Happy New Year! 😎 As a personal finance blogger, I celebrated New Year’s Eve properly in the traditional fashion – by looking up the new value of my home on the BC assessment website. 😀 Needless to say my condo’s assessed value for 2020 has dropped. I will update my net worth next month to reflect the new value, but today’s post is meant to highlight my December 2019 finances.
A bullish decade
The U.S. stock market has been on a bull run for 130 months now – a historical record. But who would’ve guessed? In 2010 the dreadful malaise of the great recession was still lingering on investors’ minds. The stock market was still recovering. And many people felt uneasy and hopeless as the S&P 500 index returned virtually nothing from 2000 to 2009.
But it was a completely different story over the next 10 years. From 2010 to 2019 investors saw steady gains on Wall Street, with relatively low volatility and few setbacks. The S&P’s annualized return in the 2010s was 13% according to the NY Times. Not too shabby. The 29% return last year in 2019 really helped out any boomers who are retiring this year.
On the labour front, the unemployment rate dropped from 9.9% in 2010 to just 3.5% now. Real median household incomes rose 12% during that time.
Canadians have much to celebrate as well. The TSX Composite gained around 6.7% annualized. It’s not great, but also not bad. The MLS price index shows homes are now worth 67% more across the country than 10 years ago. But that varies a lot depending on location and type of home. Bond portfolios rallied around the world as central banks competed to see who can lower their interest rates the most. Overall it had been an economically fruitful decade for many people. 🙂
Increasing my cash holdings
I remember that 2018 was a rough year where the stock market fell 12% in Canada, and 6% in the U.S. But since we entered into 2019 on a fairly low point, this past year has been an absolute blessing. The market rebounded and helped to propel my wealth upwards by $261K in a single year. Which isn’t all that impressive once you take into consideration that I already had $1.2 million worth of assets going into 2019, and that all asset classes I owned went up in value. It was just a great year for investors in general. 🙂
I made some adjustments over the past month in order to get ready for the new year. My plan is to increase my liquidity for a potential real estate purchase in the lower mainland in 2020. My price range is between $400K to $700K so I would require a sizeable cash amount for the down payment.
I sold all of my TD e-Series mutual funds worth about $13K and closed my fund account. I had started investing in the e-Series funds a long time ago in order to demonstrate to readers how to set up the account and how to operate it. This was before Vanguard ETFs came to Canada. So I was basically showing people how to buy index funds in 2013 before it was cool, haha. 😀 I gradually put more money into the fund over the years but have now decided to sell everything. 🙂 Index funds have become too mainstream anyway.
I also sold $20K of REITs and other stocks in my TFSA and withdrawn the cash to my chequing account. I will put the $20,000 back into my TFSA this year, along with an additional $6,000 of new contribution.
I recently liquidated over $20K in stocks. Hope it was the right choice. Planning to reinvest the cash next year.
— Liquid Independence (@Liquid_f35) December 4, 2019
My farmland has been sold. I am still waiting to receive the final adjustments and paperwork by mail from my lawyer in Saskatchewan. But there shouldn’t be any issues. The total commissions and fees related to the sale add up to about $24,000 – which I’m including in today’s net worth update. 🙂 Technically I didn’t pay the fees until January, so I’m including the amount as a December liability below for best accounting practices. I will write a detailed post on my farmland sale in the upcoming weeks. 🙂
Liquid’s Financial Update December 2019
*Side Incomes: = $2,900
- Part time job =$1100
- Freelance = $200
- Dividends =$1200
- Interest = $400
*Discretionary Spending: = $2,500
- Food = $400
- Miscellaneous = $800
- Interest expense = $1300
*Net Worth: (ΔMoM)
- Total Assets: = $1,434,300 (+27,700)
- Cash = $49,500 (+36,300)
- Canadian stocks = $184,000 (-16,500)
- U.S. stocks = $146,300 (+5800)
- U.K. stocks = $23,400 (+700)
- Retirement = $143,900 (+900)
- Mortgage Funds = $37,900 (+200)
- P2P Lending = $37,300 (+300)
- Home = $367,000 (assessed land value 2019)
- Farmland = $445,000
- Total Debts: = $404,800 (+22,700)
- Mortgage = $185,200 (-400)
- Farm Loans = $161,300 (-600)
- Margin Loans = $34,300 (-300)
- Farmland sales cost = $24,000 (new)
*Total Net Worth = $1,029,500 (+$5,000 / +0.5%)
All numbers are in $CDN at 0.77/USD
Many analysts thought 2019 would be a bad year for the S&P 500 given all the worries about trade wars and recessions, but the market actually closed out its best year since 2013. January is often an accurate bellweather for the rest of the year. I’m looking forward to see what new market events 2020 will bring. 🙂
Random Useless Fact: