I’m sad to see January go. The stock market soared throughout the month, with the S&P and Dow both hitting their highest points since 2007. I remember starting my first corporate job back in 2007 and opening my 401(k) investing with the S&P 500 over 1500. All during the recession that’s kind of how I measured if things were “back”. When the S&P got back to that point it would be like a mental reset for me and my investments. We’re at that point now and hopefully ready to leave 1500 far in the rear view mirror.
January was also a month of change here on the site. You probably haven’t noticed too many cosmetic changes, but earlier in January this site officially migrated to its new home at TheFirstMillionistheHardest.net. I chose to move domain names to create a single “brand” across the site which will allow me to keep things all under one roof should I choose to expand into different areas down the road. For now, at least people won’t have to think too hard about how to refer to this place!
That’s pretty much all the big news for the month, let’s get on to the numbers, shall we?
Roth IRA: $18,850 (+6.74%)
Traditional IRA: $9,800 (+6.46%)
I’ve increased my monthly contributions to both IRA’s as part of my plan to save half of my income, so the larger contribution along with the great month for stocks led to nice gains for January.
401(k): $3,860 (+11.67%)
I was struggling with the idea of whether or not to even keep contributing to my 401(k) since my employer took away our match this year. Ultimately, I decided to keep my contributions steady for the sake of consistency and you really can’t beat how easy it is to save when it’s coming directly out of your paycheck.
Freedom Fund: $605
New for this month is my so-called ‘freedom fund’. It’s a taxable brokerage account I started adding money to in order to build up some investments outside of retirement accounts. I felt I was keeping too much of my investing money in cash waiting for a good opportunity, so I’m going to be putting some of it to work by contributing to this account each month.
Lending Club: $522 (+0.56%)
Well, it finally happened. One of the Lending Club loans I am invested in is past due. I was hoping it would never happen, but reality catches up to us all. The loan is an “A” rated loan and the borrower has a credit score over 700 with a debt/income ratio under 15%. It just goes to show that there is risk everywhere and nobody is immune from missing payments.
Judging by the comments on the loan it seems that the borrower has tried to pay but the payments are failing for whatever reason. Maybe a problem transferring money from the borrowers bank to Lending Club? The February payment is already listed as pending, so hopefully this borrower gets back on track and I avoid any losses on the loan! Even with this little hiccup, my net annualized return on my Lending Club portfolio is 9.26%. It’s still definitely worth the risk in my eyes.
Cash: $6,885 (-6.48%)
My cash number is down due to the transfer to the ‘freedom fund’. The plan going forward is to shave down the cash portion of my portfolio a bit more and add to my other investments when possible.
Total Portfolio Value: $40,522 (+6.09%)
As I expected, a really great month! Seeing 40 at the head of that number brings a smile to my face too. Next stop, 100?!
January’s Top 5 Posts On The First Million is the Hardest
If you missed them, now is your chance to catch up. Here are the top 5 most popular posts from the month of January based on views:
How did your investments fare in January? What are your market predictions for the months ahead?