Financial Independence Progress Report for Dec 2019

It is December 2019 now. Somebody recently asked the question: what were your accomplishments in 2019? At that moment, it struck me that 2019 has been a very very busy year….there were a lot of personal and professional issues our family had to deal with….relationship troubles, a job loss, new job and job-change induced relocation, sick parent, moving to a new house, etc. There were some good things as well….but lots and lots of stress. I realized that I need to slow down for a few days and slowly extricate myself from the grind. 

First step is this report 🙂 My last monthly progress report was May 2019. I was supposed to use a new method to track my finances and goals going forward from May. That did not happen for the above reasons. I have used this template since I started this blog…almost 6 years ago. So, lets use it for some more time until I stabilize my life!

That said, let us see how much closer I got to my financial independence targets in Dec 2019.

12/22/2019
Emergency Fund 100.0% 39.27%
College Fund 67.39% 76.20%
Passive Income (2018 vs 2019) $1387.59(12/2018) $732.68 (12/2019)
Retirement Fund 92.52% 95.46%
Roof for our Family Done!
Medical Fund (via HSA) 18.60% 22.30%
Life Insurance Done (term life insurance policy)

Main Takeaways this month

  • Passive Income Stream
    • This year’s target dividends was $500 pm or $6000 per year. The target is half of last years because I had to sell some investments for a home down payment.
    • The good news is that I have exceeded my target. The total dividends, as of today, is $10,426.89.
    • The bad news is that last year the total dividends were much higher….$16,589. But that was expected….home purchase and all.
  • Additional Investments
    • Investments in taxable accounts
      • Nothing this month. Too many expenses related to Christmas 🙂
    • Investments in tax-deferred account (IRA)
      • Redirected the December REIT fund dividends into VEIPX: Vanguard Equity Income Fund
    • Investments in tax-deferred 401K
      • No change this month…continuing to build a cash position.
      • The way the market is going up, this plan seems stupid…..but I want to have cash when the chips are down much more that the incremental gains this year.
  • Miscellaneous
    • Nothing special.

 

Financial Independence Progress Report for April 2019

April 2019 is done….and spring is almost done and summer is close….yeh!! Imagine how it can be if you were already financially independent? Yummy! With that positive thought, lets see how much closer I got to my financial independence targets in April 2019.

4/02/2019
Emergency Fund 100.0% Done
College Fund 64.50% 67.39%
Passive Income (2018 vs 2019) $911.81(04/2018) $1211.94 (03/2019)
Retirement Fund 94.57% 92.52%
Roof for our Family($750K) 00.00%
Medical Fund (via HSA) 14.12% 18.60%
Life Insurance Done (term life insurance policy)

Main Takeaways this month

  • Passive Income Stream
    • For 2018, my goal was $12K per year which I achieved.  My passive income goal for 2019 is $500 pm or $6K per year. The main reason for the lower target was a pending home purchase…but I have still not been lucky in finding a home that fits the needs and budget 😐
    • But good news is that my monthly passive income has been higher than my targets 🙂 In addition, I am rebuilding my passive income streams. So, all in the right direction.
  • Additional Investments
    • Investments in taxable accounts
      • Added to my tax efficient passive income stream via MUNI bonds.
        • VCAIX:
          • Vanguard California Muni
          • Federal and State tax free
    • Investments in tax-deferred account (IRA)
      • Added some more $$ to my rainy day investment fund…for use when the next recession comes and brings down asset prices
      • Money market is giving a decent 2.4%…so, am getting paid to wait.
      • My goals are to invest in the following order when the chips are down:
        • For IRA cash:
          • VEIPX: Vanguard Equity Income Fund
        • For 401K cash:
          • Dividend growth fund or
          • US large cap equity fund or
          • US total market fund
          • …..all based on what funds are available in my 401K
  • Miscellaneous
    • Got a super positive surprise for HSA this month.
    • Due to a mistake, my HSA contribution was not getting forwarded to my HSA investment account. It had accumulated to over $4K.
    • Was unhappy that it was not invested…but very happy for the additional $4K!!

Financial Independence Progress Report for March 2019

March 2019 is done….still fighting flu in the family…..flu shots do not seem to be working well this time 😐 But enough of that….lets get on with March.

How much closer did I get to my financial independence targets in March 2019? Lets look at the numbers and find out.

4/02/2019
Emergency Fund 100.0% Done
College Fund 62.54% 64.50%
Passive Income (2018 vs 2019) $1391.30(03/2018) $1211.21 (03/2019)
Retirement Fund 91.00% 94.57%
Roof for our Family($750K) 00.00%
Medical Fund (via HSA) 13.66% 14.12%
Life Insurance Done (term life insurance policy)

Main Takeaways this month

  • Passive Income Stream
    • For part of 2018, I was on a quarterly dividend system that I later converted to a monthly dividend system. Since March is a major dividend paying month in quarterly system, March 2018 beats March 2019.
    • My passive income goal for 2019 is $500 pm or $6000 pa. For 2018, my goal was $12000 which I achieved. So, there will be lots of RED this year 😦
    • But good news is that I have started rebuilding my passive income streams…more on this below!!
  • Emergency Fund
    • My emergency fund rebuilding is done…I achieved 100% of my target.
    • This sets a floor for the next couple of years where recession and a down market can put pressure on finances, cash flow, etc.
    • No more updates on the Emergency Fund from now on…..will let it grow in the background.
  • Additional Investments
    • Investments in taxable accounts
      • Very happy to have re-started  a tax efficient passive income stream
        • VCAIX:
          • Vanguard California Muni
          • Federal and State tax free
          • Got 85 cents (first) dividend in March 🙂
    • Investments in tax-deferred account (IRA)
      • Added to my portfolio in cash…a rainy day investment fund when the next recession comes in and brings down prices
      • Money market is giving a decent 2.4%…so, am getting paid to wait.
      • My goals are to invest in the following order when the chips are down:
        • For IRA cash:
          • VEIPX: Vanguard Equity Income Fund
        • For 401K cash:
          • Dividend growth fund or
          • US large cap equity fund or
          • US total market fund
  • Miscellaneous
    • Nothing. this week.

Financial Independence Progress Report for February 2019

February 2019 is done….and I realized that I forgot to write the January update! It was a busy life was in the first two months of the year. Mainly fighting the flu and some kid issues. But lets get on with February.

How much closer did I get to my financial independence targets in February? Lets look at the numbers and find out.

3/02/2019
Emergency Fund 80.07% 97.11%
College Fund 55.46% 62.54%
Passive Income (2017 vs 2018) $657.17(02/2018) $1037.33 (02/2019)
Retirement Fund 86.30% 91.00%
Roof for our Family($750K) 00.00%
Medical Fund (via HSA) 12.56% 13.66%
Life Insurance Done (term life insurance policy)

Main Takeaways this month

  • Passive Income Stream
    • My passive Income for Feb 2019 was $1037.33…looks nice compared to last Feb right?  Not so fast…for part of 2018, I was on a quarterly dividend system…later converted to a monthly dividend system….so, 2018 will catch up to his year in a hurry…
    • My passive income goal for the year is $500 pm or $6000 pa. But I do not have the same higher dividend paying investments this year. So, getting ahead earlier in the year is good!
  • Emergency Fund
    • Rebuilt my emergency fund to almost 100% of my target.
    • Time to take some risks now 🙂
  • Additional Investments
    • Investments in taxable accounts
      • None.
    • Investments in tax-deferred account (IRA)
      • Started two cash fund streams:
        • IRA: Took a 12% gain from selling a portion of a REIT fund
        • 401K: Took a 11% gain from selling some international funds
      • My goal is to set aside 10% of my portfolio in cash…a rainy day investment fund to better dollar-cost-average good investments.
      • Money market is giving a decent 2.4%…so, am getting paid some…
  • Miscellaneous
    • Nothing.

Financial Independence Progress Report for October 2018

October is done….one more month closer to the end of year. Like last month, I am seeing a lot of red in many parts of my portfolio….bonds and stocks in both taxable and tax-advantages accounts. We have definitely reached the inflection point in the market and choppiness is back with a bang.

How much closer did I get to my financial independence targets in October? Lets look at the numbers for October and find out.

11/02/2018
Emergency Fund 24.56% 28.41%
College Fund 57.67% 55.37%
Passive Income (2017 vs 2018) $711.44(10/2017) $1320.40 (10/2018)
Retirement Fund 88.97% 85.72%
Roof for our Family($750K) 00.00%
Medical Fund (via HSA) 12.45% 12.36%
Life Insurance Done (term life insurance policy)

Main Takeaways this month

  • Passive Income Stream
    • My passive Income for October 2018 seems a lot more than October 2017. But it is fake 🙂
      • Earlier this year, I redistributed where my funds are invested. Cashed out some gains and converted quarterly dividends to monthly and more importantly more tax efficient monthly dividends.
      • The June, September and December dividends are going to be much less. But, the total dividends for the entire year will be higher though.
      • Compared to this time last year, the total dividends this year through end of October is 38% more than 2017….just distributed differently.
  • Additional Investments
    • Investments in taxable accounts
      • Nothing new to report here as I am out of cash 😐
      • Continuing to rebuild my emergency fund.
    • Investments in tax-deferred account (IRA)
      • No cash here too 🙂
      • But, need to build a cash fund because I am seeing a lot of red here.
        • I.e. time to invest more and dollar cost average down the investments will be here soon!!
  • Miscellaneous
    • I was walking through all my investment categories and I am seeing red in many of them.
      • Investments in the  GREEN
        • US Equities :
          • VDIGX
        • Bonds:
          • VTABX
      • Investments in the RED
        • International equities:
          • VIHAX, VTIAX, VEMAX
        • Municipal Bonds:
          • VCADX, VWIUX
        • REITs:
          • VGSLX, VGRLX
        • Investment Grade Bonds:
          • VFSTX and VFICX
    • In my experience, when I see such broad declines across many investing categories and across many geographies, then it usually indicates that a storm is gathering. The entire world is connected in many ways and bad markets have a way of spreading fast.
    • It is time to shift focus on how to not only prepare for a downturn but also how to benefit from a downturn.

Financial Independence Progress Report for September 2018

September is done and so is the third quarter. End of year is coming closer and that means yearly evaluations also 🙂 But lets not jump ahead…lets see how September fared.

I am seeing a lot of red in many parts of my portfolio….bonds and stocks in both taxable and tax-advantages accounts. Feels like we have reached the turning point in the market and nowhere to go but down. I.e. buying opportunity! Need to build up cash reserves again to profit from it. I have a note on this later in this post.

How much closer did I get to my financial independence targets in September? Lets look at the numbers for August and find out.

10/06/2018
Emergency Fund 24.21% 24.56%
College Fund 56.98% 57.67%
Passive Income (2017 vs 2018) $15495.52(9/2017) $1451.35 (9/2018)
Retirement Fund 87.91% 88.97%
Roof for our Family($750K) 00.00%
Medical Fund (via HSA) 10.18% 12.45%
Life Insurance Done (term life insurance policy)

Main Takeaways this month

  • Passive Income Stream
    • My passive Income for September 2018 is a bit less than August 2017. It is by design and not unexpected.
      • Earlier this year, I redistributed where my funds are invested. Cashed out some gains and converted quarterly dividends to monthly and more importantly more tax efficient monthly dividends.
      • The June, September and December dividends are going to be much less. But, the total dividends for the entire year will be higher though.
      • Compared to this time last year, the total dividends this year through end of September is 32% more than 2017….just distributed differently.
  • Additional Investments
    • Investments in taxable accounts
      • Nothing new to report here as I am out of cash 😐
      • Continuing to rebuild my emergency fund.
    • Investments in tax-deferred account (IRA)
      • No cash here too 🙂
      • But, need to build a cash fund because I am seeing a lot of red here.
        • I.e. time to invest more and dollar cost average down the investments will be here soon!!
  • Miscellaneous
    • I was walking through all my investment categories and I am seeing red in many of them.
      • Investments in the  GREEN
        • US Equities :
          • VDIGX
      • Investments in the RED
        • International equities:
          • VIHAX, VTIAX, VEMAX
        • Municipal Bonds:
          • VCADX, VWIUX
        • REITs:
          • VGSLX, VGRLX
        • Investment Grade Bonds:
          • VFSTX and VFICX
        • Bonds:
          • VTABX
    • In my experience, when I see such broad declines across many investing categories and across many geographies, then it usually indicates that a storm is gathering. The entire world is connected in many ways and bad markets have a way of spreading fast.
    • It is time to shift focus on how to not only prepare for a downturn but also how to benefit from a downturn.

Financial Independence Progress Report for July 2018

July has come and gone and August is almost half way done and I am late with my monthly report!! Jeez…time flies fast. I was out of town for work related matters and it was a tiring one. But, post coming back, counting dividends for the month of July was definitely helpful to break out of the funk! So, lets look at the numbers.

8/11/2018
Emergency Fund 38.78% 20.73%
College Fund 53.70% 55.80%
Passive Income (2017 vs 2018) $486.86(7/2017) $1233.78 (7/2018)
Retirement Fund 85.73% 87.38%
Roof for our Family($750K) 00.00%
Medical Fund (via HSA) 9.82% 9.79%
Life Insurance Done (term life insurance policy)

Main Takeaways this month

  • Passive Income Stream
    • My passive Income for July 2018 is much higher than July 2017. It is expected to be so 🙂
      • In March an April, I redistributed where my funds are invested. Cashed out some gains and converted quarterly dividends to monthly and more importantly more stable and tax efficient dividends.
      • The June, September and December dividends are going to be much less. But, the total dividends for the entire year will be higher though.
      • Compared to this time last year, the total dividends this year through end of July is 33% more than 2017….just distributed differently.
  • Additional Investments
    • Investments in taxable accounts
      • Nothing new to report here as I am out of cash 😐
      • Unplanned vehicle maintenance has taken a chunk of money out of emergency funds again.
      • So priority is to rebuild my emergency fund now.
    • Investments in tax-deferred account (IRA)
      • Bought some more of VIHAX (International High Dividend) to dollar cost average down.
  • Miscellaneous
    • Nothing.

Financial Independence Progress Report for May 2018

May is another slow month. But, since my portfolio rework over March and April this year, dividends for rest of the year are going to look totally different than prior years. May is the first month where the total effect of the changes will be seen. Let us see how the numbers look for May 2018.

6/08/2018
Emergency Fund 20.83% 34.67%
College Fund ($80K 100K…$20K increase) 65.61% 53.79%
Passive Income (2017 vs 2018) $470.72(5/2017) $1228.30 (5/2018)
Retirement Fund 78.08% 83.01%
Roof for our Family($750K) 00.00%
Medical Fund (via HSA) 9.77% 9.82%
Life Insurance Done (term life insurance policy)

Main Takeaways this month

  • Passive Income Stream
    • My passive Income for May 2018 is 160% higher than May 2017 🙂
      • In March an April, I redistributed where my funds are invested. Cashed out some gains and converted quarterly dividends to monthly and more importantly more stable and tax efficient dividends. Details in April monthly progress report.
      • The June, September and December dividends are going to be much less. But, the total dividends for the entire year will be higher though.
  • Additional Investments
    • Investments in taxable accounts
      • Nothing new to report here as I am out of cash 😐
      • In April, I took money from my emergency and home down payment funds and deployed them to generate more passive income for me.
      • From this month on, I need to rebuild my emergency fund.
    • Investments in tax-deferred account (IRA)
      • In the last few months, I have taken some profits and set up a a cash fund to take advantage of the next investing opportunity. Unlike 2008, I want to have a cash fund ready to take advantage of lower asset prices in the next bear market!!
      • I bought some more of VEIPX (Vanguard Equity Income Fund) and VIHAX (International High Dividend). Both are down a few % points this year and I took advantage of this to dollar cost average down my investments.
  • Miscellaneous
    • I had to revise up the money allotted for the college fund. Looking at the projected cost of college, I will not have the capacity to fully fund college. But, my goal is to fund at least some of it.
    • I have started a new way of tracking numbers for the next phase of my financial independence journey…will talk about this over the next couple of weeks.

Financial Independence Progress Report for March 2018

March 2018 is done and with that, the first quarter of 2018 is done. March is one of my favorite months because almost all my funds send me dividends on a quarterly basis. Lets see how the numbers look for March 2018.

Caveat: Though then March numbers look green all over, note that the numbers got murdered in February….perhaps I need a year-to-date number….will think about it.

3/31/2018
Emergency Fund 83.33% 83.33%
College Fund ($80K) 63.66% 64.54%
Passive Income (2017 vs 2018) $1254.31(3/2017) $1396.05 (3/2018)
Retirement Fund 81.63% 82.79%
Roof for our Family($750K) 00.00%
Medical Fund (via HSA) 6.17% 9.77%
Life Insurance Done (term life insurance policy)

Main Takeaways this month

  • Passive Income Stream
    • My passive Income for March 2018 is 11% higher than March 2017. Not much of a gain, but it is greater than average inflation percentage of 3%.
    • I was considering the Rule of 72…the rule that predicts when your money will double. If I continue at 11% (caveat in next point), my money will double in 7 years….wouldn’t that be nice for FI 🙂
    • Anyways, 11% increase was achieved more by new investments than dividend returns and additional investments are drying up this year. But, nice to think about it hey…more on this coming later!!
  • Additional Investments
    • Investments in taxable accounts
      • I sold VHDYX, captured the gains and moved the money into my MUNI funds. Why?
        • Tax equivalent yield for VCADX is 4.5%.
        • VHDYX yield is 2.75% and I get taxed on top of that. It is possible that VHDYX will add some capital gains but it looks like we are almost done with the bull market…so, we can discount this.
        • When the prices drop later this year, I will invest back into VHDYX…lets cross that bridge when we get there.
    • Investments in tax-deferred account (IRA)
      • In Dec 2018, I took some profits and set up a a cash fund set up to take advantage of the next investing opportunity. This month, I cashed out profits from a couple more funds and added to the cash fund.
      • Unlike 2008, I want to have a cash fund ready to take advantage of lower asset prices in the next bear market!!
      • I also bought some more of VGSLX…a REIT fund….REITs have dropped almost 10% this year….so, seemed like a good time to buy into this and dollar cost average down my REIT investments.

Financial Independence Progress Report for February 2018

February 2018 is done and gone and I am late by 11 days in publishing this….bad bad bad. Was a bit lazy at the end of last month and life caught up to me. Better late than never!

That said, lets look at the numbers for February, 2018. Nothing big to report…

  • The dividend stream is settling down to an even pace since I have no extra money to add to the dividend funds.
  • The stock market swoon in February 2018 had its effect on my portfolio also…look at the nos in red below.

Looking forward to March’s quarterly dividends!

3/11/2018
Emergency Fund 83.33% 83.33%
College Fund ($80K) 64.47% 63.66%
Passive Income (2017 vs 2018) $408.50(2/2017) $657.17 (2/2018)
Retirement Fund 82.17% 81.63%
Roof for our Family($750K) 00.00%
Medical Fund (via HSA) 6.17% 6.17% ….lost login again 😦
Life Insurance Done (term life insurance policy)

Main Takeaways this month

  • Passive Income Stream
    • My passive Income for February 2018 is a couple hundred dollars higher than February 2017. This is mostly the result of a push towards adding to my MUNI funds through 2017.
  • Additional Investments
    • Investments in taxable accounts
      • Nothing to report
      • Got really attracted to the idea of selling my investments in VHDYX (up 10-12%) and moving them to MUNIs…divided yields are about the same and the MUNIs are federal tax free….had to pull myself back.
      • Holding off until I capture the quarterly dividends in March, 2018.
    • Investments in tax-deferred account (IRA)
      • In Dec 2018, I took some profits and set up a a cash fund set up to take advantage of the next investing opportunity.
      • This month, I moved some of the cash fund into a REIT fund….REITs have dropped almost 10% this year….added to my investment in VGSLX to dollar cost average down some of my investments.