My Personal Finance Journey

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Monthly Update - February 2010 ($984,687, +$14,331)

Contributed by mm | March 3, 2010 8:38 PM PST

6398-networth.jpgHere comes the monthly tally time again. Our financial life has been uneventful lately. We continue to save about $3,000 a month, and the rest of our fate is governed by the financial market. For this month, the market lifted all boats and my portfolio included, bringing our net worth number much closer to the million dollar figure.

I have moved away from the days when I kept streaming quotes on my desktop and spent hours and hours reading individual companies' annual reports. In the last two years, I'm adapting to a lifestyle where I predominantly only invest thru mutual funds (with Berkshire Hathaway as the only stock holding), and only look at my portfolio two or three times a month. (I do still read WSJ every morning to keep myself up-to-date of what's happening in the business world.) If anything, the financial turmoil in the last two years at least helped me to adapt to a much healthier lifestyle, even though it set me back for more than a year financially.

Without further ado, here is the month-end balance sheet:

6400-balance.jpg

And notes for this month's report:

1) I made a small modification to the balance sheet by splitting my USD-based fund holdings to equity funds vs. fixed income funds. As the table shows, I continued to liquidate my equity holdings while adding some back to fixed income funds. Of course, this is a personal choice -- the conventional wisdom is about to keep 60-70% of the portfolio in stock for my age, but I simply see no catalyst of the market goes much higher from where we are now.
2) The "Other Investments" row includes the "covered call" option we sold to hedge our employee stock option position.
3) Some asked why I didn't include a real estate line in my net worth calculation. The truth is I don't currently own a property. I sold my house in October 2005 and have being renting since.

On the personal side, February saw the coming of Chinese New Year, and the family enjoyed some good time in Dubai -- the city is a huge collection of man-made wonders and it's so much fun to see the desert, water park, snow park, shopping malls, fanciest hotels and tallest skyscrapers all in one week. Dubai is really a city for everybody. (And of course, if it fails to reorganize its debt, it will become a monument of our go-go days.)

Happy Tiger Year 2010!

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SR Commented on March 4, 2010

I am getting addicted to your updates. I am on a similar quest with the goal of $1M by end of this year. Couple of things I have done is separated 401k (tax free) and other investments. This helps me calculate how much I will have at retirement (with a hypothetical growth rate). With certain assumptions, I figured I will need $4M to 5M at the time of retirement to maintain the lifestyle.


NK001 Commented on March 8, 2010

I have been following your posts intermitently and that was one of your best posts. Makes it doubly interesting for me that we are on such a similar path. My NW is about the same (I am 34), i have been moving out of equities over the last 24 months, I rent, and have adopted a halthier lifestyle. :-). All the best!


AA83 Commented on March 23, 2010

interesting stuff, I'm sure you've hit $1m intra-day and don't even know it..

Although you should probably note that you'll pay taxes for liquidating your holdings.. which will not make you a true millionaire..

but whatever.. you're prolly in the top 1% of wealth for your age.



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