My 2017 Year in Review

Wow – 2017 you sure were a crazy ride! From all the shakeups that have occurred politically to the insane growth of the markets to cryptocurrency creating mass hysteria (in my humble opinion), 2017 is certainly one for the books! Personally I have had a lot of crazy changes this year: a new job (with a large salary increase), a relocation move that facilitates a huge decrease in expenses and a much higher savings rate, and a strengthened interest in the concepts of financial independence. I feel now, more than ever, that achieving financial independence is not just something I will hope for – it’s something I can realistically make happen if I continue to save and invest diligently!

Throughout this year, here are some of the advances I’ve made:

Financial Goals-
  • Open a Roth IRA account. – PASS; opened and fully funded for the 2017 tax year!
  • Allocate at least $700 to either my taxable brokerage account or Roth IRA(or combination of the two) per month. – PASS; initially this was a reach goal when I set this goal at the beginning of the year but thanks to my new job, I averaged $958 per month.
  • Increase my total net worth to $32,000 by 12/31/2017. – PASS; whoa buddy! Again, blew this one out of the water with $62,182.26 (as of 12/29/2017)
  • Hold taxable brokerage account balance of at least $13,000 by 12/31/2017 (Can include uninvested cash held in account). – PASS; $15,719.66 (invested amount only as of 12/29/2017)
  • Receive $300 in total dividend income. – FAIL; well you can’t win them all. Did not focus as much on adding to my dividend portfolio this year, unfortunately.
  • Allocate $200 per month to a new car fund. – PASS; new total is $3000 and growing 🙂
Health/Spirituality Goals-
  • Sign up for two 5K’s or one 10K by September 2017. – FAIL; while I worked very hard and was somewhat consistent with working out, I did not manage to sign up for a race this year.
  • Donate at least $50 per month to church or reputable charitable organization. – PASS; technically this is a fail but I came so close at $47.50 so I’m giving myself a pass 🙂
Travel Goals-
  • Allocate at least $50 per month to my travel fund. – PASS
  • Take a least 2 domestic trips/international trips and 2 weekender/road trips. – FAIL (only achieved 1 domestic trip and 1 weekender/road trip)
  • Take a solo trip. – FAIL

2017 Net Worth Reviewed

In December 2016, my total savings were $25,143.45. My total debts were $13,528.55.

My net worth as of December 2016 was $11,614.90.

This year I really did strive to increase my net worth without placing so much focus on debt reduction as much as possible. I made changes to my living situation because I really wanted to focus on saving a high percentage of my net pay in order to grow my net worth.

As of December 29, 2017, here is my financial situation:

Debt

Student loans:

$2,600.44 at 3.4%

$2,146.77 at 4.5%

$0 at 5.6% – paid off one of my student loans this year 🙂

$4,921.96 at 5.0%

Total student loans: $9,694.74

Car loans:

$0 balance

Credit Cards:

$0 balance

 Total Debt: $9694.74 (decrease of $3,833.81)
Savings
 Retirement accounts:

$33,490.60

Personal Savings:

Emergency Fund balance at $10,522.07

Investment portfolio account balance: $15,719.66

Miscellaneous Savings for various goals: $11,813.67

Total Savings: $71,546 (increase of $46,402.55)

NET WORTH: $61,851.26

What can I say other than ‘wow, what a year’! If you’ve been following my journey, you know that this is not a “get rich quick” scheme – slow and steady definitely is the way to go. While I could have spent the $46,402.55 on any number of things, I am glad that I chose to employ discipline in my spending and sought out ways to increase my income. These choices helped me cross the $0 net worth line back in 2016 and the $50,000 net worth line in 2017. It’s an amazing feeling!

Stay tuned to see what my goals are for next year – I’ll have an updated blog post on that soon. I really can’t wait to see what financial goals I am able to achieve in 2018.

What have you accomplished in 2017? Let me know!

Thanks for reading.

Image: Death to the Stock Photo with graphics added by One Woman’s Worth.

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Dividend Income Update // December 2017

December Dividends

  • Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) – $16.80
  • Amgen, Inc. (AMGN) – $9.20
  • Starbucks Co. (SBUX) – $9.90
  • T. Rowe Price (TROW) – $17.10
  • Microsoft Co. (MSFT) – $5.88
  • Intel Corp. (INTC) – $6.00

Total dividends received for month of December: $64.88

Hey folks! Another month, another dividend income update post. December is historically a higher paying month for me and this is my highest paying month to-date!

Thanks for reading.

Images: Death to the Stock Photo with graphics added by One Woman’s Worth.

Dividend Income Update // November 2017

November Dividends

  • Kinder Morgan, Inc. (KMI) – $3.50

Total dividends received for the month of November : $3.50

Another low paying month for me but I am happy to be $3.50 richer!

Thanks for reading.

Images: Death to the Stock Photo with graphics added by One Woman’s Worth.

Recent Buy // INTC

I purchased 22 shares of Intel Corp (INTC) on 10/27/2017 for $43.35 per share.

Intel Corp is one of the world’s largest chipmakers. Intel supplies processors for computer system manufactures such as Apple, Lenovo, HP, and Dell. Intel also manufactures motherboard chipsets, network interface controllers and integrated circuits, flash memory, graphics chips, embedded processors and other devices related to communications and computing.

Valuation

  • The P/E at time of purchase was 15.7, which is slightly higher than INTC’s 5 year average of 13.4.
  • Morningstar valuation: $36, rated a 2 star “BUY”

Recent Buy // MSFT

I purchased 14 shares of Microsoft Corp (MSFT) on 10/27/2017 for $85.72 per share.

Microsoft Corp is a technology company that develops, manufactures, licenses, supports and sells computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and services. Its business is organized into three segments: Productivity and Business Processes, Intelligent Cloud, and More Personal Computing.

Valuation

  • The P/E at time of purchase was 29.4, which is higher than MSFT’s 5 year average of 20.5 but lower than the industry average of 29.6.
  • Morningstar valuation: $89, rated a 3 star “BUY”

Recent Buy // DIS

 

Hey there! Wow – it has been over a year since my last recent buy . In my opinion, the market is very much overvalued and most of my core positions are currently selling for a premium. This has made following my investing strategy of buying quality blue chip companies at or below their fair value a challenge. However, there are still some companies that are fairly valued – it just takes a little digging to find them!

I purchased 11 shares of The Walt Disney Company (DIS) on 10/13/2017 for $97.59 per share.

disney, dividend investing

Disney has continued to come under scrutiny over the past few months over cord cutters and loss of revenue for ESPN. Since I last analyzed this company , Disney has decided against renewing licensing with Netflix and will eventually migrate all content onto their own streaming service. This has spooked investors but I believe this positions Disney well for the long-term.

Valuation

  • The P/E ratio at time of purchase was 17.4, which is lower than DIS’s 5 year average of 19.6.
  • Morningstar valuation: $130, rated a 4 star “BUY”

Conclusion

The Walt Disney Company is still an attractively valued high-quality stock. They have a business model that is easy to understand, are well-respected as leaders in their industry, have a great balance sheet and have plenty of room to grow the dividend rate. I’m looking forward to more opportunities to add to my position here!

This purchase will add $17.16 to my annual dividend income based on the current $0.78 semi-annual dividend.

Full Disclosure: Long DIS

Thanks for reading.

Images: Death to the Stock Photo with graphics added by One Woman’s Worth.

Dividend Income Update // September 2017

September Dividends

  • Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) – $16.80
  • Amgen, Inc. (AMGN) – $9.20
  • Pepsi Co, Inc. (PEP) – $8.05
  • T. Rowe Price (TROW) – $17.10

Total dividends received for month of September: $51.15

Happy Fall, folks! Another month, another dividend income update post. September is historically a higher paying month for me and this marks my 2nd month crossing the $50 dividend income goal. This represents a 7% increase over September 2016. I am looking forward to many more >$50 dividend income payments to come!

Thanks for reading.

Images: Death to the Stock Photo with graphics added by One Woman’s Worth.