Thursday, February 5, 2015
Here is a progress report on some of the goals that I created for 2015.
Since I plan on reaching FI within four years I think that it would be good to lay out at least a basic framework of how the next 35 years might look. Even the best laid plans have flaws and need adjustments from time to time. Without a basic plan, success rates diminish so it I at least needed to put the FI ball in play. I think I came up with a conservative, attainable FI plan and will tweak it from time to time. This plan is not perfect, but it's a good start. As always any suggestions or recommendations are certainly welcomed.
Here is my FI Hybrid Model.
The Lending Club plan as I mentioned last month is a no go in Texas so I will look at some other ideas to diversify my income streams. I do qualify as an accredited investor, so that may open my options to some alternative investments. I still hope that Lending Club will become available to Texas residents sometime in the near future.
18K in forward passive income and 16k in passive income received is on track. I will continue to take it easy as I exhausted myself and my a lot capital last summer and fall chasing my 14.5k in forward income goal. It's too early to say, but I think my heavy investment in energy companies is going to work out pretty well. Once I make it past tax season, I will ramp up the purchases and hopefully the markets will provide some good opportunities.
Another financial goal I made some progress on last month was to improve the quality of companies I invest in going forward. I think my purchases in TD, CAT, and JNJ will help towards this goal. I plan to continue adding higher quality companies throughout this year. Also I sold my entire position in ARCP and replaced it with NOV.
My largest goals involve running and a lot of it. During the middle of last year, I reached a personal best of 6.2 miles or 10k. Shortly afterwards I suffered a high ankle sprain which sidelined me for two months and when I started running again in September, my right knee started to bother me. That has never happened before and while the pain disappears within a few days it comes back if I try to run over 3 miles.
Recently I decided to just keep running since the pain is more of a nuisance than an injury (so I think) and I felt my left knee starting to hurt. I'm pretty sure that this was caused my trying to compensate for my right knee. The following day both knees were really sore.
I plan on resting them a few weeks and then try a different running pattern. I am beginning to think running exclusively on the track is causing problems because of all of the turns that I have to make. This is just a hunch, but that is why I plan on running straightaways and on dreadmills in the future.
If I see no improvement with my knees, then no big deal. I will swim, bike, hike, or something else. What I won't do is do is give up on cardio as my blood pressure and lower standing heart rates are very important. Nothing can replace good health and of course that includes protecting my knees as well.
Turkey, tilapia, salmon, and a lot of green vegetables are being consumed regularly so without question my diet is improving.
I read The Choice by Og Mandino which is about a man who gives up a great career in management for the opportunity to chase his passion for writing and spend more time with his family away from the chaos of the rate race.
Og also wrote an excellent book called The Greatest Salesman in the World which I have read many times and is an excellent book whether you are in sales or not.
I also read The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham which is fantastic as well, but it is not casual reading. Also the copy I read had somewhat annoying commentary from Jason Zweig which I mostly ignored.
I found this website called Coursera which offers free online course covering a variety of subjects from many different colleges and universities. I am currently taking a course on Microeconomics and find it very interesting. There are music courses, computer courses, physics (puke), and many others. I will definitely look into taking a few more throughout the remainder of this year.
Unfortunately I haven't made much progress in this category, but I have reduced my work schedule from six days a week to five and a half. Today I left at 12:00 and spent the rest of the day relaxing and watching movies with my wife who was sick today....no really she was sick not just playing hookie. :-)
Anyway the Horns baseball season starts in a week or so and I look forward to making the short drive from Houston to Austin to watch a weekend series soon. There is nothing like being outside watching or playing baseball in the spring.
Everything is going great at work and the team is kicking ass. We increased sales by 8% over last January and net profit rose by 28%. It feels great getting the year off to a good start primarily because January can be a tough month due to weather, taxes, and possibly some economic problems in Houston due to falling energy prices. I have seen no effects yet.
Overall I think I am off to a pretty good start and plan on reaching a few more goals by the end of this month.