Slow and steady wins the race. The stock market didn’t move much until it fell considerably yesterday, but my lackluster choices in my 401k are dragging down my results even more so. Meanwhile I make slow and steady progress on my long term debts…
For background on the methodology and definitions, see Net Worth: September 2013 Progress. I’m including the past two months for comparisons now, but the “difference” values are computed for the past month’s changes.
|Category||May 2014||June 2014||July 2014||Difference|
|Net Worth||$613,165.46||$626,464.68||$631,084.96||+ $4,620.28||+ 0.74 %|
|Assets||$993,845.74||$1,007,587.76||$1,008,608.51||+ $1,020.75||+ 0.10 %|
|— Real Estate||$589,385.00||$588,239.00||$592,385.00||+ $4,146.00||+ 0.70 %|
|— Investments||$364,260.68||$377,384.50||$373,856.92||– $3,527.58||– 0.93 %|
|— Cash||$15,200.06||$17,789.26||$17,591.59||– $197.67||– 1.11 %|
|Liabilities||$380,680.28||$381,123.08||$377,523.55||– $3,599.53||– 0.94 %|
|— Mortgages||$354,056.12||$352,350.10||$350,636.90||– $1,713.20||– 0.49 %|
|— Auto Loan||$24,049.23||$23,629.41||$23,208.09||– $421.32||– 1.78 %|
|— Credit Card||$2,574.93||$5,143.57||$3,678.56||– $1,465.01||– 28.48 %|
There’s nothing very exciting about this month’s update. It’s likely the “calm before the storm”.
The S&P 500 Index remained fairly flat this month – well until the very last day, that is. I should have at least kept afloat with my contributions to my investments balance. Unfortunately the very lackluster funds I was holding in my 401k have been consistently down even more than the S&P index was last month: ARCSX and LADRX. My 401k offers a number of funds, but most of them have pretty high fees for their fund class. So unhappy with the higher fee index fund I was offered caused me to stupidly try and chase higher returns in those small cap/developing funds. I’ve learned my lesson, stick to my index/mix funds when given the choice. So I’ve moved into SMTZX entirely for my current 401k. It’s a retirement target date fund for 2040, which is an easy way to diversify and slowly ratchet down from equities to bonds over time. It’s my least worst choice. I always prefer total market or S&P 500 tracking index funds with super low expenses in accounts where I have more choice, my favorite being VTI in a Vanguard account – super low expense ratio, free trades, and a broad index.
Beyond the typical pay down of mortgages and a car loan, the biggest change this month is the lower credit card balance indicating lower month-to-month spending. We’re expecting our next baby in October and trying to wrap up the bathroom remodel as well as install a lot of carpet, so these past couple months have been higher spending than typical. (Though, that does seem to be a common refrain here this year. I suppose once the whole house is remodeled and the kids are a little older then that should wind down some.)
There’s some charges still pending for the carpet install that will be happening, so the balance will be high again next month. I can’t wait until it’s all done and we can stop spending and start piecing the house back together again. It’s anxiety inducing to be staying in our guest bedroom for so long (which now doubles as my office), with our bedroom furniture taken apart sitting in our rec room and boxes for the baby furniture stacked in there as well. The go ahead for carpet install is in another two and a half weeks, so we’ll be able to finally get settled after that.
We’ll see the cash dwindle a bit over the next few months as we pay for the carpet, buy more things to get ready for baby, and while one of my rental units turns over. I need to do some maintenance and get it ready to re-rent, so it’ll be vacant for at least half of August and likely more. Quite honestly, I’m getting pretty burnt out trying to remodel, work full time, do my landlord duties and keep up with the properties’ maintenance. The allure of the remodel and carpet install finishing is the carrot pushing me forward.