Net Worth Report #13 “Unlucky for Some” (Down $22,730) 😭

Maybe you’ve noticed … I’ve been naming all of these net worth reports according to bingo sayings for the last year…  (2 = One little duck, 3 = Cup of tea, 4 = Knock at the door, etc…)

Well, last month was #13 of public net worth tracking… And the bingo call for number 13 is “unlucky for some”… Which is kind of fitting because September was the worst month we’ve experienced this past year in the stock market and the biggest $$ drop since we started tracking. :(  Very unlucky indeed!

Total drop in our assets last month was -$22,730. 😭 Boooooooo.

Oct 1, 2021 Account Overview:

As the saying goes… “The market giveth, and the market taketh away.”  And on top of the stock market lull, our rental duplex had a horrible month with repair after repair. Here are the full deets…

Big Expenses in September

  • The biggest money suck was an A/C unit blowing up at our duplex. This was a $4,800 bill for a new unit, install, and 10-year warranty. OUCH!
  • In addition to the A/C, we had a dryer blow up, toilet issues, bath issues, and other small shitty maintenance stuff around the rental costing ~$1,100.
  • At our home in L.A., we had a hot water heater control issue as well as a weird pressure problem. This was about $600 to fix. (Although we are renters, my wife and I will prob cover these bills because we rent from family members and they give us a sweetheart deal on rent anyway. This is pretty rare and taking care of house stuff like this is a nice way to reciprocate and show appreciation!)
  • I signed up for the most expensive credit card ever — the AMEX Platinum Card — which has a $695 annual fee!  But, even though we paid $695 this month, the sign-up bonus that we’ll earn in a few months will probably be worth ~$1,200 in benefits for travel and stuff.
  • FinCon travel, eating out, and Ubers totalled about ~$350. Not bad actually! (Conference ticket was $300 and the AirBnB was $350 but I paid for those months ago.)

Small Money Wins Last Month

These by no way offset our massive expenses, but I like to celebrate little wins regardless! Here are a few cool things from September…

  • I was on a new podcast and got paid $50 to speak for about 8 minutes. Woohoo!
  • We earned $275 in bank bonuses from a promotion with Monifi! ****They have extended this promo until 10/31 if you want to try it!!!****
  • We finally got our tax refund, which was about $2,000.  I know this isn’t *new* money for us because it’s a refund, but I’m celebrating regardless!
  • Lastly, the new surfboard I bought last month for $75 … I ended up selling for $300 online! Aaaand since I gave the buyer a really good deal, I negotiated a 4-pack of delicious craft beer also …

**My new fav thing to do when selling stuff online… When negotiating your price, tell the buyer you’ll give them a discount if they bring you some *local* delicious craft beer. Chances are they live near a brewery that you’ve never been to. It’s more about the story than the money. :)**

Detailed Account Breakdown

Cash Accounts: $14,725 (+$4,208): Nice positive month for cashflow! School is back in full swing and my wife is getting regular paychecks again. Coupled with our tax return, we’ve got a healthy float again.

Rental Property + Reserve Account: $238,834 (-$5,431): Although we collected $1,950 in rent last month, every dollar AND MORE was sucked up by expenses. I might have to write a longer post about all this…

Positive months are great when owning rental properties. I hear investors boast all the time that their rentals are netting them like $500 per month. BUT… then comes along 1 shitty little month with a $6k unexpected repair bill. It kills all cashflow for the entire year. The only way to recoup this is to raise rents, have some lucky appreciation or market growth, or find ways to cut costs from your other variable expenses.

Many times, everything shakes out in the long term. But on a month to month basis there can be a lot of volatility to stomach. Rental investing is not for the faint-hearted! ;)

Real Estate Syndication: $50,000: More great updates from the project sponsor in September. Building occupancy is 99% (effectively full) and demand is still really strong. The project is smashing projections and a full 7% quarterly dividend will be paid out this coming month (~$875 to me). There is also talk of a small capital return, which is exciting given we’re only 6 months into this investment.

IRA – Rollover: $178,989 (-$8,512): We had a -4.5% return for the total stock market this month. I’m not really that annoyed to be honest… This is a long term account and corrections are needed from time to time.

IRA – Roths: $95,137 (-$4,473): Well I was excited to hit the $100k mark for these Roth accounts… but we’re gonna have to wait until next year probably. :) 

Joint Brokerage Account: $250,117 (-$9,242): About a -3.5% return for this account. Since we have a few bond positions in this account, we get a little less volatility compared with our IRAs. Still sucks to see a $9k value drop for the month, though.

HSA: $4,510 (-$205): No contributions or withdrawals. This account flows up and down with market changes only.

Breakdown of Liabilities

Rental Property Mortgage: -$120,077 (+$248): I’m super excited for this coming month… Because the next mortgage payment will drop our loan to less than $120k! We started this mortgage mid-2015 with a balance of $136,500, so that’s over $16k of paydown from tenants over the past 6 years. It’s a slow process, but it works nicely.

Credit Card Balances: -$1,107 (+$677): This balance is accrued across multiple credit cards. But it is all paid in full each month before any interest kicks in.

My wife and I have no other consumer debt at this time. 😎

So, how did you guys fare last month? Anyone actually UP in net worth despite the market dip? 

Happy Friday!

– Joel

OK, one more photo… This was a pic someone took of me surfing up in Malibu last month. Full story here: I am an idiot #10

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  1. SL October 8, 2021 at 8:47 AM

    The market is “doing its thing” — every year in the fall, there is a drop overall in the market. I don’t orry about it too much and do my usual major changes in January and June :) for my current employment 401K

    1. Joel October 8, 2021 at 11:03 AM

      If there’s a drop every fall, maybe next year I’ll sell all my positions in August and re-buy everything when they crash? Just messing around ;)

  2. steveark October 8, 2021 at 8:51 AM

    I feel your pain. I got a $12K check unexpectedly for some consulting I had written off and in spite of that windfall we still saw our net worth drop by $129K in September. But having been around a half dozen decades you get pretty used to the ups and downs. The ups are much preferred! I’ve been on a dozen or more podcasts and nobody ever paid me anything, congrats on that.

    1. Joel October 8, 2021 at 11:01 AM

      It’s a kind of cool knowing we can take big hits and it doesn’t hugely effect us in the long run. Maybe one day I’ll get up to your baller status. A $129k fluctuation is awesome haha!

    2. Joel October 8, 2021 at 11:02 AM

      ps. which podcasts have you been on? I want to match a voice to your writing!

      1. steveark October 9, 2021 at 3:48 PM

        I didn’t keep a list and I didn’t use my real fake name either so you’d have a hard time figuring which one I am but Millionaires Unveiled, Retirement Answer Man, Sound Retirement Radio, Eventual Millionaire were some of them. I didn’t keep a list so I don’t remember which ones other than those.

        1. Joel October 10, 2021 at 1:54 PM

          So sneaky! :)

  3. Maggie October 8, 2021 at 5:26 PM

    Things I learned watching the “100 foot wave” documentary: There’s a wipeout of the year award.

    1. Joel October 9, 2021 at 9:27 AM

      Oooh I’ve seen some of those big wave wipeouts – OUCH!


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