After an uninspiring 1st half of the year, our net worth finally got a much needed boost -- the $18,000 monthly improvement in July is the fourth time we experienced five-figure monthly growth. Admittedly, our monthly result is helped by the slight recovery of MSFT stock, but it's our savings from employment and business income and portfolio gains that contributed to the majority of the gain.
Besides the portfolio gains (and associating tax reserve increase) that are evident in the balance sheet, I was also able to take advantage of a $10,000 0% APR balance transfer deal offered by MBNA to increase my cash position. Although the transaction is associated with a $75 balance transfer fee, I will still be $200 ahead if I just deposit the money to an FDIC-insured savings account like EmigrantDirect's (currently yielding 5.15%), and hold onto it till March 2007, when the 0% APR honeymoon period will end.
Partially aided by the balance transfer, our liquid assets crossed the psychologically important half-a-million mark for the first time since we sold our house in October 2005. Back then, our $527,000 asset was shadowed by liability of $263,000 (mostly mortgage). Today, should we park our half-a-million portfolio entirely in high yield money market accounts, we can safely expect annual return of over $26,000. The $36,557 sitting in our liability bracket? They are all in 0% or low APR balance transfer deals and tax reserves that does not cost anything.
August is typically a strong month -- I recorded $12,062 net worth increase in 2004 and $23,272 in 2005. This year should be no exception since several batches of my employee stock option and stock awards will be vested. I typically cash out all stock vested awards immediately, so my savings account will surely see a lot of cash inflows.
Who wants to bet when we will be half-millionaires?