Monday, December 12, 2016

Goals for 2016 - Year End Assessment

"A goal without a plan is just a wish"
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Back on January 25th of this year, I shared my 2016 goals. Although there are a couple weeks left in 2016, I'm comfortable performing my year end assessment now as I'm trying to gear down heading into the holiday season. My goals fell into the three broad categories outlined below and contained the bullet point tactical plans which would allow me to measure my progress. My self-assessment is included in italics and expanded on via the three paragraphs. 

Increase Passive Income by 25% => Fail*
- Make regular contributions to my investment accounts representing approximately 50% of my take-home pay => 100% achieved
- Maximize my investments in tax preferred accounts (i.e. RRSP, TFSA, RESP) => 100% achieved
- Achieve a weighted average dividend growth for my total portfolio of 5% => Sitting at 5.13% with 3 increases (ENB, ENF, PFE) expected by year end
- Avoid dividend cuts => Achieved with 14 business days left this year *knock on wood* I feel like the below plan helped me avoid dividend cuts. 
- Do NOT add to any holdings that have not raised their dividend in the past 12-months => Proud to have stuck to this plan
- Add an additional source of passive income beyond dividend stocks => Failed miserably
- Limit short-term trades to a maximum of one per month => Only 7 short-term trades so far this year! 

* Currently sitting at  higher forward expected dividend income of ~17% and don't expect to reach 25% (or even 20%) by year-end. Two big reasons for this are that my largest holding (Alaris Royalty) did not raise their dividend in 2016, and the fact that I added a bunch of US stock holdings in my RRSP and only count the dividend income at a 1:1 USD to CAD ratio.  Still very proud of raising my expected dividend income by ~17% and realize how hard it will be to see large raises in the future as the figures grow at a much quicker pace than my income/portfolio contributions.

Understand Where My Money is Being Spent => Pass* 
- Track large variable expenses such as costs associated with my car, gifts, work, taxes, sports, cottage, and anything appearing on my personal credit card => Probably overdid this via a detailed spreadsheet
- Save at least $1000 this year on variable expenses => Achieved ($240 haircuts, $325 snow removal expense, $50 banking fees, $80 faucet installation, $400 gifts)
- Continue to make investments that decrease expenses over time (i.e. tools for changing the tires of our cars, hair cutting equipment, etc.) => Achieved (mainly due to swapping air conditioner for thermo pump that is saving large amounts of natural gas consumption)
- In-line with the above goal, get the roof of my cottage repaired => Epic fail

* Very proud of my detailed expense tracking spreadsheet, although I'm unlikely to keep similar records in 2017. Planning on learning how to change my oil/filters in our cars in 2017, and finally getting the cottage roof repaired (or doing it myself).

Personal Improvement => Fail*
- Visit a dentist, optometrist, and doctor this year; although this might seem like a very basic goal, it has been 10+ years, 2 years, and 5+ years respectively since I have visited these professionals => 2/3 (dentist and optometrist)
- Write at least 52 blog entries this year while focusing on quality (i.e. no filler entries) => This is entry 46 and its unlikely I have 6 more quality entries in me this year.
- Complete at least five workouts every week => Fail, although I'm doing decent averaging 10,000 steps a day over the last month. 
- Run a 5km, 10km, and half-marathon in 2016 => Fail again. Decided I'd keep running fun instead of pushing myself to race.
- Take my wife on at least one weekend getaway => Finally a pass! Spent a nice weekend in Kingston last spring :)
- Be mentally present and focused when spending time with my son => Of all my misses this year, this one makes me the saddest. Can't honestly say I'm mentally present and focused 100% of the time :(
- Continue money/personal improvement experiments (i.e. developing a new skill in 20 hours) => Semi-pass due to my efforts to make people's days better if it can be accomplished by spending $20 or less.
- Identify three areas/jobs at my company that interest me and talk to employees in these areas => Had two interviews in different areas of my company, and did talk to someone about a third area...unintentional pass!
- Complete at least one personal development course relating to my profession => Semi-pass: Passed my oral French exam, which doesn't relate to my profession, but does set me up nicely for future opportunities
- Make meaningful donations of time, money, and stock to causes that I feel passionate about => Made meaning money and stock donations. Did volunteer at a youth ultimate clinic...does that count? 

* Felt like I was all over the map on "personal improvement" in 2016 without any specific focus or conviction. I either have to break this up into more than one area, or cut down the number of things I try to achieve in 2017. 

Unlike in 2015, where I attained all my financial and non-financial goals, success was harder to come by this year. As alluded to above, I feel like focusing on several key areas instead of a bunch of unrelated, not terribly important initiatives will be key in 2017. I have some ideas of what I'd like to accomplish with my investing in 2017, but need to narrow down what else to focus on. 

Did you achieve your financial and non-financial goals in 2016? If it's too early to conclude, how are you tracking against your objectives? 


  1. Bravo pour ton examen de français oral. ;-) And for everything else. I think you did pretty well overall. Don't be too hard on yourself! Félicitations.

    1. Merci Monsieur! Je suis vraiment fier de la resultat de mon examen oral. Pretty well might be a tad generous, but thanks anyway. The big miss on forward dividend income and personal development plans have me a tad down. Ah well, just have to work harder and smarter next year!

  2. Overall though it still looks like you're in a much better place than at the end of 2015 which is all we can really ask for. Looking forward to your 2017 goals. I still can't believe that 2017 is just about 2 weeks away.

    1. I appreciate your optimism JC, as it helps me put things in perspective. Although I remain disappointed for being so far off my forward income goal, I'm still headed in the right direction.

      Looking forward to your continued progress in executing your options strategies. All the best!

  3. Fantastic job, you actually wrote your goals down I am going to implement this. I love your blog, I want to learn to invest and have more direction in my life. The blog has inspired me :)


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