Jan 18, 2008

Investing and saving – slowly but surely

Today I invested another $250 into our mutual fund. It took nearly a month since the first $250 investment that we made. It earned almost $2 since then. Not bad considering the market these days.

I still do not fully understand why things are the way they are at the moment. In the news this evening they were reporting about the decline of markets everywhere since the beginning of the year. USA might go on recession? Really? What is going on?!

I have already been considering investing in other types of mutual funds Raboplus offers but only after we have invested at least $1000 in our cash advantage fund. Patience, patience, patience!

Officially my maternity leave does not start until the last week of this month but I already did yesterday. The rest of the days leading to my official maternity leave are filed as sick days, so that means I’ll still get paid for those days.

During my maternity leave, saving and investing will slow down to a rate most unwelcome. Expenses will, well, increase having my folks over and the addition of the new little member. By how much they will increase I still don’t know. I think I’ve already given myself enough time to stress over that that I’m fine about that now. The spreadsheet has helped to give me ideas on how to spread the resources and plan ahead. So far this is what I came up with.

Baby Fund
It will still get its $50/fortnight contribution.

Emergency Fund
It looks like the most sensible thing to do here is to decrease our fortnight contribution by 60%. Ouch.

Debt Reduction
Now that CC1 is paid off, tackling CC2 and CC3 are next in line but they will be paid slowly. Hopefully there will be no need to use any of our credit cards during my 15-week work hiatus.

Savings
Overall, stashing money in savings will drop to around 7% from the usual 14% a fortnight.

KiwiSaver (Retirement)
Should J’s KiwiSaver start during my leave that would only mean that his take home pay would be deducted by at least $100 a fortnight. That’s fine! That’s still money invested and that’s always a good thing.

6 comments:

  1. Hey there Tasha
    What is going on with the USA and all the talk about recession?
    The basics are that American mortgage companies were selling mortgages to people they are now calling "ninja's" (No Income No Job or Assets). And then the mortgage companies packaged these same mortgages and sold them off as investments to buyers worldwide. What happened? Well the people defaulted on their mortgage payments and this meant the investment packages became worthless. So a lot of banks and other financial institutions are now writing off billions of dollars worth of losses.
    What is going to happen next - now that is the big question.
    All the best for the new arrival!!

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  2. Hi lisaclark,

    Thanks for giving me an explanation my simple brain can process. I suppose my next question is - is packaging the same mortgages a common practice?

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  3. Hi Tasha
    Here's an interesting take on the subprime crisis applied in a NZ context. I read about that couple in the Herald the other day and wondered how they could afford such a mortgage. They would've been better off renting at the moment and just hold on a bit longer to save up for a deposit as house prices are definitely cooling.

    On another note I lost $400 on one managed fund from the volatility of the US markets mirrored by other markets worldwide but that's okay. It looks scary over a one-month period but looking at the 5-year chart, it's still growing. This is probably the best time to pick up some bargains for long-term investments. So I'll be pumping more money into my index-funds.

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  4. Hi dnp9529,

    Thanks for the link. I found that very helpful and it led me to more and more informative links.

    I can't believe that couple! They just have GUTS if anything! J just mentioned to me the other day about house prices are going down. I'm excited for that and glad we waited!

    I know what you mean about buying when it's low, which is now! :) Sorry about the $400 loss but it's gonna be alright, it always works out.

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  5. Well Tasha,
    Mortgages packaged into financial bundles and sold off to investment funds and other such investment companies all around the world, was a very lucrative business. But only as long as the mortgages are being paid.
    Here in the UK 110% mortgages are being sold, even 125% mortgages if you can believe it. But since the end of last year, mortgage providers have been turning down more applications than they have been accepting. This is probably the same in New Zealand and in most of the western world.
    I want to buy but first need to clear my debts and save for a deposit. I am hoping house prices will fall and fall big time! (Is that wrong??).

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  6. Hi lisaclark,

    It's not wrong to hope for house prices to go down! We all hope for the same thing! :)

    Thanks for your explanation. I think I understand now after reading an article about the Kiwisaver (retirement scheme here in NZ) investors in Growth Funds who are getting negatives right now. The Growth Funds are the highest risk in the selection and invest a good chunk internationally.

    It's forecasted that house prices will cool down in NZ this year. In fact it was reported that it has started to! Hopefully by the time we pay off all of our debts we have saved enough deposit for our own abode! :)

    Best of luck!

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