January 2011 Investment Comparison Report (-2.40%)

Feb 21, 2011 @ 02:11 pm by EMS

January 2011 ended up being our worst month investment-wise since we’ve kept track of it here.  We were down 2.4% in comparison to our benchmark, VTI.  A large part of that was due to one of our larger holdings, Celgene, taking a pretty big dive over the month.  We made some relatively large changings this month (February) and due to the way that I report performance on this site, it won’t show until April.  Basically, we just cut out some of our very small holdings (less than 2% of our portfolio) and replaced them with a large purchase of BRK.B shares.

We nearly have a full year’s worth of comparison data, and I’m hoping that sometime in March or April I can revisit our performance and look at it from a yearly perspective and decide what changes are needed.

January 2011 Investment Performance

January 2011 Net Worth Report (+$3,640)

Feb 01, 2011 @ 03:28 pm by EMS

Not that I like to complain about any positive net worth month, but I thought that January would have had a better increase than the $3,640 that I have to report.  We really cut back on expenses when compared to Nov. and Dec., but our investments performed poorly when compared to the rest of the market.  The one thing that I’m very happy about though is the big decrease in our credit card debt.  Followers know that I advocate paying credit cards down completely every month to avoid finance charges, but our December credit card bill was one of those ones where I wish I could be a bit more lenient on that rule :).  Regardless, the entire $3,491 balance was paid on time and we’re back into a more “normal” cycle of expenses.

This month’s report includes a down payment of $400 for a vacation to be taken in November.

We will have one large expense in February (about $1,000) – my wife has been requesting new cabinets in our laundry room for about a year, and we’ve saved up enough to make the purchase.  This was the first time that we used SmartyPig.com to handle the automated savings procedure, plus we received 3% cash back towards a Lowes gift card through them.  I’ve been happy with SmartyPig, although they do keep cutting their savings rate down, which makes their service less desirable.

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