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 eveningsĀ spent reconciling income & expenses, here’s my summary for 2001.

Sadly in 2001, mankind didn’t reach the stars as foretold in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Instead, interest rates were cut andĀ the Bush Tax Cuts aimed to stimulate growth by reducing taxes by $1.6 trillion; the CBO projected a $5.6 trillion surplus for the next 10 years and actually suggested the national debt could be reduced to less than a trillion in the next 10 years [2]. Enron went bankrupt in 2001 and the World Trade Center was destroyed in the tragic events on September 11.

The line up of world’s largest companies as of March 31st, changed significantly from the previous year. [3]

Rank Company Ticker Market Cap ($B)
1 General Electric GE 477
2 Cisco Systems CSCO 304
3 Exxon Mobil XOM 286
4 Pfizer (NEW) PFE 263
5 Microsoft MSFT 258
6 Wal-Mart WMT 250
7 Citigroup (NEW) C 250
8 Vodafone (NEW) WMT 227
9 Intel INTC 227
10 Royal Dutch Shell (NEW) RDS.B 206

Microsoft halved in value and was in the center of a large anti-trust litigation; NTT, Nippon Telegraph, Lucent and Deutsche Telekom fell off the list. Pfizer, Citigroup, Vodafone and Royal Dutch Shell all gained positions on the list; the Telecommunications Sector being the largest loser.

It’s been interesting going over my old accounts; I’ve watched the price of gasoline slowly increase. My rent increased by about 3% although I did receive a pay rise which more than offset that. Similarly to the previous year, I held no investments or retirement accounts.

My net-worth looked like

The dip in May was from upgrading my desktop PC. In August I helped my brother buy a new car so I wired some money back to the UK.

The year’s score card was

My living expenses increased compared to the previous year; and I managed to spend more than half of my income with little to show for it. My overall savings rate was low because of the withdrawal I wired to the UK.

While going back through my finances I did learn that I was paying ATM fees fairly regularly. Nowadays, any ATM fees I do have are paid for by my Charles Schwab checking account which refunds any ATM fees.

If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.

[1] I actually liked using MS Money but it was eventually discontinued in 2009, so I switched to Quicken. See the Resources page for more.

[2] Not the CBO’s finest hour! Sadly the debt went the other way and ten years later in 2011, the national debt was $14.7 trillion.

[3] Source: Wikipedia

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