I have been keeping track of my net worth and sharing my gains and losses on here for years. Honestly, I can’t believe how long it took me to start tracking my net worth. 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. Last month was probably one of my biggest gains ever. I think this month is going to be negative. We ripped through the credit cards this month! Take our usual expenses and throw on top a few ski trips and our final payment for Disney (next week) and I don’t think this is going to be a great month.
My Net Worth Calculation
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. I am hoping a healthy tax refund gets me to the number I’d like.
- 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 February 1st to March 1 my net worth increased 2.39%.
- Year to date my net worth has increased 19.04%.
I am shocked to see any type of growth, so I dug a little deeper. As expected my revolving debt JUMPED, however, my steady payments for long term, amortized debt, as well as a healthy jump in my marketable securities sailed me through this month.
How was your month?