Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My Year End 2011

Call me an eternal optimist, but I am thoroughly thrilled and geeked to start 2012. Sure, quarter over quarter my net worth fell by $279.61 to land at $223,229.88 to close out 2011, but as is usually the case, the devil is always in the details J

Lately I’ve been feeling that my net worth spreadsheet has been eerily looking more and more like the economy overall. The most notable drop has been in my real estate appraisals over the last year and the most notable rise has been in equities during the same time period. If the trend continues through 2012, which I am predicting, then by year end for the first time in my life, my cash and equity investments will exceed the appraised value of real estate. BUT WAIT!!! There’s more…

2012 is indeed a presidential election year. Now regardless of whether we re-elect the “Great Socialist” or vote into office another moocher who appears to lean towards the right; presidential election years have proven throughout our country’s history to be positive periods for the market. Now during these “lost years,” in between 2009 and the end of 2011, through contributions/growth/decline, one of my major investment accounts has grown at an average annualized return of 69%. So if the last three, hell, ten years have been our generation’s version of the Great Depression, then I say bring on 2012 and the next ten years, this is going to be an awesome decade.

Personally 2011 ended on a very upward note. Throughout the course of a regular year my wife and I make regular gift contributions to our home church, sponsor three children overseas to go to school and set money aside for various giving opportunities (weddings, friends & family in need, graduations, etc.) and at the close of 2011 we had a considerable amount left over to allocate. As my wife and I had the ensuing discussion of where and who to allocate and give away the money to, I was struck with an overwhelming feeling of happiness and delight. It brought me back to the start of 2009 when we started all of this Dave Ramsey business. We fought each other and ourselves regarding what was important to have in the budget, how much would be needed for groceries and whether we should give while climbing out of our self-made financial hole. What a difference three years makes.

With focused intensity over a period of time we’ve strengthened our financial footing, regularly give more and more each year, are working towards a secure retirement WITHOUT help from our inept government, and am (conservatively) two years away from paying cash for our first home. But what about goals within the 2012 calendar year? Yes we have discussed having children around 30, moving and relocating, teaching ESL overseas, but what about this year?

For me I am planning to do more outreach and have stronger relationships with my home church. I’m hoping to facilitate Dave’s FPU at my home church, am on a team to help my home church improve its fiscal management and generally find ways to step up into leadership roles. I’m particularly not the type of person who makes New Year’s Resolutions, in my post-Ramsey life I’ve taken more of a put-up or shut-up stance, so I’ll spare you the long laundry list. But overall I’m planning for giving (effort and finances) to increase and to grow deeper in love and faith with my wife. So Happy New Year to everyone out there and happy hunting, this bull is looking forward to 2012!

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