Jan 2014 – Investment Update

The following is an update of Tim’s plan to retire early.  Please note we are mortgage free, so net worth is no longer tracked as the house equity isn’t part of the retirement plan.

To track my progress I’ve decided to track both my expenses and my investment gains.  So once the investments gains are consistently beating my expenses I’m financially independent and can stop working.  I use a trailing 12 month average on spending (but excluding vacations) and a trailing 12 month average on investment results.


Account (Contribution), [+/- Gain or Loss less contributions]

RRSP $36,560 ($100), [-$460]
LIRA $13,390 ($0), [-$120]
TFSA $35,870 ($0), [+$650]
Pension $89,630 ($1047), [+$963]
Wife’s RRSP $52,000($3000), [-310]
Wife’s TFSA $31,350 ($0), [-$550]
High Interest Savings Account $1847 (-$140),[$0]

Investment Net Worth $260,650 ($4147 ), [+$33 or +0.01%]

(YTD Contribution: $4,147), [YTD Gain: $33 or +0.01%]

Average Monthly Gain (12 month rolling) $1526

Spending Averages

Last Month $2728

Ironically January would have been a good month of low spending except for that little issue of paying our car insurance deductible of $700 to have our car fixed. Oh well, life happens.

Trailing Last 12 Months $2906


Number of months trailing average spending covered by trailing investment gains: 0.53 {Target 1.0 or higher}


So a New Year and some new numbers.  Just a few notes on some minor changes, the results section is now based on rolling twelve month averages for both gains and spending so that should smooth things out a bit.  Previously it had some bad spikes up and down.  Also I’ll provide the odd commentary on our spending values for the month to note unusual spending.

I’m a bit surprised that I managed any gain at all this month.  I did notice the market was down, but never looked until this weekend on how that impacted our investments, so it was nice to see a positive number on the gains at the end of the month…just barely, but still positive number.

Any questions?

6 thoughts on “Jan 2014 – Investment Update”

  1. Tim,l love the process you use to track and report your progress. I’m working on my first progress report and have established a system similar to yours, though slightly different. Congratulations on your progress!

  2. I love the tracking and reporting as well. What are you using for this… software, custom spreadsheets?

  3. Tim, I would think about using a method like value averaging.
    I’ve used it for a few years now (mostly invest in pretty volatile sectors), and it’s been very helpful for me to force myself to take money off the table sometimes when I really don’t want to. I’ve never regretted it after the fact when I had it available to deploy later.
    I don’t know if the market will be volatile in the future, but I can guess that it won’t be straight up like it was in 2013.
    I was up 2.27% in January and was pretty yay about that considering how badly everyone else did. Sadly gave up 1.5% of it today. 😛

  4. @Jack – Thanks. I’m looking forward to seeing your format.

    @Andrew – Both, I use Mint Canada to track spending and investment values, but a spreadsheet to determine performance. Nothing too fancy, but it gets the job done.

    @Jacq – Mmm, interesting. Thanks for the reading material. I’ll think about it.

  5. I was thinking about using Mint, but I read that use of if it voids an important agreement with your bank that covers you in case of fraud. Doesn’t that concern you at all? I found this quote at MoneySense: “By requiring bank customers to divulge their confidential access codes and passwords, Mint.com is inducing breach of contract between Scotiabank and its banking customers,” said Scotia’s Joe Konecny. CIBC’s Rob McLeod was equally blunt. “You are responsible for any losses from any use by a third party that provides an online account aggregation service.”

  6. @Andrew – Not particularly. Mint is a read only service from your bank(s), so day to day there is minimal risk. Except in the very specific case of Mint getting hacked and someone making off with access information and then using that to clean them out. The odds of that occurring to me are remote so I’m not that worried (first they have to hack Mint, then get my information and use it before I’m notified by the breach and change all my access codes). Beside the trade off is worth it, tracking your spending is WAY easier in Mint than the banks. Did it occur to you that the banks may have an agenda for not wanting to support Mint? After all if they can get you to avoid that it makes being across several banks more unfriendly and then they can lock you in as a customer. It’s all a personal choice, do what works for you.

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