Money

Net Worth and other updates – May 2018

The first of the month can only mean one thing; time to update the spreadsheet and share net worth updates with you all. I’ll share the good times, so-so times and bad times, all under the thin cloak of an alias. So here is May’s review as I lose my dollar millionaire status – and don’t cry over it.

How was May?

  • So how has it been generally? May has been fun; with two bank holidays I’ve been away twice and enjoying some time away from home experiencing other cultures.
  • Ms ZiYou Lisbon TramI got to see a new country – Portugal on my May Day weekend break to Lisbon. This was a fun weekend away, with amazing weather in Lisbon. I loved the trams and the tiles – the whole city was so photogenic. But as a veggie, the food was less appealing, and there was a lot of petty crime openly happening, which put a bit of a downer on it.
  • I was featured in Chief Mom Officer’s Women on FIRE series – thanks Liz! I love the work Liz does to amplify female voices and to help change the narrative that female breadwinners are unusual – such a feminist role model, raising other women up alongside her.
  • My portfolio trustee career is growing; in addition to my financial inclusion volunteer work, I now have two feminist trustee roles, which are both awesome. My favourite interview process so far, was when I got to rant about the patriarchy for 10 minutes. And they loved it! And also a fair few rejection new letters to add to my ever expanding collection.
  • Ms ZiYou Rope BridgeAnd for the second bank holiday, I explored a new area in the UK – Northern Ireland. I’ve only been once before when passing through to Ireland, thus I have never spent any time here. The coast was gorgeous, with the rope bridge and giants causeway being worthy places to visit, despite the crowds. And learning more about the troubles was really interesting, as I still remember when the bombing campaign was active and there were tanks and soldiers on the streets.

#theatreofthemonth

A cold war classic Chess was the theatre of the month, a retro musical featuring some classic tunes. Even if you’ve never heard of the musical, surely you’ve heard this duet – I Know Him So Well – sung by Elaine Page and Barbara Dickson in the concept album.

This was the first West End revival of the musical in 30 years, and it was amazingly staged – I wouldn’t have a thought a chess tournament could be exciting, but I was proven wrong. Add in the A list cast, with Michael Ball taking on the Russian role. Overall a great musical with the staging, plot and singing coming together perfectly.

Although I will say this musical fails the Bechdel Test – the plot is very much focused on the love triangle between one man and two women. And obviously, the singers playing the women are younger than the man, easily young enough to be his daughters, which felt more than a little bit icky. Conflicted!

Spending

May’s spending was a bit higher than normal due to the holidays, but I’m not worried about this, and expect this will balance out over the next few months.

Show me the numbers

And May has been an interesting month market wise – there have been some rises, but a lot of the gains seem to be due to the pound devaluing yet again. As I get closer to FIRE, I’m paying much more attention to these variances and making sure I have a plan that accounts for sequence of returns risk.

With that said, my figures for May are:

  • Net Worth up to £743k
  • FIRE fund up to £481k
  • Which is 64% to the £750k target –  on track to FIRE in less than three years!

Losing my millionaire status

So, you know I said that the pound has devalued? Despite my net worth increasing £14k, I am now no longer a dollar millionaire, as I’m down to $986k. It does make me think, how susceptible to currency risk am I? And if I end up FIRE’ing around Brexit transition time, am I taking big risks here? Given I plan to travel abroad when I FIRE, this becomes more relevant to me.

Related Posts

Over to you

  • How about you?
  • How has May been for you personally?
  • And numbers wise?
  • Who else has lost their millionaire status?
  • And currency risk – are you worried about it?

 


Thanks for reading – please leave a comment below and join in the conversation. You can also connect on Twitter or Pinterest.

Looking forward to your thoughts and ideas – all are welcome. 

18 comments on “Net Worth and other updates – May 2018

  1. I think the more impressive feature is visiting Lisbon and Northern Ireland in a month, versus the £14k increase in Net Worth! And boo-hoo about losing dollar-millionaire status 😀

    1. Hi NWA – thanks for your perspective, it’s always sobering to remember that what I think is normal others find is impressive. And they were both easy weekend trips.

      I’m sure dollar millionaire status will be resumed shortly. When the politicians agree again.

  2. I remember when we crossed the Million dollar mark on our investments, I told my husband that we should expect to cross below it many times. It was around 2006 I think, and we went well below in 2008. The experience taught us that any “number” you are looking for to define what you have is just an approximate. These balances go up and down all the time, as they move generally up. I believe that a lot of younger people in the FI world haven’t yet realized this as the markets for both stocks and real estate have been only upwards for nearly a decade.

    1. Hi Susan, thanks for reading and commenting – yes, bouncing up and down is the nature of the stock and currency markets – I’m pretty sure the stock market trends upwards, however, the currency situation is more opaque. And the bull market has to stop sometime, but when is the question none of us can predict.

  3. You’re doing really well. Keep at it! Hmm.. I don’t know about currency devaluation. A little swing isn’t a big deal, but if it really plummet, then it’d be tough.
    Cool trips. What kind of petty crime did you see in public? Petty theft or something like that? I want to visit Lisbon someday. Ireland too. Have a great weekend!

    1. Hi Joe – thanks for the encouragement. The first time I visited the US, we got over 2 dollars to a pound – the US was cheap then. We’ve been at around 1.6 dollars to a pound until Brexit, now sitting just over 1.3 to a pound – a 20% drop.

      There was a lot of people openly pickpocketing in gangs, you can see the spotters around giving the ok and I saw a few dudes openly going for wallets. I’ve not seen anything as brash in decades. You should still visit tho’, just keep your wits around you and your wallet very close.

  4. Hi Ms ZiYou

    Sounds like you had a great action-packed May, compared to my lazy one in the garden, haha!

    Congrats on your growing trustee career – did anyone video/record your 10 minute rant on patriarchy? I’m sure I wouldn’t be the only one interested in watching/listening!

    That was a great interview you did over at Chief Mom Officer, plus interesting bits of advice. The ‘Bring up all the other females behind you’ is one that I know I’ve been guilty of not following much (if at all). I’m from a family of strong women, my close friends all appear to be confident, successful women so it’s been easy for me to take the view that all women are fine and will do alright. However, all is not alright and although I haven’t experienced it myself, certainly in the last couple of years, I’ve had female colleagues confiding that they’ve been overlooked, belittled and undermined by male colleagues and I’ve found myself providing encouragement and support. I’ve recently heard it with my own ears (not aimed at me) and it’s not nice, especially when loosely hidden in jest and frivolity.

    Oh to have a millionaire status to lose! 🙂 You’ll get it back soon enough. I have to say that I’ve not thought about currency risk at all, although some of my ETFs have dividends converted from US$ to GBP – something to check out at a later date.

    Anyway, thanks for posting that video of Elaine and Barbara – hadn’t heard that song in ages and had forgotten how good it is. Never gotten round to going to see Chess, although I do enjoy musicals.

    1. Thanks Weenie! Thankfully no-one video-ed me, that would be my idea of hell. But it is easy to get carried away with an enthusiastic audience! I’mm interested to see how the trustee roles all pan out, and how much benefit / enjoyment / warm fuzzy feeling vs time / hassle they are in reality. I think I’ve chosen well, but you never know really know until you dive right in there.

      Yeah, growing up in a feminist household, it’s easy to overlook that things could differ – and yes, it’s hard to distinguish from general having a joke / frivolity vs structural sexism. I think Jo Brand explained it best on Have I got news for you – when she took them down for mocking it, and said something like “even tho it isn’t serious, the continuous nature of it sometimes, it just gets you down”.

      And yes, if you haven’t heard to song in ages, it’s fabulous – who’d have thought a duet between the mistress and wife could be so good?

  5. Hi Ms Zi You – I would not count my net worth in VEF or ARS so no reason to count yours in USD either. Just saying… The only thing we can control is our spending (on a monthly basis), and income (medium to long term) so since you are doing excellent on both ends you’re doing great! I love love love your lisbon pictures.

    1. Hi Coco, thanks for your lovely comments, they are so kind. Lisbon does certainly look very pretty.

      And on the GBP thing, the empire is long gone, and we’re fast becoming a small isolated nation….Only time will tell where we end up.

  6. Sounds like a fun May! Lisbon and Northern Ireland are both in my future travel list. Cool you got to go to both on the same month!

    That’s a bummer you lost your dollar millionaire status, though I’m sure it’ll return soon 🙂 I’ve never really thought of currency valuation as a risk to FI but maybe I’ll need to lay more attention to it as I get closer!

    1. Thanks Young FIRE Knight, I have every confidence you’ll get to visit them both – it’s just a lot further for you than it is for me to get there!

      I think Americans are much more protected from currency risk, we are just a little island here with about ~8% of market cap.

  7. Your million dollar status was a fun thing to have but doesn’t stop your march towards FIRE, however it’s a good sense check especially as you don’t plan on sitting at home in the UK when you do FIRE.

    3 volunteer roles sounds very time consuming! I found being a trustee for a small charity could have taken up ALL my time if I had let it. Thankfully working full time stopped that from happening but it’s easily done.

    I’m not really worried about currency risk as won’t be gallivanting around the globe when we FIRE and much of our later FIRE funds is final salary pensions. The impact of a devalued pound can still hurt us via inflation but I can’t handle the maths to start worrying about this topic!!

    1. Thank Tuppeny for your comment, and yes the currency is a good sense check and would be much less critical if I planned on staying in the UK. So in your situation, you don’t really need to be concerned with it. And yeah, your final salary pensions are awesome for avoiding risks of inflation – I presume they are index-linked.

      I’m hoping I’ve picked trustee roles that are actually strategic roles not day to day work and management, two of them have CEO’s & significant staff so that should be the case, the third has less day to day staff, but due to my background there’s not much I could realistically be asked to do. I’m going to keep an eye on it and how much time it all takes.

  8. It’s too bad that the petty crime in Lisbon put a damper in your experience. We were lucky to not have the same experience. However, we did experience petty crime (theft) first hand in Berlin. I thought the veggie options available we somewhat pretty good. But maybe that’s because we had low expectations to begin with.

    1. Glad you missed the petty crime in Lisbon, sorry you actually were a victim in Berlin – that sucks! I have a real personal space thing, which means I am very conscious when people are getting too close. And yeah, I agree how well you appreciate the food options maybe depends on what you are used to – we are spoilt here in the UK for veggie friendliness.

  9. I worry about currency risk quite a lot. As you say, if you plan to travel after FIRE (or indeed buy anything imported) then the value of Sterling is a big deal.

    I track my net worth each month in Sterling, Euros, Dollars, and an invented currency I call “Scoobies” which is a blend of the three (I’m using 65% Sterling, 20% Euros and 15% US Dollars, but that’s just my personal choice).

    I tell myself that Scoobies is the important number, not Sterling…… After all, I could build up a huge pot in Sterling, but if the Pound goes to ratsh*t it’s not going to buy me very much in my old age…..

    Jo

    1. Hi Jo – yeah, the last few years have really made me think about currency risk – the pound is not a stable currency anymore!

      I love your invented currency – what exchange rate do you get on that?

What do you think?