2018 Dividend Update

We just received the final dividend payments in our bank account for December. 2018 was a good year on the dividend side. Now that the portfolio is streamlined and in better shape, I’m very much looking forward to 2019. Without further ado, here is the 2018 Dividend Update.

2018 Dividend Update

December was not a pretty month, at least not from a stockmarket gains perspective. The dividends on the other hand were pretty good! December is normally the best month of the year (for most dividend investors). However not for us, due to the shuffling in the portfolio, we actually came in just under the income we received in June. Heck, I looked at the forecast for January for this year, which seems to be even higher?! We seem to have a strangely distributed portfolio…

Anyhow, we sold some shares in December (BEP.UN), primarily for tax reasons. The gains we reinvested into more shares with the VDY high dividend ETF. This way we get exposure to shares that we cannot buy directly ourselves (restrictions we have in our account), like Telus and TD bank.

December Dividends

Considering we have our dividend stock portfolio in our RRSPs (Canadian Pension accounts), I’ve decided to make a sight change in reporting. Here is the new overview:

  • Income in CAD: $901.34, that is a year-over-year (YOY) gain of 20.4%
  • Converted into EUR the income is: โ‚ฌ575.45 that is a YOY gain of 1.4%

The difference in the above numbers stems from the exchange rate obviously. But we also received our last Dutch dividend exactly a year ago (from UNA) in December. As for 2019, we will have a good view of the organic portfolio growth, as we only had Canadian shares in 2018. We also cannot contribute anymore to these accounts.

The total YOY gain for 2018, based on only Canadian shares, was 7.1%. Very happy with that because this is the stable (and growing!) part of the portfolio. The total YOY decrease in EUR was 13.1%, which is solely due to the sales of many shares in late 2017. See notes below.

The stats for last month:

2018 Dividend Update - Monthly Dividend
2018 Dividend Update – Monthly Dividend

The graph below is showing the yearly dividend totals for 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. We received a total income of โ‚ฌ6.281, based on the exchange rate of 31 December 2018.

For 2018 the received amount in CAD was $9.631. Aiming to cross the $10.000 in 2019!

2018 Dividend Update - Yearly Dividend
2018 Dividend Update – Yearly Dividend

Noteworthy points:

  • we used to have a high cost ETF portfolio in our pension accounts (company provided), which we changed into a dividend portfolio in 2015-2016.
  • Sold selling many (Dutch) dividend shares in 2017 (reinvested in Real Estate).
  • we made a few mistakes when we started with the dividend portfolio, which costed a fair amount of money. Those mistakes were made primarily in 2015-2016 (rookie errors like chasing yield).
  • Major shuffle in 2018 to only keep the more stable and growing dividend shares.

Dividend Stock Overview

Our dividend portfolio now contains 35 companies + one ETF with a total of 8.258 shares.

The portfolio looks like this:

2018 Dividend Update - Dividend Overview
2018 Dividend Update – Dividend Overview

Dividend Sector Breakdown

When you breakdown the previously shown dividend stock overview by sector, it looks as follows:

2018 Dividend Update - Dividend Stock by Sector
2018 Dividend Update – Dividend Stock by Sector

How was your 2018? Did you set a new record? What’s the goal for 2019? Let me know!


  1. Gotta love those dividends! I wonder if that works the same in Canada as it does in Australia…. Did your employer(s) put mandatory contributions in your RRSPs while you were working there? And seeing you’re now not contributing anymore to these accounts, you’ve changed the allocations to a high dividend yield ETF (low cost?) and a basket of individual (all Canadian?) shares? And let it DRP… Or do you hold a selection outside of your RRSPs?

    1. Our employers did put an X amount in the RRSP accounts. But we (and our former employers) stopped contributing since we left to go back to the Netherlands. There is now no more tax incentive. This is also why we love the dividends in these accounts, they are not taxed at all (hence only Canadian shares). Outside these RRSP account we have our real estate, index funds, crowdfunding and some sustainable loans. But no dividend shares!

    1. Good question, not sure, depends a bit on how well the stocks do en what the dividends are doing. For now we are not planning to make any chances for the coming while.

  2. Wow, I’m really surprised about how high the dividend yield is at the moment for some stocks. I definitely will dive in to the high dividend strategy. Are Canadian stocks giving more dividends? Or is there another strategy that you choose for so many Canadian stocks? At the moment I’m a bit done with my “world ETF” strategy and looking for ways to buy assets that are lower valued. Looking at P/E, CAPE and PB here… I just wrote an article about it. You might find it interesting to check it out ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Some Canadian shares are high dividend payers, some even sustainable! It’s an interesting market to explore but heavy on the banks, commodities, REITS and utilities.
      Thanks for the tip, will need to read up!

  3. You guys are clearly doing great so far! Why did you set your goals for 2019 in CAD? Wouldn’t it make more sense to do so in EUR since all your costs are in EUR?
    Or is this because you receive physical CAD then convert to EUR and don’t want to include fx risk in your goal setting?

    1. The latter, I’m not really interested what it is in EUR right now, because we won’t want to take any money out of the account. Because it’s a pension account, we will get changed income taxes. Only when Mrs CF also stops work and I don’t do any side hustling anymore will we start to withdraw. This could be in the far future! No idea what the EUR/CAD exchange rate will do at that time. Albeit I will keep reporting both currencies to give a general idea.

  4. It’s always a pleasure to find like-minded Europeans on their way to FI. I agree, you’ve got a good-looking portfolio and you have already taken terrific steps towards your goal. Congrats on the progress!
    I look forward to following along on your journey in 2019.

  5. Nice update and nice progress. Currency-risk sucks though. Februari, august and November look weak compared to your other months, will you be trying to add stocks to support those months? I actually made a spreadsheet to see which stocks pay when, so I can spread my returns over the year. I do this for motivation, but of course it also is handy for cashflow. You can find the link to the sheet somewhere on my site, I don’t like putting links in comments!

    1. Neah, I won’t buy stocks just for the sake of getting a “perfect” distribution of cash throughout the year. Plus, the distribution is already surprisingly “steady” compared to many other dividend blogger portfolio’s. That being said, the DG&I sheet has the payment cycles included. So no need for me to reinvent the wheel.

      Cheers mate!

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