Why I Watch Each Dividend Get Paid to my BMO InvestorLine, CIBC Investor’s Edge and RBC Direct Investing Brokerage Accounts

I’ve worked with many computer programs over the years and I’ve found errors and bad coding in most of them. I also have a nasty suspicious mind that spots errors in the pricing on meat packages versus the huge posted sign rate and mysterious mistakes appearing in my bank accounts like the one for the safety deposit box I relinquished 4 years previously. All of these mistakes can be fixed if pointed out politely and quickly. So I keep track of each payment of interest, dividends, distributions and return of capital made to my brokerage accounts.

What I’ve Found Recently While Watching the Transaction and Activity History for My Brokerage Accounts

Here are three examples of things I’ve discovered by keeping an eye on deposits to my brokerage accounts.

A: New Flyer Industries, NFI, Did Not Pay a Dividend in February 2016 but Why?

Tracking the dividend payments alerted me to a change at New Flyer Industries. Although in all of 2015 and in January of 2016 it paid a tidy monthly dividend, in February 2016 nothing popped into my account.

Did NFI Cancel or Suspend Its 2016 Dividends or Cut Them?

I checked in with BMO InvestorLine via their secure email app. The reply was that NFI had not paid BMO any money to be distributed in trust as dividends nor had BMO received any notification of a pending dividend payment for February.
So I went to the investor Relations section at New Flyer Industries’ website.

New Flyer Industries Switches to Quarterly Dividend for 2016

I scanned the NFI News Releases but only found a reference to the December declaration of the dividend payable in January 2016.

I had to actually open a presentation to investors made in January 2016 to find what I was looking for and it was good news.

NFI is just changing to a quarterly payment schedule from its old method of making a distribution monthly.

Good News! NFI Plans to Increase Its Dividend in 2016

The news was actually better than I’d hoped: New Flyer also plans to increase its dividend by 12.9% starting in April 2016! That will raise the total annual dividend from $0.62CAD to $0.70.

This news will be officially announced in March 2016 by the Board of Directors if all goes to plan.

The record date will likely be March 31, 2016 with the dividend payable on April 15 2016.

The January 2016 payment was the last monthly payment.

So all good news there.

B: Keg Royalties Income Fund Trust Units Paid a Bonus Distribution in January 2016

I was pleasantly surprised to find I had too much money in my account after the Keg, KEG.UN, paid its distributions for January 28 2016. A closer look revealed they had paid the usual monthly distribution plus a second one which was almost as large.
I checked on the internet and discovered that a special distribution was declared on December 15 2015.

Free money. Cool!

C: Bank of Nova Scotia Declares Two Dividend Increases in One Year

I usually know a dividend increase is on its way because I keep an eye on the RedFlagDeals Investing discussion forum where members share news about dividend increases for Canadian companies. However, a few times I’ve been caught off guard when a company decides to increase its dividend twice in one year.

In 2015 BNS did just that. They raised the dividend in April and again in October. While dividend increases are easy to accept, dividend decreases are not. Keeping an eye on my transaction history helps me make sure I’m using the right projected income numbers for our budget. That’s not important right now when I’m just planning for retirement but it will be very important when we actually retire.

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Do you keep a close eye on the transaction or activity history for your brokerage account? Ever notice anything that worried or surprised you? Please share your experiences with a comment.

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