debt debs

Personal Debt Wrangler – Had my money head in the sand – but no more!

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Moving Blog from WordPress.com to Self-Hosted WordPress.org

self-hosted-wordpressWell, in the grand scheme of things, moving my blog to self-hosted did not go too bad.

What I’d like to do is share with you my gotchas and lessons learned on what’s important.  Although I had done some investigation and reading before hand, there is a lot of information available but not one document that puts everything together in a linear but brief fashion.  I think this is important because some of my gotchas could have been avoided if I understood the end picture better.

Now I need to qualify that my gotchas actually had nothing to do with my hosting site.  My worst problems were caused by WordPress.com two-step authentication process and and issue I was having with accessing my blog’s gmail account.  I will go into these in more detail below, but as a result of these issues, I made decisions that I would later come to regret and if I knew the impact up front, I would have not done the actions I did.

So here’s a bunch of points I want to make which are following a sequential process and thought process about how I went about the migration.  I will summarize at the bottom the actual technical steps for easy reference, since some of the points below are not really actions but more decisions, I made.

Hosting Partner Choice

Big-ScootsI decided on BigScoots (non-affiliate link) after doing some research into the following hosting companies:  Blue Host, Host Gator, Dream Host, Liquid Web, Host Papa, Green Geeks, Go Daddy and Web Hosting Canada.  I wanted to get a Canadian firm, in all honesty, but I was unable to find one WordPress blogger who used a Canadian company host.  I also wanted inexpensive but not cheap.  Blogging takes enough time, without having it sucked away by technical issues and outages.

I also wanted a host company who was quite familiar with the WordPress application.  Upon a recommendation of another blogger, I decided on Big Scoots who are big but not too big and fairly inexpensive $24.95 USD for initial year.  Domain is additional (I think $10.95 USD), but my domain is paid up for another eight months, so even though it was tempting to sign with them now for convenience, my budget brain would not allow me to.  Hopefully I won’t regret this decision later when I need to renew my domain registration in early March.

Migration Support from Hosting Partner

self-hosted-wordpressA big shout out to Justin at Big Scoots who did some of the heavy lifting.  As soon as my account was opened he contacted me with a ticket, via email, offering support.  He was actually offering to do most of the migration, which I had not expected at all.   I specifically had decided not to pay WordPress.com $129 CAD to do it not only because of the cost but because I wanted to learn from the experience and so opted to do as much as I could on my own.  My feeling was that it would be helpful for me to support the blog if I did this work myself.

I opted to follow the steps in this article from WPBeginner How to Properly Move Your Blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org to conduct the migration.   (Note:  You will notice in this document that WordPress.org offers to do the migration for free but I think they work with Blue Host, though I’m not sure if they only exclusively with Blue Host.)

Minor Point #1

The cPanel is the control panel that gives you access to your files and all other programs that you can use to manage your site.  Think of it like the backbone or middleware and then WordPress is the application layer on top of this.  Of course, I had never seen a cPanel before, because in WordPress.com this is all behind the scenes, all I could see was the WordPress application layer.

One thing I noticed as soon as I started snooping around cPanel, was that my home directory was set up as Home Directory /home/debtdeb instead of debtdebs with an ‘s’.  I was concerned it may have later repercussions so pointed it out to Justin in the ticket.  He said it was automatically named and shouldn’t be an issue but would change it none-the-less, which he did so expediently.  I had a little trouble logging into the cPanel after that (said login was invalid), which I thought might be related.  After a refresh, I was able to login.

Gotcha #1

There is nothing in this article about how to put your site in maintenance mode.  Justin @ BigScoots wanted me to install a plug-in to accomplish this.  But, one of the main drivers for moving away from WordPress.com is that you cannot use plug-ins, so that option wouldn’t work.

Deborah,You will want to put the site into maintenance mode, you can use a plugin like:

self-hosted-wordpresshttps://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-maintenance-mode/

This way they will hit a splash page that says its under maintenance and will not allow them to post, etc.

Regards,

– Justin

I did some research in WordPress.com Forums and found a suggestion to make a custom home page temporarily which I did.  The steps on how to do this are here -> Front Page.  I grabbed an under construction picture and posted it on the landing page.

I think that worked pretty well except that after I had exported my blog, E.M. @ Journey to Saving managed to sneak a comment in on my old site that would forever be lost in cyberspace except that I have captured it here :-) :

E.M.-Journey-to-Saving

Minor Point #2

So anyways, I did manage to export my blog to .xml file and added the software through the cPanel option (BigScoots uses Softaculous -there is a link in the WP Beginner article linked above that gives more info on all the different Apps Installers used for WP). I also increased the import size levels temporarily to allow the blog import.  They are set at 2 MB, so usually you need to increase, although my blog at 4 months old with lots of pictures was only 3.7MB.  These were the instructions I got from Justin on how to do this:

You can increase the import size by doing the following inside cPanel:Click on “Select PHP version”
Select a version other than native, default is 5.3.
cPanel-increase-import-size-limitClick “Set as current”
Click “Show PHP Settings”
Click the gray setting next to the following options:
“post_max_size”
and
“upload_max_filesize”

You need to change both of these to increase the file size limit.

So for some reason when I went in the default was 5.4 not 5.3 (notice now it is showing 5.5).  I don’t know why these are or the importance.  I opted for staying with 5.4 which Justin said was fine  Notice instead of saying “Show PHP Settings” it says “Switch to PHP Settings” which I figured out.  I changed the two settings which were at 2MB to 16 MB each (not shown).

Gotcha #2

Security-lockOriginally, Justin wanted to get into my WordPress.com site but I had trouble in figuring out how to do this because I had 2-step authentication turned on which although for security reasons is probably quite good, it is a PITA to work under.  I especially had a lot of problems with it (see  Gotcha #7  for consequences below), and have since turned it off on my WordPress.com site due to these difficulties.

Basically, once you put your password in, it asks for an authentication code and there is a button that you can click which sends the code to your phone, which you then enter.  But for some reason, and I’m not the only one, because I saw some Forum posts on WordPress.com on this topic, it gets into a loop where it keeps asking for your password and then authentication code and goes no where.  Eventually it locks you out for 30 minutes.  I had that happen to me twice.

Gotcha #3

DNS-propagationI was keeping the same blog name (domain name still to be hosted by WordPress.com) and just changing hosts.  Therefore I needed to update the name servers in my WordPress.com account from the WP.com name servers to the ones provided by BigScoots.  It wasn’t clear to me at what step that change should be made.  I didn’t know if doing it too early would cause me to not be able to get into my old blog.

It only briefly touches on the topic near the end of the WP Beginner article above.  Justin said it didn’t matter if it was done before or after.  Sometimes it takes a little while (up to 48 hours) for the new DNS to replicate around the world, and this includes your own ability to access your new blog (Gotcha #5).  Therefore, from what I know now, I would recommend changing them sooner than later.    Justin gave me a link to an article explaining more on DNS: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2011/05/25/introduction-to-dns-explaining-the-dreaded-dns-delay/.

Whenever I tried to access my new blog using debtdebs.com/wp-admin, it would take me back to my old WordPress.com site and application.

Gotcha #4

So since, I could not get into my WordPress application software on my new site to do the import, Justin did it for me.  I was able to attach my exported .xml file to the ticket.  He also had to load my YOKO theme and I sent him a link on where he could obtain that.   He downloaded the .zip of the actual theme and extracted it into the themes folder on the server.

He said there were some failures which took him maybe 30 minutes to correct, but I can’t give you any more details than that.  In the end, he never needed to access my old WordPress.com site.

Gotcha #5

Even once he was done, I could not get into my WordPress.org software because of the name server DNS changes not fully replicated.  Justin suggested to force the DNS to change by flushing what is cached on your computer.

cachedIf you open up command prompt type the following:

ipconfig /flushdns

and hit enter

then type

ping debtdebs.com
and hit enter

You should see the new IP address replying back, being 123.456.78.999

This worked, but then stopped working because “Your ISP’s DNS servers are going back and forth, if you want to force the IP address you do so by forcing your computer to see the correct IP using your computers HOSTS file.”  Here’s the instructions, Justin gave me:

http://helpdeskgeek.com/windows-7/windows-7-hosts-file/

Once inside your hosts file, add this line to the bottom and save.

123.456.78.999 debtdebs.com www.debtdebs.com

This worked well.  I was able to get in to my WordPress application and see what needed to be fixed, which is really par for the course, but I will summarize them on Gotcha #6.

Gotcha #6

The following things needed to be added / changed once I got into my new WordPress application:

  • Blog picture in header
  • Some widgets were missing and needed to be re-added:  Social Media icons and Status Bars (I needed to go back into my old site to copy the code for the html widgets), Recent comments (I eventually removed becaused the version available doesn’t have pictures with it) , Top Posts and Pages, Disclaimer, Buttons (Top Blogs, Yakezie)
  • Twitter and Facebook plugins (These couldn’t be added until I installed JetPack – see Gotcha #7)
  • Time Zone in General Settings (I didn’t notice this until I got Akismet plugin working)

Gotcha #7

Remember when I said that I was having trouble getting into my old blog due to the two-step authentication process?  Well, when I went to get an Akismet API I couldn’t get into my old site.  I was anxious about leaving my new blog without spam filter on, so I created a new email address and registered for an Akismet API through that account and email ID.  It worked fine.

So since I had this new email, I also installed Jetpack referring to my new WordPress account and email which was a mistake.  When I went to execute one of my last steps to migrate my existing WordPress.com subscribers over to my new blog (see Gotcha #8), I found out that you need Jetpack to be registered with your old WordPress account to be able to do this.  I have a ticket into Jetpack to find out if I should deactivate and redo, or if they can change something for me.  I don’t want to screw anything up further, so I am proceeding cautiously.  I’ve also left a ticket with WordPress.com Forum and the WordPress.org Forum and at the Jetpack Support site (though theres no public forum of my request, I just received and email back stating my request, but no response as yet.

Auntie-SPAMIn addition, once I realized this, I also realized that I probably shouldn’t have done the same thing for my Akismet registration either.  I launched a ticket for Akismet and they have advised:

You can login to https://akismet.com/account with your old credentials and select a subscription there.  Once you’ve done that, click the ‘disconnect this account’ link on the Akismet settings page, then reconnect.

This has worked fine, and actually all my previous spam history is now merged with my new spam history, so we’ve got all the WHAM BAM thank you SPAM together, MAAM.  (Awww… that calls for a picture of Auntie SPAM again).

Gotcha #8

Followers-SubscribersHere are the relevant links for Transferring Follower and Subscribers which I haven’t been able to do yet until I hear back from Jetpack.

Subscription Migration Tool.  Technically, this may not be a gotcha, but it just feels like it is because I’m delayed.  Hopefully once I have JetPack sorted out it will go smoothly.

I have around 50 WordPress.com followers and would hate to lose them.  :cry:

I’ve already turned on most of Jetpack’s settings.  I’ve come to learn that Jetpack is the standard stuff that is in WordPress.com native.  The only settings I have not activated are:

  • Jetpack Comments
  • Jetpack Single Sign On
  • VideoPress

I have installed commentluv (so happy to have that feature) so I wasn’t sure if I would need the first two.  If you think I should enable, please leave a comment, luv ;-)  (they facilitate WordPress.com blogs and Twitter / Facebook commenters).

Gotcha #9

jugglerOh ya, the other thing that wasted my time was my gmail accounts.  This has absolutely nothing to do with the migration itself, but since it slowed me down, I’m calling it out.

So I have my main personal gmail account and two other personal gmail accounts that I use for playing lexulous, on-line forums etc.  Then I have my blog gmail address which is debtdotdebsatgmaildotcom.  So, you know in gmail how you can have them all kinda linked and switched from one to the other?  Ya, well I use that …. a lot.  So I mentioned in Gotcha #7 about creating a new gmail for my new blog.  Well I don’t know if 5 is too many or because I was working in just one browser, but everytime I tried to log into my old blog email it would open one of my personal gmail accounts.  I could not get into my old blog email and I needed to see if WordPress.com was sending me emails about my password recovery for my site etc.  It was so frustrating.  Eventually, I opened a chrome browser, so I had Firefox, Chrome and Internet explorer browsers open and trying to do all kinds of stuff with the three.  I felt like a juggler.

I don’t know about you but with Google+ now and all the gmails I just get lost some days.

Gotcha #10

But the pièce de résistance that I was able to fix on my own, was this little baby that I mentioned in my previous posting on Two Key Blogging Tips to Help Your Brand and Exposure.   I was so freaked out about it because I thought I was not going to be able to get my beloved fraggle to show in my little browser tab.

How crazy is that, ay?  Well I was broken hearted when found out that the YOKO theme (which I love and am not nearly tired of yet since I’ve only been blogging four months) did not have a spot for me to load a favicon in the theme.

Thanks to this youtube video, How to Install a Favicon to Your Website, I was able to code the fix directly in css and I am such a SMARTY PANTS so PUMPED!
browser-tab-with-favicon

  1. Create a favicon.ico file here http://www.favicon.cc/
  2. Load favicon.ico file into my directory folder “images” at self-hosted site
  3. Insert this css code using editor in the header section under title part:

<link rel=”shortcut icon” href=”http://debtdebs.com/wp-admin/images/favicon.ico” type=”image/x-icon” />

replacing your site information and hierarchy (may be a little different), of course.

I’ve left a note on the Elmastudio Theme Forum (creators of YOKO).  Now isn’t YOKO such a great theme for this site because it’s so much like YOLO?  ;-)

The Recipe

So although it seems like a lot of points above, it really went well.   I just like to have an exact recipe with everything the right order and everything clearly named and easy to find.
many-tasks-of-blog-migration

  1. Procure a domain hosting service and verify you can access their site.
  2. Put your existing site on maintenance mode using tips in Gotcha #1.
  3. Turn off 2 step authentication in WordPress.com if you have it activated.  You will need you printed codes to do this. (Gotcha #2)
  4. Change your name servers in your old WordPress.com site (assuming you are keeping your domain with your old host). Store>My Domains> Edit Domains>Name Servers (Gotcha #3).
  5. Export your blog to .xml (Tools>Export).
  6. Log into your hosting platform and create the WordPress application from the cPanel.
  7. Access your new application via yourblogname/wp-admin.  If it is taking you to your old site, wait a while or follow steps in Gotcha #5
  8. Import your blog from the .xml file.  You probably have to install your theme as well in the WP-Content>Themes folder.
  9. Correct any errors/failures with the assistance of your hosting company. (Gotcha #4)
  10. Adjust widgets / settings. (Gotcha #6)
  11. Install plugins (e.g. Akismet, Jetpack, Commentluv) and activate settings on Jetpack features desired. (Gotcha #7)
  12. Migrate your WordPress.com subscribers.  (Ref Gotcha #8)
  13. Set your WordPress.com site to private and / or Redirect visitors to your new site by procuring Site Redirect ($13 Cdn)

I have not done Step 13 yet.   I haven’t figured out if I need to do it because my link addresses are the same since my blog name didn’t change.  Here’s what they say about it in the WordPress.com Store:

Do you want to move away from WordPress.com to your own self-hosted WordPress installation without losing SEO ranking and breaking links? Have you recently changed your blog address and need to move traffic to the new address? This upgrade redirects your wordpress.com blog to your new blog by performing permanent (301) redirects for all of your content.

If anyone can help a homegirl out and tell me if I should do this for a year I would greatly appreciate it.

Any tips and tricks I have forgotten?  Does this make you more confident to move your blog, or less confident?

like-postCREDITS – we’ve got credits!

Images courtesy of / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Stuart Miles / man carrying boxes, coloured blocks, jigsaw fan
cooldesign / men with boxes
David Castillo Dominici
/ construction
sheelamohan
/ time and lock
renjith krishnan / Make Money Online. Internet Cable With Dollars
rajcreationzs / computer networks
Grant Cochrane
/ cartoon dog juggler
Master isolated images / like

 

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Top Ten Reasons You Need to Manage Your Finances

Big big post for you here today folks.  It’s time for another Top Ten Reasons à la David Letterman style. This time I’ve brought my good blogger friends to back up my points.  You know, just so you don’t think I make this stuff up and all.

Last time I did the Top Ten I kinda screwed it up. I forget that Dave goes in reverse. What can I say? I was a Leno fan.

Speaking of the Tonight Show, who’s enjoying it with Fallon as the host? I love the opening music (don’t ask why, but if I turn the channel too late after watching the news and miss the opening music I’m bummed up.  Hey hey hey hey….Hey hey hey hey… Hey hey hey hey… hey hey hey hey)

It’s definitely different than Leno. I like the musical numbers he does.  Plus he does a good Vladimir Putin.  I miss headlines, and jaywalking though. Did anyone see it the other night when they had the zoo animals on?  No?  Okay well you’re in luck because I have it for you below.

At about 3 minutes in the trainer pretended the little albino alligator snapped at Jimmy and he ended up in the corner because he got so scared.   Then they brought the big mama albino alligator out and he looked like he was going to run out of the studio. Meanwhile his female guest, Rosario Dawson, was handling the little white baby like a pro.

You can view the video directly on YouTube by clicking here

Also see the follow-on video with Roxie the big big elephant here.  I’m a little reluctant to share these videos because I’m not a big fan of animals in captivity.  Share your thoughts in the comments, if you like.

Anyways, I digress, so back to the Top Ten.

Top Ten Reasons You Need to Manage Your Finances

goats-kids#10.  Your kids – Read this heartfelt story from Vanessa of the Cash Cow Couple who wrote at The Heavy Purse

The Surprising Consequences of Keeping Your Kids in the Dark about Your Finances

Vanessa explains how important it is to explain any ways you are managing money in an open and practical manner, focusing on the positive with your children.  You do not want to create fear in your child which can develop into unhealthy money and spending habits that take years to overcome.  As a mother, I wonder if I’ve made these mistakes, even if meaning well.  All I can do is look forward and help educate other parents about this as well.

Top Ninth Reason You Need to Manage Your Finances

fast-food-not-frugal#9.  You may end up having to go on a cash diet – Grayson Bell at Frugal Rules is putting himself on one because he says he’s spending too much on fast food.

It is Time to go on a Cash Diet

There’s no shame if you have to go this route, it’s better than letting a problem perpetuate and maybe become an even harder habit to break.  I’ve decided I may need to put The Irishman on a cash grocery diet if the poker chips don’t work.  What is it with men and grocery stores?  Is it just mine?  OK, then, carry on.

Top Eighth Reason You Need to Manage Your Finances

duck-bill#8.  You may be paying for stuff you don’t know about – Dee at Color Me Frugal found out the hard way when she was suddenly billed for something that apparently was in the contract but they weren’t aware.

Why It’s Important to Check in With Your Billers Regularly

At least through some whining negotiating she was able to cut her losses in half, but if she hadn’t checked her bill closely she would have been none the wiser for that time and going forward.  BTW, the duck named Bill totally agrees with me.

Top Seventh Reason You Need to Manage Your Finances

Bread#7.  You’re paying for a lot more than the food you order when you eat out according to Karen at Suburban Finance.

Hidden Costs in Restaurants

She reminds us of the extra costs of sides and add-ons as well as the variability across geographies.  What get’s me the most is how these options are always presented in such a way as to make you think they are doing you a big favour, bringing you bread or asking if you like something extra, with no hint that there’s extra cost involved and they’re just trying to up-sell and increase they’re profit margin.  Good marketing for them… bad for you and your pocketbook!  Besides who wants to pay extra for bread that looks like worms?

Top Sixth Reason You Need to Manage Your Finances

gas-prices#6.  You may be missing out on better opportunities if you don’t do the math and calculate your costs that support your income earning potential or even just your costs to support your family.  How many times have you driven across town to hit a sale but basically blew most of your savings on gas?  Crystal at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff discusses how this has impacted her in:

Opportunity Costs at Work

Now with the price of gas these days is through the roof.  I use GasBuddy.com to find the best prices in my vicinity.  $139.8/litre last reported 50 minutes ago at my favourite nearby station (which in US gas terms is $4.915/gal  using these handy dandy Bank of Canada daily currency converter and gas converter tools!)

Top Fifth Reason You Need to Manage Your Finances

Germany#5. What if a great opportunity came along, something you always wanted to do but then you couldn’t because you didn’t have the financial means necessary to support the endeavor?  So like, let’s just say that Erin of Broke Millennial had this chance (she doesn’t) to move to Germany (she’s not) but didn’t have the funds to pay her way over until she could get reimbursed by her new employer?  Ya, that would suck ay?  Well Erin explores all things about why she should move to Germany in … drum roll…

Perhaps I Should Move to Germany?

Basically she proves that she would never be caught with her pants on the ground and not ready to move to Germany or anywhere if the right opportunity came up because she rocks managing her money!!   Besides, who wouldn’t want to move to Germany on a moment’s notice with cool looking architecture like this?

flickr-John-Morgan-manage-your-financesTop Fourth Reason You Need to Manage Your Finances

#4.  If you manage your finances then you have extra money to buy important stuff like dividend paying stocks which is a nice form of passive income.  I don’t have any extra money these days so I just drool when I read posts like this from Dividend Mantra.

Recent Buy

So I just follow a long like I’m using play monopoly money so I can learn the ropes and look forward to the day when I have some extra cash and I can write a post call Recent Buy except I will call it Decent Recent Buy, because my name is Debt Debs and I have to get at least one D and some rhyme in there because that’s how I roll.

Top Third Reason You Need to Manage Your Finances

Dollar-Store-shopping#3.  Wow, I can’t believe I’m already at #3.  For this one I need to say categorically you need to manage your finances so that you can shop at the dollar store.  Huh?  Yes, you need to shop at the dollar store for two reasons.  #1 you can get some okay things at the dollar store and there is no reason to go buy some overpriced thing when the dollar store version is just fine.  Girl Meets Debt knows about some of these things and also some that you should not buy at the dollar store.

5 Things to Buy (and Avoid) at the Dollar Store

I’d like to add pens to her list of things to buy at the dollar store.  But what’s the #2 reason you need to shop at the dollar store?  You need to remember what it was like when you shopped at the dollar store to get your shopping fix because you didn’t have any money and spending just $10 on some dish cloths, some plastic hangers, a couple of cards and a candle was enough to make you realize, you didn’t need to shop anymore to feel good.  Stay humble…. and never be a collector of needless stuff again.

Top Second Reason You Need to Manage Your Finances

standard-poodle#2.  If something is really important to you and you need money for it, it’s not fun when you don’t have the money for it.  Our beloved standard poodle passed away January 2013, and though I still grieve for him, I think I will soon be ready to get another Standard Poodle, this time from a rescue organization like SPIN or SPRO.  It just sucks that we don’t have the money in our budget because pets can be expensive.  But I bawled my eyes out yesterday when I read about LBee & the Money Tree having a really rough week losing her beloved dog, Murray.

For Murray

Her love for that pooch was so apparent in her words and the wonderful pictures she shared.  It reminded me how much we loved and miss Fergus, and know that one day, we will share our love again with a standard poodle rescue.  It’s not a matter of if, it’s when.  And if I had been a better money manager, it would be tomorrow that I would get another dog.

The #1 Top Reason You Need to Manage Your Finances

happy-piggybank-manage-your-finances#1.  And the #1 reason why you need to manage your finances is an oldie but goodie found on Rockstar Finance from Will at First Quarter Finance.  You may find out that you actually enjoy saving money!

How to Enjoy Saving Money!

Now there’s a novel concept, and one, I myself, can vouch for!  Go figure…

Images courtesy of morguefile except where noted
Monopoly Money / John Morgan / flickr
Dollarama / Michael_Swan / flickr

Happy #FinSavSat folks!  Enjoy your weekend!

Debt Discipline
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ADavid_Letterman_2.jpg


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Top Ten List – What I Don’t Like About My Investments

top-ten-things-I-don't-like-about-my-investments

By Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from Washington D.C, United States (110613-N-TT977-230) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

From the personal finance information I’ve been reading (including many great blogs out there!), the importance of balance in your financial strategies cannot be stressed enough.

What do I mean by this?  Balance in debt repayment and investment savings for long term needs (retirement) to obtain the advantage of compounded growth.

In my travels (around the internet), I realize that I need to do more about ensuring our investment portfolio gets attention and not just our debt.  My head is not quite there (yet) because when I look at the stock market I get confused about yields and price-earnings ratios, and ex-dividend dates and common-law dividend dates… ah er… well you now understand my point.

So my former self would run and bury her head in the sand so she could ignore it.  I’ve perfected burying.  I have red scratchy eyes because of all the sand in them, but I claim the prize for ignoring bells and whistles (Note to self:  Blog about all the red flags I ignored over the years).

But with the motivation of some recent reads, I decide to start to really analyze my net worth, not just update it on my spreadsheet.  I’m gearing myself up to doing a Net Worth disclosure,  even, on Rockstar Finance.

These blogs gave me something to think about, as I work up my courage for Net Worth divulsion (egad that word sounds scary right there):

Debt Discipline – Net Worth Update: February – Brian shamelessly blogs his family’s NW, so what can’t I?

Cashville Skyline – Quarter 1 Update: My First Net Worth Overshare – Addison acknowledges that sharing NW is personal and can be difficult but has decided to for the greater good.

Ree @ Escaping Dodge – My Crazy Method of Determining Property Values for Net Worth Calculations has me thinking about whether I should include my home in my net worth calculation or not.  Note to Canadian readers:  Zillow does not seem to be available for Canadian properties, so I found  www.realtor.ca would be the closest Canadian equivalent (or local city sites can usually be found).  These sites give current listings and may not be reflective of actual values.   Due to privacy laws, real estate agents are not supposed to disclose sale amounts of properties, so use listed amounts with caution.

Financial Samurai – How Much Should My Net Worth or Savings Be Based On Income? – I’m way far behind if I base my evaluation on my current income, however if I lower my living standards (which we have done in the last two years), then I’m not doing too badly.

So in homage to David Letterman who announced his retirement this week, some say because his net worth is declining (he’s worth $400 million and makes $20 million / year, but I think he suffers from what Financial Samurai calls ONE MORE YEAR SYNDROME since he’s not retiring, like, tomorrow),  here is the TOP TEN LIST of WHAT I DON’T LIKE ABOUT MY CURRENT INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO:

  1. I’ve got two losers in my portfolio, CAG and CPG.  (The fact that they both start with C and I am Canadian is purely coincidental)
  2. I don’t have the requisite 30% in low risk investments per Financial Samurai – Recommended Net Worth Allocation By Age And Work Experience (I need to calculate but I would estimate it’s around 10%)
  3. My portfolio is spread out between 4 different institutions (Hence the difficulty to calculate how much I have in low risk funds above.  It was worse, at 5, so I guess I’m making progress)
  4. My growth is not locked in.  (On my largest account, there is 48K of growth in market value which could disappear overnight in a free-fall market)
  5. I pay too much in investment fees. I paid $2574.97 last year on one account alone, and $849.23 on that same account first quarter this year.  That doesn’t include The Irishman’s account fees and other accounts.  I estimate that we pay between 6-7 grand per year on investment fees.  (Feels like paying a drug dealer for the small amount of work that he does for me).
  6. I have no clue how to interpret the P/E ratio when I look at a stock value. (It stands for Price / Earnings ratio but may as well mean Pimp / Escorts for all I can figure out).
  7. My investment advisor does not have a picture of my family on his desk (I have no idea why spell-check does not like advisor.  Does it want me to spell it the Canadian way? ADVISOUR)
  8. I have too many watch lists on my portfolio.  I’ve got Consolidated, Potentials, Hypothetical, Bad News, The Irishman’s Picks, IA Picks.  (OK, I realize you’ve got me on a technicality, because this isn’t my portfolio per se, but how I (try to) manage it.  Ya, it’s all that and a slice of loafed bread.  That’s how confused I make myself am)
  9. I have no stock in Coach, Mazda or Costco. (Products/Services I own or use, except in my case the first one would be COUCH)
  10. I don’t trade my own stocks. (Because I’m too chicken, due to #6 which results in #5)

 

So, there you have it.  This has helped me figure out what I want to focus on.  In preparing this list, it has also made me realize some good things about my investments but I’ll save that for another blog post.

Oh and for my Net Worth extravaganza … that’s coming too.  I think I’m becoming more confident about sharing.  I just need to wait for my stocks to go up some more get it together .  :D

Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts too!
Oh, and again I’ve linked this post to @femmefrugality’s Financially Savvy Saturdays. Go check out some others participating in this blog hop for personal finance writers by clicking on the pic below. Enjoy!

Stapler Confessions