My Personal Finance Journey

Personal finance observation, musing and decisions in a journey toward financial independence by 2020 with at least $3 million.


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2006 Personal Finance Goals

Contributed by mm | March 4, 2006 4:06 PM PST

My personal finance journey is now in its fourth year. In the last two years, I always made public my yearly goals outright (2004 goals, 2005 goals). Having a clear goal to work toward is definitely important, but when I revisit my previous years' stated goals today, I feel I crammed too many different things before and I cannot say my 2004 and 2005 goals are really "clear."

One way to set clear goals is to keep things simple, and therefore I cut my 2006 goals to two:

Goal 1: Annual Net Worth Growth of $150,000 ($12,500/month)

Goal 2(*): Annual Investment Gains of $40,000 ($3,333/month)

(*) Excluding gains or losses from employee stock option plan.

If you compare the numbers against what's in my financial plan, both are a bit higher than the medium case ($145,100 net worth growth and $35,000 investment return) I projected. This is, of course, intentional -- setting goals that are easy to meet is another sin.

From now on, I'll include a section in my monthly report to compare against these two stated goals. Below is the comparison for February Year-To-Date:

YTD Net Worth Growth: $32,278 ($16,137/month, or 129% goal attainment)

Investment Return: $5,712 ($2,856/month, or 86% goal attainment)

This Post Has Received 85 Comments. Share Your Opinions Too.


JC Commented on March 5, 2006

Seems to me like your goals should be focused on things within your power.

Annual investment gains don't fit that criteria (thus, neither does annual net worth growth).

I think goals should be about things we can accomplish on our own. In your case that might be to save $8000.00 per month. Now if you did indeed meet that savings goal but your diversified portfolio showed negative growth for the year, that should still be considered a success since you did what you set out to do.

On the other hand, if the market were unusually generous and your net worth grew by more than 150k, but your savings rate fell dismally short of what you planned, then I think that should be considered a failure.

Goals should be about what we can do, not dependent on fickle markets.

My 2 cents,

JC


raising4boys.com Commented on March 5, 2006

I tend to agree with JC on this one. It seems kind of odd to peg your goals to something that is almost completely outside of your control (I say almost, because you do have control over what you invest in, but no control over how the market overall performs).

--dad


Personal Finance Commented on March 5, 2006

JC: I understand your points. While I cannot predict how the market will go, I still feel I'm accountable for my portfolio performance. For example, I can easily get a risk-free 5% return but I choose not to do so, and I have to be accountable for the consequences (be it good or bad).


jerry maguire Commented on March 6, 2006

thanks for your great posts. i have decided to publicize my own ambitious journey to a million. your site has been the impetus behind it. thanks and good luck. looks like you are well on your way.


fatboy Commented on March 6, 2006

I agree with MM. The only problem I see is the goal in monthly gains is hard to achieve considering the unpredictability of the market in the short term. You will probably see 10 down months before you see a substantial gain that will still put you inline with your annual goal of 10% return.


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