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 - November 2004 ($188,372, +$11,947)

Contributed by mm | December 2, 2004 1:09 PM PST

SUMMARY

What a fabulous month! Rising MSFT stock price and gains in my other investments pushed my net worth forward by almost 12 grand, making November the second fastest growing month after August. By November end, my net worth was clocked in at $188,372. And I'm happy to announce I have achieved the stretch goal of $180,000 I set at the beginning of the year; I am looking at low-190,000s as my target for the year now. In addition, my Month-to-Retire calculator says I can expect to retire by December 2015 at this speed.

RESULTS

(Please refer to definition of balance sheet line items.)

  Sep-04 Oct-04 Nov-04 Change Change %
Cash & Equivalent  $         7,111  $         2,517  $         4,611  $         2,094 83.2%
Saving  $       24,740  $       31,977  $       33,653  $         1,676 5.2%
Brokerage  $       14,870  $       14,079  $       16,650  $         2,571 18.3%
Roth IRA  $       14,060  $       13,722  $       13,449  $           (273) -2.0%
401(k)  $       24,370  $       26,022  $       28,562  $         2,540 9.8%
Stock Option  $         8,940  $         9,919  $       13,252  $         3,333 33.6%
ESPP  $         6,685  $         1,139  $         2,278  $         1,139 100.0%
Home Equity  $       73,221  $       74,068  $       74,917  $            849 1.1%
Other Assets  $       15,797  $       15,522  $       15,247  $           (275) -1.8%
Receivable (Payable)  $            162  $         1,834  $         1,273  $           (561) -30.6%
Reserve Funds  $        (4,421)  $        (4,615)  $        (4,451)  $            164 -3.5%
Loans  $        (8,826)  $        (7,143)  $        (7,206)  $            (62) 0.9%
Tax Liability  $        (3,434)  $        (2,618)  $        (3,864)  $        (1,246) 47.6%
Net Worth  $     173,275  $     176,425  $     188,372  $       11,947 6.8%
Liquidation Value  $     143,411  $     146,061  $     156,847  $       10,786 7.4%

BALANCE SHEET DISCUSSION

1) Cash/Saving: The increase is, by and large, caused by the liquidation of some stock option grants on November 19.

2) Brokeage and Roth IRA: My actively managed portfolio recovered a good part of previous months' loss as MO, PPD and OCA all reported handsome gains during the month.

3) Stock Option: The increase reflected an encouraging run of MSFT from $27.97 at October end to dividend-adjusted $29.81 ($26.81 plus $3 dividend). The actual increase is more than what is reflected in the stock option line as some of the gains are locked by my recent sale.

4) 401(k): 401(k) account growth is higher than previous months'. The growth reflects the fact that starting in November, both my wife and I are actively contributing to 401(k). 401(k) also benefitted from some investment gains.

5) Loans: The current balance of $7,206 includes $4,600 "free money" from the 0% APR Discover Card balance-transfer deal I took in August and my monthly charges -- all charges are paid in full every month to avoid financial charges.

6) Tax Liability: $1,246 increase in tax liability reflects the accrual of tax exposure brought by the increased value in my actively managed portfolio and stock option account.

INCOME STATEMENT DISCUSSION

We spent an exact $6,000 in November. This number is in par with my previous month's outflow. We outspent a bit in dining out to cope with the double-income-one-kid life and bought some gifts for our kid's teacher. Some dental expense kicked in this month too.

IMPORTANT PERSONAL FINANCE ISSUES IN MONTHS AHEAD

- I made some good progress in building 2005 budget so far but I still need to fill some holes. By all means, by December end I should have it ready along with a new set of 2005 personal goals.
- We are planning a trip between Christmas and New Year to "burn some money." A good celebration for the achievement we are making this year.

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