Scott’s Goals for 2016

As I’m sitting here on a Sunday watching some playoff football, I thought it would be a great time to set investing goals for 2016. I think I did a fairly good job of meeting and beating my 2015 goals.

This year will have some firsts for me from a professional standpoint. The last few years I’ve been in residency or fellowship; come July I’ll be done with that part of training and will be beginning a staff level job. I’m definitely looking forward to the added challenges, responsibility, and pay that come at graduation from this long road of training.

Goals for 2016:
1) Retirement Accounts
Previously, I called this goal “invest as early as possible into a Roth.” I’m still of the mindset that getting money working as soon as possible in a tax-free account is important. However, for the first time in my life I’ll be eligible for a 401(k) that I’ll actually be able to be vested in (starting in July). Most of the groups that I have been talking to and interviewing at have generous 401(k) plans. And, the tax-deductions from contributing the maximum into these accounts will finally be applicable.

2) Generate at least $6,500 a year in dividends.
My goal last year was $4,100. I ended the year at just over $4,947. Before the dividend cuts from KMI and KKR, I was actually over $5,300 a year. Generating annual dividends of $6,500 a year will require increasing my current dividend by $1,553. At an average yield of 3%, this means that I will need to invest a little under $52,000. This will be a stretch since I won’t be able to substantially contribute to that amount until July, meaning that half the year will already be gone and, with it, half the time to earn dividends. I’m hoping that dividend increases will help me along. Also, if stocks continue to stay stagnant or even drop further, yields should remain a little higher than 3% for many of the stocks in my portfolio.

3) Concentrate on core companies and selectively invest in riskier growth companies.
I’m currently invested in around 40 companies. I received a few of these, like Baxalta, Care Capital Properties, and South32, as spinoffs from other companies in my portfolio. Moving forward, I will still keep an eye for growth stock opportunities and try to keep more cash-on-hand to take advantage of any future market drops. For the core dividend portfolio though, I’m actually pretty happy with what I currently own. Other than a couple new core companies, I’m going to try to favor purchasing more of the companies that I already own. I’m thinking that around 50 dividend paying companies total in my portfolio will provide an adequate diversification and still be manageable.

4) Improve Two Investing content with guest posts.
While he isn’t technically a guest, I’m going to encourage Johnny to at least do a post or two every couple months. While the blog is still technically correct from the combination of stock investing and options trading, I would really like to bring two regular authors into the picture as well.

Secondly, I’m hoping to get my brother to come in and offer some anecdotes about his experiences of investing from a person not really interesting in the financial stuff. When we were roommates I helped him invest into some strong dividend growth companies. But, more interestingly he is also invested in the Schwab Intelligent Portfolios.

I’ll be writing more about this service in the future, but basically my brother can concentrate on depositing money into the account and then it will be divided among the allocation that he set up by purchasing commission-free low-cost ETFs. He doesn’t have to worry about the valuation of a single stock. It might not be the best for people like us that blog about and comment on blogs devoted to dividend investing, but I think it will be perfect for my brother.

5) Set aside cash for use during market downturns.
In the past I’ve liked to keep as little cash as possible in my account so that I could keep it all invested. This worked great since the markets had been doing so well. However, with the more volatile 2015, there were a few times when I wish I had cash available to quickly buy more shares. Since cash earns so little, I won’t be keeping it 100% as cash but instead will keep it invested in the PowerShares ETF PGX, which pays approximately 0.5% a month and tends to trade over a small range.

6) Improve online presence.
A) generating at least $100 a year in online income
B) increase number of visitors to Two Investing with a goal of 30,000
C) continue to update Dividend Stock Portfolio Trackers
D) Write 45 posts

As you can see, I have a few ads on the site, which are provided through Google and usually seem to be at least somewhat applicable. Most are investment related because of site content, but at least for me, it is almost scary how the ads will be for things that I was just looking at on Amazon. I guess that’s the price we pay for all this free content online… Part of me is worried how powerful Google is simply due to this tracking.

I’m not going to be adding any more ads but will do it the “hard way” by continuing to improve the quantity and quality of Two Investing content. I’ll also make sure to participate more in discussions on other blogs. The dividend investing community has been a great resource and contributing to this culture is important. I’m hoping to have more time in 2016 to get more involved with this community.

I was at $87.47 in 2015 for AdSense revenue. The visitors in 2015 were up to 23,132. I’ll try to increase both of these by writing content as well as providing constant improvements to the stock portfolio tracker, which has been consistently my most popular post. Posts in 2015 totaled 37. With Johnny’s help, I’m hoping to expand that to 45 in 2016.

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6 Responses

  1. FerdiS says:

    Hi Scott, these are great goals! In particular, I like your “online presence” goals. I agree wholeheartedly with your philosophy of increasing quality and quantity. Like you, I have Adsense that brings in a little extra money. Not much, though. I guess if the blog becomes more popular, it would start making a difference.

    Congrats on finishing your residency/fellowship phase!

    Take care and best of luck in 2016!

    Cheers
    FerdiS, DivGro
    FerdiS recently posted…Monthly Review: December 2015My Profile

    • scott says:

      Thanks, FerdiS! I don’t think I’ll ever get to the point that Dividend Mantra had been (though it doesn’t look like it any longer! Did you see the latest post was actually removed??). A few thousand a month of extra income would be nice. But, this blog is still a fun hobby for me so the fact that it basically breaks even after paying for domain registration and hosting is okay with me. Being involved in the dividend investing community is worth it.

      Thanks! I just got back from a job interview in Minnesota. Awesome group and strong practice. Excited to hear back from them soon!

      Best of luck in 2016 as well!

  2. Tawcan says:

    These are great goals. $6,500 in dividend income will be HUGE! I think concentrate a core group of companies to invest and selective few riskier investments is an excellent idea.
    Tawcan recently posted…Dividend Income – December 2015 updateMy Profile

    • scott says:

      Hi Tawcan! I’m actually excited that the market is giving us so many good opportunities again. $6,500 extra per year without having to do much work will be incredible! The power of dividend compounding combined with added investments is an amazing thing.

      Good luck to you in 2016!

  3. Rusty says:

    I’m a first timer to your sight, drawn in by the dividend stock trackers portfolio spreadsheet. I am now also a fan of your blog content. Keep up the good work.
    Rusty

    • scott says:

      Thanks, Rusty! I’m pretty proud of the stock tracker portfolio and hope to come up with continuous updates throughout 2016. Thanks for visiting!

      Scott

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