With another month in the books it is time for me to calculate my net worth and share how it has changed month over month and year to date. I am not sure how many people actually track their assets and debts outside of the personal finance world, but I am sure that if more people did the state of America’s finances would be in a better place.
Thoughts Before Calculating: I usually have a feeling as to how my family has done over the past month. I am pretty sure this is going to be a negative month. March 2019 was an amazing month that included a skiing trip and disney! Two very expensive items.
My assets are pretty simple:
- Emergency Fund – My goal is to keep an amount in cash that The Wife and I believe is needed for a real emergency amount rather than a specific amount linked to monthly expenditures. At this point it is a quite a bit lower than I’d like it to be. Last month I wrote, “I am hoping a healthy tax refund gets me to the number I’d like” well that tax return went right to the trips!
- My Dividend Growth Account – I am finally back into undervalued dividend growth investing and I am very excited to share my screens and purchases! Year to date I have been KILLING it. I have been able to get out from underneath some shitty trades and things are turning around.
- My Wife’s Roth IRA – Nothing special – just a mixture of cheap index funds and individual companies that capture my attention.
- My 401(k) – Recently I went back to a long term allocation rather than trying to market time.
- Wife’s Mutual Funds – This was an amount that was given to my wife from her deceased grandparents. They were horribly mismanaged until I stepped in, putting them in low expense vanguard mutual funds. She and I both look at this account as a super emergency fund. In January of 2019 I moved a good portion of this account to cash, not because of marketing timing but because we may have a liquidity need that I don’t want to be beholden to a time like Q42018.
- My House – I increased the value of my home starting in 2018 3%. I have decided to leave it flat in 2019, if The Wife and I sell it it’ll just add a large jump in the net worth statement.
- My Traditional IRA – Just a few stocks that have captured my attention.
- Physical Gold – In 2018 I decided on buying a small amount of physical gold every month or two. After doing some quick math, I am getting killed in transaction costs. I set up a capital one 360 account to save the amount I would be buying in gold and I will make a larger purchase less often.
- Cryptocurrency Account – Earlier in 2018 bought a tiny amount of Bitcoin. By the time my initial payment cleared bitcoin had dropped 40%. I am not exactly sure what I am going to do with this account just yet. Right now I am going to ignore it.
- Cash Surrender Value Life Insurance – I am not a “buy term and invest the difference” kind of guy. Mainly because no one actually invests the difference! I have been building my Cash Surrender Value for a number of years, but I never captured it on these statements. This year I’ll be adding/updating this line item.
- My Law School Loans – I still have a significant amount of law school loans but they are locked in at 3.5%, so I have no real rush to pay them off. I’d like to get the monthly cash flow back but at about the $35,000 it would be a tremendous hit to liquidity. I figured out last year that my student loan company, NELNET, was misapplying my extra payments but that is all fixed now.
- My Mortgage – I live on Long Island (and it’s on, not in) so the odds of me ever prepaying this down, especially with a 3.375% 30yr fixed is unrealistic. I just chip away month after month, year after year.
- Credit Cards – My favorite card is my American Express Premier Gold Card, whose fee I fight every year. I open and close other cards to get ridiculous offers but right now I am rolling out of them with nothing on the horizon.
- My HELOC – A good portion of it was to capitalize The Wife’s Business. I decided to keep the debt of the HELOC on the balance sheet, but ignore the corresponding asset (the removed checking account). Starting last month, I have been putting a lot of cash flow into paying this asset down. Without a substantial change this will take years to pay off, but after last quarter’s shit show I realized I am not comfortable with this much debt on my books, even at ridiculously low rates. I am not sure I’ll keep up with it for the entire calendar year, but right now it is my plan.
Net Worth Increase/Decrease
- From to March 1 to April 1 my net worth increased .91%
- Year to date my net worth has increased 20.12%
Green is definitely better than red! Given all the added expenses I had in March it was great to see some positive movement. I think a lot of the reason it even went green vs a BIG decrease was getting my tax return (and then subsequently using that tax return for debt repayment vs buying shit I don’t need).