Yet another first of the month rolls around; time to do my company books and my personal balance sheet. And see what the numbers have in store for me – spoiler – an epic month numbers wise. July is always a good month for cash injections, let’s see how this translates into my FIRE fund and my progress to financial independence.
How was July?
- Our UK heatwave has continued so it’s been hot, hot, hot all around. Lovely if you have nothing to do, but not ideal if you need to get work done. Our only rain comes in dramatic thunderstorms which are fantastic to watch from the comfort of indoors.
- And the heatwave has kyboshed my running motivation – it’s just too hot to run if you don’t have to. If the heatwave continues, I’ll need to start to get up early to run again.
- Nonetheless, I am managing to get out on my bike and managed a 19-mile ride without any ill effects. Building up the stamina here and getting my road confidence slowly and surely.
- On the learning side, I passed my Chinese HSK 3 test. Which I am obviously very happy about, although I realise this was more due to exam strategy (I am good at passing exams) rather than a truly deep understanding of the language. It will be a struggle to get ready for the HSK 4 by the end of the year, but I am going to give it a bash anyway. Without audacious goals, I wouldn’t achieve so much.
- One big work project has completed successfully – it was a big slog getting it up the hill so extra chuffed with the result. And it’s now in support only mode, which makes me workload much lighter but also unpredictable. I’m not a big fan of providing support, but it does guarantee me a contract extension. And it’s much better supporting code you built yourself than legacy code.
- And work-wise I’ve unofficially put myself on a WFH (Work From Home) 3 days a week schedule instead of 2 and no one has really noticed or commented or seems to really care. Given I don’t care much for the open plan office this is great progress.
- I was featured in HaltCatchFires’s Coders of Finance series as the first female coder. Personally, I very much believe we need to encourage more women into coding and break down both the barriers that prevent women from entering and the culture that causes women to leave. Compassionate coding is the way forward; we need a seat at the table when designing the next generation of technology
- Politically Brexit seems to dominate the agenda and despite the Article 50 deadline being six months away nothing much seems to be agreed. This is causing lots of unnecessary volatility in the stock market and causing companies to seriously consider moving jobs abroad.
How knowledgeable are you on Roman history? It turns out what I know is only Shakespeare’s version. But I now foolishly realise that he took a lot of license. Which should have been obvious – he is after all a dramatist and a fine one at that. Nonetheless, his plays are based on the facts – with Plutarch widely credited as his factual source. Which leads me to this famous opening of a speech to the people by Mark Anthony.
Friends, Romans, Countrymen
With the scene set with my naivety on taking Shakespeare’s works as gospel on Roman history, I was treated to a new perspective in Imperium by the RSC. This play centres the action on Cicero and features a different version of this speech. And it made me realise Shakespeare made up the opening above.
Through watching this two-parter; the gaps in my knowledge became apparent – it was fascinating learning about the Roman Republic and how it governed. Moreover, Cicero himself was such a complex character – his idealism was quickly corrupted with power yet he remained relatively moral. The staging was simple yet effective and acting superb all round. And the Brexit parallels abound.
I left thinking are power and money always linked? When is corruption acceptable? How do we define a good person? Then moving forward a few hundred years – can I still assume Shakespeare’s Histories are truthful?
So as I mention quite often – I always look at my spending on a rolling 12-month basis -it’s meaningless on a monthly basis alone. Now for July, there were no big or exciting purchases at all. Therefore my annual spending decreased slightly from last month and is showing as an 80.5% savings rate. I expect this to go down in the next few more spendy months as I have a few trips planned.
Show me the numbers
Straight into the numbers: my figures for July (vs June) are:
- Net Worth at £773k (+£27k)
- FIRE fund at £514k (+£30k)
- Which is 67% to the £750k target
July is always a good month financially with a decent wedge of cash coming in. Moreover, only half of this bump can be attributed to cash coming in; the markets have also given me a hefty net worth gain. And I’m back to being a dollar millionaire again (until the pound has its next wobble).
My FIRE fund has burst through the £500k milestone – I am a solid two-thirds of the way to financial independence which feels absolutely amazing – and the momentum is building. I am very chuffed to get to the place where the market swings can increase (and decrease) my portfolio by significant amounts on a daily basis.
Although the markets have been good and given me a boost, the London housing market is taking a different approach. Prices are now decreasing and my house is now a depreciating asset with a £7k loss in value over the year. My brief is watching on this one – people still need somewhere to live. Moreover, London is still cool and has many jobs. Nonetheless, the Brexit uncertainty is making people keep their chequebooks in their pockets until things are resolved.
Every month I like to check my country allocations – and this month I see nothing untoward, all looking as expected here.
And the movement I’ve desired has happened in my top 10 stocks – Alibaba is back in (And Facebook is out):
- 1.51% Apple
- 1.33% Microsoft
- 1.21% HSBC
- 1.18% Amazon.com
- 0.99% Royal Dutch Shell PLC Class A
- 0.92% BP
- 0.86% Tencent Holdings Ltd
- 0.83% Royal Dutch Shell PLC B
- 0.78% British American Tobacco PLC
- 0.70% Alibaba
Looking at the performance of my portfolio – remembering this is a global passive portfolio – the bull market continues despite wobbles earlier in the year.
- 3 Months 6.29%
- 6 Months 1.19%
- 1 Year 9.13%
- 3 Years Annualised 14.22%
- 5 Years Annualised 12.25%
Over to you
- How about you?
- How has July been for you personally?
- And numbers wise?
Thanks for reading – please leave a comment below and join in the conversation. You can also connect on Twitter. Looking forward to your thoughts and ideas – all are welcome.