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Long term goals and tracking my weekly spending

Recently, I wrote down a list of some long term goals. These are primarily goals over the next 2-5 years, with one long goal out at the 12 year mark. They include things like getting rid of debt, like credit cards and a personal loan. I wrote them down with a reminder at the top of the list to consider these goals whenever I’m thinking about buying anything of significance. For me, I’d probably put anything of significance at the $50 or above mark. $50 may seem small, but boy do they add up fast! All you have to do is look at your credit card statement and see how quickly you can be surprised by how the balance can just shoot up from a few $50 purchases. These can be things like just going out for a nice dinner or something.

Now, I’m not saying not to treat or indulge yourself at all. The exercise for me was more to think about these goals that I really, really want to achieve but will take some time. I’m hoping that making a list and referring to it will help me to be disciplined. I’ve also started to do a weekly spending review, each and every week. I do it come hell or high water and have been at it for 10 weeks now. I store them on YouTube as private videos but they allow me to review my progress. In the weekly review, I go over things like current credit card debt balance, net worth, cash flow for the past 30 days and year-to-date, as well as how much cash I have on hand. I find that it helps me to focus too. And sometimes the embarrassment of just looking back and being able to say “What the fuck?!” really helps to instill discipline. Let’s see if this keeps me going. 5 years is 310 weeks… and I’m only in Week 10!

Switching from AT&T after 10 years

AT&T is such a greedy company that I’ve finally decided to “un-carrier” myself from it and switch to T-Mobile in 2017. It’s been a 10-year relationship and I figure at my current spend of about $205/month (with a 23% corporate discount in there), I’m worth almost $25,000 to them in revenue for the next 10 years. But they’re greedy and I’m just sick and tire of them. Why?

1. A $20 upgrade fee whenever you buy a new device from them. It’s not a big number but when you can buy the EXACT same device next door and just plug in your SIM card, that’s just a rip-off and GREEDY.
2. A poor unlocking experience. They should make it so that your devices are automatically unlocked when they’re paid off rather than this process where you have to request it, confirm it and then wait. What a hassle.
3. No choices anymore on devices. Want a new device? You’re on their stupid NEXT plan whether you want to or not. Sure, you can pay it off early after you’re on the plan but they just make it too complicated.

Sorry for the rant but it’s one of THOSE videos! 😉

Anyways, T-Mobile has a great deal right now for no contract, no extra fees, etc. and unlimited data to boot. Do yourself a favor and switch!

Portfolio performance check-up

by phuoc 0 Comments

It’s been a few years since I’ve done one of these but this caught my eye this morning. The green dot represents my portfolio performance vs. risk for the last 5 years. Notice anything strange? Yes, I’ve had a good run with annualized returns of 20.38% over this period but I was also taking on a lot more risk than is prudent. Suffice to say I’ve taken some actions over the last 20 months or so. Now I’m sitting just above the Moderate risk portfolio and I gave up perhaps 3-4% of return to do so. I’ll keep monitoring it over the next few years but I think that’s a good trade off and didn’t want to push my luck. Don’t let things go on auto-pilot… take a look once in a while!

Brexit is wreaking havoc on my 401K

Ok UK citizens, why do you have to wreak havoc on my retirement investments?  It’s not a surprise to anyone how the markets reacted to the shocking news of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union – it tanked globally.  British markets were hit particularly hard, with some shares in the FTSE suspended from trading and the pound sterling at its lowest against the dollar in over three decades.  My own 401K fared just as worse, taking a hit of around 3.5% the first day and continuing to do so until just last night when it rebounded just a bit.  A lot of this is fear of the unknown but I think Brexit itself is containable and things will recover.  It’s what happens if Brexit threatens the break-up of the rest of the EU that people should really worry about.  Before this, I was so sure Brexit would be a non-event that I took my 20% cash holding and went into equity… I should have waited.

Stock charting program in Python

I just took up a new hobby… programming in Python. I must say, compared to C++ or Java, wow… Python redefines rapid development! I did this basic Windows GUI program in about a day and a half. It does some cool things as is but I’m calling it my version 1.0 so there’s still room for improvements. On my tablet it runs pretty decently (a Microsoft Surface Pro 3) and it flies on my desktop. The back end of Python and many of its modules are implemented in C so it can be pretty quick, although nowhere close to C++ or Java. But when you can whip together something usable this quickly, I’d take that trade off!