Category Archives: Other

The Candle Melting Down in the Middle of a Steak Dinner

Flames blur after I can’t recall how many glasses of Zin, our glasses always replenished in our conversation from unique sides of the world of business. The dinner I hosted which I feared would be a disaster ended up working quite well – with an academic, a mid-career professional, early career professional, consultant, a peer from my company and myself – it made for a really great mix of people and fascinating evening.

I didn’t sleep last night and I feel as if my heart is about to give out. It’s only 9:40pm but I soon will close my eyes and drift off to sleep. The wine helps. My thoughts are a mix of hope and sadness. I feel as if I’m the flame in the burning solo candle in the middle of the table towards the end of the dinner when the conversation around goes on and laughter is rampant yet the candle is burning low as its wax melts into nothingness, it’s bright flame unaware of its inevitable fate.

My voice is so annoying and I always feel out of place. I don’t feel like I said anything inappropriate but nonetheless I thought I talked too much and didn’t add any value. The only time I EVER feel like I did something decent is when I say something funny and someone laughs. This is my savior. Without it I am completely and utterly alone. Making others laugh doesn’t make me fit in, but it gives me a purpose. That is what I love.

I need sleep. Soon morning will come. I am so stressed out and sad about my job. I wish I could be more appreciated. It’s my own fault that I’m not. Bu there are things I do that I believe have a lot of value but who cares. It is too late now. I am on my way out. I have to accept that and move on. But I’m so sad because I really like this industry and the people I have the opportunity to get to know. Usually I just hate everything about a job before I leave. This time… I’m mixed. I wish it had turned out better. But I need to get out soon.

The End of an Era: Closed My Bank of America Accounts

It’s about damn time – after being charged $14 a month to keep my checking account open at BoA (even after I opened my free checking account at Chase in order to shut down my BoA account) I finally shut down my checking and savings accounts once and for all. There was only about $700 left total in both accounts and I was paying a lot considering to keep it open. They didn’t even try to keep my business, which is fine by me.

BoA was where I got my first checking account, savings account, and credit card. Back then, I had about $10k (from my childhood  lawsuit) and felt like that was a lot of money. Before I started investing at other banks and online  investment firms, I walked in to a BoA branch and proudly started a laddered CD — long-term CD interest rates were 5% (!!) at the time. I didn’t realize how good that was…

Closing the BoA accounts feels like the end of a financial era for me. It signifies “Growing Up” to Chase (if that makes any sense.) So long BoA. I haven’t used you for years, so I won’t miss you.

Networth Check – September 2015

My networth – like everyone else’s – has taken a beating over the past month. I figure between the additional investments and loses I’m down about $16k in a month, which is a lot to stomach, but I’m starting to manage riding the waves of the stock market with some sort of zen. What goes down must come up, right? When the stock market goes down, I’m following my one and only investing principal – spend less and invest more now. If it goes down more, do this even more. I like buying my stock on sale.

 

chart
Including my car and a bunch of worthless stock options that I’ll likely take a big hit on next year, my networth is $352,316. That’s a far cry from my 2015 goal of $400k, but still a significant increase from 2014. Given the way the past two years could have shaped out, I’m content with where I am now. If I can manage to keep myself gainfully employed for the next year and the stock market  doesn’t totally crash, I should be able to get to $400k by the end of 2016 (age 33.)

This plan seems a bit more reasonable, giving me a couple years of the $50k increase YoY before bumping up my annual savings to $75k (all of this is including stock market growth as well.)

33 – $400k
34 – $450k
35 – $500k
36 – $575k
37 – $650k
38 – $725k
39 – $800k
40 – $875k
41 – $950k
42 – $1.025M
43 – $1.100 M
44 – $1.2M
45 – $1.3M
46 – $1.4M
47 – $1.5M
48 – $1.6M
49 – $1.7M
50 – $1.8M
51 – $1.9M
52 – $2M – FINANCIAL FREEDOM!

 

 

Judgernaught: The Root of Anxiety

Running out the door to the airport, late as usual, my father scolded my 30-year-self for not being put together. Though I have learned over the years to travel light (for five days I had one small backpack and a laptop bag), I still had my computer chord loose, which did not meet his approval. Granted, I agree it’s not the wisest to carry a computer chord loose, but no matter what I do, it’s not good enough for him. Once I came home with a roller bag and he looked at me worriedly commenting that I didn’t bring enough. You seriously cannot win with this man.

Trying to break free of all that holds me back in life, my parent’s omnipresence looms over me like a dark cloud before a torrential downpour. Every. Single. Day. I’m grateful that I had material possessions growing up, that my college was so graciously paid for by mom and dad, that I was middle class spoiled in my youth. Yet the constant criticism of who I am grated at me until I just broke. Continue reading

2014 401k Almost Maxed Out!

One of my goals for 2014 was to live on my savings and max out my 401k before obtaining access to any new funds. The good news: as of February 15 I am $550 away from maxing out my 2014 401k! The bad news is that the markets haven’t fared that well in the first few weeks of 2014, thus my $17500 investment has immediately shrunk. Boo. At least I’ve managed to survive on my “life fund” from late 2013. I’m now down to about $3000 so it’s great news that I’ll be seeing some of my salary in my next paycheck!!!

It was important for me to get the 401k out of the way early on because I am concerned I may be laid off from my job soon, and chances are I will find another position at a small company that will not offer access to a 401k. While I’ve never had access to a 401k with a match, I’ve taken full advantage of tax deferred savings when available. I’ve only had access to a 401k in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. My first full-time job even brought in a 401k specialist to talk to us and then decided it wasn’t worth paying to administer the retirement plan, so we didn’t get one. I know a 401k is a luxury and I take full advantage of it when possible.

As of mid February, my networth is around $259k (including my maxed out 401k.) That kind of sucks because at the end of 2013 my networth was $250k, so I’m only “up” $9k right now (or down $8500 if you count the total amount of money I’ve put into my accounts!) Hopefully the market will rebound and I actually purchased these 401k shares on the cheap. We’ll see. It would be nice to see the $17500 earn 10% this year and conclude being worth at least $19250. Right now my current employer 401k has $59296.43 in it for 3 years of investment, worth about $19765 per year.

The good thing about maxing out my 401k early is that if I do lose my job I won’t have to worry about finding another job for this year to get tax-advantaged investments. I can start worrying about that again in 2015!

Remodeling & My Parents

I grew up in a household that wasn’t financially efficient, so it shouldn’t surprise me that my parents, like many Americans, continue to throw money into their homes when the actual home value will never be worth a lot more.

They claim they are making the updates for their own quality of life, and I believe it, but the actual amount of money they are putting into my childhood home is outrageous if you look at it from a financial perspective. Continue reading

5 Years of Investing: My Sharebuilder Trading History

I’ve got nothing to hide. Here are all my stock trades – the good, the bad, and the ugly. (Taxable Sharebuilder account only, not my Roth IRA, IRA, 401k or other investment accounts.)

Can I also note that I first bought Apple in 2009 for $115 per share. Back then that seemed REALLY expensive. Wish I bought more shares at that price!

*Note — most of these trades were purchased via Sharebuilder’s “X number of automatic investments for $12/month” program (I think it used to be 4 or 6 for $12) — which now is 12 “$1” investments for $12 month. Much better deal today. I did waste a LOT in fees early on my investing career — as you can see I didn’t actually buy a lot of shares at a time. I thought I was dollar cost averaging, but at such low investment amounts I was wasting so much money on the fees.

Date Action Stock Shares Cost Per Share Invested
1/18/2008 BUY COMV 4 $23.89 $95.56
1/18/2008 BUY GLD 4 $87.18 $348.72
1/24/2008 BUY MCD 3 $53.74 $161.22
1/29/2008 BUY WFMI 0.5411 $36.96 $20.00
1/29/2008 BUY GLD 0.219 $91.33 $20.00
1/29/2008 BUY MCD 0.3937 $50.8 $20.00
1/29/2008 BUY KOL 0.4943 $40.46 $20.00
1/29/2008 BUY EWZ 0.2667 $75 $20.00
2/5/2008 BUY WFMI 1.237 $40.42 $50.00
2/5/2008 BUY KOL 1.2151 $41.15 $50.00
2/5/2008 BUY EWZ 0.4017 $74.69 $30.00
2/19/2008 BUY WFMI 1.291 $38.73 $50.00
2/19/2008 BUY KOL 1.1707 $42.71 $50.00
2/19/2008 BUY EWZ 0.612 $81.7 $50.00
3/4/2008 BUY EPI 2.3595 $23.31 $55.00
3/4/2008 BUY GLD 0.5774 $95.26 $55.00
3/4/2008 BUY EWZ 0.6616 $83.13 $55.00
3/18/2008 BUY GLD 1.009 $99.11 $100.00
3/18/2008 BUY EWZ 0.6263 $79.83 $50.00
3/25/2008 BUY XLF 2.6525 $26.39 $70.00
3/25/2008 BUY PBD 3.9676 $24.7 $98.00
4/1/2008 BUY EPI 2.1205 $23.58 $50.00
4/1/2008 BUY PBD 2.3019 $26.07 $60.01
4/1/2008 BUY EWZ 0.5124 $78.07 $40.00
4/15/2008 BUY EPI 3.1983 $23.45 $75.00
4/15/2008 BUY XLF 3.0515 $24.58 $75.01
4/15/2008 BUY PBD 3.7928 $26.37 $100.02
6/3/2008 BUY PBD 3.3119 $29.59 $98.00
7/29/2008 BUY EPI 4.9291 $19.48 $96.02
9/23/2008 BUY EPI 5.5782 $17.21 $96.00
11/25/2008 BUY EPI 10.1524 $9.85 $100.00
1/27/2009 BUY PBD 8.3406 $11.51 $96.00
2/17/2009 BUY MCD 1.7268 $55.59 $95.99
2/17/2009 BUY PG 1.9093 $50.28 $96.00
3/3/2009 BUY COMV 22.9665 $4.18 $96.00
3/3/2009 BUY IHI 4.4635 $32.71 $146.00
3/10/2009 BUY MCD 1.8153 $52.88 $95.99
3/10/2009 BUY PG 2.148 $44.69 $95.99
3/24/2009 BUY COMV 20.2216 $7.22 $146.00
3/24/2009 BUY IHI 4.0533 $36.02 $146.00
4/7/2009 BUY COMV 13.9665 $7.16 $100.00
4/7/2009 BUY AAPL 2.1604 $115.72 $250.00
4/14/2009 BUY AAPL 0.8412 $118.87 $99.99
4/14/2009 BUY IHI 2.5806 $38.75 $100.00
4/21/2009 BUY IHI 5.2043 $38.43 $200.00
4/28/2009 BUY AAPL 1.1964 $125.38 $150.00
4/28/2009 BUY VWO 5.6532 $26.18 $148.00
5/5/2009 BUY PBD 10.553 $14.21 $149.96
5/5/2009 BUY VWO 5.0986 $29.42 $150.00
5/12/2009 BUY COMV 11.8483 $8.44 $100.00
5/12/2009 BUY VWO 4.9967 $30.02 $150.00
5/19/2009 BUY COMV 10.661 $9.38 $100.00
5/19/2009 BUY VWO 4.7908 $31.31 $150.00
5/26/2009 BUY COMV 10.166 $9.64 $98.00
5/26/2009 BUY AAPL 0.7576 $129.36 $98.00
6/2/2009 BUY COMV 9.6712 $10.34 $100.00
6/2/2009 BUY ENOC 6.3318 $23.69 $150.00
6/9/2009 BUY COMV 9.8135 $10.19 $100.00
6/9/2009 BUY ENOC 6.4963 $23.09 $150.00
6/23/2009 BUY VWO 3.34 $29.94 $100.00
6/30/2009 BUY IHI 2.2635 $44.18 $100.00
7/7/2009 BUY IHI 2.3524 $42.51 $100.00
7/14/2009 BUY IHI 2.3827 $41.97 $100.00
7/28/2009 BUY IHI 2.1801 $45.87 $100.00
8/4/2009 BUY AAPL 0.6057 $165.11 $100.01
8/11/2009 BUY AAPL 0.6146 $162.72 $100.01
8/11/2009 BUY XLF 7.2674 $13.76 $100.00
8/18/2009 BUY AAPL 0.6154 $162.49 $100.00
8/18/2009 BUY VWO 2.8952 $34.54 $100.00
9/1/2009 BUY AAPL 0.5971 $167.47 $100.00
9/8/2009 BUY ENOC 3.3647 $29.72 $100.00
9/29/2009 BUY ENOC 2.9815 $33.54 $100.00
10/20/2009 BUY VWO 2.4564 $40.71 $100.00
10/27/2009 BUY AAPL 0.6254 $199.86 $124.99
10/27/2009 BUY IHI 1.0107 $49.47 $50.00
10/27/2009 BUY MCD 0.8463 $59.08 $50.00
10/27/2009 BUY PG 0.4398 $56.85 $25.00
10/27/2009 BUY VWO 1.2544 $39.86 $50.00
11/3/2009 BUY IHI 1.0491 $47.66 $50.00
11/3/2009 BUY PG 0.8562 $58.4 $50.00
11/10/2009 BUY IHI 0.9932 $50.34 $50.00
11/10/2009 BUY VWO 1.2316 $40.6 $50.00
11/17/2009 BUY COMV 8.6344 $11.35 $98.00
11/17/2009 BUY IHI 0.9819 $50.92 $50.00
11/17/2009 BUY VWO 1.2151 $41.15 $50.00
11/24/2009 BUY IHI 0.931 $51.56 $48.00
12/1/2009 BUY IHI 0.969 $51.6 $50.00
12/29/2009 BUY AAPL 0.2379 $210.2 $50.01
12/29/2009 BUY IHI 0.9341 $53.53 $50.00
12/29/2009 BUY MCD 0.7837 $63.8 $50.00
12/29/2009 BUY VWO 1.2273 $40.74 $50.00
1/5/2010 BUY VZ 1.5133 $33.04 $50.00
1/5/2010 BUY T 1.7501 $28.57 $50.00
1/5/2010 BUY PG 0.8178 $61.14 $50.00
1/5/2010 BUY GE 6.4267 $15.56 $100.00
3/9/2010 BUY JNJ 0.7756 $64.47 $50.00
3/9/2010 BUY GE 3.0432 $16.43 $50.00
4/27/2010 BUY GE 2.5746 $19.42 $50.00
4/27/2010 BUY JNJ 0.771 $64.85 $50.00
5/4/2010 BUY GE 2.6781 $18.67 $50.00
5/4/2010 BUY JNJ 0.7757 $64.46 $50.00
5/11/2010 BUY GE 2.7824 $17.97 $50.00
5/11/2010 BUY AAPL 0.1969 $254 $50.01
5/11/2010 BUY JNJ 0.772 $64.77 $50.00
5/18/2010 BUY GE 2.7133 $17.69 $48.00
5/18/2010 BUY JNJ 0.7584 $63.29 $48.00
5/18/2010 BUY AAPL 0.1969 $253.92 $50.00
5/25/2010 BUY GE 3.0769 $15.6 $48.00
5/25/2010 BUY AAPL 0.2003 $239.64 $48.00
5/25/2010 BUY JNJ 0.8054 $59.6 $48.00
6/8/2010 BUY GE 3.309 $15.11 $50.00
6/8/2010 BUY AAPL 0.2003 $249.61 $50.00
6/8/2010 BUY JNJ 0.8614 $58.05 $50.00
6/15/2010 BUY XLF 6.8596 $14.58 $100.01
6/15/2010 BUY GOOG 0.2038 $490.79 $100.02
6/15/2010 BUY AAPL 0.1937 $258.09 $49.99
6/22/2010 BUY GOOG 0.1011 $494.44 $49.99
6/22/2010 BUY XLF 6.7659 $14.78 $100.00
6/22/2010 BUY AAPL 0.5485 $273.48 $150.00
6/29/2010 BUY GOOG 0.1089 $459.22 $50.01
6/29/2010 BUY XLF 7.0982 $14.09 $100.01
6/29/2010 BUY AAPL 0.5837 $256.99 $150.01
7/6/2010 BUY AAPL 0.5955 $251.9 $150.01
7/6/2010 BUY XLF 7.2625 $13.77 $100.00
7/6/2010 BUY VZ 1.8714 $26.72 $50.00
7/13/2010 BUY XLF 13.487 $14.83 $200.01
7/13/2010 BUY AAPL 4.024 $248.51 $1,000.00
7/20/2010 BUY XLF 17.7565 $14.08 $250.01
7/20/2010 BUY AAPL 1.021 $244.85 $249.99
7/27/2010 BUY AAPL 1.9114 $261.59 $500.00
7/27/2010 BUY XLF 13.4868 $14.83 $200.01
8/3/2010 BUY XLF 13.3608 $14.97 $200.01
8/3/2010 BUY AAPL 1.9168 $260.85 $500.00
8/10/2010 BUY AAPL 1.935 $258.4 $500.00
8/10/2010 BUY XLF 13.6063 $14.7 $200.01
8/31/2010 BUY MCD 1.3675 $73.13 $100.01
8/31/2010 BUY AAPL 0.8231 $242.98 $200.00
9/7/2010 BUY COMV 14.6843 $6.81 $100.00
9/7/2010 BUY AAPL 1.9297 $259.1 $499.99
9/14/2010 BUY COMV 23.2198 $6.46 $150.00
9/14/2010 BUY AAPL 1.6786 $268.09 $450.02
9/14/2010 BUY IHI 1.941 $51.52 $100.00
9/21/2010 BUY COMV 29.3255 $6.82 $200.00
9/21/2010 BUY XLF 6.7128 $14.9 $100.02
9/21/2010 BUY AAPL 1.7677 $282.86 $500.01
9/28/2010 BUY COMV 13.6986 $7.3 $100.00
9/28/2010 BUY AAPL 6.2267 $289.08 $1,800.01
9/28/2010 BUY XLF 10.4263 $14.39 $150.03
9/28/2010 BUY GE 3.0602 $16.34 $50.00
10/5/2010 BUY COMV 25.413 $7.87 $200.00
10/5/2010 BUY XLF 6.8079 $14.69 $100.01
10/5/2010 BUY AAPL 0.6975 $286.75 $200.01
10/12/2010 BUY AAPL 0.3367 $296.99 $100.00
10/12/2010 BUY XLF 6.8038 $14.7 $100.02
10/12/2010 BUY EPI 3.6754 $27.21 $100.01
10/19/2010 BUY XLF 6.78 $14.75 $100.01
10/19/2010 BUY EPI 3.7026 $27.01 $100.01
10/19/2010 BUY AAPL 6.4255 $311.26 $2,000.00
10/26/2010 BUY COMV 37.2671 $8.05 $300.00
10/26/2010 BUY AAPL 3.2347 $308.84 $999.00
10/26/2010 BUY XLF 6.8733 $14.55 $100.01
10/26/2010 BUY EPI 3.6497 $27.4 $100.00
11/2/2010 BUY AAPL 0.9724 $308.5 $299.99
11/2/2010 BUY XLF 6.8544 $14.59 $100.01
11/2/2010 BUY COMV 13.459 $7.43 $100.00
11/2/2010 BUY EPI 3.6248 $27.59 $100.01
11/9/2010 BUY EPI 3.5263 $28.36 $100.01
11/9/2010 BUY COMV 15.8479 $6.31 $100.00
11/9/2010 BUY XLF 6.5023 $15.38 $100.01
11/9/2010 BUY AAPL 0.9352 $320.78 $299.99
11/16/2010 BUY XLF 6.7733 $14.76 $99.97
11/16/2010 BUY COMV 160.3052 $6.24 $1,000.30
11/16/2010 BUY EPI 3.8583 $25.92 $100.01
11/23/2010 BUY COMV 80.2813 $6.23 $500.15
11/23/2010 BUY AAPL 1.9379 $309.1 $599.00
12/7/2010 BUY VZ 3.014 $33.18 $100.00
12/7/2010 BUY AAPL 1.8648 $321.75 $600.00
12/7/2010 BUY CSCO 12.7889 $19.55 $250.02
12/7/2010 BUY COMV 6.812 $7.34 $50.00
12/14/2010 BUY VZ 2.8987 $34.5 $100.01
12/14/2010 BUY COMV 7.2886 $6.86 $50.00
12/14/2010 BUY AAPL 1.867 $321.38 $600.02
12/14/2010 BUY CSCO 12.6816 $19.71 $249.95
1/4/2011 BUY XLF 6.1125 $16.36 $100.00
1/4/2011 BUY AAPL 3.0075 $332.5 $999.99
1/4/2011 BUY CSCO 4.8638 $20.56 $100.00
1/11/2011 BUY VZ 84.8016 $35.38 $3,000.28
1/11/2011 BUY AAPL 8.7587 $342.52 $3,000.03
1/11/2011 BUY CSCO 23.9826 $20.85 $500.04
1/11/2011 BUY XLF 30.6588 $16.31 $500.05
1/18/2011 BUY XLF 18.1065 $16.57 $300.02
1/18/2011 BUY VZ 8.587 $34.94 $300.03
1/18/2011 BUY AAPL 0.8944 $335.44 $300.02
1/18/2011 BUY CSCO 14.0954 $21.28 $299.95
1/25/2011 BUY VZ 8.3198 $35.94 $299.01
1/25/2011 BUY CSCO 13.9404 $21.45 $299.02
1/25/2011 BUY XLF 18.3283 $16.31 $298.93
1/25/2011 BUY AAPL 0.8858 $338.66 $299.99
2/1/2011 BUY AAPL 0.8705 $344.62 $299.99
2/1/2011 BUY VZ 8.3038 $36.13 $300.02
2/1/2011 BUY CSCO 14.046 $21.36 $300.02
2/1/2011 BUY XLF 18.0522 $16.62 $300.03
2/15/2011 BUY AAPL 0.8358 $358.92 $299.99
2/22/2011 BUY AAPL 0.8729 $343.69 $300.01
2/22/2011 BUY COMV 17.8891 $5.59 $100.00
3/1/2011 BUY CSCO 5.3482 $18.7 $100.01
3/1/2011 BUY OSTK 6.7114 $14.9 $100.00
3/1/2011 BUY XLF 11.9342 $16.76 $200.02
3/1/2011 BUY AAPL 1.4151 $353.33 $500.00
3/8/2011 BUY COMV 100 $5.69 $569.00
3/15/2011 BUY AND 54.2299 $13.83 $750.00
3/15/2011 BUY AMZN 6.0618 $164.97 $1,000.02
3/15/2011 BUY OSTK 34.2466 $14.6 $500.00
3/15/2011 BUY IHI 12.2011 $61.47 $750.00
3/22/2011 BUY IHI 1.5821 $63.21 $100.00
3/22/2011 BUY AND 6.9013 $14.49 $100.00
3/29/2011 BUY JNJ 5.0763 $59.1 $300.01
3/29/2011 BUY IHI 4.7081 $63.72 $300.00
3/29/2011 BUY COMV 106.8957 $4.67 $499.20
3/29/2011 BUY AND 34.225 $14.58 $499.00
4/5/2011 BUY JNJ 3.3424 $59.84 $200.01
4/5/2011 BUY IHI 3.0774 $64.99 $200.00
4/12/2011 BUY COMV 123.5147 $4.05 $500.23
4/12/2011 BUY VWO 10.2212 $48.92 $500.02
5/3/2011 BUY COMV 26.2467 $3.81 $100.00
5/17/2011 BUY IHI 2.9416 $67.99 $200.00
5/17/2011 BUY OSTK 14.5773 $13.72 $200.00
5/17/2011 BUY AMZN 3.0911 $194.11 $600.01
5/24/2011 BUY AMZN 1.281 $195.17 $250.01
5/24/2011 BUY OSTK 7.2516 $13.79 $100.00
5/24/2011 BUY AND 16.4799 $15.17 $250.00
5/24/2011 BUY COMV 26.8817 $3.72 $100.00
5/31/2011 BUY OSTK 6.9493 $14.39 $100.00
5/31/2011 BUY AND 16.0668 $15.56 $250.00
5/31/2011 BUY COMV 27.7778 $3.6 $100.00
5/31/2011 BUY AMZN 1.2732 $196.35 $249.99
8/9/2011 BUY COMV 90.2079 $2.22 $200.26
8/30/2011 BUY AAPL 0.2571 $388.89 $99.98
8/30/2011 BUY COMV 8.1967 $2.44 $20.00
9/13/2011 BUY COMV 45.8716 $2.18 $100.00
9/13/2011 BUY AAPL 0.7855 $381.94 $300.01
9/20/2011 BUY XLF 7.8692 $12.71 $100.02
10/4/2011 BUY COMV 32.0513 $1.56 $50.00
10/18/2011 BUY COMV 29.2398 $1.71 $50.00
10/18/2011 BUY AAPL 0.4768 $419.42 $199.98
10/18/2011 BUY XLF 20.1008 $12.44 $250.05
11/1/2011 SELL OSTK -69.7362 $7.98 -$556.49
11/1/2011 BUY XLF 3.8345 $13.04 $50.00
11/1/2011 BUY AAPL 0.1259 $397.21 $50.01
11/1/2011 BUY IHI 0.8651 $57.8 $50.00
11/8/2011 BUY SBUX 2.2921 $43.63 $100.00
11/8/2011 BUY MCD 1.5873 $94.5 $150.00
11/8/2011 BUY JNJ 3.1061 $64.39 $200.00
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6/4/2012 SELL SPLK -13 $27.8 -$361.40
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6/19/2012 BUY MSFT 16.1363 $30.99 $500.06
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8/20/2012 SELL BV -19 $14.14 -$268.66
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2/11/2013 SELL INTC -164.0793 $21 -$3,445.67
2/11/2013 SELL MSFT -16.3785 $27.62 -$452.37
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4/9/2013 BUY HYG 5.3009 $94.32 $499.98
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6/4/2013 BUY F 21.2966 $15.92 $339.04
6/5/2013 SELL HYG -26.8168 $92.19 -$2,472.24
6/5/2013 SELL AAPL -10 $445.65 -$4,456.50
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12/17/2013 BUY HAO 9.0189 $26.5 $239.00

Moving Out… Sometime This Year

My roommate and I just had “the talk.” We’ve had a reasonably good run… I’ve lived here since 2009… but it’s about time to move on. We’re both in our 30s now, and both sharing the mindset that it’s time to have our own place. Gladly, we’ll part ways amicably and at a time convenient for both of us. That said, I’ll be the one who has to move, and she’ll stay in our rather nice, $2200 3br/2ba apartment with her girlfriend (who also lives here now) and I’ll have to deal with moving out.

That’s fine, though, because I am planning to move into a 1br with my boyfriend some time this year, maybe. As mentioned in my previous post, he finds out in May whether he got into graduate school. He applied to three programs, one that’s semi-local and two that are in other states. So a lot depends on how that goes. If he gets into the local program, we’ll probably find a small one bedroom up in the city to share. If he gets into the programs out of state and decides to go then I’ll look either for new roommates or, ideally, a studio of my own. If he happens to not get into any programs then we’ll probably look for a place around here or around wherever my job is at the time.

Continue reading

How to Be a Good Role Model?

My sister is depressed. She’s seven years younger than I am and working on her final internship prior to college graduation. I feel like it’s my duty to be a good role model for her, to somehow be able to say that it all gets better, that life is hunky dory, that our parents didn’t f us up so deeply that at 30 I still need weekly therapy and spend hours lost in introspection over how much I suck at just about everything. But I can’t, because I’m no good at lying, and I’m not sure that would help either.

In terms of how we got to our depression, our stories are quite different. Our parents were the same, so I’m sure that had something to do with it. But as much as they told me on and on that I was not working up to potential (and thought I was some genius who clearly was not performing to my own abilities to spite them), my sister had a learning disability and therefore was lauded for every tiny achievement while also overhearing many discussions regarding her inability to succeed. Both of us, needless to say, grew up with confidence issues and major anxiety problems.

Listening to her go on about her own insecurities is a frightening reflection of my own. We both struggle in relationships with other people. She’s good at memorizing data and organization while I’m good at writing and being somewhat creative. She’s an ISTJ and I’m an ENFP — polar opposites with similar problems. I’m worried for her. I’m worried for her because my parents will support her staying in the house should she not be able to obtain a final internship or job. While I don’t at all want her forced onto the street, having such backup is not at all motivating to just do something. But it’s having parents that don’t require you to work growing up that lead to this, where one graduates from college with only a few hours of work under their belts at best, and nothing to show for it.

She needs one long internship to graduate from college, as all of her coursework is complete. I’m trying to help her apply for programs but ultimately she will have to complete the interviews, should she be called for any upon her application, and she’ll have to be able to convince someone else that she’s the right person to hire for the internship role. But without any confidence (and a sincere disinterest in working with people or leading anyone) her opportunities are greatly limited. Especially due to her major which has to do with, well, people. (Long story that I shall leave out for reasons of anonymity.)

But the frustrating part is that she does have a lot of abilities, it’s just challenging to align these with a role – internship, job or otherwise – as many of the types of positions she’d be suited for (such as research) require masters-level credentials. She really doesn’t want to have to get on the phone and talk to people, though, as she suffers a severe case of social anxiety (I guess mine is only minor compared to hers — though my backlog of voicemail would say otherwise) and what makes it harder is she has problems speaking properly due to her jaw placement. She’s definitely a little strange in that she isn’t the typical enthusiastic young employee, but she’s super smart and I believe in the right role would excel. Again, she’s best suited to research, but even that requires some level of interactions with other people. What can I do to help her — esp when I’m dealing with my own level of feeling like I’m not good enough for any role, and I’m past 30?

Like me, she’s seeing a therapist. But I know therapy alone won’t get her out of the funk. She needs a lucky break, to find a job where she really feels like she’s doing something productive and is seen as an asset to an organization, versus someone who doesn’t belong. And she needs the opportunity to meet other people her age who are not complete alcoholics to become friends with (unfortunately her few high school friends decided to defriend her because they’re assholes, but that’s another story also.) I really want to be the good big sister I never was but I just feel helpless. She knows I’m there for her. But that can’t kick her ass out into the big bad world. She’s deeply depressed and I know what it’s like. I’ve never really escaped my depression but it goes in waves. There are some days I know EXACTLY what she feels like. How can I tell her that it gets better?

All I can think of to tell her is that making money is important. She can live at home for a while but eventually she has to pay for her own life. To be happy, or somewhat happy, she’ll need her independence, which requires moving out. I’m helping her apply for internships away from home. She lived away from home for college but spent the whole time focused on studying because she struggles academically due to her learning disability but is an amazingly good student. She didn’t have time for friends, but now she’s home from school, moping around, lonely, and, well, moping around some more. My parents who have constant shouting matches are no help. I don’t know what to do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Keeps Me Up at Night

While I may go on and on about my impostor syndrome at work, what I’m most afraid of is the cost of life. I’m still utterly confused how much money and savings I need to live a happy, simple life in Silicon Valley with a family of ideally 2-3 children and a sane retirement where neither I or my (future) husband do not end up in a government-owned facility.

I need some sort of calculator that can tell me how far off I am to this goal, and a way to understand what that magical number is. At the moment real estate calculators say I can afford a $500,000 home (which is not even possibly in The Bay Area.) And this is with a $110k salary, which I consider to be rather high and unsustainable.

The average cost to raise one kid is $240,000. And that doesn’t even include the cost of college. That is my entire life savings at 30. Just thinking about spending $500k-$600k on having a family of two makes me not want to have children. Even though I’ve finally decided that I do want to have kids. Is it fiscally wise?

I met with a colleague of mine recently who is a senior executive. She discussed a bit how, as the breadwinner of her family, many of her career choices were made based on making sure that she could afford her life with her husband and kids. I’m not sure exactly what the arrangement is (or exactly how much he contributes) but I know I am looking at a life where I will be the primary breadwinner in my family. My boyfriend is likely going to become a high school teacher, with a starting salary of $50k – $60k, if he can find a job. While that’s much better than nothing, and better than a single income, I will have to work – and obtain higher six-figure salaries going forward – to afford my life (or leave Silicon Valley.)

I’m concerned about potential conflicts later in life if/when I have children with my s/o. While I grew up going to art classes and dance lessons (and other school activities which cost additional fees.) I went to sleep-away camp once I entered middle school. My bf, on the other hand, didn’t grow up with any of these luxuries. He participated in some school activities, but nothing that cost additional money. And he didn’t go to summer camp. He didn’t even have his own room. I’m pretty sure when we have kids and I’m sad that we can’t afford to give them piano lessons, he’ll roll his eyes at me.

Obviously kids don’t have to have lives like this to be successful. But these are things that I’ve just always expected my potential one-day hypothetical children to have. And they are expensive. And they cut into other important budget items like retirement savings and healthcare.

I’m terrified of ending up broke and alone when I’m older. My grandmother gambled away her life savings and is barely affording one step above a government-sponsored home. I want to have options when I’m older. And how much do I really need to retire?

“As you begin thinking about how much you’ll need for a comfortable retirement, you may be startled to learn the impact of inflation. At an average annual inflation rate of 3%, your cost of living would double every 24 years.* Your annual income will need to increase each year, even during retirement, in order to keep up with the gradual rise in prices of everyday goods.” — AXA Equitable

Based on the retirement needs worksheet, to figure out how much I need in retirement I have to. This assumes 3% inflation and 5% ROI:

1. Estimate last year’s working salary. Multiply your current salary by the inflation factor from the retirement table below, based on the number of years until retirement.

Years to Retirement Inflation Factor Growth Factor Multiplier
5 1.16 1.28 5.80
10 1.34 1.63 13.21
15 1.56 2.08 22.66
20 1.81 2.65 34.72
25 2.10 3.39 50.11
30 2.43 4.32 69.76
35 2.81 5.52 94.84

So let’s say that I have 35 years until retirement…

My salary last year with bonus was $120,000. So it’s $120,000 * 2.81 = $337,200

2. Estimate 80% of your last working year’s salary… $96000  $269760

3. Estimate the amount that you’ll need from your savings and investments by multiplying line 2 by 12.591…. $1,208,736 $3,396,548.16

4. Enter the amount of your current savings and investments and multiply it by the growth factor from the table to see what the savings would be worth at retirement. So I’ll go with $240,000 * 5.52… $1,324,800

So… if I don’t touch the $240,000 then I have enough????

I’m confused as that $240,000 will need to be used for a house. Does that count as part of retirement savings, or does the total needed for retirement expect this to be outside of your living situation / home?

A commenter explained that I did the math wrong here – well, I misunderstood the directions… I used last year’s salary (2012) versus my expected last year salary, as in the year before I retire, oops. So I actually need to make up a gap of $2M. Which is frightening, but sounds more legit.

According to this calculator, if I want to retire at age 65, and assume $0 for SS income (because SS will be bankrupt by the time I am retired), and I want to live on $80,000 per year, if I put in $20,000 per year to retirement for the next 35 years my retirement savings will last until I am 88. Well, I plan to live to 110, so I’m screwed. Or, I need to put in $30k per year for the next 30 years for my retirement income to last until 101.

This all seems possible without kids. With kids, I really don’t know how I’m ever going to be able to afford retirement. I don’t mind the idea of working until old age if I physically can, but what if I can’t? Or I change my mind later?

And I’m considerably more fortunate that most people in the US with $240k+ in savings and a job paying $110k. Life just seems way too expensive to live.