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Are you financially better off now than you were this time last year?

12 Comments
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Yes. But no thanks to govt. or recent happenings.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I was doing great until shopping so much and traveling...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

My income has increased due to my promotion to becoming a supervisor. Last year my income was $20,000. Now it has risen to $25,000. Now I have wiggle room to expand my money.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Worse, but only due to health care cost increases every year ObamaCare was enacted. Those are 283% higher than they were 4 yrs ago.

It is about an extra car payment every month in added expenses. Not a killer for us, but I'd rather have that money for other things. Thankfully, we are in good health and don't have any extra expenses.

Investment income has been good the last few years. Expect it to be worse in 2017.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I've reached an age where I'm starting to feel financially secure. After a life where at times I have had my power cut off, had to really count the pennies before the next pay day, juggled the red letter bills, it is a nice feeling. I am mortgage free, have everything I need (but not all I want - but don't need), owe no one anything and now only work on contract and have about six months off each year.

For those of you still battling away or in some cases struggling, can I offer this advice?

First off, even in the darkest days don't give up. Secondly, stay in work even if it is a poor paying job with no future. The reason I say this is that in my experience it is a lot easier to get another job when you are currently employed over and above someone unemployed applying for the same job. But for me the most important turning point was not living on credit. In my mid-thirties I had a little windfall that allowed me to pay off credit cards. Since then I have never had a credit line. I have a credit card but anything owing is deducted at the end of the month. I have it really only for online purchases and normally have it in credit. If you don't have debt you are moving ahead. If you can't afford to pay cash for it then you probably can't afford It (houses excepted). And it is a great and comforting feeling to know that if everything goes pear-shaped that you owe nothing to anyone and that you can survive.

Final thing I would say is stash some savings away for the "rainy days" that we all meet sooner or later. Again, that security allows you to make considered choices when things are not going so well.

I don't say the above as someone who has "made it", I haven't and live a modest but comfortable life. But I have had to survive on times on cans of processed peas (Cleo will tell you what they are) and endured hard times. But I do know that stay employed, stay out of debt and next year or the year after you will be better off then you are now.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I did pretty well out of currency transfers pre and post brexit which I used to buy property overseas, so yes I have increased my assets and no I don't have as much cash in the bank.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yes I'm better off.

Liquid savings account have increased by 8,000 dollars,

Roth 401k contributions if you include company match is ~$20,700,

$1,850 additional principle paid off on my mortgage,

Finally my Roth 401k so far is having capital gains of around ~$7,200 this year.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hey, we all make presumptions and judgments about whether we are better off or not "financially," but who really knows? If I have learned anything during my years, it is that the wheel of fortune spins. There are plenty of homeowners who were proud of their "wealth" in 2006 and who were living out of a Volkswagen Beetle in 2008.

Then if you figure that governments have a claim on everything you earn and everything you own, and that those governments are having a hard time figuring out where to find more money, well... how can you really say that what you "have" is what you can keep? Then throw in the fact that you have distributed your most personal information to every agency you have dealt with in the last year, and even saying that you own your own identity is a stretch. You can also be pretty sure that you have broken or will break some law somewhere, or that you will make some mistake for which somebody will accuse you of being a criminal (as often happens on this site!). So at some time, you might have to give up everything you own to fight the state or some other claimant, just to keep your "freedom."

So on paper? Yeah. Maybe I am better off. Or maybe my accountant would say so.

But who cares? Somewhere in the Bible, and other old religious books, people are exhorted to treasure other things. People who have strength of spirit and mind. People who value knowledge and reason. People who learn to do many things and who invest in tools and not games. Those people usually come out on top no matter what.

Gee. How is this topical? Well, in my experience, people who make those kinds of investments of spirit and mind come out better financially anyway. In the long run, being ahead financially but being behind in terms of personal development is like winning the lottery. Fortune will come and go. Money is just not that important. Getting control of yourself is important. Do the right things for the right reasons and you will be successful. All other things being equal, the numbers on paper will probably reflect that.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Big fat NO.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I think most foreigners in Japan are better off than last year.I mean we're all getting big fat bonuses aren't we?? At least, the non English teachers amongst us. English teaching is so badly paid now I can only assume that these people have absolutely no interest in money. Next year is looking good too. Happy times for all!

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

This has been a great year for me. Big pay rise and bonus as our company is doing so well. And the collapse in the yen has been the icing on the financial cake. I guess most people here are doing well, so good luck to all next year, let's hope the good times continue!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

My biggest screw-up this year was CVRR stock (about a 10% loss). I had positions at $6-7 and I was very happy, but with Carl Icahn (majority owner CVI, CVRR) adding volatility, uncertainty and the fuel RIN speculation market I felt it would be best to absolve the positions. Worst yet was the CVRR CEO talking of such a poor future outlook due mainly to the RIN. = Looked like a typical Carl Icahn/CEO short squeeze, run the company into the ground scenario when in general fuel/refining is starting to shape positive.

After Trump got in CVRR/CVI stock has gone up and it seems the RIN speculation maybe a thing out the past in the near future. Should have bought futures (long and short), to counter the high speculation (could have gone either way). I would expect CVRR/CVI to be consolidated much like WNR (Western Refining) since I don't feel Carl Icahn is a big enough player (iep stock) to handle his position against the other big energy players.

CNG/LNG players like DLNG (shipper) should do well with Japan's future commitment to natural gas (Gazprom etc).

Very good year for me, but I believe stocks will have the rug pulled from underneath them in 2017 and they will blame Trump. = For people that hold cash there will be buying opportunities. I mostly buy LMP (limited master partnership -energy related) stocks now, but if your are looking at LMPs for IRA investments there is a $1000 per year dividend cap and generally they do not want you investing LMP's in IRA due to the more complicated taxes. = Could try a LMP ETF for that.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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