2016: Did I Meet My Financial Goals for This Year?
1. Accumulate $100,000 of net worth - ACHIEVED!
2. Cut expenses - NOT ACHIEVED
3. Career growth - Achieved!In line with my career ambitions, I wanted to grow the company's performance this year and rise up the corporate ladder. Although a (title) promotion didn't happen, I was offered 3 other job opportunities which were really tempting as they came with higher pay. In the end, I decided to stay status quo, and was later rewarded with a pay increment in my current job. This year had been extremely hectic at work and I'm glad that my efforts have been recognised by senior management.
4. Improve investment performance - Achieved, somewhat.Upset with my lacklustre performance (was I to blame it on bad luck and timing, or to blame myself for not having spaced out my purchases?), I told myself that 2016 was the year that I HAD to climb back up. I spent money attending a fair number of investment courses, but got disillusioned by many of them who gave just a teaser preview of basic concepts that are available online for free. I also made the difficult decision of cutting my losses on some counters - the mixed feelings between converting paper losses to materialised ones were painful to deal with - which I felt was a necessary evil. To try and make up for my losses in 2015, I tried my hand at trading only to get burnt a little further.
2016 was a difficult year for most investors I know as well - most are either down or flat, although I do know of a few who did well (and who humbly attribute their successes to luck and timing). We had the China crisis, oil slump, Brexit, Donald Trump and rising interest rates all taking place within this year alone. It was a sobering lesson for me indeed.
While my performance did indeed improve somewhat from 2015, it still wasn't not good enough for my own standards. I also missed out on 2 major winners as I didn't have time to complete my research before their stock prices rose miraculously - both would have given me 30% - 60% of returns each if I had bought it the day after spotting them. Oh well. Given my nature to not buy something until I've researched it enough, this would have happened again even if time was reversed.
With the gains from my 3 winners mitigated by the losses on my 3 biggest losers, my portfolio barely moved. (Paper) losses are now at 13%, whereas materialised (real) losses are a small 2%.
I'm thankful for this, as I was afraid it'll be worse, and I clearly still have a long way to go in terms of making better investments. I'll be spending more time learning and revamping my investment strategies until I find something that truly works for me.
5. Grow my portfolio - Achieved.
All in all, there were good and bad. I missed some boats; I caught some, but more importantly, I've learnt a lot more about myself and how my emotions get in the way of my investments this year. That's a long story, so I'll leave it for another blog post, but do look out for my next post on 2017 reader's financial resolutions!
How was your 2016?