It's monthly review time and I'd like to start by saying that this has been the most successful, slam-packed, crazy month I've ever lived! I knew that for the first half of the month getting things together for the new house would be a time-sink and money-sink, but going into that expectation I was under the impression that the second half would let up on me. Boy, was I wrong!
But I've also realized in the midst of everything that I love the noise. It hasn't been the house or the job that's been overloading me, but my own ambition! And I wear that like a badge of honor! I know now that my dreams are so ambitious that if I idle, I won't make it! When I move, I move in a direction of progress and success. Embracing this realization, I say, "Bring on the workload!"
Phi's February 2016 Update
In accordance with my New Year's Resolution checklist, I've kept up with my workout. In fact, halfway through February I got even more serious. When I wrote about clearing my mental cache, a large part of that was related to my health. I wanted to change my workout to see more results in terms of losing fat and gaining muscle. To accommodate that goal, I've started hitting the gym 5 days a week, focusing primarily different muscle groups each day. To supplement the workout, I've also gotten serious about my diet and am now eating 6 protein and fat-filled meals a day (with a 1.5 day carb period intervening every 4.5 days). Within one week of this intense workout and diet combination, I saw immediate results - I've gotten thinner and considerably more muscular! In addition, I'm also able to do more pull ups and pushups!
I've also kept my goal of reading one new book/month. This month it was The Little Book That Still Beats the Market by Joel Greenblatt.
The Little Book That Still Beats the Market: An easy-to-read book on understanding stocks and the overall market. It was written for Greenblatt's teenage children so the language flows well, includes humor, and isn't over-complicated like other books in the field. TLBTSBTM focuses on investing in companies that performed very well last year and that have a good expected returns, as well as a good mix of assets in their total net worth. Essentially, targeted value stocks. By diversifying and repeating this process, Greenblatt claims that within a three-year period, you will beat the average market return (using historical evidence as an indication of the future).
Takeaway: Greenblatt's formula has always worked in three-year periods in the past. If you believe the that past repeats itself, this could be a very useful formula.
Recommendation: Regardless of your level of risk tolerance involved in speculative investing, this is a very well-written, entertaining book which raises very good ideas surrounding Greenblatt's recommended stock picks. Highly recommend!
In terms of my biggest goal (attaining $40,000 of additional liquid assets in 2016) this month has reaffirmed my belief that it's going to happen! At the end of last month, I only had contributed a measly $800 towards my goal (while losing $200 on the value of my earlier-purchased funds). Now that I have an idea as to what a month's worth of living expenses on my own would be, I have a better idea of what I should be contribution out of my remaining/incoming funds into my retirement accounts. This month, I contributed about another $3,800. But between my contributions and interest gained on already existing funds, my liquid assets actually gained an additional $4,191, bringing my yearly gain to $4,834 = 12.1% of my goal! Seeing that I'm 16.7% of the way through the year and January's contribution was so low, I think that's pretty good!
In addition, I believe I've found a suitable renter for one of my spare rooms! If everything goes well, he should be moving in at the end of March, increasing my income by $500/month (before considering additional utility/wear-and-tear expenses)!
I've continued with my Coursera education and I've been learning all about developing websites from getting this domain up and running. In the past week, I've put about 40 hours of work into this site and it's nearly where I want it in terms of layout and subtleties! Soon there are going to be some VERY cool options/tools/resources for everyone to use! In the meantime, please bear with any issues you might find and feel free to let me know if you encounter a bug - I'd really like to know about it so I can fix the issue!
(Note/Disclaimer: None of these associations have paid me or asked me to advertise their name or products. These are products that I use, have used, or find beneficial. Links to services may be affiliated, but if so they come at no charge to you and will NEVER come at your expense. In fact, registering through some affiliate links may give your account additional benefits.)