It was an incredible year in the stock market. In 2017, the DOW increased by over 24%, the S&P 500 grew by 19% and NASDAQ was up 28%.
I can hardly believe it, in a little over 13 months our investment accounts have increased by $125,000! I have to let that sink in. 2017 also marked a record year in the Miller household for the amount of money we poured into our investment accounts. We both maxed out our work retirement accounts (401k and 403b), ROTH IRAs, and our family HSA account. We contributed a whopping $53,750 into those accounts. Between our contributions to both taxable and tax-advantaged and stock market returns, January 1, 2017, to December 31, 2017, saw our investments balloon by $90,603.
2018 started off strong but between February and March, our accounts took a dip. We decided to take the opportunity and dump even more money into the stock market. It’s hard to say how 2018 will end, but the market is unlikely to see the same gains by years end. How well the stock market performs depends so much on the economy, unemployment, legislation, political client and many random factors I could not even begin to list.
Goals for 2018: Increase our contributions to our investment accounts to $58,000. Increase our savings account balance by $5,000.
Saving consistently is important. But I am still amazed by the power of the stock market and compound interest. Historically, the 30-year return of the S&P 500 has been roughly 11%. But as recent as 2015, the S&P 500 only rose by 1.38% that year and we all know the 37% loss in 2008.
I hope this does not stop you from investing. We are investing for the long term. It doesn’t matter what happens this year or the next year. What we care about is how the markets perform over the next 20 or 30 years.
What are your financial goals for this year?