I know it’s technically not the middle of the year anymore but in my defense, I have three points:
- I published my last net worth update in March 2020
- Many people are confused about what day or month it is due to being cooped up at home to avoid COVID-19. Time no longer feels real
- Most importantly, this is my site and I can do whatever I want
Having said that, I want to share with you, gorgeous readers, my latest, mid-year net worth update as well as what I’ve been up to in the past six months.
Here’s my September 2020 net worth, in matrix format:
Amount in Pesos
Amount in USD
Stocks Investments (short-term)
House and Lot
Investments – Minority Partner in a business
Investment – Gown Rental
Loan for Condominium
ASSETS – LIABILITIES = 7,491,171.13 – 1,870,000.00 = 5,621,171.13
SEPTEMBER 2020 = 5,621,171.13 // $115,741.64
Comparing this to my last net worth update in March 2020:
Although my overall net worth increased by 5.41% or $5,938.84 from March 2020, my Retirement Account actually suffered a loss of 10.24% or $2,889. This can be explained by the following factors:
- Stronger peso this September than in March. If you notice, in pesos, my net worth only increased by Php10,683. But when you convert the total net worth in dollars, the conversion this time is much higher than in my past report. For reference, US$1 is equivalent to PHP48.5665 at the time of this writing (13 September 2020).
- A big portion of my Retirement Account is invested in FMETF, which has taken a nosedive due to the pandemic.
- However, my portfolio managed to stay afloat thanks to my investments in Vanguard. The US stock market is at an all-time high despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Another thing that I did, well, last year actually, was to get a condominium unit to be my main residence when I go home. The unit is still in pre-selling so I’ll be paying the equity portion for another 2 years. I’m not sure if I should already include it in my net worth computation (but where?) since it will skew my record and will show that I’m buried in debt, even though I haven’t/ I’m not yet required to take out a loan to pay it off. So far I already have more than Php500,000 in equity.
My first condo unit is still generating positive income for me, although my tenants will end their contract by October. I’m hoping that they will extend their contract for another year since it’s hard to find new tenants at this time. In case they end the contract permanently, I will be forced to pay the monthly mortgage out of pocket.
On the Home Front
I had a few major expenses the past months, some related to COVID-19, some not.
First, my mom and brother finally got the time to supervise roof repairs before the Philippine monsoon season began. The total expenses, including labor and materials, came to Php45,000.
Another expense is related to the loss of income due to the pandemic. I paid off my parent’s car loan for their Grab taxi. That amounted to almost Php100,000. Before, their taxi earned enough to pay off the monthly payments and insurance but since the quarantine measures began, that source of income was closed off for months.
I have also provided assistance to my extended family in the province for various expenses. Some were for happy occasions like a wedding, while some expenses were for illnesses and loss of income.
I’m so happy that I’m able to help my family in their time of need. I feel so privileged in knowing that even though I don’t really have that much (yet), I can help my loved ones back home.
Remember I told you before that I was taking classes in Harvard Extension School and I received my Graduate Certificate in International Security?
I decided to go all in and apply for a full-blown graduate degree. I got the decision via email in the second week of September.
So finally, Auntie Katie is an official Harvard degree candidate/graduate student!
Of course, because I’m manol (I don’t know the equivalent of this Hiligaynon word in English, Tagalog, or any language. It means somebody who is so excited about a new thing that they can’t stop talking about it, referring to it, looking at it, etc.), I have already requested to have my Harvard email address changed to my preferred format. I also changed my Linkedin profile, updated my Harvard Connections photo and contact details, and ordered HES and even Harvard College merch. I’m planning on attending classes on campus next summer if COVID-19 abates to fulfil on-campus requirements, and more importantly, get my ID. 😀
I want to thank DARPA for developing the internet and Sir Tim Berners-Lee for inventing the world wide web, two things that enabled me to achieve this dream (and to think about it, my life as it is right now).
All of the current developments caused by COVID-19 has got me thinking deeply about the importance of having multiple sources of income. Currently, I have passive income from my rental property plus a small portfolio of dividend stocks, but I definitely need additional money if I want to continue growing my net worth, preparing for my son’s college tuition, and helping my family.
I recently opened this site for collaboration and sponsorships after receiving inquiries. I mean, why not, right? I’m spending money and time to host and maintain this site. Monetizing it through ad placements and sponsored posts is a logical move, financially. Of course, I only want to work with partners who respect clients and value their needs.
I’ve also been thinking of opening a Youtube channel on personal finance, travel, and lifestyle. I’m not yet sure how the channel will look. I was gravitating towards having an explainer video with a voice-over so that I don’t have to appear on camera. I have been told by some readers that they recommended my content to their family and friends but said family and friends preferred to watch videos instead of reading a long article.
I don’t know yet. What do you think?
Financial Goals for 2020
A quick update on how I’m faring with my 2020 financial goals:
- Invest at least 15% of my income for retirement. On the way there.
- Rebalance portfolio to include more US index funds. Before the end of this year, for sure.
- Aggressively add more money to my son’s college fund. His college fund is invested in the First Metro index ETF (FMETF) and Vanguard Total Index ETF. I don’t include these in my net worth. I and his father committed to adding more money separately later this year.
- Make sure that my parent’s SSS, PhilHealth, Pag-IBIG memberships are up-to-date. Also, make sure that their health insurance coverage is paid off. Just renewed my father’s Maxicare plan while my mother is under my sister’s health plan coverage from work. Achieved.
- Keep a list of all assets, including furniture, books, etc., not only for net worth tracking purposes but also for insurance claims, if ever. This goal is recycled from last year. I hope to do better this year. Ummmm…
- Save up for my required in-campus classes at Harvard Extension School. I shared before that I’m taking classes in HES, which is the university’s online school for non-traditional learners (those who have full-time jobs and don’t live in the Boston area). No longer possible. Next year, I hope.
- Save up for a big trip if not by the middle of the year on my birthday, by the end of 2020. I really want to go back to South America and explore Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia. Or maybe visit my friends in Switzerland and visit the shooting locations of Crash Landing on You. I’m obsessed! Hahahahahaha
I’m pretty sure I would’ve saved and invested more money if I haven’t developed the bad habit of buying a lot of things off the internet in the past quarter. I think that as a coping mechanism from all this (not being able to see my family and loved ones in the flesh, not being able to travel, not being able to take a long leave of absence from work, etc.), my brain started developing an addiction to the high I get from receiving gifts (that I actually paid for).
This is definitely my challenge for the rest of the year. On the other hand, I have almost overhauled my wardrobe to include a ton of silk shirts and pants and added a number of designer suits and accessories. Also, I added more luxurious bed sheet sets to my collection. Despite growing up poor, I developed a Princess and the Pea situation wherein I can’t sleep if I’m on scratchy sheets. My bad.
Obviously, I’m not a perfect “financial guru” (I’m not a guru) who has total self-mastery and laser focus to achieve my goal. I’m just a fabulous woman trying to make my way into the world while having fun despite life’s challenges.
Have you taken the time to write down your net worth so far? How did you do? Let me know in the comments!