After much contemplation regarding how to deploy my cash and how to invest in my Roth IRA, I have come to the following decisions:
1. I will pay off the mortgage for our primary residence as quickly as possible. After mulling it over my head for months, talking to my spouse, and running the numbers, I think this is the best decision for my family. Since I am the breadwinner for the family, God forbid if something were to happen to me, at least my family would have a roof over their head with no mortgage. Additionally, the interest rate is higher than the dividend yield on most dividend growth stocks so it would take some years of dividend increases to get to the same yield as my mortgage interest rate. I will invest every month in my Loyal3 account, but nothing significant. The goal is to pay off my mortgage by the end of 2019.
2. I will contribute $3,000 per year to my Roth IRA account and invest in dividend growth stocks. I had debated back and forth whether to invest my Roth IRA contributions to mutual funds or to dividend growth stocks. After posting the monthly reports for a few months, I have made the decision to invest future Roth IRA contributions to dividend growth stocks. Furthermore, I will contribute about $3,000 per year to my Roth IRA to take advantage of the tax free distributions in the future. I made the decision not to max out my Roth IRA because my primary short-term goal right now is to eliminate my mortgage debt.
It feels good to finally come to a decision about these two items, especially since I have been going back and forth about what to do. Now, it's time to implement my plan! Wish me luck!