My Personal Finance Journey

Personal finance observation, musing and decisions in a journey toward financial independence by 2020 with at least $3 million.


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Monthly Review - December 2003 ($132,584, +$8,123)

Contributed by mm | January 4, 2004 3:41 AM PST

SUMMARY

December is a great month for my net worth. First, the conclusion of the Microsoft SOTP provided a pleasant year-end bonus. Second, the slow recovery of OCA stock helped to put a good close to my portfolio for the year 2003. Adding my monthly savings, my net worth leapt forward $8,123 for the month and closed at $132,584. Liquidation value also surpasses the $100,000 mark for the first time after I purchased my home to end up at $106,875 for the year. The Month-To-Retirement reading dropped one more month to June 2016 from last month's July 2016.

MONTH-END BALANCE SHEET

  Nov-03 Dec-03 Change Change %
Cash & Equivalent  $           695  $           918  $           224 32%
Saving  $        8,715  $      10,671  $        1,957 22%
Brokerage  $      20,111  $      21,329  $        1,218 6%
Roth IRA  $        7,516  $        7,604  $             88 1%
401(k)  $      10,579  $      11,308  $           729 7%
Stock Option  $           344  $        1,211  $           867 252%
ESPP  $        8,066  $        9,805  $        1,740 22%
Home Equity  $      65,642  $      66,392  $           750 1%
Other Assets  $        9,875  $        9,700  $          (175) -2%
Payable (Receivable)  $        2,668  $        3,491  $           823 31%
Reserve Funds  $       (1,105)  $       (1,455)  $          (350) 32%
Loans  $       (5,648)  $       (4,979)  $           669 -12%
Tax Liability  $       (2,996)  $       (3,411)  $          (415) 14%
Net Worth  $    124,461  $    132,584  $        8,123 7%
Liquidation Value  $      99,079  $    106,875  $        7,795 8%

INCOME STATEMENT

Total operating expenses for the month abated to a more normal $4,882 for the month comapred with last month's skewed $6,468. Fueled by the gains from the SOTP, pro forma saving from ordinary operation raked in $5,407 for the month.

Investment income from actively-managed accounts are $1,182 for the month, and my vested options appreciated by $919.

BALANCE SHEET

There is no significant position change in the balance sheet. Most gains flew to the Savings, Brokerage and ESPP line. Outstanding loans continued to be high at around $5,000 due to my intention to fully exploit the 0% APR status of my ShareBuilder Visa card and the timing that each month end sees the most credit card balance. Tax liabilities went up a bit due to stock appreciations and SOTP.

INVESTMENTS

S&P 500 gained 5.1% to close at 1,112 in this month. My investments in OCA provides some relief after a disappointing November. Also, RJR posted a third monthly gain in a row.

Still, I'm keeping most of my 401(k) balance in money markets. I'm testing water in the ING International Value fund (NIIVX) to hedge the risk associated with the falling dollars.

December saw the end of yet another ESPP period. It is the first time since I become eligible that the period-start MSFT price is lower than the period-end price, making my ESPP gain more than accrued. The gains are recorded for the month, after taking necessary tax accrual.

IMPORTANT PERSONAL FINANCE ISSUES

- I finally purchased medical insurance for my parents visiting us for the next three months. The premium is $747.60 for two persons with $2,500 deductible and $500,000 limit. The insurance is from IMG Global. I discussed my comparison shopping experience in a prior post.

- As soon as the ESPP shares become available I will sell them. I do not want to risk waiting till the next earning release for a potential gain. I would rather hold on my gains and see cash.

- I will be pretty busy in the good part of January in my job but after that I will start to work on my 2003 tax return. At this moment I believe I have a good command of my tax liability -- I underpaid about $1,200. I should incur no penalty because I paid much less tax in the year of 2002.

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