Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Net Worth May 2007

As of May 31st, my net worth was $344,102.13. I'm less than $6,000 away from my year-end goal, so I think I'll have to revise that and challenge myself a bit more!

Here's how it breaks down:

Cash, including savings and checking accounts and CDs: $30,030.46
That is starting to feel like kind of a lot to hold in cash, even though about $10,000 is in CDs I can't immediately access without penalties. Assuming my monthly expenses will soon settle into more normal patterns, I think I may put some of this money into mutual funds and hopefully make it work a little harder for me.

Retirement, including 401k and Roth IRA accounts: $212,797.34

Stocks & mutual funds (that aren't in retirement funds): $16534.18

Bonds: $4482.40
This may be a little low, as it's been a couple of months since I checked the current values online.

Home Equity
: $82,677.27
This is what I determined to be the present value of my condo minus what I owe on my mortgage. I haven't adjusted the value of my condo since first coming up with it after my closing: it's more than I paid, but may be less than it could sell for, if other prices in the neighborhood are any indication. But it's a moot point, as I don't intend to sell or try to borrow against it any time in the near future.

Credit Card: -$2419.52
That balance is always paid in full each month.

My net worth has increased by about $31,330 this year, despite the fact that I've been spending money like a madwoman, and am actually in the red by about $2,300 in terms of spending more than I earned in my net paycheck. How'd I pull off that neat trick? It's all the market, and the fact that I steer 18% of my gross pay straight into my 401k.
My 401k contributions total $8,528 year-to-date. Yet my retirement accounts are worth $31,388 more than at the end of last year. So that is $22,860 in interest, dividends and unrealized gains. Of course the market could take a downturn and it could all evaporate, but it does nicely illustrate the point that having money makes you more money.

So what about my goal for the end of the year, up til now set at $350,000? I'm going to think about that and post a new one when I do a mid-year recap next month.


SavingDiva said...

Congratulations on having a great year thus far!

RD said...

Wow. A woman who can handle money! Say, do you need a boyfriend? Muhahahaha. Best RD

PS: Cool blog, I came across it recently, and enjoyed reading it.

Mase said...

Just curious why you use CDs for your "cash on hand" as opposed to a money market mutual fund (especially one that is tax-exempt like Vanguard's NY Tax-Exempt Money Market fund) where you'd have immediate access to your money and almost identical, if not higher, returns.

Do not mean to appear to be critical (as many Money Market Mutual Funds have a high initial amount -- $3K or more), but more curious.

More importantly, thank you for your informative and insightful posts (especially your "Rules" ones).

Madame X said...

Interesting question, Mase! I opened a couple of CDs at a point when the interest rates were quite high, and have since been lazily letting them mature and roll over automatically at lower rates. I haven't looked into the kind of fund you're mentioning, but it sounds like a good idea, so I'll check it out. Thanks!

justanavedude said...

madame x i'm marry u, but i heard your cd.

Mase said...

Here's a link to Vanguard's NY Tax-Exempt Money Market Fund:


Its compound yield is 3.71% right now (so 5.15% tax-equivalent yield if in 28% federal bracket [and actually higher, as it is exempt from NY State tax as well]). The initial minimum is only $3000, with $100 minimum for additional investments.

I have my 'cash' in Vanguard's Tax-Exempt Money Market Fund (as I no longer live in NYC, but Texas, so do not need the added benefit of a NY specific one). When I've needed money, the transfer out to my checking account have been quite fast (2-3 days, tops).

Personally, I think this is the best option for immediate access money for relatively high-earners who can afford the initial minimum (you appear to qualify for all that).

Other mutual fund firms have similar MM funds, though Vanguard's 0.13% expense ratio is hard to beat (my IRAs [a Roth and Traditional] are with Fidelity, and its equivalent NY MMF has a 0.39% expense ratio).

Anonymous said...

Bronx Chica...you are a woman who has a relationship with her money! Congrats on your mid-year review of your net worth!

Everyday Finance said...

Have you considered using some of your cash/CD positions to become a lender through Prosper.com? I've had pretty good success so far, with over 20 loans averaging over 13%; no defaults or lates so far. I've posted strategies and top groups to lend to if interested. gotta say, I love the model. And for the amount of cash you have, may want to consider. Of course, I assume you want to keep a decent amount in liquid assets and these loans are 3 year lockins, but perhaps 5 grand? Would love to hear your thoughts. Dan at edf.

Anonymous said...

I would strongly suggest you don't assume that you have automatic equity in your house. Those days have ended or will be ending soon. In your calcs, you should really just use the amount of cash you've put against your mortgage so far as your "equity." Even then, it's quite possible you're upside down now since you bought at the top of the market.

It shouldn't bother you, of course, because you aren't planning to sell anytime soon. But, you shouldn't mislead yourself into thinking you have more equity than you do.

Madame X said...

I am definitely not upside down on my condo! I only financed 80% of the purchase price, and though I did buy at a high point, the New York market hasn't drastically fallen yet.
However, I agree that I am in a position to have to be cautious and conservative about what I assume the condo is worth, and I added only a very small percentage onto the price I paid.