Monday, June 30, 2008

June Networth Update

Well, here I am: head hanging in shame. I've blogged about this previously, but here I am with the real results of this spend-freely-forget-the-budget month.

My networth dropped to -$10,610.25 from -$10,570.00. My networth is going backwards, and this is unacceptable.

My investment account is a little negative, but pretty close to about even, as the past two weeks of volatility has taken a toll.

I also spent today re-doing my budget. I started by adjusting my base salary, as I am expecting a 6-10% increase starting in July. I was very conservative, and only assumed a 5% increase. With the increase, I then adjusted up my gas, food, utility, and discretionary budgets while also ensuring I am saving $150 a month more than before, if I stick to my budget.

This is going to be gradual climb back to fiduciary responsibility. Stay tuned.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bear Market and Bear Bank Account

Two items to think about this post:

(1) Bear Market - I believe this week will continue to see the market decline, but not as badly, as investors began to see some discounted values out there. However, with the European Central Bank poised to raise interest rates, which will shore up the Euro and cause the Dollar to fall, we will also see oil prices continue to shoot upward.

Additionally, financial stocks are still being targeted by both investors and rating agencies as the fear of more write downs to come applies continuous downward pressure on those stocks.

(2) Bank account - For regular readers, you are all aware that this month has been financially very bad for me. After tallying up everything up to today (with 1 day left in the month to go), I am about $1,100 above budget on spending. I need to be very careful next month to ensure I have enough funds in my bank account to cover all my bills.

Just as important is my continued plans to recover from this month. Tomorrow, I will reset my budget to be in line with rising costs of food and gas, while also setting aside money to pay down debt.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Bearing down

So far so good. The market is definitely reacting to all the negative economic news. All major indexes are down. My Dow and Financial Sector shorts are working out well. If we see another 300+ point drop tomorrow, I may cash in, instead of being greedy.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Feeling bearish

Today was the first time since I've started investing and trading that I truly felt bearish about the next 6-months in the economy. With oil fluctuating wildly, the Fed spinning inflation out of control, and basic material prices shooting up, its tough to believe that the general market is anywhere near its bottom.

Sure, I still believe there are some sectors out there that could do well. For instance, technology companies, specializing in infrastructure and communications, will benefit greatly from widespread travel budget cuts.

However, financials will continue to suffer along with the construction and medical industries.

Maybe the Fed will say something intersting for the economy at the conclusion of its meeting tomorrow, but its doubtful.

It's a wait and see game. And so far, we've been waiting and seeing the market go down.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Back on the blogging (and budget) wagon...

It's taken a while to get my life settled down enough to start blogging again. The past two weeks have been incredibly hectic, both at work and away.

Looking at my expenses, I am about $900 (including $220 in car taxes) over budget across all my accounts, my options trades have been in the red due to the volatility of the market, and I have at least one plane ticket I need to purchase for a wedding that I have yet to do.

So what is my plan?

1) I need to get my option trading back on track
2) I'm going to clamp down again. My upcoming salary increase should help, but I'm not banking on it. At current rate, I'll need a 10% increase to match what's going on. That high of a rate is doubtful.

3) Going to re-do my expense and budgets to account for all the little things that have changed, such as gas and cable bills.

It's tough to get back on the wagon when you've fallen off. But I'm going to try.

Not on track

Wow, just checked out my expenses for this month, and I am not on track at all. While my coffee purchases have declined significantly, my bar and restaurant tabs have increased exponentially. Summertime has always been bad for me, but I know just how bad...

More to come later.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Lows = opportunity

Markets are hitting lows with oil falling. Time to believe in tech and the Nasdaq again.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Looking forward to July

Just got word that my next rotation is going to be focused on security and risk analysis. I'm super excited. Not only was this my top choice, but I was one of many who applied for this rotation. The skills I will get to build out in this rotation will definitely be good on the resume for my switch to i-banking.

This may come as a shock to some readers, but that is my real end-goal. As a young MBA, ibanks will not hire me as an Associate level. Instead, they would make me work my way up.

Knowing this, I have chosen a leadership program to go through to pick up all the necessary soft skills I would need in a condensed period of time. Along the way, I'm selecting my rotations that easily translate to the ibank world.

In addition, when I do rotate in July, I should also see a pay raise. My guess is 5-7%, but I have heard of numbers as high as 10%.

Keeping my fingers crossed.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Market Correlates to my busy weeks

I swear: the market's downward moves are always correlated to my busiest weeks. This week has been the busiest week in months for me, and the market of course is dropping the most it has in months. I barely have time to check my accounts or blog this week, but I know the markets are just awful.

In the future, I will warn readers of my busiest weeks so that they can start shorting their stocks.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Personal Note

Just realized how much I spend on coffee every month. Its scary. At $2 a coffee and 3 times a day, that $30 a work week and $120 a month. And I don't need it! I should just be getting more sleep, which would actually add health value as well.

Starting that this week.

Get ready for Monday madness!

Okay, so not football season quite yet, but with Friday's gigantic across-the-board stock index drops and oil price's rocket upwards, I can only imagine that tomorrow is going to be another wild and rocky day.

There's really two ways I see Monday shaking out:

1) Investors are still jittery and continue to sell off
2) Investors realize we are at a bottom and a huge rise will occur

In my opinion, with the amount of positive economic news out there and with many major blue-chips trading at lower than normal P/E ratios, it will more likely be #2.

Consider for a moment the causes of Friday:

1) A record one-day rise for Dow the previous day (taking quick profits)
2) Oil's sharp rise (there's only so much higher it can go before speculators pull out, magic number? $150)
3) Unexpectedly more negative unemployment numbers (seasonal adjustments are not being properly factored in, and even if they are, the numbers still reflect no new news about the economy)

All three reasons that pushed me over the edge on Friday to buy at the end of the day.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Summer Time

I always find it much harder to stay on top of my expenses in the summer time. There is just too many possible fun events that one can attend. Additionally, there are now actual things to do, versus winter time when I'm just bored and wished there were things to do.

I haven't quite figured out how to manage myself appropriately during summer months. However, as with all my personal finance guys, I feel that if I blog about the issue, it will force me to be more accountable.

Monday, June 2, 2008

May Networth Update

This month started well, with my expenses well within my budget. Then I found out my buddy in Florida was about to get fired and he wanted us to fly down and enjoy a weekend there before he had to find another job.

Quickly, the expenses piled up.

Thankfully, with the adjustments I talked about last month, I still made some progress.

My current networth is -$10,570.00 or -1.05% from my goal.

My investment account is doing okay, with the current standings actually around, as I still have some options I have bought that I have yet to sell.