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Friday, 1 November 2013

Net Worth: October 2013

An even better month for the stock market boosted both my leveraged share portfolios and the value of our SMSF investments. This month also saw two months of employer contributions deposited, which also helped.

Assets$ Amount$ Diff% Diff
Stocks *$224,522$55,331n/a
Retirement$558,968$22,6854.23%
Properties$458,627$00.00%
Debts ^$ Amount $ Diff% Diff
Home Mortgage(s)$102,373$70.01%
Net Worth$1,139,744$78,0237.35%
* the Stocks figure is portfolio value - margin loans. The LVR is around 80% overall.
^ doesn't include the ~$675,000 of investment loans

With a large exposure to the stock markets, a return of investor confidence and bullish stock market would provide a major boost to my NW progress. Hopefully 2014 sees a return to stronger global growth and reduced uncertainty and volatility. The trick will be to know when to start reducing my leverage in preparation for the next inevitable correction or bear market. Having seen out the GFC and EFC, I hope I don't have to go through a third 'once in a lifetime' market crisis. But there are still major storm clouds in the horizon in terms of the massive government debt levels present in many developed economies, an aging population increasing welfare costs and reducing productivity growth, and the costs of 'peak oil' and many other finite commodities and tackling global warming (or mitigating the effects thereof).

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Saving Pennies - closing an inactive credit card account

One of those annoying little avoidable expenses that has been bugging me for ages is the annual fee on an ANZ credit card account I never even use. I can't remember how I ended up having this account in the first place (I think there must have originally been a $100 bonus for opening a new account and using it a few times), but for the past couple of years the only activity on the account has been the annual fee of $30. I would totally forget about the account (as they only send out a monthly statement if there have been any transactions or if there is a balance carried on the card), and then remember it again when the statement arrived showing the annual fee that had been charged. Every year I've been promising myself to close the account down just before the next annual fee falls due, and then forgetting all about it again. The problem was that, having just paid the annual fee, I thought I may as well keep the account open 'just in case' for the remainder of the year, and that having a extra $15,000 credit line available in case of emergency might come in handy at some time...

This year was even worse, as I didn't even notice when the annual fee statement arrived, as we now have a savings account with ANZ for our self-managed superannuation fund. The envelop for the ANZ savings account statements looks identical to that used for the credit card statement, so I didn't even open up the credit card statement when it arrived, and only noticed the following month when another statement arrived showing a late payment fee of $20 and interest charged on the unpaid $30 balance! That was enough to convince me to finally phone up ANZ and close the account. Fortunately when I explained my reason for closing the account I ended up getting the annual fee, late payment fee and interest charged all waived (having $30,000 or so sitting in our SMSF savings account probably makes me a 'valued customer'). Well worth making the phone call!

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