Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Goals Update at September 30, 2015

Before 2015, when this blog was basically a personal trading journal, one of my primary motivations of maintaining it was to hold myself accountable to reaching my financial and non-financial goals. Despite changes to make my blog more externally focused, at the end of each quarter, I still like to track my progress toward meeting my yearly goals. In prior years, I tracked far too many financial and non-financial goals. In order to simply things, I now only track three financial goals and two non-financial targets.  Here's how I progressed against my five goals in the third quarter of 2015.

Increase Expected Forward Dividend Income by $1,800/yr 
From the outset of 2015, I knew that this was an incredibly aggressive goal. In Q1, I was able to add $453, before adding another $687 to my total in Q2, putting me on track to achieve this goal. In Q3, I added $662 of expected forward dividend income, bringing my total to $1,802! Although it feels great to be ahead of my goal with three months left to go, I know that some of my remaining portfolio transformation trades (i.e. selling shares of Royal Bank and Bell Canada in my RRSP) will likely result in lowering my forward dividends in Q4. This decrease will occur if I choose to buy US stocks with the proceeds of my Canadian share sales since I expect to pay a 1.35 exchange rate to acquire US shares. In contrast,  I continue to track my forward dividend income using a CAD/USD exchange of 1:1.  That said, I plan to keep on adding funds to my investment accounts each month, and hope that the dividend increases (seven in Q3!) keep coming. 

Complete the Transformation of my RRSP by Year End
My RRSP transformation is all about making my portfolio more tax efficient, while moving shares in companies into the same account (TFSA, RRSP, and non-registered). I continued to make progress on this goal, initiating a position in Royal Bank in my non-registered account, and adding shares to my BCE position in the same account. All that's left to do in the last quarter of the year is to purchase some shares of Royal Bank in my non-registered account, so that I can sell them in my RRSP (after waiting at least a month in order to avoid creating a taxable event). I also have to sell my shares of BCE in my RRSP, as I now have an offsetting position in my non-registered account. Lastly, I decided to harvest a tax loss relating to the shares of Corus Entertainment in my non-registered account, and set up an offsetting position in my TFSA. Now I have to sell my shares of Corus in my non-registered account since more than a month has passed since I acquired Corus shares in my TFSA.

Give Twice as Much to Worthy Causes as in 2014
I'm one month behind my pace to double the amount of money that I gave to worthy causes in 2014, but have a plan to catch up. My plan is two make two larger contributions to two of my favorite causes during Q4. After donating to the Red Cross, the Canadian Cancer Society, and my local food bank in Q1,and Oxfam Canada's efforts in Nepal (a donation that was subsequently matched by both my employer and the Government of Canada!), St Paul’s church (where my son was baptized), the  Renfrew Hospital, and the United Way of Ottawa in Q2, I gave to the Terry Fox Foundation and a federal political party in Q3. 

My non-financial goals to maintain my weight under 160 pounds (revised downwards from 165 in June 2015) at the end of each month and average a blog post each week are both being met. In fact, I haven't weighed over 160 pounds since March, and currently maintain my weight closer to 155 pounds. Also happy to report I had 21 blog posts during Q3, well ahead of the pace of one per week. My goal since returning from vacation was to write two posts per week, and that consistency has really helped grow my number of page views. Here's a little secret: the number of page views I got in September was five times more than the number in July. To that end, thanks to all the new readers :)

Looking back, I had an awesome third quarter. The fact that North American markets were down allowed me to pick up shares of great companies at the lowest prices and best values in years.  I look forward to achieving all my goals in 2015, and setting more aggressive ones for 2016.

Are you on track to meet or exceed your investment goals for 2015? If not, what corrective action are you taking?

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