This is my last net worth update for the year 2017 in Dec. Just updated the figures in our Net Worth Google Sheet and we now officially have 2 years worth of accurate data to look back on starting from Dec 2015. Yearly patterns in behaviour when it comes to our expenses, savings, investments and retirement funds are starting to emerge.
The data tracking for the past 2 years has been beneficial and I would most likely continue with it. However, I have to say it takes a long time for daily and weekly actions to take effect. There are plans that we put in place 1 to 2 years ago that are only just beginning to show results. And it would take the same amount of time for the outcome of any changes to these plans to be reflected.
Patience and the understanding that some things cannot be rushed is an important personality trait we are still trying to develop. Anyway, I enjoyed reading the 2017 annual reviews of various bloggers. Generally, I reckon 2017 has been a good year for most of us financially and even personally. It would be nice to have more years like that where we are happier with what we have achieved.
I considered changing the format of this final monthly Dec net worth update into a yearly one for 2017. Just so I can do it together with a review of our successes and failures for the year. But I might do a wrap-up instead because I’m not sure how much I want to write on the year-to-year comparison and our reflections. I get it’s essential for goal-setting in 2018 so I will see how it goes.
Cash: +S$27,736 and +5.90%
It’s a strong performance for our cash holdings in Dec 2017. My wife’s annual performance bonus and salary was credited into her bank account and my salary was credited into my bank account on the same day. And the sale proceeds from selling my wife’s employee shares in Australia was credited around the same time. It’s the biggest injection of cash funds we have experienced in one week so far.
I have set aside a portion of it to pay for our upcoming ski trip to Austria in Feb 2018 and our credit card bills from all the recent wedding anniversary and Christmas spending. I only input the net cash amount in our Google Sheet to be conservative.
Investments: -S$305 and -0.15%
This is largely due to the sale transaction of my wife’s employee shares in Australia. The investing cash inflows for our monthly investment plans and robo-advisors were not enough to offset the decline in our portfolio. Flat equity markets didn’t help much as well. Disappointing to say the least. Regular capital injections are crucial to the long-term success of our ETF strategy and they have to be of sufficient size to make it work. Which is why I increased the monthly investing cash inflows even more from Jan 2018.
Retirement & Medical: +S$4,151 and +1.58%
Central Provident Fund (CPF) Ordinary Account (OA), Special Account (SA) and Medisave Account (MA) mandatory contributions are behind this increase. A portion of my wife’s annual performance bonus is to be contributed to her CPF but this should happen in Jan 2018. Coupled with the end of year interest to be credited for our CPF then, we are expecting a bigger increase in our Retirement & Medical funds when doing the Jan 2018 Net Worth Update.
Total Assets: S$31,582 and +3.35%
Net Worth: +S$33,974 and +11.36%
A big jump in our total assets and net worth (difference comes from paying down our mortgage with the housing loan monthly instalment payment). I have continued to exclude our owner-occupied property from the total assets calculation because it’s going to unnecessarily inflate the numbers. Which will do more harm than good when we are still at the wealth-building stage.
We are getting closer to our S$1 million total assets target. By my calculations, we are likely to reach it before my wife’s 30th birthday in April 2018. It would be a great financial achievement to cap off our first decade together as a couple. Theoretically, the snowball and compounding effect suggests that we should reach our next target in a shorter time. But I wonder whether it accounts for exhaustion and kids. Because it’s easy to get tired in a financial pursuit for wealth while trying to build a family.
I’m too lazy to do a full on review of what we did well and what we did poorly for the year 2017. Our health has improved in the last few months as we strived to increase our exercise/gym sessions each week. We travelled to Bali & US in the first half of the year and went to France in the second half. We are comfortable with the extent of our current social & professional circles and work got busier but we managed. We have grown financially stronger from the back of higher salary & bonus income and bull markets driving our investments upward.
This has come at a cost of less personal time for my wife and I. As you can imagine, the more time we schedule for everything else we are trying to accomplish, the less time we have for each other. But after 10 years together, we understand our relationship will just keep evolving as we pursue our personal and joint goals. Things will never remain the same as long as we both keep moving forward. Simply put, we just have to keep finding reasons to stay together with mutual and self love as our underlying motivating factor. I wonder what’s next for us.