I believe in setting stretching yet achievable goals. It is not useful to entertain goals that are impossible to achieve. On the other hand, setting goals that are easy to achieve will not require special effort and will not leave you with a special sense of accomplishment.
Stretching goals demand extra effort and focus. They require commitment, patience, and constant monitoring. Sometimes, when progress is not sufficient, they require a course correction.
In this article, I'll do a quick review of my 2016 goals and present my goals for 2017.
This year has been an interesting one for DivGro and I've achieved some challenging goals.
I increased projected annual dividend income (PADI) from about $6,800 to over $12,000. The main reason for this significant jump in PADI is that I've consolidated several accounts into the DivGro fold. Whereas DivGro consisted only of stocks in two of my FolioInvesting accounts, now I also count stocks in my Scottrade account and two additional FolioInvesting accounts (an IRA and a Roth IRA) as DivGro stocks.
Dividend income in 2016 will top $15,000, but that includes dividend income captured as part of the portfolio consolidation mentioned earlier. Looking only at dividends received from DivGro stocks in 2016, the tally stands at $10,404, a little short of my 2016 dividend income goal of $10,800. Fortunately, I have several stocks that pay dividends at the end of the month, so I should make the $10,800 goal "fair and square".
I'm on track to achieve several of the other goals I've set for 2016 and I'll discuss these in my annual review article. At the same time, there are 2016 goals that I won't achieve. While disappointing, I'm inspired to try harder next year.
Before presenting my 2017 goals, let me state some assumptions and commitments:
- Recurring capital deposits of $1,000 per month ($12,000 for 2017)
- Reinvest dividends, on average at least $1,000 per month (at least $12,000 in 2017)
- Deposit premium article income from Seeking Alpha (goal is $4,800 for 2017)
- Retain and invest options income (goal is $8,400 for 2017)
- Assume initial yield on cost (YoC) averaging 4%
- Assume dividends increase by 7%, on average
Here are my 2017 goals:
DivGro's PADI of about $12,000 should grow to $12,840 due to dividend increases.
New investments totaling $25,200 and reinvested dividends totaling $12,840 should afford an additional $1,520 in PADI (assuming initial YoC averaging 4%).
The total of $14,360 ($12,840 + $1,520) is just $40 below the listed 2017 goal.
2. Earn $12,960 in dividend income.
My new goal of earning $12,960 in dividend income is a 20% increase over this year's goal of $10,800.
This goal will be quite challenging because I'm planning to close my position in PennantPark Investment (PNNT), which pays more than $500 in dividends per year. So, I would need to replace PNNT's dividends before I can start thinking about the 20% increase!
I'm hoping to make up any shortfall with occasional bonus deposits.
3. Earn $8,400 in options income.
Having initiated options trading in DivGro this year, I'm setting a very aggressive goal of earning $8,400 in options income in 2017. It is hard to say if this goal is realistic. Options premium income largely depends on market volatility, which currently is quite low. Nevertheless, I'm going to give this one my very best effort!
So far in 2016, I've secured options income of $2,128 over a period of about four months of active trading. That pace suggests that earning $6,400 in a year should be doable. Currently, I'm trading options on about half of my DivGro positions, but I'm planning to transfer my FolioInvesting holdings (which are ineligible for options trading) to a brokerage account that allows options trading.
4. Write 64 premium articles for Seeking Alpha.
In 2016, I increased my presence on Seeking Alpha significantly, surpassing my goal of writing 52 premium articles quite easily! So far this year, I've published 64 premium articles, which happens to be my goal for next year.
5. Write 6 articles for The DivNet.
This year, I've published only 2 articles at The DivNet, missing my goal to publish 8 articles by a wide margin. So I'm reducing my goal to 6 articles for 2017.
6. Health and wellness: lose one stone.
My health and wellness goals in 2016 were miserable fails! Trying to explain why would sound like a bunch of excuses, so let me just restate the modest goal of losing one stone! I'm going to target mid-May because my wife and I are planning a one-week vacation in Hawaii, and it would be great to be in better shape by then...
Thanks for reading! Are you setting stretching goals for 2016? Feel free to share your goals and to comment on mine! All the best for 2017 and thanks for your support!