Portfolio and Financial Net Worth – December

Each month, along with our get out of debt plan, we’ll be tracking our portfolio and financial net worth.  I clarify our net worth as being financial because it’s easy to get caught up in the numbers and allowing those things define us.  The amount of money we have, or don’t have, doesn’t define us as human beings.  As Christians, it’s always important for me and my wife to realize and remember that our identity is solely found in Jesus Christ, and worth is not found in money or any other thing.  Our worth is displayed through the cross, as he gave his life to save us out of his great love for us. The purpose behind tracking our portfolio and financial net worth is for accountability, to remember that our goals aren’t going to be achieved overnight, and to inspire and encourage others to be better stewards of the finances they have.

December was a really tough month for us.  We decided to move to a new neighborhood for a couple of reasons.  The first reason was to be closer to our church community, and since most of our driving consisted of attending services and grocery shopping, we also decided to get rid of the car.  I still shed one thug tear for the car, since it was my first car, and it provided a lot of freedom to go where we pleased.  One thing I will definitely not miss are the parking tickets, which we are still paying off, and the insurance payments. The nest reason for our move was the shorter commute for my wife.  Her hour and a half commute was really stressful for her, and if I'm going to be a good leader then I need to be intentional about relieving these kinds of stressors.  In the following snapshots of our finances, you'll see some drastic fluctuations. This is because we did an extremely poor job of planning.  My wife was going to receive her end of year bonus around the middle of December, and we planned to use part of this amount to move.  Since we thought we were guaranteed to receive this amount prior to our move, we decided to move money from our emergency fund in order to participate in the Lending Club Direct Share Program.  I'll have an article detailing our participation in the plan.  To make a long story short, we didn't save for our move, used up the funds in our emergency fund and ended up borrowing against my wife's 401k plan to fund our move.  The good news is that we received her bonus in January, the bad news is we were only prepared to receive it in December.  This moving experience has really challenged us to plan in advance, to not rely on one event, and to be more attentive to my wife's needs.

Although it wasn’t as good of a month, we could still praise God for helping us become better stewards by helping us realize our mistakes. One thing we made sure to do this month was to be generous in our giving towards our local church.  Our net worth decreased from -$26,417 to -$28,157, a $1,740 decrease! We are only $8 above the net worth we had in September.  Is it cliche to say we've taken two steps (months) backward in our finances and stewardship? Moving forward, we want to focus on paying down our debts, while still adding what we can to keep our investment snowball rolling.  We are still a long way from a net worth of $0, but now we have a plan, accountability, and a better understanding of how we should be stewarding these resources.  It’s interesting to me that my financial net worth was higher when I was 15, before I even began to work!

We have definitely been poor stewards of what God has blessed us with, and will surely be wiser in our financial decisions.  While paying down debt, we have been building our investment accounts. These include a 401(k), a Roth IRA, a lending club account and a brokerage account.The majority of our portfolio is in the 401(k) and lending club account.  I’m going to post the holdings in our brokerage account and lending club account below and track the investment income we make in a different post.  I think that by giving a glimpse into how we invest, we can not only have more accountability, we can show others that it isn’t impossible, and isn’t as difficult as it may seem.  Sometimes it’s hard to start, and it’s easy to read a personal finance blog and wonder “how did they do it? what exactly did they invest in?”



December Net Worth Update Personal Finance

Portfolio Value- $6,529

This is the overall value of our portfolio holdings. The purpose behind tracking our portfolio and financial net worth is for accountability, to remember that our goals aren’t going to be achieved overnight, and to inspire and encourage others to be better stewards of the finances they have.  There are always going to be different price fluctuations in the account, but we feel that we could invest wisely and earn a decent return in the long run, even if there are some short term price fluctuations.

The drastic increase and decrease in our investments was from our participation in the Lending Club IPO, and from our borrowing from the 401k in order to fund our move.  Any portfolio returns we saw in the IPO were negated by our 401k loan.  Next month, we'll be able to pay back our loan and we shouldn't have any drastic declines in our portfolio.

Investment Performance December Returns



Below is our stock portfolio holdings in our Motif Investing brokerage account. We are investing for the long term in businesses that pay dividends and are stable companies.  The purpose of the portfolio, and our overall investing philosophy, is to make as much passive income through dividends and fixed income each month. Eventually we would not only be debt free and have a positive net worth (fingers crossed), but we’ll also be able to buy back our time by living off of the income our investments provide.  This would allow us to be more involved in our community, give even more generously and help others in any way we can. We hope this helps.

Motif Portfolio Value- $795 – Some of the value is held in cash and not just stock 

Hamlett November Portfolio



In November, we decided to buy the Lion’s Fixed Income motif (in purple) in order to capitalize on both the price reduction and the monthly dividend/distributions we’ll collect.  Our stock positions in the Lion’s Shares motif are in green, and we will be adding to each motif in the following months.  Both of these motifs are listed in the right sidebar, and you can open up an account with motif here.

Lending Club Value- $2,391

Lending Club Returns December



Lending Club is a Peer-to-Peer lending platform where people like you and me can loan money to other people that may not be able to get financing from a bank.  I think its a great way to help people out and earn a return on the investment in them.  The platform could be risky, and I have had 3 people default on loans so far.  To reduce the risk, I only invest about $100 into a loan, make sure the person’s monthly gross income is at least 10 times the loan payment, and I don’t invest if the person is asking for more than $15,000 over a five year period.  So far, we’ve had some solid results and are pleased with the 17.91% return we’ve had.

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