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 - March 2004 ($142,292, +$2,287)

Contributed by mm | April 2, 2004 10:36 AM PST

SUMMARY

My monthly net worth growth is slowed to $2,287 or a mere 1.6% over that at the end of February. Although I still save solidly, the fluctuation in the stock market, especially the declining value of my stock option holdings, dragged my bottom line growth velocity. I do bring the retirement time closer by a notch though: the Month-To-Retirement reading is unchanged at May 2016.

MONTH-END BALANCE SHEET

See definition of balance sheet line items here:

  Jan-04 Feb-04 Mar-04 Change Change %
Cash & Equivalent  $            953  $         1,193  $         1,803  $            610 51.1%
Saving  $       15,548  $       15,448  $       12,079  $        (3,369) -21.8%
Brokerage  $       21,577  $       22,007  $       20,174  $        (1,833) -8.3%
Roth IRA  $       10,822  $       10,941  $       15,269  $         4,328 39.6%
401(k)  $       12,005  $       12,811  $       13,588  $            777 6.1%
Stock Option  $         2,268  $         3,146  $         1,306  $        (1,840) -58.5%
ESPP  $         1,291  $         2,582  $         3,873  $         1,291 50.0%
Home Equity  $       67,193  $       67,995  $       68,798  $            804 1.2%
Other Assets  $         9,550  $         9,400  $         9,250  $           (150) -1.6%
Payable (Receivable)  $         3,558  $         3,699  $         4,078  $            379 10.2%
Reserve Funds  $        (1,693)  $        (1,984)  $        (2,334)  $           (350) 17.6%
Loans  $        (2,959)  $        (3,147)  $        (2,133)  $         1,014 -32.2%
Tax Liability  $        (3,860)  $        (4,187)  $        (3,562)  $            625 -14.9%
Net Worth  $     136,252  $     139,905  $     142,192  $         2,287 1.6%
Liquidation Value  $     110,156  $     113,455  $     116,097  $         2,641 2.3%

INCOME STATEMENT

Total operating expenses for the month is $4,395 with the only exception item as the $500 charge for my Las Vegas vacation (big chunk of the vacation was paid in the month of February though). Overall spending remains in tight control.

BALANCE SHEET

My balance sheet has some substantial changes in the last month for several reasons: First, I sold my RJR holdings and subsequently use the proceeds to fund of my wife's Roth IRA account. Second, my stock option account lost $1,840 during the month due to distressed MSFT stock price. Aside from that, my balance sheet follows the normal pattern of increasing 401(k), ESPP and home equity account value.

INVESTMENTS

As I noted in a dedicated analysis of my portfolio holdings at the end of March, this month is a choppy ride for my actively managed portfolio: I was once close to $1,500 under where I started March but later recovered all the losses (my actively managed portfolio actually earned $212 for the month). My bearish option play helped to stablize my portfolio a lot.

My 401(k) asset allocation continues to be defensive. The account finished March topping $13,600 with 70% of assets in money market, 22% in international equity, 6.8% in OAKBX, a domestic blended fund and a tiny 0.5% water-testing play in RYLPX (Royce Low Price Stock).

IMPORTANT PERSONAL FINANCE ISSUES

- April 16 is the one-year anniversary of my profitable OCA purchase. By then, all my equity positions in my actively managed accounts will be either enjoying long-term profits or shielded in a tax advantaged account like Roth IRA. I'm not eager to sell OCA even though it is my largest holding in the portfolio (40% of asset value).

- My wife and I are looking for a part-time nanny to take care of our 2-year old. It may bring some pressure to my daily expense control as we are looking forward to a monthly spending of $500-$600 for the foreseeable future.

- As I discussed earlier, I am in the process of pursuing refinancing. However, I have not got confirmation from EverBank on my final rate so this is still a big question mark. If things are smooth, I will close the refinancing by the end of the month.

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