Net Worth/Savings Update: January 26, 2021
This is the first Net Worth and Savings Update from China! My life here is pretty settled at this point. I have a lovely apartment, I go to work every day and teach in person, I found a tailor and can navigate the subway. All of these are great things.
In terms of Net Worth, it really took off this quarter! It jumped $48,000 in just 3 months, up to over $280,000. In one year, it's up $90,000! Most of that is due to stock market increases these past 3 months, but I've also saved over $15,000 as well. Not too shabby!
I took a minute to compare 2020 to 2019 and was also favorably surprised.
Every category was colored green. That means every single metric I measured was financially better than 2019. Suck it COVID!
In fact, COVID was probably the reason for a lot of the positive change for my finances. Not that I did badly in 2019, just that getting stuck inside due to a worldwide catastrophe really limits your spending choices. Several trips I had planned just got destroyed. For 2 weeks I didn't spend anything as I was trapped in quarantine in a Chinese hotel room. Both of those things were... sub-optimal, but both of those things did have good impacts on my bottom line.
Another good note is that this quarter includes spending to totally outfit a new apartment, and get two new wardrobes of clothes; a fall wardrobe and a winter wardrobe, as my new home actually has seasons where you need to not freeze to death. I even got a suit hand tailored. I took a 9 day holiday to Szechuan with my girlfriend and her daughter over Winter Holiday. It's not like I didn't spend some money.
I get to choose what story I tell myself about this year. I can focus on the negatives. There are a ton of them, even for me, who has had a relatively easy global pandemic. But I can also acknowledge that 2020 had a lot of bright spots. I get to live close to my girlfriend. I'm at a good school. My family is ok. That's a story I like a lot better.
Who knows what the market will do in the upcoming few months. I certainly don't. But I've absolutely felt this K Shaped Recovery people are speaking about, where those with assets like stocks and index funds are propelled into further wealth, where those that don't get further left behind. My portfolio has soared this year. If I didn't have that, I'd feel very vulnerable and exposed.
When I was deciding if I wanted to invest, back in 2013-2016, I realized that the rich were getting richer. I wanted to put the economy that benefits those that have wealth to work for me. Index funds have been a huge part of that story. Will that story continue? I have no idea. But so far, it's a bet that's worked out.
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