2012: Getting there

Under the “Intent” page you can find what my main purpose is in pursuing investing.  Although it gives an accurate account of what I want to achieve, it paints a pretty broad theme.  Today I’m going to narrow it down a bit by focusing on what I want to accomplish in 2012 and what steps need to be taken to reach the main goal.  It is in the series of steps that we fulfill our journey.

Last year I ended up with just at 1213.00 in dividends.  As of right now, with my current investments, my brokerage accounts estimated yearly dividend is 2800.00.  I’m fairly happy with more than doubling my divi income this year, but I think I can do better.  I’m going to shoot for 5000.00 in dividend income by 12/31/2012.  I plan on doing this by adding to my current positions and adding some new positions as well.  Right now I have a fairly concentrated portfolio.  I’m ok with this and will discuss my thoughts on diversification in a later post.  Finding value is my primary concern with diversification being secondary.

Keep expenses under 20k.  This amount includes everything which means taxes, living expenses, travel, every dime that goes out.  I  include taxes as I have a favorable tax situation by working overseas, plus I like looking at total numbers.  I track my expenses using both Quicken and excel and can tell you every amount that has come in and gone out.  Keeping all my expenses under 20k will be a stretch goal, but I think it is something that is worth shooting for.

To have a 100,000 balance in the brokerage account.  This amount may seem arbitrary at first but it actually has a purpose.  First, the six figure amount has a psychological appeal that makes me want to work hard to attain it.  Superficial I know, but hey it keeps me motivated.  Second, it is this amount with an anticipated five percent yield that I get my 5000.00 in dividends I listed above.  Not so arbitrary after all eh?  With just over 50,000 now between stocks and cash I should be able to pull this one off if all goes well this year.

If I can achieve these goals 2012 will be a great year!

Do you have a stretch goal you’re targeting this year?  Leave me a comment and let me know.

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8 thoughts on “2012: Getting there

  1. For the end of 2012, my portfolio goal is $60K, my stretch goal is $75. I am currently around $30K, so even my basic goal will be a nicely double my current holdings. Originally I was thinking if I can just get $1000- in dividend earnings I would be happy, however I’m getting a little more ambitious with my desire for higher yield so I might adjust that.

    Living on $20K at first seemed impossible to me, because I am thinking about living on $50K this year, then I remember I am part of a couple, duh, so if you figure 1/2, it’s much closer. I really need to be better about tracking expenses.

    I appreciate your more detailed goals, I think you can do it!

    I remember when I opened my statement from my work 401k last year and it was a little over 100,000, it was a wonderful feeling!

    • It will be interesting to see how we progress. I think having stretch goals is important, helps to keep us focused. I think you menionted you just started looking at divi stocks right? If so you will really become motivated once you see them start compounding. Combined with the yearly increase you usually get with good quality stocks your income really starts to add up.

      Some people hate tracking and others love it, I fall into the latter category. I’m not crazy about budgets so tracking allows me to look at where the money is going and which areas are in alignment with my values and goals and which ones aren’t. For example I have no problem spending for travel, or kindle books (love that thing!), but food and entertainment expenses are not big items for me. Each person is different and I think it is important we each find where we want to spend money and where we spend just out of habit. The little expense add up esp. when projected over and entire life.

      Do you have a specific way you plan on tracking? I use Quicken and Excel, but I’ve heard that mint.com is really nice as well.

      Congrats on having 100k in your 401k! That is great. There is something magical about that six figure number.

      • Yes, I’m new to divi investing. In ’10 I was just picking stocks that I thought would do well in a down economy MCD & TJX did great for me 😉 But now I’m looking more long term, also from the sites I’ve read, divi investing seems like a good fit for me. I don’t want anything too risky where I can’t sleep at night, but I actually enjoy monitoring on a daily basis.

        I easily spend on travel, clothes, jewelry, food, gifts (too many things I know). Books I prefer to get from the library. Entertainment depends, I refuse to spend 100s on a concert with a rowdy crowd. I look for deals, our local symphony offers balcony seats for $5-. I have the cheapest satellite tv plan. I totally agree that little expenses add up. But like you, I’m not a huge fan of budgets.

        As for tracking, I’ll start with Excel, and maybe add another as well, I have heard mixed reviews about mint.com.

      • MSS– Let me know how you like using Excel. Since I use mostly cash for my spending I was having a hard time tracking it the way I wanted to in Quicken. Excel has allowed me a little more customization, but I still use Quicken to keep track of various accounts. It does a great job of updating account balances and having all my accounts in one place is nice as well.

  2. Wow, some pretty hefty goals and I wish you the best. Sounds like you’re determined and focused…and that’s what’s needed.

    For me, I received $1,200 in dividends last year…a very similar amount to you. I have a goal to receive $2,000 in dividends this year, but secretly I’d really be happy with $2,500. $5k is definitely out of my reach.

    As far as portfolio value, I’m at just under $60k right now. I’d like to be able to hit $80k, and think that with a stable market that’s very reasonable. $100k would also be my stretch goal, but without a really good year at work combined with a strong bull market I doubt I’ll reach it. The other thing to think about is that I’ll be more timid to invest with a strong bull market, due to lack of value. So, I might be screwed either way! Ha!

    Best wishes with your goals! I hope 2012 brings us all much success.

    • Thanks for stopping by DM. You are correct, I’m very focused right now. You bring up an intersting point. If the markets keep going up I doubt I will be willing to buy in at these prices and that could impact my ability to get to the 5000 in divi income. I know a person can’t time the market, but I would much prefer to buy on the way down than on the way up esp. the stocks I have for income and plan on keeping for the long term.

      Keep doing what your doing DM. You have made great progress over the past year. I think the goals you have set will become reality. Just a matter of when not if.

    • Martin– I only have a year under my belt with investing myself, divi or any other form. Baby steps is where it all begins, but it’s pretty impressive how things take off if you focus your time and efforts. Best of luck and thanks for reading.

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