Tuesday, April 7, 2015

My Quarter End: Q1 2015

Now this feels pretty good, being back in the groove and writing about another thrilling quarter end. So let’s go through a few of the technical numbers and then dive into the details. As of March 31st, 2015 my household net worth stands at $441,437.20 and my mutual funds have been earning an average annualized return of 17%.

Having not reported my net worth since the end of 2013, and to see the first quarter of 2015 start off with an increase of almost one hundred and ten thousand dollars absolutely humbles me and collectively blows my mind. You see, since finding out we were pregnant last fall we re-prioritized a lot of our financial goals and tactics. The biggest of which was increasing our cash positions through our emergency fund and creating a baby account.

Our baby account was made to provide a little cushion for our upcoming bundle of joy. We wanted to be able to make any baby related purchases such as clothes, bedding, cloth diaper service and allthingsyouapparentlyneedforababythatihadnoclueievenneeded without skipping a beat. Thankfully our years of living on a budget and working together through our finances prepped us to seamlessly put a target number on our goal, squeeze a few current month budgets by coming under in categories like groceries and entertainment, and before we knew it our baby account was fully funded.

So we've spent the better part of this current year funneling our disposable income into our taxable brokerage account. All the while we have continued to max out our employers’ matches through our 401ks. To me all of this, especially since 2013, has been slow and steady and to be perfectly honest since I had gone on an extended hiatus from writing this blog, I didn't really compare or even look at the quarterly numbers during 2014.

So I’m left wondering what made us leap over $100k in just a handful of quarters? In truth, half came from an increased of appraised value from the piece of real estate I own in name in California, and the other half from increased contributions and growth from our mutual fund investments.

To me the last year was pretty much clockwork. We continued to live debt free, regularly invested in our assortment of mutual funds, beefed up our cash savings accounts and watched every dollar through our monthly budgets so that not even a penny would slip by us.

I actually feel kind of crazy writing this. There were no magic tricks, no salary increases that bumped us a tax bracket, no wild and crazy bonuses and no secrets of investing that only a financial analyst has top secret access to. We've simply been slow and steady telling each and every penny where to go each and every paycheck….THAT’S…..IT!!

For this quarterly review I will hold off on making any market predictions or a financial summary of the state of the US. Primarily because I want to have time to gather up some awesome Yellen jokes, but mainly because, and I know this may be sacrilegious for a finance blogger to write, but simply put, I just haven’t been paying attention.

I know, I know, how can a guy who works in finance, and who (is getting back into) writing a personal financial blog not pay attention to the overall health of the global economy and the US market? To be frank, I just haven’t. Day and in day out I do my very best at work, and lately, especially over the last few months, I have been living, breathing and LOVING the idea of becoming a dad. My wife and I have completed a month of birthing classes and are ramping up our home exercises in preparation for the due date. Everything, financially speaking, is on cruise control. We have our monthly budgets for the rest of 2015 filled out, and while we expect variables to hit us and our best laid plans to always be fluid given the volatility of having a new family member (and that I will take 4 months of unpaid leave from work, more on that later), I feel like we have our financial ducks in a row and can concentrate fully and solely on this new chapter called parenthood that our lives will be turning to in just a few months. So it’s great to be back writing and I can’t wait to share more as 2015 unfolds.  

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