May 2020 Net-Worth Update

Another month passes and my Net-worth continues to rise. With states reopening across the United States, investors appear to be hopeful the economy will return to normal soon. This optimism is causing the markets to rise.
I’m not as optimistic.
The American government isn’t taking COVID-19 seriously, leaving the market vulnerable to huge swings if the pandemic continues to get worse.
However,short term, my investment accounts continue to grow with this recovery and my net-worth is looking better, month after month.
Vietnam, like many countries, has taken a ‘closed borders open country’ approach to containing the spread of COVID-19. No foreigners are allowed in the country, but domestic travel is ramping up.
I will admit, they are doing a damn good job of fighting this virus. Unfortunately, it is too soon to assume the country is in the clear.
Domestic travel and almost all domestic businesses have returned to normal. The low case numbers and closed borders gives us some feeling of safety, but I’m nervous about a ‘second wave’.
I started a summer teaching job at an international school in DaNang. Management wants me to continue on for the 2020 – 2021 school year, and I’m thinking about taking them up on the offer. It all depends on if China opens its borders to non-Chinese citizens. My girlfriend has an amazing job offer in the city of Guangzhou.
Unfortunately with cases rising in the West, returning to China seems less and less likely as each day passes.
But let’s get to it. here is my Net-Worth for May 2020.

Assets

Investment Accounts

My investment accounts made a turn around this month! My balance ended at $11,719, growing by $582.57.
With the unemployment rate going through the roof (13.3% ), I’ll be happy to have any gains this year.
Fortunately, other investors and corporations have a positive outlook on the future of the economy regardless of how bleak situations look today.
The investor in me wants stock prices to fall, and the humanitarian in me is afraid to see what will cause them to fall. How much worse could things get?
  1. My ending balance included my $100 monthly contribution and dividends paid out for the month.
  2. For the new readers, I have three investment accounts; a traditional IRA, Roth IRA, and a brokerage account.
  3. The majority of my contributions go to the Roth IRA, because of the long-term tax free growth. Vanguard has some of the lowest fees, therefore my accounts are all held there.

Cash

My available cash increased by $215 by the end of May. I’m not sure why this is the case, but it wasn’t planned. Hopefully I didn’t forget to pay a bill. Either way, I won’t complain about having too much cash.

Debt

Student Loans

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, my debt has been in forbearance under the Cares Act and I haven’t made any student loan payments. I want to use this forbearance to save more cash.

I know this isn’t the most optimal way to approach my debt. In a perfect world, I would use this opportunity to pay down more debt, interest free. If I made more money, I would do just that.
Since I have a low cash balance, I need the extra cash to make make it through these crazy times without going into more debt. I believe that short term goal is more important than the interest savings.

Credit Cards

I’m one responsible guy! I paid my credit card off 6 months ago and I haven’t gone into credit card debt since. Even through the pandemic and my job loss in China.
I’ve been paying the card off in full every month. Most of this success is due to budgeting and tracking my expenses. I’m going to keep this up, and hit my goal of not paying a dime of credit card interest in 2020.

Net-Worth

A recovering stock market and an increase in cash savings caused my Net-worth to grow by $890 this month! I can’t complain. This growth is more than I was expecting in the middle of a global pandemic.
My total networth is now $4,676.00.
I’ve come a long way from a net-worth of almost -$40,000.00. I enjoy writing these post every month because it give me time to reflect on how far I’ve come. I’m truly motivated every time I see that my net-worth has grown, even if it is just by one dollar.

April 2020 Net-Worth Update

My girlfriend and I have been able to get into a decent quarantine routine in Vietnam. In the morning, I run on the beach and she does Yoga.
The sunrise during one of my morning runs.
Most of our afternoons and evenings are spent teaching online, but thank God we still have an income! The remainder of our time is spent trying new restaurants (by delivery only)  and streaming a few TV shows like, Avatar: The Last Air-bender, The Last Dance, and The Fresh Prince (Yes, they are all streaming on the Vietnamese Netflix).

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March 2020 Net-Worth Update

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.

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February 2020 Net-Worth Update: My Net-worth Decreased

The last time I rode a roller-coaster I was 21 years old, dumb, and definitely NOT sober. Today, I’m a little older, smarter, sober, but on a different roller-coaster called the coronavirus (A.K.A COVID-19) pandemic. COVID-19 has taken the World for a wild ride and I don’t see anyone getting off anytime soon.

Continue reading “February 2020 Net-Worth Update: My Net-worth Decreased”

January 2020 Net-Worth Update: My Net-worth Increased!

The last four weeks have been some of the most exciting in my life.
With growing hysteria surrounding the coronavirus, staying in China meant facing travel restrictions. As a person who’s chasing financial independence to gain ultimate flexibility, the idea of being “locked-down” in a Chinese city doesn’t seem too appealing.
Therefore, I left China, temporarily. I have every intention of returning once there is a realistic solution to this virus.
I’m not concerned about my health. At least not when I glance at the reported statistics.
However, when I read an article on the news or social media, I walk away thinking this is the beginning of the next zombie apocalypse. I have to stop myself from panic buying water, guns, and bullets.
I could be wrong, but I think we are far from a reenactment of the Walking Dead.

Continue reading “January 2020 Net-Worth Update: My Net-worth Increased!”