Final Tally – 9 New Year Goals For 2016
With 2016 over it is time to have a look back at the new year goals I set at the start of the year. I was well on the way at the half way point, so lets see how many were reached at year end.
Score: a slightly generous 6 out of 9 (or 67%) for my 2016 new year goals.
1) Increase Net Worth By $100k
The last half of the year was much better than the first fore this goal. It started with two of the largest single month gains I have in my records, and kept going after that. The total increase in net worth was just over $127k. So I count this goal as met with a 25% safety margin.
Lets break it down, with goals in purple (and goal break downs):
- House increase of 4% = $25k
- This year saw a (paper only) property price rise of $7k, rather than the desired 4%. Very optimistic, but made up for elsewhere.
- Super increase of $37k
- A Super increase by 5% after fees = $12k AND
- My Super contributions = $25k (maximum salary sacrifice amount after 15% tax)
- The total (including contributions) super increase was $59k, which gives after contributions growth of $29k. The sharemarket did well in 2016 it appears.
- Additional Savings/Investments/Interest/Income of $38k
- Cash and investment increase by about 4% = $8k
- After tax savings/additional investments = $30k
- With a total increase of $61k made up of extra savings, stock price increases and bond dividends, the third of my three categories performed much better than expected. Cash savings were down a total of $3k (due to additional investments), with shares and bonds up $64k.
2) Purchase A Rental Property
Goal: Fail (but with reason)
As stated in the half way update, this goal was put on hold for a year or two due to the decline in rental prices. I guess this goes to show that goals are good to have and aim for, but not blindly and without thought and analysis.
3) Sell Our Grandparents Land
Not enough attention was given to this goal. I now know the realestate agent and rough prices that the land will fetch, but did not actually get around to listing it (or getting a sale). I will probably carry this goal forward into 2017.
4) Begin Dollar Cost Averaging
Goal: Partial Success
I am now more regularly investing in the sharemarket, however it is not quite at a regular enough stage to call it dollar cost averaging. Partly that is on purpose, as I also like the idea of buying when the market is down. This may just be due to some notable successes with this during the year, but for now I want to keep going with the approach of investing semi-regularly with a bias towards lower market scenarios.
5) Max Out Super
This is a hard one to measure due to the calendar and financial years being out of sync. Last year I was $3k away from the $30k max allowed. Not too bad, but could have been slightly better. This financial year I am on track for hitting $28k (assuming my maths is correct). So between the two years I am going to count this one as successful. Even without the actual maximum getting reached, it is still a lot better than just the 9.5% requirement.
6) This Blog
Goal: Partial Success
Another goal I will put down as a partial success. There were six parts to this goal, but the most notable one was more frequent posting. That one was closer to a fail than a success, especially during the second half of the year, but overall the others tip the scales. Lets see how each of them went:
- more frequent posting
- Went well at the start of the year, but the second half dropped down again. Still well up on 2015, but I only really committed to trying at the start of 2016 anyway.
- better categorisation
- I have now created and maintained some distinct categories on the blog, with regular posts to some of them. Not quite to the level of some people (yes, I am looking at Dividends Down Under), but happy with where I got to.
- getting some better stats
- The stats I now get from Google and WordPress are fantastic, completed at the halfway mark.
- actually allowing comments (should anyone wish to)
- Again, this was completed at the half way point.
- looking into whether it is worth putting some advertising on the site
- While I go have some advertising on the site now (feel free to click those links on the right), the income generated from it is currently not worth it. Hopefully things will grow a little bit. I would love to be able to pay for the hoisting of the blog, but at the moment the answer to the question of whether it is worth putting ads on the site is no.
- create more posts using the financial statistics we have been capturing over the last 10+ years
- Only my net worth posts and passive income dividend posts use the stats I gather. Again I want this to increase, but it will need to go hand in hand with more frequent posting.
7) Increase Charitable Giving
So, the year has finished, and I am able to add up the tally. I am cheating a little bit here as I have not included all forms of income, but have included the main ones. I have, however, included all forms of giving that we have records for. Or at least all forms we have recorded correctly. I am happy to report that we managed to just sneak in over the line with a total of 20.7%. Normally I wouldn’t keep the decimal point, but if I just said 20% it looks like I faked it, and if I say 21% it just feels like too much rounding (given the 5% range). I could easily be out by a percent or so, but the numbers give me a successful outcome on this goal!
8) Renovate The House
There were 3 original parts to third goal, with a fourth added at the half way point. One and a half of the four were successful, which is a fail overall, as I originally wanted to get two done. Close, but no cigar. The bathrooms should come early in 2017, but we have decided to put the kitchen off.
- Landscape yard
- Well, technically we are around 99% of the way there, as we have to remove a little left over rubbish, replace 1 dead plant, and fix a leaky tap. All very minor in the scheme of things, so I give it a pass.
- Renovate 2 bathrooms
- Neither of the two are complete (or started actually), however we do have a number of people lined up. I am hopeful that this goal will be achievable in 2017.
- Renovate kitchen
- As mentioned in the half way point, this goal has been crossed off the list as it will easily last another few years.
- Paint the house
- Partial Success
- Half the house is painted, half is waiting motivation. So I give this one a half mark. Thankfully stopping at the half way point doesn’t mean that the house looks strange as we did all of one colour. Just the white bits to go (although there are a lot of them).
Once again the half way point saw this goal put to bed. We had a wonderful holiday during the year. Far too relaxing, too much fun (and too much food). Spent lots of time at the beach and loved it. I would highly recommend taking a holiday over getting a fast car like we did.
Now it’s time for me to go and set some goals for 2017!
Interesting set of goals and a successful year overall. Congratulations!
One thing that struck me is that you are maxing out your super. Is there a reason for that? There’s obviously a tax advantage but I don’t like the fact that the money is locked away for such a long time. Although, it seems like SMSF rules are allowing more and more flexibility with what can be done with your super funds.
Nice little update here Tom, I feel as though there was a lot that’s happened for you this year, which probably explains the less frequent blog posting ;)!
Interested to know when you say declining rental market, are you talking about yields? I suppose for me I’m really getting clear on what the end game i.e. residual or investment income is and am then going to align investments with that.. Of course capital growth is nice and important as well
Good work on some of the other goals as well, especially the holiday one! 🙂
Great job with the goals. A questions about DCA, what size packets are you investing in? I was comfortable paying 2% brokerage but slowly am moving into larger size investments and paying 1% commission.
Thanks Rohan! Believe it or not I don’t know the current numbers exactly (bad Tom). I know when I calculated them originally a $10k investment would hit the point where the flat fee equated to the percentage charged for amounts above that. With the initial flat fee I was paying the same amount no matter how much I bought. Like I said, I am not doing it regularly enough because of this. I am also not currently diversified well enough. To change both of those I will have to lower my expectations around fee percentages.
Currently they are between $1500 and $5k (occasionally $10k, but that is more one of than DCA). Many things I read seem to talk about DCA being regular monthly investments. Unfortunately mine are more typically every quarter to year, but given I plan to own them all (pending changes) for a long time, I see it as just stretching out the DCA timeline. If it was more frequently, or with a larger number of shares, then I would probably have to do some more thinking around frequency/amount vs fee.
Almost everything I own pays a dividend, so one way to calculate the return is to just take the brokerage percent off the initial years dividends. If that is not negative, then the first year pays for any brokerage (and hopefully more) while allowing the underlying price to hopefully rise as well.
DCA doesn’t need to be monthly it can be anytime period where you invest a fixed amount of money. 🙂
After crunching some numbers I’m going to start investing in chunks of 5k per quater.. I’ve been 2k every month or so before and the fees are way too high. Can’t wait for RobinHood to launch in Australia… Our brokers need a shake up.
Yeah – I fail at the fixed amount of money too (but not too often thankfully, and it is not the market that determines the change). And I haven’t seen RobinHood before, but it is defiantly going to change the way I do DCA if there is no fine print that causes problems! It looks fantastic.
Forgot to add that Iike the idea of taking the brokerage percentage of the initial years dividends… 🙂