Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Financial Independence Goals ($295,536 +$22,649 or +8%)

- Accumulate at least $48,000 (This is  $40,000 in 2010 money)  or $4,000 a month for investments during 2015, beginning  2016. – Complete. This has been done, $4,000 a month like a clock work.
- Portfolio should be able to generate   $9,000 a year after taxes in the money of the day  (In 2014 it was $7,500). Stretched target – $10,000.  NO. Actual dividends were $6,000 after taxes, which less  to the previous year. Two main reasons:
#1 I am sitting on a pile of cash, not investing them, i.e. not translating them into dividends (~ $100 K).
#2 USD is stronger, so the companies with operations outside US struggling to deliver performance.
Dividends for 2015:
S&P 500 Index fund ~ 740 USD after taxes or 1.7%
Emerging markets fund ~  500 USD after taxes or 3.5%
Rosneft ~ 250 USD after taxes or 3.3%
Gazprom ~ 4,500 USD after taxes or 4%
Average dividends 3% after taxes.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

December 2015 update ($295,536 -$7,218 or -2%)

↑ Accumulated $4,000 USD as part of my annual saving goal for December
↑ Received 4 additional Company shares for re-invested dividends ($0.47 USD per share before taxes or 5% annual dividends).
↑ Precious metals went up by $318 USD
↑ EUR appreciated to USD by 4% or $6,725 USD for my portfolio.
Grand total additions:  $11,044 USD

↓Emerging markets lost 6% or $763 USD
↓Vanguard S&P500 lost 2% or $1,049
↓ GazProm shares lost 12% or $12,720
↓ Company shares combined lost $1,264 USD or 8%
↓ Rosneft lost 14% or $1,224 USD
↓ iShares Core Dax lost 5% or $583
↓ GBP lost to USD 2% or $657 for my portfolio
Grand total losses:  US$  18,261

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The U.S. Middle Class is Losing Ground

Pew Research Center recently published a very interesting report on what is happening to the middle class in the US.  The report itself freely available online is recommended for reading, however if you do not have time to go through all 74 pages of it, I will share my observations and reaction to it. In 2015, 20% of American adults were in the lowest-income tier, up from 16% in 1971.   
Financial Independence - Household income in the USA 2014 -
        For the three person household the middle-income range was about $42,000 to $126,000 in 2014 dollars. Lower income households have incomes less than two thirds of the median and upper  income households have incomes that are more than double the median. Under this definition, the middle class made up 50% of the U.S. adult population in 2015, down from 61% in 1971.      In early 2015 120.8 million adults were in middle-income households, compared with 121.3 million in lower and upper-income households combined. Number of adults living in the middle income households has been steadily declining from 1971 to 2015.  As one commentator put it: American dream used to be a to own a house and two cars, new American dream it is to have a job.