Lanny’s Q1 2016 Goals Update

Now that Q1 is long and in the books and we are already more than 3 weeks into April – I thought it would be a great time to reflect on the last 3 months and see where I am in line with my goals.  There are 9 months to go and I’m curious if I am seeing any sort of light at the end of this tunnel.  Of course, doing a Q1 goals update, also means that another busy season (#5 for me) is in the books and the air becomes more apparent for me to breathe in – all of you accountants – you know what I’m talking about!  I set lofty goals back in December of 2015 for my 2016 year and this first quarter has been a blur.  With the blur – let’s see if I was able to make out anywhere to make progress.

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2016 Goal Re-Cap

Given this post – this helps me tremendously get back on the path in case that I have steered off of it somewhat or help keep me on the golden brick road to the 12/31/16 end goals.  Below are the goals that I had established in December for this year, as a way to re-cap what I wanted to accomplish:

  1. Projected Dividend Income at $8,000
  2. Keep Trading Costs Below $100
  3. Make 3 Trades > $3,000
  4. Monthly Plan Expenditures: Switch from Verizon, Reduce Auto Insurance to $70/month, Change Internet from AT&T
  5. Make $2,000 extra payments towards Mortgage in 4 quarterly installments
  6. Sell 3 Items on eBay
  7. Go on a Trip

Phew, that’s a mouthful above and fun seeing that I kept it to a solid 7 goals, very similar to 2015.  From just reading them I know that the monthly plan expenditures are hard and the projected income is always a beast to take down, given that I missed the mark in 2015 (UGH!).  One thing that always helps the monetary goals is –  Saving over 60% of your income each and every month, but sometimes life happens – bachelor parties, vacations, weddings to attend, etc.. also – Uncle Sam takes a good punch to my gut come April.  Enough of the rant here… how the heck am I doing in relation to these goals??!

March 31, 2016 Progress

  1. Projected Dividend Income at $8,000:  Currently, as of April 23, 2016, I am sitting at a projected $6,782 in dividend income.  This isn’t materially different than at Q1 or 3/31, as i haven’t made a fricken purchase in what feels like years!  I even wrote about why I haven’t purchased a stock in 30 60 days, it’s wild.  I may have a purchase up my sleeve, however.  I have increased my dividend income so far in 2016 by ~$277 (as I ended 12/31/15 around $6,505).  I needed to add $1,495 in dividend income, therefore $277/$1,495 = 18.5% there – not quite 25% but not too bad.  Obviously not buying anything deters this, as well as instances where entities do not increase their dividend, cut their dividend like BHP Billiton (BBL) or even barely increase such as Procter & Gamble (PG) (they did a “whopping” 1% dividend increase).  I have currently $1,218 to go.  Time to put my foot on the pedal and…. GO.
  2. Keep Trading Costs below $100:  With my purchases of ADM in January and then a whopper of T. Rowe Price (TROW) in February – my trading costs are EXTREMELY low at this point.  My total trading costs are sitting at a dismal $13.90 – which is AWESOME!  With those 2 purchases – the total was $6,130 and the costs as a % then was 0.226% aka – negligible.  I still would have to spend $86.10 more or make 12 more trades.  Given how the trend has gone – that won’t happen more than likely.  I would say I am doing very well here in this realm.  Feeling better now.
  3.  Make 3 trades > $3,000: As we knew from my post on why I want to make larger purchases for investments – and with the two purchases mentioned above – I am actually 66.67% of the way there – NOW WE ARE TALKING!!  I didn’t think I would have accomplished this chunk of the goal so early on, but it happened.  Therefore – I need to make one more substantial purchase, and I can see that happen more than likely by the end of the 3rd quarter, maybe the 2nd.  All I know is – I am on track to hit this goal as well.
  4. Monthly Plan Expenditures: Well, well, well.  To begin – Verizon (VZ) has sucked at the moment.  I was trying to work with them over the last few days to see if I can stay and have a slightly early upgrade = NO is what they have said, unless I want to pay monthly for the phone, which I do not want to do.  Leaving them would be $150 in early termination fees at this point, it sucks.  I talked with a Sprint (S) a bit yesterday and they are willing to pay for the ETF fees, waive the activation fee of $30 and my bill would be approximately $15 cheaper than VZW, plus I could get a new phone.  I am REALLY debating this.  However – I would sign on for 2 years, which is tough.  To be determined on that one.  Auto Insurance is another story.  My premium ended up going up somehow for 2016 beginning 4/25 (aka I am working to wind this down again by contacting others), even though my car is older, my auto loan is smaller, plus another full year of no incidents/violations.  AKA W T F?!?!  Enough with that crap.  Internet – the good stuff – we all know that I switched from AT&T (T) a month back to WOW! network provider.  One thing to note – AT&T never told me I’d have any early termination fees initially.  After I switched and I called back AT&T to turn it off officially – they said I was on the hook for $45.  Never was told me and I do not understand.  I am warning all readers to ask the question and don’t take that if they say “that’s fine, you can leave” that it means $0 in fees.  Don’t get hit like I did.  My new internet is $10 cheaper and more than 5x faster, it is amazing.  AMAZING.  Bottom-line and well worth the switch.  Partly failing here though with auto insurance and cell phone.  Damn.
  5. Make $2,000 extra towards the Mortgage: Currently I have chipped in 2 $500 payments and am halfway towards this goal.  I made 1 on 1/1 and another on 4/1.  I am 50% there and seem to be breezing through this goal.  The BIG debate always is do you either pay off the mortgage or invest, something I’m always curious on individual’s feedback.  Are you doing something similar?
  6. Sell 3 Items on eBay – 0 so far and failing in this category.  I have donated quite a bit of clothes and have some clothes to sell as well, in addition to my modem from the old internet.  Because of busy season and weddings – June may be a good month to do some work here and grab some extra cash.
  7. Go on a Trip: Cha-Ching!  Luckily – my wonderful girlfriend was able to fly me out to Burlington, Vermont as part of her work program at no cost.  I spent 3 days approximately there and went to a few fun restaurants, a brewery tour, did karaoke (no videos to be released haha) and had a fun time in the early part of busy-season.  Next up will be this upcoming Friday – where we are going to the Dominican Republic all-inclusive resort for approximately $1K each.  THIS GOAL IS DONE!

Overall Q1 2016 Goal Conclusion

Phew… okay.  I know where I need to do some serious work.  If I want to be at 50% of my dividend income goal – I need to add approximately $471 the remainder of this quarter alone.  Which could happen with the match in the 401K from the employer, dividend increases and at least 2 purchases I’d like to make.  I could get there – there’s also the wonderful tool of dividend reinvestment that I love, which will help me accomplish this feat.  Further – I need to get my eBay game in order, as well as “go Italian” on a few phones calls related to the cell phone and auto insurance.  In fact, I’ll be working on the auto insurance this afternoon to get the most value at the best rate.  Stay tuned there.

Thanks everyone – how are you all fairing up in your annual goals?  Falling behind, ahead of the pack or staying the course?  Need any help getting back on the horse?  Thanks again everyone for coming by, please leave comments, feedback and suggestions below – they are MORE than appreciated.  Good luck and keep crushing it!

-Lanny

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17 thoughts on “Lanny’s Q1 2016 Goals Update

  1. As a fellow twenty something investor and advocate for the art of frugality, it warms my heart to find like minded individuals like your self. I’m not one to comment on blogs but I felt that we share the same passion and values when it comes to investing; while I don’t have a website , I do have a blog on Instagram where I make monthly and quarterly updates by the name Weekend Investor, it would give me great pleasure if you two would stop by. Anyhow, great content and even better portfolios you two .

    May your dividends compound and your investment soar

    Cheers,

    The weekend Investor

    • Weekend I,

      Thank you very much for reading the blog – especially if you aren’t typically leaving comments – that makes yours feel that much better – thank you.

      I do wish more individuals created a better means of living – knowing what you actually need and then using any proceeds/cash to help others, help yourself buy more time to spend more time with those that you love. That is what it’s all about – time with those that you love.

      Will definitely stop by on your iGram and check it out!

      -Lanny

      • I couldn’t agree more; I overheard/ read your question below about any alternative investments regarding the allocation of cash, and while I consider my self a long term investor and believe that timing the market is very difficult I still think having a cash position is vital. With that being said, short term investments such as Treasury bills , Tips , Munis and corporate debt is a superior alliterative to cash under the mattress. Working capital management was my first job after college, very boring but nevertheless it taught me how to handle short term liquid investments.

        Cheers,
        The Weekend investor

  2. Great start! It is crazy how fast the year starts to fly by and get ahead of you. I think a few more of those are purchases and you’ll hit $8k in forward dividends no problem.

    Keep up the great work!

    • MI,

      Thank you very much for coming by. I am hoping to make a move in the next 14 days and have my eyes set on one company. A company in an industry that I’m fairly close to. We’ll see! Price has to be right : ) Thank you for coming by and providing support!

      -Lanny

  3. Nice review Lanny. Don’t go buying stock just to hit your dividend goal. Opportunity is slim out there right now. You might be best served holding your money for lower entry points. If you miss the dividend goal, so what.

    • IH,

      Thank you. Exactly. I do have a few companies in mind and have entry points that are around there. Sidelined for 2 months+ already here, it’s so weird. Longest time I’ve gone without making an investment. Have you done any alternatives with your cash before? Thanks IH, talk soon.

      -Lanny

    • Tawcan,

      Thank you very much – some work was done today I’ll say on my goals : ) You’ll see a post from us diplomats soon, as it was a move making kind of day.

      Plenty of time, as you said, and I can see/feel that, for sure – especially with quite a few dividend increases occurring this month and going forward. Onward, right?

      -Lanny

  4. I believe I mentioned in one of my first comments on this blog that I am drawn to your blog based on similar details to my background and outlook. Below are the reasons:

    1. I am now two years into stock investing which puts me in an area not too far behind both you and Bert, but more closer to Bert.
    2. I am also an Ohio State grad so I love the Ohio/ Buckeye references that are sprinkled throughout (O-H!).
    3. I am also going deep into a prolonged period of not making a stock purchase since the beginning of March, which is starting to look like late June is when I will be breaking the dry spell. I am content seeing my savings shore up in the mean time so no rush there.
    4. I also I am implementing the goal of trying to make big purchases at once. Although my goal this year is to make every purchase at $2,000 or higher where my typical buy in the past year was around $1,600 – $1,800. As you stated this helps reducing fees. As a long time poker player one of the biggest pieces of advice that I found in improving your results is focusing on fixing your leaks. The biggest leak most poker players have is that they play too many hands at first just to see the flop. If you tighten this aspect up first it help improve your returns as you won’t have lost all your money in blinds . This is exactly like the idea of making big purchases. If you spend $10 on commission on $1,000 purchase that represents a 1% fee that needs to be made up to start to see a profit, not to mention the sell fee on top. But by waiting until at least a $2,000 purchase this improves your results by 0.5% right away.
    6. I have also gotten on the Ebay train these past three months. I used to play Magic: The Gathering back in high school and just held on to the cards forever. After recently moving into a new place at the start of this year I am starting to get tired of constantly lugging them around and have them take up shelf space, when they could be converted into a stock earning dividends year in year out. The game is still popular and the older ones have also appreciated a bit in value over the years. By doing a little research and figuring out how to best reduce my selling and shipping costs I am doing quite well with just under $300 in sales with a 70% profit margin.
    .
    7. Now all these things are amazing, but this post blew my mind about the similarities when I read your last bullet point. I am also heading to the Dominican Republic this upcoming weekend. I will be arriving Saturday and staying at the Colonial Majestic if by chance you are also at the same place.

    Good luck on the 2016 goals and enjoy your trip!

    • Taylor,

      All in all – just awesome, P U M P E D that you are getting into investing and I’m sure Bert loved reading this comment, especially since you both are OSU alumns – “I O” to finish your “O H”. Big Cavs game more than likely starting next week as well, excited for that. The dry spell of yours will wear off and saving money/not making a purchase is making a move, so you’re doing well.

      Further – pumped you’re doing well with eBay – I will be spending more time dedicated to that and a few other services to increase the money that goes into my pocket and decluttering items in my house. Very excited for that, I’ve donated a few hundred dollars worth of clothes, and already see a vast difference.

      I’ll be at the Bahia Principe Ambar resort – getting there midday Friday and will be there a full week – there a while? Going with friends or what? Sounds like we all had the same idea!

      -Lanny

  5. Hey Lanny,

    Nice progress on your goals. As IH said, don’t feel like you have to buy just to hit a dividend goal.. there are many more years of dividends to collect, not just this one 🙂 Build that powder up for a heck of a bang later.

    Sweet job on the free trip, although it sucks to be away from her? I think we’re beating you on selling stuff, we’ve sold a ton of stuff for around $500 this year. Don’t be afraid to use other places to sell things too, my wife has been using local Facebook groups to sell things too (no fees too).

    Good luck for the rest of the year Lanny 🙂

    Tristan

    • Tristan,

      Thank you! Couldn’t agree more, and funny enough – a purchase MAY have been made today – stay tuned : )

      Thanks – the free trip to Vermont was actually to be with her – as we happen to be in the same industry and were able to be with eachother while we both were going through busy season in beautiful Vermont. Twas nice, twas nice haha

      And damn – $500 is awesome, creeping up on that amount on the donation list – but I have a few services I won’t to use to sell items I don’t use – may be a combination of things, but the main goal is to declutter and if that means I can receive a $ benefit – then hell yeah!

      Appreciate it T – you as well!

      -Lanny

  6. Great job Lanny! Even though you aren’t where you want to be dividend wise I am sure your purchases will greatly help achieve the goal. You and Bert have really got me excited about a dividend investment portfolio and I can happily say I have recently started one, while still in college! Only got about $150 a year so far but hopefully once I begin working I can start to grow this! Looking forward to your upcoming trade as I may jump in with you on it if I know the company/industry!

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