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.
March was an alright month for us. Although we didn’t make a drastic improvement in our overall net worth, we also didn’t lavishly spend the increase in our income. My wife was able to get a raise in the middle of the month, and I was able to get a new job. Our net worth trend seems to be back on an upward trend. I'm excited to see what unfolds during the next couple of months, and how we can steward the financial blessings we've received. Struggling in the winter months really showed us how much we need to plan and strictly stick to out budget. It also opened our eyes to the fact that we have been finding comfort and security in our cash cushion rather than in Jesus. We need to repent from that and trust in Him instead of allowing anxiety to take root in our decision making.
Although it was as good of a month, we can’t forget to praise God for helping us become better stewards by helping us realize our mistakes. If we ever lose sight of the fact that everything we have has been given to us by Him, we’ll start to think that we are our own savior, and that’s a dangerous place to be. One thing we made sure to do this month was to be generous in our giving towards our local church. Our net worth increased from -$20,484 to -$20,383, a $101 increase! We are excited that there has been progress on our journey. We want to ensure that we are generous, invest wisely, pay down debt and plan for the future. We’ve been building our asset base but, 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?”
Portfolio Value- $10,434
We're really excited about the fact that our investment portfolio has reached $10,000. We're a long way from having a net worth of zero, and an even longer way from having a 6 or 7 figure portfolio, but we're excited to see our investments grow even when we're not paying a lot of attention to them. 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.
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.
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- $3,237.61
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 18.13% return we’ve had.