We are quickly approaching 30 years of age and over the last 4 years we've carried out some important financial steps toward building a secure, prosperous future.
- Started retirement saving plans for the long term
- Purchased a home and added features to make it comfortable
- Started a non-registered dividend stock investment portfolio for the long term
- Grew our careers through experience and further education
- Eliminated several inefficiencies such as gas guzzling, old vehicles, and multiple bank accounts
- As of October of 2008, when the market really went to hell in a hand basket, we made the decision to borrow money tax efficiently to invest into our non-registered portfolio
- My wife went back to work full time in December of 2008 after a year of mat. leave
Financial Vision For 2009
1. First and foremost, in keeping with my stated goal #1, in 2009 we want to continue to save at least $1,000 average per month for our non-registered portfolio. Ideally I'd like to save much more than this, considering that last year we managed to save an average of $1,395/month. This will enable us to be well on our way toward our goal of the portfolio being worth $175,000 (net value after any debt) in February of 2014.
2. 2009 will see us spend a good amount of money on home-related items. We will also spend some serious money on a vacation.
3. We will start 2 TFSAs (Tax Free Savings Accounts) in 2009 and contribute the maximum amount to both.
4. Over the past 3 months I've been using borrowed money to invest in our non-registered portfolio and paying it off in large chunks with saved money. I am expecting that this buying activity is largely completed and I will slow purchases now and concentrate on using saved money to pay back the line of credit. I am happy with the fact that I have now bought a good chunk of my portfolio at much lower prices and higher yields. This obviously depends on the market, but unless we breach the S&P 500 lows of the last few months I don't think I'll get excited about the opportunity to invest as often.
5. Our dividend income within our non-registered portfolio has grown from $1,523 one year ago to it's current level of $3,524. Savings and borrowed funds over the last year have really juiced our dividend growth. Over the next year I expect that this rate of growth will slow down dramatically as we rely on companies raising dividends for growth instead of mainly new funds coming in.
What I won't Aspire To Do:
Grow Net Worth By X% - This is a pointless exercise for me because I rely heavily on the stock market for net worth gains. The market is out of my control.
Accelerate Mortgage Payments - This just ain't how the moneygardener rolls. I've chosen sides already. Having a low interest mortgage and an interest in the long term prospects of investing I've set my mortgage payments on cruise control, and I like it that way.
Follow The Crowd - I'll march to my own drummer again in 2009 like I've always done. I don't care what the majority of people are doing and why. I'm sticking to our long term plan.
What does your financial 2009 look like?