I have been tracking and sharing my net worth changes month over month and year to date since way back in 2011. I find that I honestly make different decisions knowing that I have to ‘answer’ to the unforgiving spreadsheet. For example, I have prepaid debt faster knowing that I want to see that column on the spreadsheet go down, or I have worked on side hustles harder just to get cash cleared into the system. It may not work for everyone, but I honestly believe that almost every adult would benefit from keeping a record of their net worth and updating it regularly.
Thoughts prior to looking up the inputs: Usually I am pretty positive about the month, however, I am 90% sure this is going to be a down month. There are a couple reasons. One, the market took a pretty good hit. Yes, it has come back but if you check out a one month chart of the S&P500 we are still down 5%. To boot, I hold a lot of unpopular stocks that may be down way more than the market – one of my family’s largest holdings across different accounts is AOBC (the old Smith and Wesson). It isn’t that I am realizing the losses and selling but when I mark my net worth every month it is just a snapshot.
The second drag on this month has been some out of control spending. The Wife and I booked 2 trips in the span of 2 months. While I keep plenty in the vacation fund (which does not hit the net worth since it is earmarked to be spent), there have been a lot of ancillary charges that haven’t been paid off yet. Since everything is on my American Express Charge Card it’ll all have to be cleared out by the end of March.
The third major drag this month will be The Wife’s business. Since we started it this year there have been a ton of outgoing payments with very little incoming money. It isn’t that she is doing poorly, quite the opposite, there is just a drag with regard to paying vendors and then getting paid by customers. Between this and the market I am pretty sure it is going to be a bad month!
My Net Worth Calculation
Creating a net worth statement is pretty simple. All one has to do is honestly add up your assets and minus your liabilities. If you build your net worth calculation on lies, what’s the point of even doing the exercise? I know calculating my net worth helps me keep track of my decreasing liabilities while seeing if my investments are growing like they should be.
My assets are pretty simple:
- Emergency Fund – It is a little less than where I would like it, but I don’t calculate it in terms of monthly expenditures. Rather I think to myself how much cash would I really need if an emergency happens.
- My Dividend Growth Account – I am finally back into undervalued dividend growth investing and I am very excited to share my screens and purchases!
- My Wife’s Roth IRA – Nothing special – just a mixture of cheap index funds and individual companies that capture my attention. I have started to sell covered calls within this account. Just boosts my investment capital – small (read: very tiny) droplets of capital I wouldn’t have had otherwise.
- My 401(k)* See below
- 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.
- My House – I increased the value of my home starting in 2018 3%. This was the first time since I bought the home that I even bothered to increase the value. Interestingly, The Wife and I just decided to put it up on Make Me Move for 20% higher than what I have it marked down as.
- My Traditional IRA – Just a few stocks that have captured my attention. Similar to my wife’s Roth IRA I will often sell covered calls on holdings to generate nominal amounts of cash flow.
- Wife’s Business – NEW – Just going to value this at the cash that is on the books at the end of every month. There won’t be a distribution for quite sometime, so hopefully, there is a nice trend upwards.
- Physical Gold – I decided that I would buy a small amount of physical gold every month or two from basically now on.
- Crytocurrency Account – I recently 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.
Last month I wrote,
My 401(k) is terrible with high fees for garbage mutual funds, but where else am I getting a match on my money. I am not one to turn down free cash. I decided earlier this year that I was going to change my allocation to brace for the inevitable bear market, I am going to continue to accumulate cash for at least a month or two in 2018.
Well…when we had those down days in mid-February. I deployed some cash . I didn’t change the allocation I put into place last August (50% going to cash), because I believe we are going to have more volatility going forward so if I have cash I can deploy capital when the opportunity presents itself.
- My Law School Loans – Despite being 36 years old I have a significant amount of law school loans left. They are locked in at 3.5%, so what’s the rush to pay them off?
- 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.
- Credit Cards – My favorite card is my American Express Premier Gold Card, whose fee I fight every year. I also have some minor outstanding balances that I’ll just pay down slowly.
- My HELOC – A good portion of it was to capitalize The Wife’s Business. I hope to create a realistic payback schedule in a few months when we get use to running the business.
My Net Worth Increase/Decrease
- From February 1st, 2018 to March 1st, 2018 my net worth decreased increased 1.16%
- Year to Date my net worth has still increased 1.03%
I was way off with The Wife’s business – she has been killing it! If it had not been for her the bleeding would have been a lot worse. I am really quite happy with only a 1% decrease considering how bad the markets took to February 2018.
How was your month?
May 1 Update – I decided to remove my wife’s business checking account from the equation. With that this was a negative month of -1.99% and YTD up 2%