Is anyone else happy the month of August is over? I for one am happy to be moving into another month as August was a roller coaster both professionally and financially.
I started off the month by committing to moving on in my career. This required me to make plans to take a state exam so I could get a certification. It also required me to have a difficult discussion with my employer. I am excited to report that not only did I pass my exam, I aced it! Ok, I missed one question, but I got a much better score than I ever thought I would. As for my current employment status, it has been more of the same. The good news is that every time I start second guessing my decision to move on and go in my own direction something happens at work to remind me that I am making the right decision.
The financial markets were something to watch. There was panic, paranoia, hope and elation all packed into one month. The driving factor continues to be trade with China and the back and forth game of oneupmanship between the leadership of each country. It’s also astounding what the immediate impact is on the financial markets as a result of a tweet. I prefer to react to facts and actions but apparently twitter is the preferred choice of market timers and panic sellers.
So where did all of this nonsense and paranoia get us in the end of the month? Absolutely no where! The markets were essentially flat but with extreme volatility. There was just enough fear to raise people’s blood pressure, prompt discussions of possible recession and cause some panic selling. Then there were the almighty tweets to give people enough hope that everything would be settled and the buyers jumped back in.
I find it is much easier to watch the madness from the sidelines then to engage in it. Much of the rhetoric I feel is just for show and an attempt to minimize the need for an immediate deal. Remember it’s a negotiation, and I think it’s one that is very past due regardless of your political stance. China has been allowed to manipulate its currency and steal intellectual property for decades without repercussion. It’s long over due for them to be called out and forced to pay a price for their actions.
Moving forward I think a deal gets done and both side claim victory. Because that’s what politicians do regardless of facts. I also don’t think anyone on the U.S. side wants this to drag into an election year. Additionally, if you are going to run for re-election on the economy it’s important for the uncertainty to be removed so there is a strong finish to the year in the markets and a strong start in January. Remember, last December was a disaster and all gains for the year were lost in a month. A repeat of that heading into an election year could doom a campaign based on a strong economy if people’s bank accounts don’t reflect the claims being made. That’s my opinion, but I guess we will see how it goes.
Here is where we finished the month of August:
Portfolio- $962,699 (Cash and Investments)
Portfolio Goal – $1,500,000
Amount needed to reach goal – $537,300
Our portfolio decreased by $5,137 or -0.53% from the end of July.
Year-to-date we are up 15.78%.
Net Worth – $1,170,342
This is an decrease of 0.05% from the end of July.
Year-to-date we are up 15.52%
All of that excitement amounted to a whole lot of nothing. Our portfolio and net worth were flat on a month over month basis. We did flirt with the $1 million mark a couple of times which was the most exciting thing that happened before the bottom dropped out of the market.
September should be a exciting month as I start moving toward starting my own business and ending my current employment. There is a lot of work to be done but I am very excited to take these steps. Heck maybe we will even cross and hold that $1 million mark for a couple of days. That would be a great milestone.
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