Investment Goals for 2017 Check In… and Goals for 2018

2017 Investment Goals

At the beginning of 2017 – which was also the launch of – I formulated five investment goals for the year.

  1. Contribute $30,000 to the portfolio
  2. Achieve forward dividend income of $3,500 by the end of 2017
  3. Receive $3,000 dividend income throughout 2017
  4. Keep forward dividend income as a % of my Portfolio  at >3.5%
  5. Keep trading cost < 150 

With 2017 in the books, let’s check back how I did on these goals.

With regards to Goal #1 I was pretty skepticalestimating that contributing $30,000 to my Portfolio would be a stretch. Turns out my fear wasn’t warranted as I managed to add $43,446 in capital in 2017. Goal achieved! 

Goal #2 was about getting my 12 month projected forward dividend income to $3,500 at the 31st of December. As can be seen in the graphic below, my forward dividend income at the end of 2017 was $3,960 annually (or $330 per month).  Again, Goal achieved! 

Goal #3 was about the dividends I planned to receive between Jan 1st and December 31st of 2017. While the target was $3,000 (see blue line below) – I ended the year with $3,173 in received dividends (green line).

As you can see in the chart, September was the month I crossed the line and started to beat the target. Not surprising since I almost received $400 in dividends that month. Goal achieved! 

With goal #4 I track my forward dividend income (goal #2) as a percentage of my portfolio contributions – ie my yield on cost (YOC).  In buying stocks I try to maintain a balance between high yielders (such as most REITS) and low yielders with above average dividend growth rates (stock like SBUX, DAL). Overall my goal is to obtain a minimum of 3.5% YOC.

At the end of 2017 my forward dividend income stood at 3.86% as a percentage of my portfolio contributions (chart below). Goal achievedand we are four for four here!

Finally, goal #5 is about keeping my trading cost low. As I do not my consider myself a trader but an investor, my ideal holding period for a stock is forever. By definition this allows me to keep my trading cost modest.

But while my goal was to keep my trading cost below $150 for the year, my actual trading fees came to $197. Goal not achieved!

Final score: four out of five 2017 investment goals achieved!

2018 Investment Goals

Turning towards the new year, I strive to achieve the following five updated investment goals:

  1. Contribute $25,000 to the portfolio
  2. Achieve forward dividend income of $6,000 by the end of 2018
  3. Receive $5,000 dividend income throughout 2018
  4. Keep forward dividend income as a % of my Portfolio  at >3.5%
  5. Keep trading cost < 100 

Goals #1, #2 and #3 are more modest in comparison to 2017.

I expect to be able to allocate significantly less capital to my portfolio this year.  However, with dividend raises continuing to kick in – the power of dividend growth investing – goals #1 and #2 should be attainable.

Goal #4 should also be doable if I continue to buy a mix of high-yielders and low-yielders (but with high dividend growth).

Reduced buying activity ensures that I meet my trading cost goal (#5) for 2018, as I failed miserably here for 2017.

What do you think about these goals? Did you make your 2017 goals and what are yours for 2018? Leave a comment/reply to share your thoughts!

Dividend Update: December 2017

It’s time for my favorite type of post: a tally of the dividends I received in the prior month.

Given my strategy of DGI, it is really the dividend payouts that I care about. For each of the companies I invest in, I like to see a steady and growing stream of dividend payouts.

So how did I do in December?

Last month 24 companies sent me a dividend payout, adding up to a total of $373.

With the sole exception of September 2017 (which came in with a dividend tally of $379) this was my highest amount ever. $400 in dividends in a single month is coming real close!

December’s $372 also adds nicely to my dividend goals for 2017. In a next post I will revisit my goals for 2017 and add them to see whether I indeed got to my $3,000 goal for the entire year.

The following table shows the tickers of the companies that made a December 2017 dividend payout to my portfolio.

It features the dividend amount I received and any change in payout as compared to the last payout moment.

TickerDividends ReceivedDividend per Share Change


The fact that 24 companies sent me dividend checks is great in and of itself. But out of those 24 there were 6 companies who decided to raise their pay-outs. Really putting the growth in Dividend Growth Investing here.

Within those dividend increases three stand out.

Starbucks decided to turn my dividend Tall into a Grande by raising it by 20% (!). Double digit dividend increases are rare, but Starbucks have been serving them for years now. I hope they can keep it up, and continue to drive growth in China – opening a new store every 15 hours –  and even in the home of the espresso, Italy.

The other dividend increase that stands out is that of Rockwell Automation, coming in at nearly 10%. The company’s stock price has been on a tear almost all of 2017 and was pursued by another company in my portfolio – Emerson.

Finally, VF Corporation also delivered a near 10% dividend increase. The company – with it’s broad portfolio of brands – continues to do well and has proven to be a reliable dividend payer.

Comparing the dividend payout of December 2016 to December 2017 (below) shows an increase from $180 to $373- YoY growth of 107%.

How was your December and its dividend?  Leave a comment/reply to share your thoughts!