Goals for 2014

Just a few more days left over in 2013 and I have been looking into setting goals for 2014 over the last couple of weeks. My 2014 goals are summarized below:
1. Passive Income of $4,000
My passive income for 2013 has surpassed my original goal of $2,000 and I am on track to reach a passive income of $2,600-$2,700. In addition, my wife’s portfolio (which is currently unaccounted for on this blog) generates about $600 in dividend income. So, between the two of us we should be able to see our passive income grow by $700-$800 easily. The reason for this low target is because of Goal #2.
2. Buy a house
My wife and I have been building up our savings over the past few months. We intend to have 20% for the downpayment saved by the middle of 2014 to buy our first house together.
3. Rebalance portfolio with my wife’s portfolio integrated
In 2014, I intend to merge my portfolio with my wife’s for a balanced portfolio. Her portfolio consists of two funds – a Canadian index fund and a monthly dividend income fund, both held as mutual funds. I have a few ideas in my mind and floated the ideas to my wife who is still thinking about it.
4. Sell all my positions in mutual funds and cut down on the fees
This has been my goal for the past couple of years, but I havent come around to do it since I am not able to find comparable ETFs with similar performance. This goal might finally get achieved in 2014 since I intend to use these funds for Goal #2 above.
5. Read More Books
I have fallen a bit behind on reading books over this year, and I intend to pick those books back up and read more. My interests vary a lot – from finance and business to psychology and family/health-related topics. Readers can look forward to seeing more book reviews on this blog in the following year.

In addition to the main financial goals above, I intend to continue to:
6. Expand my knowledge of business and finance.
7. Educate myself about home buying.
8. Expand my knowledge of options trading.

I have updated my Goals page with the new goals set.

Getting Started – Goals

Welcome  to the Getting Started series of Roadmap2Retire. These articles are targeted at people who have decided to take their financial future in their hands.

The first order of business is to set your goals. The most important aspect here being, “what are you trying to accomplish?” There are no clear rules as it changes from person to person, couple to couple and family to family. It is also recommended that such goals are preferably written down so that you can revisit and re-evaluate on a regular basis. That being said, lets just jump in and take a look at the various aspects in goal setting.

Prioritize your goals

People evolve over time and so do goals and priorities. For e.g.: A new graduate’s priority might be to pay down student debt, credit card debt and save for an emergency fund; while a newly married couple might have a top priority of saving for down payment of a house. Some others dream of retiring early.

The easy one

Some decisions should be fairly straightforward and obvious: Always pay down your high interest debts such as credit card debt. High interest debt can have a debilitating effect on your financial future and this should be the highest priority for every single person.

The tricky one

A trickier decision is on how to balance low-interest debt and savings – the classic example being whether to pay down your mortgage faster or save for retirement. Paying down debt seems like an easier decision, but the flip side of that is that you lose out on years of investments and returns – and when you consider compounding returns, that really adds up!
The way I look at it, there is no one answer that fits all. You have to find a balance that fits your needs without sacrificing one for the other.

Horizon

You can set yourself three types of goals – short, medium and long term.

  • Short term: Usually less-than-2 years from current time. For e.g.: emergency funds, car, vacations etc.
  • Medium term: Usually 3-5 years. For e.g.: down payment for a house, vacation property etc.
  • Long term: Usually 6+ years. For e.g.: pay down mortgage, save for children’s education, retirement etc.

Note that when it comes to investments (which will be discussed in detailed throughout this blog), the horizons should not matter – always invest for the long term. It is never recommended to invest in risky or questionable investments.

My goals

The following figure shows my personal goals.
Past goal:
  • I had a goal of generating passive income of $100 per month before I turned 30 in 2011. I failed in achieving that, but I did catch up a year later 🙂
  • My other goal was to start blogging, which I finally did with this blog – Roadmap2Retire.
Future goals:
I have two goals in the short and medium term timeline
  • Buy a house in the next year or two.
  • Generate a passive income of $1,000 per month before I turn 40 in 2021.
My Goals

Have you set your goals yet?

< Back to Getting Started

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational purposes only. All opinions here are my personal opinions and should not be taken as financial advice. I am not qualified to be a financial advisor. Always consult with your financial advisor before investing in any of the companies mentioned on this blog.