Financial Update Report – December 2016

Michael QuanInvestment, Misc, Net Worth26 Comments

Some links below may be from sponsors. Please see our disclosure for more info.

Financial Update Report – December 2016

Below you will find a snapshot of our December financials – including a brief synopsis of our net worth and cash flow.

Find out WHY I calculate and share our net worth – here.  Please note Personal Capital is FREE to use and a very powerful tool I use to help create these financial reports.

Want to track your own personal finances as I do? Download my free budgeting spreadsheet.  Check out my post – How to Budget Like a Bad Ass!

Financial Update Report – December 2016

December’s Overview

2016 was a bit of a blur, but it was a nice one!  Check out my recent post highlighting my wins and misses – 2016: A Year of Unexpected Fortune.

December’s numbers are always a bit skewed due to last-minute expenses and inbound gifts from the grandparents to our kids, but let’s dig in and take a look.

Net Worth Summary

We ended the month of December at  $1,739,333 vs. $1,721,345 this past November.  This is a $17,799 increase in our net worth or +1.03% by percentage.

This was a nice way to end the year on an already good up year.


Last Month’s net worth change was close to $20k.  This can be attributed to an increase in property values rising and our equity portfolios rising also.

I also threw up a chart for the year so you can see how we’ve performed for all of 2016.  From Jan to Dec 2016, we had almost a $200k uptick in net worth.  Again, this is primarily reflected from the rise of real estate values and equities (i.e. stocks).

Given this increase in net worth, it’s interesting to note that total cash at the start of the year was $109,494 vs. $97,171.  This is a reduction of $12,323 for the year or -11.3% by percentage.  Note this is cash in the bank, not cash in my portfolios.  Recall that I did allocate $8000 to invest in the Honest Co. a few months ago, so it’s not as drastic as it may look.

Cash Flow Summary     

December was a large month in income, though it’s a bit deceptive with $5000 of this coming as gifts to our kids from their grandparents.  Income was also up from quarterly dividends which is always nice to see.  This month had a positive cash flow of $3886 for December.  


Income of $16,724 was up sharply from last month.

Income is primarily made up from my wife’s teacher salary, rental income, dividend income, and misc investment income (eg. RealtyShares).  However, as noted above, some of this came from gifts our parents to the kids.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m really starting to focus on new ways to drive revenues in 2017.  My core focus will be on video, a teachable course, coaching, and affiliate income.


Expenses of $12,838 were down compared to last month.  Having said that, I’m known to procrastinate a bit with our charitable donations, so it was a bit of a scramble New Year’s Eve to work in thousands of dollars of donations.  We’ll keep these charges in mind when exam next month.

As a quick side note, I did rectify last month’s few hundred dollar hosting charge that I didn’t even need!  So, again, remember to monitor your automated billing.

Portfolio Balances (Equities)

It looks like we trailed the S&P index for the month.  But, we are still up for the year.

Next year you will likely begin to see me move even more money out of equities and into safer vehicles like muni-bonds, etc.

With December being the final month, I also included my portfolio performance for the 2016 year.  It’s a respectable 10.36% increase.  This beats the S&P slightly, but the DOW index beat us by a couple of points.  Again, I’m okay with this given I didn’t spend a lot of time and effort in this area last year.  Furthermore, my portfolio sees less volatility during the sharp adjustments down or up.


With the holidays crowding December, it always feels like it’s a whirlwind, right?  But, I encourage you to go back and see how you performed this past year.  It doesn’t matter if you did great, okay, or even terrible.  What can you learn from the past year?  What theories worked, vs. what actually happened in the markets in 2016?

I’ve been both amazed and dumbfounded at the markets this year, but luckily I’ve still been able to profit.  Sometimes it’s not about how smart you are, rather it’s about how well prepared you are and your ability to react quickly.

Readers, how was your December?  Did you take note of 2016 as a whole?  What kinds of financial goals do you have for 2017??

Follow me

26 Comments on “Financial Update Report – December 2016”

  1. Excellent job! I’m currently in my longest net worth increase streak since I’ve been keeping track. Definitely great motivation.

  2. 10.36% is a great increase! Some of my portfolio was up that much, but the total blended portfolio was probably up closer to 6%. I’m just so much more conservative nowadays, and can’t bring myself to invest, so I’m investing in private deals to invest for me.

    1. Thanks, Sam. It’s interesting that you are moving more conservatively nowadays. I can imagine if I were at your level, my risk tolerance would begin to lower. Your 6% is still incredible, especially given your base. 😉

  3. Do you have any internal issues with using Zillow numbers for your properties? My “net worth” in 2016 increased about 65k just due to what Zillow estimated it at.

    What value do you think is most appropriate to assign to a property? Zillow, purchase price, etc.?


    1. Erik, the zillow numbers will vary on the properties, so you’ll want to do further research to confirm their findings. Sometimes it can be pretty accurate, while other times it is way off… usually higher than it should be. The best way to confirm is to get comparable (comps) from a realtor in your area, or find public sale records documenting similar homes nearby. This is the best indicator of home value, although remember a home is only worth what someone will pay for it! If you want to be on the safe side, you can always err on the side of being conservative and reduce zillow’s number downward. I did this for one of my properties for quite some time until they finally figured out it was out of whack. This can be accomplished by manually entering the property value. Hope that helps!

  4. You are doing so well! I’m a thirty year older version of you, well, sort of anyway. Retired and doing side gigs and with much more money than I’ll ever be able to spend or give away. We got here exactly the way you are doing things. But most guys my age are not in my condition, they are worried, and have little or nothing saved. It is inspiring to see young people taking charge of their futures and I appreciate you and this entire community for the examples you are living out for others.

    1. Thanks for dropping the kind comment, Steve! Sounds like we’re kindred spirits. What kind of business did you use to own? Favorite side gig at the moment?

      1. I was atypical in that I held a job at the same company for 38 years, through three ownership changes. I was located at one of their oil refineries for the entire time. I only started working for myself after I retired. Over the last year, my first year of retirement, I’ve done some contract lobbying on the state level, currently run two small but well funded trade associations on a contract basis and am currently doing an expert witness gig for a big lawsuit out west. all four are fun and built off my past experience so while I learn new things every day I didn’t have to do any prep work to walk straight into them. Also it pays enough to pay our family bills without digging into our investments but only requires 2 to 3 days of work per week on average.

        1. That’s great Steve! Congrats. Contracting sounds like a great way to go since you have full flexibility with your schedule. That’s pretty cool too you get to be an expert witness!

    1. Thanks for the education, Mr. Tako! I had no clue. 🙂

      It’s always fun to look back in hindsight because at the time we simply don’t know what we don’t know. A few years ago I didn’t know how much money was flying out the door in fees, and now I know my benchmark reference has been off. I wonder what else I’ll learn in the next few years. Hopefully something more from you with all of your dividend earnings! Any thoughts on muni-bonds vs. conservative dividend stocks?

  5. Nice little update here Mike! Good on you for focusing on the coaching, training programs etc.. Looking forward to seeing those offerings..

    December for me financially was a bit of an expensive one, what you realise though is being a bit more deliberate on the way someone spends really helps, which will be part of a habit I’ll create in 2017 🙂

    Onwards and upwards for you and all of us in 2017!

  6. Not everyone has the ability to chart out finances like it is done in this post. I have learnt a lot and will henceforth start maintaining a diary to keep a track of my finances in this manner. Also, the calculation of net worth is indeed very important as far as personal financial reports are concerned. So, keep posting such articles as it will inspire a lot of people to maintain their finances well.

    1. Debarati, glad you’re inspired to start tracking your finances. It’s an excellent step towards building wealth and measuring it. Wishing you a wonderful 2017!

  7. It sounds like you had a pretty great December! That net worth number is awesome. 🙂

    We did pretty well in December. We saved 50% of our income and we were able to put $3,500 on our student loans. We hope to have them paid off in 18 months.

    As for 2016 as a whole, we shockingly met all of our financial goals–while moving and buying a house, no less! For 2017 our goal is to eliminate as much student loan debt as possible.

    1. Thanks, MPP! Fantastic to hear your saved 50% of you income. That’s no small feat, but it was totally doable, right?

      Have a great 2017 killing more debt. You’ve got great positive momentum to create a lifetime of wealth. 🙂

    1. SMMD, yes I do track my properties on Zillow. Personal Capital has the ability to track the zestimate and add it into your net worth calculations. Having said that, you need to take these numbers with a grain of salt. It’s only an estimate, but will give you a good ballpark figure to work with.

      There are times that if I see the numbers are overly inflated, I’ll get an actual comp from a realtor and adjust the price manually. (Eg. my home value last year was over inflated by about $30k, so I manually added that property value in lieu of using the Zestimate).

  8. Looks like you guys had a fantastic year!

    We had a similiar increase in net worth for the year of around $210,000 for 2016. I haven’t officially written up our December report yet, as we are still vacationing in the Virgin Islands. But I am looking forward to writing it up and doing a full post mortum on 2016.

    Like you 2017 is going to be a big push to continue increasing income, especially from the blog front, as the career side has already been negotiated and approved.

    Looking forward to catching up for dinner soon to share some ideas back and forth.



    1. Awesome, you’re killing it my friend! I look forward to catching up soon and sharing ideas for new blog income, etc.

      Enjoy the Virgin Islands. You deserve it. 🙂

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.