Net Worth Update: September 2018

Monthly Summary

September seems to have flown by! It was the first full month back to work for both of us after taking a month long vacation over July and August. We also got our first snow, yikes!

I've received a number of emails from readers this month after posting a new email address. This has led to some post ideas for everyone to read, so keep the questions coming!

In the markets, September has been a pretty flat month with mixed results across the various major asset classes.

Bonds dropped as interest rates keep climbing, U.S. stocks climbed a hair, tech stocks suffered, emerging markets dropped, and developed markets finished barely positive.

Overall I would say September was a pretty boring month in the markets and that's perfectly okay.

Currently I still have around half of my portfolio in U.S. stocks, following the recommended signal on my TADM strategy.

In our non-registered account, I am still holding a moderate exposure to tech stocks with the NASDAQ-100 and I have the rest of my portfolio in cash. I got stopped out of my crude trade with a small loss.

My switch to the Canadian dollar is going well so far with the CAD hovering around US$0.78. This trade is in profit at the moment.

Of course it helps that a "last minute" deal was made on the NAFTA issue. It's interesting how trends seem to capture many of these events before they happen.

In August, we finished the month with a total of $720,094 in our investment accounts. We had a pretty good month in August and saw a net worth gain over $28,000 for the month.

September gave a monthly investment return of -0.75% on our portfolio, so we're back into slightly negative returns for the year.

We contributed more money this month than the investment return impact, so we are still slightly wealthier at the end of this month compared to last.

I hope through sharing our real numbers you will be inspired to start saving and investing young—it pays!

The Current Numbers

Here are our current Investment Assets as of the last trading day in September. We invest in TFSAs, RRSPs, and a non-registered joint margin account.

We use a version of Dual Momentum and a moving average/breakout trend strategy to determine what we buy and when we sell our ETF positions. I often employ leverage in positions, so our results tend to swing a bit more each way than the underlying indices.

January 1 of the current year is in brackets to help illustrate the change during the current year. Net Worth Change reflects the total increase/decrease of this past month including new contributions.

The Investment Return is the total year-to-date return on our investment positions, corrected for new contributions at the end of the month. Due to the end-of-month adjustment, the true rate of return on a daily adjustment basis would be slightly different dependent on the intra-month return on the new contribution.

Total Investments:  $724,710  ($670,856)
Monthly Net Worth Change:  +$4,616
30x Rule Safe Annual Income:  $24,157  ($22,362)
YTD Investment Return:  -0.34%

Background Story

My wife and I are late-20s professionals working in the public sector. We don't earn enormous salaries, but by keeping our spending under control we save a large portion of our incomes each month. Our Investment Assets are 100% the result of our own hard work and the return on investments; we have not received any gifts or won any lotteries.

While we both work in pension careers, for this purpose we don't include pension values in our net worth nor pension contributions in our savings. Our investment assets and contributions are from our net paycheques.

We invest primarily with index ETFs using a dual strategy portfolio that I personally developed and maintain. To keep our investing costs as low as possible, I use Questrade and Interactive Brokers as my online brokerages. Questrade is my go-to choice for registered accounts. Interactive Brokers offers powerful tools, low commissions, and low margin interest for our joint margin non-registered account.

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