Scott’s Goals for 2015

Well, with about a week gone already of 2015, I thought it would be a great time to finally set some goals for the remainder of the year. As much as I’d love to write a short post about some recent trades I just made, I thought it best to get these goals posted first.

Last year’s goals had a lot of “firsts:” I wanted to begin experimenting with options, expand the content and reach of our Two Investing site, and invest in some small cap growth stocks.

To see how I fared with those goals, please see: Did I reach my 2014 goals?

I will continue to work on many of the 2014 goals, including improving the content and scope of the Two Investing site and pursuing options trading. Options trading does, as I found out, require a little more (but not much more) watching and maintenance than the more traditional buy-and-watch dividend investing that I’ve been favoring.

Goals for 2015:
1) Max Roth IRA ($5,500) as soon as possible.
As long as I’m eligible to contribute to a Roth, this will always be an important priority. Making sure to contribute the maximum into tax free accounts is important. Not to get too political, but I feel the government is very inefficient with its use of money so the more that I can legally shield from taxation, the better.

2) Generate at least $4,100 a year in dividends.
This one will be a little of a stretch this year, which I will explain below. My goal last year was $2,400. I ended the year with forward annual dividends of $3,480. This means that I will try to increase my dividends by $620 from the current annual dividends and a whopping $1,700 from last year’s goal! To do this I will need to invest as much as I can as soon as I can. I just missed the goal last year because of missed ex-dividend dates. Assuming a 3% yield, that means that I will need to invest about $20,667. That’s a lot of money so I will need to save as much as I can as well invest at least a portion in higher yielding stocks. Dividend increases will help with this as well.

This one I might miss by more than last year, but I intend to aim high.

3) Invest more in low yielding but higher growth stocks.
I’m not putting a specific dollar amount on this, but I will be devoting the majority of my Roth contribution this year to this investing philosophy. My idea is that since I don’t need the dividend income to survive now, I should devote more money to stocks that are considered high growth and can appreciate in total value while possibly not generating as much in current dividends. (This is why my dividend goal this year might be kind of a stretch.)

I still will invest in companies with excellent underlying fundamentals. Sure, there will likely be some IPOs that could make a bunch of money, but I’m more talking about the Visa, MasterCard, and Franklin Resources of the world. While I love Amazon as a consumer, I would not invest long term in its stock. I already have about $6,700 devoted to Visa (in my taxable account). I’m debating about purchasing MasterCard as well or putting it all into Franklin Resources (BEN) instead.

The next high growth stock I invest in will likely be bought in my Roth. I’m only 31 right now so anything in the Roth now will have greater than 30 years to compound! If BEN can perform only partially as good over the next 30 years as it did over the previous 30, I’d be set. $1000 invested into BEN in September 1984 would be worth nearly $1.9 million today! Imagine eventually needing some higher yields and being able to sell BEN tax-free and take that $1.9 million and put it into some 3-4% yielding stocks, instantly generating $60-70,000 a year just from that initial $1,000 investment. Pretty amazing.

4) Invest in biotech/ immunotherapy companies.
Yes, this sort of goes against the philosophy of conservative income investing. However, being young and not needing the current income, I thought I would gamble a bit. I’m hoping to take a couple thousand and put it into some non-dividend paying biotech/ immunotherapy companies. As the population continues to age, there will be more and more research devoted to the personalized treatment of cancer, heart disease, aging, etc. As I work in healthcare, I can see this trend already starting to take off.

5) Improve Two Investing content.
The first part of this goal will be to maintain a fairly frequent posting schedule. Second, I will talk to Johnny and hopefully get him to start contributing more as well. He has a a ton of great experiences I hope that we’ll see some good stuff from him soon. Additionally, I have a few people that I’ll try to get to write some guest posts as well.

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4 Responses

  1. Scott, some really great goals there, with numbers two and three being my favorite. My current portfolio has a fairly high overall yield, so a focus of mine this year is to get exposure to some lower yielding stocks with higher growth potential. Additionally, by pushing yourself to invest quickly and often, the rewards long-term will start compounding faster.

    Best of luck in nailing your goals in 2015!
    writing2reality recently posted…Fluffing the Pillow: Refreshing My Dividend Growth PortfolioMy Profile

    • scott says:

      W2R,

      Thanks! My yield is just a hair under 3%. Most of that is due to the fact that Apple is such a high overall percentage of my portfolio. Fortunately, I anticipate that only going up for awhile. Since I’m not living on this dividend money now, the slightly low initial yield isn’t too concerning. It is still much better than a bank these days!

  2. FerdiS says:

    Great post, Scott — I hope you can get Johnny to be more active this year!

    Its good to have a stretching dividend income goal to put pressure on yourself to invest more (and as soon as possible). I’d be careful, though, to seek out higher yielding stocks just to meet a one year goal. I’m saying this because I have to fight the same instinct — I have a very aggressive 2015 dividend income goal myself.

    Another bit of (unsolicited) advice on goals: I try to state goals so they’re measurable in some way, otherwise they turn out to be kind of subjective and “binary”. For example, “maintain a fairly frequent posting schedule” is not really measurable.

    Finally, just to say: I’m a little envious when I read that you’re “only 31”, especially given your obvious financial maturity. If only I knew what you seem to know when I was 31…

    All the best to you for 2015!
    FerdiS recently posted…Monthly Review, December 2014My Profile

    • scott says:

      FerdiS,

      Maybe I should have made that goal #1! 🙂

      Thanks for the advice. I kept a few of the goals fairly vague this year probably because it is easier to be subjective on in the future. Haha. But, you’re right, having quantifiable goals would definitely make it easier to adjust adjust mid-year if you’re exceeding them. Much than just saying passing or failing.

      Goal #6: Have at least 5 quantifiable goals ready to go by January 7, 2016.

      It seems that many people my age or younger tend to push investing and, especially, retirement as something to start thinking about in the future.

      What I’ve found for myself is that I truly enjoy the investing. It is more of a struggle to decide what stock to buy than it is hard to set the money aside in the first place. Buying that new TV or electronic appliance has its appeal, but the fun that I have from buying stocks actually almost exceeds that!

      Thanks for reading and all the best to you for 2015 as well!

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