Friday, March 30, 2012

My Quarter End: Q1 2012

Now I know I was bullish to start this quarter…but wow! That had to have been one of the best quarters I think I’ve seen as an investor since we climbed out of the freefall in 2008. Fiscally and personally I’ve crossed some huge milestones during the start of 2012 and found that I’ve got plenty of fight and gazelle intensity left in me for one last debt snowball fight.

Passing the quarter of a million mark in net worth still puts a smile on my face and lifts my spirit. Our overall net worth at quarter stands at $254,382.29! My favorite part of the equation is that I’m following God’s ways of handling money and it’s working, probably because He’s a lot smarter than me. Apart from that the start of the year has been fun and went by way too fast. I have a new niece, the first in close to 20 years! Here’s the little cutie so you can see for yourself:

Yes she’s adorable and I can’t wait to start influencing her with lessons of frugality and old school ways of handling personal finances, yup, this is one proud and excited uncle. My wife and I have also been green-lighted to facilitate Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University at our home church. So now I’m on the mission of filling seats and generating interest, so your thoughts of well wishes and luck will be much appreciated J Official kick off is within a month, so I’m a bit nervous and excited about leading this class. But as my wife continues to remind me, “If you host it, they will come.” So I’m doing my best to temper my anxiety with her confidence!

But through all of the ups from this past quarter, I am most proud of my wife. She just about knocked me unconscious when she came to me earlier this year and said, “I want to snowball my student loan and be done with it this year.” I was and still am ecstatic. When I shifted into the latter baby steps and emerged from my personal debt snowball, I shifted gears, putting my psyche in line with the marathon mentality and spirit of wealth building, having previously been in the sprint of debt destroying. So when she said that she wanted to commit to this, she awoke her resting lion, her refreshed knight, her frugal fury fighting husband and was given one last reason to get gazelle intense.

So needless to say I’ve grabbed and continue to grab extra overtime when I can and together we still find ways to take a scalpel to our monthly budget. We have our goal in sight, and our deadline date for crossing this finish line will be July 4th. By Independence Day, my wife and I, for the first time in our marriage, will be debt free – TOGETHER!- I fully expect to have two trips on my calendar on the horizon, (1) to see my niece for the first time and (2) head to Nashville to make a debt free call to Mr. Dave Ramsey.

So now that I’ve left you in suspense long enough, onto the meat and potatoes of my quarterly update, the overall market:


Whammy! Pow! Wow! Those are just some of the phrases from the old Batman TV series starring one of my favorite celebrities, Adam West that perfectly describes this past dynamic quarter. Frankly speaking, in a year when we have a Presidential election, I was (and still am) expecting this kind of a run up in the 4th quarter, but to get what we got in the 1st quarter, we’ll I’m sitting here licking my chops just waiting to see where we’ll be come the Santa Claus rally!

Historically though regardless of cycles, summer trading periods have always been just about flat. Trading gets thin, business have executed their spending and growth plans for the year, and there’s not a lot of news flowing thru our friends at, “The Street.” Given that we had a great run-up in the 1st quarter, I expect to see a bit of a drawback during the 2nd quarter (after of course what I expect to be stellar Q1 earnings report) just to balance things out, and then the rest of the summer should be flat, if not marginally negative. I’m looking forward and expecting some great things for Q3 & Q4.

But again, I’m not about market timing. Choose your investments wisely and always for the long term. Circle around anything you invest in like a vulture before you put a penny of your hard earned money into ANYTHING. Even my favorite mutual funds, I studied their prospectus, looked at their long term returns and did as much homework as I could on the Portfolio Manager. And even then, I did some more homework. So yes in the short term there are trends and patterns that play themselves out time and time again, but with a well researched and historically proven investment, after 20 years of executing a buy and hold strategy, whether you bought in the bounce of Y2K, the aftermath of September 11th, the drop in ’08, the rise of ’09 or the double dip in ’11, or you bought during each of these periods, over a long period of time in a proven and sound investment, you will beat inflation and taxes. Happy Q2 to all of you!

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