Even after writing my September Dividend Income Summary, I still can’t believe that the third quarter of 2015 has come to a close. Holy cow, where has all of the time gone? Just like Lanny, I perform a quarterly goal review to track my progress so I can make any necessary adjustments before it is too late. Let’s take a look at my progress through the first nine months of 2015!
$15,000$20,000 in “New Capital” in 2015 – If you all remember, a few weeks ago I wrote about crushing my first investing goal in 2015. With my last purchase of Emerson Electric in September, I crossed the $15,000 of “New” Capital invested in 2015 mark (New Capital represents funds transferred from my savings account directly to my investment account and does not include 401k contributions or DRIP). Since there are 3 months to go till the end of the year, I increased my initial goal from $15,000 to $20,000. It is definitely doable, but I have a few trips planned and a wedding coming up next year so I am forced to tone down the pace of my investing. But man will it be hard to pullback if the stock market downturn continues. At the end of the month, I have invested $15,695 in “New Capital during the year. Only $4,305 to go!
- Reach $2,750 in Projected Dividend Income – While we still have three months to go, I have some work do on this goal. It is going to come down to the wire folks! As of September 30th, my forward dividend income is sitting at $2,439. Ugh! I am $311 dollars short of my goal. What’s aggravating with this goal is that I anticipated a strong boost from dividend increases. However, as we all know and as Lanny pointed out in a recent article, there has been a recent trend of dividend paying companies announcing smaller than typical dividend increases. Luckily for me, a lot of my expected dividend increases are expected to come in the final quarter so I won’t be completely reliant on increasing my dividend income through purchases and DRIP. So hopefully companies like T, AFL, DOW, KHC, and others can throw me a bone over the next three months. If not, I may have to dip into the cash reserves!
- Max-Out My Roth IRA Before December 31, 2015- This goal was created because I put off maximizing my Roth IRA last year and spent the first few months of 2015 contributing under my 2014 limits. Not a big deal. However, this year, I would like to be more pro-active and max-out my Roth before the end of the calendar year. After all, maximizing your Roth IRA contributions at a young age can have some major upsides, so I need to make sure this supplemental retirement account is taken care of so I can let the power of tax-free compounding take over. Currently, as of September 30, I have contributed $4,010 to my Roth IRA during the year and have $1,490 remaining during the year. Easily doable and I can use the funds to add to my position in JNJ, MMM, or another one of my “Always Buy” stocks or use the funds to initiate a new position. Who knows, but all I know is that I am planning on burying this goal before the year is over!
- Make $1,001 from the Dividend Diplomats Brand- Lanny gave a very nice summary in his article and the bottom line is that we are making some progress here. We had one of our best months in September and we have now earned $491 to date. We couldn’t be here without you all, so thank you for your support over the last year and a half. Our revenue is driven predominately from ads, so without your views, comments, and support, we wouldn’t be close to this mark. We are still trailing in our goal though and have to make a strong push in the final quarter. It won’t be easy, but it will be a fun ride…especially because we both love what we are doing here!
- Make $1,000 in Other Income- Through September 30th, I have scraped $525 in other income together through both liquidating electronics/goods in my apartment that were just collecting dust and trying to flip video games. The video game venture was fun; however, it took up a lot of time and only netted me $25 in profit. While it was a great % return on invested capital, the dollar impact was minimal. I learned that flipping is not the most efficient way to earn a large profit and it requires a lot of time. And time has been at a premium lately, which is why I find myself behind on this goal. If anyone has any ideas, I am open for suggestions! I guess it is time to hit Swagbucks (warning: Referral link) and other cash back websites hard to squeeze a few extra dollars out of thin air.
- Save 60% of My Income During 6 Months in 2015– This goal has downright pissed me off so far, especially recently. Lanny and I created the Dividend Diplomats 60% Savings Challenge to push ourselves to save as much of our income as possible. And I started off the year hot, saving at least 60% of my income during three of the first four months. Recently though, I haven’t had as much luck as my spending has increased for various trips, summer activities, and so on. I am pissed off about this goal because I have had some near misses, the worst of which was when I saved 59.8% of my income in August! Come on Bert, I should have knocked this goal out a long time ago. I need to focus and really control the expense line item during the final quarter if I want to get back on track.
- Travel to a different city to watch one of my sports teams – Another goal that I am behind on as I still haven’t visited a different city to watch one of my sports teams play. I came really close to knocking this goal off a few weeks ago though. The Indians were off to a slow start this baseball season, but suddenly in August they were red-hot and found themselves in the middle of the wild card race. On Tuesday, I noticed they were playing a series in Detroit, which is barely 3 hours away. I reached out to one of my friends and we began planning a trip to the Motor City to root the Tribe on. However, the Indians managed losing the next few games and my friend and I decided to pull the plug on the mini road trip. The Indians ended up losing 5-0 that day and the weather was terrible, so I guess it was better that we didn’t go after all. Instead, we just hung out at home and watched college football. Not a bad Saturday!
All in all, I still have a lot of work to do. To me, the most important goals are one through three as they have the biggest impact on my portfolio/dividend income and hold the keys to financial freedom. I wish I could say that I were on track for all of my goals, but unfortunately that is not the case. I have learned a lot this year and will have some valuable input/experiences when I build my 2016 goals. My 2015 goals were tough, but not impossible. So I need to re-group and re-focus to get the most out of the last quarter of the year. It is crunch time everyone! Let’s finish the year strong.
How are you faring in 2015? Are you close to knocking out your goals? Have you noticed smaller than usual dividend increases during the year? Any advice on how I can accomplish my remaining goals? I would love to hear what you all do to generate extra income for yourself and your blogs. So don’t hesitate to share!