Net Worth Update: November 2018

Monthly Summary

Another month, another continuation of the ongoing global stock market decline. November carried over October's market volatility.

Although volatility has risen and daily movements tend to be larger, the U.S. stock market really hasn't declined that much from all-time highs. We're barely in a "correction" measured on the S&P 500.

The S&P 500 seems to be in a type of sideways pattern between 2600 and 2800 with an all time high of 2940. The same can't be said for global stocks with Europe, Japan, and Emerging markets firmly in a nasty ten month slide.

This month I enjoyed a weeklong trip to Mexico with my wife and some friends. Mexico is such an amazing country with friendly people! Despite the ongoing travel warnings, I highly recommend it. We found it safe, beautiful, and very reasonably priced.

Delicious street tacos, any meat you want, for about CA$1.50. Cold, single 500ml cans of beer for CA$1.00 each at the corner store. Great restaurants with creative, food truck style menus. Again, get stuffed on deliciousness for CA$5 a person.

Lets not forget the beautiful beaches, warm water, great waves, and the general Mexican mañana attitude! There's a lot of creativity and excitement in Mexico, the customer service is great, and people are noticeably happy.

In November I still carried a healthy allocation to U.S. stocks as per the Dual Momentum signal. I'm using XUU.TO for that holding and I'm slightly up for the month on that position thanks to a falling Canadian dollar.

In our non-registered account, I have exposure to gold, Brazilian stocks, and South African rand. My cash position is in U.S. dollars and there is a lot of cash sitting there waiting to pounce on a good opportunity.

In October, we finished the month with a total of $721,342 in our investment accounts. If you recall, we had a slight loss that month.

November generated a positive monthly investment return of +1.23 percent on our portfolio. This makes our total year-to-date investment return just slightly negative with one month left to go in 2018.

For fun I ran the rolling 12-month investment return which is still +3.61 percent from November to November. The highest 12-month return we've ever had was over 42 percent from January 2017 to January 2018.

We contributed more money this month to our portfolio as part of our regular savings plan, although this will most likely be directed to filling $12,000 in TFSAs come January.

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 November. 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 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:  $735,222  ($670,856)
Monthly Net Worth Change:  +$13,880
30x Rule Safe Annual Income:  $24,507  ($22,362)
YTD Investment Return:  -0.28 percent

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 percent 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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Net Worth Update: October 2018

Monthly Summary

October saw a return to more market volatility. While the markets were rocky, the weather here in Alberta was great! Sunshine, warmer weather, and a pleasant melt of September's snow.

Also, weed is now legal in Canada! Things don't seem to be much different. Canada's not falling apart, people are going to work, it doesn't seem to be prolific, but apparently there's a lineup outside most cannabis stores.

It turns out that not everyone has a desire to become a regular "cannabis consumer" now that you can buy it from a local store. Life goes on like it has...

I'm starting a new bi-weekly post on markets that I track and the nature of my investing decisions, so I will not be going into much market detail in these monthly update posts anymore.

This post will be just about net worth, my current positions, and maybe the occasional personal tidbit.

Throughout October I carried a heavy allocation to U.S. stocks. The Dual Momentum signal was in U.S. stocks for the month, so I am holding XUU.TO as per that signal. As you can expect, we saw a reasonably big decline for the month in our registered accounts.

In our non-registered account, I sold my exposure to the NASDAQ-100 and booked a profit of approximately $10,750 on that trade.

I also entered in several new positions. I bought a $180,000 position in gold. So far that trade is in profit. I also took a $70,000 position on Brazilian stocks (and the underlying currency). That trade is in profit as well.

Finally, I made a currency pair trade, selling around $65,000 Canadian dollars and buying nearly 730,000 South African rand. The rand is a major emerging market currency.

This means right now I am holding $290,000 in U.S. stocks, $180,000 of gold exposure, $70,000 of Brazilian stocks, about 730,000 ZAR, and the rest is in Canadian and a bit of U.S. cash.

In Septemer, we finished the month with a total of $724,710 in our investment accounts. If you recall, we had a slight loss for the month but our net worth in September increased a bit thanks to our savings.

October generated a negative monthly investment return of -1.15 percent on our portfolio. This is clearly a lot less than the -5.8 percent return we saw in U.S. stocks. The advantage to running two different strategies is that one strategy's performance can offset the performance in the other strategy, smoothing overall returns.

We contributed more money this month to our portfolio as part of our regular savings plan.

So far this year we've saved over $60,000—not including pension contributions. We have once again achieved our savings goal for the year. Rumour is the TFSA limit will increase to $6,000 for 2019, so we are saving for that.

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 October. 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:  $721,342  ($670,856)
Monthly Net Worth Change:  -$3,368
30x Rule Safe Annual Income:  $24,044  ($22,362)
YTD Investment Return:  -1.49 percent

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 percent 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.

Comments & Questions

All comments are moderated before being posted for public viewing. Please don't send in multiple comments if yours doesn't appear right away. It can take up to 24 hours before comments are posted.

Comments containing links or "trolling" will not be posted. Comments with profane language or those which reveal personal information will be edited by moderator.