Year in Review, 2013

Well, it’s another year of life and as usual, looking back on a year makes me wonder where the time went. I turned 36 a month ago and I don’t feel afraid that I will be 40 in 4 years. In fact, I’m excited to get old and see how well I do fighting off old age. I find myself fascinated by all the new year’s resolution type stuff going on and following that trend, my wife and I are doing P90X3, a workout program for the next 3 months to get in gear.

As the year has gone past, here’s some stories and lessons I learned. Perhaps something from my own experience will be helpful for you :)

Heidi and I grew our net worth by about 35%. This was largely due to home prices surging in Utah, but also included my 401K, Prosper Lending Account, a smaller, Lending Club account, and Scottrade stock investment account. In hind sight, it would have been nice to pickup some real estate last year, but it just didn’t seem to be in the cards.

I put on about 15 pounds. I am an emotional eater and freely admit it. I put on about 15 pounds last year and maxed out at about 230 pounds. Realizing this, I’m getting myself in high gear to get my weight back down. I think part of it was becoming a manager at my day job and trying to handle officially being in that position and how to do it. It’s certainly wracked my brain and caused some stress. I’m going to keep trying and it certainly is a very interesting dynamic working with people and procedures more than just coding. I actually like it, even though I’m not very good at it yet.

I lost some money on emotional buying/selling of stocks. Last year saw me make some bad decisions with stocks. I lost money on AGNC, JCP, and a few other stocks through a combination of bad luck and selling when they went low. I did make some good picks, but they did not outweigh the bad one’s.

Lending Accounts returned a healthy percentage. Prosper and Lending Club, two companies designed to help people invest their money for people who choose to borrow, and for borrower’s to get access to money have turned out to be pretty promising so far. Returns are steady at about 13.8% across the two. I imagine this will go down as time goes on and there are more defaults on loans. But if I can exceed 7% per year with these, I’ll be ecstatic. Anything over 5% return is reason to invest here.

My 401K returned about 7%. This is on par with about what I was expecting. I’m currently allocating about 95% of new money into stocks while I have about 30% of the current fund in low return accounts because the stock market is so high. I feel like I’ll position myself better if/when the stock market decides to do a 180 and go down – I won’t feel the pain as much.

I made my first game, Tower of Eglathia. I made my first game for Eglathia Games last year, Tower of Eglathia. While it only sold 1 copy and there hasn’t been any more purchases, I feel proud that I completed another project and learned a great deal about coding and just how difficult it is to get a market to adopt a product or idea. I have greater respect for people who have success building a business and making money.

Heidi and I went on an Alaskan cruise. Going to Alaska on a cruise ship was really cool, both literally and figuratively. We left Sienna (our 3 year old daughter) behind with relatives, but our 6 year old, Ellie, came with us. She and us had a great time and I would definitely do a cruise again. Seeing new places and experiencing more of life in a new area was fun.

Heidi and I hit 13 years of marriage. Heidi and I have been married 13 years since December 2nd, 2013. This is a great achievement. I admire her very much for her compassion and honesty. There’s been more ups than downs in our marriage and despite the fact that my religious views have changed, I believe we maintain a good bond and healthy respect for each other and am thankful for her companionship.

What will this new year bring? Already I’ve found some fascinating things such as investing in Marijuana stocks – yes you heard that right – companies that deal in Marijuana products. Stocks have surged in that sector. A trip to Yellowstone is also planned. I’m also working on a card game which should hopefully be ready in a few months – a very simple card game :) I imagine there will be a few trips elsewhere along with our completion of P90X3 and a return to much better physical condition. I’ll also continue on as a manager at my day job and hope to improve in that. Right now I feel I’m doing terrible, but just have to keep pushing forward with my ideas and I care about my team and want the best for them. We’ll see what happens in the future :)

Thanks for reading. This is Jeremy N. Johnson, a father, husband, and crazy tinkerer signing off.

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5 thoughts on “Year in Review, 2013

  1. Thank you for responding. Believe it or not I mistook you for another Jeremy N Johnson. He used to live with a few of us in England In 97-99. He was originally from California. We worked at Costco here in the UK. If I recall his middle name was Nathan, but I just thought that he may have not like the name Noel and that why he told us that. You also look very similar, last time I heard he was working for San Pablo police department as an officer. He would be in his early forties now I think. I thought I’d just let you know the reason for my question, just in case your were wondering.

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