Jan 012014
 

In the beginning of 2013 I set out 6 financial goals to complete by the end of the year. Time to recap.

1) Increase net worth by $50,000. Pass 😀

  • North American stock markets had double digit gains in 2013.
  • Bumper crop in the prairie provinces pushed farmland values to new highs 🙂
  • Real estate market in Canada also performed well.
  • US dollar strengthened against our Canadian Loonie which was a nice unexpected bonus 🙂

My net worth grew by roughly $68K in 2013 🙂 This is why it’s important to stay invested, because you never know which asset class will perform well.

goals2) Make at least $6,000 more income than last year. Pass 😀
Made more than $5,000 extra from my farm rental income 🙂 Plus I got a $1,000+ raise at work this year so yay!

3) Put $5,000 into my retirement account. Pass 😀
In late November as a desperate attempt to complete this goal I borrowed $6,000 from the bank to put into my RRSP. The RRSP loan is at 4% interest rate. Maybe this is cheating because I didn’t use my own savings 😕 But the goal didn’t specify where the money had to come from 😛

4) Put $5,500 into my TFSA. (Roth IRA equivalent) Fail 🙁
Didn’t make any new contributions this year. Used all my savings for better opportunities elsewhere and TD wouldn’t give me a TFSA loan.

5) Put at least $18,000 towards other investments Pass 😀
Made a $20K down payment on the $172K purchase of my second farm. Funded the remaining $152K with bank loans.

6) Bring the total value of my non-registered accounts to $100,000. Fail 🙁
Although my portfolio is worth over $120,000 it wouldn’t be fair to count it entirely as mine since roughly $50,000 of that is margin debt.

Looks like I passed most of my goals (4 out of 6,) so overall I’d say it was a pretty successful year 🙂 Below are a couple of stretch goals, which I didn’t expect to reach anyway.

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Jan 072013
 
goals

New year, new challenges. I will do my best to tackle the six financial goals listed below which are similar in nature to last year’s goals. I’ve also included 2 additional stretch goals. These stretch goals will be super challenging so I don’t except to achieve them but it would be a real bonus if I did :0)

A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.
~Bruce Lee

1) Increase net worth by $50,000. Counting on my savings as well as my nearly half a million dollars worth of investments to appreciate 😀
2) Make at least $6,000 more income than last year. Thanks to my new rental income from the farm this one should be pretty doable.
3) Put $5,000 into my retirement account.
4) Put $5,500 into my TFSA. (Roth IRA equivalent in Canada)
5) Put at least $18,000 towards other investments (net of taking on any new debt)
6) Bring the total value of my non-registered accounts to $100,000. Currently my TFSA, cash trading account, and margin account, has a combined value of $68,700. So I’ll need to grow these accounts by $31,300 this year 😉

Stretch Goals
1) Pay down at least $1,000 of my debt.  Adding together the balance on my line of credit, a margin loan, and everything else, my total debt is $357,200. It’s not a lot, and interest rates are still low, so I’m not really concerned about it, but I noticed other personal finance bloggers making it a goal and a priority to pay down their debts this year. So I’m going to try and do the same because maybe that’s the smart thing to do. $1,000 is a lot of money though and I don’t know if I have that kind of discipline, so I’m making this a stretch goal, but hopefully I can get myself to only $356,200 of debt by the end of the year.
2) Make $90,000 of pre-tax income. I’m in a race with this other personal finance blogger to see who can make $100,000 dollars a year first. For 2013 she set a goal to make $90,000 so I’m going to follow suit and do the same :0)

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Random Useless Fact:  Auto correct has made it easier to text. But it doesn’t always work the way you expect it to, and that can lead to some unexpected results.

Dec 012012
 

Mark J. Carney, the Governor of the Bank of Canada controls what our central bank does on interest rates. Governors get paid between $431,80 to $507,900.  The reason our mortgages are so affordable today, and why Canada didn’t have an economic meltdown during the last recession is largely because of Mr. Carney. Prior to his current job he had a 13 year career with investment bank, Goldman Sachs and has worked in their Tokyo, New York, and Toronto offices.

mark carney

Earlier this week, Mr. Carney was appointed to become the next governor of the Bank of England. His new job will start around summer of 2013. This is most certainly a loss for Canada, but we should celebrate that a Canadian has been chosen to become one of the most influential financial leaders in the world. Nobody knows why he decided to accept the offer, but I think it might have something to do with the ₤624,000 ($993,000 CAD) compensation at his new job 😉 It’s hard to say no to practically doubling your salary. It’s okay Mr. Carney, we understand it’s nothing personal. It’s just business 😀

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The TFSA contribution limit is going up next year from $5,000 to $5,500. This means one month from now we can invest more of our money and not get taxed on the interest or dividends we make \(^_^)/ If you’ve been keeping track, that’s a total of $25,500 contribution room from 2009 to 2013 inclusive. The loonie bin blog takes a more in debt look at the announcement. If you are making less than $60,000 a year, I would strongly recommend you consider maxing our TFSA before your RRSP. On the other hand if you make six-figure annual income like more than a quarter of you readers apparently are (referring to the poll on the right ->) then contributing to your RRSP is most likely a better strategy, especially if you’re married.

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In global news, a couple in China has refused to allow the government to destroy their home to build a freeway. They claimed the relocation compensation offered to them by the government would not be enough to build a new home for themselves so they decided to stay put and the road was forced to be built around the intact home, probably making this an unintentional tourist attraction now 😀 It’s nice to see that Chinese citizens do have property rights after all.

house in middle of street in china

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Foot traffic analyst ShopperTrak estimates nearly 308 million shoppers hit the streets for Black Friday sales, a year-over-year increase of about 3.5 percent. Yeah, go consumers! Keep buying stuff at record amounts so the companies I own will continue to make record profits! The S&P 500, Dow Jones and NASDAQ were up 1.3%, 1.35% and 1.38% respectively on Black Friday, Nov 23rd.

line up of shoppers for target

Cyber Monday 2012 was also a huge success, with preliminary figures showing a 17 percent increase over the already robust sales from 2011. A total of $1.46 billion was spent online in that single day, making it the busiest day for online commerce in American history :0)

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Jan 262012
 

Better late than never right. (・_・;) Here is what I propose to accomplish by the end of 2012.

1) Make at least $4,000 more than last year. This shall come from a combination of my 2 jobs, tutoring, and dividend income. If I can get just $1000 increase from each income source then I’ll be hunky-dory.
2) Put $10,000 into my retirement accounts. I’m lucky enough to have my employer match my own contribution up to 4% of my salary. A typical defined contribution plan. The rest I plan to save myself.
3) Put $5,000 into my TFSA. (Roth IRA equivalent in Canada) I plan to buy some value stocks in here.
4) Put $25,000 towards other investments (stocks or bonds or real estate, etc)
5) Have a six-figure investment portfolio. The net value of all my investments will be over $100,000.
6) Increase net worth by $40,000.

That’s pretty much it. How do I plan to invest so much and increase my wealth by $40,000 this year, when I can’t even take home $40,000/year from my full-time job? The same way as last year. In 2011 my net worth increased by more than my salary. Among other factors, having a 2nd job and multiple income sources really helps. All I plan to do this year is to continue focusing on my multiple income streams, live within my means, and use leverage to increase my investment returns, (which unfortunately also increases risk, but I currently see no better alternative.) My goal is to work smarter, not harder. I will put the money I already have to good use, and continue to do what I enjoy like designing art, teaching, and blogging. I hope to have a normal life, without over working myself, and still reach financial independence in my mid thirties.


“How am I going to live today in order to create the tomorrow I’m committed to?”
~Tony Robbins