Investment Blogger of the Month: My Own Advisor
by | Posted 11.20.2012 | Post Comment (No Comments)

Each month, Dividend Stock Analysis will interview an investment blogger. Instead of simply making a list of the top dividend investing blogs, we thought you would have more fun reading about the author prior to read his blog. If you have more questions about the blogger of the month, write your question in the comment section.


My Own Advisor Profile


Mark is in his late 30’s and has been blogging at My Own Advisor since December 2009. He started investing by himself while he was in his 20’s and learned about the investing process by reading books (after he realized that he was paying high MER’s on mutual funds provided by his banker!).


His main investing goal is to build a portfolio generating over $30,000 in dividend income. As at November 2012, he has reached 21% of his goal. This means his current dividend portfolio generates $6,300 per year in payouts.


I particularly like his investing philosophy cited on his site:

  • I believe it produces great returns over time.
  • I buy companies that have a history of paying consistent dividends.
  • I buy companies that have a history of increasing dividends over time.
  • I only buy common stocks in these companies.
  • I keep Canadian dividend paying companies almost exclusively in non-registered or tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs).
  • I use Dividend Reinvestment Plans (DRIPs) for some holdings, to earn more shares every quarter or month.
  • I try to avoid selling any companies.
  • I do not sell stocks unless there is a major dividend cut or a significant change in the business.



Questions to Mark:


#1 When did you start investing?


I started investing in my early 20s, after reading David Chilton’s The Wealthy Barber.

I started my investing journey, albeit blindly all those years ago by putting my hard-earned money into big-bank mutual funds and paying high management expense fees (MERs) in the process.  In my early 30s, to be blunt, after getting pissed off at my mutual fund investment returns I started working towards becoming a do-it-yourself (DIY) investor.  I’ve been a DIY investor for the past 5 years and have regretted one day of it.  The way I see it, nobody cares more about my money than I do.  You should feel the same.


#2 Why do you invest? What is/or your investing goal?


I invest primarily because I want to be financially independent, financially free on my terms.  Sure, I could rely on my pension at work, CPP and OAS programs as well in my old age, but that’s relying on others for my financial freedom, and working many more years to hand on for those freedoms.  I don’t want to rely on others; I don’t want my financial future in someone else’s hands.  I simply don’t think that’s very smart.


#3 Tell me about your best trade


Probably buying a few hundred shares of BMO when it was around $40 per share after the 2008-2009 global financial crisis.  The current price is approaching $60 per share.

#4 Tell me about your worst trade


I continue to hold a company that is struggling, CML Healthcare.  Since buying this investment, the share price has gone down about 40%.   Not pretty.  I continue to own it but hopefully it won’t become “a Nortel moment” for me.



#5 How do you describe your investing style?


My investing style is founded upon two tried and true approaches.  One, a major part of my investment strategy is dividend investing. I plan on using dividend income to pay for part of my retirement expenses. My goal is to earn tax-efficient and tax-free dividend income to the tune of $30,000 per year from Canadian companies.  Two, when I’m not investing by owning dividend paying stocks, I invest in broad market Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs).  I use ETFs to passively track the market and achieve near market returns.  Indexing takes away the risk of active-management so I can “set and forget” part of my retirement plan.


#6 What are your favorite sources of information for investing?


Wow, there are so many.  A few of my favourites are TMX Money and some great blogs that discuss dividend investing.  Dividend Monk is one of the best I’ve seen from the United States.

Dividend Guy Blog in Canada is pretty good as well.



TMX Money

Dividend Monk

The Dividend Guy Blog



#7 What is your #1 investing rule?


Be greedy when others are fearful and be fearful when others are greedy.   I recall these wise words came from Warren Buffett, arguably the greatest investor of our time.  Meaning, when equities tank look to buy equities, not sell them.  You can eventually profit from established companies that pay dividends when the market beats them up or the broad market declines as a whole.  If you can avoid selling your dividend paying stocks when prices fall 10%, 20% or even 30% and instead, buy them, you’ll be far wealthier for it.