We are rounding third and heading home here. Considering the Cleveland Indians clinched the AL Central Division title this week, I figured a baseball reference to start the article off was pretty appropriate. Let’s see if they can capture some of the same postseason magic the Cavs had during their run in May/June. At the end of each quarter, Lanny and I review our annual goals to monitor our progress towards hitting these marks. If we are on pace…great. If we are off track, well there is still time to make some adjustments despite the fact there are only three months remaining. Time to dig and perform my third quarter goals review.
Goal #1: Projected Dividend Income of $3,250 – After the second quarter, I saw myself sitting at $2,941 in dividend income and made some serrious progress towards my goal thanks to my employer’s 401k match and a large investment in 123 shares of Citizens and Northern Bank. The third quarter was similarly successful and I am quickly closing in on my goal of $3,250. At the end of the third quarter, my forward dividend income total was $3,165. If my fourth quarter resembles my second and third quarter, I should have no problem crossing this mark. What contributed to this large increase? Well, I added to my stake in Target, purchased 50 shares of Cardinal Health, and received several dividend increases along the way. Further, this quarter also saw me cross the $3,000 in forward dividend income mark just 15 months after crossing last thousand dollar mark. I set a new goal in that article, aiming to cross $4,000 in half the time, or by April 2016. Hopefully I can keep this kind of dividend income growth rate up because I will need that kind of growth rate to bury this goal.
Goal #2: Invest in 5 New Dividend Aristocrats in 2016. I have some work to do here since I did not invest in any new Dividend Aristocrats during the quarter despite the fact I made two purchases. The first was technically a Dividend Aristocrat since I purchased 30 more shares of Target. However, since I already owned a position in Target, that purchase does not count towards my goal of adding a new Dividend Aristocrat to my portfolio. Close, but no cigar. My other purchase was Cardinal Health, as I mentioned above. Cardinal Health has a history of increasing their dividend, but they have not done so for 25 consecutive years. I’m not too upset though considering the fact that Cardinal Health blew our dividend stock screener out of the water when I performed a stock analysis over the company and I love the fact that I added a quality company to my portfolio. So at the end of the quarter, I still sit at only 2 Dividend Aristocrats purchased in 2016 to date. It is possible to add three more stakes to my portfolio, but it is very unlikely.
Goal #3: Investing in 2 Companies with a Sub 2% Dividend Yield. I was at zero to begin the quarter and I was at zero at the end of the quarter. That shouldn’t be surprising based on the two purchases I described in my Goal #2 update. Target’s yield is well over 3% and while Cardinal Health’s yield is close to the 2% mark, their yield was sitting at 2.3% at the time of my purchase. Once again, no improvement; similar to Goal #2, it is highly unlikely that I’m going to accomplish this goal by the end of the year.
Goal #4: Invest $15,000 in “New Capital” in 2016. I define “New Capital” as money transferred into my investing account from my checking account and the total DOES NOT include regular 401k contributions or re-invested dividends. Both my purchases of Target and Cardinal Health during the quarter were made using New Capital and after these purchases, I have officially invested $13,935 in New Capital during the year. I am pumped about this amount considering our wedding during the year and some of the expenses that came along with that caused some headwinds (I’m not complaining here, just noting)! Reaching this goal in the 4th quarter will be tough, but not insurmountable. Lanny has sold me on the mentality of buying stocks in increments of $3,000 or greater. With that in mind, it would take two stock purchases in the final quarter to reach my goal and I don’t think coming up with those funds should be too difficult. Now, the big question is….will Mr. Market provide me with the opportunities needed? Only time will tell.
Goal #5: Earn $1,000 in Other Income. Between selling items online during the first quarter, my failed attempt and Amazon selling during the second quarter, and various online side hustles while traveling during the third quarter, I am going to estimate and say that I have earned about $200 in Other Income year to date. So yeah, still some work to do here. Over the last few weeks, I have been using Swagbucks a lot recently and I am hoping to capture some of Lanny’s magic considering he has earned of $750 from Swagbucks over his tenure on the website. Realistic…no. But, and this is a big but, maybe I can parlay extra income from that website with selling some items during the holiday season to pull off a Christmas miracle!
Goal #6: Learn One New Song on Piano. PROGRESS HAS BEEN MADE HERE. I felt the need to use all caps here because my last goals reviews haven’t been overly positive. Just the other day, my wife removed her shoes from my piano bench and underneath the piano. So now, I am finally able to sit down and begin re-teaching myself how to properly play. Okay, so there hasn’t been too much progress and I may have exaggerated at the beginning of the point. But I am excited to begin playing again and am very motivated based on some conversations I had with one of my rival piano playing friends in high school. Yes, we had an intense rivalry back in high school over who would be the lead piano player in jazz band!
Goals Review summary
Some positive, some negative. That seems to be the theme of 2016. Overall though, I am very, very excited about my progress as an investor. I have seen my dividend income grow at a great pace for two consecutive quarters and my portfolio’s market value continues to climb towards six figures. Man I am on the cusp of crossing $100,000! While I haven’t invested in as many Dividend Aristocrats or low yielding dividend stocks as I had hoped, the fact that I continue to purchase quality companies helps me ease any concerns this goal gives me. I’d rather invest in the best opportunity in front of me rather than box myself in trying to invest just to accomplish the goals I set at the beginning of the year and potentially missing a great opportunity. Now that we are rounding third and heading home, it is time to dig deep, see what we are made of, and bury our goals in the final three months of 2016!
How are your progressing towards your goals? Do you think you will cross them before the end of the year? If not, what do you need to do to get there and can you dig deep enough to get there? What are your thoughts on my progress? Have you purchased any investments with a yield below 2% recently? If so, what were they so I can add them to my watch list!