Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Financial Goals at March 31, 2015

One of my primary motivations of maintaining this blog is to hold myself accountable to reaching my financial and non-financial goals. At the end of every quarter, I like to check in to see if I'm trending in the right direction, or need to take corrective action. To simplify things, I decided to only track three financial goals and two non-financial targets in 2015.  Here's how I did against my five goals in the first quarter of 2015.

Increase Expected Forward Dividend Income by $1,800/yr 
When setting this goal, I knew it was incredibly aggressive. Despite twelve dividend raises in the first quarter of 2015 (yay!), and transferring a relatively high percentage of my pay cheque into my investment accounts, I've only added $173 to my expected forward dividend income. The dividend cut from PHX Energy Services Corp and my continuing to hold quite a bit of cash in my accounts at quarter end has resulting in me being 9.6% of the way toward my year end goal, instead of the 25% I'd expect. I'll continue to look for good opportunities to deploy cash, while pursuing my portfolio transformation in the second quarter of 2015.
(EDIT - Turns out I forgot to include the dividends of one of my holdings. Instead of only adding $173 to my expected forward dividend income, I actually added $453. This puts me slightly ahead of goal pace. The moral of this story? Accountants can't be trusted with basic math.)

Complete the Transformation of my RRSP by Year End
On a high level, what I'm hoping to do is buy shares of four companies in my non-registered account and TFSA, while moving my H&R REIT shares from my non-registered account into my RRSP, without triggering a capital gain. I'm happy to report that I'm very much on track to complete my transformation sometime this summer, and possibly even by the end of the second quarter. My recent purchase of Telus in my non-registered account got things rolling. The result of the transformation will be a much more tax efficient portfolio, and holding all shares of the same company, in the same account going forward.

Give Twice as Much to Worthy Causes as in 2014
Having just completed my tax return for 2014, I now know exactly how much I gave to charity last year. I'm a little ahead of pace to double last year's amount, exactly where I'd like to be! With donations to the Red Cross, the Canadian Cancer Society, and my local food bank, I continue to hope my donations make a difference for others less fortunate. 

My non-financial goals, to maintain my weight under 165 pounds at the end of each month and average a blog post each week are both being met. In fact, due to rather horrible stomach bug I caught in March, that resulted in me losing five pounds in a day (seriously quite scary), I weighed in this morning at a very trim 154 pounds. Also happy to report I had 15 blog posts at quarter end yesterday, well ahead of the pace of one per week. In an interesting twist, I had more page views in March than any other month in history. To that end, thanks to all the new readers :)

Looking back, it was a good, but definitely not great first quarter in 2015. I really need to step up to the plate and make some investments in high quality dividend growth companies in order to close the gap on my forward dividend income goal for 2015. I'll keep you posted at the end of next quarter of how I'm tracking against my goals.

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