My Personal Finance Journey

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Monthly Update - December 2014 ($1,981,908, +$68,396)

Contributed by mm | January 25, 2015 4:12 AM PST

Our net worth closed the year of 2014 in a high note, climbing a whopping $68K in December. For the full year, we added over $322K to our bottom line, the largest of any year in our history. In fact, we recorded 5-figure monthly improvement in 10 of the 12 months in 2014, including nine back-to-back months between Q2 and Q4 of 2014.

Our household balance sheet, along with monthly, year-to-date, and trailing 12 months comparison, are shown below:

6453-networth.jpg

Two main factors contributed to our sizable monthly gain. First, our Chinese-based portfolio continued to ride on a strong stock market in China, and added $56K to our coffer. The momentum of the Chinese stock market in November and December, the best in over seven years, is obviously hard to repeat. Acting on precaution, we converting most of our stocks to cash, only keeping less than $60K by end of the year.

Second, we booked a year-end $20K increase of our house value, the same amount we booked in December 2013. This reflected a small fraction of our house's appreciation in 2014 -- the Case-Shiller index indicated 6.2% YoY increase between October 2013 and October 2014 (the latest data available), and 16.7% increase since January 2013, when we closed on our house.

On the downside, the CNY/USD exchange ratio retreated to the lowest level since July, and erased $9,500 when we report our assets and liabilities in USD.

For the full year, our net worth growth of over $320K is composed of the following:

$87K from savings of job income
$30K from investment income in USD-based portfolio
$195K from investment income in CNY-based portfolio
$20K from house appreciation
$17K from one-time income, including gifts from parents and 2013 tax refund
($25K) from FX impact of unfavorable CNY/USD exchange rate

Since this is year end, a couple of additional charts on yearly comparison.

First, take a look at our net worth at year-end, starting from 2003.

6453-annual-1.jpg

Also, comparison of annual changes:

6453-annual-2.jpg

How's your 2014? Did 2014 treat you well?

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


nkblitz Commented on January 26, 2015

Hi.. great going. congratulations! will be interesting to see the asset allocation choice going forward since there has been a clear benefit from rising markets. once you get to this point generating a strong (in relation to your personal plan) return on your NW will be key. good luck!


himt12 Commented on January 27, 2015

you make one typical investment error:
your house is your biggest liability not your biggest asset.

think about it.


Tim Zhou Commented on January 27, 2015

Great job congrats! Do you invest in China index or specific stocks/sectors? Any ideas on investing in China ?


Rich Commented on January 31, 2015

of course i disagree with the comment about the house being the biggest liability. it is always hard to really get what the house is valued and folks are often overly optimistic. However, if you are in the right location, appreciation has been fantastic. One example is of a friend that bought a home for 1.5MM in silicon valley and recently sold it for 4MM. how could you say that that is a liability. for many other areas, you are correct - no appreciation in value. having that blanket statement that it is a liability is just flat out wrong.

additionally, if you timed it right, your interest rate should be around 3-3.5% even for a jumbo... although ARMs turn out to have been a fantastic idea at rates of 1.8% to 2.5% over the last few years. at those rates... it is absolutely stupid to pay off your loans


Young investor Commented on February 11, 2015

2MM,

How much do you make per year from work and how much from side income? Curious to see how much you make vs how much is growing from smart investing choices. I've enjoyed watching your journey since 2010 when I started following!

Thanks.

YI


Trip Commented on March 5, 2015

Hi,
Under the head "savings from job income", do you also count new vested RSUs? Or is it better to count them under investment income?

Thanks
Trip


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