Annual Update – 2015 Review

Welcome to the annual 2015 update. This is part of  a series where I track our financial progress on a regular basis. I present four parts in this series: (i) Investment & Portfolio Update, (ii) Passive Income Update, (iii) Blog Update, and (iv) Goals Update.

1. Investment & Portfolio Update

2015 saw some great amount of activity in our portfolio. We initiated/added to various positions and closed one position that did not fit into our portfolio. I present the following image which summarizes all the purchases (31 in total excluding the regular ETF purchases), all the sales (just one this year), all dividend increases (35 in total) and the dividend cuts (just one) in my portfolio.

In my wife’s portfolio, we initiated a new ETF portfolio and moved from the traditional expensive mutual funds. Click here to read details about my wife’s portfolio and why we chose the route of index ETFs.

2015 Annual - DG2

Overall, I am pretty pleased with the purchases made. Lots of fresh new money put into the portfolio and the cash put to work in investments. Most of the dividends received were reinvested back into the investments, thus ensuring we compound our growth going forward.

Companies listed without any activity during the year (such as CVX, GE, and IMG.TO) mean that we did not add or remove these positions in our portfolio, nor did those companies have any change in dividend policy. These investments remain dormant in our portfolio.

2. Passive Income Update

Passive Income - Annual 2015

Our total annual passive income totaled $7,840.03! Not in my wildest dreams did I think we would reach a number this high so soon. I’ve had some long term plans, but I figured reaching a number like $7.8K would take me years and even if you asked me a year ago, I would have said “Impossible!” and that was the reason for setting a more reachable goal of $5,500 for 2015. This has motivated me to work harder towards reaching our medium-term goal of reaching $12K – which as mentioned in our 2016 goals, we moved it earlier from 2021 to 2019. Maybe we can bring it in even earlier? 🙂

On a quarterly basis, our passive income saw another all-time high in Q4 2015.

Year

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4

2013

$383.65 $516.32 $718.33 $1,063.97

2014

$1,322.47 $951.18 $1,055.79 $1,803.90

2015

$1,546.87 $1,960.10 $2,076.81 2,256.01

Passive Income - Q4 2015

You can read my previous quarterly updates here.

“Other” Passive Income

Passive income that we achieve is split between investments from  dividend paying companies and what I call other sources of passive income, which includes cash back rewards credit card, advertising revenue from this blog, interest on cash and writing premium articles for Seeking Alpha. As you can see from the chart below, my other category has performed well. Our passive income from the ‘other’ sources saw some increased traction in 2015 providing us with some great passive income – which we proceed to invest into stocks and funds to compound our growth.

I realize that some of our sources of passive income are not completely passive, as it requires us to put some time and effort into it. However, I consider these sources to be semi-passive and I wrote an article to capture my thoughts on the scale of passivity of each income type. Be sure to check out Passivity of Income.

3. Blog Update

Based on the pageviews, the following were the most popular posts on Roadmap2Retire.

A wide variety of topics based on reader preferences, but right behind the top-5 listed above are articles from the new series – Sector Overview articles; which seem to have struck a chord. I’m glad the Sector Overview are getting the pageviews, as it takes me a long time to research and compile those lists and provide the overview. Another new series that I started at the end of 2015 was Sector Challenges, which again – had some good readership and some great discussions in the comments section. If you have any feedback on the type of articles you want to see more, be sure to leave a comment. Your feedback helps me research and write better articles to serve you.

Pageviews

Overall, this humble little blog garnered a total of 156,598 total pageviews! That is amazing and I thank each and everyone of you for visiting this blog.

2015-pageviews

Geographically, most visitors came from the US followed by Canada and Germany. I have made plenty of friends over the year and we have helped each other grow as we continue our path towards financial independence. Again, thank you all for the continued support and patronage.

2015-pageviews-countries

Also, a shout-out to the top commentators: Tawcan, Angry Retail Banker, Dividend Diplomats, Dividend Hustler, and Passive Income Pursuit. Thanks for your valuable thoughts and input 🙂

bh-760x80-01-dy

4. Goals Update

Right. Onto the goals that I set and see how we did overall on that front.

  • Earn $5,500 in annual passive income Achieved!
    • Our total passive income for 2015 was $7,840.03. While it seemed like a high goal a year ago, we were able to easily sail past the $5.5K goal. A massive improvement (+52.73%) from a year ago, I find it hard to believe that we were able to reach this amount in 2015.
  • Focus on reducing debt (mortgage) – Pay down more than the minimum mortgage amount. Achieved!
    • We managed to pay down a bit extra in the first few months of the year, but after careful consideration and re-evaluating, considering the extremely low mortgage rates (and potential of going even lower in the coming months/years), we decided to stop extra payments. However, we are still happy to have paid down an extra 21% in mortgage dues.
  • Maintain a 3-5% cash position in portfolio Achieved!
    • This goal was motivated by the fact that in 2014 I had to pass up on some good investing opportunities due to lack of liquidity in my portfolio. Maintaining a bit of a cash in investment accounts goes a long way in picking attractively valued stocks – a lesson that I’ve learned lately. We maintained well above the target 3-5% cash in our portfolios in 2015.
  • Re-balance portfolio with my wife’s portfolio integrated Achieved!
    • We sold the expensive mutual funds in my wife’s portfolio in January and started building an ETF portfolio starting February 2015. Details of the ETF portfolio we are building can be found here.
  • Take atleast one finance related e-course Needs Improvement
    • I took this online course from Coursera – The Power of Macroeconomics: Economic Principles in the Real World by Dr. Peter Navarro from University of California, Irvine. However, it was very dry and eventually did not complete the full course as my interest waned. It still was a decent course and I managed to learn quite a bit.
  • Write an e-book Failed!
    • No progress at all on this front. I struggled through the year to come up with some good ideas and while I did have some, they did not stick and materialize into anything. This still remains one of my goals for the upcoming years and will aim to achieve it.
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That’s all folks! Thanks for reading. Be sure to leave a comment at the bottom – I love to hear from the readers on your thoughts and opinions.

28 thoughts on “Annual Update – 2015 Review

  1. 2015 was truly a fantastic year for you. I love that your dividend income reached a point that surprised even you and that you have moved in your retirement date because of it. Thanks for sharing this and for inspiring.

    • Thanks for the wishes, IH. 2015 turned out to be a great year surpassing whatever I had dreamed of achieving. The amount of passive income I managed to bring in has been inspiring to myself – wants me to keep going and reach higher.

      Best wishes
      R2R

  2. COngratz on your year 201(. More than decent progress and almowt all goals achieved! Well done.

    What impresses me a lot is the growth that you can see in passive income when people start to focus on it… That is an eye opener for me.

    • Hi AmberTree,
      I am amazed at it myself. I cant believe that I have come this far so quickly. Just a few years ago (2013), I was bringing in just about or over $100 per month and here I am already dreaming of hitting $1K per month atleast once this year. Thanks for stopping by and the well wishes. I appreciate the continued patronage.

      R2R

    • Thanks for the wishes, Bryan.
      Ive just kept investing at a regular interval and have ended up paying a bit higher on some stocks, but nevertheless, the income keeps growing and saw one glitch in 2015 (with the one div cut). Hoping to keep this same momentum going forward.

      Wishing you and your family the same for 2016.
      R2R

  3. Hey R2R,

    This all looks great man. Wow, receiving $7.8k rather than your hopeful $5.5k must be an incredulous feeling! That’s some really amazing hustle. I look forward to seeing you release an e-book this year, I’m certain it’ll be a blast. All of your content is so neat, organized and clean to look at. It’s a joy.

    Best regards,
    DB

    • Thanks for the wishes, DB. It has been an amazing year and hope 2016 turns out to be the same for us all.
      I am hoping to get started with the ebook sometime soon. Not sure how big/long it’ll be – but will cover the details in the quarterly updates

      regards
      R2R

  4. Wow! what a great year!
    I really enjoy your passive income chart 🙂 I’m all about passive income!
    If you need help for your ebook, send me an email, I’ve done a bunch of those 😉 hahaha! I can tell you about my hits… and my miss!
    Cheers,
    Mike

  5. Looks like 2015 treated you and your wife very well. Especially on the passive income front. Over $7,800 in non work income is impressive. 2015 was a bit of a holding year for us but I expect to get on the progress train now that 2016 is here. Writing an e-book is something that’s on my list of things to do as well but that will likely have to wait until there’s a lot more free time on my schedule. Best of luck in 2016!

    • Hi JC,
      2015 was a great year in terms of passive income for us. Following your story in 2015, I am not surprised that it was a holding year for you – and Im sure you will bounce back in 2016 and beyond.

      Best wishes
      R2R

  6. Hi R2R,

    Thanks for sharing this overview of your progress in 2015. It is great to see the data from previous years/quarters to see the effects of regular investments, compounding and dividend raises. Congrats on reaching many of your goals and $7840 in passive income. You are so close to $10k, it must feel great to have made such progress in only a few years. Keep up the great work and your excellent posts and analysis. Cheers, DN

    • Thanks for the wishes and the support, Mark. Ive come a long way indeed in a short time. Hoping to keep this momentum going forward.

      Best wishes to your journey in 2016 and beyond
      R2R

  7. Wow-7000 in passive income 🙂 I’m so impressed. I’ve been reading a lot about how I can get in on that kind of income. Off to check out your archived articles.
    Thanks!
    Kate

  8. R2R,

    Impressive year! I’m glad to read you hit so many of your financial goals and that your blog is firing on all fronts too. 🙂

    And how about that 50%+ jump in dividend income, eh? Awesome! Keep it up, you’re an inspiration to us all.

    Cheers and all the best in 2016,
    NMW

    • Thanks for the wishes, NMW.
      2015 has been a fantastic year and hope to build 2016 and future years on the foundation I have. Glad to hear that its inspiring – its one of the reasons I started this blog and share the results 🙂

      Hope you had a great year too and best wishes for the new one
      R2R

  9. Looks like a great 2015 for you! And I think that even 2019 is too far for your $12k goal looking at the graph. I would think you could get close in 2017 🙂

    • Hi Tom,
      2015 was a great year for my personal finances and the passive income. That chart is heading in the right direction 🙂 If I have another great year in 2016, I might have to bring that goal of $12K closer – possibly 2018 or maybe even 2017 – as you said.

      Thanks for stopping by and the wishes
      R2R

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