2019 Year In Review

Money | Finance | Debt | Dividends | #girldad

It's hard to believe that yet another year has flown by.  Especially now that we have two beautiful daughters with our youngest being born in April.  Somehow she's nearly a year old already.

Financially 2019 was a great year even in the face of some of the setbacks that we inevitably faced.

The Markets

The much anticipated, and predicated at least 1,000,000 times, bear market looked like it was upon us as 2018 drew to a close, but the S&P 500 narrowly escaped the official 20% decline from peak to trough.  

While many expected the downward move to continue as the calendar rolled over to 2019, the markets had a different idea.  Head fake!  The S&P 500 added nearly 724 points throughout 2019 which was good for a gain of 28.9% not counting dividends.  Market timing is hard, huh?!?!?!

For anyone that stayed invested through the almost bear market of late 2018, 2019 sure turned things around.  My FI Portfolio was up 28.0% which sure was nice to see with all of my investments, including contributions, climbing 34.0% during the year.

Not bad if I do say so myself!


Dividends pay the bills, or at least they will eventually.  Our FI Portfolio produced $7,045.25 in dividends last year or ~11.8% higher than 2018's total.  Even better is that thanks to dividend growth, reinvestment and additional capital being invested our forward 12-month dividends stood at $7,829.28 at the end of December.  

Before accounting for any additional investment or dividend raises in 2020 that's like having someone working 8 hours a day every day for about $2.69 per hour.  I love having my own little worker bee!


When 2019 started we had a fairly sizable debt load after having choosing to take out a loan to purchase a new car for myself.  It was annoying to do, but it was the best option considering that (1) I drive a lot and (2) my plan is to get at least 10 years out of it.  

We entered 2019 with ~$32k of non-mortgage debt.  I'd have loved to have paid that off completely by the end of 2019, but due to having our second daughter and prioritizing cash we didn't hit that mark.  However, we did get rid of one car payment and our total non-mortgage debt ended 2019 at ~$17.4k.  Not bad, but not as good as I'd have liked.

Net Worth

The late 2018 slump in the stock markets combined with the huge rally throughout 2019, as well as reducing our debt load, did wonders for our net worth.  At the end of 2018 our net worth sat at $509,796 and by the end of 2019 it was $694,185.

That's a whopping $184,388 increase throughout 2019 for a total increase of 36.2%!  

Last year was truly amazing in terms of our net worth.  If you'd have told me back in 2010 that we'd be pushing on a $700k net worth and $900k in assets in about 9.5 years I wouldn't have believed you.  


Last year was great for us financially even if we didn't quite hit the marks that we would have liked to have hit.  2019 was also a year of changes with the most important one being welcoming our second daughter into this world. #girldad  It's hard to believe that she's already 9 months old as I write this and quickly approaching 1 year old already. 

It seemed like our youngest took forever to learn to sit up and then start to attempt to crawl, but once she got a hang of that it was just a matter of weeks before she started going wherever she wanted and now she's pulling up on everything.

Our oldest daughter is now 3.5 years old and it still seems like just yesterday that she was doing the same things her younger sister is doing now.  

#girldad | family | reason for everything

Those 2 girls, and of course my wife, are the reason for everything that I do.

I remember growing up how time always seemed to drag on, but now I completely relate to time flying by once you're older.  

How did you do financially in 2019?  What from your personal life are you most proud of from 2019?

Let me know in the comments below!