Net worth progression from December 2017 to December 2018

Once a month I share my net worth.

Related: Net Worth Update #8 - November 2018

I do this as it’s motivational to see the progress other bloggers are making on their financial goals and, hopefully, to provide some motivation for others as well.

I shared my first net worth update back in April 2018 and have been sharing monthly updates since.

Here are my numbers for December 2018:

Cash Reserves
Savings Account$11,111   (+$18)
Checking Account$200        (-$26)
Total Cash Reserves$11,311   (-$8)
  
Non-Tax Advantaged Accounts
VTSAX$52,554  (+$3,188)
Brokerage Account$3,151    (-$201)
Total Non-Tax Advantaged$55,705  (+$2,987)
  
Tax Advantaged Accounts
401k$28,496  (-$2,063)
HSA$2,308    (+$404)
Roth IRA$4,819    (-$314)
Total Tax Advantaged$35,623  (-$1,973)
  
Net Worth$102,640   (+$1,006)

Progress

Here’s a look at my net worth progression since I started tracking it back in December of 2017:

Net worth progression from December 2017 to December 2018

Recap

From November to December my net worth increased by only $1,006 despite investing about $6,000 –– about $5,000 were (temporarily) lost to the hungry and volatile stock market. The $1,006 represents an increase of almost 1% since last month.

The stock market had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad month in December.

VTSAX dropped all the way down to $58.19 on December 24th (Merry Christmas!) from a high of $73.65 in September, a 20% decrease in 3 months. VTSAX hadn’t been this low since April 2017.

The fact that I made a gain this month at all is somewhat misleading.

The values of VTSAX, my Roth IRA (which is also invested in VTSAX), and my brokerage account above are based on their price on the 4th of January –– had I used their prices on the 3rd I would’ve had my first month with a decrease in net worth.

Here’s how VTSAX fared in December:

Stock price of VTSAX during December 2018

Cue Free Fallin’ by John Mayer… (which, as it turns out, is actually originally by Tom Petty. Yes, I only recently discovered this. Yea, yea, I’m an uncultured swine)

My rate of return since I started investing in December 2017 is now around -12%. Since most of my net worth (85%) is tied up in the stock market (primarily through VTSAX), it has been heavily affected.

Net worth broken down by source (cash, stock, bond)

Yet, though disappointing, I keep repeating to myself that the important thing is to stay in the market long-term and wait for things to right themselves. I haven’t actually lost anything until I sell.

I’m in no rush and will continue to invest in the stock market through VTSAX in the months and years to come.

Where Did My Money Go?

Between my last update and this one, I made one investment in VTSAX.

My only investment came on the 3rd of January when I invested $6,000 at $60.71 per share.

I didn’t quite make it in time to buy at the bottom when, on the 24th, VTSAX dropped to $58.19, but I was slightly fortunate as there was a $1.44 drop when I bought on the 3rd.

I had already reached the limit for my 401k in November, so I was unable to make any further contribution in December.

I’ll resume my 401k contributions in January and I’ll start working towards the new increased limit of $19,000 for 2019.

Where I’m Headed

In 2018, I reached my two main goals –– surpassing the $100k mark and maxing out my 401k.

With some help from the stock market, I should have the $200k mark within sight by the end of 2019.

Regardless, the plan remains the same: keep a high savings rate, plug all I can into VTSAX, and come next month, start chipping away once again at the 401k limit.

Thanks for reading and if you have any questions or comments, you can reach me at ziadig@gmail.com.