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The Best of Million Dollar Journey: 2017 Edition!

Wait! What? Where did 2017 go? It must be an age thing, but it feels like as I get older, time goes by faster. I started this blog in December 2006 as a 26-year-old youngster. At the time, just married with no kids and a newish mortgage. Blink and now it’s December 2017, MDJ is 11 years old, and I’m 38 with no particular increase in maturity level. The two kids are growing up fast with the oldest already 9 years old. In that short period of time, we went from a net worth of around $200k to creating a $1M+ portfolio that generates $30k+ in dividends per year.

Writing it down, it looks like a bigger deal than it is. The reality is that reaching each financial milestone was the next logical step. Some of the key factors that work for us are: setting goals; creating the habit of saving and finding value; investing; and being open to new opportunities for growth.

The next financial step or journey for us is to work towards financial independence. To measure this, we took our average expenses over the past number of years and set that as our target for passive income (plus buffer). The number we came up with is $60,000. We ended 2016 with around $24k in dividend income, and just recently reported that we hit $34k in 2017. Hopefully, we can hit the $45k mark in 2018.

With a strong bull market since 2009, many “experts” were expecting some kind of correction in 2017. It just so happens that the exact opposite happened, the bull market forged ahead in essentially all major global indexes. In fact, a globally indexed portfolio should have returned around 9%+ in 2017. Our globally indexed family RESP returned around 9.5%, and my spouse’s indexed RRSP returned 10.5%.

The biggest surprise for me was the performance of my “play” trading account. I use this account for fun trading using technical analysis and momentum strategies. The biggest news in trading this year was Bitcoin and cannabis stocks. Unfortunately, I don’t own any Bitcoin (BTC) directly. At the beginning of the year, one BTC was valued at under $1kUSD reaching a high of $19kUSD in December 2017. I do, however, own cannabis stocks, and have for a while. This sector is being hyped due to the pending legalization legislation this summer. Combined with some momentum based technology stocks in the US, has resulted in my account outperforming this year.

So what’s going to happen in 2018? Who knows! My plan is to stay invested, but always have some dry powder available when “sales” come up. I will admit that buying good companies “on sale” is becoming more and more challenging, but I’m always shopping for a deal.

Back to the point of the post!

Here are some of the top articles from Million Dollar Journey in 2017

There you have it, my final post for 2017.  Here’s to Health, Wealth, and Happiness in 2018.

Happy New Year!

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FT About the author: FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • James Bell January 1, 2018, 9:42 pm

    Keep up the good work. Are you going to be adding to your Enbridge position in the near future?

  • Leo Ly @ isaved5K.com January 2, 2018, 9:31 am

    These are great posts to read and refer back to from time to time. Since I am also pursuing a similar path to financial independence, I find the retirement calculation sites quite useful. If I am going to have enough money to last for the rest of my life and I don’t want to leave this to chances. I want to make sure that my FI numbers are solid and my income going forward has some wiggle room for unexpected events.

    2007 had been a great year. Let’s hope that 2018 will be an even better one to come. Happy New Year.

  • Dividend Earner January 2, 2018, 9:40 pm

    Well done on your goals. You got a massive growth in dividend; from $24K to $34K. Is that all from dividend growth and new money or do you include the corporate dividend in the calculation?

    Best of luck in 2018! Do you have a favorite industry for your play money in 2018?

    • FT FT January 3, 2018, 9:10 am

      Hey Dividend Earner, Happy New Year! The growth is a mixture of dividend growth, investing new money (savings + corporate cash), and buying higher-yielding positions.

      For play money, I’m playing with cannabis, resources, and technology – we’ll see how 2018 turns out! What about yourself? Do you keep a play money account?

      • Dividend Earner January 8, 2018, 3:34 am

        @FT
        No play money account here. I don’t think I could succeed. I would have to figure out a strategy to avoid listening to all the noise around weed and bitcoin and the next tech. I would probably be the last one to get on board after all the money has been made … and I got off way too early with Apple when the iPhone was first getting released …

  • GYM January 4, 2018, 2:55 am

    Haha, “with no particular increase in maturity level”
    Where does the time go! Happy new year and best wishes for 2018!
    I’m feeling slightly FOMO with cannibis stocks (especially since you are invested in it LOL) and WEED.TO (interestingly enough not so much with Bitcoin), maybe I’ll have a very small play money amount as well to satisfy the speculator/gambler in me.

    • FT FT January 4, 2018, 8:19 am

      GYM, i like momentum sectors/stocks within my play account, but honestly not a fan of the current vertical cannabis sector move. Gravity works eventually! I’d prefer a slow and gradual growth in the sector but there is so much hype that I assume that retailers are jumping in hand over fist.

  • mike January 15, 2018, 7:06 pm

    well done with your goals!! goes to show with a plan. anything is possible!!

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