My Personal Finance Journey

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The 2006 Financial Plan

Contributed by mm | February 11, 2006 4:16 AM PST

The annual financial planning process is one of my annual rituals that I really enjoy, and this year is no exception. I firmly believe that good execution starts at good planning, and it is always beneficial to take a step back from time to time to examine the big picture.

It may look like an act of procrastination that I only make public this annual plan in mid February. The reality is, the harder I think about the new year, the more uncertainties I see:

First, like you already noticed from our recent monthly reports, investment gains or losses have been among the top drivers of our month-to-month net worth changes -- they will continue to do now that we have over $400,000 in investment accounts.

Second, the high-paying job I have right now, while secure, has a larger portion in variable compensation. In other words, my job income can swing in five figures in either direction.

Third, my wife's choices for her personal fulfillment (full time job, family business or back to school) has its financial consequences that cannot be underestimated either.

On top of that, as we are settling in Asia, cost control has its unique challenges -- our recent experience indicates we will probably spend as much as we did in the US to maintain a good lifestyle.

Long story short, let me share the final plan. The following table encapsulates the output of the ground work to plan for our household income, expenses and taxes. For reasons I discussed before, I grayed out details of our earned income streams.

4696_2006_plan.GIF

For the first time, I'm presenting the annual plan in different scenarios. Scenario analysis appears to be the only tool I can really deploy to highlight the uncertainties lying ahead.

P.S. This follow-up post includes the details behind the numbers.

This Post Has Received 8 Comments. Share Your Opinions Too.


Anony Commented on February 11, 2006

Shouldn't you reverse the expenses from worst to best...meaning the worst case has the highest expenses and best case the lowest?

That would seem more intuitive.


2million Commented on February 11, 2006

I am guessing mm is actually planning higher expenses in the best case scenario. For example if his wife has a full time job in the best case scenario then mm probably expects additional expenses from dining out more, housekeeping, daycare, etc, but still nets a higher income so its labeled the best case scenario.

http://2million.blogspot.com


guest Commented on February 11, 2006

How about S&P drop 10% a year? Still investment gain instead of loss?


Early Riser Commented on February 11, 2006

I would keep investment gains / losses out of your financial plan. Focus on the things you can control.

http://republicanUU.blogspot.com


Dawn Commented on February 24, 2006

This is a question. I am a single parent of one 8 year old girl. I make about 16,000 or so a year at my current job which (please don't laugh) is with money managers. I am (well was) going to college full time and am relatively smart. However I have was never shown anything about credit, loans, etc... growing up and made mistakes along the way. The problem is that I need a loan for $5000.

I am figuring $1,000 to pay for my car repairs (cheaper than buying new)

$1000 to catch my rent up (I am behind because of the car which I have been making payments to the mechanic on - every penny I make)

$1000.00 for daycare for my little girl for summer so I can go to college.

and $2000.00 to put up in a bank account for emergencies so I don't have to borrow again.

Banks pretty much laughed at me.

Any clue where I could apply or what I could do? Any advice would be greatly helpful to me - As you seemed to be very knowledgeable.

Thank you,

Dawn


Jane Dough Commented on February 24, 2006

I am impressed that you have forcast your future tax burden along with everything else. I would assume that the international move would make taxes more interesting - but obviously you did your homework on that one.

http://bostongalsopwallet.blogspot.com


All In Commented on February 25, 2006

After looking at your stock portfolio and savings,
here is a stock idea that is available once in a lifetime for one to two weeks;
I presently hold 10,000 shares NovaStar Financial
(NFI). The stock closed at $26.39 2/24. At this
price the dividend for 2006 will be 37%, which will pay me $80,000 and the funds for this level of dividend are already in their bank. There is a reason the stock price is depressed, they had to delay 2005 full year and 4th qtr earnings to resolve a tax issue with independent auditors.
The earnings report is due out 1-2 weeks.

By investing a large position before the release
you will have the advantage of price target of $45
to $55 by Dec. plus locked-in lifetime dividend of 30% +.

Regards,

AllIn


Car Loans Commented on April 25, 2006

This comment is in response to "Jane Dough"'s post above. I believe, as long as your credit score is higher than 500 it should be relatively easy to get a loan. More often than not the interest rate is going to be ridiculously high but there are a lot of lenders out there that cater to sub-prime applicants.


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