FY 2016 Goal Update: August Progress

FY 2016 Net Worth Goal Update: August Progress | AnythingYouWantBlog.com

Beginning in July, I committed to a goal of increasing my net worth by 46% this year. This goal is ambitious, but I think it should be achievable with some careful budgeting and a little bit of help from the markets. You can read about my progress in July here. Today I’ll share the progress I made in August. 

The numbers

Between August 1, 2015 and September 1, 2015, my overall net worth dropped by 5% (ouch!). My cash savings dropped by 3%, my non-retirement investments dropped by 4%, and my retirement investments dropped by 6%. As you can see from the chart below, this puts my cash position right in line with my goal, while leaving my non-retirement investments as the area needing the most growth.

September 1, 2015 Net Worth Goal Progress Update _ AnythingYouWantBlog.com

Why did my net worth go down (again!)?

This is the second month I have been tracking my net worth and working towards an ambitious goal. It is also the second month that my net worth has gone down. What’s going on?! Well, this month, I mostly have the markets to thank. As I’m sure everyone is aware, the markets experienced something of a correction this month. As a result, all of my investments went down in value. Because I have held some of my investments for quite a long time, I’m still “above water” so to speak on certain investments (meaning their value today is greater than the amount I paid for them), but overall it is still not a pretty picture.

I’m trying to keep my head up and carry on with working towards my goal. I always try to focus on how I can be proactive and prevent disappointments from happening again in the future, but in this case there is nothing to be done. I know that I am better off investing than hoarding my cash (which carries a huge opportunity cost), and market corrections are just the price of playing the game. Also, to quote from myself last month: “While these market fluctuations impact my investments in the short term, I’m in it for the long haul and over time these fluctuations should even out. Of course I would like to see the markets go up instead of down, but there isn’t anything I can do about this and in the long term it won’t impact my investments whatsoever.”

I did do very well on my budget this month and came in under on nearly every category. (I had some cash balancing to do with BF after our European adventure, which is why my cash holdings went down despite my budgeting success.) This is great news and I am hopeful that I can continue this trend so that at the very least my cash position will continue to improve and I can put more money into investments in the next few months. This is perhaps the silver lining of a market correction: lower stock prices mean that I can buy in lower, which will benefit me in the long run!

How did August treat you? Did the markets hurt you as much as (or more than) they hurt me? 


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27 thoughts on “FY 2016 Goal Update: August Progress

  1. Is the stock market down? 🙂

    Good luck with your goal! You hit on the main downside of tracking your net worth monthly – a good portion of your net worth (mine too) is in something that you can’t necessarily control; i.e. the stock market. We check our net worth once a year just to get a number. But we know its increasing because we follow a budget that is designed to increase our net worth. If you control what you can control (like I know you will) you’ll do great!

    • Checking your net worth yearly is smart – I think net worth is most useful as a tool for comparison over time. It is hard looking at numbers in my net worth that I can’t control, but I feel like I’ve done everything I can with the numbers I can control, so I’m OK with the decrease.

  2. August was rough for all of us, we lost enough to buy a small house :(. I don’t worry about these market corrections though. I am retired, so I have sufficient stores of cash and bonds to weather through the down months, that’s the key.

    • Oh wow – that is a lot of money! It is always interesting to me how money management changes through different phases of life, and I think during retirement is one of the trickiest times because it would be a shame to have to divest right now. Good for you for having enough to make it through the down times!

  3. The market downturn definitely affected everyone’s portfolio balances. Continue to invest and press on. There may be even greater corrections in the future, but they are great opportunities to build your net worth.

  4. Great work! I’m actually hoping the market keeps going down until October first when we get our PFDs and I can drop them right into the down market! I really don’t worry about market fluctuations all that much because we’re still dumping money into it, as you said. It will be interesting to see how I feel about them when my annual income is more dependent on the investments!

    • I can relate to that, I’m expecting a retirement rollover payout soon and I’m hoping it will come before too much of a recovery so I can buy low!

  5. Hmm after reading this I’m questioning whether goals for your investments on a short-term basis is wise. You will be at the mercy of the market for the short-term so I think having “contribution” goals (i.e. $2k/month to 401k) or something like that may be better. Then again, sometimes it’s good to have goals like this where you stretch yourself to reach your goal. Perhaps you can do more side hustles to make up for the drop in the market?

    • That is a fair point, and it probably would be smarter to track my contributions. I will keep track of contributions, but I like to look at the overall number as well. I think as long as I don’t let market corrections get to me, I’ll stick with this goal for the time being.

      • Agree with DC here. And heck, I might even up the contributions when things are lower like this. Sure, they might drop more, but long term things will go up! Whatever way you decide to keep teaching, keep up with the positive attitude. Really smart, because there will always be bad months out of your control.

        • I agree, upping contributions when the markets are low is a great idea. Unfortunately I don’t really have the extra cash at the moment to do that, but as soon as I have any excess cash you can bet it is getting invested right away!

  6. August was tough – especially the last week or two. Sooooo much volatility in the markets – which is continuing into September – makes my head spin! The one good thing is the buying opportunity it presented. Anyway, good work with the budget side – that’s most of the battle, it seems. Keep it up and you’ll reap the rewards!

    -DP

  7. J says:

    I like how detailed your net worth goal is, in terms of allocation. I also have a net worth goal this year, but it’s nothing as detailed or as ambitious as yours. I’m new to investing (to PF, in general) and I guess August was a good month for me as I was able to buy some shares during that Monday bloodbath and I got lucky enough to be able to buy them at their lowest price. I don’t have much losses at this point but I don’t think their value today matters as much as it will in 5-7 years.

    Good luck with your goal! I wish you all the best. 🙂

    • That is awesome that you were able to buy in at the market’s lowest point, especially since you have a long time horizon. I’m sure that will work out really well for you!

      Thanks for the encouragement!

  8. I think the markets hit most of us with at least a small decrease in our net worth. I have a goal to get my retirement savings above a certain value, and with the market decrease and most of my retirements savings in mutual funds, it will definitely be a struggle to make those goals… Perhaps, as one of your readers commented, I should adjust my goals to be more contribution based, instead of value based… but for this year I’ll try and stick it out.

    side note – I love your graph! (nerd alert, I know!)

    • I think that if you get really upset when the markets go down and you can’t meet your goal, then you’re right that a contribution based goal would work better. And thanks! I’m clearly a nerd, too 🙂

  9. I agree with the other comments and your reflections – best to keep it annual in order to not get too alarmed at things you cannot control and lose sight of the bigger long-term picture.
    Awareness is the first step. Very insightful.

  10. August was terrible! We have some assets in emerging markets… so… imagine… The good thing is that we also are hugely diversified and I don’t want to time the market. I’m in this for the very long term 🙂 What do you think about oil right now?:)

  11. Very cool way to break down your net worth goals! I might have to do the same.

    I check my net worth once every six months or so. I’ve found that the less I check, the less stressed I am. But, I am deploying my investing game plan as the market rolls over.

    Sam

    • Thanks! You’re right that it can be very stressful to look at net worth numbers so frequently, especially since often they are outside of your control. I think I may need to adopt a game plan more like yours, as the recent market correction has left my net worth planning a bit off.

  12. “Only” losing 6% in your investments in August is pretty great, considering what the markets did! 🙂 We took a significantly bigger hit than that. 🙁 We know it’s okay, because we’re not retired yet, but such a bummer to feel like we won’t hit our targets this year. Oh well… the markets will go back up at some point, and for now, we should all be happy to buy shares on sale!

    • You’re right, I should be thankful that I didn’t end up worse off! And I totally agree, if you can look at it like a sale on stocks that is a great place to be!

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