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 - January 2004 ($136,252, +$3,668)

Contributed by mm | February 1, 2004 9:20 PM PST

SUMMARY

January 2004 is an uneventful month in my journey to early retirement. With largely flat performance in investment accounts and regular saving, my net worth advanced $3,668 to end up the month at $136,252 (an increase of 2.8%). Liquidation value surpassed $110,000 by the end of the month. The Month-To-Retirement dropped one notch from last month's June 2016 to May 2016.

MONTH-END BALANCE SHEET

  Dec-03 Jan-04 Change Change %
Cash & Equivalent  $           918  $           953  $             35 4%
Saving  $      10,671  $      15,298  $        4,626 43%
Brokerage  $      21,329  $      21,827  $           499 2%
Roth IRA  $        7,604  $      10,822  $        3,218 42%
401(k)  $      11,308  $      12,005  $           696 6%
Stock Option  $        1,211  $        2,268  $        1,057 87%
ESPP  $        9,805  $        1,291  $       (8,514) -87%
Home Equity  $      66,392  $      67,193  $           801 1%
Other Assets  $        9,700  $        9,550  $          (150) -2%
Payable (Receivable)  $        3,491  $        3,558  $             67 2%
Reserve Funds  $       (1,455)  $       (1,693)  $          (238) 16%
Loans  $       (4,979)  $       (2,959)  $        2,020 -41%
Tax Liability  $       (3,411)  $       (3,860)  $          (449) 13%
Net Worth  $    132,584  $    136,252  $        3,668 3%
Liquidation Value  $    106,875  $    110,156  $        3,281 3%

INCOME STATEMENT

Total operating expenses for the month is $3,830, the lowest since June 2003 due to 1) there is no extraordinary item for the month, and 2) my wife and I greatly decreased our dining-out expenses.

My vested options appreciated by $1,057 in January, while is partially offset by loss of $679 in my actively managed accounts.

BALANCE SHEET

There are several noticeable changes in my balance sheet. First, with the conclusion of another ESPP cycle in early January, I liquidated my $10,000-some ESPP holdings on January 5th.

Second, I used the ESPP sale proceeds to contribute $3,000 to my Roth IRA account, pay back some of the credit card loans and add more cushion to my savings account. (I still expect to maintain $2,000+ balance in my ShareBuilder Visa Platinum card to take advantage of the 0% APR offer until August.)

Third, the tax liability account increased by around $450 mainly due to accrual of the capital gain tax of my ESPP sale.

As always, I continued to contribute to 401(k) account and ESPP account (for the new cycle).

INVESTMENTS

S&P 500 gained 1.7% to close at 1,131 by the end of the month. PPD lost 12.7% following a lukewarm quarterly production report. FDP gained 9.1% apparently because it is selected as a Fool.com Hidden Gem.

Speaking of my 401(k) account, I still play defensive by putting 75% of the balance in Money Market account. I did, however, reallocated 25% of the 401(k) portfolio to ING International Value fund (NIIVX) to hedge the risk associated with the falling dollars. (So far, it lost 1% compared to my cost basis, which hurts my 401(k) accumulated gains.)

IMPORTANT PERSONAL FINANCE ISSUES

- In the month of February I expect to start sweeping my saving funds to VirtualBank eMoney Market account. I expect this move to add at least $50 to my net worth in the next 12 months.

- With various tax forms coming almost every day in January, I will start preparing for my tax in February. I decided to use free tax filing service from TaxAct.com. As I expect I owe IRS about $1,000, I don't expect to physically file the tax return until late March or April.

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