Real Estate

List of Starbucks Imminently in Closing Downtown Toronto

Many of these locations previously had lineups 9-5, Monday to Friday (or at least during the peak times [morning and mid-afternoon]). What does it say about the long-term viability of downtown commercial real estate when dozens of Starbucks locations are willing to abandon prime locations?

Is Starbucks closing all these Toronto locations because it realizes office occupancy won’t recover for at least several months?

Or because it believes office occupancy will never fully recover?

Hard to say.

Still, one could argue that Starbucks had too many locations to begin with. However, the company is not known for being reckless with its real estate footprint. I would think this retreat is not caused by simple redundancy. Rather, I assume Starbucks believes the strategic long-term viability of its downtown presence has changed.

When we’re past Covid-19, life might look very different. And not just because your local coffee joint is gone.

Below is the full list of Toronto Starbucks locations that are closing imminently:

  • Bathurst and Fleet (600 Fleet St.)
  • Bay and Elm (686 Bay St.)
  • Bay and Grosvenor (37 Grosvenor St.)
  • Bloor and Bathurst (494 Bloor St. West)
  • Bloor and Gladstone (1090 Bloor St. West)
  • Church and Gerrard (66 Gerrard St. East)
  • Davisville and Yonge (1909 Yonge St.)
  • Dufferin Mall (900 Dufferin St.)
  • First Canadian Place (Sat)
  • Front and Jarvis (81 Front St. East)
  • Hillcrest Mall (9350 Yonge St.)
  • King and Peter (370 King St. West)
  • King and Sherbourne (251 King Street E.)
  • PATH Concourse, Royal Bank Plaza – closing Sunday
  • PATH Concourse, Richmond Adelaide Centre – Closing Sunday
  • Promenade Mall (1 Promenade Cir.)
  • Queen and Ossington (2 Ossington Ave.)
  • Queens Quay and Lower Jarvis (132 Queens Quay E.)
  • Scotia Plaza (40 King Street West) – closing Saturday
  • St Clair and Bathurst (504 St. Clair Ave. West)
  • Wellington and John (224 Wellington St. West)
  • Wellington and Simcoe, RBC (155 Wellington St. W) – Closing Saturday
  • Wellington and University (55 University Ave.)
  • Yonge and Wellesley (8 Wellesley St. East)
  • Yonge and College (450 Yonge St.) – Closing Sunday
  • Yonge and Queens Quay (1 Yonge St.)
  • York and Bremner (25 York St.)
  • York Mills Centre (16 York Mills Rd.)

List source: Blogto

Income Investing Investing

Dividend Aristocrats 2021: Is Dividend Growth a Good Investing Strategy?

S&P 500® Dividend Aristocrats® measure the performance of S&P 500 companies that have increased dividends every year for the last 25 consecutive years. The basic construction methodology for the index is as follows:

Dividend Aristocrats exist across a wide range of industries, and representation within the index is quite broad.

There are 65 Dividend Aristocrats for 2021:

SymbolNameSectorYears of Annual Dividend Increases10 year Dividend GrowthDividend Yield
ABBVAbbVie Inc.Health Care4818.50%4.85%
ABTAbbott Laboratories**Health Care485.73%1.64%
ADMArcher-Daniels-Midland CoConsumer Staples459.15%2.86%
ADPAutomatic Data ProcessingInformation Technology4611.85%2.11%
AFLAFLAC IncFinancials386.99%2.97%
ALBAlbemarle Corp.Materials2610.52%1.04%
AOSSmith A.O. CorpIndustrials2721.92%1.90%
APDAir Products & Chemicals IncMaterials3910.43%1.96%
ATOAtmos EnergyUtilities375.74%2.62%
BDXBecton Dickinson & CoHealth Care498.02%1.33%
BENFranklin Resources IncFinancials4113.92%4.48%
BF.BBrown-Forman Corp BConsumer Staples378.10%0.90%
CAHCardinal Health IncHealth Care2510.08%3.63%
CATCaterpillar IncIndustrials279.13%2.26%
CBChubb LtdFinancials279.11%2.03%
CINFCincinnati Financial CorpFinancials604.06%2.75%
CLColgate-Palmolive CoConsumer Staples575.60%2.06%
CLXClorox CoConsumer Staples437.53%2.20%
CTASCintas CorpIndustrials3819.33%0.79%
CVXChevron CorpEnergy346.21%6.11%
DOVDover CorpIndustrials658.22%1.57%
ECLEcolab IncMaterials2911.73%0.89%
EDConsolidated Edison IncUtilities472.54%4.23%
EMREmerson Electric CoIndustrials644.03%2.51%
ESSEssex Property TrustReal Estate267.08%3.50%
EXPDExpeditors InternationalIndustrials2610.03%1.09%
FRTFederal Realty Invt TrustReal Estate534.74%4.98%
GDGeneral DynamicsIndustrials2910.17%2.96%
GPCGenuine Parts CoConsumer Discretionary646.75%3.15%
GWWGrainger W.W. IncIndustrials4911.06%1.50%
HRLHormel Foods CorpConsumer Staples5516.04%2.10%
IBMIntl Business MachinesInformation Technology2510.04%5.18%
ITWIllinois Tool Works IncIndustrials4613.10%2.24%
JNJJohnson & JohnsonHealth Care586.55%2.57%
KMBKimberly-ClarkConsumer Staples495.54%3.17%
KOCoca-Cola CoConsumer Staples586.42%2.99%
LEGLeggett & PlattConsumer Discretionary494.30%3.61%
LINLinde plcMaterials277.90%1.46%
LOWLowe’s Cos IncConsumer Discretionary5818.85%1.50%
MCDMcDonald’s CorpConsumer Discretionary458.35%2.40%
MDTMedtronic plcHealth Care4310.05%1.98%
MKCMcCormick & CoConsumer Staples359.08%2.85%
MMM3M CoIndustrials6210.84%3.36%
NEENextEra EnergyUtilities2610.84%1.81%
NUENucor CorpMaterials481.12%3.05%
ORealty Income Corp.Real Estate264.93%4.53%
PBCTPeople’s United FinancialFinancials281.51%5.57%
PEPPepsiCo IncConsumer Staples487.84%2.76%
PGProcter & GambleConsumer Staples645.16%2.27%
PNRPentair PLCIndustrials454.06%1.51%
PPGPPG Industries IncMaterials496.78%1.50%
ROPRoper Technologies, IncIndustrials2818.36%0.52%
SHWSherwin-Williams CoMaterials4214.05%0.73%
SPGIS&P GlobalFinancials4711.05%0.82%
SWKStanley Black & DeckerIndustrials537.57%1.57%
SYYSysco CorpConsumer Staples516.05%2.42%
TAT&T IncCommunication Services372.16%7.23%
TGTTarget CorpConsumer Discretionary5312.30%1.54%
TROWT Rowe Price Group IncFinancials3412.79%2.38%
VFCVF CorpConsumer Discretionary4812.94%2.29%
WBAWalgreens Boots Alliance IncConsumer Staples4511.46%4.69%
WMTWal-MartConsumer Staples476.18%1.50%
WSTWest Pharmaceutical ServicesHealth Care287.18%0.24%
XOMExxon Mobil CorpEnergy387.18%8.44%

Dividend Aristocrat Underperformance

In 2020, the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats significantly underperformed the S&P 500. In fact, you would have to go back to 10yr annualized returns to see the S&P Dividend Aristocrats beat the S&P 500. The table below shows returns vs benchmark for various periods ending January 29, 2021.

The recent underperformance of the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrat index is likely due to non-divided and new dividend payers like Tesla and Apple – which are excluded from the list of Dividend Aristocrats – leading market performance.

The performance story changes the longer the time period. Beyond 10yrs, the Dividend Aristocrats have created value for investors. Dividend Aristocrats have outperformed in 16 of the 31 years since 1989.

Periods of Dividend Aristocrat outperformance tend to be clustered around bear markets – early 1990s, early 2000s, late 2000s. This makes intuitive sense since higher-beta growth stocks outperform during bull markets but get slaughtered when earnings are chopped due to economic recession. In contrast, more stable companies – ones that tend to fit the profile of Dividend Aristocrats – usually have the balance sheet strength and cash flows to withstand an economic downturn.

(Keep in mind the 10yr in the table data above doesn’t go back far enough to include the last recession.)

Booms and busts are a fact of life. The question investors must ask is which environment will prevail over the next decade. Will tech stocks continue to outperform? Or will the market once again appreciate stable dividend growers? Or do we have to wait for a full market cycle before judging?

In its raw form, the question comes down to growth vs value investing, as the characteristics of Dividend Aristocrats tend to align with those of value companies. Value has materially underperformed growth for some time. Dividends have not made up for the difference, yet many people swear by the dividend growth investing methodology. I believe there is a good reason why.


There is a lot more to individual investor performance than index returns.

Investor behaviour is by far a better predictor of portfolio returns than the performance of underlying holdings. The following table compares returns for investors in equity, asset allocation and fixed income funds against benchmark index returns.

Over a 20 year period ending December 31, 2015, equity fund investors saw returns about half that of the index. This is mainly because investors make human mistakes and tend to buy and sell at the wrong times, instead of simply holding and experiencing market returns. Most investors sell after the market has significantly declined and buy after the market has risen.

Dividend growth investing can help control behavioural mistakes.

This investor behaviour has real impacts to wealth. As you can see in the chart below, investors lose about half of what they otherwise should have earned due to emotional mistakes.

Dividend growth investing can help control behavioural mistakes

A dividend received quarterly – even if it is simply reinvested – is a consistent positive reward for being invested. I believe dividends condition investors to want to hold investments.

So while capital levels still fluctuate with the market, a consistent cash inflow helps train the investor to remain fully invested. Indeed, a focus on incoming income makes dividend growth investors want to buy more as prices decline and yields rise. Consequently, I believe dividend growth investing can help investors achieve returns closer to the market rate.


History of Food Prices (in Charts)

In real terms, staple food prices have dropped significantly owing mainly to the mechanization of farming methods, and the introduction of better fertilizers, pesticides and economies of scale. Beginning around 1800, costs really started to drop as energy inputs (petroleum) replaced manual labour and animal-powered transportation. The chart below shows real wheat prices in the UK going back to 1300.

Over the past 100 years, wages around the world have risen much faster than food prices. We are far more ‘food-rich’ than our ancestors. The chart below compares the change in wages to the change in food prices since 1901 in the United States.


Should You Include Hobbies on Your Resume?

People add their personal interests and hobbies to their resume to appear well-rounded and interesting. As a hiring manager I can tell you right now that 99% of the time I don’t give a shit about your hobbies.

You’re sending me your resume to get a job. So make sure every single thing on your resume helps you achieve that goal. If you do include a hobby it must help further your objectives and not simply serve as filler or an attempt at humanizing yourself. I know you’re human. I know you probably have a life outside of work. Unless what you do outside of work makes you better at work I don’t really care.

How do you know if listing your hobby helps further your career objectives? First consider the skills and characteristics the hiring manager is seeking. Leadership? Then list how you spearheaded neighbourhood cleanup efforts.

Or use your hobbies to show how you are gaining experience you haven’t been provided during your 9-5.

Or use your hobbies as a way to craft your personal brand. You want to be seen as a self-starter? Then list personal interests that show that.

Unfortunately, most people take a passive, superficial approach to listing personal interests on their resume. They literally list personal interests: cat herding, unicycling, circle-research. Great, but irrelevant.

If you do include personal interests on your resume, ensure they are there for a purpose.

Investing Wealth

Saving (Not Investing) is the Key to Wealth Creation

99% of conversations between investors are about the next hot stock or something else related to investment returns. Over the long run, the market delivers roughly 10% annualized return. Beating this is next to impossible, yet it’s something that pre-occupies much of mankind’s energy.

Here’s the thing. For most people it barely matters. Indeed, most people would make a much larger dent building wealth by spending less, saving more and simply dumping their savings into an index fund to get that 10%.

Most people don’t save 10% of their pay, and instead focus their energy trying to find the next Tesla. If successful, the % returns might be satisfying, but when it comes to wealth creation it’s dollars that matter.

So is it better to save 1% of your salary and earn a 10% return or save 10% and earn a 1% return?

The chart below compares two extremes for two individuals who earn $40,000 with an expected annual pay increase of 4%.

Person 1 saves 1% of their paycheck but manages to earn the market rate of 10%.

Person 2 saves 10% of their paycheck but dumps their money into a deposit paying 1%.

Over a 30 year career, Person 2 builds a nest egg 167% larger than Person 1. Now imagine if that person could save 10% and earn 10%?

Savings is the bedrock of wealth creation. Everything else comes second.


Why Deflation is Good for Bond Investors

Deflation is good for lenders. Inflation is good for borrowers. Why? It all has to do with the future real value of money.

If a dollar in the future is worth more than a dollar today, it becomes increasingly expensive (in real terms) to service debt and increasingly beneficial to receive coupon payments. When dollars become more valuable, purchasing power rises. This means you can buy more stuff with the same amount of money. (In reality, most of the time future dollars are worth less than today’s dollars due to inflation.)

Here’s an example: if I’ve lent out $100,000 in exchange for $10,000 annual payment plus principal at maturity, I would prefer those future payments to have greater real value. While I will receive $10,000 in all situations, the value of that $10,000 is affected by prevailing price trends. A deflationary price environment erodes the prices of goods and services, thereby making future dollars more valuable, benefiting lenders.

The following chart illustrates this concept:

If deflation is good for lenders, why wouldn’t banks seek to create a deflationary environment by reducing money supply? While deflation might benefit a single lender, widespread deflation would actually hurt lenders due to greater loan defaults. A deflationary spiral lowers prices, causing companies to cut production and reduce wages. This reduces aggregate demand, further pushing down prices. Asset prices decline are liquidated to cover rising cost of real debt, with many organizations forced into bankruptcy as asset values fall below liabilities.

Beyond this, our entire credit based economy is predicated on growth, of which inflation is a component. A combination of real growth (productivity growth + population growth) and inflation is required to cover aggregate interest costs within an economy. Since real growth is hard to create, inflation is the grease that keeps the economic wheels turning.

Investing Master Class

Peter Lynch: 10 Most Dangerous Things People Say About Stocks

1) If it’s gone down this much already, it can’t get any lower.
2) No Debt
3) If it’s gone this high already, how can it possibly go higher.
4) Eventually they always come back
5) It’s $3, how much can I lose.
6) It’s always darkest before the dawn.
7) When I rebound to 10, I’ll sell.
8) I don’t have to worry, I own conservative stocks.
9) Look at all the money I lost, because I didn’t buy.
10) Stock has gone up I must be correct, it gone down I must be wrong.
11) Avoid long shots

Income Investing

Top 10 Dividend Yields on TSX 60

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Company NameLast PriceEPS (TTM)Div/ShareEx-Div DateDiv Payment DateForward Dividend Yield
Brookfield Property Partners L.P.21.66-11.3311/27/202012/30/20207.73%
Enbridge Inc.44.080.963.172/11/20212/28/20217.44%
Pembina Pipeline Corporation34.861.612.491/22/20212/11/20217.22%
BCE Inc.55.762.513.29Dec 14, 20201/14/20215.96%
TC Energy Corporation544.733.1812/30/20201/28/20215.73%
Power Corporation of Canada31.442.652.1512/30/2020Jan. 31, 20215.71%
Shaw Communications Inc.22.51.321.192/11/20215/27/20215.27%
Canadian Natural Resources Limited31.36-0.51.659/17/20201/4/20215.15%
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce113.788.225.8212/24/20201/27/20215.14%
The Bank of Nova Scotia70.45.33.61/4/20211/26/20215.13%
Data is provided ‘as-is,’ ‘with all faults’ and ‘as available.’ We do not guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of information available.
Income Investing Investing Wealth

New Year. Same Story.

December 31, 2020. We were all thankful that the worst year ever was finally over. Yet, so far 2021 is less than two weeks in and the drama is escalating.

I won’t get into the politics, because it’s the politics that is tearing us apart. Instead, I’ll focus on what we all agree on: this is some bullshit!

People are going broke, businesses are closing, folks are sick and dying. The population is at each others’ throats. Oh, and the climate is in slow collapse.

If there ever was a year to take personal responsibility, it’s 2021. Nobody is going to come fix your job, your marriage, your savings account. It’s up to each of us to make this a better world.

It wasn’t always this way. During the mid-20th century, most people could follow a predestined path that led to decent wealth and security. One didn’t really need to think or be different. You just needed to pick a direction and go. The baby boomer benefited from a post-war economic tide that lifted all boats. You had to f&ck up pretty bad to not do well as a boomer.

I don’t have to tell you those days are long gone.

Kids today enter the system saddled with debt because they were forced to get two masters degrees for an entry-level clerk job. Same job 50 years ago went to a high school grad. And that grad would then get married at 21, buy a house at 22 and support a nuclear family through to retirement on a single income and fat DB pension.

No more.

But you already knew this. You’ve seen the wealth disparity charts. Unless you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ve probably personally felt the pressures. I certainly have.

My story in 4 words: it’s all on me.

I have people depending on me to keep it together. Pay the bills, keep food on the table.

I have a successful career. But I fully realize it could end at any moment. I’ve seen dozens of my colleagues over the past 20 years hit a brick wall and never recover. This isn’t something people in their 20s know. Careers have an expiry date, and most end before planned retirement. This isn’t something most people decades ago had to consider.

If there’s one thing I want you to do this year, it’s this: consider what happens if your career ends next year, in 5 years, in 10 years. And when I say ‘end’ I mean END! Like your prospects are reduced down to shuffling coffees at the local diner.

How will you pay the rent and buy food?

With any luck, you have years to prepare. If you are young, you probably have many years of career growth ahead of you. But know this: 50 year old unemployed executives have few prospects. So prepare.

The simple answer many provide is to start a side hustle. Let me level with you. DumbWealth is my side hustle and I don’t make a dime. I do this as a labor of love and it’s still time-consuming and exhausting. I can’t imagine truly putting in an extra 4-5 hours a day after work (and life) to build a secondary source of income. I should, but who has the time or energy. Work, life, kids, exercise, chores. If you’re truly going to start a side hustle, one (or all) of these things inevitably gets neglected. You need a very understanding family and nearly infinite amounts of energy to build a viable side hustle.

OK, so why not take a hobby and try to make something of that?

Photography, painting, woodwork. Sounds great in theory, but turning a hobby into a business is a great way to kill that hobby. The business of photography is about 20% photography and 80% sales and marketing.

If you’re reading all this and saying “well, but…” then all the power to you. You might just be determined enough to pull it off. Some people are.

The rest of us need to build financial freedom in other ways. We need to save, invest and earn a little more at work. It’s a simple and powerful formula that most people neglect, either because it’s boring or they’re addicted to consumerism.

Cut your expenses, save as much as possible and invest that money in a portfolio that will eventually pay you for doing nothing. The income generated from an investment portfolio is probably the greatest gift we can give ourselves. It’s the one way to create a passive income without really doing much more than you’re already doing. You still work the same hours and have the same salary. You just need to sprinkle some planning and discipline onto your daily habits.

Start small, but start today. It’s a slow build that often leaves you questioning the plan. But keep at it and there should be a day when that investment portfolio earns enough to cover your basic needs if you were laid off. If all goes right, there might even be a day when that portfolio allows you to quit your job. That’s financial freedom.


Why I Leave the Office at 5

If you have young kids, you need to enjoy them while they’re young. 

Sure your kid might be 5 years old with decades of life ahead of him, but by the time he’s 10 over half the time you will get to spent with him will have passed. By the time he finishes college more than 95% of the time you will get to spend with him will have passed.

This is because when kids are young, they’re at home and almost all their free time with their parents. However, as kids age they are at home less frequently. Eventually, they move out.

The chart below illustrates this. 

Your experience may vary, but will follow a similar path. You are everything to your kids until they start school. Then you’re a little less-than-everything as they get older, meet friends and get bogged down with schoolwork. Finally, by the time they start working and move out you’re the person they hopefully visit once a week for a couple hours. 

Invest time in your kids while they’re young for the once-in-a-lifetime experience of raising your offspring. Invest time in your kids while they’re young to set the foundation for a good adult relationship. 

This is why I leave the office at 5pm. This is why I avoid working in the evenings or weekends. This is why I prioritize going home to my kids over drinking with my work buddies.