2016 Year-End Performance & Goal Review

Statistics
Beginning 2016 Account Value: $158,053.76
Ending 2016 Account Value: $224,302.38

Dividend income in 2016: $4,858.55
Forward 12-month dividends: $5,442.09
Options income in 2016: $1,125.65
Total lifetime dividend income: $14,167.12

Post-tax salary: $120,977.63

Effect of dividend increases: $340.96. This is equivalent to investing just over $11,360 at a 3% yield.


Goals for 2016:
1) Retirement Accounts – PASS
I fully funded my Roth IRA in April. Since I anticipated making too much to fund a Roth directly I instead contributed $5,500 to a traditional IRA, invested in PGX for about a week, and then did a Roth IRA conversion. I also thought I was going to be able to start contributing to a 401(k) in July, but, as an associate, turns out I’m not eligible for the 401(k) quite yet.

2) Generate at least $6,500 a year in dividends – FAIL
Total dividends generated in 2016 were $4,858.55. However, I also made $1,125.65 in options income making my total income $5984.20. This was still very short of $6500. I attribute missing this goal to choosing to invest more in growth stocks which do not pay a dividend (I’ll talk about these below) and the higher expenses associated with moving to a different state and starting a new job.

3) Concentrate on core companies and selectively invest in riskier growth companies – PASS
This year I invested $11,881.97 in five microcap companies (mostly biotech and mining, including one invested in the Toronto Stock Exchange in Canadian dollars). These have done great so far and are currently worth $23,816.56. Despite not making my dividend goal, I feel the capital gain benefit of these microcap investments has more than made up for it! I’m going to be continuing with this theme of investing in growth companies throughout 2017 as well.

I also increased my investments in a few of my core companies that were the best valued, including Amgen, Emerson Electric, and Nestle.

4) Improve Two Investing content with guest posts – PASSish
Well, I got Johnny to write one post this year! So, I’m giving myself a pass on this one. I’m hoping for at least two posts for Johnny in 2017. Unfortunately, I didn’t get my brother to do a guest post yet, but I’m hoping he’ll do one in 2017. He actually brought up the topic to me so I know he’s thinking about it.

5) Set aside cash for use during market downturns – PASS
I wanted to have a little extra cash on the sidelines for use if the markets dropped. I did this by investing my extra cash in PGX (earning about 0.5% a month in dividends). I also had the help of an increased salary in a new job to provide a little more cash with which to invest.

6) Improve online presence – Mixed success
A) PASS. I received $117 in April 2016 and received $113 through the end of December 2016 solely from Google Adsense. This has increased by people like you reading my posts. So thank you! It also helps that one of my most popular posts is the dividend and options investing spreadsheets. According to Google, there are 7034 people that have used my templates on Google Sheets. Many of those people are going to the corresponding posts to ask questions and see how they work. I also had a few people contact me asking to place paid ads/ sponsored posts. I’ve decided not to go that route. The Google Adsense revenue is used to pay the hosting fees for the twoinvesting.com site.

B) FAIL. I had 23,132 visitors in 2015 and 27,356 in 2016. My goal was 30,000, so this is a fail, but the trend is still good. I also increased views from 53,782 to 64,674.

C) PASS. I made a bunch of updates to the Dividend Stock Portfolio Tracker and added an Options Tracker as well.

D) FAIL. I wrote 34 posts in 2016. Still averaging more than one post per month, which is the bare minimum in my opinion. It would definitely be helpful to get some help in this regard from Johnny.


How’d you guys do for your 2016 goals? I’m looking forward to sitting down over the next couple days to think about goals for 2017. In the meantime…Go Packers!!

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22 Responses

  1. Thank you for your post, Scott.

    I’ve been following along on your journey for a while but this is my first comment. I’m looking forward to reading more about your stock picking and options picking strategies. I am fairly new to this investment type but have started a paper trading account to try out some ideas before committing actual money.

    Also, do you invest in property? If so, what are your thoughts on the property market at the moment? I’m based in Sydney, Australia, and property here is significantly overpriced.

    Happy new year and looking forward to more of your posts!

    Cheers,
    Len

    • scott says:

      Hi Len!

      Thanks for following along on my journey. Soon I’ll be posting the second in my series on options trading. Paper trading is a great way to start. I also recommend watching and doing the educational material at tastytrade and dough to learn more about options. That same company also just started a new trading platform called tastyworks that has excellent commissions.

      I currently do not invest directly in real estate. The only exposure I have to that sector is through a couple REITs. However, I am interested in investing in real estate from a rental standpoint sometime in the future. I’ll be sure to provide updates.

      Thanks again for commenting from all the way over in Sydney!

      Scott

  2. Very nicely done. Seems like you have finished most of your goals and I hope you can smash your goals for 2017. I have written a few of my own goals as I am new to this they are quite low but I know I can achieve many if not all of them. All the best for 2017.

    • scott says:

      Hi Buy, Hold Long,

      Love the username! Looks like another Australian from reading the About section on your site. Is South Australia near where the Australian Open is currently being played?

      No need to explain your lower goals. Everyone has to start somewhere. Keep up with regular investing and it will start snowballing in no time at all.

      Scott

      • Thanks Scott! Yes another Australian! I’m about a 2 hour drive and an hours flight from the Australian Open but still watching on tv. What a year it has been for the Open! Very exciting final for both the men and women.
        I am starting small but working aggresively to replace my full time work with dividend income.
        Thanks, Buy, Hold Long.

        • scott says:

          I’m watching a DVRed copy of the Federer-Nadal final now. Wow. Great tennis! I turned off all notifications on my phone and computer so the final score doesn’t get ruined for me. In college I’d get up at 2:30am to watch it live…now I’d rather get some good sleep!

          I’d love to travel to Australia sometime. It’s on my wish list. Thanks again for commenting, Buy, Hold Long.

          Scott

  3. Great work on your goals. I had a lot of successes and a few failures as well (came just shy of $10k in passive income), so I know what it’s like to write about goals with ‘pass’ and ‘fail’. 🙂 Keep it up and I’m sure you’ll continue to crush it in 2017!
    Passive Income Dude recently posted…2016 Review: Rental Property #2 (Colorado)My Profile

    • scott says:

      Thanks, Passive Income Dude. I feel its best to have a couple of ‘fails’ thrown in there as well. If everything was an easy ‘pass’ then the goals probably weren’t hard enough. Thanks for the advice on real estate investing. I’ll be sure to read through your blog.

      Good luck in 2017.

      Scott

  4. Dude you did great this year. That’s awesome growth in the portfolio and really solid growth in the dividends y/y since you started.

  5. Looks like a great year for you! Congrats on the progress…thats some serious dough rolling in. Keep snowballing that and you should reach FI in no time.

    Best wishes for 2017
    R2R

    • scott says:

      R2R,

      Thanks! The increased salary has definitely been helpful. It’s great to have this blog to document the last couple of years. It’s fun to look back and see where you’ve started!

      Best of luck in 2017,

      Scott

  6. The bump in Options income is rocking, I’m too interested in learning more about options so I can speed up some of the income.
    Dividends 4 Future recently posted…Mid-January 2017 UpdateMy Profile

    • scott says:

      Dividends 4 Future,

      Thanks! Options are pretty nice. They can be used to supplement income as well as to buy stocks at discounted prices. A great resource to learn more is dough.com and tastytrade.com. I can also recommend some books too if you want.

      Scott

  7. I’d say you had a pretty nice year! I’m not a fan of growth stocks personally ,but I love how you made it a focus to blend core dividend positions along with diversifying your investments elsewhere. Those are also some pretty nice blog stats as well, so keep up the great work! How pumped are you for 2017??

    Bert

    • scott says:

      Hi Bert,

      Thanks! My thoughts about growth stocks are that I’m looking for total returns. I don’t care how I get…capital gains and/or dividends are okay with me. 2017 is shaping up to be great! Thanks for the comment.

      Scott

  8. Congrats on a fine year Scott. I love the mix of dividend and options income. Your overall portfolio value increase for the year is very impressive. Keep it up.
    Options Hunting recently posted…5 New Options ContractsMy Profile

    • scott says:

      Thanks, Nathan! Hoping for an even better increase in 2017. Keep up the good work on your sites too. Don’t always comment but appreciate reading about your option updates.

      Have a great 2017,

      Scott

  9. Jay says:

    Thanks for the update – and overall you did a really great job achieving your goals. Congratulations in particular for those micro-cap growth investments. That plan has definitely worked out well and the 100%+ gain seems more valuable than a few hundred dollars of dividend income. Well done!
    Jay recently posted…Trend Following Trade Ideas January 2017 Part 3My Profile

    • scott says:

      Hi Jay,

      That’s my thoughts too. Maybe a couple of these microcaps will go on to become the next Apple or Google as far as growth goes. If I want or need the dividend income at that point I could always sell some of the winners and buy the dividend payers at that point. It all comes down to total returns be it from capital gains and/or dividends.

      Thanks for your comment!

      Scott

  10. Looks like 2016 was an awesome year for you!!! I have to admit that I didn’t set any goals for 2016 but for 2017 my two financial goals are to increase by savings rate from 65% to 70%. I also would like to see my net worth increase by 20%. Hopefully these will occur this year.
    Mustard Seed Money recently posted…Will Real Estate Suffer Under Trump?My Profile

    • scott says:

      Hi MustardSeedMoney,

      Thanks for the comment. That’s an awesome savings rate goal! It should definitely help in increasing your net worth. I’ll be sure to follow your progress on your site.

      Scott

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