I can’t believe the year is already halfway over. It has been flying by. It has been so crazy busy lately, I’m running out of hours in the day. As a DGI investor, we love to look at our old months and compare our progress. Set a benchmark and strive to reach new milestones every month or year. I have been very up to date on those numbers and posts since they are everyone’s favorites, myself included. However, I noticed recently that I have not gone back to reflect on my goals. That is kind of a big deal. How do you expect to accomplish goals when you don’t review them? If you aren’t looking at them for months, you may even forget what goals you have. So I figured with half the year already in the books, I will take a moment to reflect and check the progress of my yearly goals.
If you recall back in January, I posted about my goals for the year. I will take all of those criteria and just add my thoughts on how they are going.
Dividend Income = $800: You can see from my Dividend Income tab, 2016’s dividend income was $530.50. Currently, I am at $387.35 which is 73% of last year. I am easily on pace to surpass last year’s dividends. However, I am off pace with the $800 goal. Easy math states I should be at $400 now. Or $200 a quarter or about $67 a month. But I am still only off by about 3-4% so not too bad. Still plenty of time left to make some more buys and let the compounding do its work. Ideally I want to be able to consistently hit $100 each month and have a $1000 year, but that will take me another year or so to accomplish.
Max out Roth IRA- Self-explanatory goal here to contribute the max $5,500 into this account. So far I am about $3,500 into it. So only about $2,000 to go. I will accomplish this goal but just need more time and capital.
New Capital- My goal was to add $5,000 of new capital into my taxable account. Ideally, new capital will be spent on new companies I do not currently own. So far I have started a position with three new companies. They are Hormel (HRL), Cardinal Health (CAH), and Reality Income (O). These three trades equaled about $2695 of new capital. I also added to one of my positions, General Mills (GIS), and Target (TGT). In these two buys, I added another $1115. In total so far, this adds up to about $3810. Not bad at all since this represents 76.2% of my goal.
Debt Management- If you recall from my last goal update in the beginning of the year, “While last year was big on optimizing and growing the size of my portfolio. This year will be a little different. With the additional tuition costs of going back to school, money will be tight. Ideally, I would like to pay it as I go instead of taking out a bunch more loans. So while I pay back old debt, I will not be gaining any new debt. The portfolio will not grow as much as I would like during this time, but I will be saving money in the future by not paying interest while gaining valuable skills in the process.”
Simple enough, keep debt low, if not zero, and invest when I am able. I have held true to this so far. I keep my credit card balances low and pay them off each month. Mostly just use them to build cash back. All of my money basically goes into tuition. It is a slow process but with one class a semester I am able to pay as I go just how I planned. This keeps me from having to take out any loans. I am also still squirrelling enough away in the process to make a few more buys and add to the portfolio. Another ongoing goal is to have at least 20 quality companies in my portfolio. Currently, that number sits at 16.
Go on at least one vacation- Everyone has to have a personal or entertainment goal right? With full time work and studying for school, makes it hard to get out. I’ll use a vacation day every now and again but they are usually local trips within the state. I really want to get out and do something completely new. That plan is in motion and I’ll be going to New York for the first time next month! I can’t wait! Two birds with one stone here. First time there so I get to see all of the amazing sights and what else it has to offer. I will also be attending a few days of the US Open, for all of you tennis fans out there. I have never been to a major tournament so that should be awesome. I should try and add or check off a bucket list item every year now that I think about it.
Dividend Daze Website- Take from my last post- “After the creation of the Dividend Daze site late last year, 2017 will be its first full year. I am anxious to grow the site and be a contributing member in the DGI community. My goal is to have 3-4 new posts per month.”
So far I have been keeping true to this. It takes time to build a website, especially with so much other stuff on your plate. I have been very active in the community, especially on commenting on other people’s blogs. You can see a few of my favorite blogs on my blogroll, even though I find great new ones everyday as well. Just about every month this year so far, my views have been going up, but ever so slightly. This month I am way down though. I blame this on my lack of activity since I have been so busy and haven’t had time to put in for a week or so. I need to be better at this. On a positive note, my rank on Modest Money’s Top Financial Blog List has been steadily increasing. At the time I wrote this post I am sitting at 343, a new personal best. If anything, that is a small indication that my site is getting better.
The blog is still new, less than a year old, so takes time to build. Need to learn and develop SEO, create quality back links, post often, build a subscription list, be active on social media. Some of these I have been doing well at, others not so much. My social media is lacking so I need to step my game up. Inset plug here: Feel free to follow me on Twitter and Facebook as well as subscribe to receive updates when I post something new. You can also find this info in the widget bar on the left side of the screen or by the comment box at the bottom of the page.
OK, now that we got that out of the way, I wanted to mention one last thing, monetization. This is all the rage right now in the blogging world. Creating income from your blog, supposedly passively. It is still a big time commitment so I wouldn’t consider it passive. And if you notice, monetization is not part of my goals. While I would love to make some money off of it to at least cover its expenses of owning and operating the site, or being able to put a little bit back into the portfolio, that is not really what I am focusing on. I would rather make a quality site with accurate information, that can help benefit others by providing useful knowledge and experience. Doesn’t that sound like a good mission statement?
As of this moment, I can’t think of any new goals to add. This is a pretty comprehensive list. But by reviewing the data and progress so far, this gives me a good idea of what I need to do and where to go in order to achieve my goals.
What are you goals for this year? Have you achieved any yet already? Are you on pace for your goals? Is there anything I should add to the list that I missed? Do you agree with these or should I not be focusing on any of them? Any fun vacation plans this year/ summer? How is your website doing and what are you doing to better it? Can you see your efforts working? Anything on this site that you like, don’t like, or could improve upon? I would love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to comment below.