Mid-Year Goals Review

At the beginning of the year I laid forth my goals for 2013. I wanted to put a list of goals together that would be challenging, actionable and measurable. I believe that to various degrees all four goals meet this criteria.

With half of 2013 now behind us I thought now would be a good time to review these goals and see if I’m on track to exceed them. So far, I’m doing pretty good! Let’s review below:

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

During the first six months of the year I have received $1,723.40 in dividends. Wonderful! That is averaging a little over $287 per month. I’ll gladly take it. Extrapolating that out over 12 months means I’ll end up with approximately $3,446 in dividends for 2013. Although it looks like I might just miss my goal, I actually think I’ll exceed this goal as I’ve purchased shares in high quality businesses over the first six months of the year, and those purchases should generate additional dividend payments over the latter half of the year. I believe I’m currently on pace to exceed this goal!

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

I’m doing great here. This is the goal I’m most proud of. It’s incredibly difficult to maintain a high savings rate month after month, and yet I consistently keep my eye on the prize: financial independence and early retirement. I’ve been saving over half my net income for the past three years and it’s been a wonderful learning experience in what I’m truly capable of achieving. With six months down I’m currently averaging a monthly savings rate of 63.5%! Woo hoo! I think there is an excellent chance I’m going to exceed this goal as well.

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

What I thought would be my most difficult goal has actually turned out to be quite attainable. I weighed myself just this past weekend (on the same scale I’ve used for the past few years) and came in at 184 lbs. Nice! I’ve been concentrating less on heavy, compound exercises and instead have been increasing my attention on cardiovascular exercises and lighter weight. This has allowed a more streamlined me to emerge and I quite like it. I’ve also been eating a tad bit healthier. I was a competitive bodybuilder in my younger days and I’m still trying to shed that internal image of myself. If I can maintain my current weight I’ll exceed this goal by a small margin.  

Goal #4 – To diversify my wealth

This goal was probably a little less measurable than it should have been, but in all truth I wanted to put something down on paper to motivate me to get some exposure to either real estate or fixed income. I consider bonds right now as a horrible investment, so I’m still staying away. However, just over the last couple months REITs have taken quite a hit and allowed me to expand my holdings into real estate. I have recently purchased ownership stakes in Realty Income Corp. (O) and Digital Realty Trust, Inc. (DLR). Even if I don’t diversify my wealth into any other asset classes for the rest of the year I’ll consider this goal met.

I’m doing great so far! I had a rough year for goals in 2012, only meeting 50% of them. But 2013 looks to be a great improvement. I’m hoping to be able to continue on the progress I’ve built up over the first half of the year as we continue to wind down the months. I thank all of you readers as you continue to support Dividend Mantra!

How are you doing with your goals? Meeting them? Exceeding them? 

Full Disclosure: Long O, DLR

Thanks for reading.

Photo Credit: jscreationzs/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Comments

  1. says

    Congratulations on hitting your goals Mantra. I think that you should probably shoot for $4,000 in annual dividends by the end of 2013.

    After all, you would likely add $15 – $20,000 by end of the year, earn a lot more in dividends on shares you have purchased, but which have not yet paid dividends.

    I have another REIT for you to look at – ARCP. Not a very long history, but they do show the desire to be the next Realty Income.

    • says

      DGI,

      Thanks for stopping by, and I really appreciate your support!

      I’m not quite sure I’m going to hit that kind of level of dividends or asset purchases. More likely, my purchases for the foreseeable future will be smaller in frequency and in size due to a potential project that may require some capital late next year. I’ll still be purchasing shares in high quality companies as valuations allow, but will also actively add to my cash.

      Thanks for the idea there with ARCP. To be honest, haven’t heard of that company before. I don’t track many other REITs besides the ones I own and NNN and OHI. I’ll definitely have to take a look at ARCP! :)

      I’m sure you’re having a fantastic 2013. Keep up the great work!

      Best wishes.

  2. says

    I don’t know about you but I find cardio (ie- treadmill) just boring as hell. I have to do something fun that involves cardio like riding my mountain bike. We have some nice trails near my home and it’s a lot of fun to get outdoors with some friends and hit the trails. It’s fantastic cardio, and will get anyone in shape quick. Grats on hitting 184!

    • says

      Captain,

      I’m with you. I don’t look forward to cardio. I grew up bodybuilding, and when I was younger it was all about putting on mass. So, I’ve changed a lot over the last few years in that regard.

      I think mountain biking is a great idea. Doing something you enjoy that burns calories at the same time is optimal – whether that’s tennis, basketball, jogging, etc. I typically use an elliptical machine for about 10-15 minutes, so it’s nothing crazy. I then work out with lighter weights and shorter rests between sets, so it’s a much faster workout. The whole workout is more aerobic oriented rather than anaerobic.

      Great ideas there!

      Take care.

    • says

      Looks like we are on some similar paths DG. I too once was a bodybuilder and topped out at 180 lbs of muscle on a 5’7″ frame. I could really push around a lot of weight back then. Once I hit my mid thirties it became clear to me that lifting heavy weights was not a sustainable path if one wants to have healthy joints latter in life. Nowadays I focus on body weight only calisthenics (pushups, pullups, dips, etc) and lots and lots of biking! I had forgotten how FUN biking is. Trimmed down to 155 lbs and feel bulletproof. But like you say it is difficult to let go of the “hulk” image.

    • says

      Neo,

      I’m with you. It’s tough to let go of an image that you held dear in your own mind. I’m lucky. Over the course of the last year or so I’ve really been excited about slimming down, taking up less room, stressing my body less and becoming more sustainable. I’ve finally gotten over that hump. :)

      Body weight calisthenics may be something I eventually move to. I have tried them and generally liked them. My only issue is that I generally lack motivation to do them if I’m bound to my own home. I get home, sit on the couch and start reading and it’s over. With a gym I go because I’m paying for the membership and I’m even more motivated once I’m there by everyone else working out. I’ll eventually get over this hump too.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Best regards.

    • says

      I hear ya. Over the hump is acknowledgement of the fact that you can sustain a fit human body with $0 invested in a gym membership…more money for dividend investment. It’s truly a win, win. Save money, have a more sustainable (portable – can be used anywhere) exercise regiment, and protect your finite-lifetime joints. Cheers!

    • Anonymous says

      I think socializing with people while working out with a nice sauna & shower at the end means more to me than a $30 savings by working out at home. Saving & investing are great but if you have to deprive yourself of all things enjoyable in life, you aren’t living.

    • says

      Anonymous,

      To be totally honest, I don’t follow ARR. This is a mREIT, if I’m not mistaken? In that case, I stay away from these investments. They are extremely risky and their performance is tied heavily to interest rate movements.

      Best of luck!

      Take care.

    • says

      Gareth,

      Thanks so much. I’ve been having a wonderful 2013 so far. I’m extremely lucky!

      Thanks for following the journey! I hope 2013 has been just as wonderful for you. :)

      Best wishes.

  3. says

    Nice thing to set oneself,s goals. I think you are quite right to control your weight.Health is an important part of life ! ( Rule 1: lose weight Rule 2: do not forget rule 1 )

    • says

      Aspenhawk,

      I’m with you! I won’t forget the 2 rules. :)

      Health is a very important part of life. You are 100% correct. Without health, we have nothing. As I get older health is something I think more and more about.

      I hope your health is doing great as well!

      Best wishes!

  4. says

    Congratulations on doing so well with your goals. I’m doing reasonably well with my goal of saving 50% of my income. It actually looks like I’ll be a bit above that. And I’m doing well with my dividend income goals as well. I wish my exercise goals were going as well as yours.

    I was considering diversifying my investments more as well, but I have to say that nothing has really struck me as being worthwhile at the moment.

    • says

      MFIJ,

      Thanks! I’ve had a great year so far. Hopefully I can continue the second half like this.

      That’s great. Saving 50% of your income is wonderful. I know exactly how hard that is to do on a regular basis. It’s not easy! Keep up the great work.

      I’m with you on diversification. I will never diversify just for the sake of diversification. I will only do it when it makes sense, and I think my recent moves into real estate made reasonable sense.

      Best regards!

  5. says

    Great work on being on pace to meeting your goals this year! I am also attempting to transition from more of a lifting workout to a cardio one…it is a little difficult but glad I’m making the switch. I definitely feel more productive after running outside on a trail for a couple miles rather than using free weights under fluorescent lighting.

    Keep up the great work and I look forward to reading more about your investments / goals.

    • says

      BidAskDividends,

      I’m with you. The gym can become a bit boring after a while. If you have access to outdoor activities you enjoy that’s the way to go!

      Thanks for stopping by! I hope you are having a great 2013 as well.

      Take care!

  6. says

    Great job. It’s actually better that you’re right on track than have already achieved your goals. It shows your goals were aggressive enough and you’re on a good plan to get them done.

    • says

      Pretired Nick,

      Yeah, I think I picked out some pretty tough goals. Especially the 60% savings rate. I’m giving that one my all and I’m still just a little over it so far. It’s tough to save that much of your income on a regular basis. And I share a small apartment, ride a scooter and generally don’t spend much money. Obviously if you’re making six figures this might not be too tough.

      Hope all is well for you!

      Best regards.

  7. Anonymous says

    Hey DM;

    I have been getting good ideas on DG investing from you over the last few years and now on working out in the gym. I am never sure just how to do resistance training at my age (66). Maybe i”ll try lighter weights an less rest in between. Thanks, keep up good work.

    Bill from Wmsport

    • says

      Bill,

      Well, one must be careful at that age to avoid injuries. Perhaps you may want to consult someone and get some pointers. It’s important to stretch and start slow. Health is extremely important, and we all must maximize ours in our individual ways.

      Best of luck!

      Take care.

  8. says

    Great job on your dividend income. I like it. I also like your Realty Income purchase. It is a a monthly dividend payer so in long run this gives you a boost to your portfolio growth.

    • says

      Martin,

      Thanks so much! It’s been a great year so far. I’m extremely blessed.

      I like O too. I didn’t get an opportunity to buy more at the $40 level, but if it tests that price again I’d be highly interested!

      Best wishes.

    • says

      I was lucky, I could buy when it was selling at 30-ish levels. My other purchases then were at around 38 and 45-ish levels. We are approaching 50 day MA so the normal behavior would be a small retreat to 42-ish levels where it still is an OK purchase level for me. But if that happens who knows. In this crazy market nothing works normally anymore, or I have never understood TA principles.

  9. says

    Congrats on a great first half of the year! It looks like you’ll pass all of your goals pretty easily. I finally wrote my goals out this year for the first time ever and I’m seeing a big improvement in how I’m doing. It definitely helps to put them out there.

    • says

      Jake,

      Great job putting some goals down! I hope you knock them out of the park! :)

      Best of luck with the second half of the year. I hope it turns out wonderful for both of us.

      Best regards!

  10. says

    Congratulations on hitting your goals Mantra, you’re doing very well.

    I’m hoping to hit $8,000 in dividends paid at the end of this calendar year.

    I have to keep the pedal down, you’re going to blow by me soon!!!

    Keep up the OUTSTANDING savings rate.

    Mark

    • says

      Mark,

      Thanks! Really appreciate the support.

      You’re killing it with the dividend income! Very, very nice. I don’t think you need to worry about me catching up anytime soon. You’re way ahead of me. :)

      Keep up the great work and I hope you enjoy your summer.

      Best wishes!

  11. says

    nice job on your goals, i always go back and forth whether i should sit down and actually set goals. right now i just save as much as i can and invest as much as i can and its been working decently as i save around 65%. i have yet to decide whether sitting down and making goals will actually help me, i dont think i will make less purchases or anything by making goals, i like just savings as much as i can – i think it makes less stress for me. different strokes for different folks.

    I am however sitting on a large portion of cash and having a tough time finding any decent buys. all my recent buy spike 10% right after i buy it, i got 100 shares of bbl at 50.49 and now i popped to nearly 56 in a week..i’d double down on that if it were still 50ish. and your recent buy rds-b also had a sharp spike up last week

    • says

      Took2Summit,

      Well, I don’t know if I’d necessarily go so far as to say that goals are absolutely necessary for everyone. I don’t really believe in absolutes. If you’re already saving that much of your income and doing fantastic with the investments then I don’t think goals will help you much.

      I think they would only help you if you really want to get aggressive and see what you’re capable of. Maybe make a goal to save 70% of your net income. You might not make it, but reaching for the stars and landing on the moon is still a nice trip!

      Best wishes.

  12. Spoonman says

    It looks like you’re kicking ass across the board, congratulations! Like a good dividend growth investor, you don’t have a goal for your account balance. I hope that new people following your blog take note of that.

    Your second goal is probably the most challenging one, and so far you’re doing a great job there.

    • says

      Spoonman,

      Hey, thanks a lot! I definitely appreciate your continued support.

      I agree with you. I think my second goal is the most difficult one of them all. It’s really tough to save that much consistently, especially when life has a way of throwing things at you that you weren’t expecting (medical bills, travel, household goods need replacing).

      Yeah, I also agree that having a goal in mind for a portfolio balance would be the wrong way to go about it. Obviously we, as investors, have really no control over that. I focus on what I can control and go from there. All four of the above I have a significant degree of control over.

      Hope all is well with your goals as well!

      Best regards.

  13. says

    Excellent achievements DM!
    Not to mention all the wonderful milestones you’ve accomplished with your blog/writing this year such as 1 million page views and appearances on national media including the Today Show and USA Today.

    Keep up the great work!

    • says

      Snowball,

      I didn’t have any goals in mind for the blog, but even if I would have had some they certainly wouldn’t have involved hitting 1 million views or getting on the Today Show! It’s quite a year so far. My 15 minutes of fame is up, but it was awesome while it lasted.

      I see you’re doing awesome on your goals as well. Congrats! :)

      Take care.

  14. says

    Congrats on the success of your goals so far! It’s great to be ahead of the game half way through the year. I’m working on my post reviewing my goals as well, and while I’m way ahead on some there’s still plenty to work on.

    • says

      Pursuit,

      I’m sure you’re killing your goals. Your savings rates, investments and net worth are all off the charts. You’re doing awesome, man! Keep it up. :)

      Best wishes!

  15. Anonymous says

    DM, I am glad to find your website since it is very informative. I am pretty new to investing, but if I want to build a list of five high quality dividend stocks and earn 3 to 4% dividend per year, may I ask which five stocks would you recommend? Thanks.

    • says

      Anonymous,

      Thanks for stopping by! Glad you found the blog, and I’m really happy to hear that you find it informative.

      As far as your question goes, I would start with the highest quality companies I could find. I would start with PM, JNJ, PG, KO, CVX. Those are great companies and I just so happen to have large investments in all of them.

      Best of luck to you!

      Take care.

  16. says

    Great job on hitting those goals! I am a big fan of saving and glad to see you save a big chunk of your net income each month! thats awesome and leaves extra cash to invest in amazing dividend stocks. Great job and good luck for the rest of the year!

    • says

      Teach,

      Thanks!

      Saving a large chuck of one’s net income is a foundation which can be built upon. If you’re not already saving a large portion of your income, that’s where you need to start. That’s the fuel that feeds the machine. Without capital one goes nowhere.

      Thanks for the well wishes. I wish the same to you!

      Best regards.

  17. says

    Wow! Congrats on your goal achievements!

    Since you are most likely to beat all of them, are you tempted to increase them for the final sprint toward the end of the year? This is what I usually do when I see that things are going “too well” :-).

    I have a personal goal of losing weight as well and I wanted to go under 180lbs (I was 193 at the beginning of the year). I run at least 10 miles per week since the beginning of the year and I’m now sitting at 185lbs. I hope I can continue to lose weight!

    I didn’t set dividend payment goal for this year but I wanted to improve my portfolio by improving my asset allocation. This is has been done in the first 6 months. Now it’s time to save more money and contribute to my retirement account!

    • says

      Mike,

      Thanks! I really appreciate it. 2013 has been kind to me so far. :)

      I’m not really tempted to raise my goals right now. I think they are all challenging and worthy goals. If I kick their ass, then so be it. I’ll celebrate! :)

      Great job on the weight loss. I look at weight loss like saving money: it’s all about setting goals and acting on those goals. It’s tough, but progress begets progress.

      I’m with you on asset allocation. That was my motivation behind Goal #4. I wanted to diversify away from stocks a bit, but it’s tough in the ZIRP environment we’re in. Bonds are starting to become attractive again, but they’re still a ways off for me.

      Best of luck with the second half of the year!!

      Take care.

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