Credit Card Arbitrage

Making Life Hard One Card at a Time

Credit card arbitrage is when you use a low promotional balance transfer or deposit rate from a credit card and use the money to earn income at a higher rate. This sounds good in theory, but in my opinion for most people the limited returns don’t compensate enough for the added risk and extra time and effort. In today’s low interest rate environment it is difficult to find the higher rates needed to make it worth your time. Let’s take a look at a live example.

Right now (April 12, 2104) in Canada Rate Supermarket is offering a $100 promo when you sign up for either a MBNA cash back card, or a MBNA platinum card that offers a 0% balance transfer for 12 months.

Initially the 0% offer sounds great, but there are a few caveats.

  • While there is no annual fee, MBNA will charge you a 1% balance transfer fee (min charge $7.50) when you make the request, so the 0% offer is really 1%.
  • The second thing to consider is that you have to make the minimum payments each month otherwise they’ll up the interest rate to around 20%. The minimum payment is 1%

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  • Dividend Income Update: February 2014

    Loonie

    As a way of tracking my progress towards financial freedom I total up the dividends I received each month. The end goal is to have my dividends cover my expenses. This is a long term goal, so I have a lot of years to go, but I find it encouraging to see my dividend income steadily rise over time. This reminds me that I’m on the right track and to stick with it. Here are the results for the month.

    My dividend income for February 2014:

    Canadian Dividend Income

    Canadian Dividend All-Star List Update: March 1, 2014 – New tab that includes the Canadian Banks!

    So you turned your back

    The Canadian Dividend All-Star List has been updated for the month, and I think you’ll like this update as I’ve added a whole bunch more information. The update I’m most excited about is the addition of the “Others” tab. In this tab I’ve added more dividend paying companies with a dividend streak of less than 5 years which includes the big six Canadian banks!

    When the financial crisis hit in 2008 and 2009 there were a number of companies that kept there dividend steady for a few years, before increasing the dividend again. This knocked a lot of companies off the Canadian Dividend All-Star List as they no longer had the required five or more years of increasing dividends each calendar year in a row. The big six Canadian banks all failed to increase their dividend which is why you don’t see them in the Canadian Dividend All-Star List. I think if you talk with most Canadian dividend growth investors you will find they own at least one of the big six banks in their portfolio. I’d wager it’s a significant component of their portfolio too. This is the main reason I wanted to include the “Others”

    … Continue reading Canadian Dividend All-Star List Update: March 1, 2014 – New tab that includes the Canadian Banks!

    How to buy a share on the DRIP Investing Resource Center’s share exchange

    B&O RR common stock

    If  you’ve decided you want to enrol in a dividend reinvestment plan (DRIP), but need a starter share to enrol in the plan then a good option to consider is buying the share from the share exchange on the DRIP Investing Resource Center.

    Related articles: What Is A Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP/DRP)? and Pros & Cons of a Traditional Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP/DRP) with a Share Purchase Plan (SPP)

    If you’ve decided that you are going to buy your share from the share exchange on the DRIP Investing Resource Center, you’ve come to the right place. This article should guide you step by step through the whole process.

    When I first started DRIPing I found it overwhelming. The learning curve can be quite steep, so it’s my hope that this article should help clarify the process and guide you. A word of warning for beginners. Before buying a share there are a number of factors to consider first, so

    … Continue reading How to buy a share on the DRIP Investing Resource Center’s share exchange

    Things to consider before buying a share and enrolling in a dividend reinvestment plan (DRIP)

    Question mark

    Before buying your first share so that you can enrol in a dividend reinvestment plan (DRIP) there are a number of considerations you should go over first. The easiest way in my opinion to become a shareholder in a company so that you can enrol in the company’s DRIP and SPP is to enrol through the Direct Share Purchase Plan (DSPP). An important first step is checking to see if a DSPP exists for the company you are interested in. If a DSPP exists then you don’t have to go through the hassle of buying a single share, you can simply start investing in the company directly through the transfer agent.

    Related article: Pros & Cons of a Traditional Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP/DRP) with a Share Purchase Plan (SPP)

    Most Canadian companies do not offer a DSPP, but a number of US companies do. A notable Canadian exception is Fortis, but it only offers a DSPP through their transfer agent Computershare to residents of NL/Labrador & PEI. Here are some resources if you are trying

    … Continue reading Things to consider before buying a share and enrolling in a dividend reinvestment plan (DRIP)

    Dividend Income Update: January 2014

    329 Balloons

    As a way of tracking my progress towards financial freedom I total up the dividends I received each month. The end goal is to have my dividends cover my expenses. This is a long term goal, so I have a lot of years to go, but I find it encouraging to see my dividend income steadily rise over time. This reminds me that I’m on the right track and to stick with it.

    My dividend income for January 2014:

    Canadian Dividend Income

    Total Canadian Dividend Income – $204.22

    US Dividend Income

    • Medtronic – $11.48
    • PepsiCo – $65.71
    • Sysco – $23.20

    Total US Dividend Income – $100.39

    Two companies announced dividend increases recently and as a result paid me more this month.

  • Telus (TSE:T Trend Analysis) increased their quarterly dividend from

    … Continue reading Dividend Income Update: January 2014

  • Coca Cola Company Dividend Stock Analysis

    Cokey Low-key

    Coca Cola Co. is one of those companies that dividend growth investors drool over. The company has been paying out increasing dividends each year for over 50 years. Its products are sold all over through one of the best distribution networks in the world. It has a wide economic moat and Warren Buffet’s company Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B Trend Analysis) is a significant shareholder in the company.

    For a conservative investor like me, it can be hard to find an entry point in great companies like Coca Cola Co. that I’m comfortable with. They don’t go on sale very often. Coca Cola Co. has been creeping closer to Morningstar’s 5 star price of $36 lately, so I thought now would be a good time to take a closer look at the company.

    10 Year Stock Chart

    Coca Cola Co.’s stock has been on a tear since 2009, but then again most stocks have. Looking at the 10 year return it is average. The 10 year annual average return is 4.4%. If we include the dividend payments over the past 10 fiscal years (Total dividends paid of $7.22) then the total average annual return

    … Continue reading Coca Cola Company Dividend Stock Analysis

    Pros & Cons of a Traditional Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP/DRP) with a Share Purchase Plan (SPP)

    You Big Wet Drip

    A dividend reinvestment plan (DRIP) is a plan for shareholders of a company that allows them to reinvest their cash payment from dividends with the purchase of more shares in the same company. There are two types of DRIPs, a synthetic DRIP and a traditional DRIP. A synthetic DRIP is a plan that is provided by your broker and administered by them. A traditional DRIP is a plan offered by the company and administered by a transfer agent.

    Related article: What Is A Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP/DRP)?

    A share purchase plan (SPP) allows investors enrolled in a traditional DRIP to buy more shares of the company through the transfer agent. Most investors don’t setup a traditional DRIP unless the company also offers a SPP as they want to be able to buy more shares as well as reinvest their dividends.

    In this article I’m going to talk about the advantages (Pros) and disadvantages (Cons) of a traditional DRIP with a SPP. The article is very long (over 5,000 words) so I’ve summarized the pros and cons here. You can jump between

    … Continue reading Pros & Cons of a Traditional Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP/DRP) with a Share Purchase Plan (SPP)

    What Is A Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP/DRP)?

    When Water Drops Collide

    A dividend reinvestment plan (DRIP) is a plan for shareholders of a company that allows them to reinvest their dividends with the purchase of more shares. In most DRIPs, when the cash from the dividend is used to buy more shares there is no fee/commission charged. This is the main advantage of a DRIP, low or no fees. There are other advantages too, but I’ll go into those later on.

    There are two types of DRIPs, a synthetic DRIP and a traditional DRIP.

    Synthetic DRIP

    A synthetic DRIP is a service offered by your broker. It depends on your broker, but most will not reinvest in fractional shares. This means that you’d need enough dividends from one payment to cover the cost of the share. To enrol in a synthetic DRIP, you have to contact your broker and ask to be enrolled. It doesn’t normally cost anything to enrol in a synthetic DRIP.

    Traditional DRIP

    A traditional or true DRIP is the plan that is offered by the company. The company uses a transfer agent to administer the plan. Through the transfer agent you can reinvest your dividends to buy fractional shares.

    … Continue reading What Is A Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP/DRP)?

    Target Corporation Dividend Stock Analysis

    Target old logo

    Two of the blogs I follow (Dividend Growth Investor and Dividend Mantra) recently announced that they bought shares of Target Corporation. I have a similar strategy to these other bloggers, so I thought I should check Target Corporation out too. Target Corporation has been having difficulty with its Canadian expansion plans and they recently announced higher than expected costs. They are also trying to recover from a data breach. Not surprisingly this has caused the share price to drop recently. In cases like these it can be an opportunity to buy quality companies at discounted prices. The trick is to identify if the share price drop is related to short term news, or because of a fundamental shift in the company or industry. I think in the long term Target Corporation will be able to rebound from these events, which is why I thought now would be a good time for a dividend stock analysis and to determine the price I’d be willing to buy at.

    Company information

    Target Corporation is a general merchandis

    Sourced from Yahoo Finance

    Target Corporation

    … Continue reading Target Corporation Dividend Stock Analysis