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March 2-22 Wrap up

April 5th, 2022 at 06:27 pm

The market has rebounded nicely in these past few weeks  We are down 10% in retirement and 20% in our taxable.  But then again we also got our unexpected stock sale so we made some money.  Here is what we did with it.


35.74% to 529

5.71% to spending

9.52% to I bonds

48.05% to taxable savings

the 5.71% spending I just threw into our emergency fund.  I am going to use to it spend a little extra. I also will probably cut back on savings for the year since we basically saved 95% of our windfall and 66% of income for the year.  I'm thinking I do want to spend the 5% i earmarked and not just save it. 

Things I bought already tickets to hamilton, Jack white, red hot chili pepper concerts this summer/fall.  Tickets to Las Vegas for a weekend trip.  Tickets to Hawaii for summer.  I also would like to do a few more weekend trips probably SF and maybe an october trip to Disneyland.  Some of this we would have paid for and the rest will be covered by this spending.  That plus not saving more than $16k more this year for Roth IRA and ESA contributions. 

I'll still be doing $2k/year to each kid for college until age 18 just because but I don't think I need to be doing more than that anymore.  Our kids will have college 100% paid for now and extra for a house downpayment, wedding, or car.   The taxable accounts I started will be for something else.  We have 6 figures in each 529+ESA and they are 12 and 9 plus another $50k in taxables for them.  But I will no longer stress out about affording the future. 

Everything else is for us.  I know we aren't obligated to help our kids with college. I know that we are not obligated to gift them with a hand out after college.  But I've always aspired to be able to pay 100% for college and be able to provide a house downpayment, car, and maybe even wedding.  I always wished to have been so fortunate and a little envious of people whose parents were able to help them.  I understand DH and I families were not in the situation to help us and now if anything we are about to start paying for my grandmother financially.  But since we are in such a fortunate position I am thankful for everything and going to take advantage of it.

headache of merrill lynch

March 17th, 2022 at 05:16 pm

See if you understand this headache merrill lynch is giving me.  They issued me a 1099R for money i did not take out in 2021 from a Roth IRA because i moved it to chase.  Then they cashed it out in February 2022 because I called and it was a headache to move the $65.  Well I got the 1099 and argued with them and now they are trying to give me another 1099 for 2022 for the same money.  

I called and said how can it be legal to give me a 1099R for the same money two years in a row? They said they could make a 60 day rollover but then they were told that it wasn't possible.  When I pointed out it was incorrect they kept trying to fix everything but the right way of sending me a 1099R corrected. 

I gave up today and called them and told them stop already.  Send me a corrected 1099R period.  No more lies, no more "fixing" a problem to cause more problems. I am filing a form 4852 and that's it.  I'm done.   Sometimes these companies do things to cover their own behind instead of the right thing.

How low can it go?

January 21st, 2022 at 07:01 pm

I just dumped my $2k into each child's ESA and $6k into our Roth IRA.  So $16k gone to investments.  Anyway I'm thinking of buying more QQQ. I buy etfs mostly and VOO and QQQ are big ones for me.  

I'm not sure if I should wait and see how much lower it can go or not. I don't monthly DCA I just dump usually Jan/Feb of every year the contributions that I spend the year accumulating.  This year I hope to accumulate it as well.

DH got a raise supposedly but I'm not sure how much and I'm not sure when we'll see it so let's just say it'll happen eventually.  Since I don't know how much the only thing I know is it was supposedly approved.

Unfortunately we also owe on our taxes this year.  Not as bad as prior years I think $1500.  Could be worse.  It's hard to say because of 1099 we are missing I have no idea what we will have in capital gains or distributions.  I can't believe 2021 is gone.

2021 wrap up

January 7th, 2022 at 08:26 pm

2021 was an interesting year for us in so many ways.  Financially we did well even with a paycut.  Our net worth went up about $500k.  We paid off 2% of our mortgage or about $15k.  We refinanced to a 7 year arm at 2% in June.  We currently pay ~$1400/month to rent our house and ~$1800 in principal.  We saved about 45% of our income even after the paycut.  

DH and I both started our own companies and not working for the man.  I'm self-employed and working solo.  We'll see how this year goes as my first year really doing it.  My DH started a company with others and is working like crazy as a founder.  It was a large risk but it appears to have paid off he's still working but it's going well.

We were fortunate to lose no one to covid this year.  Although my uncle passed away from old age my family did well overall for 2021 and that is amazing.  I'm hoping that 2022 is just as fortunate and everyone stays in good helath.  My DK1 was diagnosed with autism and it was a bittersweet moment.  Good because everything I thought and suspected was confirmed.  But at the same time it hard to hear and worry about the future had me stressed out for a month. I cried (obviously I blogged) a lot for a month.

But overall it was a good year.  I'm hoping 2022 will be equally well.  Happy New Year!  15 years (i missed my anniversary and so much has changed).  At that time we had a net worth of probably around $80k.  Wow. 

Headache with consolidating funds

May 12th, 2021 at 08:19 pm

OMG I can't stand it. I am trying to refinance with Chase. I have to move money over to get the best rate. I also wanted to consolidate our accounts.  BUT turns out I can't move money around easily.  Why?  Because when I moved money last year to Merrill Lynch they got my name wrong.  I did not input it wrong so they obviously opened accounts not in the right name.  Sigh.  Can't move money electronically.  I am leaving Merrill Lynch because they have no branches.  I tried to deposit a 401k Rollover check and couldn't drop it at Bank of America.  I'm not sure why the hell there is no one working. I guess because of covid apparently people don't work in office.  Great.  No.

Why the hell have all these requirement to open accounts in office if you don't have bodies in office?  Why bother having branches?  I guess I'm frustrated with how difficult this all is.

Reallocating my portfolio

May 12th, 2021 at 05:57 pm

I made a substantial move and sold half of DH's VNQ (vanguard real estate REIT) we were holding in his Roth IRA.  I did this because I have been thinking about it buying WPC another real estate stock. I wanted to move back from $100k to $50k into each stock.   I wanted RE but I wanted a little more balance of commercial loans and overall RE.   I still would like to buy a rental but not right now.  We have too much going on.

Well the market is dropping and I'm debating putting more money in.  I just don't have as much as I would like right now.  I have $40k in liquid cash, plus it's $10k in sink funds. It's weird to see so much money that we are "Saving" in liquid cash.  Today was payday.  I have $5100 Property taxes, $4450 Sink, and $600 Roth IRA.  

I'm not sure what to use Sink funds for.  I was thinking kids lessons.  But if we can float it on our normal monthly budget i can save the sink funds.

Have you touched your investments?  Are you staying the course?

last month spending and update Net worth

June 8th, 2020 at 05:27 pm

So last month we went away for 3 days and spent $59.29 on gas to get there and backs. Otherwise we filled before we left for $24.72 for all the driving we did for the month. Our hotel $547.88 for 2 nights. And we spent $168.47 for take out. Very nice weekend.

Otherwise we spent $874.23 on groceries, below our normal $1200 we've been averaging for the past 2 months. I suspect June it'll be higher because I'm eating so much more fruits and veggies. We still spent $421.92 on eating out probably because I was eating out beginning of the month before the whole 30 "diet" kicked in. I am curious how this will affect our budget.

Our retirement investments are down about $52k though we've been contributing since Feb 1st consistently.
February 2020 Retirement
$149k LAL Roth
$373k DH Roth
$542k DH 401k

June 2020 Retirement
$128k LAL Roth
$357k DH Roth
$524k DH 401k

Taxable accounts Feb 2020
$110k Investments
$131k Cash

June 2020 Taxable
$169k Investments
$185k Cash

We've surpassed our Net worth in February not because of investment gains but because we have been just saving money.

I made a mistake on my investments in April 2020. Well technically I made a mistake on my DK 529.

trying to sell before the market drops

May 15th, 2020 at 09:21 pm

So DH's stock vested today and annoyingly enough it didn't hit his account to sell. I'm dying. Literally dying. I need him to sell it because the market is so crazy right now that I can't take the uncertainty.

For us the stock is part of his compensation and we do not hold onto for "gain". We cash out and stick it before in taxable account for investments. We always save it. As I explain to friends, clients, anyone who asks, you don't hold stock for the same company you work for. Think enron? Or the big car companies.

To hold all that stock and they go bust. I don't think DH's company will go bust. But I don't want to risk anything happening. We already have enough inherent risk by working there. To tie up our net worth into one company is risky.

So we sell and we don't make the profit probably others do. But maybe they have a second full time working spouse, but even then I think we'd sell. Or maybe they are single and without kids. I might hang on then. But otherwise it's a big chunk of DH's compensation? How large? As of right now he has made salary 45%, stock 35% and 20% bonus. So risking a 1/3 of DH's salary.

If anyone else does this I commend you for being super risky. It's more risk than being 100% in stocks or mutual funds. But for me? I find myself deleveraging ourselves and trying to minimize risk by selling stock and looking at the cash and going that's the salary.

stocks and meal planning and reopening

April 27th, 2020 at 11:43 pm

I sold two fridays ago and locked in some gains. I bought like $2k of shorts on dow jones and SP. Today i bought however VOO and QQQ, not sure which way it's going. I cashed out the kids and locked in gains for a bit. I want to see where the market is headed.

That being said we're having lasagna tonight with homemade bolognase sauce I made in slow cooker overnight. Last week I made curry. My kids are done with curry, stew, and chili. I think this week I'm making loco moco, dumplings, pierogies. I'm also thinking of going grocery shopping FINALLY first time in a month. It's been 4 weeks since a major costco run and I am due. I also am thinking about trader joes. I haven't been since February.

So if my state re-opens? What will I do? Well we won't be going out to dinner. We will do takeout still probably once a week maybe more. It took us about 3 weeks to do takeout and now we do it about once a week. I think we might do it more frequently if everything lifts.

We will though still likely cook and I'll minimize going to grocery store. I mean we don't use instacart or grocery delivery because it means waiting and I don't bother. But I think we'll start weekly shopping again after we re-open. Right now once a month is hard. But I'll also go to more stores instead of costco and safeway.

I will miss being able to just go to the store when we want. I will also go solo still and leave DH and kids at home. It's been a long time since the kids have been or DH out somewhere. I think they'd like to go, but my kids seem nervous. I also think that we'll probably have friends come over for a meal. Can't wait. That's the biggest thing is this social distancing. We want to see our friends and families. DH's cousin came over yesterday, first time in 8 weeks or something? And we had drinks in our driveway 6 ft plus apart. It wasn't the same. Usually we see them 2x/month or every other week for dinner or dessert. Usually we'd be planning on flying to see my parents or in-laws or BIL. Now we have no plans.

I feel like the days are lovely and calm but dragging on. Anyway I'm hopeful that we can at least socialize a little with people. But I do believe people will socialize differently and not the same way. I really don't think people will go back to eating out asap. Or going to salon. I'll be practicing cutting DH's hair for awhile.

day trading day 5

April 5th, 2020 at 10:24 pm

I didn't have margin accounts set up to do options. I applied so I'll have to wait. Either way I placed orders to open tomorrow.

I'm buying
50 shares of DXD $1600
50 shares of SDS $1500

I want to buy a put option (shorting) expedia. I think it'll drop by May 15th to $40. If I get approved I'll buy it.

I believe that will be a $1200 bet. That should be it for me for awhile. That will be $10k in stock bets I have no idea if I'll win. It will also be stocks I don't want to hold.

I am thinking of buying some currency trades as well.

day trading day 2

April 3rd, 2020 at 08:45 pm

So I invested more than I expected today. I sunk in $23k in cash into the market. I said I was sticking to $5-10k, but I ended up more. Why? Here's what I bought and I'll explain below why and what happened.

Stock Cost Daily Value Gain/Loss
UCO $809.95 $1,490.00 $680.05
CCL $806.00 $851.00 $45.00
Costco $5,790.20 $5,772.80 -$17.40
JETS $1,209.00 $1,230.00 $21.00
TSLA $4,786.10 $4,789.60 $3.50
TUP $130.50 $140.00 $9.50
WMT $2,368.00 $2,387.80 $19.80
WTIU $210.00 $220.00 $10.00
KO $4,365.50 $4,387.00 $21.50
KO $5,883.00 $4,387.00 -$1,496.00
KO SUM $10,249.50 $8,774.00 -$1,475.50
XOM $3,924.00 $3,940.00 $16.00
XOM $6,260.95 $3,940.00 -$2,320.95
XOM SUM $10,184.95 $7,880.00 -$2,304.95

First I dollar cost averaged another 100 shares of Coke (KO) and Exxon Mobil (XOM). I like the dividend of both stocks so I figured why not. The long term play is to hold both stocks. This was an extra $8k invested. I DCA KO at $51.74. and XOM at $50.9248. It's possible it'll drop more and I'll want to buy more. But the reasons why I wanted them are still there so I'm buying.

Second I bought 10 shares of Tesla (TSLA) for $4789. I had been regretted not buying TSLA when it hit $900/share and have been wanting to hold it long term. I think it'll be the best EV maker. So I pulled the trigger and I'll be holding it awhile.

Third my interesting possible long term play is Costco (COST) and Walmart (WMT). I put my money where my mouth is. I shop a lot at costco. I think they are going to have a blockbuster quarter and are recession proof. I think the same of walmart. Everyone else I know lives in an urban/suburband bubble. But I think WMT is best positioned for this recession and online grocery order. I think amazon has problems with delivery and stocking groceries. But walmart? They are literally in every small town and across america. They have everything and during this time and moving forward I believe that people will turn to something that is easy to shop. And walmart is getting their online shopping and delivery up to speed. Amazon is struggling with delivery and warehouses. WMT has warehouses already built. These are two stocks I think are long term holds possibly. I also think they are going to go gangbusters during this "recession".

Finally I put in about $3100 in stocks I think can go bust. Literally go to $0.

UCO $809.945 - Crude Oil 2x
CCL $806 - Carnival Cruise Lines need i say more
JETS -$1290 - Airline ETF
TUP - $130 - Tupperware
WTIU - $210 - Oil ETF 3x

So here it is day 2.

i peeked

December 20th, 2018 at 06:07 pm

I peeked at our portfolio. I haven't done anything more than look at the numbers and boy are we bleeding. Our retirement is down less than we contributed. Same with taxable. Only thing saving us is our cash.

Oh well I'm due to rebalance anyway first week in January I'll do it. We've lived through this before. In 2007-2008 because we take such an aggressive investment stance we take very large declines. This time we're down more than we contributed but since retirement is another 10 years off we're fine. Keep on investing same time monthly and annually. I won't change a single thing. In january I fund Roth IRA and kids VTI college funds.

One thing that will also save our net worth is paying off $20k in mortgage, $20k in car loans. Debt reduction. Of course paying cash for the end of our renovation helped too.

Have you peeked? Are you changing anything?

paying a financial advisor

December 12th, 2018 at 04:46 am

So I've been doing 1 class at a time to be a Certified financial planner. It will cost $5000 to get the certificate. I enjoy the online classes. I'd like be a fee for service financial planner.

I had a phone call evaluation by personal capital today and they tried to sell me their services. It was absolutely rotten, horrible experience.

The website is great. I use it to track my spending and x-ray my investments. But I would NEVER pay 0.89% of the value of our portfolio to have them to tell me which 90 stocks to buy to replace Vanguard Total Index Stock market ETF. Let alone buy the SAME etf small cap (russell) and international, and real estate. Why would anyone?

I mean they have to beat the returns I get by a solid 1% not including all the trading fees and inefficient costs of BUYING and SELLING stocks. I got oh we know how to properly tax loss harvest. I said great so do I. And I don't need to do that since I don't take money out of my investments usually. I keep cash and hence why I have so much cash on hand so I can just pay for stuff like the car we are buying without cashing out our investments.

The woman was like oh you shouldn't have bonds or dividends outside an IRA. I was like I pay 15% mostly on our dividends. It's well worth it. Oh but if you put it in your IRA you won't pay any. Better off taking risk and having greater returns in IRA (especially Roth IRA) and not paying any taxes on large long term gains. Even 15% isn't bad on long term capital gains honestly.

It was such a miserable call. It was infuriating that she's basically trying to sell me 90 individual stocks that will "beat" the total vanguard stock index. That because I invest so heavily in the index I am too weighted in technology and not enough elsewise.

Yes if I let them manage my money they would keep techonolgy at 15% and buy 90 stocks to diversify and properly balance my large US cap investment. I can't imagine a worse sales pitch.

It made me hate idea of being a CFP if all you do is a sales pitch. Versus the idea of being fee based advisor who gives advice not to make money off commission or portfolio size.

Anyway it just left a super terrible taste in my mouth. She also said they would help me invest my DH's 401k, but when I pointed out why? There is limited optionsor investments why do I need advice?

Oh well it's a big picture thing. I told her I already did that and I rebalance my entire portfolio anyway based on his 401k because we can't pick our investments. So we have Bonds index and total stock market index in his 401k. Those were the lowest costs index.


ceding control of investments

February 5th, 2018 at 08:08 am

Reading TexasHusker's post made me reflect a little. From the start my DH and I had conflicting investment strategies. He believed he could beat the market, I never thought so. So when we met and before we married we had pretty much nothing. We were struggling to stay out of debt and pay our bills. When he got his first job we finally were married (got a green card), and started saving and investing. We each had a Roth IRA and his 401k. We put the 401k into investments chosen by his company and I picked them. Then we agreed to invest our Roth IRA ourselves. We could each choose to invest risky or not. He decided to buy individual stocks. I chose to invest in boring ETFs. I did better than him.

That being said. In around 2010 with the birth of our first child I cede control of my Roth IRA to DH because I fell into deep post-partum depression/anxiety. I was on medications for about 18 months until I was again pregnant. Then I was off for a few months but mid-way again I needed the medications. Please don't say I didn't need it, I did and yes I saw someone and I can describe now as this anxiety of wanting to throw myself off the roof or constant anxiety and fear of being crazy. I wasn't myself until I finished breastfeeding my DK2 at a little over a year so end of 2013. My hormones made me crazy. I suffered a miscarriage as well between DK1 and DK2 hence their 30 months apart instead of 24 months as I planned.

So I handled basically our budget, living expenses, and oversight of taxes. But I relinquished all investment control during this time and I couldn't tell you what we were doing. I could see it from our tax statements but I had no energy to care.

But we lost a ton of money in our Roth IRAs during this time though the market was good. DH was trading oil commodities. Lesson learned. Turned out this lesson made him realize he couldn't beat the market.

So he began investing in index funds and he changed his mentality after losing the money. That also allowed him later to get on board with hands off investing into index/etfs. Tomorrow I'll finally dig into our finances during that time.

E-File Cabinet Organization

January 11th, 2018 at 06:57 am

So we have an electronic file cabinet. We scan in everything, keep electronic copies of all statements, all tax documents, important receipts, etc. It makes very organized every month statement of investments, checking/savings/CC, loans, etc.

But it does take quite a bit of while. I have been working 1.5 hours tonight and I'm still not done. I'm doing monthly statements pretty much for every account we have for 2017.

I already have our 1099 for Chase for our checking/mortgage documents because of this. But loading each pdf can take awhile. Then saving it and cleaning it up. Further scanning in bills that are not electronic like our water bill takes time. Also invoices or receipts for our remodel takes awhile as well.

I used to try and keep up 1x/month. Usually in the 1st week I download all credit card bills and statements and sit and make payments as well on the 1st. This usually takes 1-2 hours. I also log each payment and copy the confirmation code into an excel spreadsheet. But today I am doing all statements for investments mostly I've missed in 2017.

Then after I'm done my DH comes along and backups our electronic file cabinet, that's what we really call it, onto an external hard drive along with our photos from our phones. He also do a cloud backup as well. So we have a few different copies of everything. Included our file cabinet is scans/photos of birth certificates, passports, visa, all important documents.

I will admit has become quite time consuming. Sometimes I wonder if I should just kick it off. But it really helps us keep all bill paid on time.

What do you do

Financial Update

September 20th, 2017 at 05:20 pm

MM inspired me to check and it's been a great year 2017 financially. Our retirement savings has gone up $131k so far this year with our contributions being $11k IRA and $12k into 401k. The taxable accounts are up $97k for the year. So we are up around $228k in net worth conservatively.

I hope the year continues like gang busters. At this rate we are on track within 5 years to be FI at our crazy spending rate. We are definitely FI if we would sell the house and live in a cheaper COLA. This is how compound interest works out in people's favor. The longer and earlier you start the more you have.

529 versus Real Estate

June 16th, 2017 at 05:31 pm

So we're doing our ESA at $2k/year for each kid. We have mentioned adding to that around $2k/year each kid into a 529.

Right now we are positioning ourselves to be financially independent soon enough not including college. DH will be 52 and I will be 50 when our youngest goes to college. I always had it as a goal that we would be Financially independent by 45 and I think it'll happen. But realistically I think we may have to wait until age 55 for DH to "retire" so that we could cash flow college.

But reading more about investing in real estate and I think in 2 years we could save enough to perhaps consider investing in it. I wonder if it would make sense to do a rental property for each child and use that instead of 529?

There are a lot of negatives including we're starting late, they won't be paid off and the cash flow might not work. Plus we'd need at least 2 homes for each child. But I wonder if this would make sense?

I can't do it for something that generates $100/month cash flow even with the depreciation tax break. I think that means we'll have to invest in something away and be an absentee landlord to make it happen.

Plus I need DH to get on board. I know he'll be anti-real estate. So anything I find has to make a lot of financial sense.

Any thoughts or experiences? Do you think this is a good idea? This is a long term play so I think with our financial situation we need at least 2 years of stability right now and planning. I need time to research to present my report to DH about where and how we will invest and who will manage the property for us. This is not something I feel we can jump into since we'll be needing to foot most of the cash down payment, emergency fund at first.

cash on hand

June 12th, 2017 at 04:26 pm

So we bought our house. We still have about 1.5-2 years of living expenses in cash. But we are planning on doing some extensive remodeling of the basement. We also have to stash another $15k for 2017 Roth IRAs and college savings. I'm thinking also that we should start $2k for each DK into a 529. That would take our savings to $19k plus $18k into the 401k.

I find myself hesitating because I don't want to not enough cash on hand to do a remodel cash. But it's a strange feeling after sitting on so much cash to be down to a more reasonable number and still hesitating to invest it.

Plus I feel like we have a tentative spending budget but there are a lot of variables we can't account for yet. Maybe by the end of the year I'll feel comfortable enough to invest some of our cash.

What about everyone else? My goal is 6 months cash on hand and the rest is invested. We used to live like this but when we moved without income we bumped it up to as much as possible.