Friday, March 19, 2010

Goals - the cornerstone of achievement

I would characterize myself as goal-oriented, but I have a bad history of not following through with goals that I haven’t written down. In an effort to expect more accomplishments out of myself, this is my attempt to increase my level of success by not only writing them down but publishing them online. I’ve divided my list of goals into three categories according to the length of time that they segment into. Short represents the upcoming weeks to two years, medium best describes a period of time from two to seven years out, and long term is anything beyond that point.
In no particular order, my short term goals are:
§ Pass the CAIA Level 1 exam (September 2010), pass the Level 2 exam (March 2011).
§ In October, repeat being awarded the largest bonus possible per my grade level.
§ Find and start playing on a 4.0/4.5 tennis team.
§ Read the Intelligent Investor – a book that I have recommended to multiple people but that I have been intimidated to read. Also, I have a reluctance to read substantial books because I don’t want them to be finished and ask, “that was it?”
§ Plan and take my girlfriend on a vacation worthy of her…
§ In May, travel to Omaha for the annual Berkshire shareholder meeting.
§ Pass 10 Twitter followers – I am currently sitting at a very robust 1, which happens to be a New Zealand financial spammer.
§ Write a blog post that 1 person can connect and identify with.
Medium term:
§ Start a family - engagementàmarriageàchildren – in that order.
§ Earn the CFA designation - I will not let one failure set an immovable barrier in my path. I will study harder, enroll in a study program, and pass it.
§ Move back to KY/IN/OH to be closer to my family. (This will probably delight my wonderfully supportive grandmother.)
§ Get into a PhD program in finance.
§ Write a finance paper worth of 1 person’s praise or, even better, gratitude. “Thank you for writing this” is one of the highest compliments an author can receive.
Long term:
§ Surpass a $1 million net worth, after that it reevaluates by a factor of 10.
§ Start a business. Currently I want to start either a VC firm in Kentucky that would serve to add jobs to a struggling region or start a value investment company, although they aren’t mutually exclusive.
§ Travel to Oktoberfest, Spain, Egypt, Amsterdam, Munich.
Now that I have completed a list I have one major observation: by the frequency of bullets, it seems my short-term focus dominates my long-term outlook. I think that a proper long-term goal list will require more than just the half an hour that I’ve spent. I will continue to think about this list, refine it, and post updates in the future.