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 - February 2007 ($653,454, -$7,582)

Contributed by mm | March 3, 2007 5:31 PM PST

After several months of astronomical growth, we have a sudden change of luck in February. Our net worth loss of over $7,500, primarily resulting from a loss in our employee stock option account, ended our streak of eight months of back-to-back net worth growth for a total of $210,000. Still, we believe this month is no more than an aberration of our rapid growth of financial assets -- we still grew our net worth by more than $22,000 this year so far and our earning capabilities still remain unharmed.




- Like our last monthly net worth decline in May 2006, our misfortune this month, again, highlighted the fact that thanks to the growing size of our portfolio, our month-to-month growth is more sensitive to the general sentiments of the financial markets. We are now separately disclosing our portfolio management activities every month.

- While my daily job is still turning in reliable cash flow, we had a not-so-stellar month in February in our sideline business. Our monthly booking in February is only a third of January's, and this ranks February the second worst showing in a year. We think this is due to the renewal seasonality of our long-term contracts, and believe it will improve over time.

- The family completed its second trip of the year in Bali, Indonesia. With some incidental expenses during the trip, our monthly expense came in a tad higher than $7,000. It was a wonderful trip, and the cultural richness, nice views and very affordable living cost make the family consider to visit Bali again in the next few years.

- I'm quick this year! It took me less than 5 hours to complete the tax organizer for 2006 and send it to KPMG. Given the convoluted nature of foreign tax implications, I couldn't tell if I am due for a refund, though.

- As disclosed in last month's review, I paid back $9,000 to MBNA for a soon-to-expire 0% APR introductory offer. I'm not sure whether my credit score will slightly recover after the payoff, but I don't plan to apply for more cards right now. The next deadline: $6,000 due in August to Discover and $8,000 due in September to Citibank. (Yes, I did take advantage of many 0% APR offers last summer.)


- I will spend more time on portfolio management, and especially, on the long-term tax planning.

This Post Has Received 58 Comments. Share Your Opinions Too.

Auto loans Commented on March 5, 2007

"I'm quick this year! It took me less than 5 hours to complete the tax organizer for 2006 and send it to KPMG"
5 hours?
Damn, you're fast... it took me 3 days.

P.S: I really like your blog, I read it quite often.

P.P.S: Sorry about the shameless aff link URL, I just try to make a buck.

Steve Commented on March 5, 2007

Love to hear more about your family trip to Bali, Indonesia! To keep the financial slant going, you mentioned the affordable cost of living. Is this is a currency valuation benefit or just a lower cost vacation destination? Kids activities?

John Commented on March 12, 2007

wow, $60k in credit card debt, must be close to $3k a year in arbitrage? since you probably arent going to buy a house in the US in the near future, your credit rating doesn't matter too much. Have you done a return on time analysis? How much an hour do you make on credit card promotions?

MM Commented on March 15, 2007

John, it probably only takes less than 5 hours a year. Definitely great ROI.

John Commented on March 15, 2007

$600/hour. Nice. I don't make that much at work ;)

I'm usually in the no-free-lunch camp,(you're essentially trading in your good credit for cash) but living in a country that doesn't care about your US credit means you do get your free lunch.

Also, pretty sweet that Citi is afraid you are going to default and is going to pay you to pay off your balance!

John Commented on March 16, 2007

Irrelevant question here, but was wondering how do you maintain/publish these reports (like monthly tables, portfolios etc)? Is there any tool built or is there anything I can do with Money or Quicken?

Elias Commented on March 25, 2007

thats many money ;)

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