March was the first decrease in our net worth since October 2016. I’ve been wondering when we’d see a pullback in the market, and we’ve finally seen something. Our net worth in March decreased by nearly $9k to $770,723.
Our cash balance went down a bit in March, largely due to some pre-planned charitable donations. We’re happy with that cash in the ~$20-25k range, so don’t have any concerns with this decline. If we ever need to beef up our cash, we could easily dial back how much extra we pay on the mortgage and it will build up pretty quickly.
HOUSE/MORTGAGESpeaking of our mortgage, we were able to whittle away another $2,675 this month against our mortgage. That meant we paid more than $2,000 more than our minimum payment. We’re targeting 2021 for paying off the mortgage, so will need to keep making some aggressive payments to stay on schedule.
According to Zillow, our home value declined slightly this month, but still is in a range that feels right for what I’ve seen with other homes in the neighborhood. In our neighborhood, homes seem to sell quickly and for top dollar when they have already been updated, but when a lot of work is required to get them updated they tend to sit for a while unless priced appropriately.
INVESTMENTSThere were no major changes to our portfolio this month. Dollar cost averaging into our 401k allowed us to purchase at some slightly lower prices, and we continue to stay the course of being fully invested, primarily in equities. Although the market did go down in March, I wouldn’t classify this as a ‘bad’ month. A few people may have been spooked, but overall investor confidence still seems quite high.
The majority of our investing is done in tax advantaged accounts, but I keep a small balance in a non-retirement brokerage account where I’ve been slowly building up positions in some REITs. As much as we love real estate, it is unlikely that we’ll become landlords other than through owning REITs. These give us the benefits of regular income and near immediate liquidity, but without the risk and hassle of dealing directly with tenants. This account is pretty small right now (~$1k), but will be beefed up significantly once we’re done paying off the house. Until then, paying off the house is our number one financial goal.