Regular readers know that I am a big believer in net worth tracking. My reasoning is simple. When we retire, our income will come from Social Security and from our retirement nest egg. The more liquid assets we have, the more income we can theoretically generate. Net worth is one of the most direct ways of learning if you are making progress toward a reasonable retirement, at least financially.
Enough lecturing – let’s get to the numbers.
In the second quarter ending June 30, our net worth increased 1.6%. Year to date, it has increased 3.5%. Compared to the second quarter of 2011, our net worth is up 6.3%. These are not stunning numbers by any means but I am generally pleased. Over the last 12 months, the markets have been highly volatile and we have burned significant cash replacing two roofs and completely remodeling a master bathroom. In these calculations, I have not factored in any changes in real estate values because I don’t believe there has been significant movement in either direction.
Our core retirement assets are held inside my 401k account. Our personal rate of return on those assets was 1.77% for the second quarter and 2.82% for the first six months of the year. This is our investment return and does not include balance increases resulting from ongoing contributions. (We contribute the maximum permitted by law, including over 50 catch-up contributions.) Again, these are not fantastic numbers but considering that the Dow was down 2.5% in the second quarter, I’m not crushed. The Dow is up 5.35% for the year so we are trailing that by a significant margin. However, our equity positions have been substantially reduced to limit volatility so this is to be expected.
Our best performers in our core holdings continue to be LTPZ (+7.1% YTD) and VIPSX (+3.9% YTD). I will likely do some selling and re-balancing before the election this fall, to prepare for what may come. I also have to decide whether to continue the CD ladder we created inside the 401(k) account.
How did your retirement plan perform during the second quarter? I welcome any comments, criticisms, suggestions, etc. that you have for me.