Thursday, December 19, 2013

My 2014 Goals

It's the end of the year and people are winding down operations and "closing shop" till January. Finance wise, this is my favorite time of the year because it gives a good quiet time for reflection and review. What worked, what failed miserably, and where I need improvement. It's also time to make plans and assess what I can do next year. A lot of my fellow bloggers have already or are working on this and I enjoy reading about their plans. Here are mine...

Total Portfolio: $30,000. I hope to more than double my portfolio next year. For close to three years I've worked it up to $13,000 so this will be a tough one but one I think I can attain it. I've been working financially in other areas of my life and I think I am ready to kick this into overdrive. I'm quickly approaching 40 and in talking with others in their late 30s and early 40s... we are hitting a freak out moment of a ticking clock.
To accomplish this I will be changing my deposits to $300 a week. Quite the difference from when I started at $50 a week with this portfolio. That was intended to show people that little contributions can add up. However I do have to acknowledge my own mortality in that I am not in my 20s with all the time in the world anymore.

Total Dividends received: $1,000. Seeing as I should hit 2013 in the sub $400 dividend range, this one seems even harder. The problem is in idle cash and the delay of deposits later in the year not bringing in dividends for the full year. Cash position has a lot of benefits for a portfolio but generating income is not one of them.
To accomplish this goal I will be having a very nice January deposit wise. I received a yearly bonus at work and they are offering to buy back vacation over a certain limit. I have over 100 hours of vacation and get poked fun at by coworkers traveling to Mexico or an Alaskan cruise that I need to relax. I don't advocate depriving oneself entirely of pleasure when making financial sacrifices and you've got to enjoy life along the way towards retirement but personally, I find it very relaxing looking at the extra $3,000 in my portfolio that a week long cruise for two plus vacation time cashed in would give me.

Average Monthly Dividends: $100. I'd really like to be pulling in 3 digits of dividends constistently. I was talking with my girlfriend that when we hit that level its going to be a big economic mental shift for me. At that price we are getting a free dinner at a very nice restaurant each month. For the rest of our life. No deciding where we can't go based on our budget. The sacrifice over the years will start showing its rewards. At that point I can keep working and have extra luxuries in life.
Not that we will do that when the time comes because we are wanting that compounding to work for us. To have that option though in the back of our minds is a great place to be.

Revisit Lending Club. I was an active investor back in 2009 with Lending Club so I do have some experience with them. I put it on hold and focused on other things, there was the little issue that I still needed to get educated on finance and economics. I wasn't ready for Lending Club but I feel I am now.
One aspect I did love about it before was in helping people. The people who realize they screwed themselves with 25% credit cards now needing a 15% debt consolidation loan to get things going. I really enjoy helping others that are willing to help themselves with a little help. This is one aspect that stock investing doesn't give me.
To accomplish this goal I'll start off light. $25 a week and buy 1 note at a time. I'll get into my plans later if I do this. It's not a for sure thing as now that I have more experience I have multiple ways to make money. I will want some diversification with my income streams but not at the expense of that income being riskier and lower.

Continuing Education. As far as I feel I have come financial knowledge wise, I know that I have a ways to go. I want to put in as much time into myself as I do my portfolio. One idea is to review the Warren Buffett's yearly shareholder letters. There are other free copies out there going back to 1959. 71 letters total.  Maybe every other Wednesday will be "Warren Wednesday".
Bond knowledge is also something I want to improve on. As citizens we can buy actual US treasuries, not just bond etfs. This will allow us to get a consistant yield and return of capital vs the fluctuating yield and no guarantee of ETFs. Why would I want that? Well back in the 80s, 30 years bonds were double digit yields. Think about in 2010 getting 10% income while everyone is bitching about 1% bank CD rates and 3% bond etf rates.

I have big plans for 2014. Its going to be a break-thru year for me.

Disclaimer: The investments and trades discussed are not recommendations for others. I am not a financial planner, financial advisor, accountant, or tax adviser. The financial actions I talk about are for my own portfolio and money and only suited for my own risk tolerance, strategy, and ideas. Copying another person's financial moves can lead to large losses. Each person needs to do their due diligence in researching and planning their own actions in the financial markets.


  1. Those are some nice goals. I really like the continuing education. I think the Warren Wednesday concept would make a great series. He always imparts common sense wisdom in those letters. Best of luck with the rest of 2013 and I'll be looking forward to your progress in 2014!

    1. I've received several comments on a number of sites saying this is a good idea. I think I'll start it up Jan 2nd.

  2. Nice set of goals, in particular the commitment of additional capital in 2014 as well as the possible Lending Club investment. For myself, I like both dividends and interest, and will continue to put money into both areas. While I have limited capital over the next six months, the second half of 2014 should start to see me more active on the additional capital into those two particular buckets.

    And I agree with PIP that the Warren Buffett letter reviews would be a great idea (I've actually thought of doing something along these lines as well).

    1. There seems to be good interest in my WW idea. I'll start it Jan 2nd and go every other week. Perhaps if people want there could be a collaborative effort of some sort. Not sure exactly how yet and the first few letters I would imagine will be dry. He hasnt gotten into his grove yet of public speaking.

  3. I like the goals laid out, they are very realistic and achievable. I tried lending club with only 100$ earlier this year just to experiment with how I will handle the tax situation...and surprisingly enough, I'm on my way to buying a 5th note just with the payments I've received.

  4. Good Luck and good health in 2014, you old timer.

    40? i wish!