Review of 2018 Portfolio Goals

Last year was the first time I set any Portfolio goals.  I’d heard so many good things about actually writing one’s goals down that I thought ‘Why not?’, especially if it helps me achieve those goals.

I kept my 2018 Portfolio Goals list short given that this was my first foray into goal writing.  I had three Portfolio goals in total.  Let’s review…


Review of 2018 Portfolio Goals


1) Invest at least $15,000 of new capital in the Portfolio

This was a goal I felt good about achieving at the time, as I’d succeeded at this level of investment each of the two prior years.  However, there was some doubt about reaching it again given some potential college tuition expenses on the horizon.

Well, it turned out my good feelings were justified, and the college expenses were not as burdensome as I’d anticipated.  I was able to not only invest my target amount, but better than double it!  I ended up with a net investment of $33,862.52.


2) Generate $1,800 in options income to then invest in the dividend Portfolio

This goal I wasn’t too sure about heading into 2018.  Sure, I’d generated over $1,200 in options income in 2017 in about 10 months, but I was still new to writing options, so bumping up the income level could turn out to be a reach.

I was ahead of my $150/mo. pace for the first 3 quarters of the year, but then hit a dry spell.  I got short on time, and didn’t find suitable options to write.  In addition, with a declining market in Q4’18, writing put options didn’t seem like the best idea, as I wasn’t ready to purchase several 100-share lots.  Besides, I was using the cash I normally had set aside for cash-secured put options to add to existing Portfolio positions in small chunks instead.  In the end, I didn’t have any options income in Q4 at all, and I wrapped up 2018 with $1,499.90.  This was ~$300 shy of my goal, but I still succeeded in surpassing last year’s total, and it was an extra ~$1,500 that became part of that ~$33,862 net investment from the first goal.


3) Reach $8,700 in annual forward dividend income

I started 2018 with an annual forward dividend income of about $7,317 (or $609.75/mo.).  Attaining my goal would require adding nearly $1,400 in forward dividend income over the course of the year.  This would put me at an average of $725.00/mo. by year’s end.

At the beginning of 2018 I was thinking that, at a minimum, ~$423 of this additional forward dividend income would come from $16,800 of new capital investment (at avg. 2.52% yield), ~$184 would come from reinvested dividends (at avg. 2.52% yield), and another $439 would come from dividend raises (assuming an average 6% dividend raise across the current portfolio holdings).  This would get me to nearly $8,400 given my conservative estimates.  So, I set the bar a tad higher and chose $8,700 for a goal.

Getting to $8,700 in annual forward dividend income would be possible by investing more than $15K in new capital, generating more than $1.8K in options income, by investing the new money (or the reinvested dividends) at a higher yield than 2.52%, or getting a larger average dividend raise than the projected 6%.

Despite falling a bit shy on the options income, I exceeded expectations with regard to all the other items.  I invested about double the capital I planned on, I was able to invest new capital and reinvest dividends at a higher yield than 2.52% (thanks to falling stock prices), and my overall Portfolio dividend growth exceeded my 6% target by a good margin thanks to all those generous dividend raises in 2018.

When all was said and done, I finished out the year with a total of $9,276.42 in annual forward dividend income (or $773.04/mo.) – well over $500 more than my goal.  This was a hefty 26.78% increase year-over-year.



Three goals, two achieved.  Not bad for my initial goal-setting effort.  Even the goal I did miss (options income), I didn’t miss by much.  In the end, all efforts resulted in driving my dividend Portfolio to new heights.

I’ll be setting some goals for 2019, too.  Maybe even more than three.  Keep an eye out for that post in the next week or so.


Did you set some goals for 2018?  If so, how did you fare?  What did you consider your best achievement?  I look forward to hearing your 2018 success stories.

14 thoughts on “Review of 2018 Portfolio Goals

  1. Congrats ED, that’s a great result for 2018. Personally, I think setting less goals is better as it’s easier to focus, and 3 is a great number – things can get a bit scattered and overwhelming otherwise!

    I’m not much of a goal setter in general, but I’m happy with how 2018 went .

    Look forward to hearing your 2019 goals!

    Cheers, Frankie

    1. Thanks, Frankie. I think I’m pretty much in line with you on setting goals. We’ll see how many I end up with for 2019, but 3 sounds like a good number to me, too.

  2. Congrats on achieving most of your goals for 2018. What’s cool is that you didn’t just achieve them but you hit them out of the park. Even with the goal you didn’t achieve you were able to best last year’s estimate. That’s just awesome. I too am looking forward to your 2019 goals.

    1. Hey DP! It would be hard to be disappointed with my 2018 goals results. So many things can change over the course of a year, including things that make it more difficult to achieve the goals. However, things worked out better than expected in 2018, especially with regard to the amount of invested capital, and the magnitude of those dividend raises. I hope 2019 will be just as successful.

  3. For your first foray into goal setting, I’d say that you did a pretty darn good job. You absolutely smashed the two goals, and even the third one resulted in nice growth from the prior year.

    I’m happy to hear the college costs ended up being a bit more manageable than you expected. Our youngest is off to school in the fall, and will certainly be more costly than his brother who went the trade school route.

    I’m looking forward to checking out your 2019 goals!

    1. Anytime those expenses come in less than expected, DivvyDad, I’m happy.
      I was definitely happy with achieving 2 of the 3 goals. I thought I’d go 3 for 3 up until about November. It just wasn’t meant to be. Good progress, nonetheless.
      As always, thanks for stopping in!

  4. Great job at achieving 2 out of 3 goals, especially the first one that you smashed!
    I also achieved 2 out of 3 financial goals I had, even though one of them was pretty simple – start having a budget, so I don’t know if it should count 😀
    Looking forward to see what goals you are going to set for 2019!

    1. I’d absolutely say ‘setting your budget’ counts. I’m always amazed at how hard that is for many people to do. It’s a needed piece of the financial puzzle. I think people put it off as they perhaps don’t want to limit their spending in order to balance their budget (including a savings element). But in reality, without the spending in check, they are instead limiting their future. Kudos to you for getting that done, BI.

  5. Congrats on investing over $33k! That’s nearly half the size of my dividend portfolio.
    I really like the details of your numbers – the organic growth by itself is already enormous! This is the reward for having low yielding but high growth stocks. I will also do a breakdown of my goals and will do it similar to your breakdown. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Hey DivRider… good to hear from you again! That $33K will most likely be an outlier when I look back at my contributions in the coming years, but it will certainly help juice my future dividends starting now.
      I too am amazed by the organic growth component for my Portfolio. I do tend to like companies with strong dividend growth numbers. Of course, the reinvested dividends added a nice chunk as well. I should have a post soon on my weighted dividend growth for my Portfolio. Keep an eye out for that.
      Glad you like the goals breakdown. I’ll be looking to see what goals you lay out for yourself in 2019.

  6. Who gets to say that they more than doubled their contribution in a year, wow. You worked real hard and managed to add a lot of cash to your FI fund, good for you! I’m curious to learn more from your option experiences and I’ll definitely be reading more about that! Keep up the great work!


    1. 2018 was a banner year for new capital investment, DI. I don’t see myself duplicating that effort in 2019, but I can dream.
      I’m low on cash as we kick off 2019, so that hurts my prospects for writing cash-secured put options. However, I suspect I will have some covered call options I can write in 2019. The ‘monthly options income’ post will most likely transition to a quarterly post at best in 2019, but there should be something to follow during the year.

  7. I think you crushed it ED. The amount of capital deployed is just fantastic! Although you didn’t make the options goal you made up for it in a big way!

    1. Thanks, Mr. Robot. I definitely deployed more capital than expected in 2018. I was a bit disappointed I didn’t make the options income goal considering I was looking good to achieve it for most of the year. However, it turned out to be a great year nonetheless.

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