No one could’ve predicted the COVID-19 epidemic would escalate so quickly around the world.
It’s been a crazy month for everyone!
I still haven’t returned to China. China officially closed all borders to foreigners. I couldn’t go back if I wanted to. Even if I could go back, there’s a mandatory “centralized” 14 day quarantine waiting for me on the other side. I’ll pass for now.
Therefore, I’m “hunkered down” in Vietnam.
Plan “A” is to wait for China to ease its border restrictions, and Plan “B” is to wait until its safe enough to travel back to the U.S. and regroup. But the way things are looking, who knows when it’ll be safe to travel anywhere again.
Fortunately, Vietnam’s confirmed cases of COVID-19 still remain low (240 confirmed – as of 4/5/2020).
Vietnam has been proactive by shutting down the borders, and mandating a 15 day country wide shutdown. Which seems to be working!
Although circumstances are changing quickly. I believe it’s important to concentrate on our finances now more than ever.
So here it is …my Net-worth update for March 2020.
My investment accounts decreased in value for the second month in a row. The damage was more than $- 1,290 dollars from February 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic has rightfully spooked global stock markets. Unfortunately, I don’t see any sign of that fear disappearing in the near future.
Therefore, I’m expecting to see the balance of my investment accounts continue to decrease in the next few months.
This total included my $100 monthly contribution and whatever dividends that were paid out for the month.
For the new readers, I have three types of investment accounts; a traditional IRA, Roth IRA, and a brokerage account.
I contribute the majority of my money to the Roth IRA, because of the long-term tax free growth. Vanguard typically has the lowest fees, therefore my three accounts are held there.
My cash balance for March was $2,266. That’s $90 lower than February 2020.
I had some unexpected expenses come up, like my Visa Extension in Vietnam ($140), so I had to use the cash for those expenses. I was unable to increase my cash position like I planned.
My goal for this pandemic is to keep as much cash on hand as possible. The cash can then be used to prevent me from taking on unnecessary debt.
My student loan balance is $10,250.
It’s $204 less than February 2020. My balance decreased only because I made the monthly minimum payment of $250.
When I started my journey to financial independence (FI), I was aggressively paying down student loan debt.
Overtime, paying off my loans became less of a priority. I got anxious about missing out on the growth of the stock market. Typical “FOMO” [Fear Of Missing Out]. Fortunately, as the stock market continues to offer shares at a discount, I don’t regret this decision.
I have two loans remaining; the first with a balance of $10,165, and the second with a balance of $85. My lower balance will be paid off in the next few months, which will free more money to contribute to the larger loan. Both loans have a 6.210% interest rate.
My goal for 2020 is to not pay a dime in credit card interest. I accomplished that goal in March! My credit card balances were payed off in November 2019 and I intend on keeping them that way.
Overall my Net-worth decreased for the second month in a row to $1,706.
That is almost $1,176. less than February 2020. It can all be attributed to the drop in my stock portfolio because of the pandemic. I’m a long term investor so I’m not at all worried about the dip in my Net-worth. I believe the stock market will bounce back sometime in the future.
Thank you all for taking the time to read this post. If you are interested in reading more feel free to read more of my post here: