I’ve always been interested in money and investing, but I didn’t always have money to invest. It wasn’t until about 2008 that I really started investing. I’d paid off my student loans and I’d started my professional career. No debt, and a new job that was paying me more money than I was used to. At first I didn’t really know how to start. I didn’t have a lump sum of money, I just had extra money coming in every two weeks from my job. I think most people starting out, usually start with a mutual fund. I was no different. Mutual funds can have very high fees, especially in Canada, but I was fortunate enough to start out with one that has relatively low fees. I started contributing a set amount into ING Direct’s Streetwise fund on a monthly basis.
After some additional research I stumbled across Dividend Reinvestment Plans (DRIPs). With DRIPs I was able to invest on a monthly basis, without paying broker fees. I started by investing small amounts ($100-$500 at a time). Not having to pay broker fees was very important as they can really cut into profits when investing small amounts.
For awhile I continued this strategy of dollar cost averaging with a few DRIPs I’d picked: Bank of Nova Scotia, Fortis, TransCanada, Enbridge, Telus, Johnson & Johnson, Pepsi, and Proctor & Gamble. Once my car was paid off, I had more capital to invest, so I continued to dollar cost average, but also started investing in dividend growth stocks with an online broker to take advantage of tax sheltered accounts (TFSA, and RRSP) that are not available with a traditional DRIP. I’ve been continuing this strategy for a few years now. You can read about my portfolio updates here, and see what stocks I own in my portfolio here.