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Dividend growth investing, independent research, long-term horizon
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I started this "tradition" on my blog in 2012. The goal is to pick 20 US and 10 CDN dividend stocks that I think will outperform their peers. This is the reason why I use VIG and XDV as my benchmarks and then keep track of my results for accountability purposes. I find that too many analysts and blogs just drop the ball on their picks when they are not that great. By posting monthly results, I have no other choice but to face my performance and explain it. You can look at my previous picks and returns:

Best Dividend Stock Picks 2012 (-1.47% vs. VIG (US dividend ETF), + 8.32% vs. XDV (CDN dividend ETF)

Best Dividend Stock Picks 2013 (+11.07% vs. VIG, + 0.77% vs. XDV)

My 2014 Best Dividend Stock Picks Book is for sale on Amazon.

Top US Dividend Picks 6.54% (vs. VIG at 4.15%)

I'm still beating my benchmark by more than 2% and my portfolio pays 1% more in dividend yield. Therefore, I should finish the year with a total return around +3 to 4% compared to my benchmark which is still very good. 60% of my picks currently beat the ETF and only two are seriously lagging in this bullish market: Aflac (NYSE:AFL) and Mattel (NASDAQ:MAT).

Aflac's results were greatly affected by the Yen in 2014. This is why it is currently lagging behind. As a long-term pick, you can consider that AFL has never missed a dividend increase over the past 31 years. On top of that, with a yield over 2.30%, it's definitely a good asset for a dividend portfolio. I still like the stock as it is currently reasonably priced with a P/E less than 10. This is quite interesting, especially in today's market!

As for Mattel, the price has been stabilized after its 20% drop back in January due to the Holiday sales slump. Investors are currently looking forward to their next quarterly report which will be posted on July 17th. This is when we will know if keeping MAT in my portfolio was a good choice or if the toy company is heading towards the dump.

Top Canadian Dividend Stocks + 3.85% (vs. XDV at 5.16%)

For the first time this year, I'm lagging behind the index with my Canadian picks. I have mixed feelings about this portfolio as I was able to select a few good picks but the overall portfolio not only lags my benchmark but it is far away from the TSX 60.

The positive news comes from Lassonde Industries (OTC:LSDAF) which recently exploded upon news of the acquisition of US Branded Juice Company. The Canadian juice giant continues its expansion into the United States will continue to bring in good growth in the upcoming years.

On the other hand, news wasn't too good for the telecom industry with the Canadian Govt coming back with more rules to enable other players to enter Telus, Rogers and Bell mobile's playground. Telus (NYSE:TU) lost 3.66% from the opening on July 7th to closing on July 8th. Rogers [(RCI.B) (NYSE:RCI)] followed behind with a loss of 1.90% for the same period. I'm not too worried with Telus while Rogers seems to be hit from the right, left and center these days.

Things are not going so good with North West Company. Their latest quarterly report (June) missed analysts estimates by $0.08/share. There is nothing to help them recover and the stock dipped another 3% in the past 30 days.

I'm currently stuck with two big losers (NWC and RCI.B)… this is time for me to rethink my approach for these two investments.

At least, I'm simply lagging by 1.31%, it can easily be recovered!

S&P TSX 60 DIVIDEND YIELD AND EX DIVIDEND DATE

Ticker (TSX) Name Price Dividend Yield
CPG Crescent Point Energy Corp 47.29 5.84
COS Canadian Oil Sands Ltd 24.18 5.79
TA TransAlta Corp 13.08 5.5
PWT Penn West Petroleum Ltd 10.42 5.37
BCE BCE Inc 48.4 5.1
RCI/B Rogers Communications Inc 42.94 4.26
NA National Bank of Canada 45.26 4.24
CM Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce/Canada 97.1 4.12
SJR/B Shaw Communications Inc 27.36 4.02
ERF Enerplus Corp 26.89 4.02
BMO Bank of Montreal 78.58 3.97
FTS Fortis Inc/Canada 32.47 3.94
POW Power Corp of Canada 29.65 3.91
T TELUS Corp 39.77 3.82
PPL Pembina Pipeline Corp 45.91 3.79
TRP TransCanada Corp 50.93 3.77
RY Royal Bank of Canada 76.28 3.72
TRI Thomson Reuters Corp 38.85 3.7
TCK/B Teck Resources Ltd 24.36 3.69
ARX ARC Resources Ltd 32.49 3.69
POT Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc 40.58 3.69
SLF Sun Life Financial Inc 39.22 3.67
BNS Bank of Nova Scotia 71.14 3.6
HSE Husky Energy Inc 34.46 3.48
TD Toronto-Dominion Bank/The 54.93 3.42
AGU Agrium Inc 97.75 3.28
CVE Cenovus Energy Inc 34.59 3.08
ENB Enbridge Inc 50.63 2.77
BBD/B Bombardier Inc 3.77 2.69
TLM Talisman Energy Inc 11.28 2.6
MFC Manulife Financial Corp 21.21 2.45
THI Tim Hortons Inc 58.37 2.19
G Goldcorp Inc 29.78 2.19
WN George Weston Ltd 78.71 2.13
L Loblaw Cos Ltd 47.62 2.06
SU Suncor Energy Inc 45.5 2.02
CTC/A Canadian Tire Corp Ltd 102.4 1.95
CCO Cameco Corp 20.93 1.91
CNQ Canadian Natural Resources Ltd 49.03 1.84
YRI Yamana Gold Inc 8.78 1.83
MRU Metro Inc 65.97 1.82
SNC SNC-Lavalin Group Inc 56.12 1.71
BAM/A Brookfield Asset Management Inc 47.01 1.48
MG Magna International Inc 114.9 1.44
CNR Canadian National Railway Co 69.4 1.44
SAP Saputo Inc 63.93 1.44
ECA Encana Corp 25.28 1.2
ABX Barrick Gold Corp 19.54 1.11
SLW Silver Wheaton Corp 28.08 1.09
IMO Imperial Oil Ltd 56.23 0.92
AEM Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd 40.86 0.85
FM First Quantum Minerals Ltd 22.82 0.82
GIL Gildan Activewear Inc 62.87 0.75
CP Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd 193.3 0.72
ELD Eldorado Gold Corp 8.16 0.25
BB BlackBerry Ltd 10.94 N/A
CCT Catamaran Corp 47.12 N/A
GIB/A CGI Group Inc 37.82 N/A
VRX Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc 134.9 N/A
K Kinross Gold Corp 4.42 N/A

Source: Best 2014 Dividend Stocks Results