Happy 4th of July! There are times I forget I have a personal finance blog. It’s been about 10 years since I started on here. With all the turbulence in the market sometimes ignorance has been bliss. I used to obsess over money, but no more. Enjoying life and finding balance in recent years has been the goal. I can’t save every $ I earn and invest it and I’m perfectly fine with that.
So that’s where my recent purchase comes into play. The 27″ Apple Studio Display. I have a 27″ monitor I use for work that works perfectly fine, a 2020 purchase. However earlier this year Apple debuted this monitor that is arguably the best build quality in the industry and one of few options. It’s 5K, not 4k and the text / graphics / video are all crystal clear. It’s got some amazing bass, 6 speakers with support for Dolby Atmos, an aluminum enclosure, 3 USB-C ports on the back. MacOS does some weird things with 4K up to 5K resolution and scaling back to 4K. You have to experience it in person, pictures don’t do it justice. With my Apple Card, I do 12 monthly payments of 0% APR or $133.25/mo and $131.92 in tax. I could pay it off in full but don’t see a reason to. Zero percent is still zero.
So back in 2016 I bought my car for about $5k off MSRP. At the time it was a decent deal. The car is still purring along over 6 years and 71k miles later. I have a warranty on it until 2024 or 120k miles. However it’s starting to show its age, creaks and rattles in the cold, little rock chips and dings in the paint, some technology limitations like no Apple CarPlay, no LED lights, smart cruise control, or lane keeping assistance. The fuel economy is alright at 24mpg but 34 or more would be amazing especially at $5 per gallon (my car in 2015 was only averaging 29). Carvana offer is about $20k, a local Acura dealership only offered $15k and they likely wouldn’t have the car in stock until August if not later. So I politely walked out with my title, and second set of keys in hand. On top of that the offer on the car is MSRP, not even $500 less. If the economy goes south, incentives on cars will come back. I still am casually looking at other cars but the reality of the market is quite apparent.
Some events have happened recently that left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Without going into details, it was a wake-up call to become more proactive. Doesn’t matter how much effort you put in, sometimes you still get treated like crap. Loyalty is kind of dead, have to look out for yourself. Never trust what a 3rd party entity tells you especially if you keep getting stringed along. So balancing feelings about that and not worrying about things beyond my control.
So let’s talk about numbers.
Roth IRA: $19,926
M1 Acct: $5,251
Buffer Fund: $2,302
Roth IRA: $20,856
M1 Acct: $5,239
Buffer Fund: $2,050
So yeah, I’m down $10,616 or 5.8% in a month, that happened. Even worse when you consider all the contributions I’m making to my investments. On 6/30/21 my net worth was $159k! I still have a lot of time left until retirement but it’s not a good feeling. I keep dollar cost averaging with the expectation the market will rebound. For me to hit that $200k goal I had my portfolio would have to increase by 16%.
Recently I went to a friend’s pool party in a much newer development than mine. It was glorious, the refrigerator, countertops, floors, lighting, pool, on-site workout facilities. I was just in awe of how beautiful it all looked compared to my no frills arrangement in North Dallas. 1983 vs 2012 design.
One of my close friends is trying to convince me Texas has turned into Gilead and I should move elsewhere closer to my family. I have mixed thoughts on that. On one hand the political climate of the country is becoming less and less welcoming to certain groups of people. There are very early talks about reversing supreme court decisions regarding matters related to gay rights and marriage equality. When I hear politicians from Texas and Florida talk, it seems like they want to take things back to 1970. Today I heard a bit of a “surmon” from a Fort Worth preacher in early June who is promoting violence. This is someone who is supposed to be preaching god’s teachings. Moving could also be incredibly stressful with no support system. New York would be the best option for me there but then my cost of living goes up Salary.com showed a 69% cost of living increase, and a 15.3% salary change increase. Really not worth it. Plus two of the nicer complexes I checked out near my hometown start at $3200/mo, the other was about $3900. This is the surburbs, not even NYC.
One of my friends put it best, he’s going to just keep dollar cost averaging and stop checking his portfolio daily. I should probably do the same but I’m a numbers guy. Can’t let the market and overall economy get to you. Just keep going strong and remember this all goes in cycles. Cheers!