Now that 2019 is behind us, I though it would be fun to put together a list of some of the favourite drinks I enjoyed throughout the year. So here we go…some of the drinks I enjoyed most in 2019.
3. Whisky Sour
This year I started experimenting and using egg whites a lot more in my cocktails, and there isn’t a more classic egg white drink than the Whiskey Sour. Lemons are pretty much always available, it’s strong yet super easy to drink, good in the summer or winter and even my wife likes them, so they were a staple in our house year round. Another thing I like about a whiskey sour is that although you would typically shake this with ice, I find you can make them just as delicious by dry shaking with no ice, then straining over crushed ice. I like making them this way if the kids are asleep because it’s silent and there is no chance of them waking up 🙂
To make a Whiskey Sour, all you need is:
Mix all ingredients into a shaker and shake your ass off. Then either add ice and shake again- then strain into glass…OR strain directly into a glass full of crushed ice. Top with a few dashes of Angostura bitters.
*Another variation is an Amaretto Sour, a traditional Amaretto sour is WAY too sweet for me, but a mix of Amaretto and bourbon is nice. When I make these I typically use 1 oz Amaretto, 2 oz Bourbon and reduce the simple syrup because Amaretto is really sweet.
2: Old Fashioned
Nothing is more classic than an old fashioned. It is strong, easy to make, and lets me showcase some of my better bourbons. To make an old fashioned, all you need is:
Mix all ingredients with ice, strain over a large ice cube. Twist an orange over top and enjoy. There are multiple variations you can make (Rum, Mezcal, Rye, Bourbon, etc) and can play with the syrups as well. In 2019 my two favourites were:
– Rum Old Fashioned using Diplomatico Exclusiva Rum, and just a dash of Maple Syrup
-Eagle Rare Bourbon old fashioned, using demerra syrup.
My most enjoyed cocktail of 2019 was….
2019 was the year of the Negroni for me. In previous years, I would have said my go to cocktail was an old fashioned, however this year, the Negroni won me over, and it is by far the cocktail I made/drank the most. What I love most about a Negroni is the contrast of: bitter, sweet & strong. Another beautiful thing about the Negroni, is it’s simplicity. The drink consists of just 3 ingredients, one ounce of each: Gin, Campari & Sweet Vermouth. Mix with ice, strain over large ice cube, twist an orange or grapefruit and you are done. You can make a Negroni in a minute or two (or even make big batches, and just pour over ice).
Honorable Mention: Pimms Cup
In the summer, it’s hard to beat a Pimms cup. I’ve written about them before, and how great they are, which you can see HERE.
My new found love of bourbon and cocktails over the last couple of years has greatly reduced the amount of beer I have consumed (my beer belly says thanks). That said, I still enjoyed some great beers in 2019, and below were my top 3.
3. Nonsuch Brewing Company: Baltic Porter
This is made by a local brewery, which makes it pretty awesome that it made it onto my top 3 list for the year. The Baltic Porter is a nice blend of bitter coffee and sweet chocolatey goodness. It has an ABV of 6.5%, so it’s heavy, but not so heavy you can’t have more than one or two!
2. Saugatuck Brewing Company: Neapolitan Milk Stout
This was definitely one of the most unique beers I’ve ever had, not just in 2019, but ever. There is no other way to describe it, except it’s like drinking a bowl of Neapolitan ice cream. You can distinctly taste all 3 flavours, and although it sounds gimmicky, it’s absolutely delicious. The only downside is you can’t buy it here in Winnipeg regularly.
1. 4 Hands Brewing: Absence Of Light Peanut Butter Chocolate Milk Stout
Yet another beer I cannot get here in Winnipeg, but that I was lucky enough to try on my trip to St. Louis.
This is a heavy stout (7.1%), and the brewery was recommended by many of the fine people of St. Louis. I am so glad I tried this, since (as you can tell) Stout’s are my favourite, and who doesn’t like peanut butter. This beer has a nice mix of heaviness, creaminess and of course peanut butter goodness. If I ever get the chance, I’ll definitely buy this one again!
Honorable Mention: Tom Green Cherry Milk Stout
I decided to save the best for last. Here are my top 5 “sippers”, in other words…booze straight up that I enjoyed the most in 2019.
5. Eagle Rare Bourbon
I had heard great things about Eagle Rare for some time, and in 2019 was finally able to not just try it, but snag 2 bottles. This is basically an “upgraded” Buffalo Trace, as it is the same recipe, but uses better barrels. I find it to be a bit sweeter and a lot smoother than regular Buffalo Trace, and it works amazingly well in an old fashioned. I didn’t open my first bottle until near the end of 2019, however it’s already almost gone, so that should give you an idea of how much I enjoy it. This is available in Manitoba once or twice a yer for a limited time, and sells for about $60/bottle. I will buy again.
4. Diplomatico Exclusiva Rum
While the Diplomatico Reserva is a nice sipping rum, the Exclusiva (pictured above in the middle) is a special treat. This Venezuelan rum is aged up to 12 years, distilled from molasses in a copper pot and is one of the sweetest smelling rums I’ve ever had the pleasure of sniffing. It’s extremely sweet, but in a good way, and sometimes I love pouring a glass, and letting it sit on the chair or my lap just to periodically get whiffs of this stuff. It also works great in a rum old fashioned, however I prefer it on it’s own. This bottle is available year round in Manitoba and typically goes for about $60, however sometimes you can find it on sale.
3. El Dorado 12 Year Rum
This Rum is the perfect blend of sweet and smooth. A tad less sweet than the Diplomatico, but extremely smooth – it tastes like candy for adults. There is no burn, hints of caramel and spice and the price is unbeatable. This can be found year round in Manitoba for $37!
1&2: Weller Antique & Blantons Single Barrel
I just couldn’t do it – I couldn’t pick between these two. All year I’ve been going back and forth between which one was my favourite…and I’m still undecided. I’ve yet to do a blind side by side comparison, perhaps I will need to to finally once and for all determine which one I like better.
Weller Antique is 53.5% but doesn’t feel like a higher proof bourbon, it’s a bit softer (since its a wheated bourbon) and has nice hints of brown sugar and caramel. This unfortunately is not available in Manitoba, and is rarely available in Ontario. The price used to be unbelievable $36, however they recently raised it to closer to $60 (if you can find it) which is still fair in my opinion.
Blanton’s Single Barrel – which may have the most iconic and awesome bottle of all time, is as equally easy drinking. While it’s not currently available in Manitoba (sold out) we do get a decent amount of Blanton’s throughout the year, and a bottle will cost you about $80. Much like the Weller, this has no hot burn, and an amazing aroma of caramel and vanilla, with just a bit more spiciness than the Weller.
Both are extremely easy drinking, smooth and sweet, with some heat(in a good way). If you haven’t tried either of these – do yourself a favour and get yourself some (if you can find it)!
Honorable Mention: Glenlivet 21 Year Archive. I just recently tried this, and have always told people I am not really into Scotch – however after tasting this, it seems that perhaps I just had never found a scotch that met my flavour profile. I am looking forward to broadening my horizon and adding scotch to my repertoire in 2020.
Personal Highlights for December:
Passive Income Update For December 2019.
Diversified Royalty: $16.83(dripped 5 shares)
Artis Reit: $27.72 (dripped 2 shares)
Interrent Reit: $4.29
Western Forest: $44.17 (Dripped 38 shares)
Power Corp: $87.48 (Dripped 2 shares)
Plaza Reit: $28.86 (dripped 6 shares)
Chorus Aviation: $11.76 (dripped 1 share)
Intertape Polymer Group: $53.40
TFSA’s Total: $274.51
Canadian Equity Income Distribution: $338.92 (dripped 10.9 new units)
RBC US Equity Index Fund: $238.98 (dripped 9.256 shares)
Total Passive Income December 2019: $879.25
My portfolio currently sits at: $370,579.38 This is an all time high, and represents an increase of 28.05% Year over Year. The best part about that, is this year is the least amount of fresh capital I’ve put into my account in over 5 years. The growth is a combination of compound interest and a stock market that just keeps reaching new highs. With the recent job loss, I won’t be putting as much fresh capital into my account this year either. Luckily, I’ve already built up a decent portfolio that continues to compound and grow on its own.
Yearly Portfolio Growth:
Total 2019 Dividend Income Received: $7479.19
In 2019 I received $1338.08 more in dividends than 2018. This represents an increase in income of 21.78%
Passive income since I started tracking in 2015:
My current forward dividend for 2020 is: $9802.99 however my goal is to break $12000 in dividends in 2020. This will be tough because I am currently unemployed…haha. That said, I am in the process of transferring $60,000 from a mutual fund that currently pays no distribution into my self directed account, and I can’t stay unemployed forever….or can I 🙂
Hope you all had a great new year. I am definitely looking forward to an awesome 2020!
Well, it finally happened. After 16 years working for the same company, it all came to an end last week. The funny thing is…instead of being upset, angry or anxious…I kind of feel relieved, like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders.
The company had it’s ups and downs over the years, but over the last few years specifically it had many more downs. The majority of my coworkers that I enjoyed working with over the years were no longer there, ownership changes had made things a lot less fun, and I had reached a point where I didn’t feel like I was being challenged, or learning anything new. Don’t get me wrong, I am still going to miss my work friends, and some of the conveniences that my company provided…but in the end, I think moving on will be best for me and my family.
I am also really looking forward to taking a month or two off, hopefully writing a few more blog posts, drinking a few new whiskies and doing some cleaning/organising around the house. It will be nice to have some extra time off around the holidays, hell I might even get my Christmas shopping done before Christmas eve (probably not). In my first 2 days of unemployment I’ve already accomplished quite a bit:
We also have a trip to Mexico planned in January – so I probably wont start seriously looking for a new job until after that. In the mean time, I’m going to look into taking a couple courses and looking into seeing if EI will potentially pay for some. In my entire adult life I’ve never been on unemployment, or ever had a span of more than a week or two without a job, so it will definitely be interesting. Hopefully I don’t drive myself crazy.
Anyways, now you know the reason I haven’t been to active on Twitter lately, or written any new posts. Now that the home office is set up I hope to start writing a bit more – and I’m really excited to do a recap of the whisky tasting night I hosted a couple weeks ago.
In the meantime, if anyone has any movie/tv recommendations, online course recommendations, or xbox games to try…let me know in the comments. I got spare time!
Personal Highlights for November:
Passive Income Update For November 2019.
Diversified Royalty: $10.18
Artis Reit: $27.63 (dripped 2 shares)
Interrent Reit: $4.01
Plaza Reit: $28.72 (dripped 6 shares)
Chorus Aviation: $11.72 (dripped 1 share)
TFSA’s Total: $82.28
Canadian Equity Income Distribution: $337.82 (dripped 11 new units)
Total Passive Income November 2019: $420.10
Total passive income in November was $420.10. Although this is one the lowest months this year, it is actually an increase of 28.7% from last year!
My portfolio currently sits at: $366,760.48. This is an all time high, and represents an increase of 20.8% Year over Year. The best part about that, is this year is the least amount of fresh capital I’ve put into my account in over 5 years. The growth is a combination of compound interest and a stock market that just keeps reaching new highs.
Stay tuned for a post on my first ever whisky tasting event. Cheers!
Goeasy Ltd. is a financial company that is split into to different different areas:
Easyhome sells furniture and other larger “home” items on a rent-to-own contract. Easy Financial provides loans to customers, who are unable to qualify for financing or loans through traditional means (bank, line of credit, etc). Both sides of the business focus on consumers with poor credit and limited options. The rates are slightly below the maximum allowed, and they market themselves as a better alternative to a payday loan(which they are) but don’t let that fool you, the rates are HIGH. That said, they have a strong growing business, and whatever your opinion on high cost loans are – I am looking at this strictly from an investing opportunity perspective.
I am going to focus specifically on easyfinancial, since this is the biggest profit center of the business, and the fastest growing. In fact, revenue for easyhome has slowly been decreasing over the years – but because of the success of easyfinancial the company has continued to blow away expectations.
Goeasy tends to fly under the radar a little bit. They aren’t included in a lot of Funds/ETF’s, they don’t get talked about a ton by the “experts” or even in the personal finance space online – yet they are quietly and quickly growing at an exceptional pace. In 2019, their loan portfolio surpassed 1 Billion dollars. They currently have over 400 locations across 10 provinces, and employ just under 2000 people. Since 2001, Goeasy has a return of over 6500%!
*Source* Goeasy investor presentation 3rd Quarter 2019.
Although goeasy has already experienced hyper massive growth over the past decade, I believe there is a good case to be made they are just getting started. First of all, currently over 90% of their loans originate at their retail branches – I believe they can reduce costs, and increase acquisition by starting to generate a lot more consumers online/working with partners online.
Goeasy has already started partnering with other brands to work on some future deals.
The only real threat I see to the business going forward is regulation. Currently 91.4% of all loans originating from goeasy are at an average interest rate of 43.5%. The good news (for them) is the federal interest rate cap in Canada hasn’t changed in almost 40 years, and goeasy is constantly in talks with governing bodies and industry associations to ensure they are able to have conversations and input if or when any rules do change.
Goeasy is also in the process of introducing different products to attract new customers at lower interest rates, while at the same time giving their current customers an opportunity/incentive to slowly upgrade their interest rate (as they pay back their loans). According to the most recent investor presentation 33% of customers graduate to prime credit, and 60% of customers improve their credit score.
Another potential headwind that a lot of analysts are bringing up is a possible recession, but honestly, I don’t think a recession will hurt them, in fact it may actually help them with acquisition as more and more people may be in need of financing options.
Goeasy has a history of achieving and exceeding it’s financial targets. In fact, in 2018 they revised their targets after exceeding their initial targets – only to achieve all of those as well. They have some pretty agressive targets over the next 3 years, but based on their history I see no reason why they won’t achieve them.
One last thing I like about goeasy is that insiders own almost a third of the company. They also recently announced a share buy back plan. With a payout ratio of under 30%, and increasing revenues & EPS, they can either increase the dividend or buyback shares(or both) with ease.
I bought 256 shares of goeasy ($GSY) on August 14 after they had dipped slightly. I picked up my shares for $51.30, and as of today EXACTLY 3 months later, the stock hit an all time high $65.05, I am currently up 26.82%! I am long goeasy, and plan to hold or add if it dips again. I’m sure in 5 years today’s price will still look good, but I am hoping for a bit of a pullback before i pull the trigger again.
Do you own Goeasy? Have you looked at it? What do you think?
Just a reminder: Each review will follow the same template, and include a score. Please enjoy responsibly 🙂
This is the first (and so far, only bottle of Wild Turkey I’ve owned/tried). I picked it up a couple of years ago, and although I’ve had it a few times on its own, and a few other times in cocktails, I haven’t yet sat down and spent an evening with it. So before the bottle runs out, I figured now is as good a time as ever.
Date Reviewed: November 7, 2019
Atmosphere: in a rocks glass, at home. Just finished watching an episode of Justified, and Walter Goggins portrayal of Boyd Crowder always makes me want to have a sip of some bourbon.
Distillery: Wild Turkey: Austin Nichols Distillery
Mash: 75% Corn, 13% Rye, 12% Malted Barley
Age: No Age Statement
Price I Paid: $79.99 Canadian
Appearance: Liquid gold, melted caramel
Nose: Right off the hop it’s smells good. Nutmeg, vanilla, brown sugar. Very faint spices and oak. Little no no alcohol scents. Swirling it around in the glass really amplifies the scent. Brown sugar, vanilla, eggnog, and syrup being poured over pancakes come to life after a few swirls, and I start salivating.
Palate: The first touch on the tongue is very sweet, but a little bit of heat quickly follows. This has an extremely thick mouth feel at first, almost like you need to chew the air once it’s done. Once the initial first sip wears off, the second sip goes down a lot smoother. It is still really sweet, but this time followed by some spices and no heat. Hints of Pecans, oak, vanilla and brown sugar come through.
Finish: Smooth, and long. Spices and oak continue to linger, until you take the inevitable next sip. No burn/heat, incredibly smooth for a 50.5% bourbon.
Conclusions: The nose and the finish are what sets this bourbon apart. I highly recommend you to keep swirling this one around the glass, as it really brings out some wonderful aromas. It’s a sweet, easy sipper, but the price is a little bit high. For the same price I’d take Blaton’s over this every time. That said, if it was on sale I’d gladly buy another bottle. It’s a real good bourbon, but its priced like an exceptional bourbon.
Overall Score: 84/100
It’s been a rocky ride for this Canadian REIT. Just last year Artis Reit cut their distribution in half, saw their stock hit a 52 week low and had investors scrambling to sell. At the time of the distribution cut, they announced a plan to dispose of some non core assets, do a mass share buyback and explore “other opportunities” in other words – look for potential suitors to purchase the REIT. In the days following the distribution cut he stock dropped to a low of $8.75.
Investors typically fell into two groups at the time.
Group 1: Sell this tire fire, cut our losses and move on.
Group 2: Continue to hold (or add) at these depressed prices, wait for the turnaround/buyout. Have faith that management will turn things around.
I was a 100% a group 2 guy. In fact, I even wrote a detailed post about my take on the dividend cut and the future of Artis exactly 1 year ago. You can read that article HERE
If you don’t want to read the whole thing, here are a few things I said last November, when the stock had fallen to around 9.00.
“We should see a drop in price right away, but as the dust settles, I think in the long run this will in fact be good for the business. As much as I enjoyed a juicy 9%+ yield, with the current earnings, it was unsustainable.”
“I’d hold and wait for the price to recover. If the stock does take a big dip in the next day or two – consider loading up. Keep in mind the net asset value for this Reit right now is 15.11”
It’s been a year since I wrote about Artis. Let’s see how things played out…
*Spoiler alert* I was right!
Share Buybacks: Since announcing their intention to repurchase shares, Artis has repurchased the maximum allowable # of shares allowed under the NCIB; a total of 15,959,760 at an average price of 10.84. This is at a massive discount to the NAV, and the current stock price.
Payout Ratio: Prior to the distribution cut, Artis had a payout ratio of about 110%, which is of course unsustainable. Fast forward to today, and Artis has an extremely low (for a REIT) AFFO payout ratio of 52.6%. Keep in mind even after cutting the distribution in half, Artis still pays a respectable 4.44% yield.
Stock Price: After hitting a low of $8.75 after the distribution cut last November, Artis has continued to climb back up. Although it is nowhere near it’s NAV of $15.72 it opened today at $12.09. This represents a gain of almost 40% since last November.
1 Year Stock Price Performance of Artis REIT (AX.UN)
Occupancy: Increased occupancy from 92.7% to 93.3%
FFO & AFFO: Increased both FFO & AFFO by 3% and 4.2% respectively from last quarter.
I will continue to hold. I’ve already weathered the storm, things continue to look good for the future. I’d also consider adding if this dips below $11.50 again. I expect Artis to continue buying back shares until while the stock trades at such a discount to the NAV.
There hasn’t been much news on the “exploring other options” front in a while, although I expect they are still exploring options for a possible buyout. If Artis does get bought out, I would expect the takeout price to be north of $15.50. In the meantime, I’ll gladly sit back and collect my 4.4% and DRIP a few more shares each month.