Net worth update: March 2015

My net worth is still climbing. After reading a few finance book and listening to a few finance podcast, I am seeing the importance of having a savings. Before, I would save just for the sake of saving. Now, those savings have a purpose. I will have to work on my emergency fund as I do not have much. I’ve decided to try and save up a year’s worth. The ideal amount is something like 3-6 months or even 8 months. But with the economy the way it is, I’d rather be very safe. My risk tolerance is high when it comes to investing but it’s very low when it comes to savings. I would like to see my savings stay on the plus side over the long run.

With all the savings that I have been doing last year, I am expecting a hefty refund. Part of that refund will go towards my RRSP contribution for this year and part of it will go towards repaying the RRSP loan. The loan will only cost me approximately $21 in interest so I am not in any hurry to pay that off. At my current rate, I might be able to get my net worth up to $60,000 but only time with tell.

Cash savings: $1,089.68
RRSP: $18,998.64
TFSA: $2,635.83
House: $260,000.00

Credit cards: $0
Loans: $1,800
Mortgage: $233,544.50

Net worth: $47,379.65
Change: $1,652.51 (3.49%)

The TD e-Series funds are doing quite nicely. I have only had the account open for a few months and I am already up about $150. Going forward, I’ll be setting up a preauthorized transaction to automatically deposit money and purchase funds. My currently allocation is 10% for the Canadian bond and 30% each for the rest of the funds.

TD e-Series funds
TD CDN Index-e: $446.73
TD US Index-e: $488.53
TD CDN Bond Index-e: $119.55
TD Int’l Index-e: $474.33
Total: $1,529.14

I am having fund investing with Questrade. I’m not sure why that is but it is. I am currently up $180. Also, I am in the process of funding the account to purchase some TD stocks that will pay me dividends. I came across this blog post by Freedom 35 which made sense me so I will be implementing it.

Questrade ETFS
VAB: $2,052.05
VCN: $1,598.48
VTI: $763.14
VXUS: $820.32
XRB: $661.25
ZRE: $647.28
VXC: $564.87
Total: $7,107.39

Net worth update: February 2015

I am starting to see some good in keeping track of things. I like how I can go back and see where I have started from. It’s nice to see the numbers grow and grow!

I am slowly rebuilding my RRSPs. I had to take out a good chunk of it for the down payment of my house. I do not have to pay it back until the second year so I may take advantage of that. Also, in preparation for tax season, I took out a $2,500 RSP loan from Tangerine. I don’t have to pay them back until the first week of April. By then, I would have already filed my taxes and received a hefty refund. The additional contribution will generated an extra $778.75 in refund. Once I receive the refund, I will not be paying off the loan right away. I’ve already started to pay back the loan so it’s no big deal. Instead, I will be putting the refund towards my house, which will save me an extra $700 in interested. So the $2,500 borrowed will give me an extra $780 in refund, plus save me an extra $700 in mortgage interested and will only cost me approximately $21 in interest for the loan. It’s a win-win as I see it!

Cash savings: $1,090.51
RRSP: $18,826.74
TFSA: $1,913.06
House: $260,000.00

Credit cards: $0
Loans: $1,800
Mortgage: $234,303.17

Net worth: $45,727.14
Change: $4,929.26 (10.78%)

I have been throwing in some more money into my TD e-Series account. So far, the market value is up $70 when compared to the book value. I have been seeing small amounts of distributions from each fund and it’s all being re-invested so my savings are growing even more! The allocaiton mix is slightly off. Initially, I went with an even mix of 25% in each fund but I am slowly rebalancing it so that it’s 10% bonds and 90% equity. I had to wait a while beause TD charges a fee if I redeem any of the funds within 30 days of purchasing them. Most funds have a 90 day redemption limit but luckily the e-Series funds are only 30 days.

TD e-Series funds
TD CDN Index-e: $436.46
TD US Index-e: $471.16
TD CDN Bond Index-e: $221.99
TD Int’l Index-e: $356.39

I’ve finally opened up a Questrade account which allows me to invest in ETFs. I have an RRSP and TFSA account with Questrade. My RRSP is following the 2014 Couch Potato portfolio while my TFSA account is following the 2015 portfolio. The difference between the two is that the 2015 version has been simplified, using only 3 ETFs. I am in the process of transferring my RRSP from Sun Life over to Questrade so the numbers below will jump by the next update. I prefer to manage my own money so I’ve transferred just over $5,000 out of Sun Life. When I first requested the transfer, the balance was somewhere around $5,100 but since Sun Life took their time, it worked out for my advantage as that portfolio grew to $5,400. So that means that there’s more money for me to invest.

I’m contemplating whether or not I should sell off the US ETFs (VTI, VXUS) and keep things all in Canadian funds but with the Canadian dollar as low as it is, it might be best to keep things the way they are.

Questrade ETFS
VAB: $426.88
VCN: $484.64
VTI: $105.55
VXUS: $149.55
XRB: $104.80
ZRE: $83.28
VXC: $543.59

Goals for 2015

Once again another year has come and gone but unlike previous years, 2014 was full of stuff. I bought a house in the summer, traveled to another province for work and vacationed in London, England. I’m hoping that 2015 will be eventful as well.

Like most people, I usually set out to make a new year’s resolution but I find that by the second week or so, I’ve broken or lost interested. This year, I will set myself goals and I plan on meeting them. So here goes:

  • Save $10,000
  • Lower mortage by $10,000
  • Do a better job at budgetting

Yes, 2015 will be the year when I will focus harder on my financials. I’ve opened up more RRSP accounts so I can save more of my money. I’ve opened up a Questrade account and started investing. I plan on putting more of my money away so I can reach financial independence. I’ve been following a few personal finance bloggers and they’ve inspired me to save. Well, they’ve inspired to save in the past but I just never got around to doing it. But this year, that’s going to change. I’ve also noticed that I’ve been spending a lot of time in /r/PersonalFinanceCanada.

The goals that I’ve set out for myself are reasonable and I believe that I’ve set them low enough that I will achieve them by the end of the year. So here goes!

Net worth update: January 2015

Once again, another year has come and gone. And what a year it was. In 2014, I managed to get my finances in order and slowly increase my net worth. I am also starting to invest a bit more. It’s nothing major but it’s a start on the road to financial independence. Here’s what this month’s update date looks like.

Cash savings: $1,292.17
RRSP: $13,571.76
TFSA: $755.22
House: $260,000.00

Credit cards: $0
Mortgage: $235,292.99

Net worth: $40,326.16
Change: $1,747.60 (4.33%)

Last month, I mentioned that I started investing using the Canadian Cough Potato portfolio. That has also been increasing and I am getting closer to my ideal allocation mix, 80% stocks and 20% bonds.

TD eSeries funds
TD CDN Index-e (30.23%): $352.01
TD US Index-e (22.15%): $257.90
TD CDN Bond Index-e (26.12%): $304.20
TD Int’l Index-e (21.51%): $250.47
Change: $455.83 (39.14%)

I think that 2015 will be the year where I will be able to max out my RRSP contribution. At my current rate, I might be close to over contributing so something will need to be done about that. Since I recently purchased a house using the Home Buyer Plan, part of my RRSP contribution will have to go towards that to pay myself back, but it’s not necessary because I believe that I do not need to pay it back until after a year or something like that. I will have to run a few calculations but this year, more and more of my money will go towards my savings.

Happy 2015!!!

Net worth update: December 2014

As the days go by, I am becoming more and more interested in personal finance. I am on a mission to save as much as I can (ideally $1,000,000). I’ve started investing and that is slowly making me money. By the end of the year, my net worth should be slightly higher than what it is now. But in the new year, I will have to aim high and save even more. I am in the process of opening up a Questrade account so that will keep my money occuppied for a while.

Cash savings: $1,103.39
RRSP: $12,708.65
TFSA: $703.72
House: $260,000.00

Credit cards: $0
Mortgage: $235,911.70

Net worth: $38,122.73
Change: $1,027.35 (2.69%)

I am slowly aligning my asset allocation for my TD eSeries fund. The TD Canadian Bond Index fund still occuppies majority of my holding but I hope to have that corrected by weekly depositing funds to the other indices.

TD eSeries funds
TD CDN Index-e: $148.85
TD US Index-e: $153.06
TD CDN Bond Index-e: $253.34
TD Int’l Index-e: $153.50
Change: $208.77 (29.46%)

Canadian Couch Potato

It has been a long time coming but I’ve finally decided to start up my Couch Potato portfolio. I recall reading about it when I became interested in personal finance but I didn’t quite know how to get started investing. The thing that got me interested in this investment strategy is the fact that it’s simple and easy to look after. And that’s what you need when you’re just starting out.

If you don’t know what the Canadian Couch Potato is, it’s an strategy for investing in mutual funds or exchange traded funds (ETF) that require little effort. I came across this strategy when reading an article by Dan Bortolotti in MoneySense magazine. And I started reading MoneySense magazine after listening to a few Mostly Money, Mostly Canadian podcasts by Preet Banerjee.

So far, I found that the quickest and easiest way to get started with investing using the couch potato was to open an account with TD. I’ve read that in the past it was difficult to open up a mutual fund account with TD and convert it to an e-Series account but I didn’t have any issues. So perhaps words got around and they fixed the problem. In my case, I simply walked into the bank, spoke with an account manager, signed some papers and was out of there in 15 minutes. It took about a week to convert the account so I can buy e-Series funds, though.

Along with tracking my net worth, I will also be tracking the e-Series funds. From what I’ve read, it’s important to rebalance the portfolio every now and then but it doesn’t need to be rebalanced that often. But as time goes, I will be tracking a whole lot more things. I am currently in the process of opening up a Questrade account but that will take a while because I need to transfer the initial funds.

Here’s what my initial investment looks like.

TD CDN Index-e: 4.078 @ $24.52 = $99.99
TD US Index-e: 2.463 @ $40.60 = $100.00
TD CDN Bond Index-e: 17.406 @ $11.49 = $199.99
TD Int’l Index-e: 8.873 @ $11.27 = $100.00

And here’s where they currently stand
TD CDN Index-e: $100.89 (+0.89%)
TD US Index-e: $100.84 (+0.83%)
TD CDN Bond Index-e: $200.34 (+0.17%)
TD Int’l Index-e: $101.24 (+1.23%)

I will have to rebalance this because I currently have an incorrect allocation mix. For someone my age, I should not have that high of a percentage in bonds. Oh well. It’s all part of the learning experience.

Net worth update: November 2014

One, two, skip a few…

I’ve been a little lazy towards my financial update. It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on this site at all. For the past few weeks, I was site to Calgary to assist with another division and get their IT in order. Since then, my finances has been all over the place since a lot of the spending was out-of-pocket, and will be reimburse later.

Nonetheless, I still maintained my savings, or at least, I tried to keep them in order. My savings is not where it should be but I have a feeling that it will change once I have been reimburse for all my spending.

Cash savings: $498.53
RRSP: $11,527.67
TFSA: $1,313.85
House: $260,000.00

Credit cards: $0
Mortgage: $236,528.94

Net worth: $36,811.11
Change: $971.08 (2.62%)

Net worth update: August 2014

I am a little late in updating this. I almost forgot to write this up and was only reminded when I started working on my budget.

It has been three weeks now since the day that I moved into my new house. I am slowly getting used to the area. I still have figured out where everything is at the moment but there is plenty of time for that. Since moving in, there has been a lot of household item purchases, be it groceries, cooking utilities or furniture so the credit card balance is a bit high. I am confident that it will go down by the middle of the month.

Last month, a good chunk of my savings was used towards the closing cost of my house. I think there are some more fees and bills to take care of. I do not yet know my total cost for the month. The bills are slowing coming in. I just found out recently that this year’s property tax will not be covered by my mortgage company. They are collecting for next year’s property tax so that means that I will have to hand over about $1200 over to the town of Grimsby. There is a part of the tax due at the beginning of this month but since I thought my mortgage company was handling it, it means that I will have to pay a late fee. The next installment is not due until October so I have time budget for that.

All in all, being a home owner is not that bad. It’s just a big responsibility with all the finances. It’s a good thing that I have my finances in order or else I would be struggling a little right now.

I am down a few more percent this month but I am looking forward to being back on the plus side next month.

Cash savings: $1,483.59
RRSP: $10,58.55
TFSA: $97.73
House: $260,000.00

Credit cards: $775.00
Mortgage: $238,680.90

Net worth: $32,184.84
Change: -$3,070.17 (-9.51%)

Net worth update: July 2014

It looks like I am back up on the plus side this month. You’ll noticed that I have a lot of money sitting in the cash savings category. That is due to the fact that I recently purchased a house and I am in the middle of preparation to get a bank draft made up. I have managed to save up for a 10% down payment.

By the next update, I will have a couple more categories to add to the list, house and mortgage.

Also, I have decided to put myself onto a budget and track my spending a lot closer now. I will have a better idea as to where my money is going.

Cash savings: $24,714.58
RRSP: $9,912.36
TFSA: $833.35

Credit cards: $196.34

Net worth: $35,265.95
Change: $1,409.68 (3.99%)