Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Goal Update: End Of January 2015

At the end of each month, I post an update of my goals, including a brief discussion of any notable events that might have occurred during the month. The latest month's figures can always be found under the Featured menu in the menu bar at the top of the blog.

Last updated: End of January, 2015
Current value: $13,275
Change from last month: +2,470
Percent of Goal:  12.21%

Note that the funds in this account are invested in stock, so there will be fluctuations in value that are outside my control. I never withdraw money from this account, so any dips are purely due to stock price changes.

Events Of Note Last Month: January saw the largest ever monthly payment from my online courses. (The January payment was for November enrollments.) As I mentioned in my November update, Udemy ran a Black Friday sale where they dropped the price of courses to a low of $10. This is much lower than their standard discounts instructors agree to when they publish their courses and, because of that, they had to get permission from the course authors to include their courses in the sale. I was hesitant to participate. My most expensive course goes for $99 and I get anywhere from 25% to 75% of that, depending on how the student signs up. So initially, I just saw the sale as a huge loss of income. But I decided to take a chance and participate in the sale.

I'm so glad I did! Udemy obviously spends more effort promoting their site than I do, and I am able to reap the benefits of that. By including my course in their Black Friday event, the number of students enrolled in my courses skyrocketed. At one point, I was getting notifications of new student sign ups 6 or 7 times a day. Even with the lower price, my total income from that sale led to me setting an all-time monthly income record: $581.75. That is exactly triple my previous monthly high amount.

Apparently, the sale was successful for Udemy as well. Soon after it ended, they offered instructors the opportunity to take part in similar sales on a regular basis. I signed up, of course. They ran a $10 sale again for the first two weeks of the new year and, once more, I saw in increase in enrollments.

I gained some additional income this month via another quarterly bonus from my employer. We missed getting the maximum amount, but got the next lower tier - resulting in about $178 to me after deductions and taxes.

I received $56 from an AT&T class action lawsuit settlement I have no recollection of applying for.

I also received $4 in royalties for my ebook.

With this month's contributions (and O stock still near a 52 week 5 year high), I've crossed the 10% saved threshold and unlocked an achievement!

I'm getting a bit nervous. Realty Income has been on a tear lately and it's approaching an all-time high. The highest it has ever been was $55.09 on May 17, 2013. As I write this, it's at $54.35 and both yesterday and today, it broke the $55.09 mark during intraday trading. The stock typically trades in the $40-$45 range, so I'm looking at a potential paper loss of $2,300 if it drops $10. That would suck. On the other hand, I do realize that you can't time the market.(I've got a post coming next week about this very topic. A drop to $44 would be about a 20% drop - exactly the amount of decline used as a data point in next week's post.)

So I'm fighting the urge to sell and lock in my profits. If I do sell, I'll lose out on my monthly dividend, which is about $50 right now. And I'll have to pay some capital gains tax on the profits when I sell. I'm pretty sure I can resist the sell urge - at least until the stock price reaches $60. If it does that, it would represent another gain of about $1,100 and I think I'll give in and sell at that point.

1 comment:

  1. I am somewhat nervous at the Realty Income stock price as well, but I am not going to sell. That said, I won't be buying more at these prices since my basis is south of $50.