Monthly Net Worth Report #8 – January

Hello and welcome to the first monthly Net Worth update of 2019!

I hope you all managed to have a wonderful break over the festive period and have started the New Year in style! Things are always so hectic in the early part of the year and 2019 has been no different. Let’s see what that all means for my net worth report.

Pursue FIRE Net Worth Report 8

Taxes

They say the only certainties in life are death and taxes. Well, I’m still knocking around …. so I’m not dead yet! In the meantime, January is also the deadline for submitting self-assessment tax returns in the UK. Every year, despite having very straightforward tax arrangements, I end up owing more money to HMRC. Being prudent, I set aside some money in expectation of a bill (this has normally been around £1k in recent years). So it was quite a shock to see that I owed £4.5k for the 2017-2018 tax year!…. not the best way to start the year ๐Ÿ™

Elsewhere, January brought some new challenges at work. Essentially I have a new job in my firm. I’m now going to be the Product Specialist for our Alpha Strategies and Alternative Risk Premia capabilities……. don’t know what that means? don’t worry, neither do I ๐Ÿ™‚

But it’s a welcome step up in responsibilities and will keep me engaged for a while longer in what are very interesting and in demand asset classes in the institutional asset management marketplace.

Whiskey

I spoke last month how my Executive MBA studies had moved on to a group accounting project and this was completed during January. I was paired up with 4 fellow students across Europe and together we had to review the operations of a fictional Whiskey Distiller, produce detailed multi-year financial accounts and then analyse the operational efficiency of the firm, offering up our view of areas for improvement.

It was a lot of fun and actually quite a challenging task. We had twice-weekly Google Hangouts to discuss as a group and formed our consensus view of the firm, culminating in a 10-page report with our findings. We’ll find out our results in February and I’m hopeful we did a great job. In terms of the schedule, I’m now buried in Economics with an exam looming in mid-February.

January Posts:

Things were a bit slow in January. I’d have liked to have gotten more posts out, but there are several in the works so, like London buses, they will probably all come at once in February ๐Ÿ™‚

That being said, I did manage to post the following during the month in case you missed anything:

Elsewhere, I traveled to Boston in mid-January for work. I’m lucky enough to go at least once a year (usually in January) where Boston is very cold indeed! It was great to go for a walk in the Boston Public Garden and see the kids playing Ice Hockey on the frozen pond.

PF Boston
Boston Public Garden

Net Worth Snapshot

Right, let’s take a look at some numbers for January. Below I break down my current financial assets as at the end of the month and compare these to last month totals. I also show the value from 1-year ago:

Pursue FIRE NWR

January saw stock markets bounce back somewhat and this helped to boost the pension and investments totals. But that £4.5k tax bill had to be paid in full by the end of the month so I chose to add this to an existing loan (both of which are going to be paid off in March) rather than use up all my cash and equivalents. You’ll note that unsecured debt therefore jumped up a little of £6k – this includes the assumed interest payments that I won’t be making, so those figures slightly inflat the true picture.

So, overall I ended January with total net worth largely unchanged with just a 0.1% gain for the month to £528,680 (an increase of £267). Excluding property, this translates into a 2.0% gain to £285,8223 (an increase of £5,543). So, gains in investments were offset by the increase in unsecured debt and falling property valuations.  

So how does this impact the longer-term picture? Well, my total net worth is 10.6% higher than a year ago (+£50,877) and, excluding property, that’s an overall increase of 15.6% (+£38,549). 

Some other factors are at play here also. My employer usually pays out a one-off lump sum pension top-up of 7.5% of salary in the December payroll. However, this was been moved to March. So, along with my annual bonus due, March will also see a welcome boost to the pension pot and will lift net worth higher in the weeks to come ๐Ÿ™‚

Focus Areas For February

In this short month I have a few focus areas:

  1. I’m a big fan of Google Data Studio and use it to power some of my Each Way Betting Reports and my Live Results Page. However, it’s become a bit unstable and I’ve noticed some of my older content is not displaying things as they should – the perils of trying to be a fancy-pants with charts :-). So, no doubt I’ll be going over those and making the necessary repairs.
  2. Changing subscriber options – I’m really a novice at this blogging game and I’ve been slow to set up certain things on the site, including subscriber options. I’m paying for some super-duper tool and I’m not getting much out of it (my own fault) so I need to change to something cheaper (or even free) – any suggestions welcome. I’ve heard MailChimp is a good free alternative?
  3. I’ve been on Merch By Amazon for just under a year now, but I’ve really neglected this in recent months after a bright start. I need to get some new designs up and get that cash machine-a-ringing once again as its a brilliant side hustle.

So that’s about me for now. I’m also busy in the Slack Each Way Betting channel, which is growing from strength to strength so, lots on as always! Have a brilliant February everyone

Until next time!

Dan

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

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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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‘Moneylandโ€™ examines how corrupt politicians and oligarchs move vast sums through shell companies in offshore tax havens before spending it in the worldโ€™s playgrounds for the mega-wealthy. This book is highly compelling.

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