reverse engineering

Reverse Engineering to FI | Monthly Goals

Near the beginning of each month on this blog, I publicly post steps from my FI-centric reverse engineering plan.

I publish goals online as a personal guide for each month, and to show how effective goal-setting can be. Truthfully, I’ve always been a goal-setting, note-taking kind of person. The planning side began when I started writing business plans for personal businesses during school.

Since I’m tryna reverse the daily crush of trading my time for money, it was only right that I create goals to break the process down into smaller steps. Eventually, I’ll spend my time working from home as a blogger while my dividend income pays for my time.

Though I’ve been publishing goals online for over a year now, admittedly, I’ve only recently started to realize which goals are worth focussing on, and which goals should be tossed to the wayside.

To be honest, I started this blog at the beginning of a mini-retirement, so this has very much been a trial and error experience.

In the early going, due to a lack of cash flow coming in, I was sort of confused in regards to what to blog about.

But now, thanks to a more clear perspective about what I want to accomplish, I can prioritize the goals accordingly.

This is no longer a trial and error goal-setting experience—this is my monthly plan to reverse engineer my way to FI.

Here’s what I’m focused on in August:

Reverse Engineering to FI | Monthly Goals for August 2017 Click To Tweet

✍🏻 Publish 5 blog posts

Though I only published 2 blog posts in July, the reason for more than doubling last months content output is simple—there’s two dividend income updates to publish this month.

I anticipate writing 5 in total this month because I have an extra post planned.

Ideally though, while working, I’d like to publish 4 blog posts per month minimum.

📊 Increase blog page views

I used to include increasing page views in the early goal-setting posts, however, I stopped because I looked at it as an uncontrollable measure. But now that I’ve become more experienced with blogging, I realize that increasing page views is somewhat controllable. I’ve been able to notice how page views are generated, and I’ve seen how each of the acquisition methods can be impacted. For example, if I want to increase referral traffic, I must comment on more blogs. If I want to increase traffic acquired through social media, I must be more active on Twitter and Pinterest. If I want to increase organic search traffic, I must publish high quality content more consistently while simultaneously optimizing older posts.

The point is that page views can be increased by how much effort is put in.

📱 Grow Social Media (the society within society)

The more time I spend sifting through content from the FI blogging community, the more I feel like I’ve found a society within society. It’s just so refreshing to read what like-minded people are focussing on.

Regarding the RTC Twitter and Pinterest accounts,  I look at those networks as personal media outlets where I get to share all relevant online information about investing, blogging and FI.

Furthermore, an engaged social media network can lead to increased page views and more opportunities. It has the potential to help with sponsorships and/or freelance work, if that’s your goal. It benefits the sponsorship partner and yourself when you have a larger community to share content with.

📈 Grow Dividend Income Business

As mentioned in my investment strategy to build a cash flow machine post, I make very frequent equity purchases. In fact, I make sure that my dividend income increases every two weeks.

In the early going of creating a dividend business, it’s important to get a baseline amount of cash flowing in. This is because it puts more money in your brokerage account in addition to the regular cash investments you’re already making. With a low cost broker, an extra $50 to $100 a month can go a long way.

Stay tuned for the dividend income updates for July and August this month.

💵 Save a minimum of 21% of my net income

Though I originally set the goal of a 10% savings rate in my financial goals for 2017, I increased the target to 14% in July.

4% was a nice increase and all but it’s not realistic to save 10% of my income and expect to reach FI at an early stage in life, at least not at my age.

reverse engineering


In the end, every single day serves as a constant reminder of how I’d prefer to spend my time.

It comes down to spending time on what’s best suited for me, and what’s best suited for me is working from home buy dividend stocks and writing blog posts like a nerd. However, the reality is that I’m many years from reaching that goal.

At present, I feel as though I have to make a decision. On one hand, is going the high paying career route to save the most and escape the fastest. On the other hand, is putting all energy into blogging because I’ve already proven ways to earn money from it.

Perhaps I could earn more taking the career route, but there’s definitely the chance that I could be earning an equal amount online through various freelance and sponsorship opportunities. Of course, that’s only if I improved enough and worked hard enough. In reality, the best choice is to probably work harder and focus on both.

In conclusion, I think it’s important to set very specific goals and constantly remind yourself of them in order to achieve success. Once you know the specific long term goals, you can reach them by reverse engineering the process.

Questions for the readers⁉️: What goals are you working on in August? What was your rate of savings last month? Are you using the concept of reverse engineering to reach your goals?

  • Sarah De Diego

    Dear RTC,

    These all sound like reasonable goals, good luck with them.

    I’ve recently read a bunch of blog posts talking about “Grow Dividend Income Business” on a regular basis. Normally, I invest in January (when I do most of my maintenance) and August (when I have a bunch of money saved up). I haven’t been doing it more often because my broker fees are $9.99 a trade. Maybe that’s not a lot. Maybe it’s worth it for me to purchase more often. It’s something that I need to look into more.

    How much are your brokerage fees?

    Besos Sarah.

    1. Graham

      Hi Sarah,
      Thanks for the reading and supporting the goals!
      In regards to if it would be worth it for you to purchase more often, I think it’s an individual decision and depends on your goals. It’s something that you may want to talk to your financial advisor about. There are benefits to dollar cost averaging into positions, and there are benefits to lump sum investing twice per year. I would say that paying $9.99 per trade is an average cost for someone that buys twice a year. I’m currently paying $4.95 per transaction at my broker. Though I end up paying a fee twice per month, I make sure that the dividend income added stays at a higher profit margin for the year overall. I’m averaging a 35% profit margin in terms of cost to acquire dividends this year. However, that’s not to say that my strategy is the best for everyone. I invest this way both for both entertainment as well as to grow the dividend income as fast as possible. Thanks for stopping by! Hope you’re having a great week! 🙂

  • Dividend Daze

    Those goals are all very achievable. It all starts off with making goals and deciding what you actually want to do or what you want out of life. Then work to achieve those goals. Just takes time and dedication, but you will accomplish them eventually.

    1. Graham

      Hey DD!
      Thanks for supporting the goals. I agree 100% – it starts with the decision, but after that it’s time and dedication that gets you to the end result. I’m certain you will reach your goals too and I look forward to more of your dividend reports. Hope you’re having a great week!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge