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