Here are some recent stocks I bought* for my portfolio — all part of my plan to one day become financially independent.
1.) 105 shares of mfc.to (Manulife Financial Corp)
Manulife Financial Corp is a Canadian based company that offers financial services and life insurance in Canada, the United States and Asia. Interesting fact: the company was founded in 1887 and had none other than Sir John A. McDonald as its first president (Canada’s first prime minister whose mug shot adorns the CDN ten dollar bill). Since then the company has grown into a Canadian behemoth with almost a trillion dollars (CAD) in assets under its management, and with over 34,000 employees and 63,000 agents worldwide.
More recently, however, Manulife has been hit with some relatively hard times due to declining interest rates and lower energy prices. These are offset, however, with incredible growth in Asia and more modest (yet excellent) growth in Canada. The company has also introduced new products in the US which are expected to add to its bottom line. Many expect the company’s stock to regain its recent losses once energy prices begin to recover.
There are also a couple of things I really like about this stock: first, as a dividend growth investor, the company already has a healthy yield of 3.9%. Second, they’ve increased their dividend twice in the last year alone, for a total increase of around 20%. It’s not hard to imagine the company being able to sustain these levels given the growth it is currently experiencing in Asia and elsewhere.
On the flip side, net income is currently down due to the difficulties mentioned above. Nevertheless, these problems are seen as only temporary, given that the rest of the company is doing so well. Dividend growth has also not been consistent, with increases resuming only in 2014 after the stock market meltdown of 2008. Prior to that, increases occurred once or twice a year.
Finally, it looks like I haven’t learned my lesson from last month’s purchase, seeing as I just missed (again) the ex-dividend date for Manulife’s upcoming dividend. I’m also buying the stock after its price increased a whopping 6% during last week’s stock market rally. As a result, I might hold off on my purchase for a couple of days to see if the price retreats a little. Nevertheless, with this purchase, I should expect to make an additional $75 (approx.) in yearly dividend income.
Here are some quick facts about Manulife Financial Corp (info taken March 13, 2016):
52wk Range: $15.32 to $24.20
Market Cap: 33.88B
Div & Yield: 0.74 (3.92%)
Globe and Mail Rating: Buy
* Please keep in mind that I’m posting this for information/entertainment purposes only. In no way am I suggesting that you should buy these stocks as well. I honestly have no clue what I’m doing and you’d be better off seeing an investment professional. Honest!