The New Year is a great opportunity to reflect on life and set new goals. One of the best ways to look forward is to first look back.

How was your 2014? Was it a banner year or are you just as happy to be into a new one?

It’s important to start each year by visualizing where you want to be in the future. Clarity of vision is what allows you to create powerful, focused goals.

But goals remain just that if you don’t take meaningful action toward reaching them. Remember, you’re in the results business!

Whether you’re part of the next wave of baby boomers nearing retirement or currently retired, I’m sure you would appreciate having more freedom, security and peace of mind during your golden years. The big question is how to achieve these things.

This was what my dad had in mind when he walked into his local CIBC branch in Claresholm, Alberta in 1978 and asked for his first investment loan. While his strategy and game plan would evolve over time, what drove him to start was his desire to have a secure, worry-free retirement.

Being a no-nonsense kind of guy, he didn’t waste his time and energy creating a bunch of flowery goals.

He only had one – to earn an average 10% compound annual return for as long as he could. No easy feat, but nonetheless, achievable in his eyes.

This single mantra has been what he’s strived to achieve over more than 35 years of market ups and downs.  While he’s learned a lot about investing and tax minimization over the years, nothing speaks louder about his vision than his results.

Dad was able to increase his retirement assets from $200,000 to $800,000 prior to retiring at age 65 in 1986. But that was just a warm-up.

What started out as a necessity turned into his retirement hobby and he’s earned a compound annual return of 11.8% over the past 28 years. His retirement nest-egg is now $9 million.

How did it all happen? Simple – my dad translated a clear and powerful vision into a specific and measurable annual goal that he focused on over a long period of time. His vision eventually became his reality.

The best part about this story is we can all do the same thing – in our own way.

It starts with a vision.

What’s yours?

Doug

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