Investment Goals for 2017: Q1

At the beginning of the year I formulated my five investment goals for 2017. Now that the first quarter (Q1) is behind us, it is time to check in on these goals and see how I am progressing.

My five goals for the year are:

  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 

Goal #1  - contributing $30,000 to my portfolio in 2017 - means that every quarter I need to invest at least $7,500. When I formulated this goal back in January I knew this would be a stretch.

However, I am happy to report that I actually beat my numbers. In the first quarter of 2017 I contributed a total of $9,833 to my portfolio. If I can keep this up this would mean an addition of almost $40,000 for the entire year.

How did I deploy this new capital? I started the year by buying 17 additional shares of Starbucks, followed by a new position of 25 shares in Delta Airlines. I closed the month of January off by buying 18 shares of Amgen.

In February I made two buys - both adding to existing positions. I bought 34 shares of Qualcomm (making it a total of 50 shares). Later in that month I decided to double my position in Magna - buying an additional 25 shares.

March - the last month of the quarter - saw just one buy. I added 15 shares of Accenture to the portfolio for a total of $1,815.

Goal #2 is about getting my 12 month projected forward dividend income to $3,500 by the end of the year.

At the last day of 2016 my projected forward dividend income was $2,395 and it increased to $2,740 by the end of this first quarter. This means that in Q1 my 12 month projected forward income increased by $345 (see red line in the chart below).

To get from $2,395 at the end of 2016 to $3,500 at the end of 2017 I need a total increase of $1,105.

 Since $345 * 4 = $1,380 I did well this quarter - and am well underway to hit this goal for the entire year.

Goal #3 is about the dividends I will receive between Jan 1st and December 31st of this year. My goal is $3,000 for 2017. As of March 31st my projection is to receive ~ $2,739 in dividends in calendar year 2017 (seen green line below against my target in blue).

This goal should definitely be attainable but keep in mind that the year is getting shorter (as is the nature of passing time). The ‘receive new dividends in 2017 window’ is closing with each that day that passes.

In other words, each company that I buy next will not pay out a dividend in Q1 2017. However, if I keep up the buying activity - Q2, Q3 and Q4 should see enough dividend payouts to make my goal of $3,000.

Through goal #4 I track my forward dividend income (goal #2) as a percentage of my portfolio - i.e. 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.

My current YOC is 3.97% - meaning that I am not only on track for this goal but also that my portfolio has some more room for low yielders with above average dividend growth rates.

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 - buy once, (almost) never sell and simply start collecting the dividend.

I actually got some unexpected help in achieving this goal - my broker Fidelity cut it’s trading fees from $7.95 to $4.95.  Five out of my six Q1 purchases were still under the old fee structure (unfortunately!) so my first quarter trading cost came to $44.70.

This number means I am above the target ($44.70 * 4 comes to $178.80) and I need to lower my trading cost going forward.

With the new fee structure I have about 21 trades left until I reach my $150 dollar ‘threshold’, which comes out to about 2.4 trades for the remaining 9 months. I rarely make more than 2 trades per month so I have no concern there.

All in all I think my investment year 2017 is off to a great start. Perhaps I should have formulated more ambitious goals? I’d say a 4 out of 5 scores ain’t bad - on to the next quarter!

What do you think about these goals? How did you do in this first quarter? Leave a comment/reply to share your thoughts!

14 thoughts on “Investment Goals for 2017: Q1”

  1. What a great start for 2017. Keep up the good work.
    Your yoc, do you calculate it by dividing your current dividend by your current portfolio value. Or current dividend divided by initial cost portfolio value?



    1. Thanks Pollie! Trying to stay focused and consistant - and great to see hard work paid of this first quarter.

      I calculate my YOC as the current dividend of my portfolio divided by the initial cost basis of the portfolio. My goal is to keep this above 3.5%. As my horizon is 20-30 years I do not mind adding some low yielders like $DAL or $ACN in there, as long as the dividend growth rate is substantial. I am inspired by the Chowder rule in that way 🙂


  2. You’re overachieving on your goals, that’s impressive. Really like to how you track all your numbers (and graphs).
    And with the YOC Pollie mentioned, your dividend yield should only go up as long as companies are raising their dividends yearly. Do you scale this target up every year, or does this remain the same?

    1. Divnomics, glad you like it! As for YOC - since I am still in the buildup phase, I don’t mind to have my YOC hover around 3.5% for the next few years. After that I should really see the benefit of dividend increases so I’ll likely increase my target. For now I aim to find a balance between low and high yielders with an average of 3.5%.

    1. Thank you Investment Hunting!

      It’s funny to think of that $10k in the first quarter. Seems a lot in retrospect, but somehow I was able to invest that much without making any huge sacrifices. I guess ‘paying yourself first’ before spending/consuming really worked for me. I am not sure I can keep that quarterly amount up for the whole year, but at least I laid a good foundation in this first quarter.

    1. Thanks BHL.

      Visually tracking my progress is a great motivator for me. With every buy and every dividend raise that green line in the second chart gets just a tad higher! Slowly but surely I am achieving my goals. Cheers and thanks for stopping by!

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