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Company Went Public

February 5th, 2021 at 07:50 pm

In the Fall of 2020 while I was working but mostly focused on Dad, the company launched its IPO. It’s the third attempt so I think that most colleagues didn’t think it’d really happen but this time it went through. The company was profiled on the NASDAQ billboard in Times Square that day with pictures of our colleagues.


How ironic that it was in 2020 – a year in which we took 10% pay cuts because the company expected to perform poorly. Instead, technology companies excelled because of the broad dependence on technology forced by the country’s extended shutdown. Our initial stock price is now double.


I haven’t heard any talk of returning our 10%, but now my stock options are worth much more than before. Many are still unvested so I can’t exercise them yet.


Every colleague also received some shares of stock just before the IPO. I appreciated the unexpected bonus but it threw a wrench into my tax planning. We will owe thousands of dollars in taxes this year partially because the stock gift caused our income to exceed the threshold for the American Opportunity credit. We lost that credit, we lost a dependent (for a good reason – he’s on his own now!), and the twins are too old now for us to get the generous child tax credit. It was good while it lasted. On the positive side, the stimulus payments were based on our 2019 situation so we did get a break in 2020 despite their being 17.

Family Assistance

September 12th, 2020 at 10:15 am

It’s been over a month since my last entry and what a month it’s been. I’m currently down south helping care for my dad as he deals with serious health issues. I arrived in time to prepare and then narrowly miss two hurricanes. One of my brothers lives here but Dad’s condition worsened to a point that my brother didn’t know what to do.

The good news is that Dad is somewhat stable now. I monitor his meds and diet and I’m proud to say that I’ve gotten him to enjoy green smoothies. His mental clarity is back but he’s tired and weak all the time. The best-case scenario is that he’ll qualify for a transplant list so his overall condition is still quite serious.

Everything needed attention: his house, his finances, his health, and a couple of relationships. Dad is generous and gullible and he’s been taken advantage of repeatedly. Some things were obvious to us but the more I organize, the more I find out. I am thankful that he’s thinking clearly now so I can ask questions and support by doing things with his approval instead of just taking over.

One of the next tasks on my Dad to-do list is to move his IRA to Vanguard. He has an advisor account with someone he met who is charging thousands of dollars each year in fees. His money is invested in about two dozen funds. It looks needlessly complicated for a modest retirement account. Dad has agreed and he trusts my judgment. Any suggestions for good funds for retirees? (once I get the funds transferred to Vanguard) My own retirement account is more aggressive since I’m not retired and I’m willing to take on some risk. That’s not Dad’s situation.

I’ve made good progress in my time here so far:
++ gotten Dad to retire. He’d been eligible for a healthy pension but enjoyed working.
++ paid off his mortgage
++ given notice to the 30-something woman with toddler that has been living here rent-free for 18 months
++ locked the credit card that was being misused by others
++ reclaimed two bedrooms that had been taken over as storage facilities for others
++ most importantly: improved Dad’s diet and lifestyle

Soon I’ll be making a trip home to get our household up-to-date and to retrieve personal items before returning. I’m not sure how long I’ll need to stay – I’m being flexible. And DH is being really understanding. I’m glad we chose online school for the boys this year. I'm also glad that I have a job that allows me to work anywhere with an internet connection. I saw a photo of a shirt that had ‘2020’ and 1 of 5 stars beneath it with “would not recommend”

June Financial Update

July 3rd, 2020 at 03:35 pm

Once a month I calculate our net worth and today was the day. It’s always just after the mortgage payment hits. We’re up $15k since last month. All the numbers moved in the right direction except our house value. According to Zillow, it decreased by $3k since last month.

I used to use a site call to enter our monthly numbers, but the site shut down. I have kicked myself for being dependent on a site because while I do have monthly net worth totals for the past decade, I don’t have the components of each calculation. Those numbers were all lost when the site shut down.

What I especially liked about the site was seeing the graph of my net worth over the years. It was an encouragement when I felt that our budget was tight. I also enjoyed looking at the numbers for others to inspire me. There is another similar site but it’s not quite as easy to navigate and I’d have to start over. Ugh. So, I finally decided this morning to recreate a net worth tracker in Excel. It was easier than I expected though that’s mostly because it’s not fancy. But I got the graph I wanted. It also graphed each component by default and I started to remove that but then decided it could be interesting to see when lines cross. For example, when my Roth IRA account value exceeds our house debt.

Graphs show trends with one look. The graph so far shows how volatile the markets have been because most of our net worth is invested in the stock market.

Net Worth ride from Oct 2019 to June 2020

I think I’m going to take the time to enter all my monthly NW totals without the components for the past decade into the Excel table. That graph will tell a more complete story.

Positive financial news buried in there

March 25th, 2020 at 10:03 pm

One positive piece of financial news in the midst of chaotic meltdown in our net worth otherwise: I received notice that some stock options I received from the company last year are 25% vested now. When combined with previous stock options, I have a total (only on paper) of $8k. I’m planning to wait 3 years until they are all vested before cashing out.

Our March spending like most others I’m sure is odd. We’ve spent $1200 in my grocery category! That includes toiletries and pet food, but still. Since it’s related to stocking up, in theory it should result in less grocery spending in upcoming months. ‘Kids’ activities’ is lower since sports and Scouts are canceled.

We had another game night – Hearts this time. Good fun! Many of our local restaurants have closed for the duration – no more takeout menus. I hope they’ll be okay.

Work continues as usual but having the kids at home is distracting. I have plenty to do but I feel like it’s tough to focus. DH has been like a drill sergeant, administering temperature checks and vitamins twice a day for us all.

My annual computer anti-virus subscription has just expired. I deliberately paid it with a CC that I wasn’t keeping so they couldn’t auto-renew. I hate that practice and I like to evaluate the purchase each year. Any recommendations?

Net Worth and Market Timing

March 3rd, 2020 at 02:44 pm

Today was the day for my monthly net worth calculation. I time it each month to be just after the automated house payments. I expected ugliness so I actually was almost pleasantly surprised. I’m down $24k since last month. The retirement accounts did take a brutal beating but it was countered by the company stock price increase, house value increase, and debt payoff. The company is private and the stock price is evaluated only twice per year. That happened last month so the impact of the volatile market isn’t reflected in the price yet.

As much as I know that it’s risky to try to time the market, the three days of huge losses was too tempting. I spent a few thousand of funds in the money market to buy more index funds. (all within the retirement account). I must not have been unique in that thinking given the big gains yesterday. I don’t regret doing it since the (much) lower value of the account overall made the cash position a little lopsided.

In other financial news, DS2 just received an unexpected scholarship. It was $1500 so with our split arrangement that’s $750 for me. I had money set aside for his food costs for the remainder of the semester so I’m redirecting that money to the 0% CC to be repaid by May. The balance on that card will now be $4900.

Unexpected Financial Gain

January 29th, 2020 at 11:45 pm

I noticed something financially wonderful today – the company’s stock value increased by $2 / share!

This helps me in two ways:
(1) I have company stock within my 401k account so the account's overall value took a jump in the right direction, crossing the next $100k milestone.
(2) I have some company stock options that are now worth more - on paper at least because most of them aren’t yet vested. But it has the potential to be a chunk of change in a few years.

I'm glad I'm blogging now. I'll revisit this entry next time I have a rough day at work!