June was a bumpy ride for the markets but I didn’t flinch once during the drop. Personally, I was down $500 plus across my accounts when I finally decided to stop looking. We were due for a down market. I expected it. But June wasn’t all grim because despite the rough market, June is also a dividend-paying month for most companies. If you own even one share of a dividend-paying company it means you get paid. So, I’ll be giving a dividend update along with my net worth update this month.
But first I want to go over a few financial basics. I was speaking to a very dear friend the other day and she told me that she was taking the next several months to turn around her finances. Of course, my ears perked up. This was my kind of conversation.
She began to tell me how her money was all over the place sitting in various brick-and-mortar banks. At this point my face looked a lot like the angry, red-faced emoji. We discussed why this was a big waste of time and money. I explained what I consider the “3 Must-Do” basics to start turning around your financial world:
- You must pare down the number of accounts you have. Having your money at a bunch of different banks, makes it a lot harder than it needs to be to keep track of your money and ultimately grow it. It would be like having to tell your children something very important. Then putting each of them in a different room of the house to tell them. You could yell at the top of your lungs to say what you need to say or you could go from room to room repeating yourself over and over to each child. But I’m willing to bet that you would bring all the children together in one room and say what needs to be said. You would do it this way because it would be the most effective and most efficient way. The same is true when the goal is to organize your finances and build wealth. Your money is more powerful and easier to manage when it all comes together. Less is more when it comes to banking.
- If you are saving for something or building your emergency fund don’t just sit your money in one of the “big” banks, earning almost no interest. Money needs to make money! Put your savings/emergency fund in an online high-yield savings account. You can go to bankrate.com and find out which banks are currently offering the highest interest rates.
- Finally, if you are just starting out on the journey to turn your finances around, you must organize your cash flow. Your money should move in a smooth effortless cycle. And the cycle is effortless because once you’ve established where your money is flowing from and to, you will automate the process. Money should flow from your one checking account into: Retirement account(s), Savings/E-fund, taxable investments and then bills.
Those were the first things that I implemented when I started on this wealth-building journey. I hope this helps someone. Now onto the fun stuff.
I’ll start with dividends because for me it’s the most fun. Unlike my other investments where the money is automatically divided up and sent to a specific mutual fund, ETF or bond, with the dividend-portfolio I’m actively involved in growing this income stream. I get to pick and buy stocks monthly and see the fruits of my labor quickly via dividend payments. A little instant gratification goes a long way with me. You’ll notice for the first time, I’m able to compare year-over-year progress. Below are the dividends received for the first and second quarters of 2018 and 2017
Companies held 2018: BAC, PEG, SBUX, SEP, T
Companies held 2017: BAC, PEG, SBUX
Jan $0 $0
Feb $13.59 $0.88 1444% increase
Mar $12.34 $3.71 232% increase
Apr $0 $0
May $26.23 $2.71 867% increase
Jun $16.29 $6.64 145% increase
- In 2017, I received a total of $45.83 in dividends. I had hoped to double that amount in 2018, but it looks like I’m on my way to tripling it.
- I started the year with a position in three companies and now I have five. I hope to end the year with seven.
- I want to earn double digits ($10 or more) in each of the five companies that I currently own before taking on a new position. However, Bank of America is making that tough with its $0.12 dividend. But I won’t write the stock off completely. I’m committed to buying a shares of BOA every few months
- When I purchase 10 shares of AT&T the first week of July, all current holdings will be earning double digits. What will I buy next? I’ve narrowed it down to Waste Management (WM) or Proctor & Gamble (PG). I’m leaning towards WM.
Net Worth Update:
June 2018 Net Worth Update
SEP IRA: $7,540.18
MM/E Fund: $6,415.97
Stocks (taxable) $4,779.22
Investing fund: $300.80
Credit Card: $4,800.00 @ 0%
- I only put $160 in the SEP IRA this month because the 0% on the credit card ends in December. I could transfer it to another card but I don’t really want to carry it into the new year.
- The IRA is climbing slowly but it took a big hit this month and is down about $300; automatic deposits have kept just about even.
- Cash on hand is up $120
- The E/Fund is headed in the right direction. A bump up in the interest rate to 1.75% was a nice surprise. I’ll be earning double digits in interest very soon
- Stocks were hit hard this account is down more than $130
- Bonds are up and earning nearly $20/month in interest.
- This account is down significantly having applied most of what was in the account to my credit card debt.
- Business account is up this month, which means I spent a lot less on lunch.
- Credit card debt is down nearly $1,000. I used money designated for stocks and my SEP IRA to pull it off.
I’m about $2000 away from hitting a $50,000 net worth milestone. I’m impressed because this was done without much help from the stock market. Had the market been cooperating this year, I would have probably reached this milestone in May. I think it’s important to mention that I don’t clip coupons and I don’t follow a strict budget. However, I’m very committed to putting 90% of the saving and investing that I do on automatic and then I pay all bills.
I’m committed/addicted to tracking my net worth on Personal Capital (PC). PC is great because once you enter all your accounts you never have to do anything else to keep it up to date. PC updates all of your banking transactions automatically, shows you even the smallest changes to your net worth and credit usage. Personal Capital has been one of the main the keys to my success.