Hey all.

So the virus (and associated fear and panic) continues to spread. The market volatility in March was unprecedented, and there’s a pretty good chance that the craziness will continue into the near future. So far I have refrained from making any large moves in the market, although I did move my cash savings from my money market account into a no-penalty CD at 1.75%. Not only did I manage to snag a decent interest rate before they dropped (the going rate for the same product is currently 1.55%), the bank also ran a promotion where they give an additional 1% bonus for keeping your money there through June 30th. I think that will be enough time for the markets to calm down a bit more from where they are now (I’ll be waiting for VIX to get under 40 or so) and hopefully it will also be a good time to rebalance. Until then, my advice for anyone investing echoes the famous words of the late Jack Bogle: “Don’t do something, just stand there.”

In addition, new virus cases in Japan are starting to tick up, and the government has enacted travel bans covering 73 countries (including the US) in order to slow new infections coming into Japan. Personally, I think it’s too late for that strategy and Japan must focus on isolating and treating existing cases as they continue to spread domestically. I’m not too worried about the disease as I am now completely working remotely so I don’t have to deal with crowded Tokyo trains anymore. So far grocery stores haven’t been too crazy, although some food items are in short supply if you are at the store in the evening. The US Embassy in Japan has urged Americans to return to the US if they are not prepared to remain abroad indefinitely, but that doesn’t apply to me since I am prepared to remain here indefinitely. Besides, I can’t imagine things getting worse here than in the US!

Here’s my March expenses:

Category 03/20 Comments
Rent $923.48
Internet $17.68
Cell Phone $30.50
Natural Gas $22.30
Electricity $60.69
Water $0.00
Groceries $455.71 Did some extra cooking this month with my girlfriend
Transport $12.96
Health $156.49 Health insurance
Other $0.00
Necessary $1,679.82
Restaurants $126.40
Entertainment $0.00
Shopping $47.51
Travel/Parking $89.00 CC fees
Gifts/Donations $27.44
Software/Games $60 2 year VPN subscription
Business $0.00
Other $0.00
Discretionary $350.35 Not terrible, but I can do better
Total Expenses $2,030.17 Not terrible, but I can do better
Gross Income $4,335.87 Salary + interest + Q1 dividends
Taxes $377.52 About average for the month
Net Income $3,958.35 About average for the month
Savings $1,928.19 About average for the month
Savings Rate 48.7% About average for the month
Net Worth $286,670.33 Down due to market downturn.

Projected time to FI (assuming 6% growth and 4% withdrawal rate): 9 years, 11 months.