Retirement Nestegg Report – January 2008

Retirement Nestegg Report – January 2008

Well a down month for my net worth this month and the first one in a long while. Given the general stumbles of the stock market as a whole I don’t feel too bad about it. In fact had I done my report based on today’s results I would actually be well into the black as a number of my major holdings are up double digits today. Ah well – I should really be rooting for more turmoil and stock market declines as I’m doing only buying for the next 20+ years.

In other related news I’m really falling behind on my wife’s Roth IRA contribution for 2007 tax year. I still owe $3250 and only have till tax time to make the contribution – which may be tough for me to do. The is the first year I haven’t made my max contributions on the earliest day possible (Jan 1). This was mainly due to me eliminating my entire HELOC loan last year and the fact that just last month I emptied out our emergency/Retirment funds waiting to be deposited fund to purchase a minivan for the family after my car died. The van cost $8,000 which completely wiped out my cash reserves and even made me take out a small chunk out of my HELOC. I don’t think I’ve ever been this broke in my life and it will take me at least a couple months to build back up my cash reserves – which means I either make the IRA contribution out of my HELOC or completely skip the contribution (which goes against every fiber in my being). So needless to say things are interesting and I’ve been falling being the eight ball on my retirement accounts. Hopefully the tax man is friendly to me this year and I’m able to pull this out. Here are the results from January.

Traditional Rollover IRA – $12,060.07 (0.00%)
My Roth IRA – $29,180.63 (-4.92%)
Wife Roth IRA – $13,990.22 (-6.19%)
Current Traditional 401k – $16,964.81 (+9.39%)

Roth/Traditional % = 59.80% (tax free)

Total Retirement Nest Egg $72,195.73 (-1.38%)

  • Watch those monthly reports. I think your comment about having a 20 year time horizon is really pertinent. Anyone investing for the long-term should really be cheering when the market falls – and it will in any investment lifetime. But in reality people get panicked out of their investments.

    There’s a really interesting bit in Taleb’s Fooled by Randomness book where he shows how the frequency with which you check your portfolio value actually makes you happier or sadder. (In the very short term, for instance, say every 5 minutes, shares are 50/50 to be up or down, so you’re 50/50 likely to be happy or sad. Whereas if you checked ever 10 years, you’d be 95% likely to have a smile on your face).

    Just my two pence. Good luck with your goals!

  • MFJ

    I agree completely with you and I’ve commented about how these monthly reports are very short-time horizons, but I don’t use them to evaluate my performance it’s just more to track my progress over my lifetime and I can look back 10 years ago when the market fell 25% and how such a minor blip that is in the grand scheme of things.

    Trust me I get upset everytime stock prices go up. A long bear market would be about the best thing that could happen to someone like me.

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