Net Worth Update: July 2019

Monthly Summary

The rollercoaster ride of stock investing continues as usual. The S&P 500 rose all month in July 2019, only to give half of the gains back in the last three days. The market really took a hit immediately following the Fed rate cut announcement. Some people wanted a 50 bps cut, others wanted no cut. Powell gave 25 bps and made everyone upset. In the end, markets settled and finished the month positively.

However, the U.S. markets were almost the only equity bright spot for July. European stocks fell about 2.6 percent, Japan dropped 0.5 percent, emerging markets dropped 2.65 percent, India fell 6.5 percent and China fell 3.9 percent.

In my trading account I took a few hits, but also had some bright spots. First the bad news. I took a pretty good size loss in India and am out of the that trade. I'm also out of China for a smaller loss. I also took a hit in soybeans and European stocks, but am still in those trades for now.

Gold was shiny for the first part of the month before giving back the gains in the latter half. Silver saw a moderate gain from my entry point. My volatility hedge trade also did well smoothing out some of the bumps. And I think my biggest gain came from the NASDAQ position with a somewhat smaller gain from Brazil. Overall, a pretty bland month.

In July I continued to hold U.S. stocks in our registered accounts as per the Dual Momentum signal. My registered accounts make up a little less than half of our total investment account values while the rest is invested in short-term bonds and a trend strategy which I share weekly.

In June, we finished the month with a total of $682,116 in our investment accounts. We gained about 2.4 percent that month.

While I haven't made any new contributions to our investment accounts, our personal cash balance has swelled as things got settled with moving. I anticipate making a sizeable contribution in August.

We saw a positive monthly investment return of +0.20 percent on our portfolio. We are about 9.3 percent off of our portfolio highs.

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 July. We invest in TFSAs, RRSPs, and a non-registered joint margin account. You can keep track of our total investment assets and returns on the About Daren page.

We use a version of Dual Momentum and a moving average/breakout trend strategy to determine what we buy and when we sell our 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 gross 12-month return on our investment positions, corrected for new contributions at the end of each 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: $683,462  ($745,462)
Monthly Net Worth Change: +$1,346
30x Rule Safe Annual Income: $22,782  ($24,849)
12-Month Investment Return: -6.36 percent

Background Story

My wife and I are in our late-20s. I am a former law enforcement officer who is currently taking a break from the world of work. My wife is a public school teacher. 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 completely the result of our own hard work and the returns we've seen on our investments; we have not received any gifts or won any lotteries.

While we both worked 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, LEAPS options, and futures contracts 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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