Career and Financial OutLook for 2007

By | May 16, 2007

I have been so busy this year, but I want to give my loyal readers a quick overview of the things going on for this year. After all, this is a blog about growing money and I think I should talk about my financial growth. I expected to update this blog more frequently, and even moved this site to my own domain earlier this year. I did spent a lot of time on this blog in the first three months of the year, but now my other projects have been catching on to me. It has been difficult to find time to write a long post (These long posts are very time-consuming). I feel I owed at least one update to some readers, so here is one. In the middle of the night, with my eyes half-closed, I present you an overview of my projects and investments.

CAREER

Current Job

I negotiated a raise for this year, effective in mid-May. My annual salary has been upped to $85,000, assuming completion of all assigned hours. My consulting project is expected to go on for several years.

INVESTMENTS (TAXABLE)

Stocks

My main portfolio has been outperforming the market. My year-to-date gains is flirting with the $20,000 mark, or around 30%. Let’s hope this run continues. I have spent a lot of time reading up on the market in the first quarter. But since I am involved in more projects now, my time has been reduced in playing the market.

Real Estate

My monthly rental income is at $950 and I have been collecting on time. The lease with my tenants has expired though, and the lease has now gone on month-to-month terms. My tenants may move out soon, so I am a bit concern. I may have to look for new tenants this summer, but at least I will be notified in advance.

RETIREMENT INVESTMENT

401(k) Funds

I still have my funds in my ex-employer’s account, but I have been actively managing the funds on the web. It was a good thing that I started depositing money as soon as I was qualified. I contributed to this 401k account during my college years before I turn full-time status in the same company.

At that time, my colleagues around my age thought I was stupid for putting money away that I may never see again. I explained to them that this money will be my retirement fund. I may not see it now but if the funds grow at a rate of 10% annually and I contribute on a regularly basis, my 401k portfolio balance will increase significantly over the long run. I was thinking about the future. They were thinking about that moment in time. Of course, nobody listened to me. I find human nature to be very funny at times. When you have a good vision and try to give people good, honest advice, they take it for granted. People thought I was silly and naive. Now that they have known how well I did with my investments over the years, they wish they had done the same thing. It’s always the “should’ves, would’ves, and could’ves.”

In any case, over the span of seven years, my 401k portfolio has grown at an average rate of 25% annually. The company match made it even a sweeter deal. My last account balance was at $46,000, and less than half of that amount came from my contributions. For starting with a few hundred dollars in the year 2000 and reaching $45K in seven years, I thought it was worth contributing early and regularly.

SEP-IRA

I funded my first SEP-IRA account in January for the tax year of 2006. It was a small deposit of $5,093, but I will continue to contribute to this account. Hopefully, I can grow this initial deposit of $5k to a higher amount. I traded only one time on this account and made $200. I sold all my holdings and stopped managing this account. Presently, this account has no investments.

ROTH-IRA

This is a very important account for me, because all my investment gains in this account are supposed to be tax-free for qualified withdrawals. I contributed the maximum amount in January for tax year 2007, and used the extra money to grow the portfolio. I pulled a 23% return in the first quarter of this year. I sold all my holdings and stopped managing this account. Presently, this account has no investments.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Anti-Smoking Project

I am working on an anti-smoking product that has not been released to the market yet. My role is to design and market the product. I spent some time on designing the retail box with a little professional help. The product is expected to be ready by mid-summer and I will be working on the marketing phase then.

Other Projects

In addition to the above projects, I am also working on a few other projects. It’s too early to discuss them now, but there are many more projects in the pipeline for me. I only wish I had more time. In fact, I have been pretty stressed out lately and am longing for a relaxing vacation.

INCOME PROJECTION

If all goes according to plan, my gross income for the year 2007 can be easily over $150,000.

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