May 072018
 

Farmland prices still on the rise

A new report from Farm Credit Canada indicates that local land values around my farmland have grown by 2% last year. So in this fiscal update I will be increasing the value of my farmland by 2%. This will add $9,000 to my net worth. Cool beans! 😀

Farmland across the rest of the country actually performed much better. The national price rose 8.4% last year, which is higher than the 7.9% growth in 2016.

Overall, my wealth has grown by $15,900 for the month of April, mostly thanks to higher farmland prices in Saskatchewan. So far this year my net worth is up $44,800 because from January to April I’ve had a string of good luck with my finances. But the rest of the year could be different. The popular saying, “Sell in May and go away,” could very well be true this year.

Liquid’s Financial Update

*Total Income: = $5,900

  • Old Amazon job = $300
  • New full time job = $1,200
  • Ongoing part time job = $500
  • Sold cryptocurrencies = $1800
  • Freelance = $500
  • Dividends = $1000
  • Interest = $600
*Total Spending: = $3,300
  • Food = $500
  • Housing = $1100
  • Utilities = $100
  • Miscellaneous = $700
  • Additional Debt Interest = $900

*Net Worth: (ΔMoM)

  • Assets: = $1,186,600 total (+12,500)
  • Cash = $7,700 (+1100)
  • Canadian stocks = $170,200 (+1900)
  • U.S. stocks = $113,800 (-500)
  • U.K. stocks = $22,000 (+600)
  • Retirement = $89,100 (-200)
  • Mortgage Funds = $32,500 (+300)
  • P2P Lending = $31,300 (+300)
  • Home = $275,000
  • Farms = $445,000 (+9000)
  • Debts: = $445,200 total (-3,400)
  • Mortgage = $179,000 (-400)
  • Farm Loans = $183,900 (-400)
  • Margin Loans = $52,000 (-1100)
  • TD Line of Credit = $4,000 (-100)
  • CIBC Line of Credit = $10,500 (-1500)
  • HELOC = $14,800 (+100)

*Total Net Worth = $741,400 (+$15,900 / +2.2%)
All numbers above are in $CDN. 

 

I’m in the middle of switching banks to renew my mortgage. I’m currently paying over 3% for my mortgage. I think I can get it down to below 2.75%. This would allow me to save thousands of dollars over time. Fingers crossed. 🙂

 

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Random Useless Fact:

I feel like I’m the only one who haven’t seen Infinity War yet.

 

Apr 032018
 

The stock market is starting to show signs of weakening. It fell in March. And my net worth would have dropped with it. But luckily my severance package came to the rescue. 😀

Job Update

As explained in my previous monthly update, I was laid off in February from my full time job. The company was restructuring and let go more than a quarter of its workforce. Fortunately I received a large severance package from the company worth about $10,500. 😮 Hurray! I deposited the money into my bank account in March and paid down some debts. Thanks to this major windfall my total monthly income was nearly $15K, higher than any previous month! 😀

After the lay off I accepted a new job offer at a different company and started receiving biweekly paychecks again. Here’s an example of my earnings from this new job. I’ve blacked out some private information for security reasons.

As good as this job may be I’ve decided to look for better opportunities elsewhere. So earlier in March I talked to my manager and gave my 2 weeks notice to resign from my position. I like the people there, and have gained a lot of useful experiences. But working there isn’t the best use of my time so I will be applying at other companies now. 🙂

Income Situation

Other than a full time wage I also earned income from my part time job and freelancing in March. In terms of passive income I received $510 from my solarshare bonds. This investment only pays twice a year, not monthly.

Here’s a look at my most recent TD bank transactions. I received $167.94 from my part time job, and $802.93 from my full time job – as presented earlier. I’ve blurred out both names of my employers. 

At the end of the month I transfered $700 to my CIBC bank account to help make my next mortgage payment. Overall March was a terrific month, mostly thanks to a huge payout from my ex-employer. I never thought losing my job could be so helpful for growing my net worth. 🙂 Maybe I should get laid off more often, lol. Just kidding. 😛

The first rule of financial sustainability is to make more money than you spend. My part time job and other side incomes bring in about $2,500 per month. This means I only need to make an additional $500 to $1,000 per month to break even with my budget. Going forward this can be done either by finding a full time job, or by working harder on my side hustles. In any case, my financial statement for March is below.

 

Liquid’s Financial Update

*Total Income: = $14,900

  • Severance package from old job = $10,500
  • New full time job = $1,300
  • Ongoing part time job = $700
  • Freelance = $600
  • Dividends = $900
  • Interest = $400
  • Solarshare bond payment = $500
*Total Spending: = $3,200
  • Food = $400
  • Housing = $1100
  • Utilities = $100
  • Miscellaneous = $500
  • Additional Debt Interest = $1000

*Net Worth: (ΔMoM)

  • Assets: = $1,174,100 total (+5,300)
  • Cash = $6,600 (+5800)
  • Canadian stocks = $168,300 (+300)
  • U.S. stocks = $114,300 (-1300)
  • U.K. stocks = $21,400 (+300)
  • Retirement = $89,300 (+100)
  • Mortgage Funds = $32,200 (-200)
  • P2P Lending = $31,000 (+300)
  • Home = $275,000
  • Farms = $436,000
  • Debts: = $448,600 total (-4,900)
  • Mortgage = $179,400 (-400)
  • Farm Loans = $184,300 (-500)
  • Margin Loans = $53,100 (-2100)
  • TD Line of Credit = $4,100  (+100)
  • CIBC Line of Credit = $13,000 (-2000)
  • HELOC = $14,700

*Total Net Worth = $725,500 (+$10,200 / +1.4%)
All numbers above are in $CDN. 

 

So far April is not looking good for my investments. The stock market is down and some analysts predict this is the beginning of a new bear market. Without a secure full time job my net worth could drop this month, which it hasn’t done in years. But I’m optimistic that things will work themselves out. 🙂 We shall see what happens.

 

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Random Useless Fact

Mar 052018
 

Changing Employment Situation

I got laid off from my full time job in early February. I received a severance package worth several months of my regular pay. So yay! #freemoney. I was starting to get complacent at my old job and could use a fresh start somewhere else. 🙂 The best way to leave a company, financially speaking, is to be terminated without cause. So I’m pretty fortunate.

The added benefit is because I no longer have coworkers who know about my blog I can be more transparent about my total monthly income starting in next month’s fiscal update post. This means I’ll reveal both income and expenses so everyone will see my complete budget. I don’t have to be concerned anymore about office politics and coworkers getting jealous of my salary.

It took me awhile to deposit the severance package, so the payment amount will not be reflected in today’s post. But it will be represented in my balance sheet in next month’s update. 🙂 Luckily I have 5 other incomes (rent, dividends, interest, part-time teaching, and freelancing.) The net sum of these other incomes vary, but works out to roughly $3,000 to $4,000 per month. Thank goodness I took the time to build up these side incomes over the past years. Otherwise I would be very stressed if I lose my only source of income, lol. Much like working at a mattress store, it’s nice to have things to fall back on. 😀

Fortunately I managed to find another job last week so I’m now full time employed again. 🙂 I find that self reflection is very important when job searching. It’s all about having a good innerview. 😎 My new job is very different from my old one. For privacy reasons I will not disclose my new employer’s name. I’m still in Vancouver, Canada. But let’s just say I’m working for a giant internet retailer based in the United States. 😀

Due to the lay off my income was dramatically reduced in February. I had to dig deep into my cash reserves to continue paying down my debts. The stock market also fell slightly. But on a positive note, the growing strength of the U.S. dollar thanks to better than expected economic data increased the value of my U.S. stock portfolio. So overall my net worth eked out a tiny increase. It’s the smallest gain in many months, but any gain is better than a loss.

Liquid’s Financial Update

*Side Incomes:

  • Part-Time = $1,100
  • Freelance = $700
  • Dividends = $700
  • Interest = $400
*Discretionary Spending:
  • Fun = $600
  • Debt Interest = $1400

*Net Worth: (ΔMoM)

  • Assets: = $1,168,800 total (-3,100)
  • Cash = $800 (-2100)
  • Canadian stocks = $168,000 (-2500)
  • U.S. stocks = $115,600 (+2900)
  • U.K. stocks = $21,100 (-1100)
  • Retirement = $89,200 (-800)
  • Mortgage Funds = $32,400 (+200)
  • P2P Lending = $30,700 (+300)
  • Home = $275,000
  • Farms = $436,000
  • Debts: = $453,500 total (-4,300)
  • Mortgage = $179,800 (-400)
  • Farm Loans = $184,800 (-500)
  • Margin Loans = $55,200 (-1300)
  • TD Line of Credit = $4,000  (-500)
  • CIBC Line of Credit = $15,000 (-1500)
  • HELOC = $14,700 (-100)

*Total Net Worth = $715,300 (+$1,200 / +0.2%)
All numbers above are in $CDN. 

It’s kind of early to say how the recent employment change will affect my freedom 35 goal. But for now I don’t expect too much deviation from my plan. I will also be contacting Great West Life insurance company to transfer out the money in my defined contribution pension plan. It will be rewarding to finally have direct control over those funds. 🙂

 

 

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Random Useless Fact

Jan 092018
 

Summary of Financial Market Returns

2017 was a great year for investors, particular for those with long exposure to emerging markets overseas. 🙂 Nearly every asset class experienced positive returns. The best performing one was cryptocurrencies. It grew from a market capitalization of $20 billion to $800 billion in the last 12 months. To put that into perspective that’s about 1% of the global stock market which is valued at roughly $80 trillion.

North American Markets in 2017

  • Canadian dollar stronger by 7.0%
    (This means more purchasing power and cheaper imports, such as produce from California. Yay!)
  • U.S. dollar weaker by 6.6%
    (U.S. investments are on sale.)
  • The average CAD/USD exchange rate was 0.77
    (This may be important for tax filing purposes if you traded U.S. securities.)
  • Canadian S&P/TSX stock index total return = 9.1%
    (6% from price appreciation + 3.1% from dividends.)
  • S&P 500 U.S. stock index total return = 21.8%
    (Amazing! But the Nasdaq index which contains technology stocks was up 30%.)
  • Canadian Aggregate bond index ETF (ZAG) total return = 3.0%
    (Interest rates are still very low.)

Foreign Markets in 2017

The MSCI group contains thousands of stocks from 24 developed markets around the world. Data below courtesy of Yardeni Research.

  • Average change across all MSCI countries in 2017 = 17.5%. Up from 8.2% in 2016.
  • EMU refers to the European markets specifically.

In December I sold some Bitcoin and Litecoin to pay down some of my debt. I’ve saved up a cash cushion of $10,000 because I intend to pick up some new stocks over the next few weeks.

Liquid’s Financial Update

*Side Incomes:

  • Part-Time = $1100
  • Freelance = $1200
  • Dividends = $900
  • Interest = $300
  • Trading income = $2,500
*Discretionary Spending:
  • Fun = $500
  • Debt Interest = $1300

*Net Worth: (ΔMoM)

  • Assets: = $1,158,900 total (+8,200)
  • Cash = $10,500 (+2000)
  • Canadian stocks = $168,200 (+4000)
  • U.S. stocks = $107,000 (+1200)
  • U.K. stocks = $21,400 (+400)
  • Retirement = $91,300 (+200)
  • Mortgage Funds = $32,200 (+200)
  • P2P Lending = $22,200 (+200)
  • Home = $270,000
  • Farms = $436,000
  • Debts: = $462,300 total (-6,400)
  • Mortgage = $180,600 (-300)
  • Farm Loans = $185,800 (-500)
  • Margin Loans = $57,500 (-1400)
  • TD Line of Credit = $5,500  (-1200)
  • CIBC Line of Credit = $18,000 (-3000)
  • HELOC = $14,900

*Total Net Worth = $696,600 (+$14,600 / +2.1%)
All numbers above are in $CDN. 

My net worth has increased $126K year over year. Not too shabby. 🙂 This gain was mostly thanks to the Canadian and U.S. stock markets reaching record highs.

Many experts suggest to rebalance one’s portfolio once a year to ensure it still matches up with long term goals. Stocks outperformed bonds last year. So here is what my asset allocation currently looks like.

My liquid investment portfolio contains 82% equities, and 18% fixed income, while a year ago it was at 90% and 10% respectively. I have increased my fixed income exposure because I’m closer to retiring. Yay.

As we head into 2018 I plan to reduce my debt while continuing to max out my tax advantaged investment accounts. By the end of the year I aim to be collecting $18,000 in forward dividend and interest income. 🙂 My liquid asset allocation goal is to be somewhere between 75% to 80% equities, and the rest in fixed income.

My 2018 watchlist includes the corporate bond ETF (TSE:ZCM), Parkland Fuel Corp (TSE:PKI), North American Preferred Shares ETF (TSE:XPF), and more Lending Loop loans. 😀

 

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Random Useless Fact

Dec 052017
 

Yet another month of record highs in the financial markets. I hope everyone had a great November. 🙂  In terms of changes to my balance sheet I’ve added 100 shares of Enbridge stock to my portfolio, creating more passive income for future months. Part of this purchase was financed from a margin loan at 2.3% with IB. Borrowing money at low interest rates to invest in long term appreciating assets was how many people became millionaires in the past.

Liquid’s Financial Update

*Side Incomes:

  • Part-Time = $700
  • Freelance = $800
  • Dividends = $700
  • Interest = $400
*Discretionary Spending:
  • Fun = $400
  • Debt Interest = $1300

*Net Worth: (ΔMoM)

  • Assets: = $1,150,700 total (+14,300)
  • Cash = $8,500 (+700)
  • Canadian stocks = $164,200 (+7300)
  • U.S. stocks = $105,800 (+4000)
  • U.K. stocks = $21,100 (unch)
  • RRSP = $91,100 (+1900)
  • Mortgage Funds = $32,000 (+100)
  • P2P Lending = $22,000 (+300)
  • Home = $270,000
  • Farms = $436,000
  • Debts: = $468,700 total (-2,100)
  • Mortgage = $180,900 (-400)
  • Farm Loans = $186,300 (-500)
  • Margin Loans = $58,900 (+1200)
  • TD Line of Credit = $6,700  (-1300)
  • CIBC Line of Credit = $21,000 (-1000)
  • HELOC = $14,900 (-100)

*Total Net Worth = $682,000 (+$16,400 / +2.2%)
All numbers above are in $CDN. 

I’ve been trying to save enough money over the last few months to invest another $8,000 into my Lending Loop account by the end of the year. I’m also currently looking for a new job to increase my cash flow. We’ll see how that goes. 🙂

 

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Random Useless Fact

At any given time, about 174 quadrillion watts of the sun’s energy is hitting the earth.