Monday, October 1, 2007

The Beginning

Goal setting.

The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don't define them, or ever seriously consider them as believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them.

Denis Watley
It always has to start there. You have to know what you want, and formulate a plan to try and achieve it.

My husband and I have been on track to meeting our goal of retiring at age 55. A fairly recent event that I wont detail here gave us some unexpected investment capital. Together we decided that I would reduce my work week at my current employer to 25 hours a week from 40, and I allocate the remainder of my work week to the management of our portfolio. My initial goal was to make enough money to replace the income that I make punching a clock, with investment income.

During the past 8 months I have made some mistakes, and had some triumphs. Obviously I am a planner. In addition, I am an organization nut. I have spread sheets for the hard facts of my progress organized. Monthly spreadsheets show my dividend income, and realized gains for each month. A summary worksheet shows the balances and cash flow of this portfolio account. I subscribed to two newsletters, and have a spreadsheet for each that tracks my gains and losses for stocks purchased based on their recommendations.

Up to this point what I haven't been able to do is find an acceptable format for logging my "soft" facts. What was the date, source and current price of that stock that I added to my watch list? Why didn't I purchase it instead of just adding it to the list? Was the price too high? Was the chart bouncing around the support line? When did I first notice the stock, and what price was it at? Who or what was the source of the pick? In other words, what criteria must this stock meet in order for me to purchase it?

While my monthly spreadsheets show that September was the most successful month I have had so far investing, what it doesn't say is why. What did I do different? What did I do well, and what could have been improved?

So, if you have made it this far through my initial blog post, you can see that part of the reason for starting this blog is to have a single place to organize my thoughts in regards to my portfolio for easy reference. There is more though. Some friends have showed some interest in what I am doing, and how I do it, so I thought this was a good way to document what is going on in my portfolio, and my mind.

In case it is not abundantly clear, I am not a professional, and posts made regarding specific stocks are not recommendations. Some of the stocks I will be discussing are high risk, and not suitable for all investors. Before investing in any stock, do your own due diligence.

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