The month of July is quite a drama. For the first 20 days, we were bathed in the best financial sunshine we had in recent memory: I received a couple rounds of unexpected bonus from my employer, and our sideline business was defying the gravity of slow summer seasonality and logged impressive sales. Moreover, with the Dow setting the all time high in July 19, our stock option account and self-managed account were, at one time, worth $30,000 more than they were at the end of June.
But it ended pretty fast too. With the final confirmation of the burst of housing bubble once supported by easy lending practices, and the ensuing credit squeeze and massive asset revaluation in all financial markets, our portfolio suffered massive losses. So, in the end, July was quite a disappointment -- we were only able to add a disappointing $5,217 to our net worth in this chaotic summer month.
Still, I'm positive of our capability to grow our net worth much faster for the rest of the year. For one thing, August and September are when I will see more bonus and the annual vesting of employee stock award shares, so if nothing else, I will expect more cash flowing to our bottom-line.
Also, although our July investment loss of over $13,700 is only dwarfed by a slightly heavier monthly loss back in May 2006, we are still committed to staying in the market. Even with the July loss, our investment gain in the last twelve months is in six figures. If the price is right, we are ready to move a good chunk of our cash positions to equity.
MONTH-END BALANCE SHEET
1) Our credit card balance of $37,000 is almost solely from 0% or low APR balance transfers. Long-time readers probably remember I took almost every offer I could get in last summer, and the arbitrage of borrowing at almost no cost and earning interests at about 5% APY is quite profitable in the past year. However, many deals will expire in the next 30 days, and I will of course repay these loans before credit card companies can get a dime of interest from me.
2) Our receivables are piling up but it is not a window dressing. The $18,000 receivable row includes over $10,000 in expected tax refunds for tax year 2005 and 2006 (believe it or not, a technical issue prevents me from receiving 2005 tax refund after I filed the return in early 2007), $4,000 in the after-tax value of the announced but not yet received unexpected bonus (on top of the regular annual bonus in September, which I don't know the amount yet and therefore haven't accrued for it), and some business expense waiting to be reimbursed.
- I still need to mail my check of over $10,000 for 2006 tax year Self Employed 401(k) contribution. I can only file my 2006 tax return after that, and claim my tax refund (and employee tax assistance).
- As mentioned earlier, I will repay about $15,000 in credit card balance that will soon cost me much more than the current 0% APR I have been enjoying for almost a year.
- I anticipate the vesting of one final round of stock option grants and another four rounds of stock award shares (i.e. restricted stock) in the month of August. Also, I'm waiting for a big paycheck in September that includes the annual bonus.
- Last but not least, you probably noticed the massive face-lift of the PFBlog website. It is 90% done now, but apparently I still need a bit more time to complete the work. With the completion of 6 weeks of travel in the last two months, I will have more time to read and write more content (and spend more time with the family).