Monday, November 3, 2008

October update

Hello there. Remember me?

I don't know if you've noticed this, but a lot has been going on during the past month. Between the bailout in the U.S., the injection of cash into the Canadian mortgage market by the CMHC, and the rest of the turmoil going on in the markets, it's been really tough to keep on top of everything that's going on. Frankly, it seems to have turned me from a commenter to a spectator, as I try to wrap my head around it all. It's taken all my "finance sense" just to reassure myself while watching the decimation of my retirement accounts, and I just haven't had the wherewithal to post on any of the financial goings-on in October.

In spite of my complete radio silence this month, I have still been bringing in a paycheque, and I have been doing things with that money, so let's take a look at how I did. I didn't get around to posting any goals for the month, but I can still post my financial progress:
  • I reduced my revolving debt to $16,391.85 - A three-pay month is always welcome when looking at my debt elimination progress. I was able to knock more than $1,000 off my debt, which feels good. I'm not sure whether I'm going to hit my $14,000 target for the end of the year, but at least I'm maintaining forward momentum.

  • I grew my Emergency Fund to $2,067.70 - I'm well above my year-end target of $1,500, so I have a nice cushion for the days between my payday and Ms. Loonie's paycheque.
Now, on to my month-end update:

Online Savings - $3,350.95
Self-Directed RSP - $32,794.73
Employer Group RSP - $8,253.40

Revolving Debt - $16,391.85
Student Loans - $24,012.53

Net Investable Assets: $3,994.70
Net Liquid Assets: ($37,053.43)

My liquid savings grew substantially in October, thanks to the three paycheques that fell during the month. However, my RRSP shed another $6,200.26 in value, bringing my retirement savings below where they were one year ago. I'm thankful that I'm dealing with this market crash so early in my saving process; as long as the markets do rebound, the coming years should provide some very favourable rates of return. It still hurts to watch my balance sheet decrease by thousands of dollars each month. These changes translated to a net decrease of $5,270.17 in my investable assets, which dwarfs the $1,888.72 of progress I made in reducing my non-mortgage debt.

Overall, my net investable assets decreased by $3,381.45, and my net liquid assets increased by $2,818.81. My NetworthIQ profile has also been updated (including loose cash, home, car and mortgage). I'm glad that I calculate my net liquid assets each month, because this metric keeps me focused on the items I actually control: debt reduction and cash savings. Other than setting an asset allocation I'm comfortable with, my investment performance is largely out of my hands, so being able to see the impact of my behaviour on my bottom line is very important. It's been well over a year since I had a month-over-month drop in my net liquid assets, so I must be doing something right...

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