First, I’d like to apologize to my readers for my blog’s silence for a few weeks now. I went on an amazing vacation to Peru and Bolivia to celebrate my birthday and then after I got back, I was afflicted with what I thought was ennui but was actually a mild case of stomach flu. I’m so much better now. And now, I’m posting my long-delayed net worth update for the first half of the year.
Looking back, I’m very pleased with how my year is going so far. My parent’s finances are stabilizing so there’s no need for me to send (more) money regularly apart from what they usually receive from me. The cousin I’m helping send to college is doing well in her studies and is now able to shift to Mechanical Engineering (from Interior Design). My sister and nephew visited me in Seoul for a couple of weeks. My son, M, stayed with me for a little over a month. This is also my sister’s and nephew’s first overseas trip and I paid for my nephew’s plane tickets.
Many friends also showed up in Korea in the first half of the year. One of my forever friends (we have a pact that we will be each other’s close friends even in old age after he read some article that as people get older they will be left with only 5-7 real, real friends) visited for the Chinese New Year with his boyfriend. I hosted and toured my Heathers to spots outside of Seoul for more “authentic” Korean experiences. This meant that I had a particularly eventful springtime because I was surrounded by family and friends.
I completed the final course required to earn a professional certificate in International Security from Harvard Extension School (HES) last May. HES is Harvard’s online/distance learning platform for nonresidential learners and is fully accredited by Harvard. What I love about HES is the diversity and experiences of students, many of whom are already experts or at least practitioners in their fields, making discussions richer and not merely theoretical. You sometimes also get to meet/talk to famous people there. 😀
I swear I feel smarter every time I complete a HES course and this last one is memorable because my final paper was provided by request to NATO Headquarters. I’m still riding that high up to this moment.
And of course, this month marks this blog’s first year anniversary! As promised, I will be raffling off 2 personal finance books to subscribers, which I will announce on Harry Potter’s birthday, July 31st!
My Net Worth as of July 2019
So here’s my net worth, in matrix format, as of July 2019.
|Amount in Pesos||Amount in USD|
|Investment – Minority Partner in a business||150,000||2,875.12|
|House and Lot||1,800,000||35,241.30|
|Loan for condominium||1,952,853.06||38,231.98|
|Loan for house and lot||250,000||4,894.88|
|Assets – Liabilities = 142,430.97 – 43,126.89 = $99,304.08|
|July 2019 = $99,304.08 / Php 5,069,473.28|
Comparing this number to my net worth last January 2019, here are the changes:
|January 2019||July 2019||Change|
|TOTAL||$88,786.95||$99,304.08||+ $10,517.13 (+11.84%)|
|Retirement Accounts||14,760.86||25,049.38||+$10,288.52 (+69.70%)|
|Emergency Fund||7,000||5,000||+$2,000.00 (-28.57%)|
|Cash for Upcoming Expenses||3,000||0||-$3,000.00 (-100%)|
|Loan for house and lot||8,625.38||4,894.88||-$3,730.50 (+43.25%)|
My net worth grew by 11.84% due to the increase in value and additional money injected to my retirement accounts and higher monthly payments I make to pay off my mortgage. I’m not sure if I would be able to sustain this growth for the second half of the year since I will put more money towards my son’s college fund (which is not included in the calculation of my net worth) and prepare for large expenses.
This is the money I set aside for retirement in various financial instruments, including my PERA account, Provident plan through my employer, First Metro ETF (FMETF) and various Philippine stock holdings. Earlier this year, I started investing in US stock index funds through TD Ameritrade. I documented the application process in this post.
A business venture I entered with college friends, The Addlib Dance Studio, is located in Araneta Center in Cubao, continues to attract a following in the Philippine dance community, casual dance enthusiasts, neighborhood parents in need of a good workout, and the LGBTQ community. We’ll be celebrating our first year in the second half of 2019 when we’ll have our first dividend distribution by then. No growth in this area so far.
Real estate makes up the biggest portion of my assets. The condominium unit I bought at pre-selling price in 2013 was turned over in the latter part of 2018 and is now generating a positive cash flow. I put almost the entire rental money to pay off my house mortgage since its balance is smaller and I love the emotional payoff of erasing my debts one of one. I plan on paying off my house and lot mortgage by the end of the year.
Financial Goals for 2019
Here are the updates on the financial goals I set out at the beginning of the year:
- Invest at least 15% of annual income for retirement. Getting there.
- Rebalance my portfolio. Aggressively paying off the house and lot mortgage and channeling my investment money towards US stock index ETFs. It might me take a couple of years or so to successfully rebalance my portfolio but that’s the fun in actively managing your money and investments.
- Diversify my investment to other markets. Started investing in US stock index ETFs this year. Success!
- Shop and buy health insurance for my parents and make sure they are always covered. My sister already had our mother covered through her work insurance but since my father is over 60, we have to go out and buy one for him. Was able to find an acceptable coverage through Maxicare. Success!
- Prepay planned expenses in 2019, such as son’s annual visit, planned travel for leisure, etc. My son visited me for more than a month during his summer vacation. I took an amazing trip to Peru and Bolivia for my birthday. Both expenses were prepaid. Success!
- Keep a list of all assets, including furniture, books, etc., not only for net worth tracking purposes but also for insurance claims, if ever. I haven’t even started doing this yet. Potential dismal failure (but I’m on it, I swear!)
- Figure out my savings rate. Another potential dismal failure but I will try harder in the second half of 2019. I think more than the maths, I’m scared to face the fact that I might be what The Millionaire Next Door call an under accumulator of wealth (UAW). I hate to be an under- of anything (underachiever, underdog, and anything similar).
I’m very content with my progress so far and I hope to continue on this trajectory for the rest of the year.
Have you taken the time to write down down your assets and liabilities to calculate your net worth so far? How about your financial goals for 2019? Let me know in the comments.
You’re doing great Scarlett!
Thank you George! Hoping to continue this for the rest of the year.
Thanks for sharing this! It’s great to get some perspective from outside the US for sure. You have an outstanding blog, thanks for the work you do.
Thank you Aaron!
Hello Ms. Katie Scarlett
I’m very happy about your financial investment for the year 2019. As for me, things have been a little rough.
I’ve made terrible financial decisions in my early 20s and only started investing on the year 2021.
I wanted to know how long have you been investing?
I am also an OFW, how long have you worked abroad?