Saturday, 27 July 2019

Goal Setting: Why it matters in investing (and everything else)

  Posted at  July 27, 2019 7 comments




Goals. What determines those who achieve and those who don't?

Chances are you would have at least seen the S.M.A.R.T goals acronym being thrown around at different places such as work and in school. Why is goal setting such an important exercise during the course of our lives? We will examine more closely how it can apply to different areas of our lives, e.g. investing, healthy living, work/projects etc.

Time is a precious resource and unfortunately a limited one. Everyone will be demanding our time but we only have 24 hours a day. But we need more like 40 hours a day (a TwoSet Violin reference, google them for some comic relief). We have to learn to say NO to some people asking us for our time and also need to focus on what is really important.

S.M.A.R.T goals exactly help to crystallise these.

A Season of Changes 
(Background context to my need for re-setting my goals)

First of all, apologies to my regular readers for being late in updating my blog. I have been pre-occupied with a few changes in my life currently:

1. Career/ Job Transition:
I was previously retrenched earlier this year, but I was lucky to secure a job within a short time frame. It was a blessing in disguise. In short, I got out of my comfort zone from my previous job and am now given a chance at a new company to learn and deliver the work handed to me. The job comes with some perks of its own, for example a free gym access which previously was unavailable/not so convenient to me. As such 2 Goals will likely arise from here. One would be to learn well and get up to speed in my current work. Second would be to get healthier, eat well and build some muscles in the gym.

2. K.C. is now attached:
As the header stated, I would need to start to set aside a separate fund for marriage and probably down payment for HDB. More research would likely help to put some realistic and meaningful numbers to the plan. Don't worry. K.C. also realised that he has not very consistent in posting... and so.....

3. More focus on Investing and Blogging
As I would need to focus on my work, I will unlikely be wanting to be distracted on doing any investments while during work hours. My new office is also a half-open concept, so it will be really tough and definitely not right to be doing any personal stuff during work hours. As such, any investment decisions I make would be made after work hours.

Also, I will commit to having at least 2 post per month on alternate weekends. I want to avoid having too many posts but also to achieve some consistency in posting more quality content. If there are any other interesting ideas to post about I will be posting them on the other 2 weekends. I am also currently having night classes on every Monday, Wednesday and Friday so time is really limited on my side.

So, what is S.M.A.R.T goals? 

There is some debate how this acronym came about. But when I first encountered it, I was a Junior College student and the person who introduced it to me was my General Paper (GP) teacher who encouraged me to read widely and arguably had a eye-opening effect on my critical thinking. I was exposed to many good reads and concepts at that point in time:

- The Clash of Civilizations by Immanuel Kant (Religion and cultural differences will be the major source of world conflict)

- Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (There are different tiers to human needs, survival comes first)

- Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil (God/religion is Dead!)

- How to win Friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie (Basically, how to genuinely build relationships and why those lead to successes in life)

- The Practice of Management by Peter Drucker (How to effectively understand the business world, and have effective management)

Particularly, SMART goals is attributed to Peter Drucker as a means of writing management's goals and objectives. The term SMART goals was first used in the Nov 1981 "Mangement Review" (George T. Doran).

Regular readers of this blog would have realised by now that Goal-Setting is a big thing and down to the very essence of this blog: this blog exists solely as a diary, a record for me to be accountable to my investment goals (click link), and also life goals.

Specific: target a specific area for improvement.

A Goal must be specific enough. You have to know what are your pain points in life. What are some areas of life that must improve (which would otherwise result in some pain down the road)? Management goals are very targeted and root cause analysis would help to pinpoint certain areas of a company that needs to improve: safety, time management, cooperation, listening, communication, organisational structure etc.

For personal areas, it can be health, career, relationships, money management, investing. If we don't feel a NEED to change, chances are the goals won't last. There must be some negative consequence attached to not being able to get the goal, or a positive result that would be the fruit of us attaining our goals. These would motivate us to go further.

For example, one of the main pinch points for me was approaching age 30 but still having a pathetic bank account statement. I recognised that I had to do something about it. As per my page "About K.C."

My Financial Goals are to:
1. Ensure positive cash flow.
2. Gain assets (stocks and reits) that generate passive income.

If possible, we can further break down into more specific details later on as much as possible.

Measurable: quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress.

It is best to put some numbers as a benchmark or yardstick. For example, if we want to save money, we won't know how much is a good target without knowing how much as a % we spend of our salary and on what category of items. Similarly, we also need some numbers to grapple with especially in investing since the timeframe is so long and could span decades. How do we know we are still on track?

For example, I set a long term target charted out on Excel with specific projections (which can be reviewed as we move along)


PROJECTIONACTUAL FIGURES
YearAgePortfolio
Projected 2%/yr
Current capital
injection Rate/yr
Estimated
Dividend 3%
Actual Portfolio
at end of yr
Actual Capital
Injection/yr
Actual
Dividends
Dividends carried
over to portfolio
201831$12,000.00$12,000.00$360.00$15,941.59$16,928.40513.25513.25
201932$24,600.00$12,000.00$738.00$33,831.24
(till date)
$16,093.21
(till date)
$355.45
(till date)
202033$37,830.00$12,000.00$1,134.90


204861$849,129.48$12,000.00$25,473.88
Total$849,129.48$372,000.00$311,751.57

Assignable: specify who will do it.

There is no question that for personal goals, the person to do it will be us. Will you be REALLY doing the activities that will lead to your goals? We know ourselves best.

Realistic: state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources.

We can aim for the sky, but it likely will not be attainable and therefore is useless to us. It should also not be a too easily achievable goal but should give us a little stretch and a bit of challenge to get there.

Timeframe: specify when the result(s) can be achieved.

This is by far one of the more important components of SMART goals. If we do not set deadlines, things just never get done. We will lose focus and even lose track of our goals. Our goals will just keep get put off. I think Nas Daily does a better job at illustrating this point:


I have set my goals, have you set yours?
(If these goals are not SMART enough on this blog post, I will redefine and go more specific later on)

1. Career/ Job Transition:
My goal will be to be competent by 3 months and proficient by 6 months in my learning curve at my new job. There are 4 software and a technical library I have to be good at. I will want to be familiar with them by the 3rd month.

I also have a new goal to hit the gym twice a week. I will start baby steps to hit it once a week first.

2. K.C. is now attached:
K.C. will set up a separate fund for future family purpose (wedding, HDB). The amount to put in will be to be confirmed (TBC) since my new employment has jumbled up previous schedule of budgeting. Instead of 23rd each month, it will now be done on the 13th. 

3. More focus on Investing and Blogging
K.C. will blog on the 2nd and 4th weekend of the month. Any additional posts will be posted on the 1st and 3rd week of the month. Meanwhile, I remain committed to finishing my night classes until March 2020.

I have set these down so that I will be accountable to myself, as well as my readers. There is no backing out now. If you have any resources on how much to prepare on getting married, how much to save for HDB, do share with me! Will be looking to tap on the experience of more experienced investors and friends :)

Until Next Time,

K.C.
If you like this post, you might like our facebook page as well. I'm also on Investing Note.



Disclaimer: The views expressed, opinion and information in this article are strictly for informational purposes to encourage educational discussions only. It is important to conduct your own analysis before making any investment decisions based on your own personal circumstances. You should take reasonable measures such as seeking independent financial advice from professionals and/or independently research and verify the information that you find on "30 Year Old Investor" before undertaking any important investment decisions. No content on this site constitutes - or should be understood as constituting - a recommendation to enter any securities transactions or to engage in any of the investment strategies presented in our site content. We do not provide personalised recommendations or views as to whether a particular stock or investment approach is suitable to the financial needs of a specific individual. No representation or warranty expressed or implied is made as to, and no reliance shall be placed on, the fairness, accuracy, completeness or correctness of the information or opinions contained on this website. "30 Year Old Investor" shall not be liable whatsoever for loss or damages of any kind arising from the result of any use, reliance or distribution of the articles or its contents from information contained on this website. 

7 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. @latemonkey:

      Haha not so fast yet..! just official only haha some way to go

      Delete
    2. Yes, better take your time. I don't know how people do it these days, having to spend so much money on just one day! And HBD flats are not getting any cheaper. Erm, better don't take too long ... need you two to contribute to the national birth rate ... your new national service. :-)

      Delete
    3. Haha yes.. will take my time to fully research.. cos it is gonna cost a bomb. But I would prefer not to have a lavish wedding. Would prefer to downpay the HDB that would last instead of spending it on a single day.

      haha. xD new NS LOL. Btw I MR liao from old one

      Delete
  2. Gongxi Gongxi Mr and Mrs KC! :D :D :D

    It is just a matter of time :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. UN, haha I hope so too! Planning ahead to meet that need too.

      Delete
  3. One of the best article ever readed! Keep it up. Can Read About Private Reits

    ReplyDelete

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You don't need to pay anyone/company to have a plan of your own and work towards achieving Financial Independence. Only we alone have no conflict of interest with our own money. "30 Year Old Investor" is a personal blog about a Singaporean's savings and investing journey.


Being the average Singaporean, K.C. is also interested in good food, a little bit of politics and a good slice of humour.

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Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The views expressed, opinion and information in this article are strictly for informational purposes to encourage educational discussions only.

No content on this site constitutes - or should be understood as constituting - a recommendation to enter any securities transactions or to engage in any of the investment strategies presented in our site content. We do not provide personalised recommendations or views as to whether a particular stock or investment approach is suitable to the financial needs of a specific individual. No representation or warranty expressed or implied is made as to, and no reliance shall be placed on, the fairness, accuracy, completeness or correctness of the information or opinions contained on this website.

"30 Year Old Investor" shall not be liable whatsoever for loss or damages of any kind arising from the result of any use, reliance or distribution of the articles or its contents from information contained on this website.

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