Thursday, 4 October 2018

Net Worth: September 2018

Last month everything went a bit South - my geared stock portfolio was down $14,288, my retirement savings total (SMSF and employer-subsidized account with Colonial First State) was down $1,880 and the valuation of our home was down another $6,218 (due to the overall property market correction in Australia, especially in Sydney). Overall, my NW was down by $22,163 (or 0.95%). On a positive note, I still have my full-time job (recently passed the milestone of 20 years with the same company) and my DFP course is about 50% completed (I'm aiming to try to finish it off this month, so I can apply to become an 'authorized representative of an AFSL holder i.e. become a registered 'financial planner' so I don't have to do the one year of 'work experience' that will be required for 'new' financial planners from 1 Jan next year) although I also have some assignments to do this month for the first course of the MFP I'm doing with WSU).

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Monday, 24 September 2018

Weight loss : week 39

I did 5BX twice last week, and walked approx. 10,000 steps on four days, and only one day was slightly under 5,000 steps. My diet went according to plan for the first three days, but then I ate a bit too much later in the week, and also had some confectionery on the weekend. So overall wasn't it wasn't very good, which resulted in no weight loss during the week. Today I'm 'back on the wagon' diet-wise. I'll be joining the gym this Wednesday, as it is most convenient to stop off on the way home on Mon/Wed/Fri. I'll do 5BX at home on the other days.

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Monday, 17 September 2018

Weight loss : week 38

I managed to stick to my diet plan on all but one day last week (37), and did a reasonable amount of walking (>5,000 steps) on all but two days. Still haven't started my regular 5BX sessions, so that is still on my 'to do' list. We are moving offices next week, so I'll sign up with Crunch Gym early next week and go to the gym for some weights and rowing machine exercise 2-3 times per week on the way home.

I've started having some chocolate flavoured whey protein on my morning porridge, as whey is supposed to be good for helping to reduce LDL and triglyceride levels. My cholesterol levels are OK, but my LDL and triglycerides need to come down a bit. Losing weight and doing more regular exercise should help. I tend to have red meat with my evening meal too many times a week, so I'm also aiming to have grilled chicken or turkey breast fillet a few more times a week instead of steak, lean mince, or GF sausages (which have way too much fat content).
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Sunday, 16 September 2018

Glad I didn't buy a new Jag

The major upside of having bought a third-hand S-type Jag for $7,900 rather than a new one (the S-type I've bought originally sold for $123,000) is that I don't worry too much about scratches and minor dings. Just as well, as I already side-swiped the Jag when I was reversing out of our carport last week. There was room enough to fit both cars under the carport (the garage is full of junk, so that wasn't an option unfortunately), but it was a tight fit. Last Friday I had a bad migraine when I left work, which probably explains why I ended up parking the Ford Escape *very* close to the Jag. The next morning when I started reversing out, I thought I'd better move a little further away as I backed up, but unfortunately I forgot that turning while reversing would make the front end swing *towards* the Jag. D'Oh! So, of course, the Ford's front mudguard (which protrudes a few cm more than I remembered) jammed against the side of the Jag as I reversed, and I had to go forward again to be able to reverse out past the Jag on the second attempt. Fortunately the paint-job and metal  of the Jag door-panel is tougher than the paint and plastic mudguard of the Ford, so the most visible damage was a bit of paint scraped off the Ford mudguard. Washing the Jag removed most of the Silver marks that had transferred from the Ford, leaving just a small deformation and some scratches. Giving it a polish with a buffing car wax made the scratches a lot less noticeable, so unless you get close up it looks OK. As I said, I'm glad this wasn't a new Jaguar that had cost me a hundred grand...

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Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Diet 2018: Week 37

I had a better week sticking to my diet plan last week (36). I walked more than 5,000 steps on two of the days, and my daily average for last week was almost 5,000 steps/day. I'll now try to do at least 5,000 steps every day, and slowly increase towards my goal of doing 10,000+ steps every day.

I still only managed to do my 5BX exercises on one evening last week, so that still needs improving. At this stage I want to do 5BX every second day. We will be moving to a new office in a couple of weeks, and it doesn't have any free/cheap car parking nearby, so I'll be catching train/bus to and from work. That will add a few extra steps walking to/from the bus stop from home, and also allow me to read some of my MFP textbook etc. on the bus/train. The fares work out to be around the same as I am currently paying for fuel and subsidized car parking, so it won't cost any more and will free up the two hours I currently spend driving in peak hour traffic every day.

There is a Crunch Gym near the train station en route, which only charges ~$11 per week for month-by-month membership, so I'll probably join up again and stop in for some weight training 2-3 times a week on the way home. There is an option to upgrade to 'Peak' membership for about $15/week, which allows you to attend some activity classes for free and to 'bring a friend' along when you visit the gym, but as neither DS1 nor DW are keen on going to the gym when I'll be stopping in on the way home from work its not worth the extra $4/week.

I've settled into the routine of my diet plan now, and I've managed to avoid eating any confectionery, having fruit for dessert instead. I haven't yet listened to the Allan Carr hypnotherapy CD again. So I'll add that to my 'to do' list for this week.

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Sunday, 9 September 2018

CityIndex CFD Trading

My CityIndex CFD trading account has been inactive for nearly a year (I had open Long positions in the ASX200 share index, and in crude oil), so they sent me an email notice that a) if an account is inactive for more than 12 months there is a fee charged, and b) that if I did three 'round trip' trades I would get $100 credited to my account. Since I have to do some trades to avoid the inactive account fee, I decided to do the three trades. My first new trade was similar to my existing ASX200 position, I simply bought the minimum quanity for the ASX200 SPDR CFD. For my second trade I bought a tranche of Gem Diamonds CFD, as there seems to have been a dip in the long-term up trend. For my third trade I have shorted the Tesla CFD (although the market was closed when I entered my trade, so it hasn't been executed yet) as it seems to have been drifting down for the past year, and recent movements of top executives and quirky behavious by Elon Musk suggest this stock could head further south for a while.

Anyhow, these trades are speculation rather than investing, so if I'm lucky and I make a profit I'll close out the three new positions to meet the 'round trip' requirement to get the extra $100. I'll keep my long positions in the ASX200 and crude oil open until it seems to be a good time to close out.

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Monday, 3 September 2018

Net Worth: August 2018

My geared stock portfolio increased during the past month, while the estimated valuation for our home continued to decline. My retirement savings had another good month of growth, due to the larger exposure to international share markets via our investment in the Vanguard 'High Growth' index fund. I decided to include the cost price of the 1999 type-S Jaguar I bought last month, although I'm not my other cars or personal items/collectibles.
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Diet 2018: Week 35

I had fairly mediocre past week for my weight loss plan. I didn't do nearly enough exercise (only walked more than 5,000 steps on one day last week, and only did 5BX once), and my calorie intake was too high most days. I stuck to my diet plan on two days last week, but had some snacks on a couple of the other days at work, and on Friday night had sausages and bacon for dinner. Overall my average daily calories were only slightly below my maintenance calorie requirement, so my weight loss was minimal.

On the weekend I read the Allan Carr 'Easy Weigh to Weight Loss' book I had lying around (bought for a few bucks years ago), and had a listen to the 20-minute hynotherapy CD. The book's main concept is to basically eat mostly fruit and vegetables, only eat when you actually feel hungry, stop eating when you've had enough, and only have junk/processed food occasionally. Nothing too unusual there. I did buy some extra fruits to have on the weekend, and I'll try to have them whenever I feel like having 'dessert' in the evenings. I'll also listen to the CD occasionally, as it was at least a good relaxation exercise, and may help me avoid buying any confectionery when I do the grocery shopping.

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Monday, 27 August 2018

Diet 2018 - Wk 34

Well, I haven't been monitoring my daily calorie intake or sticking to my diet plan since January, and it certainly shows. Rather than losing any weight, my weight has slowly increased during the past six months. My average morning weight last week was 105.0 kg, which means my BMI is now around 34.3. I certainly need to loose weight, and I also need to start doing some 5BX excercise in the evenings in addition to tracking my daily stepcount. I finally got around to tracking my eating again last week, and although I stuck to my diet plan Mon-Thu, I ate a bit too much on the weekend, including some takeaway fries on Saturday and Sunday. At least I managed to avoid buying or eating any confectionery.

My averages for the week were:
Fibre (g) Carbs (%) Fat (%) Protein (g) Sodium (mg) kcals Stepcount
40.7 58.0% 21.7% 127.5 5419.4 2637.0 3,172

My target for fat is 10-15% of total daily cals, so it was a bit too high, due mostly to the McDonalds and KFC fries on the weekend. My protein target is ~1g/kg of bodyweight, so should be around 100g/day. So this was also a bit too high last week, mostly due to having a bit too much meat with my evening meals, although I had mostly chicken and turkey breast, rather than steak, which is good. My average daily kcals were too high, but at least it was a bit lower than my typical 'ad libitum' intake (around 3,000-3,500 kcals/day). If I stick to my standard daily meal plan, my daily calorie intake would average around 1,900 kcals/day, and I *should* loose around 0.5-0.75 kg/week (a bit more if a reach my daily 10,000 step goal, and do 11 mins of 5BX excercise in the evenings). Anyhow, today is the first day of a new week, so yet another chance to actually stick to my plan...

My target is to get down to around 76-78 kg (I was 78 kg when I in High School), which would put me (just) in the 'healthy weight' range of BMI.

Over the long term (this century), I've been a poster-boy for 'yo-yo' dieting - I can loose weight, but whenever I start eating junk food again I pack on the kilos... the long term upward trend in my maximum weight is also not good.

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Saturday, 25 August 2018

What business suit to buy?

So far I've never worn a suit to work. I started out as an experimental scientist, so for ten years wore casual clothes, often covered in a grey lab coat. Then when I changed jobs, I wore a leather jacket and tie to my job interview and was promptly told that the dress code was 'smart casual' and asked would I be OK to *not* wear a suit/jacket to work (they may have thought I was 'dressing down' for the interview!).

Anyhow, twenty years down the track, my current boss recently recommended that I start wearing a business suit to work (I've completed some Six Sigma 'Green Belt' training, and may doing some internal 'consulting' with other business areas in future). It's probably a sensible idea, as wearing an imitation sheep-skin jacket to work combined with a beard was probably makes me look more like a rancher than an IT professional ;) And as I should probably also be wearing a business suit when I meet prospective clients when I start up my financial planning home business, it was now time to buy a suit...

Anyhow, I Googled a few articles about suitable business suit colours etc. for financial advisors, and aside from getting some conflicting advice (one article said that brown conveys dependability and is good colour choice for establishing rapport, while another article said that brown is the least liked colour amongst male and female clients, and is seen to be mediocre), there was also the expected article recommended ridiculously expensive business suits for financial planners ( I don't care how good a suit may be, I'm not going to be spending $5,265 or $4,450 or even $2,450 (which the author called 'surprisingly affordable'!) on a suit. In the end I've ordered an off-the-rack suit and business shirt/tie combination online from Lowes for A$107.01, including free delivery ;)

The 'Perizzi' business suit and 'Robert Huntley' business shirt sound expensive, but they are obviously not. Especially when the suit was on special (50% off) and I also got an extra 10% off with a discount code for provding my email address. Obviously this sort of cheap, off-the-rack suit isn't going to impress anyone, but at least it should look 'presentable'.

'The suit' - not sure if the black shirt is too mafioso?
So, I've bought a suit for 2.03% the cost of one 'recommended' combination, and a used Jag for 6.4% of what it cost when new. I may not impress on the basis of style, but the frugality is top notch.

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