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.
September was better than August, so that's something to thank God for. Even if it wasn't as good of a month, we could still praise God for helping us become better stewards. Our net worth increased from -$29,349 to -$28,165, a $1,184 increase! This result came from saving and investing a little more, trying to be better at sticking to our budget, and paying off some debt. Although we didn't do any of these things particularly well, improving in each of these categories little by little can make a difference. 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 other that it can be 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- $5,210
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.
Lending Club Value- $2,137
Since I posted last month's update in the middle of the month, we weren't able to show what was actually contributed to the account or how the account has grown. October would be a better month to see the progress made in this account.
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.