Goals for 2009 – Not Resolutions

Ever since I was younger (let’s call it 16 and up for arguments sake) I always thought New Years Resolutions were ridiculous because people just didn’t keep them. I usually got that weird look like when you were a kid and didn’t want to play a game or something. There really is nothing different than January 1st and December 31st beyond the mental recognition of a digit or two change on the year, and I like to think I am above that, mainly due to arrogance!

Well I thought I was the weird one until I really started to dive deep into personal finance blogs – only to find I have some great company.  Want examples that prove I may not be the weird?  HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.  All these writers seem to feel that you should not have resolutions, per se, but rather set some sort of goal.  A system that comes up a lot is one known as S.M.A.R.T. goals, which wikipedia defines as,

S Specific
M Measurable
A Attainable
R Relevant
T Time-bound

For example, rather than just saying “do better financially and personally”, I have chosen some basic topics related to my life and thought about goals and ways to reach those goals.  Hopefully I can look back 12/31/2009 and see if I hit them!

Blogging

It took me a while but I finally have a setup I like (let me know if you disagree), however, my posting schedule is erratic, to say the least. Moreover, if you look at the times that I post it is usually late at night which is not a particularly a good time to be proof reading.  While a lot of PF Bloggers give a number of readers they want by next year, I think that is really out of my hands. That is why my goal is to post 3 to 5 articles a week done a week in advance. To do this I am going to take some time on weekend mornings and do a few posts until I have enough surplus that this becomes the norm.

I’d like to do more guest posts elsewhere, but right now I don’t even write 5 posts a week so I think it is more important to build My Journey to Millions.

As far as monetization of this blog, I’d like to get a few more site sponsors, to do that I think I have to continue to make more of an effort to put myself out there rather than just a contact page.  While Twitter is a great start (Add me via HERE) I think I have to use it more appropriately and expand into ther realms of social networking.

Debt

Consumer Debt has to be eradicated as quickly as possible. The Wife and I have gotten rid of a good amount of it already, but is it enough? NO! because anything less than 100% is not enough. Rather than do the cheesy resolution of “Pay Down Debt” there needs to be a plan. I’d like to think I already posted about here and to a greater extent here. The Wife and I prepared a budget and I will better know after January 2009 the math behind how quick I will pay down the debt.

Investments

Currently, I am doing up to the match on my 401(k) while putting $100 a month into the Wife ‘s Roth IRA. By the end of the 2009 I want to have figured out how much more I can invest in qualified accounts or just put more into the Wife’s IRA, but that goal has to wait until all consumer debt is gone.  At the same time, we do not have any concernable non-qualified investments just yet. I had a trading account which I have stopped trading with because I can’t figure out this market enough to do anything than just index funds right now. So my SMART Goal is to pay off the debt then start a small (hopefully only at first) low cost index based non-qualified investment account.

Notwithstanding the above, I would want to pump up my cash reserves due to my employment situation which is highlighted in the next section.

Income/Employment

Right now is a scary time for people in my field (whether you want to look at my “field” as law or finance), this is more so in my situation, since I am literally only one of a handful of people at my firm that is salaried (everyone else is compensated based on fees or commission).  As highlighted here, the  fees are down, but not high net worth comprehensive planning, where I am still reviewing Wills, putting together mathematical models, and generally being involved in most of the agents cases.  This worries me because if I am not putting together”plans” is my job really that secure? I’d like to think so since I am still helping close six figure premium deals, but who the hell knows.

I have already met with the big bosses here, and I think my job is secure, but there is no guarantee, as such, I am going to make an intentional effort to meet with each of the 30 or so planners here to see how I can further make me an asset to each individual planner. At the same time I have set up a weekly meeting with the big bosses, on a set day of the week, at a set time – I am thinking about asking point blank, about job security, but haven’t decided that just yet.

Considering I work in the financial industry and the wife is solely commission based, I have been obsessed with multiple streams of income. One, that I have been considering (and associtedwith the investments section) is a tax-free bond portfolio. At first, I know I’ll be making NOTHING per month/quarter, but that might come in handy after 20 years or so of building. I have also toyed with the ideas of building websites, but I am just not great at coding…so we will see if that is an option.  Another way for me to make some extra cash is to start selling products or actively search for my own clients but this worries me, since I am not sure if I will lose the stability I appreciate.

I know it is a lenghty post, but I wanted something to look back on every quarter and see how I am doing.  I can’t put numbers to anything until DEBT IS GONE!  Wish me luck!

4 Responses to Goals for 2009 – Not Resolutions

  1. I agree with you also. I have a few goals for the new year including paying off my wife’s student loan, painting and furnishing our house, and starting a family. The last one is the most scary.

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