Monthly Net Worth Report #7 – December

Hello and welcome to the final monthly net worth update for 2018!

I hope you all managed to have a wonderful break over the festive period and ease the pain of December which was another nasty month on the markets, no doubt knocking everyone’s net worth down a touch. Let’s hope things improve as we head into 2019!

Pursue FIRE Net Worth Report 7

What Happened In December?

I had some general goals for December:

  • Get our financial plans and goals agreed for 2019 – ongoing!
  • Map out plans for Pursue FIRE in 2019 – see plans below
  • Possible site re-design/tweaks – did not get time 😉

Each Way Betting

In what was a much quieter month on the betting side hustle, December still yielded some respectable profits for this side-hustle which has been great since starting back in the summer. You can read more about it in my December report. With me finishing work in mid-December, family duties and preparation for Christmas limited my betting days considerably.

Elsewhere within betting, I decided to create a dedicated Slack community. This has gotten off to a great start in 2019 so a big thank you to all that have joined so far. I have dedicated channels set-up to answer questions about the strategy guide, share daily results and discuss other tips and tricks. It has been great to bounce ideas of everyone and also share some banter too.

If you’d like to join you can do so here:

Pursue FIRE Each Way Betting Group

Back to School

December also marked my first full month in my year-long Executive MBA studies and the completion of my first concentration (Accountancy) and examination. I really enjoyed the process and successfully passed the exam with a high score 🙂

I’m now knee-deep in a detailed group project with some of my fellow European-based colleagues, analysing a drinks company. It has been great to work in a group with so many varied and talented people. Once this project is complete (the first of several) I’ll be moving on to the next concentration in the sylabus (Economics & Markets) beginning in February.

Overall, I am really pleased I decided to accept my place on the course. It is eating into my blogging time quite significantly, but so far I’m managing to juggle things quite well. I think the year will fly by!

December Posts:

With so much going on the time to write content was a bit limited. That being said, I did manage to post the following during the month in case you missed anything:

Elsewhere, I attended a talk hosted by Finimize over at the General Assembly in London. The topic was on the future of buying and selling homes and featured two guest speakers from companies involved in mortgage broking and real estate financing. There was not much that I was not already aware of, but it was still great to see the types of technology and disruptive solutions that are fast coming down the pipe. Sadly, none of these can influence the chronic imbalance of supply & demand that has such a warped impact on property valuations.

I’m a big fan of Finimize though as a means to receive compact, bite-sized market summaries throughout the day in a fun and impactful way. I highly recommend either the daily emails or the app which is available for iPhone and Android devices. I look forward to attending more of their events in the future

Net Worth Snapshot

Right, let’s take a look at some numbers for December. Below I break down my current financial assets as at the end of the month and compare these to last month totals. As it is also the end of the year, I can see the full change over 2018:

Pursue FIRE Net Worth Report Dec

After a brief reprieve in November, when total net worth climbed a little higher following Red October, December saw a return to turmoil on the capital markets and this ultimately hit investment values across my pensions and investment accounts.

So we ended the year on bum note and total net worth suffered a 3.7% reversal for the month down to £528,412 (a decrease of £20,408). Excluding property, this translates into a -6.8% drop to £280,280 (a decrease of £20,301). This was driven by the sharp reversal on the stock market, which impacted the value of my pension and investment accounts by 4.6% and 6.4% respectively.  

So how does this impact the year-to-date picture? Well, my total net worth finished the year 10.7% higher than at the start of the year (+£51,129) and, excluding property, that’s an overall increase of 9.1% (+£23,326). 

With returns from investments in the red for the year, this increase has come from paying down a decent amount of unsecured debt; an increase in home equity (i.e. the combination of mortgage payments reducing the outstanding mortgage together with an estimated increase in my property value) – clearly I’m highly cautious on that last point.

Focus Areas For January and Beyond

As the New Year breaks in, I have a few goals in the months ahead:

  1. I’m almost 6 months into my blogging journey here at Pursue FIRE and I’ve enjoyed the process. However, I have no real idea how I’m doing and feel I can do a better job at tracking my progress and growing my readership.
  2. Related to the above, I want to improve how I communicate with subscribers and properly set-up my subscriptions, emails etc
  3. To date, nearly all of the comments I have received have been focused on the betting content which is great. However, this is a FIRE blog and betting and other side-hustles form just a small part of that puzzle. My FIRE content is hopefully engaging but this is an area I want to beef up more going forward.
  4. Developing the community aspect of Pursue FIRE and developing a more effective social media presence (I have been a bit slow at this apologies!) plus other media forms (podcast, video etc)
  5. I’m considering a mini-series of sorts – some interconnected posts on a specific topic.
  6. As my EMBA studies progress, I have to create a business plan for a potential business idea I have in the FIRE space (more on that later in the year)
  7. My Budgeting spreadsheets are always being streamlined and there is more enhancement to be done here, especially as we recently overhauled our banking and account structure.
  8. Plus many more!! 🙂

As always, thanks for taking the time to read and I wish you all a prosperous start to 2019 😉

Until next time!


Do you have any comments, questions or tips for me? Please let me know by leaving a comment below

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Dr FIRE

    Looks like you’ve got a very busy year ahead! I’m looking forward to seeing this blog grow. Hopefully you can find the time to carry out all of your various interesting ideas. Good luck!

  2. Fatbritabroad

    Either I’ve been slacking or there seems to be a proliferation of new finance blogs recently. I’ll be following with interest as your figures above mirror mine almost exactly other than my pension is a bit less than yours but I’m 4 years behind you so will likely be in a very similar position when I get to your age.

    One comment /observation which I’m grappling with at the moment. You have relatively lower savings in liquid assets (cash and shares) are you intending to rebalance this at all and when? Forgive me if you’ve given details of this elsewhere but you have great equity in your house. If current mortgage is affordable have you considered taking some out to leverage a bit to either btl or invest? My mortgage is a largish number but only just over 3 time smy salary so I am considering taking some out to put to better use while rates are cheap. It would be an amount I could clear at any time so relatively low risk to do this. I’ve always had an aversion to debt but have found my risk tolerance is growing now my net worth has crossed the half million mark

    1. Pursue FIRE

      Hi – great questions! I don’t know if its an explosion of finance blogs or just me getting at finding them but I agree there are a lot more out there which is a great thing in my opinion. My cash levels really fluctuate each month as its a residual from moving things about and paying that lumpy one-off or irregular expenses that come every now and then. Yes, I’d like my non-pension assets to be higher but its a balancing act. We had our third child 1.5 years ago and we took the tough decision for my wife to give up work (at least for a year or two) so the excess cash is not typically there month-to-month to boost the coffers. Rather, I am lucky enough to get a sizeable annual bonus, which will (this year) be used to eliminate the unsecured lending figure you see. With that out of the way, there will again be surpluses to put towards ISAs and pensions accordingly. With markets wobbly of late, and the potential for more volatility ahead, hopefully, the timing will be favourable to inject funds at reduced levels (not that I advocate market timing). The house equity is an interesting question too. I still have a sizeable mortgage but its a decent amount of equity (at least on paper – who knows where valuations might be post Brexit or the ability to actually sell in a rather fearful market). I guess I’ve not entertained withdrawing some equity as a) I am the sole earner for now and I’m cautious of putting the pause button, or even extending what is already a sizeable mortgage, even if those funds might be put to an ultimately higher yielding enterprise and b) we are contemplating a house downsize move, which would present the perfect opportunity to redress the mortgage term/debt with the built-up equity rather than withdrawing some now etc. Lastly, I also have one eye of future interest rates which will almost certainly be higher when we come to renew our current deal in 2 years. In the scenario that I am still the sole earner, I’d want to be on the right side of loan-to-value to ensure we get a favourable deal going forward. All great points though and very much food for thought! Thanks

  3. Fatbritabroad

    I fixed my mortgage for ten years in 2016 at2. 59% for exactly that reason that I think rates will rise. Plus with such a long debt fix it gives me the certainty to invest as much as possible now. But I can take out a second mortgage I’ve found out. I’m probably guilty of wanting everything at once rather than just working towards it slowly

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Hello and welcome to Pursue FIRE. My name is Dan and I am the owner and author of all content on this site. I am passionate about personal finance and look forward to engaging with you.
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