Year End Summary – 2002

A look back into 2002 where I held no stocks and so was largely oblivious to the stock market turmoil that year. I spent a month working in my company’s Singapore office and briefly considered transferring there until I met Ms. DivLife and decided to stay put in the US.

Let’s turn the pages back and take a look…

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Year End Summary – 2001

I’m still catching up on old news; my net worth in 2001 in this case. This year has taken longer to calculate since I apparently made only a minimum attempt at budgeting at the beginning of the year and then entirely ignored it. The saving grace was that I at least used Microsoft Money [1] to reconcile my bank account so I didn’t have to crawl though dusty paper records.

Anyway, after 3 nostalgic evenings spent reconciling income & expenses, here’s my summary for 2001.

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My personal finance journey – a look back to 2000

No, that’s not a typo in the title. This really is a summary of my personal finance journey in the year 2000 since that was the starting point of my new life in the US. It will be interesting to see where my money went and what mistakes I made. I’m reading a book called Your Money or Your Life and it encourages working out how much money you’ve earned in your life – so this is part 1.

Luckily I kept pretty good financial records for that particular year – my financial situation in Germany wasn’t that great and I was used to tracking my income to the last pfennig [1]. This was my first year in the US and I arrived on these shores with only a carry-on bag containing clothes and my personal laptop. I was shuttling back and forth between Germany and the US with my job for the first part of the year and it was only later in the year that I started to rent an apartment and lease a car.

Without further ado, let’s take a look back into the past.

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Money, Divided.

I attended a training course [1] at work last week – nothing too exciting. The class was being held in an older building which has seen better days. As I walked to the classroom I encountered a bucket placed in the middle of a corridor and right above it, a hole in the roof. Which made me think that Personal Finance is really about how best to manage a leaky bucket that’s collecting water from a leaky roof.

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April 2014 – Stock Purchase (2)

I buy investments twice a month; around the 5th and the 15th of each month. This is a way of averaging out spikes in the market and it also allows some minor tweaking on my individual stock weighting since I buy shares from the lowest performing sector in my portfolio at that point in time.

With that out of the way, read on to see my last purchase in April.

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Welcome!

Hello and welcome to my first post!

I started this blog as I’ve been inspired by several great blogs on dividend investing and financial freedom that I’ve been reading recently. I consider “financial freedom” to mean that I’m able to pay my living expenses from passive income without relying on a paycheck.

To be honest, despite enjoying reading the blogs, I thought that I wouldn’t want to make my financial situation so public. But then, I remembered something that happened to me way back in the dim and distant past [1].

I had recently started a new job and I was sitting in a small conference room with a group of other new hires staring at a blank sheet of paper. We all had to answer some questions about ourselves [2] and then present our answers to the group. I was struggling with the classic “Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?”

Now, my natural inclination was to answer with “Retired, rich, sitting on a hot beach in the Caribbean with a cold drink in my hand” but instead I wrote: “I want to be gaining experience by working in another country” [3] and I presented the answer to the group in my imitable “I. Hate. Public. Speaking. Please. Make. It. End.” style.

Was it pure coincidence that I moved to Germany the following year where I worked for 4 years before moving to the United States in 2000? Did presenting that answer have any impact in my move? Maybe, maybe not. But I do believe that writing down your goals and aspirations can act as a catalyst in making them reality. Hence this blog.

So what can you expect in this blog? I plan on writing about my goals, investments, personal finance and my journey to financial freedom. Hopefully I’ll have some fun and good company along the way.

I look forward to your companionship, encouragement and critiques on my journey.

The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.


[1] OK so it was 1994 to be exact – not exactly ancient prehistory but it is getting further away in time day by day.

[2] The questions were the usual suspects such as
What are your strengths?
What are your weaknesses?
If you were a car, what kind of car would you be? (OK, so I made that last one up)

[3] I’m paraphrasing there – I can’t remember the exact words – but please bear with me. After all, it was nearly 20 years ago and I have enough trouble remembering what I did yesterday.