I use Microsoft Money to manage my portfolio. It allows me to keep good track of what I have been buying, what I have received in dividends, and most importantly what my returns have been. These returns are available in a number of different formats, including Total Return YTD, Total Return since originally buying the asset, and annualized return. Recently I was looking through my portfolio and sorted the list based on my best total return for the life of my portfolio. The results were interesting to see.
Before I show you the top 5 stocks in my portfolio, I thought I should define what Microsoft Money defines as total return. This is the absolute return, including dividends defined as this by Microsoft: Percentage return on investment. Current market value plus income, minus beginning market value, divided by beginning market value. It is not the annualized return which is often a better way to look at returns. I am showing total return today because that is what I compared at the time!
The top 3 stocks in my portfolio in terms of total return are as follows:
1. Royal Bank of Canada – 50.2%
Royal Bank is by far my largest holding and has been the best performing asset in my portfolio. This is largely due to the good performance over the past five years coupled with awesome dividend growth.
2. IGM Financial – 43.6%
IGM is the stock I bought originally to get back some of those insane mutual fund fees I was paying. I wanted to own one of the companies that was on the receiving ends of these ridiculous fees. IGM has been able to deliver on growth, both in terms of revenue and dividends.
3. iShares Canadian REIT – 41.6%
REITs provide good income and have been a strong sector in the Canadian market over the past few years. The performance of this asset I believe is proof that a properly diversified portfolio is crucial. If you had asked me 5 years ago if this would be one of my best performs I would have laughed in your face. However, I am certainly glad I own it.
4. Procter & Gamble – 16.5%
The next highest total return stock is a far cry from the 41.6% from the REIT asset, however it is still pretty high, considering that I only initiated a position in this company two years ago. Every time we buy our products at the supermarket and see how many of them are PG products I am glad I own it. That and the strong dividend growth has seen this stock perform well.
5. Coca-Cola – 15.7%
I love my Diet Coke and probably drink way too much of it. The performance of the company has not necessarily been stellar over the past 5 years, however this is a company that is in every home and continues to raise its dividend. That has meant good returns for me.
There you have it – a look at my portfolio and the top 5 total returns. Of course, this list is not a buy recommendation. I have confidence that these holdings will continue to excel, but you need to make that call on your own.