We use the structure of a monthly income statement and balance sheet in tandem to make sure we are keeping our expenses low and planting our pennies wisely. If you’re not already tracking your finances using these two methods, go to mint.com and get started today! If you have any questions about how we do this just post a comment and we’ll be sure to help!
You’d think that after two straight months of booking a drop in our net worth that we’d be happier about seeing it pop (spoiler alert!) over 5% this month. Instead, as I closed the books for the month and saw that we had $8,000 that we wanted to throw in our taxable account this month, I bemoaned the fact that the S&P500 climbed over 8% during the month and I would be buying fewer shares with that money than I could have gotten last month. First world problems, eh?
But yeah…. The stock market shot up last month and our equities portfolio was one of the many boats to be lifted with that rising tide. At most recent values, 99.9% (for real, I just calculated it!) of our brokerage holdings consist of broad based mutual funds and ETFs. (We also own 4 shares of BRK.B, mostly in order go to the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting every year.) And since our brokerage holdings are now more than half of our asset base, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that where the market goes for the month is more than likely where you’ll find us. Mostly. We are still putting money away, so we can off-set a bad month in the stock market to a certain degree.
To us, this means the top line of these updates is starting to feel less meaningful than they once were since it’s harder to connect OUR financial actions for the month to our net worth. On the bright side, it means that the graphs that we track at the bottom of these posts, where we track the number of years of savings we have accumulated and our potential early retirement locale for the month feel that much more meaningful and that’s nice since we can “feel” the direct impact that increases or decreases in our monthly spending have on those numbers.
That said, on with the numbers for the month!
- Our total assets up by $44.8
- Our total liabilities went down by $0.8
- Net worth went up by $45.6K
- Total net worth as of the end of September is $947.2K, which represents a 5.06% increase this month.
And for the details…
- 401K accounts: $261.2
- Roth IRA accounts: $161.4
- HSA account: $12.2
- Taxable Brokerage Accounts: $95.8
- Total Stock Accounts: $430.6
Real Estate (based on current market comparable sales)
- Primary Residence $239
- Investment Duplex: $140 – increased by $10K
- Investment Residential Land: $80
- Total Real Estate: $459.0
Cars (values from Kelly Blue Book)
- Car 2: $7.6
- Total Cars: $7.6
- Checking Accounts: $18.0 – have since moved $8K over to our taxable account
- Savings/Money Market Accounts: $20.0
- Total Cash Holdings: $38.0
Total Assets: $1,035.2 (asset millionaires again!)
Real Estate Loans
- Primary Mortgage: $87.1
- HELOC on Investment Duplex: $0.0 (re-advanceable)
- Personal Loan – Used to Purchase $50K Duplex: $0.0
- Total Real Estate Related Loans: $87.1
- Credit Card Balance: $1.0
- Total Revolving Credit: $1.0
Total Liabilities: $88.1
Net Worth = Assets – Liabilities
Net Worth = $947.2, up 5.06% from September
Tracking Investable Asset Growth
This first graph shows the growth of our investable assets (net of any liabilities against them), and shows the distribution of the various equity classes we hold. Pretty self explanatory.
How Many Years Of Spending Do We Have Saved?
Here I’ve taken the total of our investable assets for each month and divided it by the expenses (excluding our investment property expenses) for that month. The idea being that this shows how many years we could live off of those assets at that rate and gives us a better idea of what lifestyle inflation (or intentional deflation) can do to the relative value of our savings.
Early Retirement Locale Index
Mr PoP wanted one more way to understand more viscerally how much we have in “investable assets”, so we’ve come up with what we’re calling our Early Retirement Locale Index. The basic idea is that we know how many years of savings we have at our disposal if we were to continue living in south Florida. (That’s the chart above.) But using the “magical” 25 years of savings necessary for early retirement, where would we have to move so that our current investable assets would cover 25x our COL adjusted current spending? (Note, this is purely for fun, we’re not intending to move. Don’t worry Mama & Papa PoP!) If you want to follow along, we’re using this Cost of Living Index from Expatistan, and using the average of the two big cities in south Florida on the list (Miami and Tampa) as our current COL index, which gets us 199.5. Our city isn’t on their full list, hence the average – but maybe yours is. Then we’re solving this equation:
Current Years Saved/ 25 = COL Early Retirement Locale / COL S. FL
16.37/25 = COL Early Retirement Locale / 199.5
COL Early Retirement Locale = 130.58
… which gives us the choices of Lisbon, Portugal and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic!
It’s a rough month in the ERLI when we’re having to choose between a beautiful Mediterranean paradise and a beautiful Caribbean paradise. =P And in many ways, the cities are similar – both capitol cities and the centers of finance in commerce in their respective countries with around 3 million people living in the metro areas. So which to choose for this month’s ERLI?
Honestly, I don’t know. They’re both rich with history, culture, and have public transportation systems we would drool over (Santo Domingo’s is the most extensive in the Caribbean!). Google image searches for both cities turn up images I’d be happy to imagine myself in! This month, we’re not choosing. Perhaps it’d come down to which you can get cheaper flights to/from for family and friends who want to visit us in paradise? =)
Here’s our journey through the ERLI so far…
- January 2014 – Delhi, India
- February 2014 – Quito, Ecuador
- March 2014 – Kiev, Ukraine
- April 2014 – Chiang Mai, Thailand
- May 2014 – Madras/Chennai, India
- June 2014 – Colombo, Sri Lanka
- July 2014 – Bangalore, India
- August 2014 – Yerevan, Armenia
- September 2014 – Skopje, Macedonia
- October 2014 – Brasov, Romania
- November 2014 – Prague, Czech Republic
- December 2014 – Mexico City, Mexico
- January 2015 – Zadar, Croatia
- February 2015 – Kiev, Ukraine
- March 2015 – Cairo, Egypt
- April 2015 – Bangalore, India
- May 2015 – Niteroi, Brazil
- June 2015 – Nowhere!
- July 2015 – Skopje, Macedonia
- August 2015 – Recife, Brazil
- September 2015 – Ankara, Turkey
- October 2015 – Lisbon, Portugal / Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
How was your balance sheet in October? Where would your savings land you today?