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 - January 2014 ($1,663,823, +$4,273)

Contributed by mm | February 2, 2014 6:37 AM PST

Our net worth logged a meager 0.3% increase of $4,273 to ended January 2014 at $1,663,823. Trailing 12 months improvement is $183,444, or 12.4%.

6427-networth.gif

We saved about $5,000 from our wages. It is larger than normal and is helped by 1) $1,250 year-start employer contribution to Health Savings Account (HSA), and 2) my year-start lump sum HSA contribution of $4,050, which lowered my federal tax deduction.

On the investment front, our USD based accounts took a hit about $9,700 due to recent market situation. This is partially offset by $6,200 gains in our CNY-based accounts.

As we prepare our 2013 tax returns, the current estimate is we will receive around $10K refund thanks to some foreign tax credit on my bonus and stock awards attributable to my services in Asia. In this month, we made an conservative accrual of $5,000 to partially account for the expected refund.

The Chinese Yuan grew stronger over the past month. And the 0.15% exchange rate difference caused a $2,500 ding to our net worth tally reported in USD.

We also moved $58K from our investment accounts in the US to those in China, hence the large monthly swings in our cash & investments lines in the table. We feel the high bond yields and low stock market valuation presents a better investment opportunity than the current U.S. market.

Our credit card balance ballooned in the month partially because we are taking advantage of some generous sign-up offers that require a certain purchase amount. We didn't take a shopping spree -- we just charged the required amount thru our PayPal HERE device.

All in all, it's a pretty healthy month for us. How's your money working for you lately?

This Post Has Received 6 Comments. Share Your Opinions Too.


bemb Commented on February 2, 2014

Welcome back...I discovered this blog in 2010 and must have read every post dating back to 2003. Had been checking every few months for a new post and bingo! Most PF blogs seem to focus on extreme frugality and budgeting. This is one was much more about investing and accumulating wealth in the corporate world. Will be a regular reader again...Would be curious as to how your investing style has changed since you left...back into individual stocks yet or are you passive investing?


MM Commented on February 3, 2014

Thank you Bemb! I'm glad you found this blog interesting.

I'll definitely cover more investment topics in the future. For now, I'm more using mutual funds now -- only have a couple of individual stocks (BRK and JNJ) that I will hold for a very long run.

Thanks again for commenting!


gw Commented on February 7, 2014

I too am reading this blog for a long time!

Quick question, what explains the bump of 20k in your house price?


MM Commented on February 7, 2014

GW, I booked $20K home price appreciation at the end of 2013. Two similar hours on our street recently sold at $1.13M so I figured I can book a conservative gain here.

Thank you for being a long-time reader and commenting!


GW Commented on February 8, 2014

Thanks for your answer, it makes sense to me.

I have a similar path as you as I have recently left China for another country.

How do you manage to exchange USD to CNY remotely given the nature of the CNY currency?


MM Commented on February 8, 2014

Hi GW, speaking of foreign exchange, there is a Chinese immigrant online community in our company so foreign exchange is as easy as sending an email to find out who has the need to move money in the opposite direction. No money crosses the border :-)


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