Dec 232014
 

In January of this year I wrote down 3 goals for myself to accomplish this year. Here’s a recap of those 2014 financial goals.

14-12-2014-financial-goal-results

1) Increase net worth by $55,000
Pass!
From the end of December 2013 to now my net worth has increased by more than $110,000. I never expected to exceed my target by twice as much, so that’s a pleasant surprise. Here’s a rough breakdown of the $110,000 gain.

  • About $50K is from property appreciation. Hurray for Vancouver real estate and Saskatchewan farmland! 🙂
  • Another $15K is simply due to debt reduction. Every time I make a mortgage payment, for example, my total debt amount shrinks and my wealth increases! Hurray for easy forced savings.
  • Another $30K comes from stock portfolio appreciation, dividends, interest, and rent. The U.S. stock markets are up double-digits year to date. Hurray for loose monetary policy! My $50K+ margin loan at 4.25% interest rate is kind of a drag though. Oh well, gotta spend money to make money right? 😉
  • And the remaining amount of my net worth increase this year comes from good old fashioned savings.

2) Read At Least 3 Books related to money
Pass!
Currency Wars, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, and Think and Grow Rich.

3) Make $6,000 in gross dividend income
Fail!
 My total dividends this year only add up to $5K. I changed focus early on this year and made large investments into fixed income securities in an effort to diversify my passive income sources. I’m making about $1K a year from fixed income interest right now though.

Stretch Goal: Start an emergency fund and put at least $100 into it.
Nope. Didn’t happen. But to be fair, did anyone honestly think I would actually achieve this objective? It’s me we’re talking about here. 😛 I originally thought having an EF might be fun because then I could at least tell people I have one, since all the financial experts recommend it. But then I changed my mind when I realized I’d be lying to myself if I did that. The worst mistake an investor can make is to not be completely honest with himself. Besides, the Toronto Stock Market index returned 8% so far this year despite lower commodity prices. I’ll take my 8% return over a savings account any day.

2 out of 3 passes. Not bad overall. 🙂 If the FED raises interest rates too quickly in 2015 and triggers a major stock market correction then I may be screwed because of how leveraged I am. The other large unknown is Canada’s lofty housing market. 😐 But those are risks I’m willing to take because I can handle the volatility. Besides, life is more interesting living on the edge. I don’t drive fast cars or swim with sharks. But I get a rush from watching my investments rise and fall.

I think next year will be more about balance, such as balancing savings and spending, or income and time. If the cost of borrowing changes I’ll also have to reassess the balance between my investments and debt.

There are some people who literally save too much without enjoying life as it comes. But then there are other people who spend too much without thinking of the future. Discovering the sweet spot in between those two is where we will ultimately find happiness. 🙂 Live for today but plan for tomorrow.

Happy Holidays, folks! Remember that Christmas is not just about receiving new gifts. It’s also about other people’s presence. 😀

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Random Useless Fact:
The most popular cookie kids leave for Santa is the Oreo.

14-12-catch-santa-cat

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No More WafflesLiquid IndependenceYoung MillennialSimpleVancouverThe Asian Pear Recent comment authors
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Bridget
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My stomach actually did a flip when I read “$50K+ margin loan” though 4.25% is super low — who is your brokerage? I think Questrade is 6-7% on average which is why I’m not borrowing to invest. Just not that confident yet!

Ben Morrison
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Questrade is 6% for CAD and 6.25% for USD. The bank brokerages are typically close to 4.5%, and I think he uses TD. You can get RSP loans at prime from some banks and then transfer out the assets to your brokerage too… That’s what I do, although I have yet to actually declare much of the contributions

David
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David

Questrade is garbage. They suck you in on the $5 commissions, but make you pay for it everywhere else (like margin and options).

I’m also paying 4.25% on CAD debits with BMO InvestorLine. Their margin rate goes lower as your debit goes up, I think the lowest is in the 3’s for $100k or more.

Brian So
Guest

2 out of 3 ain’t bad, and you only missed the last one by $1k. It’s refreshing to read your style of investing when nobody else in the personal finance blogosphere uses margin. Keep it up!

Edwin
Guest
Edwin

Haha I’m STILL laughing at your ‘stretch goal’.

If you plan on diversifying away from divididend income further you might consider next year’s goal as a passive income goal instead of pure dividends; since by the metric you did hit your goal!

Looking forward to your updated dividend income and income vs expenses graph updates!!

Sweet progress 🙂

BTW is interactive brokers available for Canadians? They have crazy awesome margin rates..Thanks!

Alexis
Guest

I’m going to try to read more books related to money/finances. I’ve bought a couple books but have yet to read them all the way through.

Mark Seed (@myownadvisor)
Guest

Aren’t you only in your late-20s?

Meaning, these goals are off the charts for someone your age 🙂

Well done.

Mark

ndchic
Guest

I love your attitude toward investing. I don’t have the stomach for investing on margin but I appreciate that you do. I think that the Canadian housing market is your biggest risk. In my opinion, the appreciation of the Vancouver market is not sustainable. I actually don’t think that the Fed will raise rates soon. I think they will be low through the 2016 election. The bond market rallied today on the GDP info but the low gas prices have everybody in a tizzy. Anyway, good job!

My Road To Wealth and Freedom
Guest

Great job Liquid! A $110k increase over 1 year is a spectacular return. It’s always great to set ambitious goals…then totally blow them out of the water. I look forward to seeing how you make out with your 2015 goals.

Cheers and Happy Holidays!

The Asian Pear
Guest

Awesome job. $110K increase! WOW. Well done!

SimpleVancouver
Guest

In the middle of reading the Currency Wars now. Good luck next year!

Young Millennial
Guest

Wow, $110k increase! Great job man. I hope the forced savings, i.e. mortgage, work as great for me as they did for you. Hope to see more great posts from you in 2015.

No More Waffles
Guest

Congrats, Liquid! A $110k jump is huge. Too bad you didn’t make your dividend goal, but if the reason is further diversification there’s no need to be sad. Looking forward what 2015 will bring for you!

Happy holidays,
NMW