Bert’s Q2 2017 Goals Review

I’m starting to see a trend with the second quarter of each year for me…it is ridiculously busy.  In 2016, my wife and I had our wedding.  In 2017, we attended a few weddings, purchased a “new” used car, and oh yeah, we purchased our first home!  Life truly comes at you fast, and that was a statement that I never truly appreciated until recently.  So much can change in the blink of an eye, it makes you realize that you have to make sure you enjoy as much of it as possible before it is too late.    With the second quarter in the rear view mirror, Lanny and I take some time to assess our progress towards knocking out the goals we set for ourselves at the beginning of the year.  Here is my Q2 2017 Goals review!

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Q2 2017 Goals Review

Goal #1: Add at Least $45,000* to Our Portfolio  – Here is a summary of the total capital invested in my portfolio this quarter and the source of the funds:

  • Purchases – $5,079.30
  • 401k Contributions – $8,048.55
  • HSA Contributions – $1,909.73
  • Dividend Re-Investment – $2,318.91
  • Total – $17,356.49

 

I am only 38% towards accomplishing this goal, so my wife and I are behind where we need to be.  Quite frankly though, I’m a little shocked that this number is as high as it was at the end of June.  After the first quarter, we had invested $7,842.74 in our portfolios, meaning that we  invested $9,513.75.  I’m so shocked with this one due to the fact that my wife and I went into hardcore cash hoarding mode once the offer sheet was signed for a house.  We are preparing for the worst (in terms of moving and unexpected expenses), so I have slowed down the amount that we are investing outside of automated 401k and HSA investments.  If all goes according to plan, we will resume investing heavily once the dust settles, we move in, and can establish a routine with our new mortgage payment.  So for now, the majority of my new investments will come via DRIP and automated investments.

That being said, we still had a little wiggle room to make several small purchases during the quarter.  We initiated new positions in CVS and Kroger, both of which we barely over $1,000 a piece.  Also, I received my employer’s 401k match during the quarter, which added over $2,000 to my 401k balance.  My takeaway from this assessment is that the power of automated investing has had a profound impact for me YTD and it has allowed my investment balance, and dividend income, to continue growing despite the fact my wife and I were saving extra cash for our new home.  After the dust settles, I want to re-visit my investment and tax strategy.  I know automating my investing is going to play a major role in my revised investment strategy.  Hopefully we will start to get back on track in the third quarter.

Goal #2: Cross $6,250* in Forward Dividend Income – $4,676.03 –  Again, I am behind where I would like and where I need to be to knock this goal off by the end of the year.   At the end of March, we had a forward dividend income of $4,641.01.  I know investing in CVS, KR, and index funds are not the highest yielding investments, but I would have expected my forward income to increase more that $35 in the quarter with all of the additional investments.  What happened?  A few things.  First, I made some slight tweaks to forward income estimates in my mutual funds based on recent dividend announcements.  It sucks, but the dividend amounts were slightly decreased to reflect the 2017 results.   Second, my wife’s 401k provided pulled a fast one on us.  They stopped offering the S&P500 Index fund that we were invested in as an option and replaced it with another option.  I have no clue why they did this and it is aggravating that they did because the new fund has a slightly lower dividend payout than the old one.  Mutual funds played a huge role in our massive increase in June dividend income. But in the second quarter, it also caused our forward dividend income to decrease slightly.  Hopefully we will being seeing this amount increase in the third quarter once we start cranking up our investments again!

 

Goal #3: Stick to My Student Loan Payoff Plan – Failure!  After paying off $4,000 towards my wife’s student loans in the first quarter, we paid $0 towards her student loans in the second quarter. She is still in deferment and the mandatory monthly payments begin in July, so we weren’t required to make any payments. I mentioned earlier that we went into cash hoarding mode in the second quarter, so we will resume this plan once we are settled into our house.  We will begin making the mandatory monthly payments in July and will look to pay-off $4,000 in total by the end of September.  I’m going to prioritize paying off her student loans before our mortgage and auto loans due to the higher interest rate.  We need to de-lever a bit, so I’m going to attack the highest interest rate debt first and then decide where to strike next.

Goal #4: Read 1 Book per Month –  Another failure, and quite frankly, I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that I did not finish ANY books in the second quarter of 2017.  I recently published my first book review of The Millionaire Next Door, which I started in June but did not complete until July.  Unfortunately, that does not count towards my Q2 goal.   I’m a third of the way through another book and I expect to finish it within the next few weeks, so there is some serious progress being made towards this goal.

But I feel like I really need to figure this one out and develop a routine for reading and quite frankly, my life.  I’ve traveled a lot in May and June for personal and work related reasons, and by the end of the day, I have felt so drained that all I want to do is watch a little TV before bed.   It isn’t a great habit, I know.  But that has been how I have felt recently.   Luckily, in July, my wife and I have focused on taking an hour or two to go to a park and read outside.  It is peaceful, we have enjoyed the beautiful weather, and it is a great way to read during the day rather than right before bed where I am exhausted and can only make it through a few pages.  It has worked so far and we love spending the time together!

Goal #5:  Travel to 3 new places –  At least I made progress towards completing this goal!  In May, I attended my friend’s bachelor party in a city that I have never been to before…Atlanta, Georgia.  We went to a Braves game, several breweries, and checked out the local bar scene.  It was a fun city and I’m happy they selected there for the bachelor party.  My wife and I have talked about taking a trip after the move is complete so that we can relax and take a step out of the madness of moving for a weekend.  We aren’t sure where we are going to go, but we want to explore a new, relaxing area together.  This won’t be a crazy sightseeing trip, but rather a beach or lake house trip.  I’ll keep you all updated with where we eventually select!

Q2 2017 Goals Summary

I’m far behind where I would like to be in 2017.  There is no hiding behind that fact and I’m not that thrilled about it quite frankly.  Over the next few months, I am going to take a hard look at my goals and see if they are still realistic given our change in cash flow.  These goals were set when my wife and I did not own a house and had a much different balance sheet/cash flow projection.  With a sudden change in cash flow, I think it may be appropriate to re-assess and re-rack our goals where needed.   But in the meantime, we are going to keep scraping every dollar we can together and keep on side-hustling so that we can earn every dollar we can and apply that to either paying down our mortgage early or investing.   I’m looking forward to the challenge that this new phase in our life has presented to us.  But most of all, I am so excited to begin this new chapter with my wife, begin living in OUR house, and making it our home for our future family.  That’s whats the most important thing to me.

How did you perform this quarter?  Are you crushing your goals?  If not, what adjustments are you planning to get there?

-Bert

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12 thoughts on “Bert’s Q2 2017 Goals Review

  1. Hey Bert,
    tx for sharing – ambitious goals!
    there’s a lot of things going on in your life and with all the “front-lines” you are fighting at, you ain’t that much behind with your goals! And your cash hording mode put a smile on my face.
    I like the buy of CVS, cause i think they are oversold and present a good opportunity for the long term investor.

    I’m on track to reach my goals for 2017, but as i wrote in my post, i set the bar too low. So it’s nothing to cheer to loud…
    And in the second half of 2017 vacations will burn a small hole in my savings rate. And on top of that i have a huge renovation at my house which will cost some dollars. At first i thought about doing a lot of work myself and with friends (like i had done about 10 years ago), but on second glance i knew that this would take a ton of energy and stress on me. But the main reason for my decision for professionals was that i simply don’t have the time at the moment. For a moment i thought about an architect, but when i saw that he wanted about 9k$ just for coordinating all the work, i chose to do that myself…

    Best Regards,
    DividendSolutions

    • Dividend Solutions,

      Thank you so much for the comment and the support. I would love to continue to add to my CVS position if the price continues to remain down. Have you initiated a position there?

      Congrats on your progress. Who cares if you set the bar too low? Guess what? You can always raise the bar once you surpass your initial target. One time I hit an investing goal in August, so I created a new five month goal so I could continue pushing myself. Are you going to adjust your goal?

      It is funny how much time can impact your decision to hire a professionals. I’ve learned the hard way that it isn’t worth the increased stress and that has been a lot of the response I had in one of my recent posts. What type of renovations are you doing? I like how you at least chose to be your own architect.

      Bert

      • I haven’t initiated a position in CVS yet, but I’d love to…hopefully the price remains where it is for a while so i can get in. I have so many stocks on my “internal” buy list, that it is sometimes hard to decide where to strike first… a few days ago i posted my consumer stocks watchlist, would love to hear what you think about these companies…

        The thought of adjusting my goals crossed my mind at the end of June, but i decided against it. But that doesn’t mean i’m going into relax mode. Every dollar counts!. The goals for 2018 will be a new game.

        the renovation includes a complete new bathroom, kitchen, two new walls, wood floor istead of carpet, new colour on the walls and some minor things as well. Tell you what – I’ll be happy as a five year old at christmas when i get that monkey off my back.

        DividendSolutions

  2. Hey Bert. Congrats on the progress made so far. One suggestion on your reading goals: have you ever given much thought to audio books? You can get through them much faster. Also, you could do a combination of both listening to audiobooks and reading when you have the time. Food for thought.

    • Thanks Dividend Portfolio! I have tried books on tape before. And I’ve found them successful when I know I am going to be driving a lot in a short period time. There are some days where my commute to work is very short and podcasts are timed perfect. There are others where I have an hour plus commute to a client each way, which would be a great way to listen to a book on tape. Thanks for the great suggestion.

      Bert

  3. Envious of your visit to the Braves new stadium. That’s my team! Hopefully I can get down there soon and check it out. Nothing wrong with hoarding some cash especially with the big life events happening. I am the same way.

    • It is a beautiful stadium. I was shocked when they announced their plans to ditch Turner Field and couldn’t figure out why. But they built an amazing stadium and village surrounding the stadium. A nice addition and hopefully you can check it out.

      Bert

  4. Those are some hefty goals but you are making some good progress. Too bad they got rid of the Index fund in your wife’s 401k. They actually did the opposite for me. They finally gave us Vanguard options about a month ago which are way better than the old choices. It is cool you still have personal (non financial) goals as well like visiting new places. Glad you were able to make it to one already. If you are into the beer/ brewery scene, you have to make a trip into Michigan. More importantly, Grand Rapids, which isn’t too far from you guys I assume. Great beer and most of the breweries are in walking distance of each other in the downtown area. Might make a nice weekend getaway. You wife would probably like going to Grand Haven for a beach day as well, which is only less than an hour away from GR on the coast. Keep up the great work on your goals!

    • Thanks Dividend Daze. We love beer…who doesn’t haha Michigan is beautiful and we have close friends that live in Kalamazoo, but we have never gone to the Grand Rapids area. But Michigan produces some fantastic craft beer and the state is pretty peaceful once you get out of the main area. I definitely need to take some time near a lake in Michigan. Are you from the Michigan area or do you live nearby?

      Bert

      • Went to school in GR so know the area well. Don’t live there anymore though but planning a trip over there in the next few months. Always a good time. That is cool, gives you an excuse to go visit your friends in Kzoo. I’m sure they would enjoy it.

  5. I know the feeling of being behind in goals for the year. I recently just hit my 1 year mark for investing and started the year at roughly 300-330 in Projected div for the year. I wanted to hit 500 but have hardly made any head way due to planning to propose to my girlfriend and wanting to save up for the ring. I popped the question earlier this month (she said yes!) and now get to look at what I am to do with all the extra I saved up (the ring she wanted was actually ~15% of what I saved!)

    Life happens, and you can get behind a bit but don’t let it deter you. I know first hand how those saving moments can put a full stop to everything. It will pass and with any luck you will have saved up way more than you really needed, and you can make a nice purchase later this year!

    -Alex

  6. I’m impressed that you are still on decent track for your investing goal with all the costs associated with buying a house/moving – you guys deserve a pat on the back for that!

    Also no wonder you have no time to read and are feeling a bit drained, you guys are really doing a lot this year and progressing some big life goals. Don’t be too hard on yourself, it’s looking like great progress to me. It’s great that you are taking that time for yourself to chill out – I really like the sound of you and your wife sitting together reading, something to keep in mind for Mr DDU and I in the future 🙂

    Mrs DDU

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