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 Update - March 2008 ($833,298, +$5,976)

Contributed by mm | April 8, 2008 5:54 AM PST

networthicon.jpgThe first month of net worth gain came rather late in 2008. Helped by continued strength in my day job and sideline business, our net worth edged up 0.7% in March. While we are $62,100 off where we started the year, we still increased our wealth by over $150,000 in the last 12 months.

Again, the market is testing the patience of every participant and spectator. If anything, I'm getting very good at dealing with market turbulence -- daily five-figure portfolio loss doesn't bother me much these days.

Now I don't think I'm a role model when it comes to investing -- some can easily discount me as market timer by keeping a big cash reserve, or being on the fence between stock picker and fund investor -- but I'm glad I'm true to myself and put my money where my mouth is. There are and will continue to be hits and misses, and it will surely take a long time to get better in the game. I won't mind people giving me more criticism or feedback along the way.




- Our entire credit card balance is either on 0% APR balance transfer deals or charges in the last 30 days that will be paid off before the due date.
- Our tax liability continues to decline due to shrinking unrealized capital gains.


- Our tax preparers at KPMG have filed for automatic extension of our 2007 tax return. While I have collected all forms, I still need some time to put together my organizer and spend time with the firm to complete my tax return.

- The family hasn't vacationed since Christmas, so we are set to go to Seattle and LA in late April/early May. Great to catch up with some friends, bring our kid to another Disney park, and regain some sanity in our busy life.

This Post Has Received 89 Comments. Share Your Opinions Too.

york Commented on April 8, 2008

Not a bad month all things considered with the market. Are you seeing any negative effects in your side business related to the weakened economy?

Deborah Commented on April 8, 2008

Large cash reserve is a good idea. Some markets looking for a return of capital is better than a return on capital.

fred Commented on April 8, 2008

MM, you sound bitter...

Todd Commented on April 8, 2008

Speaking as an ex-banker, that is the primary criteria of lending, Return OF the capital, before return ON the capital. One of the first pieces of advice I received in banking was: 1) Laddered Treasuries for the investment portfolio, and 2) make good loans, and the bank will run itself.

Anyway, congrats on returning to the plus side !

Anurag Commented on April 25, 2008

I think, the tax liability needs to be increased for 401K / IRA amount, unless that is reported on a tax adjusted basis. Atleast adjust for tax rate of 15% (the way healthcare and social security are going, it will most definitely be higher by the time anyone in his 30's retires) - I like your blog and openness.

James Cox Commented on May 11, 2008

After starting my own finance blog a little while ago, I have been inspired by the detail and structure of your blog to make a few changes to my own. Well done and keep it up. Excellent reading.


Wuyi Tea Commented on May 15, 2008

Indeed, return OF capital is the primary concern, and then the return ON the capital (as Todd stated above).

I hope you had fun on your vacation!

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