Amsterdam on a Budget

Amsterdam is the capital of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.  It has beautiful canals and over 1500 bridges.  I have been to Amsterdam a few times so far and have always enjoyed myself because of the ease of getting around (just follow the canals) and because there is so much to do in Amsterdam.

Getting Around

Getting from the Airport (which is a great airport by the way) is easy.  A train ticket from the airport to the centre of Amsterdam costs four euro and you can buy a return ticket back to the airport even if it is not the same day that you return.  It takes about 20 minutes to get from the airport to the canal ring portion of town.

Related: How To Get Cheap Airfare

Amsterdam on a BudgetWalking around the old part of town is also very easy, most places are accessible by foot, and if it isn’t you can take one of the trams that cost a few euro to ride.  You can also buy a 24 hour pass.  Of course, you can also rent a bicycle (you know in the land of bicycles) but this costs at least 7 to 9 euro per day.  People do not wear helmets in Amsterdam and there aren’t that many cars in the canal ring or old part of town.Continue Reading

Dividend Income Update December 2014

I was a busy bee in the past quarter and my dividend portfolio was busy too, it seems.  I was productive this quarter considering in my last update I don’t really think I had much to update. In hindsight maybe a bit TOO productive, I can barely keep track of what I did.

Changes to the Dividend Portfolio

In terms of changes with my dividend portfolio and selling off dividend stocks, there were a few changes including having Exchange Income Fund (EIF.TO) which had been a long time dividend darling for me sell off through my stop limit order.  I guess the problem with stop limit orders is that you accidentally sell something that will bounce back (as in this case, it was triggered to sell at just under $20 and now it is over $23 again.  I will need to think about how to fix this problem, perhaps have lower stop limit settings?

I also bought Canadian Oil Sands (COS.TO) and then the stop limit order set off in November.  I proceeded to rebuy it again (and bought double the shares).  I also bought TECK (just a few shares of this) as I know it is a risky stock but it pays a decent dividend.  I also bought a few more shares of NYSE:T AT&T which all the US dollars I could muster in my RRSP account.

In addition, I rebalanced some of my TFSA portfolio right after the last update (you know, since i felt to guilty I did nothing last time), then I rebalanced my RRSP portfolio and my non-registered portfolio.  When I mean rebalance, I mean by more shares.

Related: How To Balance Your Portfolio… The Lazy Way (or when you’re Math Challenged)

In terms of increase or decrease in dividend income from the companies, there wasn’t much change at all, no increase in dividends unfortunately.  At least there weren’t many companies that had a decrease in dividend income.

If you want to make your own spreadsheet, check out my snazzy ‘step by step guide on how to make a dividend income spreadsheet

Looking Back

I don’t usually look back because I usually am full of regret (such as selling Visa at $88 and now it is over $200…) but thought it would be interesting to check what Just Energy is at currently.

Just a quick check and I see that Just Energy (JE.TO) which I sold off last update (it triggered a stop limit order at $6) is STILL $6.  Well, just like moldy fruit… I am glad to have gotten rid of that one.Continue Reading

December 2014 networth update: $344,490 (+0.4%)

Ughhh the suspense!  Just one more month left until “judgment day”!

I was doing good until a few days ago when the oil stocks just basically plummeted.  Unfortunately I calculate my net worth updates on the same day each month so I was not able to “fudge” my update.

As some of you know, I am aiming to hit a net worth of $350,000 by the end of the year, or $380,000 if I count my pension contribution (which is a pretty decent chunk off my gross income).  So far, I have “made” the target of $380,000 by over $3500 if I count my pension contribution, but if I don’t, I am short about $5500 and I have one month left to make it.  Realistically I am not sure if this is feasible considering how unstable the markets are right now.

I bought more COS.TO (Canadian Oil Sands) despite their dividend cut as I think it’s a great buying opportunity.  I also am thinking of stocking up on HSE.TO (Husky Energy).  It’s sale time and you guys know how much I like sales!

Okay, so here’s the breakdown for December 2014 ($344,490): +0.4% +$1350


CASH: $24,400 (-37%)

Net Worth Update

  • Upon the comments from my last post, I moved some of my money into my non-registered accounts so that most of this is for emergency savings.
  • I added up my chequing and savings accounts (High Interest Savings Account). I automatically deduct money from my chequing account and have it siphoned to the HISA account (paying yourself first)

Non-Registered: $120,460 (+14%)

  • I added more ETFs this month and rebalanced my ETF portfolio
  • The gain is mainly from me moving my money from a HISA into my Questrade account- unfortunately I keep the cash in my “total” of nonregistered account
  • These are stocks that capture the “moment in time”, including unrealized gains or losses in my BMO Investorline and Questrade accounts.Continue Reading