We are done with one-quarter in 2015 folks. As Lanny mentioned, time flies by! These last three months have been a whirlwind for me, personally, professionally, and investing wise. Between helping plan a wedding, working a busy season, making some stock purchases and other big decisions (you guys will know soon enough!), the first three months were a giant blur. But these are all great events and I have set myself up to have a very memorable 9 months of 2015! This year I told myself that I was going to pay closer attention to my goals to make sure that I am on target to meet the goals and that way, if I need to, I can make any necessary adjustments. Well, here we go, let’s dive into my quarterly goal review!
1. Invest $15,000 of New Purchases in 2015– I figured I would use this article to clarify this goal, as the title is pretty vague. When calculating the $15,000, I am referring to strictly new money that I transferred from my checking/savings account into my Sharebuilder account. This does not include 401(k) contributions, re-invested dividends, or purchases using proceeds from a sale of a stock. So that is how I defined “new.” After tallying my purchases from the quarter, I have purchased $3,854.30. My three largest purchases in the quarter have been 10 shares of Chevron, 18 shares of Norwood Financial, and 12 shares of HCP. However, the $3,854.30 in purchases represents my total gross purchases and does not account for the $1,668 in proceeds I received from my sale of ARCP. Therefore, my true “New” purchases in the first quarter were only $2,186. As of March 31, I have a lot of catching up to do as this only represents 14.57% of my goal. Oy! So I am pressing myself to generate new income sources and find more ways to save in order to scrape and claw my way to achieving the first goal. We will get there!
Back at the end of 2014, Lanny gave me this great idea that has really helped me build up reserves to purchase new stock. Before, I had my complete paycheck deposited in my checking account and would manually transfer money over to my Capital One account to make purchases. This was a time killer as the transfers do not move as quickly as you would like. Lanny suggested that I set up my direct deposit to deposit some of my earnings directly into my Capital One account. Since the cash was never hitting my operating cash account, I would never realize it was there and the money would be tucked away specifically for investing. A win-win in my eyes! After our talk, I allocated $250 of each paycheck into my Capital One account and I haven’t looked back. But now, since I am behind on my goal, I am going to try increasing the amount that is automatically deposited into my Capital One account to $400 per paycheck to amp up my investing account. For the next 9 months, this alone would add $7,200 in New capital to my investing account. That gets me much closer to my goal! Don’t think that will be my only investing that goes on this year. You all know Lanny and me, and I am sure we will find ways to add additional funds for investing to our accounts.
2. Projected Dividend Income of $2,750 – Back when I set my goals, I set a pretty ambitious goal of having over $2,750 in projected annual dividend income by the end of 12/31/15. I knew this would be pushing myself, as this would have represented a 48.5% increase from my December 2014 income. It was a stretch, but definitely not out of reach at the time and I am confident I will get there between adding $15,000 in new capital to my account, re-investing dividend, and various dividend increases throughout the year. Heck, I received quite the jolt when Kraft announced a crazy special dividend that will net me over $600 in capital! At the end of the quarter, my projected annual dividend income was $1,957, or 71% of my goal. So once again, there is still some work to do. I would be further along with this goal, but the ARCP sale did not do me any favors, as I received over $170 in annual dividends from the REIT. I used the proceeds from the sale to invest in three companies (HCP, NWFL, and CZNC), which added ~$75 in dividend income to my portfolio. Overall, the sale and subsequent purchases resulted in a net loss of ~$95 in forward dividend income ($170 prior to sale less $75 in new dividend income from purchases using proceeds). But as I have said over and over again over the last three months, I would much rather own the three companies I currently own over ARCP because at this moment in time they are stronger dividend growth investments.
3. Max-Out my Roth-IRA Before 12/31/15– At the time of my goals article, I had some catching up to do for my Roth IRA contributions in 2014 as still needed to contribute over $2,750 in capital to my Roth to reach the maximum contribution. Reaching the max in 2014 was very important to me, as maximizing your Roth IRA at a young age can result in some massive tax-free growth over the remainder of your life. If you want proof, check out this great article Lanny wrote last year showing how you can maximize your Roth contributions for 10 years and not have to contribute another dime to this fund. That is the plan I am currently on! Anyways, I can happily say that I maximized my 2014 Roth before the deadline and I am now progressing towards the second half of my goal, which is to max out my 2015 Roth contribution before 12/31/15. As of 3/31/15, I have contributed only $159 of the maximum $5,500 allowed, which is 2.8% of the total. While it seems like I have a mountain to climb to achieve this goal, I have plenty of time and resources to complete this goal as I can complete it in conjunction with goals 1 and 2. I am very confident this will be completed this year!
4. Make $1,001 from The Dividend Diplomats Brand– I will not go into too much detail about this goal, as Lanny did a great job summarizing our progress in his quarterly goal check-up earlier in the week. I’ll just say a couple of quick things about the goal, we earned $117 and are only 11.7% towards our goal. This isn’t anywhere close to where we want to be at this point, but we are working our tails off trying to make up for lost time and hit our goal by the end of the year. Please anyone, if you have any suggestions or critiques of our current website, feel free to shoot us an email, direct message on Twitter, or even leave a comment on our page. We love hearing your feedback and would welcome all ideas. The other quick comment was towards Lanny, who used the phrase “eating his Passover meal” in his article last week. Lanny, it is called a Seder for goodness sake, how long have we been friends for? I know I have cracked jokes about Seders plenty of times in front of you! Come on!
5. Make $1,000 in “Other Income” – So far in 2015, I have achieved 50% of this goal. In January, I sold my Samsung Galaxy Tab S and my old iPhone for a combined $500. Since the sale, I haven’t had much time to sell items or explore new revenue streams as Lanny and I were in the heart of our busy seasons. However, now that busy season is over, I should have plenty of time to find $500 in additional income. I have a GPS that I barely use and an Xbox 360 that is just collecting dust, which could bring me closer to achieving my goal. I have also always want to try flipping, so Lanny and I are planing to hit the spring garage sale circuit soon and test out our luck. Hopefully I will be writing that I achieved this goal by the next quarterly review!
6. Beat the Dividends Diplomats Savings Challenge 6 Months in 2015– While I have not calculated my final March savings rate yet, I am pretty confident that I will not achieve a 60% savings rate. But I wold love to be proven wrong next week so stay tuned! With that assumption, I have gone 2 for 3 with defeating our 60% Savings Challenge in 2015 and I am off to a great start and am on pace to defeat this goal. It has been tough, but working so much allowed me to save a lot of money in January and February as there simply was not enough time to spend. Even though I am working less, I am hoping that I will be able to save at similar levels and still achieve a 60% savings rate this frequently.
7. Watch One of My Sports Teams on the Road– Last, buy definitely not least, the goal I am looking to most forward to in 2015. While I have not watched one of my sports teams on the road this year I still have plenty of options. Baseball season just started and the Indians play a lot of road games within driving distance of Cleveland (Detroit, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Toronto just to name a few). If I can’t see a baseball game on the road, Ohio State’s football season will start soon enough and all of their road games are in the Midwest. What I am trying to say is that there are many great options at my fingertips and I cannot wait to attend one of these games! Lanny, you better have your duffle bag ready because I have a hunch this is going to be a spur of the moment trip one day.
While I am making some progress in the first quarter, I still have a lot of work to do over the last nine months. I am behind on many of my investing goals and will have to find new ways to invest over the rest of the year. I think increasing my direct deposit in my Capital One account from $250 to $400 per paycheck will provide a nice jolt to my investment account and help me catch up on goals 1-3! Hopefully I will have better news to report for you all in my second quarter review. We are only 10 days into quarter 2 and I can already tell you that it is going to be a crazy one!
How was your first quarter? Are you on pace to knock your goals out in 2015? What tips or routines do you have to invest additional capital from each paycheck? I am looking forward to reading your comments!