Monthly Update

Monthly Update

It’s been another great month at the FIRE household.  First, a stock that I have a great deal of money in went up another 52% from the 30% it increased last month, growing the position value from $57.8k to $121k. I don’t foresee such great returns in the future, but in another week I will have held onto the stock for a year and finally benefit from the long-term capital gains tax rate. If the stock goes up any more, I could easily reach my two year goal.

In other good news, I also got word back from US Bank, which handles my personal loan, that they had discovered an error in their system and that I was in fact paying too much interest and that they in fact owed me money.  Apparently if you have a personal account with them they’re supposed to give you a 1% discount off the interest and this had been missed in my situation. Lucky me!  That will shave a good $500+ off my total interest payments if I followed the loan amortization schedule.

I also managed to get the internet service discount that I wanted, despite turning down the offer that Xfinity gave me over the phone initially. Apparently if you even call in about your bill they will offer you a lower discount in the mail just to keep your business, so now I pay only $68.40 for my service.  It’d be even lower if I could get rid of the TV package that comes with it, but unfortunately that is bundled in and you can’t get rid of it no matter what. Either way that cuts my yearly expenses by $240.  Again though, if I had no roommate I would be happy with a $20 plan at half the internet speed, which would save me hundreds more.

On the downside, a variety of bills came due this month (virus protection, dating services, etc) and I have less cash in hand than I like.  At least I won’t need to pay these bills again for another year.

Updated figures are below.

Assets

$1.8k in cash
$1,650 in bonds
$27.7k in 401k/Roth IRA
$123k in stocks
$100k home equity (House value $290k – Home mortgage $190k, )

Liabilities

$12.5k in a personal loan (@9%, being paid off at $534/mo)
$17.7k in school loans (@6%, being paid off at $600/mo)
$190k home mortgage (at 4.125%, being paid off at $1400/mo, half from me, half from a mother-in-law unit I rent out)

Cashflow

$650/mo in rent, on a month-by-month basis

Thanks to my stock gains, my net worth is now around $250,000, which puts me well above my age group. The biggest debate I’m facing now is what to do with my stock gains. In another week I can sell the stock at a low tax rate and basically reach my two year goal nearly two years early.  That said, the stock still has a good long term growth perspective and may grow considerably if I leave my money there for longer.  It’d be great to not only reach my two year goal, but to have my house paid off and have enough money left over to buy a quadplex too. My expenses would drop like a rock and I’d have enough to be financially independent by most people’s standards. I would have almost zero money concerns for the rest of my life and that’d be wonderful.  Another perspective too is that I could take the money and start a stock trading business (which I will describe in more detail later) and make even more money at a faster clip. From what I’ve read it doesn’t really make sense to trade for a living until you’ve got an account worth $250k and I am nearly there. If I were to cash in now and pay off everything it would take me years to get enough free money to go down this route again.  *Ugh* Financial security now, or possible earlier retirement later….what a tough choice.

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