February 1st, 2023 paycheck


I had cash in the settlement account after the previous check. The multi-factor fund was up the previous day, and the next, I placed the following limit orders:

  1. market price; executed.
  2. 2 cents over; executed.
  3. 1 percent down; did not execute.

The multi-factor fund was down by the end of the day; just not enough for the last limit order to execute. On Wednesday, the balance in the settlement account wasn’t enough to buy a full share at 2 cents over, so I didn’t put any orders in.

When I got this paycheck, the multi-factor fund was up, and I placed the following limit orders:

  1. market price; executed.
  2. 2 cents over; executed.
  3. 1 percent down; did not execute.

I did the same thing the next trading day—1 of the 3 executed. On the thirty-first, I put in 3 limit orders based on the multi-factor fund being down again and the price per share shot up, so none of the orders were executed.

The orders not executing is actually showing the muster of this approach to placing limit orders. The Fear & Greed Index shows a slight tilt toward greed. Part of what I’m trying to do is buy when others are fearful and sell when others are greedy. In this case, I’m not selling but also not buying. The cash portion of my portfolio dropped almost 1 percent below the 6 percent target. This only happened because the price-per-share of the equity funds went up. So, looking at my portfolio holistically, that is, accounting for cash, is actually helping me from irrational exuberance. At least, it feels that way to me.

I’m starting to understand what normal fluctuations feel like day-to-day. I’m not checking the Stocks app as often as I was. Daily has turned into every few days. With that said, it’s multiple times on those days.


Section titled Allocations

The extended market fund is still creeping up. So I changed the allocation in my 401k next paycheck. I’m thinking of jumping straight to the 50-50 split.

My HSA and Roth IRA are solely in the extended market fund, which means the fund will continue to creep up as an overall portion of the portfolio.

The multi-factor fund is maintaining value well and is on track to hit its target allocation soon.

Personal Capital

Section titled Personal Capital

I closed my Personal Capital account.

It’s been nice. They have a good tool.

I signed up for the free consultation, and now they’re calling me regularly to follow up. I don’t want to waste their time, and the call I did have felt less like a consultation and more like a sales pitch. Beyond that, I’ve written about the limitations or discrepancies I’m finding with their tool compared to how I want to track the numbers.

With my spreadsheet being pretty robust now, I don’t feel like the Personal Capital tool is adding to the information.

The tool seems like a loss leader to get more assets under management. I can’t fault them for that. However, I’m looking for advice and examination when I want or need it, preferably for a one-time fee per visit. I’m not looking for someone to charge me regularly to manage my money.

Ultimately it comes down to trust and frustration. I’ve received a lot of bad money advice over the years. I’d rather only have myself to blame or praise if things go poorly or well, respectively.

Skill improvement

Section titled Skill improvement

I purchased a one-year subscription to Grammarly.

Spent way too much money

Section titled Spent way too much money

I’m still recovering from the money spent.

Housing isn’t taking the lead like it usually does. Miscellaneous is in the lead. With February rent, housing is the second—half of where miscellaneous is.

Food is next, with regular groceries and dining out neck and neck.

Goal setting and milestones

Section titled Goal setting and milestones

I’ve been thinking about the goals for the portfolio and how I might break things down a bit. There are the dollar targets, which is great. However, I want to look at shorter time horizons and milestones.

First, I want to earn more in dividends than reward points from credit cards in a given year. This goal should inspire two behaviors; less spending and more saving.

Second, I want to earn more in dividends from the taxable and tax-deferred accounts than from reward points. This approach excludes tax-free accounts (Roth IRA, HSA, and similar). The same behavior changes exist as the previous.

Third, I want to earn more in dividends from the taxable accounts than from reward points. This excludes tax-deferred and tax-free accounts.

Fourth, I want to earn more in dividends from credit union accounts than from reward points. This goal excludes all investment accounts. I’m not sure this is mathematically possible, but still.

At some point, it would be nice if a third of what went toward investments was purchased using dividends from the investments.