Military Finance Report: 2015 New Year's Resolution Breakdown

Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 New Year's Resolution Breakdown


2015 was not a great year for my personal finance goals.  Here’s a quick rundown of my 2015 financial resolutions and how I plan to meet them in 2016.
1.       Max out my IRA.
a.      Accomplished.  It’s the first thing I do every year so I have money to invest with.
b.      2016:  This is always my first goal, so I’ll definitely accomplish this.

2.      Save $X in my savings account.
a.      Accomplished.  This is the second thing I do every year now that I have a house, to cover large maintenance expenses.
b.      2016:  This will come second after my IRA, and I have no doubt I’ll accomplish this.  I plan to buy a car in cash this year too, so this near-term goal will be a primary objective.

3.      Save at least $X every paycheck.
a.      Not accomplished.  We had some large expenses this year, and we basically took 3 vacations.  We went back home for two weeks, Vegas in December for two weddings, and my in-laws came to my house for the holidays.  I came close though; just needed one more paycheck in the year.
b.      2016:  I’ve already implemented some routine deductions in expenses throughout the year.  This should help balance some of the larger expenses like car and housing maintenance.  I’m also going to try and publish blog posts more frequently and build some side income.

4.      Increase 2015 passive income (dividend/interest/mutual fund distributions) by 50%.
a.      Not accomplished.  I waited too long in my investing career to focus on passive income from investments—which explains the goal of trying to reach a 50% increase.  There were several factors contributing to me not reaching my goal in 2015.  The first was a reduction in end-of-year mutual fund distributions.  There weren’t a lot of short- and long-term gains with the market dropping this year.  Additionally, some of my dividend stocks gained quickly and I sold the profit.  For example, WWE offered a 5% dividend when I bought it a low of $9, but then it skyrocketed to $18—doubling my money, and I sold it.
b.      2016:  I’m going to put more money into mutual funds during large market drops.  I will also put more money into large dividend payers whose industry isn’t doing well like oil companies and Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs).  I have a solid chunk of money in bonds, so I’ll need to keep a close eye on the bond market and make sure that I don’t take a huge capital loss by keeping my money in those bond mutual funds just to get a passive income.

5.      Net assets of $X on 31 Dec.
a.      Not accomplished.  I rarely reach my net asset goal, mainly because the percentage increase is always higher than the market average.  I’ve also never measured my progress monthly or quarterly.  I guess I just hoped I would land on the arbitrary amount at the end of year.  The main reason for not meeting my goals this year was the massive loss I took trying to get quick money.  I invested in some speculative, risky, short-term investments and underestimated how quickly I could lose money. 
b.      2016:  I’ll need to split the goal into monthly and quarterly goals and work harder if I’m not meeting those goals.  I won’t make those same risky investments I tried in 2015 either.
I have a feeling that 2016 will be a great year for those prepared and ready to take advantage of it.  What are your 2016 New Year’s goals?

2 comments:

  1. Maximizing a retirement account is a good thing. As long as you can get any advantage for tax free/deferred growth take it. The Canadian banks are pretty beaten up these days too. TD, BNS and RY among others. Could be a good time to nibble there. The REITs still look OK relatively speaking. Of course, with 2016 stating out so weak better buying ops could still remain ahead.

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