Time in the Market’s 2017 Year in Review Extravaganza

2017 has passed on, it is no more, it has ceased to be so it’s time FOR THE 2017 YEAR IN REVIEW EXTRAVAGANZA. 

What makes this an EXTRAVAGANZA? Will there be fireworks and fried dough? No, there won’t but there will be graphs and things like that and those are just as good; some might say better.

Thanks for the support bear friend.

Since I’m a resourceful chap, I kept track of my portfolio, dividends and expenses on a monthly basis. Now that the year is over and the December data is in, I can take take that data and compile it into a yearly view.

Don’t get too excited yet because there’s more than just that. I’ll also take some of this data and break it out into quarterly views and even calculate my portfolio performance for the year. Now we’re talking; it’s a party and everyone here is excited!

Let’s take a look at my portfolio first. Continue reading “Time in the Market’s 2017 Year in Review Extravaganza”

The Time in the Market expense and savings report – December 2017 – the uncle Dave told me to save edition

It’s savings rate time and this one is the final update for 2017. MLK day means I have the day off and spent the time writing a silly intro to this post. After all, what else would I do with this post series?

You’re probably asking yourself “who this uncle Dave is and why is he telling him to save?”

I answer, “I know right. mind your own damn business uncle Dave. It’s colder than Hoth out here and you’re busting me about savings.”

I’ve already talked about getting my butt in gear when I did my Q3 review. It was clear from that that I was behind my goals so I don’t need uncle Dave all up in my grill!

“I already know I need to save Uncle Dave!”

Now you’re probably thinking, “this is a weird start to a post about savings rates and expenses.

You’re right and also, I was kidding about being mad about uncle Dave’s comments.

He’s totally right, I should save a lot – well at least he would be if he existed because the plot twist here is that I made him up. There is no uncle Dave and he certainly didn’t tell me to save.

Now you’re probably thinking(if you haven’t closed the page yet because you think I’m an idiot), “holy crap, what a plot twist, I didn’t see that coming”.

Or maybe you did, you’re a smart cookie after all. I was just testing you to make sure you don’t trust everything you read on the internet. People do lie on the internet or so I’ve been told.

For being on the ball and not falling on my lies and the many lies on the internet, you get this reward.

You can print that out and put it on your wall as a testament of your ability to not fall for lies on the internet. You can also tell others of your success and they’ll look at you like you’re weird but they’re just jealous because they don’t have a reward.

Now that the test is over, it’s time to see if I rocked it as well. I’m talking about hitting my savings rate goals in the last month of the year. Since I did my Q3 review and saw that I was a few % below my 40% goal, I have hit 39.8% in October and 54.6% in November. That means that 40% goal is within reach if I can do well here so let’s see how the cookie crumbled.  Continue reading “The Time in the Market expense and savings report – December 2017 – the uncle Dave told me to save edition”

Investing in cryptocurrency seems too easy – the risks and allure of bitcoin and altcoins

I admit I was late to cryptocurrency investing.

I heard about it years ago but never gave it much thought until this year. Everyone was saying it was too late at that point but I had some extra cash I was willing to lose. Therefore, like any investor with a high risk tolerance, I threw caution to the wind and said;

I opened a Coinbase account and bought some coins. The three offered there were Bitcoin(BTC), Ethereum(ETH) and Litecoin(LTC). My “portfolio” was about an even split between the three.

I didn’t have a specific strategy or a timetable for investing. I just knew I didn’t want to make it a big investment due to the potential for loss. It was $200 here, $200 there and it continued until December. All told, I threw about $3300 into this thing.

I didn’t expect much but I did see a this potential new asset class and wanted to see how it played out. There was no harm beyond total loss in putting a tiny bit of my money out there and spinning the roulette wheel.

Beyond my random purchases, I didn’t check the prices nor did I care much about returns. That changed a few weeks ago when I checked my total during a routine purchase of ETH.

The account was worth $15,000.

That means I had a 4.5x return in less than half a year. That return was had with almost no thought to what I was buying. It all seemed pretty silly to me. I decided to pull out my original investment and let the rest keep going.

I opened an account on binance to buy some alt coins and now own a variety of other coins. High quality coins like REQ, XLM, QSP, LINK, VEN, XRP, MOD, ARK, WTC and others.

How do I know these coins are high quality? I don’t because they were initially bought after 10 minutes of research via reddit.

What was the result? Some of these coins have gone up 500% since I bought them.

The account that was worth ~11k after I pulled out my money a week or so ago is now up to 15k again. That includes a large price drop in the market today due to the Korean government’s potential plans to impact trading in that country. When you consider my initial outlay that’s out of this total, my return is 5.5x.

That’s the kind of return that can lull an investor into a fall sense of security and make one think that you know what you’re doing. It’s the kind of return that can make someone like me think; “hmm, maybe I should have put more money into this” and do something risky. Continue reading “Investing in cryptocurrency seems too easy – the risks and allure of bitcoin and altcoins”

The Time in the Market portfolio – January 2018 update

It’s spreadsheet weekend and the weather is perfect for another portfolio review. It’s so cold that there’s no reason to be outside right now unless your hobby is to make ice sculptures.

I’m doing this a bit earlier than usual this month. The typical schedule is to do this update on the 2nd Sunday of the month but I think I’ll switch that up this year. The second Sunday of the month often falls late in the month. It’s on the 14th this month which would be over 35 days since the last update. I’d rather have it done earlier in case I want to make some changes to my contributions. That means the 2nd Sunday rule might not always hold if the Sunday falls particularly late. It’ll be more like the first Sunday of the month that falls after and including the 7th.

It’s a bit arbitrary but arbitrary things are what investing is all about so it’s a good fit.

The portfolio has had a ridiculous run lately as the market has continued to rise. I have had 15 straight months of consecutive growth which is pretty crazy. 9 out of those 15 months have also had growth of 10k or more and that includes the last four months.

That growth has propelled my portfolio from 366k in December 2016 all the way up to $483,999.27 as of the December update. That means I’m pretty close to my next milestone of 500k and I’m eager to see how much closer I got this month.

The stock market has continued to perform well with the S&P 500 returning 3.4% since the last update. I also had some pretty good savings rate months lately which bodes well for my chances at hitting 500k soon.  Continue reading “The Time in the Market portfolio – January 2018 update”

Time in the Market dividend review – December 2017

Happy new years everyone and welcome to the last dividend review for 2017.

This is the big one for us mutual fund and ETF investors. It’s a month I’ve been looking forward to for a while since it will be the deciding factor in whether I hit my dividend goals for the year.

I hope everyone reading had a great holiday break and enjoyed the time off. That is if you were lucky to have some to end the year.

If not, here’s a joke from joke bear to make you feel better before we get into the dividend review. I find that it’s often nice to start the day with something silly or humorous especially if you’ve had a tough week at work or if you’re like me and have to go back to work after a long break. That’s why joke bear is here to give me a joke!

What starts with an E, ends with an E but often only has one letter?

An envelope.

Joke bear

Thanks joke bear. It’s true what they say; You can throw an envelope as far as you want, but it’ll still be stationery.

Now that we’re all sufficiently tickled, let’s take a look at my dividends and how Steve, my dividend employee did in what is usually his best month of the year.

As a reminder, December 2017’s total was $2940.09 and I need to hit least $2629.01 this month to hit my annual goal of $8000Continue reading “Time in the Market dividend review – December 2017”

My 2018 Annual Goals – the financial goal Olympics

It’s freaking freezing outside and that means 2017 is coming to a close so it’s time to set my eyes on 2018 with some financial goals to aim for next year.

Last year’s annual goals post had a mix of personal and financial goals but I’m focusing entirely on financial goals this year as I have another idea in mind for personal goals.

I find that there’s huge value in writing down goals and keeping tab on your progress. It serves not only as a guidepost for certain decisions but also as a motivational tool. It’s certainly a lot easier to gauge your progress when you have clearly defined and written down goals than it is if you don’t.

garfield goals

I noticed the value first hand when I did my Q3 2017 goal review, saw that I was behind on my savings rate goals, got my butt in gear and nailed my November savings rate. The jury is out on December but I think I’m doing well this month as well and that bodes well for my overall financial goals this year.

Last year’s goals included three difficulty levels for each goal, starting with the easiest; bronze then silver then gold. It’s just like the Olympics except way cooler; the OLYMPICS OF FINANCIAL GOALS.

Maybe I’ll have my artistic fiancee make me some medals for next year so that I can actually have something tangible to aim for or I’ll just make these salt dough medals. Those are just as cool as real Olympic gold, right?

salt dough olympic medals

If you haven’t read last year’s post then the idea behind these goals is to make Bronze a reasonable goal that can be hit with a little bit of work, make Silver a stretch and make Gold a long shot. That means that if I set the goals correctly then I’ll hit mostly bronzes at the end of the year so let’s see what those goals are this year! Continue reading “My 2018 Annual Goals – the financial goal Olympics”

The Time in the Market expense report – November 2017

Happy Holidays, it’s almost time for Christmas and the roads outside look like an ice skating rink after a night of sleet and freezing rain; that means it’s the perfect time to look at my savings rate and expenses for last month!

I’m not looking forward to walking my dog in a few hours and will have to make sure to put on my ice cleats before going out. Still, I suppose I shouldn’t complain – it could look like this!

ice storm

One of the takeaways from my Q3 goal review was that I was behind on my savings rate.

It was already well into October when I wrote that so there wasn’t much I could do to impact that month. That means that if I want to hit my bronze goals in the savings rate area, I needed to buckle down and become a frugal Joe for November and December.

Who’s frugal Joe? It’s a guy that’s frugal and the goal for November and December was to emulate him and get that savings rate as close to 50% as possible.

October turned out pretty decent with a 39.8% savings rate which was above my Q3 total but still below my 40% target for the year. That means that November and December will really have to pick up the slack if I’m to hit my goals this year so let’s see how things turned out in November.

One thing to note is that I wanted to change up this month’s report a bit so I’m trying one of those newfangled Sankey diagrams that everyone is in love with these days when looking at my expenses and savings rate.  Continue reading “The Time in the Market expense report – November 2017”