follows Stats Canada as well, as I saw my commentary about Salt has also made it onto the CBC web page (well from the same source at least). My nose for news is still good!

I also don’t feel quite so DUMB about my Arithmetic problems on my Credit Card after finding out that CERN blew up their Particle Accelerator, due to mathematical errors at Fermilab. Goes to show that everyone has problems with their calculations.

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DRiP Downsides and Post 500!

The great financial site FMF had an interesting posting with an interesting downside to Dividend ReInvestment Plans. DRIP downsides are not that many, but they are still a good idea.

And I quote:

Generally, I think they are a good deal if you’re interested in one stock in particular as they decrease costs in acquiring the stock. However, you must be willing to deal with extra paperwork as each DRIP will be its own account (as far as I know) versus being able to hold many stocks in one brokerage account.

Now I never have seen that with my holdings that I have DRiP “turned on” for, and it sounds like a royal pain in the tuchos, if that is the case. Not sure if this is a regulatory thing in the states, or their trading account owners screwing around, but this would drive me crazy as well. It also means that the power of the DRiP, which is adding more stock, and thus making future dividends larger, kind of gets lost in this type of set up, no? Seems kind of odd.

And this is my 500th Posting too!!!!!

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Carnivals and Weekly Recap

Personal Business and Finance in India is hosting the Carnival of Money and Finance and they mention my rants about Einstein Finance and the rule of 72 as well as my explanation of Dividend Reinvestment Plans.

An interesting post by Money $mart Life about pay day loans, where he is looking for stories about using pay day loan companies. He is offering $50.00 for the best story, so go on over and have a look.

My Top 3 Posts of the Week are:

  1. Tim Horton’s Savings Plan where I lay out just how much that daily double double can cost.
  2. Looks bad but that is good outlining the importance of having your injury look worse than it is, to get better service?
  3. Inflation only at 1.2% right now, but how much longer will that last?

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DRIP: How’s that again?

OK, so my rant yesterday might have been a little confusing, so I figured I’d run through the entire scenario with a stock that I own, but not the actual shares held numbers for me (I am paranoid about my secrecy sometimes, I know).

Dividend Reinvesment Plans

No not that kind of Drip, Dividend ReInvestment Plans

Let’s take Sun Life Financial (stock ticker symbol SLF on the Toronto Exchange)

It’s current price is $52.41 per share Canadian . The reason I bought it was for dividends, and because I actually deal with them on a few things with my job, and figured they seemed to know how to make money (this is not an endorsement on my part, simply an explanation as to why I own shares in them).

First thing to find out is whether Sun Life offers a Dividend Reinvestment Program, and yes they do, so that is a check on the list.

What was the last dividend they paid? They paid $0.32 per common share, from their latest financial statement.

How many shares do I need to own to get a share in the DRIP program?

$52.41 / 0.32 = 164 Shares that I would have to own to get 1 share in my DRIP.

I trust the arithmetic is straight forward here. So if I own less than 164 shares of SLF they would simply credit my trading account the amount of the dividend (number of shares * 32 cents) and that would be it. If I owned 165 shares however, I would get 1 extra share of SLF in my account and some amount less than a dollar as the amount left over from the dividend.

Remember these dividends are quarterly paid as well, so if I owned the right amount of shares I might get new share certificates in my account 4 times a year. Not too shabby, I think.

This is one way to invest, it is not the only way, and for me it is one of the few ways I understand, so I stick with this for now.

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