Three quarters down, one to go. 2017 is rapidly coming to a close. October is one of my favorite months. My wife and I love the fall weather, playoff baseball is back, and some of my favorite holidays are right around the corner. If you recall, at the end of December I set five goals for myself. I knew some of the were stretch goals, but it has been a blast aiming for them anyway. Each quarter Lanny and I review our goals to check our status and see what possible changes may need to be made. Let’s jump in an perform my Q3 goals review.
Q3 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 – $7,026.30
- 401k Contributions – $11,264.90
- HSA Contributions – $2,535.13
- Dividend Re-Investment – $3,479.52
- Total – $24,305.85
At the end of the second quarter, I was only 38% toward my goal because I was in a cash hoarding position. We had closed on our house and were getting ready to start some house housing projects and move. Well, not too much changed in the third quarter as we were arms deep in housing projects and using every minute of free time to get our house ready to go.
Despite that, I was still able to make a few additional investments during the quarter. I added to my positions in Cardinal Health in August and Canadian Imperial at the end of September. On top of that, I increased our automated 401(k) contributions an extra percent per paycheck for my wife and I, so our bi-monthly contributions increased slightly.
After considering these moves and the dividend income we received during the month, we have added $24,305.85 to our portfolio! This represents 54% of my annual goal. This should be one heck of a fourth quarter folks and I really hope that I am able to make some progress on this goal. However, it may be too late in the game as that is a lot of ground to make up. Unfortunately, I am currently failing this goal and the likelihood of passing this by the end of the year is not likely.
Goal #2: Cross $6,250* in Forward Dividend Income – $5,100 – Again, I am behind my goal for all of the reasons mentioned above. At the end of September I was able to make a last minute push and cross a pretty awesome investing milestone ($5,000 in forward dividend income!). I will likely have a different, more detailed, article about the milestone , so I won’t cover it here.
In the third quarter, I was able to increase my forward dividend income by $424 dollars. The table in Goal #1 was a huge catalyst for my dividend growth. The automated investing strategy is really starting to pay-off and the expected dividends from our various 401(k) plans continue to grow at a fast rate. On top of the automation, I was able to see a nice increase from a clerical error in the quarterly dividend estimate for one of my wife’s mutual funds. My record keeping resulted in a nice understatement of forward income. Let’s just say I was really happy to identify and correct this error!
What this quarter’s result shows me is that the power of dividend re-investing is real and can have a huge impact on your forward dividend income. As the dividend snowball continues to roll, it picks up momentum and helps increase the speed with which your dividend income increases with each re-invested dividend and each extra fractional share that you receive. It continues to motivate me to keep on grinding. Still, much like the first goal, I am currently failing this goal.
Goal #3: Stick to My Student Loan Payoff Plan – Last year I developed this student loan pay-off plan for my wife’s graduate school debt. This plan would have resulted in her student loan debt being paid off in six quarters. The final payment would have been made in the second quarter of 2018. Much like the other goals, I placed this goal on hold during the second quarter due to our house purchase and I was looking to get back on track in the third quarter.
The great news is that we were able to save $4,000 together and make a nice payment in the final week of September! Finally, I can mark one of my goals as a success. I’m looking forward to continuing to make progress on this goal in the next four quarters.
Goal #4: Read 1 Book per Month – This month, I finished only two books and man was a I close to finishing a third book. Of the three books I was reading during the quarter, there is one that is having a major influence on my life. If you have been following our Twitter feed, Lanny and I have talked a lot about de-cluttering our lives and getting rid of “stuff.” Heck, Lanny JUST published an article discussing the five major benefits of getting rid of extra items and focusing on possessing items.
So where has this motivation come from? Why are Lanny and I so motivated to adopt aspects of minimalism? At the end of June, we saw a live performance from The Minimalists in Cleveland. Man did we love the show and left extremely excited and motivated to begin focusing on ourselves, what makes us happy, de-clutter our lives, and focus on having experiences that build relationships and create great memories.
— Dividend Diplomats (@DvdndDiplomats) June 26, 2017
After the show, we met the Minimalists (pictured below) and purchased their first book “Everything that Remains: A Memoir by the Minimalists.” Trust us, this book did not disappoint. To give a quick summary without spoiling it, the book is about how Joshua Fields Milburns and Ryan Nicodemus, aka The Minimalists, left the successful careers climbing the corporate ladder, discovered minimalism, and the profound impact minimalism has had on their respective lives. It is something that 99% of us can relate to, including those that are on a corporate ladder. There is SO MUCH more to their story than describes, but those amazing details are worth reading and discovering for yourself, as I wouldn’t be able to do The Minimalists justice.
Since then, one of our favorite hobbies and side hustles has been finding items around the house that we can sell on Ebay or donate to someone who needs the product and can get some great use out of it. I could not recommend this book to enough people and if you haven’t read it, check it out from your library!
Goal #5: Travel to 3 new places – I did not take any new trips in the third quarter. To date, I have only travelled to one new place during the year. This was a really fun bachelor party in Atlanta for one of my best friends. Still, I am once again behind my goal.
Once again, I find myself behind on my annual goals. It is frustrating to see the negative results once again. I knew I would be behind with my financial goals with my house purchase. However, I am a little disappointed in myself that I did not focus on reading more books during the last three months or find some time to take a short trip to a new place with my wife.
However, I am going to try something new with goal setting in the fourth quarter and I discussed it in an article published earlier in the month. In addition to the long-term annual goals that I set at the beginning of the year, I am going to take a look at some shorter term goals that I would like to accomplish over the next three months. In this article, I set four short-term goals to also focus on during Q4 in addition to the five discussed in this article. I have nine goals to focus on now in the fourth quarter, so it is time to roll up my sleeves and take some action. Let’s go everyone and as we always say…EVERY DOLLAR COUNTS!
What are your thoughts about my goals? Do you have any great book suggestions for the fourth quarter? Do you only set annual goals? Or do you set short, medium, and long-term goals each year such as monthly and quarterly goals?