Financial Independence Progress Report for October 2016

October was a big down month! There was enough volatility in the month to show some RED in the nos. There were deals to be had in the early part of the month and I thought I made out good….until the later part of the month wiped out the gains 🙂 Let us see what the numbers say for October.

Emergency Fund $60K 100.0%
College Fund (80K) 45.65% 47.95%
Passive Income (2015 vs 2016) $628.60 (10/2015) $551.80 (10/2016)
Retirement Fund ($900K) 66.36% 63.44%
Roof for our Family($750K) 00.00%
Medical Fund 00.00%
Life Insurance Done (term life insurance payments initiated)

Main Takeaways this month

  • College Fund Portfolio Increase (in green above)
    • I got some extra money left over after September and pushed that money  into the college fund. Even though October was a down month, the additional cash offset it.
  • Retirement Fund
    • This portion of my portfolio took a good solid hit in October. I lost almost 3% and the way early November is looking, it is not done going down.
    • Major reason is the increased uncertainty from US elections and the interest rate increase/decrease uncertainty from the FED.
    • I am definitely continuing to invest and am picking up stocks at lower cost i.e. Dollar Cost Averaging full speed ahead! So, all good for now.
  • Passive Income Stream
    • Passive Income for October 2016 ($551.80) is appx 14% lower than October 2015 ($628.60). This is a big reduction but an expected one.
      • I sold some stocks from a previous company’s ESPP and spread the money into different funds. These funds do not distribute dividends like my ESPP stocks in Jan, April, July and October. So, all these months will show a reduction in 2016. But, the overall dividends for 2016 will increase and will show up in December of 2016 when all the other funds declare their dividends.
    • Additional Investments
      • VTMGX (Developed markets across Europe, Canada and Australasia)
        • Just like last month, I continued to increase my exposure outside the US using VTMGX. Definitely lowered my cost per share via Dollar Cost Averaging this October.
        • If you want more details on VTMGX, please get it directly from the horse’s mouth: VTMGX.
      • VWELX (Vanguard Wellington Fund)
        • Bought into this fund also quite a bit this month.
        • I already have another balanced fund in my portfolio: VTMFX: 50% stocks and 50% tax-efficient bonds. VWELX is another competitor for my balanced fund dollars…I always have atleast two funds competing in the category…manager diversification and hence risk diversification as well. 
        • VWELX is not as tax efficient as VTMFX since the bond portion is not tax-efficient. But I want risk diversification more….
    • My 2016 goal is to reach $750 pm in passive income by end of 2016…October is done…and my per-month dividend is at $603.04 pm.
      • Target Dividend: $9000 pa
      • Current Dividend (year to date): $7321
      • Balance to make up in the next 3 months
        • $9000 – $7321  => $1679 over the next 2 months
      • Unless a black-swan event happens in the next two months, it looks like I will make it…hurrah!!
    • I had kept some cash aside to invest in a dip….the temptation to get to $750 in passive income per month was very high in September and I could could not resist and burnt some of it. In October, I used up the rest of the money to buy the dip. October is historically volatile…and it did not disappoint this time…so, the purchases this month will help in the coming year!
    • I anticipate another volatile month in December 2016…post the FED’s decision on interest rates….scrambling to accumulate some cash for that. Lets see…

8 thoughts on “Financial Independence Progress Report for October 2016

  1. At first I was like “noooo” on your reduced dividend income for the month, until I realized it was more just an accounting thing 😛

    What are your forward dividends looking like since you sound like you’ll hit your goal?


    • 🙂 Having all the ESPP money in one single stock was a bit higher risk than I want to take at this point…so, moved them into mutual funds where my risk is spread across many stocks.

      My expected dividends by end of this year is appx $782 pm. There is appx $32 pm worth of dividend buffer…even if something goes wrong from now till December end. Crossing my fingers!

      Thanks for dropping by!


  2. There are always some sectors or company that get punished due to the headlines in the news. I was able to pick up CAH and MCK. T and VZ. Like you, I’ve been hoarding up cash for this election surprise. We will see though if our strategy will work or not. Nonetheless, it’s always good to have money in the market to work for us. That’s why, my 401k is set on a regular schedule buys. I don’t mess it with too much.


    • I keep accumulating small amounts of cash….but cannot seem to resist spending it on buying more investments…my max hold period until now is appx 60days.

      Since election and FED interest rate decision is less than 60 days, I should be able to pick up some bargains!

      Best of luck to both!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey HumbleFI, way to go! I think we will end the year relatively close to each other. I too own VWELX and LOVE it. Hard to beat. Curious – is the college fund for your kids, and how are out are they? I’ve got two boys now and am starting saving for that future requirement as well. That is, unless they follow my route and go to West Point (hopefully! :). Keep up the progress,


    • Kudos to you! I should add a rental component to my portfolio….you and Vivienne (wellroundedinvestor) seem to be making a killing on passive income via rentals.

      VWELX is my second balanced fund. VTMFX is my first. I want two different funds to compete in the balanced fund category. There are many reasons to like VWELX and one that appeals to me right now is that PE ratio is 19.7…all my other dividend focused funds have a much higher PE i.e. VWELX seems like a less crowded buy right now.

      My current plan for college fund is that I am going to fund half of my kids tuition…rest is upto them 🙂

      Thanks for dropping by!


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