I started my personal finance blog, myjourneytomillions, to share my personal financial situation in an anonymous way. Sometimes I will highlight things that are going on in my life that are not financial in nature. In addition, in this category I share all my net worth updates.
I know it is such a cliche statement, but I can’t believe how fast 2019 came and went! For the past decade or so, I would write down goals and objectives for myself in late December or early January, and here is the important part, go over those goals and objectives a year later to see how I have done. Most people forget that second part.
Usually I’ll apply an overarching theme applied to various parts of my life. In 2019 my theme was,
For 2019, my overarching theme would be to get back to the basics!
I am not too sure how well I kept that theme in mind as I moved through 2019. Nonetheless, for the past 10 years or so I have organized my goals and objectives into the following categories:
- Professional Life
- Blogging World
- Online Income World
- Financial Goals
- Personal Life
Professional Life 2019 Goals
I gave myself two goals:
1. Create a Quarterly Sales Tool/Idea for the financial planners in my office. This is already in the works with the first one to be approved next week. I already have 2 more ideas, and then I just need one last one for Q42019.
I am going to give myself a B+ on this one. I did 3 of these sales ideas.
2. Meet with planners that I just don’t know to see how I can help their practice. My office currently has over 100 planners. If I interact regularly with 25 of them that would be a lot. If I could bump those numbers up even a tiny bit I could effect real change in the bottom line of the company.
I am going to give myself a B- on this one. I did start to work with a lot more planners than I have in the past which I believe made a difference in the organization. It just wasn’t in the way I originally thought (meeting with individual planners), rather it ended up being in a managerial role assigning others to try and help planners.
My Law Practice
I have completely failed in previous years from taking my very small law practice to just a small law practice. I think it is mainly because I choose to focus on other things in my off time (see below). Instead of going all out with a goal that I am likely to fail on, I am going to keep things simple for 2019.
My goal is to follow up on known opportunities.
I will go with an A on this one. I kept much better tabs on following up with referrals.
I also wrote in this section,
Recently, I have had a friend of mine diagnosed with a particularly aggressive type of late stage cancer. Luckily, he followed up with me to make sure his planning was done and he has mentioned how the work we have done together has put him at ease.
He lost his battle with cancer this past summer. I am still in the middle of helping his family navigate the legal side of things. It is the least I can do for him.
I’d like to get back to the basics! This means two things to me:
1. I need to seek out like minded bloggers and discuss what is on their mind. I have not been active the in the PF blogging world in quite some time. My 2019 goal would be to comment more on other sites.
2. Continue to work through old posts to make sure they are optimized for SEO purposes (well, at least to the best of my abilities).
FAIL. I didn’t do either of those things.
Online Income World
In addition to this personal finance blog, I own a bunch of other sites that I don’t discuss often here. After speaking with my business partner we decided our joint goal for 2019 was to expand our mini-business. Once a quarter, at the end of each quarter we are going to contact dying/dead personal finance blogs and see if we can purchase them (buy low).
FAIL. While we have made strides with the business this specific goal was a complete and utter failure.
I laid out a couple of financial goals for myself this year:
The first has to do with paying down some long term debt. I have reasonably sized student loans and an outstanding HELOC, and while the interest rates aren’t particularly high I would like the cash flow back (not enough to liquidate out of the market and pay them off, but enough to make it my first goal for 2019).
SUCCESS – A. I have been able to set up an account that is aggressively paying back my student loans.
The second goal would be to continue/build on two asset classes I haven’t given much attention. The first are my whole life policies. I’d like to continue to proactively build this non-correlated asset, and I think the easiest way for 2019 would be to make a concerted effort to convert some of my blended policies. Additionally, I would like to continue my physical gold purchases.
SUCCESS – A. All year I have been buying gold and adding to my whole life policies. They were both in small amounts but I did it nonetheless.
The third goal is to get back to the basics with my dividend investment portfolio. Despite being one of the smallest parts of my financial world, it is easily my favorite. Last year, I made my $500 to $750/mo investments and I’d like to continue to do so in 2019. The difference between 2018 and 2019 I want to reduce the risk I have been taking with selling naked puts. I think if/whenI am able to roll out of the positions I am holding because of being assigned shares (as of this post $BUD and $LB) my plan is to only sell naked puts in companies that pass a similar screen that I use for my dividend purchases. This way I know that if I am assigned at least it’ll be at a good price (theoretically ). That being said, I am done selling naked puts until I am out of the positions I am in today.
SUCCESS – A. I have rolled out of some of the assigned puts (picked up others), but I have only been selling puts on companies that have increased their dividends for at least 10 years.
The fourth goal would be to keep myself open to real estate opportunities. I have talked about becoming a landlord for 7 of the 10 years of owning this site, and I really thought 2018 was going to be it (until it wasn’t), but I don’t want to just ignore that asset class.
SUCCESS – A. I took a really long way to get there but I kept myself open to real estate opportunities and I am now a landlord.
The fifth goal is really getting back to the basics – CHECK ACCOUNTS MORE OFTEN. Back in the beginning of this blog I would sign into all credit cards and bank accounts daily (if not more to the annoyance of The Wife), well as evidenced above, that just doesn’t happen anymore and it needs to!
Unfortunately this is just at a B. I have been better but not like I once was a few years back. I did check more, but not daily or even every other day.
With regard to general health I have two goals. The first to participate in more workouts that I know I am going to suck at, and those, are often those that have anything to do with high reps/high cardio. The second is to work on my flexibility/mobility. I am pretty sure it is byproduct of getting older, although I was never particularly flexible, but I find myself getting injured more due to bad form based on shitty mobility. This needs to be fixed. I am thinking once a week some type of intentional mobility/yoga routine should help.
With the first goal I am going to go with an A. I was doing more and more workouts that I knew I would be bad at when I had a membership at a CrossFit box. Then I ended up quitting, when The Wife and I got a peloton which has been great for me since it is the opposite of a workout I would choose to do. I have completely failed with the second goal as I have not worked on flexibility or mobility.
Last, and absolutely the most important thing, is time with my family. I don’t have any goals except to continue to be as involved in my kids life as much as I can which is way more than most I know (see above re: job). If I had to give myself a specific goal it would be to make sure they continue working on their sign language (my brother’s deaf so their eventual fluency is important to me).
I have continued being a very involved father, maybe more than ever which has been great. SUCCESS with that one, but I completely failed on the sign language front.
Putting it All Together
It has been a pretty amazing year with a lot of massive changes, but I think I have succeeded with most of the important goals. I am excited to see what 2020 has to hold for myself and my family – I have some pretty great goals and objectives to write up next week.