Well it’s not a million just yet. It’s currently **$218,554.80** as of this labor day weekend. The stocks in this portfolio have been purchased over time since December of 2013 so it has been assembled in a little less than 2 years. Compared to the cost basis, the overall portfolio is up slightly at 1.7% which is not surprising given the current correction.

But I am ignoring all that. I am taking a snapshot of the value as of this weekend and unavailing the plan to grow this to a million. This is a portion of my real retirement savings and therefore it is a real money portfolio.

Why do this? For three reasons really. 1) I want to watch the theory unfold in real-time; to prove it can be done by the DIY’ r. 2) I believe this will be a learning process for all but especially for me. 3) Last but not least; to keep me honest. It’s easy to flit from one strategy to another so documenting it here will keep me on track as I report progress.

Here is the math behind the million dollar goal. I used the following calculator to back into the numbers.

http://www.math.com/students/calculators/source/compound.htm

**Inputs:**

Years: 15

Percent Yield: 10.3

**Initial Balance: $217,254.60 (stocks), + $1,300.19 (cash) = $218,554.80**

Monthly Contribution: 0

**Final Balance: $1,002,819**

Yearly growth amounts as follows:

1 : 241,919.66

2 : 267,782.38

3 : 296,409.99

4 : 328,098.06

5 : 363,173.79

6 : 401,999.33

7 : 444,975.56

8 : 492,546.22

9 : 545,202.48

10 : 603,488.02

11 : 668,004.64

12 : 739,418.5

13 : 818,466.94

14 : 905,966.16

15 : 1,002,819.58

Of course that paints a linear path which will never happen. Some years may be above and some years may be below the path but maybe in the long run the average will work out. Now let’s talk about the inputs.

Why **10.2%** you ask? Well the idea is to achieve a **5%** average annual growth rate on the stocks themselves along with a ~**5.2%** average dividend growth rate for the portfolio. Yes, I backed into these numbers because I wanted this to happen in 15 years however the over all return is close the long term historical return of the stock market. No one knows with precision what the next **15** years will bring so why not “set the bar” and go with it.

The figures above assume no new money is added to the portfolio. New money might be added to the portfolio but only when the opportunity presents itself (like the current environment). On average, the stock market experiences a 10% pull back once a year. Of course that is an average and this current pullback was long overdue.

If new money is added, the return calculations will adjusted so that the true and correct compound rate of return is tracked. The current portfolio spins off **$9,136** dollars a year in dividends which will be reinvested once a quarter. This averages to a dividend yield of **4.2%** for the portfolio as a whole as it is currently configured. Of course, dividends are **not** considered new money.

Currently the portfolio has 33 stock positions. Soon a link in the menu bar will appear showing the actual portfolio but for tonight… I gotta run.

Thanks for visiting…