December 2010 Investment Comparison Report (-1.61%)

Jan 18, 2011 @ 08:44 am by EMS

Our December portfolio performance trailed VTI by 1.61 points, making for two consecutive months that we’ve negative results.  In the data that I’ve captured in 2010 (starting in March), we trailed VTI in 6 of the 10 months, which is obviously something that we are trying to remedy.  However, when you look at 2010 as a whole (starting in March), we only trailed VTI by .12%.  Our best performing month was August, when we beat VTI by 2.18%, and our worse was November when we trailed by 1.63% (with December being a very close second).

My investment plans for the first quarter of 2011 haven’t changed from the original plan.  I’ll invest $1,000 in BRK.B in January or early February and then save up another $1,000 destined for VTI afterwords.  At that point, I’ll have added $3,000 in each and I’ll start plans for the next investments.  One thing that I would like to do this year is sell off some of the smaller holdings that I have and get to a point where I have 10 or less securities in our Roth IRAs.

Investment Performance Dec. 2011

2010 Wrap-Up and 2011 Goals

Jan 10, 2011 @ 09:26 am by EMS

I feel as though we made some good progress financially in 2010.  Included in this list are:

  • Obtained a sizable emergency fund that can be drawn upon should we need it.
  • Began the habit of saving 15% of my salary in our Roth IRAs.
  • Began saving $150 monthly per child for college.
  • Refinanced the house which lowered our mortgage rate by .5%.
  • Found a much better deal on auto and house insurance.
  • Made some nice upgrades to the house including a new TV and new furniture.
  • Ended the year with a 16.87% net worth gain over 2009.

Our spending was about the same as it was in 2009 as I expected it would be.  Hopefully this trend will end in 2011 as we continue to tighten things up.

I only have one financial goal for 2011 and that is to pay down our mortgage at least to the point where the payoff date is the same as our previous mortgage had been.  Our initial mortgage had a payoff-date of April 2036.  By prepaying some interest, we had that date down to January 2036.  As we refinanced in October of last year, this reset our mortgage payoff date to October 2040.  I’ve already knocked a year off of the payoff date by keeping our monthly mortgage payments equivalent to what they had been before the refinance (plus a little extra).

So, in addition to continuing the habits developed in 2010, our goal is to get the mortgage paid down to the payoff date from the initial mortgage (January 2036).  I haven’t done the math to find out an exact or even approximate amount that this will take, but given that we’ve knocked a year off of the date already, I think it is quite feasible to reach this goal.

December 2010 Net Worth Report (+$8,439)

Jan 04, 2011 @ 01:28 pm by EMS

The last month of the year’s results are in, and things went well.  We were up $8,439 over the course of the month, with most of that being investment gains.  We depreciated our vehicles by $175 this month as part of our quarterly depreciation accounting.

The one place that I’m not too happy about is the increased credit card debt.  It will still be paid off monthly, but it is about $1,000 higher than I’m comfortable with.  The main reason for the increase is the $500 spent for a lifetime XM subscription and that we’ve been putting all of our grocery shopping on the card due to a 5% bonus they are running.

The other good news for this month is that my wife has earned a significant raise in her salary starting in 2011, and I’m going to be teaching again.  This will mean more money for accomplishing our 2011 goals, which I will detail in the upcoming month.



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