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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

April 2014 update ($ 293,958 +$20,630 or +8%)



 RUB is up towards USD, for my portfolio it is gain $ 340
Vanguard energy ETF is up by $ 600
Gazprom shares are up by $18,954
↑ Rosneft shares are up by $ 544
Accumulated $4,000 USD as part of my annual savings goal.
Grand total additions: $ 24, 438

EUR and GBP are down towards USD, for my portfolio it is loss $2,675
Vanguard 500 Index is lost $300 or 2% since March 2014.
Precious metals lost $ 833 or 6.5% since last month.

Grand total losses: $ 3,808

Friday, March 28, 2014

Buying vs. Renting



After certain considerations I am coming back to review whether it worth buying a house or keep on renting.
Here is our current assumptions:
Desired house price – $ 450 K, current rental price for the home we live in -  $ 16.8 K ($ 1,400 a month).
Available savings for closing cost and downpayment - $ 100 K, net annual money available to pay mortgage $36 K.
Mortgage – 6% interest rate, annual real estate price inflation (appreciation) – 4%.

Cost of buying (closing cost) will include – mortgage arrangement fee, moving in cost,  property buying tax (roughly 3%) – all together $ 21,5 K
We have accumulated deposit of $ 100 K, so after cost of buying (closing cost) the house we could pay $ 80 K, as downpayment or 18%.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

March 2014 update ($274,320 -$30,940 or -10%)



Vanguard ETF gained 1,500 USD
Vanguard VOO gained 900 USD
Company shares gained 110 USD
Accumulated $8,000 USD as part of my annual savings goal.
Gold gained $530 USD
Grand total additions: $11,040

Gazprom shares lost 39,650 USD
Rosneft shares lost 1,930 USD
GBP lost towards USD and EUR. My loss is 400 USD.
Grand total losses: $41,980

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Financial Independence Ramblings



            I was going to write a post about a fellow blogger, who has been writing on financial independence quite a long time and claimed almost 1,300 posts on the subject.  Year after year his ambitions grew and goal was always several years away.   
             He was born and raised in China, but went to the USA to get a better life and landed a job with Microsoft to return back to China as an expat, selling the products back home.  After accumulating about $ 1 million and having no mortgage or a house owned, he returned to the USA from China. Decided to buy a house and managed to get $ 1 million house in Seattle. 
             Obviously at this stage frugality or financial independence are again couple of decades away, should he continue his life style.  Now he decided to side track from personal finance and financial independence subjects and try his luck in general finance topics to attract advertisement to his blog (last couple of years he had very infrequent posts).
            I was rather disappointed to see this happening to begin with, as there is plenty of blogs targeting theme of finance for advertising purposes.   In my “favorites” there is only handful of blogs, which I believe sincerely and openly working to reach financial independence, while sharing the results.
               There is growing gap between the rich and the poor.  In 2012 top 5% of earners were responsible for 38% of domestic consumption, up from 28% in 1995.   Since 2009, the year the recession ended, inflation adjusted spending by top 5% is increased by 17%,  while bottom 95% of the people increased theirs only by 1%.
             Among hotel the revenue is growing much faster in the high-end category (Four Seasons, etc..) twice as than in the midscale (Best Western, etc.). The rebound of the stock market only widen the gas, as approximately 50% of Americans have no effective participation in the surging stock market.
           I do not consider myself a middle-class as temporarily I do earn reasonably good money but for me middle-class is about what one owns, rather earns. The salary is an uncertainty and risks but even it , I just started accumulating the nest egg, in spite being 6 years to my financial independence.
            I will keep on going, focusing on the personal financial moves and share the learning, thoughts,  ideas.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

January 2014 update ($304,263 +$5,834 or +2%)



Company shares went down by $ 0.4 a share but with the re-invested dividends number of shares went up from 271 to 275. Overall value went up by $70.
EUR and GBP are up to USD, for me it means $2,339 USD for EUR and 620 for GBP.
accumulated $4,000 as part of my annual savings goal.
Dividend Vanguard Energy ETF 578 USD after paying 10% tax
Vanguard SPF 500 ETF 82 USD after paying 10% tax.
Gold is up by $1,030
Grand total additions:  $8,719

Vanguard Energy ETF is down $1,800
Vanguard 500 Index is down $500
Gazprom shares are down $290
RUB is down to USD by $325
Rosneft shares are down by $690
Grand total losses: $2,885

Friday, January 10, 2014

Real life portfolio performance 2012-2013



There is two ways, how could I look at my portfolio and actions in 2013:
Option 1
Value
Performance indicator
Comments
Absolute return
$, K
%

6,2
2.7
Relative return
S&P 500, %
Portfolio, %
Missed opportunity due to overexposure to cash.
30
2.7
Cash accumulated in 2010 money
Planned $, K
Actual $, K
On target.
40
42
Personal plan
in 2010 money
Planned $, K
253
Actual $, K
265
Also the saving were on target I manage to exit damaging emerging market mutual funds

Monday, January 6, 2014

2014 Financial Independence Goals



Financial:
- Accumulate at least $47,000 (This is  40,000 in 2010 money)  or $4,000 a month for investments during 2014, beginning  2015.
- Portfolio to be at $370,000 by end of the year.
- Think about additional source of income.  My blog start bringing some measurable income but want to beef up with some streams.

Blog:
- Regular monthly updates
- To cover 6 themes on financial independence.
- Create easy tracker for the long term portfolio performance.
I have no intentions to move towards an entertaining blog with 2-3 weekly posts.   I will endeavor my best efforts to stay on personal subject of financial independence and family budget.  

Educational:
-  Create list of books to read  & read them- 12 books is minimum.
-  Publish the books reviews.

Family Budget:
- Stay under $84,000 with the family expenses
- Accumulate $7,000 towards durable goods replacement over 10 years.

Be happy.  Run 1,000 miles during the year.