Archive for the ‘Finance’ Category

JAN Networth

February 10, 2008

JAN Networth

My FNBO saving account just announced that their interest rate had dropped once again so I will be moving my house buying funds to a Vanguard Money Market account. I have now also fully funded my Roth IRA for 2008, and looking good to max my TSP. My new goal is to store away extra funds into the Money Market as a saving towards a house or condo later on.

I still have my furniture fund but I will just be getting a bedroom set, desk and chair when I get back and into my own place sometime in September 2008. I will slowly buy furniture and housewares on a budget after the initial purchases. I priced out an entire apartment for almost 17k at Room and Board and would spent 10k at William Sonoma with the knowledge that yes I spent alot of money that I could have gotten something that did the job just was well cheaper; but I am looking at it more of if I buy that one item I will never have to buy that item again mentality. Rather pay good money up front and only have to replace it if its lost.

Right now I still do not know where I will be in September, I hoping for a urban location in the United States. If I end up in a rural area I will most likely just rent but if in a city I will buy a condo. I will most likely rent for the first six months either way so that I can get to know the neighborhoods. I am looking for a 1-2 bedroom condo in a walkable urban area, something that I can get with VA loan and hold on to in the years to come. Due to location I should always be able to rent or if needed sell it due to location. However great location = $$$. Thus the need to learn the market whatever I end up, that will also give me the time to have a decent amount of money for a down payment and cover costs.

The market is going back and forward but not too worried, I just keep picking up shares and in for the long run. I did change my TSP from a Life cycle to International, since with my Target Retirement from Vanguard and Vanguard 500 index I wanted more international exposure.

DEC Networth

January 15, 2008

dec-networth.jpeg

Big improvement from when I started this earlier in the year. No change on a few items as I wait for data to be updated.

Financial Goals for 2008

-Fully fund my Roth IRA (75% complete)

-Fully fund my TSP (1/12 complete)

-Start saving money for future condo/house (0%)

-Continue to fund my taxable accounts and take a good look into DRIPS (1/12 complete)

NOV NETWORTH at New Years

January 1, 2008

NOV NETWORTH

Well, I was able to put away just a tad more, which will disappear tomorrow when I start funding my Roth IRA. I realize this is the NOV networth but I am always a month and half behind on posting these. Looking back on the year, I did not do too bad. I missed fully funding my TSP, but I will put in $15,500 this upcoming year even though I could put in $45k since I am deployed, but I lack the money;)

I plan to fully fund my Roth and TSP this year, and get an taxable mutual fund to get more international exposure.

I have to start looking for housing when I get back to the states. I did not accept the bonus $30k for three years, instead getting a changing my job from combat arms into a specialty area of being a Comptroller. It just so happens Comptroller and the Finance Branch are merging in 2008, so I will end the year being a Finance Manager. In the military, its a bit different then civilian world, but its basically still a job of budgeting and funding. A new world of options have opened for me with this, and when I retire in 14 years (plan on 20, as long as I am having fun) I will have a much better leg up in the civilian world vs combat arms (basically leadership / management of a larger group).

My SDP (Saving Deposit Program) is building up quite nicely on that 10% interest rate. I plan to throw it into the FNBO account at 5.05% when i get back and use the funds to buy furniture and household goods.

No resolutions, I prefer to make changes when I realize I need to make a change. Its was a good year, I have some very fond memories, even though I spent the majority of the year in Iraq.

OCT Networth

December 6, 2007

OCT NETWORTH

I am later then normal in posting this due to work and life. Networth has decreased due to some investment losses, which is really short term.

SEPT Networth

October 26, 2007

SEPT_NETWORTH

Well I have finally gotten around to updating this, no longer have access at work, so takes a bit more work. I still have a little bit of credit card debt and some fire insurance on a property listed because the payment from checking has not posted yet, but they are paid. I finally after months got access to the HSBC account and transfered the money over, logged in the next day and had $17.26 in interest that was added after I had transfered the funds, so in the process of moving the interest then I will be closing the account. Putting money into the FNBO account but those transfers have not posted. While on leave I was given a chance to pick up some land for next to nothing, since it was in the family. I initially did not plan to list property since I cannot turn it into cash overnight, but since it is equity, I have decided to go ahead and list it at what its assessed value according to the 2007 property assessment. I was unsure how to put a price on the land and houses otherwise, figured this was the most straight forward. I am not looking to inflate my  net worth just see and track my slow improvement.

August Networth

September 25, 2007

AUG Networth

Ok, a bit late updating this, I was back in the states much like my last post was typed a month ago but just now got posted.

I took on some credit card debt while I was on leave in the states, mostly having to buy some clothing since everything I had was in storage in GA, and airline tickets.

I still have no access to the HSBC account, I had planned to get that fixed while in the states but never did. I will recontact them again this week. I will also have to contact FNBO, I have forgotten some information I need to access that account so in both cases I have interest that is not reflected.

I have maxed the SDP account, so now I will sit back and watch the interest grow in that account. I now have $740 dollars a month that is a budget surplus. I will pay off the credit card bill first, followed by increasing my TSP contribution along with allocating money into a fund for future vacations, since I have been asked quite nicely to go to Alaska when I get back to the US after this deployment.

July Networth

August 2, 2007

My July networth:

my_july_networth.jpg

 My HSBC account is still at $5000; it has interest in the account but unsure how much since I have no access to the account.  Its been two months and even with one phone call; I have not recieved my password in the mail. I will need to call them again, once I do have access I will remove the funds, their service is horriable.

I am also waiting for my SDP to show the $5,000 I deposited into the account, the amount has left my bank on the tracker till I see it pop up in the SDP. The 10% interest rate there is amazing. I will finish maxing it at $10,000 this month, then racket up my TSP.

I lowered my car’s value down to $15,000. I can get more but not in a timeframe that I would really need to liquidite it. To be honest I would rather have a deflated sense of networth (notice, not included household items, and real estate) then some inflated number. I look at the concept of networth as everything I quickly turn into cash.

My mutual funds took, a hit from the market, but I am not worried. It provides an opportunity to buy low, since I plan to hold on to my stuff for awhile.

In other news, watching the news of the bridge collapse up in the Twin Cities.  The death toll appears low for now, hopefully it will not rise.

 

FICO, credit cards and other musings

July 17, 2007

Well, I got my credit reports awhile back in the mail. The free ones your entitled to due to the law, however you still have to pay money to see you credit score. I swear the entire credit industry seems to be a racket, I understand the service they provide, but something seems wrong with the entire industry. Maybe I look back on some historical idea of coffee houses, with insurance and banking and people who evaluate credit based on knowledge of a person. Granted this idea would never work in the modern world other then a local credit union. I understand the objective nature of the data vs the subjective, the problem seems to be that the credit reporting companies have no quality control on what is reported to them, some companies report accurately, others send some data with errors. You can dispute anything and if no reply within 30+5 days (5 days for mail) the item in dispute is supposed to be removed. The consumer has to check their reports and dispute errors at least yearly otherwise all kinds of junk from people who are not even you seems to end up in the reports. It find it strange that someone can make money selling erroneously reports for a living; I say that because apparently the majority of reports do have errors. It’s like selling a house as new that needs to be fixed to live in. *boggle*

Well, I paid to get my scores to see where I was at compared to everyone else. When I averaged all three I was 763. I find it strange looking at my credit reports, it lists credit cards I do not not even remember owning.. must have been something I signed up for in college to get a free shirt or just errors. I have one payment that was 30 days late, off a Discover card I have not used in recent memory, in fact I canceled the card just the other day for that exact purpose and that the quality of service has never been good. The one late payment was due to Discover card not updating records.. IE I paid it before it was due but they did not process it till much afterwards… I gave up that fight and never used the card again. Looks like I may as well go ahead and dispute it now, though.

However, almost a year ago I lost my wallet and reported everything to all my card companies, Discover send me a new card as did my bank etc.. however, Discover card opened an a new account for the card. This explains why all my points disappeared on the Discover card when I checked but to make matters worst the one 30 day late payment is counted twice now by two of the credit reports. I will dispute that with them, since rather strange to count the same thing twice. New account, but strangely the credit history for the card carried over but everything else (points) did not.

I will keep my USAA MasterCard credit card and debit card, and my USAA AMEX. I honestly never use the credit unless I am buying a large purchase for the additional protection.

USAA recently contracted for credit monitoring for an additional five bucks and some change a month. Does anyone use these services? I tend to pay attention to my banking and would notice strange changes to my banking plus the bank requires phone calls for large purchases (when I brought my 50″ TV, I had to call them on the phone at Circuit City to approve the charge), plus credit cards only hold you liable for $50 as long as you report issues to them within a reasonable amount of time. “Reasonable” may depend on your bank. Now, someone wants to take out a loan in my name.. I really have no way of knowing. I am wondering if anyone views the service as reasonable or a waste of money as long as you pay attention to what your doing with your identity.

June Net-worth

July 5, 2007

I am going to try to track my net-worth. I decided not to track property or household items. I have included my car, since I can sell it within a week or two if I put an effort into selling it.

June Networth

The HSBC account is somewhat unknown, I deposited $5,000 but yet to have access to the account. They have a system which while designed for customer safety is annoying, no one you talk to in on the phone or email has access to your account name and password. The account name is sent by email and the password in postage mail. I have not received my password even though the money was deposited back in May. I have sent emails and called their phone support, which surprised me since they accept collect calls if your calling international. While being very nice, they were not too helpful mainly due to the above reason stated. They said they would mail me my password again since according to them they had tried twice but it was returned both times. This is strange, USAA, said this recently in regards to my American Express card, they tried twice to send it to me but it was returned. I find it strange that the mailman can drop off mail to my home of record in the states with no problem but bank information gets kicked back. Even stranger is they have my email address listed, but neither bank made any attempt to contact me in regards to the mailing issue. *makes one wonder*

 Either way, I am planning to put more money into TSP (up to 35% of my pay) and plan to have my SDP sitting at $10,000 before the end of August.

Got started with Vanguard

June 15, 2007

Opened up an account with them today and put in my initial $3000 for the Vanguard 500 Index Fund.  I will setup an allotment to put around $250 in it each month and just let it build. I avoided the fee’s by signing up to recieve all my documents electronicaly.  I am about to start the process of moving my Roth IRA from USAA to Vanguard.  I love USAA (not everyone is eligible) but the expenses are lower at Vanguard and they have allocation adjusting funds, like the Target Retirement 2045 Fund.  I will still keep my checking, credit cards and insurance at USAA.  Their service is amazing, and one of the few companies who win awards for it. I like finance, but I do not want to do research daily. I would rather add money in over time and collect it later in life with the asset allocation already done.

I am not a financial guru, just explaining what I am doing with my money.

I am realized that as I started to make more money I was also increasing my lifestyle. Lifestyle inflation is not a bad thing, it should increase as you get older and make more. The problem is that too many people live outside their means and while you have nice houses and cars, they are in debt so bad they are taking payday loans out to buy food. *boggle*