Portfolio Update – October 2016

October was not a stellar month, but like a ship through a storm, slow and stead wins the race. Here are the graphs for October 2016.


On a monthly basis, I was trending below the my benchmark, The Canadian Couch Potato Assertive Portfolio. For October, that portfolio returned a gain of 0.02%, and the total fund return for my own experienced a loss of 0.70%. However, my certificated portfolio managed to beat the benchmark handily, clocking in at 1.74%, a clear winner.


On a trailing twelve month basis, overall I am still beating the benchmark. The Assertive Portfolio benchmark for the last twelve months returned a gain of 7.14%, whilst my total fund returned 10.20%, a handy 3+% increase over the benchmark. I expect this trend to stabilize over the coming months, as some of my large sales earlier this year to fund some major purchases start rolling off of the TTM calculations. But for now, my key Margin, Total Portfolio, and TFSA measures are beating the benchmark.

In September I set up automatic synthetic DRIPs in my LIRA account to automatically re-invest dividends as they become available. The synthetic drip allows me to constantly grow the portfolio whilst negating commission costs, reducing the overall amount of cash in the portfolio (which I consider a massive point of friction, since the cash sits there generating zero returns). October was the first full month of synthetic DRIP in the LIRA account, and as the months move forward, I expect the LIRA to exceed the benchmark, since the LIRA is investing monthly, but the benchmark is only designed to re-balance every six months (which is an accurate representation of what may happen in the real world).


Reviewing the passive income statistics, the benchmark portfolio returned $204.15 in passive income, and my own passive income exceeded that by 83.74%, which was a great accomplishment.


On a trailing twelve month perspective, I am still exceeding the benchmark in total passive income. Benchmark TTM passive income was $5961.89, and the TTM passive income of my own portfolio beat that by 4.40%. The makeup of my portfolio has changed since I started maintaining it on a regular basis again, however the weightings of major dividend players are still low relative to the portfolio as a whole. I expect TTM passive income to level off relative to the benchmark, but within the next twelve months I expect to be in a position to beat the benchmark on a monthly basis as I re-weight the portfolio for a more even income allocation.

I have set up a number of recurring OCPs to automatically invest in my certificated account on a monthly basis. Specifically, Telus, Emera, Fortis, and Bank of Nova Scotia are now receiving automatic contributions from my paycheque every month. While this is a drag on disposable income, because these are all strong dividend players, I expect the long term gains to far outweigh the short term pain of not having “play money”.

Onwards and upwards!

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