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Goals for 2013 review

Goals for 2013 review

The old year is almost over, the new one knocks on the door. It’s time to review our goals and set the new ones. The 2013 year has been a great year and very fast as well. I cannot believe it is over.

(MORE: Goals for 2013 Review)

It was a great year. I am satisfied with my achievements, although not all of them were completed fully. I am still happy for what I have done.

Debt Reduction


I wanted to be more aggressive in reducing my debt, nevertheless I am satisfied with this goal. I was able to reduce my debt by 24% this year or $7,163.44. It could be better, but considering all other liabilities I have, this is a good result.

Debt Reduction

(MORE: My 2014 Market Forecast)

Options income


My goal for 2013 was to be able to generate $100 monthly income from options. I accomplished this goal and exceeded it greatly. In average I was able to generate $203.66 monthly income. I allocated $5,000 for options trading. I was able to make $2,443.88 which is a 44.91% profit for 2013 trading options; (100.52% annualized gain).


Below see a chart of my annual income from options. The red line represents the goal.

Options Chart

(MORE: Returns as of Dec 2013)

Maximize ROTH Contributions in 2013


I accomplished this goal, although it was thanks to cancellation of my Lending Club account. I transferred all allowed money to ROTH and the rest to my taxable TD account. One can call this a Pyrrhic victory.

Dividend income goal


My goal was to reach at least $100 monthly income in my taxable TD account. I am short a few dollars as my income reached $85.85 a month. My ROTH IRA income jumped from around $600 a month to another $1,046.33 annual income making it a $87.19 monthly income in ROTH.

Both accounts are delivering me $2,125.57 in dividends annually ($177.13 monthly).

Dividends Income

(MORE: Investment Tips – Patience is the Most Powerful Ally)


2013 was a successful year investing-wise and also debt reduction-wise. It wasn’t easy as I could see a lot of great opportunities in the market and due to paying off my debt I had to pass them. But the market will provide a lot more opportunities in the future.

I still will focus on building my portfolios delivering great results in dividend and options income and I will strive to be more aggressive in saving and paying off my debt.

I hope you had as successful year as mine or even better and I hope you were able to accomplish all your goals too.

Let me know about your achievements and success!

Another milestone reached! My account reached 10k!

Another milestone reached! My account reached 10k!

I reached my goal for 2013 today!!

My goal for 2013 was to recover my TD account after I almost wiped it out and reach 10,000 dollars balance.

A few months ago I haven’t expected reaching this goal at all. Since I decided to pay off my debt first I stopped contributing to my TD account regularly. I couldn’t see a way how to reach this goal.

But it happened.

Goals 2013

What’s next?

Although I understand that the value of my TD account may fluctuate and even drop below my 10k mark due to the market volatility, it may always recover back in some sort. This is why officially I stop contributing to TD account and focus fully to my ROTH account.

Since I trade on margin in my TD account I will only contribute from reserves to avoid maintenance or margin calls.

My next plan for the rest of the year will be to continue paying off the debt and contributing as much as I can to ROTH IRA account.

Once I finish with my debt I will contribute as much available cash as possible to ROTH IRA and continue purchasing dividend paying stocks as well as building cash for option trading. I will contribute as long as I reach the ROTH limit (currently $5500 annually) and if I still have available cash I will contribute that remaining cash to TD account and Lending Club.

I wish all of you happy investing and hope you also reached your goals. Did you have a goal or plan which you haven’t thought you would accomplish but it yet happened?

My 3rd Q 2013 saving, debt eliminating, and investing results

This year is passing so fast that sometimes I feel like I am unable to keep up with it. Once again it is time to share with you a progress I have made this quarter on my goals.

If you follow my blog, you may know that during my accounts rebuilt period I changed my course and made debt eliminating my priority number one. As Warren Buffett says if you want to be a successful investor you must stay out of debt. He even says to avoid credit cards entirely.

Why I haven’t listened to him earlier?

Debt elimination progress in 3Q 2013

I started working on my debt last quarter, so the results are not that bright as I would wish. I started to use all free money to eliminate debt. How I hate that debt! If it hasn’t existed I could have a plenty of free cash which I could use in the stock market! And today, when once again investors are dumping everything it creates great opportunities.

Today morning I watch CNBC, right at the moment when they spoke about Warren Buffett buying stocks during the worst panic in 2008 when everybody was selling. Today, just the dividends delivered him almost 10 billion of dollars!! In just five years!

The following chart shows my debt progress since the previous quarter.


Debt Success


I made some progress on my debt which finally started showing retreat. The biggest achievement however was eliminating my debt on American Express card. This debt was literally killing me. I had to pay between 900 and 1600 monthly towards this debt and I had to use my reserves. Once my reserves were depleted I realized that this was a point to say a resolute no to this debt. I used refinancing plus paying all extra amount down and as of this writing I only owe 400 dollars. I am expecting eliminating that last piece by the end of the month.

But I am not out of the forest yet. Once my Amex is paid off, I will move on to paying other credit cards. But there will be no huge pressure. I will once again use all extra money to pay that debt off as quickly as possible.

The following chart show all my cards and debt I carry on. After my Amex is gone I will use a snowball method eliminating the smallest debt first and moving on.


Debt Cards


As you can see, this goal shouldn’t be that difficult to reach.

My 3Q 2013 Investing Goal Results

Since I decided to attack my debt with my full financial power, I had to suspend my investing goals. Thus a little progress has been done. However, I still made money and increased my overall balances.

How could that be possible?

DIVIDENDS and options income!

My 3Q 2013 Dividend Income

Yes, my accounts were able to continue growing due to dividend income, which I diligently reinvest. I wasn’t able to reach my goal in dividend income and I might not be able to reach it by the end of the year due to my debt elimination priority, but I am satisfied with the result so far.

My goal was to reach $100 monthly in dividends at TD account.
I am currently at $84 a month. Not bad however.

My ROTH dividend income reached $63.99 a month.

You can follow and watch my dividend income on My Trades & Income page.

I like to see how my dividend income has been doing this year compared to my previous year. I started tracking it and the chart below shows a current year 2013 vs. 2012. I am satisfied with the growth of my dividend income.

Dividend income

(Note, the chart reflects dividend income on TD account only)

My 3Q 2013 Options Income

I reached my options income and continue successfully increasing it. Although in August I realized somewhat larger loss due to liquidating my ARR puts, it was still greatly offset by other income from options. I plan on selling covered calls and puts in the next quarter to increase my income beyond dividends.

Options Income

My 3Q 2013 Overall Goals Summary

For the rest of the year I will however strive to continue investing as much as possible to reach my overall goal in investing:

My Goals

Let me summarize my plan and goal for the future in steps:

  1. Pay off the debt and stay debt free.
  2. Re-build an emergency account.
  3. Raise TD account to $10,000 balance.
  4. Continue Dividend Growth Strategy on TD account and reinvesting all dividends. Reach min. $100 a month in dividend income.
  5. Continue covered calls and naked puts on TD account and reinvesting all proceeds, maintain or increase income to $100 a month.
  6. Once TD account reaches 10,000 dollars balance, deposit all available money in ROTH up to ROTH IRA limit. Everything beyond the limit will be deposited to TD account.
  7. Use Dividend Growth Strategy on ROTH and reinvest all dividends.
  8. Continue contributing $100 per month to Lending Club account and reinvest all proceeds.

Below is a review of all my accounts and investments:

I was able to increase a value of my accounts by 13%. Not a bad result considering that all my free money go towards debt and a very little to investments. My overall dividend income increased to 5.1% (from previous 4.9%)

You can continue watching my all open and closed trades on My Trades & Income page and check my holdings on My Holdings page.

My 3Q 2013 Lending Club Investment

My Lending Club account continues performing excellently. I am truly amazed and more than satisfied. The account is gaining a great momentum in growth and growing faster and faster. A portion of money in the account are my daughters for their college, missionary work (if they decide to go), or retirement.

Currently this account reached 15.96% NAV or 12.81% XIRR.

Lending Club

The picture above shows my account at Lending Club. Note zero late or default notes as I continue actively managing this account and trying avoiding all notes which may potentially turn bad. You can also follow my Lending Club account on my Lending Club Holdings page.

I hope you had a great, successful, and prosperous saving, budgeting, investing and debt eliminating period as I had this 3rd quarter. I wish you all to have even better upcoming season.

Tell me how was your last investing, debt eliminating or money-saving period?

My Investments 2Q 2013 results

My Investments 2Q 2013 results

I am publishing my 2Q 2013 results of my goals and investments. The second quarter was very bumpy. The first part of the quarter was quite successful, the second part wasn’t. Much of the investment gains were erased by the correction on the markets. This value drop had a little impact on dividends. This is why I like dividend investing because no matter what happens to the principal of your portfolio, your income is intact (unless the company cuts the dividend).

From the tables below you can see that my dividend income increased to $2,098.68 annual dividend income ($174 monthly). Nothing extra ordinary, but improvement.

My 2013 Overall review

Here are data from all my accounts I have:

My 2013 goals progress

The table below shows the progress of the goals:

My 2013 Options Income

The chart shows that I accomplished another goal and that is to create a $100 monthly income stream by selling options. I actually exceeded the goal. The chart below shows the progress of my options income.

Options Income

My 2013 TD account value

The TD account value stalled this quarter due to some significant drops in REIT sector which I am significantly exposed to. As I said above, I am fine with this as long as my dividend income stream is intact.

The chart below shows the account value YTD.

Account value

My 2013 Dividend Income

I am still building my dividend income. This goal may however be postponed due to more important goal – the debt elimination goal.

The chart below shows my YTD Quarter dividend income:

Dividend income

My 2013 Portfolios vs. benchmarks

This chart indicates that my 2nd quarter wasn’t able to exceed the benchmark. I believe however that in long run I will be able to grow faster.

Portfolio vs Benchmark

From the chart it is apparent that my portfolio was growing well, but the REITs selloff erased all gains. Although this may look bad, to me it is not. This is only a short term drop which in long term is insignificant.

My 2013 Debt reduction goal

I must admit I failed this goal during this quarter. I lowered the debt, but at the end I increased it a bit again. Overall I am still lower than at the beginning, but not as I wished. So the next quarter my effort will be even harder in eliminating the debt.

Once again I could see myself how important the zero debt is when aggressively investing. The point is that if you want to invest aggressively, take riskier trades, use margin, and so on, you cannot be carrying debt.

During this quarter price correction on the market I faced a small maintenance call on my TD account. I had to pay circa 300 dollars to keep the account current. I could do it using my reserves, but it was a hard lesson because without reserves I would be in a big trouble. Paying large amounts in debt payments and satisfying margin calls for example can kill your effort.

My failure was due to our Disneyland trip. I saved money for this trip, but not enough and we exceeded the budget. So this quarter my effort in eliminating the debt is reinforced and I will work even harder towards this goal.

The charts below show my debt elimination progress:

Debt reduction

And here is my debt allocation chart:

Debt allocation

I follow my debt allocation because my plan is to use zero APR credit cards and low interest loans to refinance my debt and lower the interest rate over time to speed up my debt repayment effort. I will be using this strategy in the next quarter as much as possible.

I hope you had a great 2nd quarter yourself and that you achieved your goals or at least got closer to them. I hope my third quarter will be even better.


Posted by Martin April 02, 2013

My Investments 1Q 2013 results

My Investments 1Q 2013 results

This 1st Q 2013 statement is my first publicly presented results and it will be a bit longer than the reports I will be posting in the next quarters. When I was thinking about how I wanted to share with you my results I was considering providing monthly reviews. Later, I decided to use quarterly reports as usually published by businesses.

It was always my dream to invest and trade stocks as a business and this quarterly evaluation may be a step toward this goal. I will be publishing my results on quarterly basis and try to keep it as close to the companies results as possible while keeping simple and readable.

Read More

Posted by Martin March 10, 2013

Lending Club Goal 2013 Completed!

Lending Club Goal 2013 Completed!

I would like to announce that I completed my first goal I set for 2013 and that was to reach 14% annual return rate. I am very happy about it, because with this rate of return, my investment will double every 5 years!

My other goals are going well too. It looks like I under-sized my goals and was too generous. But that is OK. If I meet all my goals prematurely I will adjust them for the rest of the year.
Read More

Posted by Martin January 03, 2013

Dividend achievements

So the year 2012 is over. The King is dead, long live the King! A new year is here and I am quite optimistic amid all the tax hike issues and Obama screwing this beautiful and blessed country. My 2012 year investing plan was either non existent or chaotic. I was finally able to spell out a plan for 2013, the goals I wanted to reach. So here is just a quick review of my dividend income from last year:

I started rebuilding my damaged portfolio in July 2012 and after some time of consolidation I was able to start contributing and heavily buying dividend paying stocks. As the chart above indicates, my dividend income started growing steady and fast. I believe I should be able to reach my goal in 2013 and that is to meet and exceed $100 monthly dividend income.

The chart below is monitoring the 2013 dividend income.

I will be re-posting this chart at the end of the month in my new “My Goal 2013” blog category.

Happy Trading!

Posted by Martin December 18, 2012

My Goals 2013

We are heading towards the end of 2012 year and it is time to review the progress of the goals we made last year and set a new set of goals for the upcoming year.

I hope you all had a great year and that the next one will be even better.

In past years I barely set my goals publicly so this upcoming year will be my first approach to do so. In the following lines I will try to describe my goals and set the way for monitoring the progress.

My investing achievements in 2012

Those of you who read my blog may know that I have several investing accounts with different investing purposes or strategies. I would like to review them and describe my achievements and changes I want to implement in the following year.

Lending Club

Investing with Lending Club was one of my greatest achievements and a great success. I was able to develop a strategy which protected me 100% from defaulting or late notes and helped me to achieve a great rate of return of 13.39%.

My 2012 goal with Lending Club:

My goal was to reach 10,000 dollars of account value and I met this goal.

My 2013 goal with Lending Club:

During 2012 I focused my savings and learning to Lending Club. In 2013 I want to focus on my TD account instead. In Lending Club account I will contribute only $220 monthly and reinvest all proceedings. I want to reach min. 14% annual rate of return. You can continue watching my progress on this page which is updated online, (well anytime I download data from my Lending Club account).



Currently I am not planning on focusing on this account. I will continue on doing what I am doing right now and basically mirroring a strategy being used in TD account. I didn’t have any specific plan in 2012 for this account either.

401k account

I will continue contributing 3% to my 401k (which is equal to my employer’s match), monitor my holdings, and rebalance every 6 months. That is basically all I can do anyway.

TD account

This account will be my main account I will be focused on during 2013. It is a taxable account, but I still want to pay more attention to this account over my ROTH IRA. You may ask why I am preferring a taxable account over a deferred account. There are the following reasons:

  • I can contribute as much money as I want, while ROTH has a limit, which is what I want to do this year.
  • I can use leverage which is prohibited in IRA accounts.
  • I can apply strategies which are not allowed in IRA accounts such as shorting stocks.
  • I can withdraw any cash in any amount I want, whenever I want, and use it any way I want.

That doesn’t mean I want to neglect my ROTH, not at all. I just want to focus on ROTH next time as soon as I reach my goal in TD account.

What was my achievement in 2012?

I learned a lot about trading options. I made good money, but I also lost them. I got caught in a trap every beginning investor and trader gets caught. I thought I was the king of option trading and slowly gave up all my gains.

You can see this process on the following chart. See the spike at the beginning? I started trading options with $2500 in my account and I reached almost $8000 (the very beginning isn’t reflected on the chart, since I started tracking this account later on when the account was at $4500 value).

When I was back at $2000 I realized that this wasn’t what I wanted. At that time I read a book “The Layman’s Guide To Trading Stocks” by Dave Landry (you can check his website) and I shortly communicated with Dave via emails. I described him my frustrations, his responses were funny, but he also gave away a great advice: “Stick with what you are comfortable with”.

That was the breaker. I knew it was dividend investing and that there was no quick rich method in trading. Thus I went back to the roots of investing and decided to stay with the most comfortable method = dividend growth investing.

My 2012 goal for TD account:

Honestly? I had no goal or nothing solid. Time to change it.

My 2013 goal for TD account:

  1. Rebuild my portfolio.
  2. Reach min $10,000 value of the account (after I reach this goal, I will start focusing on my ROTH IRA account).
  3. Reach my dividend income of $100 monthly.
  4. Reach options income of $100 monthly.
  5. Raise cash to 30% of my account value.

Dividend income

The following chart shows my current income (it doesn’t have December complete as of this wiring). I will continue investing into stocks paying dividends at 3% or higher rate. The companies must have a great history of paying and raising dividends (with few exceptions in REITs). I will be purchasing only during price drops (either significant corrections or when the price retreats to support level). That’s a change in my approach. In past years I wanted to be always 100% invested. Not anymore. I want to wait for my price. When the stock reaches that price level I will use a formula (described here) to calculate my entry price. If the stock reaches that price I will buy.

I will do whatever it takes to increase my monthly dividend income to $100 a month and reinvest all proceedings. I will use leverage to boost my investments during this early phase of rebuilding my account.

Options income

I am not dashing options trading although I lost money. I understand risks of trading options, but I also see great potential options offer. In 2013 I will focus on learning basics and trading covered calls (CC) or cash secured puts (CSP). I will be selling puts or calls against my current holdings as well as buy-write covered calls strategy (buy-write CC strategy means I will be buying a stock and write a call option against it expecting the stock be called away – option exercised). I do not have 2012 track of my options trades and there were so many trades that recreating the track would be an enormous work, so no chart here. I will however track my 2013 results of option trading and post it. The goal will be reaching $100 monthly selling covered calls or cash secured puts.

The chart above shows my plan for 2013 and progress. I added December 2012 as my starting point.


Recently I realized the value of cash. In the past years I hated having cash idle in my account and I was striving being always 100% invested. Then a great opportunity arrived and I had no cash to act. Next, since using margin, I got hit by margin calls. I wanted this changed. My new strategy is contributing to the account when the holdings grow or the market is in uptrend, but leave it as cash in my account and use it as a collateral against put selling or buy-write covered calls. This strategy helped me a lot. I no longer experienced margin calls and I was able buying stocks which I wanted at better price. My goal in 2013 will be to raise cash to 30% and maintain such cash allocation (currently my cash is only around 4%).

I hope the next year 2013 will be prosperous, the United States as a country and republic will be able to steer away from socialism and communism and that we will all prosper. I like and love all of you who strive on your own to reach your goals and work hard. I like learning from you, because that is what helps me a lot reaching my own goals. Thanks for stopping by and reading.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!