Friday, 31 May 2013

Only 1 month left until the end of the financial year! Are you ready?

Any readers that happened to be reading my blog around this time last year would know how excited I get around tax time.  Before you ask....I can assure you that a) Yes...I have a life and b) No...I am not nuts.

There are a few reasons that I love this time of the year including

  1. Getting my income tax refund
    • Like all sane people, I realise that my taxes are necessary to fund those things in society which can only be provided by a government, however that does not mean that I can't grumble about how much I pay in tax
    • Due to my investment property I get an income tax refund every year and it is very nice getting this back from the government
  2. I can justify big expenses on tax deductible items
    • I am a little bit of a technology geek and I love buying new gadgets - however given I also am trying to save money I have been having a hard time justifying this expenditure
    • However if you are planning on buying an item that you can tax deduct (e.g. a laptop) then you have to do this before the end of the financial year (note that I'm planning on claiming my Nexus 7 as I use it for work purposes)
Most of us only start thinking about our taxes after then end of the financial year...this is silly...

It makes much more sense to start thinking about it much earlier.  There is now exactly 1 month left before the end of the financial year which should be plenty of time to think about how to maximise the

Thursday, 30 May 2013

I am no longer a believer in the Efficient Market Hypothesis

When I studied finance at university one of the first things that was taught to use was that markets were efficient and that there was no way to beat them.  This was proven out by studies and seemed to prove up the 'Efficient Market Hypothesis' (EMH), the idea that when relevant information hits the market it is immediately is priced into the market.

The upshot of that particular hypothesis for investors is that you cannot consistently outperform the market.  You can have 'lucky runs' but the market is constantly pricing in new information and if you have a different view the the market, it is because you do not have as much information as the market.
The EMH has constantly concerned me as an investor.  After all if you can't beat the market what is the point of researching stocks in order to achieve 'alpha'?
This has also affected my professional career.  Although, as I have said before, I find value investing the most appealing form of investment and the most 'rational', I have always wondered about this innate inability to know more than the market and to thus outperform the market in the long run.

However the market often trades on sentiment and fear which has no place in fundamental investing

Those of us who have been investing in the recent past have seen greed and fear at it's most rampant.  The GFC and fear of all things debt related and the more recent greed associated with any yield providing stocks have caused share prices and market valuations to skew wildly away from what value or fundamental investments would suggest.

If you can remain the neutral bystander and be the person who processes information logically and without getting caught up in the market hype, sure you should be able to outperform those who are constantly being swayed by the 'tone' of the market.  Sure your timing will not always be perfect, but if you can achieve even marginal alpha then this suggests that strong form and semi-strong form market efficiencies do not exist (note strong form efficiencies says that all information, both public and private is priced in the asset prices, while semi strong form says that all public information is priced into the share price and it is impossible to outperform this)

Markets will often move from seemingly useless information

If you invest in the stock market or even follow the share market you will notice that seemingly useless pieces of information can affect share valuations.  For example when there is disappointing jobs

Monday, 27 May 2013

Superannuation is not an investment is an investment vehicle

I was browsing a news website recently and noticed an article which went through the basics of maximising your superannuation for when you retire and the first point the author wrote was to remember that superannuation was not an investment class - it is actually just a tax effective vehicle.  I agreed with the point so didn't spend much time on it.  When I came to the comments section below though I noticed that there were a fair few readers who posted comments disagreeing with this notion as they had most of their retirement funds invested in superannuation.

This post will go through why superannuation is NOT actually an investment class and why the author of the article was quite right in describing it as an investment vehicle.

You do NOT invest IN invest THROUGH superannuation

The biggest misunderstanding comes about because, like me, many people use superannuation as a set and forget type investment.  Most often they are invested in the 'core' or 'balanced' strategy at their fund and the superannuation provider invests their money for them and if they check their superannuation at all it is to make sure that the employer is contributing their funds and to (occasionally) check the balance.

They therefore view superannuation as an investment which whose value they are contributing towards and the valuation of which fluctuates like a normal investment class.
However this is the wrong way of thinking about superannuation.
Superannuation is actually just a tax effective vehicle set up by the government to encourage (and force) people to save for their retirement.  You don't actually invest in the superannuation.  You invest in underlying assets such as shares, property, fixed interest, infrastructure and other alternatives through a superannuation vehicle.

Superannuation is much like a managed fund (which is also a vehicle).  Most people understand that they are not actually investing in a managed fund.  Rather they are giving their money to a fund manager to invest in shares or property or whatever other strategy their fund may have.  Superannuation is much the same.  You are giving your money to a superannuation fund to invest in the same asset classes that you could otherwise invest in outside of your superannuation.

The only difference between investing through superannuation and investing in these asset classes yourself is that:

  1. You are not able to withdraw from your superannuation account until you reach retirement age (unless there are very special circumstances)
  2. You get significant tax breaks for investing through super instead of investing on your own (e.g. lower taxes on money invested through superannuation)
It is easier to think of superannuation as a vehicle if you remember how self managed super funds work.  This is where you manage your super yourself and invest your superannuation money in whatever you want to invest in (rather than how the superannuation fund invests your money).  It is easy to see in this case how the actual investment classes are the shares, property, alternatives etc. that you invest in rather than the vehicle that you set up yourself.

It is actually an important distinction - and one that forces you to think about what your super fund actually invests in

People who think about superannuation as an investment ignore the fact that they should be actively thinking about what their superannuation fund invests in.  Although I do not advocate doing it too often, you should really think about what sector allocations you have within your superannuation fund and switch it to suit your own risk profile and views.  

That is, a person early in their career should not have the same superannuation choice as one who is nearing retirement.  If you think of superannuation as a blanket investment you are possibly going to ignore the fact that you should be thinking about what and where your money is invested.

How do you think about your superannuation and do you view it as a separate investment class or just as one way in which you invest?

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Friday, 24 May 2013

A video to rekindle your interest in starting your own business

This will just be a quick post from me today to share with you one of the most inspirational speeches on entrepreneurship that I have ever heard.  I confess that I had not heard of the speaker (Wycliffe Grousbeck, CEO and co-owner of the Boston Celtic) before but rather just stumbled across this video while browsing on YouTube.

Before I share my views on the video and what I took from it I recommend that you watch it.  Note that it is quite long however you can listen to it while doing other tasks (i.e. it does not require you to actually watch the screen).

There were a couple of things which really resonated with me from his talk including:
  1. Everyone knows the risks around setting up your own business but most do not think about the risks inherent in employment
  2. Pressure from family and friends to take the traditional path often causes us to forgo or forget our dreams
  3. The ability to be an entrepreneur is limited by age.  Beyond about 35 we have too many other responsibilities and have lost the ability to fail

There were so many other valuable insights from

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Australia's 2013 Rich List released

The Business Review Weekly released it's 2013 rich 200 list today which ranks, profiles and tracks the wealth of Australia's richest 200 people and families.  I confess that I have been fascinated by this list for years and it is the one edition of the BRW that I read without fail every single year.

Below is the top 10 list of the richest Australians for 2013 (Source: BRW) - their combined wealth of $66.4 billion is staggering.

1Gina Rinehart$22,020
2Frank Lowy$6,870
3James Packer$6,000
4Anthony Pratt & family$5,950
5Ivan Glasenberg$5,610
6Harry Triguboff$4,950
7Wing Mau Hui$4,820
8John Gandel$3,700
9Andrew Forrest$3,660
10Christopher Wallin$2,800

It is interesting to see the businesses in which Australia's richest people are involved in.  It is also interesting to note how

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Be careful about what you post in investment forums: lawsuits bite!

Most of us who are interested in finance and investing find ourselves in discussions about investing with our friends family and colleagues.  Naturally part of this discussion centres around venting when things do not go our way or when we feel we have been cheated or when corporate executives or directors of companies we have invested in undertake actions that we feel are not in our best interests.

Given the important of the internet in modern communications, more and more of these communications are happening online through investment forums (such as HotCopper) or through people expressing views on their own blogs (such as I do on this one) or by commenting on other people's blogs. As readers of this blog would know I have frequently criticised companies - both listed (such as FKP over their rights issue) and small er companies(though less so the small companies - only when I think they are real scams).

However...keep in mind that speech is not free and that you can be sued for defamation

When you post something on the internet it never goes away - we all know that.  It's the reason we are all so careful about our Facebook and other privacy settings.  However we seem to forget this when we are on investment forums talking to other 'hard done by' investors.  What you always need to keep in mind, however, is that you can be sued for these comments.

Although the story seems to have died down somewhat now, this issue got a fair bit of publicity when Susanne Deveraux, a retired nurse from Queensland, was sued by Empire Oil and Gas for defamation in

Monday, 20 May 2013

Controversial investment advice: Only invest in what you understand

This post will cover my firm idea that people should only invest in products and investments which they understand themselves and should not 'trust' others to do hat is in their own best interest.  It is controversial because it suggests that you and I as investors and savers should not be giving over responsibility for our financial well being to others (i.e. those in the investment community).

Why you should ONLY invest in what you understand

You should only invest in what you understand for a few fundamental reasons including:

  • You completely understand the risk / reward trade off
    • When you invest in financial products there is a risk / reward trade off
    • When you understand what you are investing in, you understand both the upside and the downside
    • All too often people only focus on the upside, or are only interested in hearing the upside.  If you do not understand the downside or the potential pitfalls of an investments you may take on more risk than you are comfortable with
  • You will never be taken advantage of
    • We all know that there are unscrupulous operators out there and there is ample evidence in the media of  'scams' and dodgy investments which are constantly being uncovered
    • I can guarantee you that the people who get taken in by the scams are those who do not understand what they are investing in, or the true nature of the investment
    • It is one thing to lose money because the market moved against you, it is quite another to be taken in by a fraudster because you were promised returns without understand exactly how you  were getting them
  • You are responsible for your OWN financial well being
    • The finance world is one in which survival of the fittest is the rule of thumb  
      • We can argue about whether this is right or wrong and whether it should be this way but unfortunately finance is a zero sum game - for someone to win someone else needs to lose
    • Although governments and regulators can try and protect against unscrupulous operators they cannot change the win / lose nature of the market
    • To be on the winning side therefore you need to be acting in your own best interests 
    • I do not think you can act in your own best interests if you do not understand what you are investing in

Note that my focus on understanding what you invest in does not mean that you

Friday, 17 May 2013

Should I try internet dating? What is out there and should I pay the high membership fees?

This weekend warrior post will deal with internet dating.  Once I emerged from hibernation after my recent break up and decided to get back on the bandwagon I thought I would expand my dating pool somewhat and so decided to look at internet dating.

Note, as with most of my posts, this will be from an Australian perspective.

Why did I try internet dating?

 Previously I only ever dated friends or people I had met through friends.  I had never really done any organised type of introduction or dating (e.g. speed dating, introduction services, singles nights) however I decided to broaden my dating pool for several reasons:

  1. I found myself constantly meeting the same types of people and this isn't surprising - most of my friends are lawyers, bankers, accountants, economists etc and those are the types of girls I was meeting too
  2. I looked at the probabilities and it doesn't take a genius to work out that the more people you are exposed to the more likely you are to find the right person for you
  3. The social taboo is largely gone from internet dating. I think I was one of the few dinosaurs left who thought there was still a social taboo attached with internet dating.  I took a poll of almost every guy and girl I met (in my age group) over a period of about a month.  I asked friends, family, strangers on the street, waitresses in restaurants and everyone knew someone that had found their partner doing internet dating.  Taboo broken!
What sites are there out there?

Typing 'internet dating' into Google is the silliest thing you can possibly do but after a bit of searching I found that for Australians there are a few sites that dominate the 'mass market' and they are all rather

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

How will the Australian 2013 - 2014 Federal Budget affect you?

The federal government's long anticipated 2013 - 2014 budget was released last night.  It was always going to see what the government did given:

  • It is an election year and the Gillard Government is well behind in the polls
  • Tax revenue and income to the government has fallen off a cliff with the slowing economic environment
I confess that although I am not particularly drawn to any political party, I have found the Gillard Government's fiscal policies to be frustrating and spineless.  This is probably a function of the hung parliament they have had to negotiate but it was nonetheless very frustrating.

From my point of view this budget surprised me - it was pragmatic, invests in Australia's future and does not do the pork barrelling and vote grabbing that most election year budgets do.  We are all going to be a little worse off but I do appreciate having a government that is willing to acknowledge that we are in a worse economic position now than we were a year ago and that does not spend just to grab votes.

So how will the 2013 - 2014 Australian Federal Budget affect you?

Like all depends.  There isn't really something for everyone in this budget.  From an individual point of view there are not a great deal of positives and some negatives but it really has to do with how much you are already getting from the government (or not getting).

The benefits in the budget for individuals
  • $14.3 billion in funding for the national disability insurance scheme
    • If you have a disability this will definitely benefit you
    • If you do not have a disability you may be disadvantaged through the increase in the medicare levy - see below
  • Increased funding for public schools and education
    • This will benefit the quality of educational institutions but there will be no hand outs to individuals like in the past
    • I'm not against this at all - I think a good system is much better than giving people choice about where to spend their education dollars
    • Note that this is for primary and secondary only...tertiary education did not get the same level of funding benefits
  • Seniors funding
    • $112.4m to help seniors who are downsizing their homes
The rest of the benefits do not really impact individuals at all - they are all about nation building.  It is about infrastructure (roads, rail) and other measures that only a government can fund.  If you're going to try and improve a country and an economy in the long run this is are the types of things that need to be funded.

Personally I got no real benefits from this budget but I'm just glad that we finally have a government that is thinking about the long term.

The downsides for individuals
  • The baby bonus

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Am I confident of hitting my $90 million net worth goal?

Yesterday on twitter, one of the readers of this blog asked me whether I was confident of achieving my $90 million net worth target even though I was at the early stages of my journey.  I was going to send a quick response with something along the lines of 'of course...but small steps just yet' but then I really started to think about the question.

I went back to my first post on this blog which outlined my goal which I have quoted below:
I started off with the number I'd be willing to retire with today and never work again (as I'm in my mid 20s it has to be pretty high) and I settled on $50 million.  I also set a super aggressive target to achieve this in 20 years - inflation adjusted (3% p.a.) that comes to $90m which is my target.
Other than some sloppy grammar, I now realise that the one big thing that was missing in this goal was the how.  That is how do I get to a $90 million net worth and this is the question that had me stumped when thinking of a reply on twitter.

If my goal was a net worth of $15 million I think I could confidently reach it

I did some very basic maths in an excel spreadsheet and did the following calculations and made the following (reasonably conservative) assumptions

  1. I took my wage today (and included my bonus)
    • I won't outline it here but if you look at my expenditure tracker you can see what my take home wage is today.  
  2. I assumed my wage increased in line with inflation assumed to be (3% p.a.)
  3. I assumed that I could save 50% of my wage
  4. I assumed I could (over the long run) get a return of 6% on my net worth
  5. I then calculated what my net worth would be in June 2051 (my target year my revised target original goal of 20 years was too aggressive so I increased this to 40 years) and this came out to ~$16 million
Obviously there are many simplifying assumptions in there (the most aggressive one being my ability to save 50% of my take home wage) and this does not take into account big life expenses such as having children, getting married and all those other things we hope we will do in our lives.  However I do not think I am being overly aggressive in my calculations.

If anyone would like me to upload the spreadsheet or send it through to them post a comment and I'll set up a basic spreadsheet so you can do it for yourself.

The problem is how do I get from $15 million to $90 million

The best thing about

Monday, 13 May 2013

Alternative Investments: My first foray into collecting coins

Followers who read this blog on a regular basis know know that my approach to investments is fairly conservative and unimaginative.  I have typically spurned investment classes such as art, gold and have even written a post before on a mail order coin scheme which I considered to be a scam.

Therefore it may come as a bit of a surprise to some to hear that I have bought my first collectible coin set.  I have been looking into this area for a while and have probably over-researched it compared to how much capital I am actually going to allocate to this strategy.  I have set out my investment criteria and what I am seeking to do below.

Why have I diversified into collectibles?

There are two real reasons I have started investing in coins.  The first is investment related and the second is personal:
  1. It allows me to further diversify my investment portfolio
    • Although it is never going to be a large part of my investment portfolio, investing in products which are uncorrelated with all of my other investments provides a form of investment diversification and so reduces the risk of my portfolio
    • I have been complaining for a while that it has been hard to find good value in any of my existing investment classes - that is real estate, shares and fixed interest
  2. I am fascinated by coins and the history of money
    • I don't think you can collect an item properly without having some intrinsic interest in it - it allows you to read about the product without feeling like it is a job or a chore
      • I recently took a holiday and went to Canberra (the capital city of Australia) on a road trip.  While there I visited the Mint and spent a few hours just wandering around enjoying it
      • If you can't enjoy collecting a product you have to question whether it is right for you.  For example I would find it quite hard to become a serious art collector because I do not like it enough.
    • I personally find coins and stamps fascinating.  I will do a post soon on why I chose coins over stamps but it largely comes down to the longevity of coins
How much am I investing collectible coins

This will not become a major part of my investment

Monday, 6 May 2013

What does 'generating alpha' mean?

If you have started to look into investing and have bought a few investment books or (more than likely) surfed the web to work out how to make money investing in the share market you will almost certainly have come across the term "alpha" and seen the investment communities obsession with generating it.
So what is alpha and how and why do investment professionals try and generate it?
What is alpha?

If I simplify it right down (and for you who understand the complexities of this don't bite my head off - this is meant to be a simple explanation), you can get basically two returns from any given investment

  • Alpha: returns which are uncorrelated with the general share market returns; and
  • Beta: Those returns which are correlated with share market returns
As you may have read in my post before on risk - generally speaking, when you seek higher returns you must accept a higher level of risk.  In order to achieve a higher return than the market you need to have a portfolio that has a higher beta (volatility or risk factor) than the market.

However alpha is different - if you generate alpha you are generating higher returns which are uncorrelated with market returns.  It is an abnormal rate of return above what would be expected from an equilibrium model like the capital asset pricing model (CAPM).

Why do investment professionals (and others) focus on alpha?

People focus on alpha because it is, if you can achieve it, a way of achieving excess returns for the same level of risk.  

It does not take a particularly good investment professional or fund manager to invest in risky stocks to try and make and higher return (i.e. to seek a beta return) - all they need to do is to get higher risk stocks and stick them in their portfolio in order to leverage up their returns in good times (however this also leverages them to the downside!)

Alpha returns are preferred because

Friday, 3 May 2013

How to buy furniture on a budget

As I mentioned in a recent post, I decided to move out of home recently and am renting from a friend who recently purchased his own place in an area that I wanted to live.  I am getting the room incredibly cheap and it includes all utilities and internet.

However after paying my rent a month in advance, I then had to buy furniture.  I just had to buy furniture for my room so I did not think it would cost that much money.
I went online to check out all those furniture stores that advertise on TV all the time and was amazed at how much furniture actually costs. 
I wanted decent quality stuff but was definitely not happy paying the prices that they were asking for so I decided to try and get everything that I wanted, including the quality that I wanted, for a reasonably cheap price.

Here is what I did and how you can also save money when furnishing a new house or room.

1. Identify what you need upfront and what you can stagger

You do not need to buy absolutely everything you need at the start.  For me I really only needed a bed at the start and everything else I could stagger over a few months.  I did make a list of everything I needed though in case the opportunity arose to buy them for a decent price.

2. Work out what you already own that you can recycle

The room I was moving into did not have air conditioning and I really can't handle particularly hot days.  I was going to go buy a pedestal fan from the local store however found a really old, dusty and grimy one lying in my dad's shed that he said he was never going to use and that I should just throw out.

A bit of elbow grease, some mineral terps and an hour later I had saved some money as well as having the satisfaction of having saved the environment from one more piece of unused electronic equipment.

3. Work out what you can buy from charity stores

Now there is no way known that I would buy something like a bed or a mattress from a charity store however I have been hunting for a leather waste paper basket for my room.  It doesn't take me long - every time I pass one I pop inside to see what they have.  I have not yet found one that I like but you have the dual advantages of donating to charity and getting what you want for cheap.  This can also apply to bedside tables and other small furniture items.

4. Your bed is likely to be the biggest expense in your room: find a cheap online store to buy it from

I could not believe how much beds and mattresses cost from regular stores.  The prices were truly staggering.  I had almost resigned myself to buying one of those overpriced pieces of furniture (my mattress is NOT something that I would ever compromise on - I'm just too fussy) when someone referred me to this great online store - Tommy Swiss.

Their prices were stunning and their products were great.  I bought a double bed and a double mattress for a combined total cost that was less than

Thursday, 2 May 2013

April 2013 Expenditure Tracker

April was an interesting month for me in terms of my expenditure tracker.  Although it wasn't spread evenly, I saved almost exactly how much I wanted to this month and my personal expenditure overspend was the lowest it has been since I started tracking it over a year ago.  Overall this was a pleasing outcome however on a cumulative basis, March 2013 is really still hurting me.

ItemApr 2013TargetOver/(Under)
Share Investments+$11,094+$2,000+$9,094
Offset Acct.-$6,184+$3,500-$9,684
Personal expenditure+$2,710+$2,200+$510

The major causes for the movements in my 3 accounts are listed below
  • Share Investments
    • As you can see above I had a large increase in my share investment account this month
    • Most of this was due to a transfer of funds from my home loan offset account into my trading account
    • I did a few trades (including my investment in my employee share investment plan as well as the purchase of a small amount of broad based Australian index funds) however for the most part this amount is still in cash
    • I'm going to deploy a large amount of this into the share market in the coming weeks.  The timing isn't optimal given how hard the share market has run however I think there may be some opportunities in the resources sector
  • Home Loan Offset Account
    • I actually saved almost exactly how much I planned to from my wage into my offset account this month
    • The reason that it is down is because of the large transfer of funds from this offset account into my trading account mentioned above
    • My investment property is currently virtually positively geared (which isn't a great thing because it is a very cheap cost of financing my other investments if I keep it negative) so I am probably going to ease up on investments in this account in the next few months
  • Personal expenditure
    • I had a pretty interesting experience this month with my personal expenditure.  At the start of the month I had virtually no cash left and wrote a post on how I attempted to conserve cash when things were tight
    • As a result a lot of expenditures for this month went on my credit card.  This had the effect of pushing out some big expenditures into next month's credit card bill (which has already blown my May 2013 personal expenditure target).  
    • My rent expense normalised from last month though is at a higher level than before I moved out of home (as is to be expected)

On a cumulative basis my performance for April 2013 can be seen below:

ItemJan 13 - Apr 13TargetOver/(Under)
Share Investments+$5,074+$8,000-$2,926
Offset Acct.+$6,543+$14,000-$7,457
Personal expenditure+$17,825+$8,800+$9,025

As you can see my expenditure tracker is still the big negative drag and this was largely because of March 2013.  Interestingly if you compare to where I was at in April 2012, it is a rather similar position.  I am going to continue to work on my current expenditure and savings goals instead of resetting them because I think they are achievable.

I'm still going to blow my personal expenditure forecasts for next month although I am looking at ways of tracking my expenditure more in real time so I am not constantly lamenting it at months end like I have been in these posts.

You May Also Be Interested In:
March 2013 Expenditure Tracker
Expenditure Tracker - All Posts
April 2013 Net Worth
Surviving until pay-day: When things get tight

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

April 2013 Net Worth: $366,000 (+2.4%)

Value% Change
Net worth$366,000+2.4%

In my March 2013 net worth I forecast that April would be a much better net worth result than March had been due to lower credit card repayments and a greater ability to save and invest money this month.  My performance was so much better than I expected mainly due to the continued strong run in the share market.

I was particularly happy with how this month turned out and I have outlined some of the reasons for it below.  As you can see this was mainly an asset driven performance outcome.
  • The strong share market returns helped my performance
    • I bought some broad based index funds over the month.  I was actually planning on spreading my purchases from week to week but the first purchase ran so strongly that I thought the market would correct and held off from putting in more which turned out to be an error.
  • A big increase was from my managed funds
    • I have some externally managed funds outside of my exchange traded funds.  I only check the value of these whenever a statement is sent out to me (once every six months).  I do not add to these at all because the expense ratios are too high so I do not keep a close track of them.
    • The value of these increased significantly since I last had a statement (6 months ago) and this helped my performance this month
  • My cash on hand increased to a more 'normalised' level
    • In April I ran my cash down to a really low level (I outlined some of the ways I saved cash when things got tight in this post) and I put some of my wage towards increasing this to a more normalised level
    • I try to have at least $500 remaining in my transaction account by the time payday comes around which translates to approximately $1,000 at the end of the previous month and I am currently right on this level
  • The automatic contributions to my superannuation and employee share plans continued
    • Superannuation is one of the best savings tools there is for individual as it is enforced savings
    • I view my employee share plan in much the same way - it allows me to save and invest a significant amount before I have the cash to consider blowing on something else
  • My credit card debt increased significantly
    • Unfortunately my credit card debt increased significantly.  Part of this was expected - when I was running low on cash at the start of the month I was funding a lot of my expenditure on my credit card however some of it (such as car repairs) were unexpected and increased it significantly
    • I am also going on a weekend trip away and had to pay for my accommodation on my credit card.
In my April 2013 expenditure tracker I will outline in more detail the interplay between my cash and credit card balance.  I'm currently trying to find a more dynamic way of keeping track of my expenses.  This is becoming more relevant as I have to do my own shopping since moving out of home (as well as socialising a lot more).

The share market is the big swing factor in how I have been performing.  Indeed I thought this month was going to be a close to negative performance again because of the share market dip at the start of the month.  Assuming the share market remains flat I do not think May 2013 will be that good in terms of my net worth performance.  I have a reasonably big credit card payment coming and will be going away on my holiday which will soak up some cash as well.  I am targeting a net worth of $370,000 for May 2013.

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