Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Dividend Mantra's Goals for 2013

I'm a big fan of having goals. Goals give you something to shoot for; they're a target so that you can track your progress. Putting goals down on paper, and then showing them to the world does a couple things. First, by actually typing these goals up I realize them in a physical form. If the goals only exist in my head they're easy to forget. Second, by showing them to the world I obviously want to save face and do my best to reach the goals as my pride is on the line.

My goals for 2013 are not going to be as aggressive as I had planned to make them just a few weeks ago. Over the last couple of weeks some events have transpired at work that has me questioning the viability of my future employment with this particular employer. Due to this uncertainty I am going to be a bit conservative with some of the goals I'm laying out below. I hope things clear up quickly and continue to hum along, in which case I'll be able to continue skyrocketing towards financial independence.

I'm listing the goals below in order of personal importance, and in which order my focus is going to concentrate.

Goal #1 - To receive $3,500 in dividends during the year of 2013

This is actually still quite aggressive. I was actually originally going to shoot for $4,000, but I've since adjusted that number due to the fact that I'm going to be conserving capital over the next couple months and investing less regularly due to uncertainty on the employment front. As this issue clears, my ability to reach this goal will increase. At any rate, I'll be extremely excited if I can reach or exceed this goal. Receiving a full $3,500 in income in one year that I don't have to work for would be simply fantastic. Reaching this goal would mean I'd be averaging $291.66 per month in dividends. Sweet! That would cover my monthly food budget in its entirety and then some. I could eat for free for the rest of my life!!!

Goal #2 - To save 60% of my net income earned in 2013, averaged monthly

It's funny. I guess I need to re-align my definition of "conservative". This will also be rather difficult for me, as I hit savings rates of 59.3% in 2011 and 56.6% in 2012. But if I'm not aiming high, then why bother? I think this goal can be achieved through the increase in dividend income, while simultaneously watching unnecessary expenditures throughout the year. This will require diligence on my part, which I certainly do not lack. We'll see how it goes! I'm going to give it a great shot.

Goal #3 - To weigh 185 pounds or less by the end of 2013

Fully doable as long as I maintain focus on my exercise routine and don't go crazy on the food. I don't eat much, as can be seen in any of my monthly food budgets. However, the food I do eat isn't good for me. I happen to be like Warren Buffett, unfortunately, and enjoy cheeseburgers and Cherry Coke. What can I say? I've always been able to maintain pretty good fitness by my intense workout routine, but lately have been slipping in that regard. Time to get back on track!

Goal #4 - To diversify my wealth

This goal is a bit open ended, and I don't even know if I'd call it a "goal"...but decided to throw it up here anyway. Most of my worldly wealth (about 90% or so) is tied up in my dividend stock portfolio. As my portfolio continues to grow and becomes an even larger portion of my wealth I continuously think about the need to diversify my assets. While I'm extremely bullish on stocks long-term and favorably view all my equity stakes in the companies I hold, I do also believe in diversification. However, diversification "at all costs" is just as bad, or worse, than no diversification. So one has to be careful and diversify only when it makes sense, and as always when the valuation is correct. Right now interest rates preclude bonds for me, so I'm not looking at fixed income yet. I'll obviously be increasing my cash position due to my employment concerns, so short-term this will diversify me into cash. However, I think cash is one of the worst assets over the long haul due to inflation eating away at its purchasing power. Real estate, due to low interest rates, may be in the mix here. I'll keep everyone updated. This is a bit of a "wild card" goal. It's not as defined and tangible as I like goals to be, but it is something I want to keep an eye on.

I'll be updating my goals page to reflect the new goals, as well as the results from 2012.

What are your goals? 

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