Financial Update Report – April 2017

MichaelInvestment, Misc, Net Worth24 Comments

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Financial Update Report – April 2017
Financial Update Report – April 2017

Below you will find a snapshot of our personal financials for the month for April 2017.  This includes a brief synopsis of our net worth and monthly cash flow activity.

Find out WHY I calculate and share our personal net worth – here.

Want to track your finance the same way?  See how I use Personal Capital to help create these financial reports absolutely FREE.  Also, download my budgeting spreadsheet found in my popular post – How to Budget Like a Bad Ass!

April Overview

April 2017 Net Worth Overview

Boom!  I wasn’t expecting April to be this kind to us, but here we are. 🙂

There were several positive moves forward on the financial front, including our tax refund.  We’ll get into the others below.

I was also finally able to get out and do some fishing for the first time this year.

It cost me $3 in parking and a $9 fishing permit, but I was able to snag 3 decent bass during a quick 2.5 hour session… which reminds me.  I’ve been meaning to do a post about the similarities of fishing and finances.

Net Worth Summary

As you may have noticed from above, our net worth lurched forward a nice chunk this past month.  We ended the month of April at $1,842,173 vs. $1,773,477 this past March.  This is a $68,696 increase in our net worth or +3.9% by percentage.

I had to do a double-take when I saw this and was curious why this increased so much in comparison to other months.

Tax Refund

We had a decent increase in cash because we received our tax refund via direct deposit this month.  This was an extra $8k which was nice, especially since last year it took awhile to receive our refund due to my identity being stolen.

Equities Up!

Another positive factor was the markets were up again over the past 30 days.  This added an additional $11k to our NW for the month.

Real Estate Booming

Finally, the remaining pop came from our real estate holdings being adjusted in Zillow.  I always take these updates with a grain of salt because as I’ve mentioned before Zillow uses an algorithm to create its “z-estimate”, which may or may not be accurate.

If there is a major move in values, I will usually try to cross reference their z-estimate with comps in the area of recently sold properties that are similar.  This is more precise. (You could also request this information from a realtor with access to the MLS).

Having said that, Zillow’s estimates appear to be relatively accurate this time around.  It may be a touch high with one of our San Diego properties, but nothing too crazy.  If it seems to outside of the going comps, I will typically update the values manually (downwards), which I may consider doing next month if values keep rising outside of sales demand.


Cash Flow Summary     

It was nice to have our taxes flow smoothly this year.  We got in everything about a week early and received our refunds from both the State and Fed within 30 days. This led the way for a nice positive cash flow in April of +$10,253.

Income of $21,093 was up from March by a few thousand dollars.

Aside from the tax refunds this month, our income is primarily made up from my wife’s teacher salary, rental income, dividend income, and misc investment income (eg. RealtyShares).


This month we spent $10,840 which was down $5k less than last month.  We didn’t have any major expenses this time.

Next month, I’m probably going to bite the bullet and purchase a new desktop computer.  My current one is on its last leg, so I’m considering this an investment into my time (which I value highly).


Portfolio Balances (Equities)

As I mentioned above, we were able to see a $11k pop in NW due to our portfolios.  This could have been higher potentially, but I’ve been raising cash (i.e. selling stocks) as I bear down for the coming “winter”.  Don’t know when it’ll hit, but I want to put my cash to work when we see a major adjustment in the markets.

Final Thoughts

It was a fun surprise to see all the stars align for April and get a significant increase.  Alas, it is still mostly “paper money” in the sense that its unrealized gains.  I’m thinking I’ll lock in some of those gains in our portfolios, but the real estate I will simply sit on and watch it go up (or down).  As long as it’s pushing out a positive cash flow, then the overall fluctuations in value are just for my entertainment.

And last, but not least, I finally finished off the first draft of my e-book – Millionaire’s Cheat Sheet to Financial Freedom.  I expect to have this available to my insiders within the next month.  So, if you’d like a copy, please join my newsletter here for insider access.

Readers, how did April treat you?  Any surprises (good or bad)?  How are those 2017 New Year’s Resolutions coming along?  😉

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Hi, I have been blessed to take an early retirement in my mid-30's so I can focus on becoming a better father, blogger, and investor.

My goal is to help you find your personal path to financial freedom, and to enjoy the entire journey.

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24 Comments on “Financial Update Report – April 2017”

  1. Michael- what a wonderful month of seeing such a great increase in your net worth. I’m with you with Zillow estimates, there have been times where I’m scratching my head and thinking how they come up with that value?! But it’s a great tool nonetheless.

    I’m afraid that a “winter” is coming soon too. I’m not really great about stocks, ask me about real estate and I’m there, but stocks not so much. What’s your suggestion in the allocation of a 401k with an impending “winter.” My husband has a portfolio with work with $300k and we’re wanting to take the least amount of risk so we can also buy into a market when the market has adjusted. Is putting majority in bonds the way to go?

    I always hear about leaving your portfolio the way it is and when the market adjusts you’ll be buying lower and you’ll get it all back if you ride it out. I’m not sure that’s the smartest move. If you have any advice, it would definitely put my mind at ease.

    Great job with the increase in net worth, you’re monthly reports truly inspire me!

    1. Thank you, Lena!

      With regards to your 401k, it really depends on your situation. You want to consider when you’ll need to access the money and your other options available through your 401k provider. Because I’m no longer working, I’m a little more risk averse and trying to avoid some inevitable paper losses with a future “winter”. Having said that, I’m still keeping the majority of the funds in place, and just taking a little off the table. In truth, my attempt to “time” the market (even if it’s a small portion of my portfolio) could prove counter-productive. I guess I’ll be the guinea pig!

      Sorry for the long-winded answer, but I what I was trying to say, is that if I were still working, I’d somewhat ignore the market fluctuations and simply keep adding funds regularly. And yes, bonds are definitely a more conservative way to go if you don’t want to be exposed to as many stocks.

  2. Nice jump this month. I love watching my net worth increase and this month it was up 4K but 15K the prior month (tax returns are a nice thing). Tracking it is part of what keeps me motivated month to month. I am nowhere near your net worth but hopefully in the next few years the numbers will continue to sky rocket! Thanks for sharing and keeping us all motivated.

  3. April was an interesting month to say the least. I got my offer accepted on a house, then there were foundation issues so I got out of the deal. I read 6 books and am on pace for my goal of 75 books. Blog viewership grew, but revenue did not 🙁

    Yesterday I did a webinar with my blogmates and it was a mess haha. We spent about 3 hours of preparation and then just threw it up there. Lots of learning opportunities, but that’s okay! Life is about making mistakes and learning from them 🙂

    1. Ouch, foundation issues are never fun! 6 books is fantastic for a single month. Do you know how to speed read?

      And yes, falling forward is the secret sauce to being “successful overnight”. 😉

  4. Congrats on a successful month! It’s great to see such a big jump in net worth. We got a nice increase in our income in March with my annual bonus and our tax refund. April is more like a usual month for us.

    You caught such a big fish! It’s definitely worth the fine in my opinion. If you don’t mind me asking, did you release it afterwards or use it to make a fish dish?

    1. Wow, your annual bonus on top of your refund!? That must have felt nice. 🙂

      In regards to the fish, I let them all go. I typically just catch them for fun so they can fight another day (and this particular lake was catch and release anyways). I am planning an ocean fishing trip in Panama later this year, so I plan on keeping the fish I catch on that trip as we’ll be targeting some tasty fish like yellowtail, blackfin tuna, dorado, etc.

  5. How often do you take a look at Zillow / comps to update your numbers? I’m doing mine every 6 months.

    Do you have a set strategy for investing in pull-backs in the market? It is tough to know when, those who try to be perfect usually end up missing out. That’s why for REI I don’t believe in a “don’t buy now” period, just adjusting the strategy. It still makes sense in some areas (like Memphis, where my next one probably is), but doesn’t in San Diego / Vegas.

    1. Brian, Personal Capital can tie into Zillow to update the property values dynamically. So, I just let it do it’s thing unless it looks really out of whack.

      I don’t necessarily have a set strategy for the coming pullback, except to lighten up my load in stocks and move towards safer havens like bonds. I take a similar approach to REI as well.

  6. Great job on those April goals! April was very unkind to us. Actually, WE were very unkind to ourselves. Our spending was up in all budget categories. I think we were going through some crap and tried to solve it by buying stuff. We’ve realized our issues and we’re going to work on ferociously fixing them in May. 🙂

    1. MPP, it’s good that you know where you stumbled. A lot of people are simply oblivious or choose not to address the issue head on. Best of luck in May. I have a feeling you’ll make good on your word!

  7. Congrats on a nice April financially and getting in some fishing! Fishing & finances eh? I enjoy different analogies so I’m looking forward to that post. April was good with the exception of Tax day, as I had underestimated taxes. But ultimately that was a good thing as it means we increased our income. Here’s to a marvelous May!

    1. Thanks, Amy. Yeah, I love fishing so I thought it could be fun to fuse the two together. 🙂

      Nice to hear you didn’t overpay your taxes!

  8. Wait up for me!!! I am running as fast as I can to catch you, but you keep increasing your net worth.

    I manually change the values of our two properties every 6-months, as I don’t think the zillow values are that reflective of the values, and I really don’t think they change as drastically as I have seen zillow change them.


  9. WOW, that’s a huge increase in one month. Nice.
    I don’t trust Zillow at all. Ever since they dropped the zestimate for our rental by $200,000 last year… Complete BS until you sell. 🙂

    1. Yeah, I agree, the only true value is what you can sell it for (which may or may not align with comps depending on if it’s a sellers or buyers market). Thankfully, I’m in it for the long haul, so it’s just a number to help me keep track. 🙂

  10. What’d you do with the bass? I miss fishing – haven’t gotten out to do any in years. I think we’ll have to try to add it to our Spring Break next year.

    I am conservative with our real estate assessments because their paper value only matters when we consider buying or selling, I just update them from appraisal to appraisal.

    April was a building month, and so will May be. We’re expecting to spend big on housing in the summer or fall, or both, and I’m working to reduce the impact of that hit.

    I stay on the lookout for more investment opportunities and resist the urge to time the market 🙂

    1. Revanche, I sent all of the bass back home into the lake. I’m a predominantly catch and release fisherman (95% of the time) unless we plan on eating the fish. For me, it’s more fun to catch them, plus then I don’t have to clean them! 😉

      It’s great to be conservative with your real estate assessments. If you really got in a pinch and had to liquidate a property, it’d be pretty tough to sell it at market price unless it’s a super hot market.

      Good luck with the remainder of your building this month!

  11. Love your reports. I’ve been a reader of your blog for the past couple months. First comment tho. 🙂 I also had a decent uptick last month for our rental property in LA. I’m sitting on a decent amount of cash right now and a little scared to put it into the market. I know I should be sticking to my financial plan laid out at Vanguard, but the market is so hype right now. I feel real estate is the same. Looks like you’re doing the same, so that makes me feel a little better. It’s just super hard seeing cash sitting in your account and not being put to work. I’m waiting for a market correction or a good real estate opportunity to popup. My Personal Capital account keeps giving me a reminder that I have too much sitting in cash too hah. So that isn’t helping. Anyway, great read! I’ve been debating about sharing net worth, but maybe I will soon.

    1. Hi Oliver, thanks for taking the time to comment! Yeah, it’s tough sometimes to see Personal Capital tell me about how I’m missing out on X dollars because I’m too cash heavy. But, I’m also comfortable knowing that cash is king during downward swings. It looks like you’re doing great with your cash flow, so perhaps you have enough to swing it both ways? Dollar cost average AND a little market timing. 🙂

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