Wednesday, 3 February 2016

January 2016 Net Worth: $727,400 (+1.7%)

You may have noticed that over the last few months I have really dropped off on my posting schedule.  I have not uploaded any goals for this year and I haven't really been updating you on what has been going on in my financial life.

Originally this is because I was developing a new financial blog concept.  This blog was originally set up when I wanted to be rich and take over the world.  Since I started this blog however many things in my life have changed including my perspective on life.

I sat down and did some really hard thinking and worked out know what?  I don't know what I would do with $90 million that I couldn't do with $5 million and what I want with the $5 million is more freedom rather than toys.  The only extravagance I would spring for is Business class airline seating (seriously!).

If I'm going to be honest with you I don't really know what I want anymore.  I'm in this odd place where I'm remarkably comfortable but I'm not really sure what comes next.   I'm not financially "free" yet and I'm going to keep working towards this goal but I haven't yet nailed down what a 'perfect' life would look like and until I do my goals are in a little bit of limbo.

With that out of the way - I will (for the foreseeable future) still be updating my net worth on this blog.  When I work out what I want to do next you will be the first to know.

January 2016 Net Worth...the detail:

Friday, 1 January 2016

December 2015 Net Worth: $715,000 (+2.1%) and Goal Tracker

Another month and another year have gone by and I'm incredibly happy with house this month and this year have panned out.  Not everything has gone to plan especially in relation to this I couldn't control (like the stock market) however having a plan in place for my own personal finances helped me whether some pretty tough conditions to come out far ahead of where I originally thought I would be.

Enough of the nostalgia and onto the numbers.  Below I have provided the usual summary of my net worth however I have gone into far more detail than I usually do on my goal tracker given I have just completed my goals for the year.

Net Worth: $715,000 (+2.1%)

% Change
Net worth

This month I had hoped to increase my net worth to $705,000 so I was pleasantly surprised to see it increase far more than that.  Some of the increase was driven by large factors but a lot of it was just grinding along and following the plan I have laid down for myself.

Some of the key factors which affected this month's performance included:

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

November 2015 Net Worth: $700,000 (+5.9%) and Goal Tracker

I love bonus month!  It's the one really big cash inflow that I have during the year and this year was no exception.  Bonus month helped my net worth jump almost 6% to hit the $700,000 mark for the first time.

Crossing these milestones is always a bit of a strange experience.  I technically know that I am building wealth but my life doesn't feel any different.  I'm still doing exactly the same thing day to day but the effect of compounding seems to be accelerating the process.

Net Worth: $700,000 (+5.9%)

% Change
Net worth

This month my net worth increased $39,000 and there were a couple of huge factors that led to the increase.  For once most of it was actually expected (as opposed to hitting me from nowhere) but it was still pleasing to see everything running as expected.

My bonus got paid in the month

  • My annual bonus forms a significant part of my income and it was paid this month.  I'm not going to go into the specifics of exactly how much it was but a good chunk of the increase this month was the bonus payment
  • Part of my bonus is deferred for the next few years (although part of this gets paid out every October so if you read my post last month you will have seen a significant uplift from that)
  • Tax is also taken out of my bonus payment automatically...given that it is taken out at close to the top marginal rate, I'm losing 50% of my bonus almost straight away
  • Even with all these mitigating factors it was still nice to see a significant step up in the amount of cash I had on hand

I paid my tax bill during the month

  • I had an absolutely massive tax bill this month...I owed the government more than $8,000!
  • Most of this was due to my trading in shares and as I generate profits on my share portfolio I keep track of the capital gains tax I have owing which forms part of my liabilities above
  • Although I paid out a significant amount in cash this month it actually didn't affect my net worth all that much as my liabilities stepped down by a similar amount

My investment portfolio continued to perform well

  • My investment portfolio did rather well this month increasing by almost 2% over the month
  • I also continued to contribute to my employee share plan and my employer continued to make superannuation payments on my behalf
  • My investment portfolio (including my superannuation) represents approximately half of my net worth with the rest being the home I live in and the cash I am stocking away from my next house

My credit card balance remains stubbornly high

  • One of the few disappointing aspects of this month's performance is how stubbornly high my credit card bill remains
  • We are doing renovations on our home at the moment and everything we buy goes on the credit card...I think this is an area my wife and I probably need to focus on going forward.

When I look back

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

A new direction for myself and this blog...

Writing this post is actually reasonably challenging because what I am writing about is a work in progress and I have not actually completed yet but instead of going completely dark on the blog I thought I would let you guys know what I have been up to.

So let's deal with first things first...

Why haven't I been writing blog posts?

Not writing blog posts for a blogger is the best way you can think of to kill a blog and I had this experience a few years ago when I was going through a tough patch and blogging and finance were not the foremost thing going on in my life.  Thankfully this time that is not the reason I stopped writing.

The fact is that I used my honeymoon to reassess what was important to me and what I wanted and needed to be spending my time on.  I love writing this blog and have loved writing it since my first post in 2011.  That hasn't changed at all. 

I stopped writing as many posts because I came to the realisation that it was taking time away from things I needed to be doing more.  At one point I was writing 1 - 2 posts per day on this blog.  Each posts would take at least 45 minutes to write and some which required more research took considerably longer.  I was happy to do it too but given that it was taking ~4 hours of my week it needed to be assessed alongside all the other things I could be doing with my time.

What I needed to do therefore was to work out exactly what I wanted to do with my life and importantly what the most productive thing I could be doing with my time.

What do I want to do with my life?

Monday, 2 November 2015

October 2015 Net Worth: $661,000 (+3.4%) and Goal Tracker

Apologies to everyone for my absence from the blog for a significant amount of time.  I went on my honeymoon for just over 5 weeks and although I have been back for about 3 weeks now I have made some major changes in my life (which I would love to share with you guys and I will do so in an upcoming post) which mean that I am now spending far less time blogging than I used to be.

These net worth posts will continue into the future though so if that's what you come to this blog for...have no fear!

Net Worth: $661,000 (+3.4%)

% Change
Net worth

This change represents two months of net worth progress and although it pales in comparison to previous months where I really had gangbuster returns there was actually quite a lot going on under the hood.  The 3.4% increase above actually represented an $22,000 increase in my net worth and given the changes I'm going to outline below...I'm actually pretty happy with that!

Below are just a few of the items which affected my net worth over the last 2 months:

We paid for our honeymoon expenditure out of savings...but we continued to earn our wages at the same time

  • My wife and I had fully funded our honeymoon through a years worth of savings.  I had accounted for the upcoming expenditure as a 'future liability' and so the cash saved for this honeymoon never really formed part of my net worth
  • However while we were away for 5 weeks we didn't really spend any money that wasn't part of this savings AND we continued to each receive our wages
  • This meant that we had far more cash in the bank when we returned than we originally anticipated
  • We put all of this extra cash towards our home loan

My bonus shares vested this month...however this was a net negative

  • As part of the bonus I receive from work I receive shares which I am not allowed to sell for a period of time
  • I account for these shares as part of my net worth as I have no intention of leaving this job
  • However there is a tax impact of actually being granted these shares and I don't know the impact of this until they actually vest
  • This actually had a significant negative impact on my net worth this month

Monday, 21 September 2015

What blogs do I read?

Today I thought I would share with you the types of places where I get my information from.  We all read different blogs, columns and digest information differently.  We have all stumbled across great blogs while googling for something entirely different.

Today I'm going to share with you some of the awesome things that I have found on the world wide web.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Up, Up and Away

So I finally did it!  I finally got married (after posting about it for literally years) and I just wanted to let all of you know and thank the significant number of readers who contacted me to give me friendly advice about the whole process and who also emailed to wish me well.  It really meant a lot.

Today I'm off on my honeymoon which will encompass 5 countries in Europe over 5 weeks .  I've never been to Europe so I'm SUPER pumped for this.

Why haven't I been posting as often?

For regular readers you may wonder why I have not been posting frequently and basically it came back to something that I mentioned in my 2015 Annual Review.  I have a ton of posts that I could write about and indeed I actually have about 10 posts sitting in my drafts ready to go...but I have been thinking of re focussing this blog into something else.

I'm not 100% sure where I'm going to end up but it will almost certainly be blogging and definitely blogging about finance!  I'm just trying to work out what I can write about that will make a difference to other people's lives.

Hopefully a completely break over a month in Europe will help me clarify exactly what I will be doing in the future...but until then thanks once again for all the support and hopefully I'll get to tell you all about the trip when I get back!