“Wish you all a very happy new year! May this be a year where you achieve all your goals!”
We have been on the FIRE journey for about a year, but have not done the best we could have in 2017. We did meet our savings plan, but did really badly in investing. We did not have a proper investing plan and I believe that was the reason behind this.
For multiple reasons, I expect high volatility in the Indian stock market in 2018, especially with the markets at an all time high, state elections coming up next year and central government policy decision being influenced by 2019 elections. Another reason is that earnings have not caught up with market valuations and some economic indicators are negative – though the market is not exactly efficient. But all of these are factors beyond our control. All the more important to have a proper investment plan.
For 2018, we want to focus on what we control – how we save and invest. For the first time, we have prepared a suggested budget for the year with tentative travel costs built in. This has helped us identify what we should save as a minimum in 2018. The main item though is we have an investment plan – what assets we want to invest in and when. So here are our major focus areas for 2018.
Consolidate Mutual Funds
We are currently invested in 4 equity Mutual Funds. When I used the mutual fund portfolio comparison on Freefincal, I found that 2 funds are very similar – 44%. For now, we have identified the final list of 5 funds that we want to invest in for 2018. These will be 2 large caps, 2 mid caps and 1 small cap. We have also identified what we want to invest every month. The SIP setup has to be completed in the 1st week of January, but is very important since this will be about 70% of our monthly investment.
We have been looking to invest in land plots near my home town for some time. My father has been helping to identify some options, but we not have managed to find what we like at the right price. We want to close this deal by April this year. As I had mentioned earlier, investment in real estate is as a hedge and will be offset against building our home during retirement. This is something that is important for long term and we need to be careful where we invest in.
The other major focus area is this blog. I started this in Sept 2016, but to say updates have been infrequent would be an understatement. But hopefully I can turn this around in 2018. The aim is have at the minimum 1 post out every week. I am also planning to try out newsletters in 2018, with hopefully the 1st one out in Q1.
I am looking at some health and productivity goals which I will be focusing on in 2018. Both of us do not have any even minor health issues now (touchwood) and I would like to keep it that way. But our middles have been gaining inches and we need to start an exercise routine to at least keep it in check.
I am also looking to wake up earlier in the day regularly. I have an option to work from home and I generally get up late the days I do. I want to set a proper routine during the day so I can build some good habits like exercising and blogging.
So as you can see the theme for 2018 is on getting the execution right and building good habits. What is your theme for 2018?