Time for the annual financial goal report card. I set these goals at the beginning of the year to help bring focus to what I want to achieve financially. What’s a better way to stay focused than to make the goals public to thousands of readers!
2008 was a big and busy year for our family. Between building a new house, the new baby, and my 2 full time jobs (office job and MDJ), 2008 was a blur. Despite it’s quick pace, it is a year that will forever be in my memory.
Onto the goals. Unfortunately, some of my financial goals did not get achieved this past year. This was mostly due to the historic market correction that we experienced in the latter part of 2008. Lets take a look at what happened.
Goal #1: Increase our net worth by 25%.
This was a very lofty goal of mine, but I felt that it was achievable due to the net worth growth in 2007. In my original article declaring my financial goals for 2008, I mentioned that I was a little worried about the drop in household income due to my wife going on maternity leave combined with additional baby expenses. Even though I managed to make more money in 2008 to account for the income deficit, the market was not kind to my equity portfolio.
As a result, even with steady savings, our net worth only grew by 11%, a goal shortfall of 14%. Hopefully, we can recover sometime between now and when I turn 35. :)
It’s worthy to note that I haven’t accounted for the appreciation of my real estate holdings as of yet which would increase the net worth by several percentage points.
Goal #2: Increase our alternative/passive income to $2,500/month.
Between my dividend, interest, rental and online income, I was able to surpass the $2,500/month milestone in 2008. This was one of my main areas of focus in 2008 to help make up for the reduced household income.
Goal #3: Retain our after tax savings rate of 30%.
With the additional passive income (which we stashed away), we were able to maintain a relatively high savings rate of approximately 30%. Of course this is approximate as our income was quite variable during 2008.
Goal #4: Increase the blog readership of MDJ to 3000 RSS subscribers.
I’m pleasantly surprised with the result of this goal. We started the year with around 1,400 subscribers and ended the year with over 4,000. Thank you for following my financial journey!
Goal #5: Increase our charitable giving to $2,000 for the year.
Along with our monthly contributions to local charities that are close to our hearts, we made a couple larger contributions near year end to bring us to just over $2,000 for the year. In addition, I started volunteering my time in working with a local charity which has brought the positive feeling of giving to a whole new level.
Goal #6: 2008 will be spent learning more about buying stocks at a discount and obtaining a return of 12-15% on my investments.
Although I did do quite a bit of research on bargain stock hunting, in hindsight, the market return goal was a bit of a stretch as it’s impossible to predict what the market is going to do in any particular year. The TSX (XIU) and The Dow in 2008 were both down about 30% which put a big damper on my market returns. Perhaps this kind of goal would be more realistic in a longer time frame.
Coming up are my financial goals for 2009! Did you make any financial goals for 2008? How did you do?