2014 Review

The year is almost over and what better time for a 2014 review. Its time to reflect on how things progressed and look back at the goals and what was achieved and missed during the year. In addition, I present reviews for my investments and the blog.

1. Goals Review

  1. Earn $4,000 in annual passive income Achieved!
    • We were able to crush this goal and are close to achieving $5K in passive income. The final number will be posted on the blog in the coming days. We achieved this goal in early November.
  2. Buy a house Achieved!
    • After a lot of debating on when and where to buy, we are now proud home owners. We bought our house in May and moved into it in July.
  3. Re-balance portfolio with my wife’s portfolio integrated Failed!
    • This is a work item that we haven’t been able to complete and hope to finish it in the new year.
  4. Sell all my positions in mutual funds and cut down on the fees Partially Achieved!
    • I sold all my mutual funds in April, but my wife’s account continues to own some expensive mutual funds.
  5. Read and review more books Partially Achieved!
    • This is one work item I am not pleased with. Even though I read and reviewed some interesting books, there are a lot more books that I started and haven’t finished. I hope to clean up my act in 2015 and beyond.
  6. Write atleast 6 premium articles for Seeking Alpha Achieved!

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Chatter Around the World – 76

Chatter Around the World is a curated weekly update of articles related to economics, investing, dividends and personal finance. In these weekly updates, I also capture my blog updates and news related to my portfolio holdings.

China GDP

China’s GDP is greater than all other BRICS countries combined

New Blog Post

Let’s dive into the links that caught my attention this week.

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Goals for 2015

After a very productive year in 2014, where I was able to meet and surpass most of my goals, its time for me to set my goals for 2015. Here are the main financial goals for me:

Goals for 2015

  • Total Passive Income of $5,500 – While our portfolio and other sources of passive income generated close to $5000 in passive income in 2014, we aren’t setting our sights sky high in 2015 as we want to focus a bit more on debt repayment in 2015 (more on this below). For a breakdown, I want to achieve $3000 in dividend income and $2500 in “other” passive income.
  • Focus on reducing debt (mortgage) – As new home owners, our focus will be to paying down more than the minimum mortgage amount.
  • Maintain a 3-5% cash position in my portfolio – Over the course of last couple of months, I have been caught with great investing opportunities, but very little in cash of my portfolio as I have been fully or near-fully invested. I would want to avoid this in the future, by maintaining a 3-5% cash allocation in my portfolio.
  • Re-balance portfolio with my wife’s portfolio integrated – This is a leftover item from 2014. We did not complete the integration in moving from mutual funds to ETFs. We are hoping to complete this early in 2015.
  • Take atleast one finance related e-course – I took an accounting e-course on Coursera in 2013 and really enjoyed it (and learned a lot). I want to further my education and take atleast one finance related e-course in 2015.
  • Write an e-book – This has been one of my long term goals, and I think I want to take a first crack at it in 2015. I look forward to learning and exploring and all the experience that comes with launching an e-book.

 Have you set your goals for 2015 yet? What are your thoughts on my goals here. Leave a comment below – as I appreciate your feedback.

Chatter Around the World – 75

Chatter Around the World is a curated weekly update of articles related to economics, investing, dividends and personal finance. In these weekly updates, I also capture my blog updates and news related to my portfolio holdings.

Coke Payout

Coca-Cola Co.’s half-century streak of yearly dividend increases is in jeopardy because the beverage maker is “routinely outspending its cash flow,” according to David Winters, Wintergreen Advisers LLC’s co-founder and chief executive officer.

New Blog Posts

Let’s dive into the links that caught my attention this week.

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AT&T (T) Dividend Increase

AT&T (T) announced a 2.20% increase in its cash dividends for common stockholders. The quarterly dividend increases from $0.46 to $0.47. The dividend is payable on Feb 2, 2015 to shareholders of record as of Jan 9, 2015. The ex-div date is Jan 7th.

AT&T

The new dividend amount represents an annualized dividend amount of $1.88 per share, up from $1.84. The forward yield based on current price is 5.6%. My portfolio consists of 40 shares of AT&T and the new increase bumps up my annual dividends from $73.60 to $75.20.