Lets just get straight too it: $728,700.71
Debts and liabilities: Absolute $0.
Change since I last check back at the end of July: -$64,228.29. Ouch. Oh well.
Net Worth Change for the Year: Let’s just round it to 0.
SO WHAT’S CHANGED IN MY PLANS
Some people might look at a drop like that and start to question their plans. What’s changed for me? Absolutely nothing. I’m sticking with my course of action that I’ve been on for over the last decade: buy and hold, and just adding more positions into my portfolio. You would drive yourself crazy trying to time this market. Have I changed my date for leaving the work force. Nope. Still planning on giving my 2weeks notice on January 31, 2016 and last day of work Feb 14, 2016. Only reason for me doing the notice and staying until then is purely bonus money and getting paid out for my vacation time.
What led to the Decline? Well, unless you’ve been living under a rock, the stock market has been acting like a 2 year old, irrational and a whole lot of crying. Worry of a slowdown in China (have we ever been able to trust any of their economic data), is the Federal Reserve going to increase interest rates, rate of job growth is slowing down, inflation still remains low in spite of the Fed’s actions. I personally don’t feel the fed will increase interest rates this year, and have felt that way all year. Our economic data is not strong enough, I feel, to warrant the actions. It will be an interesting earnings season.
Inside of my own portfolio, my retirement plan was the main culprit of the declines. All of that money is in a small cap fund. At one point this year I was up over 8% back in June, now I’m in the hole. Am I a fan of the small cap fund available in my retirement, heck no. It has an overly high expense ratio (money being taken out of my pocket) and has underperformed the benchmark Russell 2000 by 1% over the last 10 years (more money out of my pocket, it all adds up). However, it has been the best performing fund available to me in that account. So I look at it as the lesser of my evil options. When I retire, that account is getting moved right away into the Russell 2000 ETF IWM, lower fee and performance closer to the benchmark, and some large cap dividend stocks replicating my existing stock portfolio. My brokerage and IRA accounts declined as well, but to a lesser degree. The inherent volatility of small cap investing is high returns, high losses. I’ve made a lot over the long run, in the short run, I’ve lost a lot.
Am I happy about the losses? No. Anyone would love to have $64,000 more dollars. I’m just along for the ride with the markets. I’ll have an article coming soon explaining why I invest purely in the stock market. I’ve been away for about 2 weeks and I have to say it was nice to not sit there and check my screen constantly with numbers changing like crazy.
Enjoy the new banner photos by the way. Some of the most amazing pictures I’ve had a chance to take.
TIP OF THE WEEK
It’s been a while since my last tip (getting rid of junk credit card offers).
This week alone data, customer information from two more companies was taken, Tmobile and Etrade. Just another reminder that if info is stored online or on a server somewhere, it’s at risk of a hack. You cant’ avoid it, unless you get totally off the grid.
So this week, here’s a free way to monitor your credit report. This is the real site. There are others out there that make you put your credit card number and eventually charge you. Every year you have access to your Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax credit reports (This site does not give you a credit score- for a free credit score I am a fan of Discover Card who gives it to you monthly for free and I also have a Visa Card doing the same thing). AnnualCreditReport.com is useful for you to check suspicious activity. Each report will show open lines of credit, closed lines of credit, installment and revolving credit. The first time I did this years ago, I must have opened a credit card in college for a shirt or something stupid like that. I didn’t have that card in my wallet and it was years after I finished college. I was able to spot this funny looking card, call and close it out.
Something you can do as well, is use just one of the credit reports every 4 months. What this will do is give you a way to check a report every 4 months to make sure there isn’t any funny business. For example, you log on today (October 2015) check just the Experian report, go back in February 2016 use TransUnion, go back in June 2016 and check Equifax. October of 2016, you’ve started your next cycle for checking the reports and can use Experian again.
If you log on and check all of them from the start, you’ve screwed the pooch and have to wait until next year to have access to any of them again.
Hope you find this useful. I am not affiliated with annualcreditreport.com in any way and don’t make any revenue off of it. If you want to say thanks, just click on one of the Google Ad Sense banners, you don’t have to buy anything, but the clicks are what generate revenue for the site. Thanks.
Look for upcoming articles from me about my personal complete guide to getting to early retirement and beyond.
Also, I’m working on a detailed article comparing stock vs bond investing for a particular company and why stock investing trumps bond investing over the long haul. This article should give insight as to why I don’t really have an emergency savings account to speak of.
I’ve gotten request for info regarding my stock portfolio as well. It’s on it way. I just have limited time.
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