Tuesday, December 24, 2019

My Personal & Financial Goals for 2020

In a bit of a twist, I decided to switch it up and rather than first reviewing whether I was able to achieve my goals for 2019, which I outlined the first few weeks of 2019, I thought I would start with my goals for 2020 as we head into the New Year next week.

Overall, 2019 was my first full year of being a Seeking Alpha contributor and a blogger. It marked the second full year that I exercised on a regular basis. Perhaps most encouraging is that 2019 will be remembered as the year that I finished undergrad, which feels like a weight off my shoulders.

That's enough reminiscing for one post, so we'll delve right into what my specific goals are for 2020, starting with financial goals.

1. Collect $1,500+ in dividends for the year
2. End 2020 with $2,000+ in forward annual dividends
3. Amass $45,000+ in investments/end 2020 with a net worth of $60,000+

Starting with the first goal of collecting at least $1,500 in dividends in 2020, I believe this is a goal that isn't unrealistic to achieve. On the other hand, I believe the goal will push me to the limit and help me strive to reach my full financial potential in 2020, and position me very well in the years beyond.

I don't want to spoil next week's post where I discuss whether I achieved all of my goals for 2019 (spoiler alert: anyone could check my dividend income page if they'd like for a good idea on if I achieved my goal), including if I collected $550+ in dividends for the year. But for context and without giving it away, collecting $1,500 in dividends in 2020 would be well over double what I collected in 2019.

The second goal of reaching at least $2,000 in forward annual dividends by the end of 2020 is once again what I believe to be a lofty, but attainable goal.

Without blatantly giving away what I'm entering 2020 with in terms of forward annual dividends (another spoiler alert: my portfolio page would give this away), I will once again say that ending 2020 with more than $2,000 in forward annual dividends would represent more than a doubling over 2019.

My third and final major financial goal for 2020 is to amass at least $45,000 in investments at the end of 2020 and achieve a net worth of $60,000+.

Whether I achieve this goal will probably be indicative of my ability to achieve the other two goals. That's because in order for me to end 2020 with forward annual dividends of $2,000+, I realistically need to have over $45,000 in investments if I want to stick around the 4-4.5% average yield that I target for my investments.

Factoring out the unpredictable whims of Mr. Market, reaching $45,000 in investments would take close to $2,000/month in investments. While this is reasonably manageable given my income and expenses, it will be somewhat difficult given that I also have to save for a couple more months to purchase and help fix a 3-4 year old Chevrolet Cruze with my father, who has 35+ years of experience in the auto industry. The total cost of such an endeavor will probably end up around the $7,000-$8,000 mark depending upon how new of a car I end up buying and how many miles are on the car.

If I'm able to save up the funds by the end of February for the first car that I'd actually personally own, this would require $2,500/month in investing the rest of the year to achieve. That becomes a bit more difficult to swing with my income and expenses, although it still could prove to be manageable with an increase in my income through my day job or side hustles.

Reaching the $60,000 net worth also should be a manageable goal given that I'm already about a third of the way there and a low mileage car that's 3-4 years old brings me a bit past half way there. That means I have to invest about $2,500 a month to surpass $60,000 in net worth.

Fortunately, this isn't factoring in any appreciation that is likely to occur in the stock market over the next year, so capital appreciation could aid me with this goal. Of course, the markets could just as easily work against me if we enter a major correction near the end of the year as was the case in December 2018.

Now that I've discussed my key financial goals heading into 2020, I'll take a bit of time to focus on my personal goals for the year.

1. Continue to publish one personal blog post each week
2. Publish at least 100 articles on Seeking Alpha in 2020 and reach 6,000 followers
3. Write at least 26 blog posts on I Prefer Income in 2020

Starting with the personal blog, I'm pretty content with the frequency with which I post. It's for that very reason I intend to continue posting once each week. I feel it strikes a nice balance between documenting my journey for both myself and others, but it isn't too excessive to the point that I don't find enjoyment in it anymore. That's precisely because I'm able to write about what's important to me and what I find interesting. If I ramp up my publishing frequency, it could become much more difficult to maintain the enjoyment factor and it could start to feel like work, leading to burnout.

Next, I'd like to publish at least 100 articles on Seeking Alpha in 2020 and reach 6,000 followers. To date, I've published less than 100 articles and I recently managed to surpass 2,700 followers on SA.

Assuming my average of 33 followers per article continues through 2020 and I'm able to achieve my goal of at least 100 articles for the year, I should have no problem at least reaching 6,000 followers on SA.

As far as my goal of 100 articles for the year is concerned, I managed to come pretty close in 2019 and this was all the while having to focus on finishing up undergrad through the first 7+ months of the year. That leads me to believe that 100 shouldn't be extremely difficult to attain.

One thing that astute followers of the blog may have noticed is that on my blogroll page, I have included a link to the website I Prefer Income.

Last month, I entered into an agreement with founder of I Prefer Income, Rich Hill.

I Prefer Income is a website that offers database programs for preferred stocks, REITs, Dividend Diamonds 25+ (an alternative name for Dividend Champions/Aristocrats), MLPs/Midstream stocks, and eventually, high yield commercial REITs and BDCs. Until further notice, each program is currently free. Each program will thereafter be billed at $8/month.

Image Source: I Prefer Income

These programs are specifically designed to cater to the preferences of each individual investor using dividends, earnings, payout, debt, and other metrics.

Utilizing the metrics that are most important to them, users are able to use I Prefer Income's filter to narrow down the list of potential investments. This allows a user to hone in on the investments that are most attractive to them and that fit their investment preferences.

They can then conduct their own independent research to determine the stocks that best fit their investment needs, as well as checking out Seeking Alpha articles that are selected by I Prefer Income for specific stocks to get the thoughts of others on those stocks.

Users can also rank stocks by industries or sub-industries to see how they stack up against each other and aid in the decision making process.

Overall, I would recommend that investors who often find themselves spending excessive amounts of time trying to generate investment ideas for further research check out I Prefer Income. It helps me generate ideas for my articles on Seeking Alpha and personally. I've found the programs to be capable of meeting the needs of long-term income investors of all preferences, whether that is high yield or dividend growth investing.

As part of our agreement, I'll be providing feedback to Rich and his team of developers to improve the user friendliness and usefulness of the program. I'll also be posting under my own blog on the website with the Kody's Dividends name. These posts will provide my investment rationale to readers and I will also be examining stocks for investment that I was able to find using the I Prefer Income programs.

I feel as though posting every couple weeks and providing feedback on the programs will be a great way for me to help I Prefer Income deliver on its motto of Rely On Yourself Investing.

Through I Prefer Income's fantastic data driven programs, as well as my investing insights, I believe we will be able to help thousands of investors reach their financial goals through a deliberate and informed investing approach that works with their preferences.

Concluding Thoughts:

As great of a year that 2019 has been for myself, I believe that it will prove itself as a stepping stone to the many exciting things that I believe lie ahead in the future.

Although some of my goals for 2020 appear to be a bit daunting at first glance, the great thing about setting goals that are on the high end of attainable is that it challenges you to keep your focus on the task at hand, and to enjoy the journey.

I managed to accomplish quite a bit in 2019, but 2020 is sure to be even more promising. I really just want to thank everyone that has supported me over the past year and a half! Your readership and comments on this blog and on my Seeking Alpha articles are a large part of what drives me to become a better investor and a more well-rounded person overall.


What are your goals for 2020? Are there any goals that you believe will be more difficult than the others?

Thank you for reading and I look forward to any comments that you may leave in the comment section below.


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