Performance Update 31/50: To $1,000,000,000,000 and Beyond!

My main goal is to build a portfolio of $1,000,000 in 1500 days with no debt*, starting from 1/1/2013. Every month, I provide an update on my status. My goal for 2015 was to get my portfolio up to $874,353. Because we saw exceptional returns in 2013 and 2014, I have already accomplished this. Let’s have a look at July.

___table2015

One trillion is a huge, strange looking number:

1,000,000,000,000

I had to triple-check the amount of zeros to make sure I had it correct. I just don’t write out numbers this big with any regularity. More on 1 trillion in a moment.

July Performance Update

July was a fantastic month for the 1500 portfolio. I started the month out at $999,668 and ended at $1,044,913, for gain of about $45,000. At one point, I was up to $1,070,000, but couldn’t hold it.

Screen Shot 2015-08-02 at 8.06.08 PM

See you in a while DCC. Chart from Personal Capital**.

My great month was due to some of my stock holdings. Continue reading

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10 Questions with Cash Flow Diaries

Today is the 14th edition of our new periodic guest post series called 10 Questions. We have a list of 17 NEW questions we pose to fellow financial bloggers, and they are free to pick and choose 10 or answer all of them. Let us know if you would like to be featured in a future edition of 10 Questions. (If you have already answered the first set of 10 questions, please feel free to answer these new ones.)

Today, we feature Cash Flow Diaries. Just like me, Mr. CFD works in information technology:

The company is great and the pay is decent but the thought of working for someone else and repeating the same thing every single day is mind boggling.

Also like me, I smell a streak of independence. Unless it’s Charlie Munger or Warren Buffett giving the orders, I’d rather not be told what to do either. Always remember, the best boss is no boss at all…

www.cashflowdiaries.com

Tell me about your blog and why it’s great.Tell me about your blog and why it’s great.

Cash Flow Diaries was born on May 22nd 2015.  It is still in its infancy stage and I’m still learning how to:

  • Find the perfect diaper – Making changes and tweaks for the look I want it to have.
  • How and when to feed it – How often to make posts and when they should be posted.
  • Keeping it healthy so that it has a successful life – Learning all the tips and tricks of how to keep the internet gods happy. (SEO, Search Engines, Social Media, etc.)

My blog’s focus is on Finance and Real Estate.  It’s designed to show you how I will reach Financial Freedom by writing about all my experiences and sharing what I have learned and will learn during this journey.  It’s full of awesome information on turnkey rental investments and other financial tips and tricks I have acquired to get me where I’m at today.  These are the methods by which I will reach financial freedom.

If you don’t know what turnkey rental property is you will want to read this. What is a turnkey rental property?

What goals do you have for your blog, short and long term? Continue reading

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The Serendipitous Turns of My Life (or The 8 Days that set me on the Path to FI)

Hello Rock Star Finance Readers! If you’re new to this site, you may want to check out my manifesto to see what this is all about.

Thank you J$ for featuring me. Being mentioned on Rock Star Finance NEVER gets old.

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 9.47.16 PM

Where do you fit in? (PS: This is what happens when my graphic designer goes on vacation)

Last week, I asked you about your relationship with money. I greatly enjoyed your incredible stories and insights. Here are some of my favorites comments:

Blogger Leigh, who has engineered a perfect financial life, had this pretty great comment:

My relationship with money is that who has the money can control you, whether it be our parents, your significant other, your employer, or your mortgage company. So my goal is to rely on none of those entities/people and the closer I get to never needing to, the lower stress my relationship with money is.

I wish I had an uncle like Mike Hardy growing up:

I’m starting a bunch of real-time experiments with my nieces and nephews and cousins (if they’re young enough). I’m buying them lunch on the condition they have to listen to me :-). Then I’m taking them through the money = life-force bit from “Your Money or Your Life”, working them through the actual calculation of their hourly wage and how much time it takes them to earn a single dollar (so they know how much life they’re spending with each one).

Reader Stephanie is one of the very rare unicorns; she grew up rich and maintains frugal habits. Way to go Stephanie!

I’d like to introduce myself as the unicorn #4. I grew up distinctly upper middle class and I’m probably one of the most frugal people any of my friends know. My parents were frugal growing up but now they have loosened the reins substantially. My husband is a #1 through and through. It’s taken consistent work to move him closer to #3 but he’s getting there . . . I think when frugality is forced and not a choice it’s harder to embrace as an adult.

Reader Meri had parents that used money the wrong way:

I had relatively well-off parents who spent a lot of money, but the twist in our family was how they used money with me – it was used in an attempt to control me from my early teen years on. When I was being good, wow, carte blanche shopping trips at Dayton’s (I’m from the Midwest, this was our rural area’s version of Neiman Marcus); when I was bad, nothing – no school clothes (not even underwear), no toiletries, no shoes, no snow boots, no gloves, absolutely nothing.

I LOVE what Reader Markola had to say, especially in the last sentence here. So true and important:

I think both our experiences indicate that unearned windfalls are mostly likely to be blown unless they are locked up in some irrevocable trust where the beneficiaries get only the interest. FOREVER. Money is not good or bad, but it is a magnifier of a given person’s qualities.

Finally, plenty of you encouraged me to quit:

Mike Hardy again:

Hey, this reminds me, since I show up in your comments and poke at you periodically to basically just retire already because holy cow, does it not suck…

Kyle from Kythesis:

November, I don’t want to hear no panzy 4 day work week, go 3 days or less. I’ll have to wait about 5 years before I’m comfortable dropping to a 4 day work week.

And, we finish up with Reader Alex:

Rather than answer your question. I’d like to address your statement:
“The conclusion I’ve come to is that when the time comes, I’ll have to kick my own ass off the precipice. This may be difficult since I’m not flexible.”

I’m a few years behind you, and I can’t wait until the day comes when I know I have enough to quit. So here’s what I have to say..

DO IT. Do it today. Seriously do it. You have said you are waiting a bit longer to get enough to cover your mortgage I think, but from your description, you don’t NEED to. SO DO IT. It’s not like you won’t do some things that make you money in the future, or can’t go back if you really need to. Why waste another day?

Eight Days of my Life

Since you all shared so much about yourselves, I figured I’d share some of the serendipitous days that changed my life. Continue reading

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10 Questions with Jeff from Sustainable Life Blog

Today is the 13th edition of our new periodic guest post series called 10 Questions. We have a list of 17 NEW questions we pose to fellow financial bloggers, and they are free to pick and choose 10 or answer all of them. Let us know if you would like to be featured in a future edition of 10 Questions. (If you have already answered the first set of 10 questions, please feel free to answer these new ones.)

Jeff is one of the bloggers I’ve met in the course of my real life. Among other stuff, we’ve talked about investing, home improvement and most important, beer.

Jeff has a solid message; living the right way as a means to achieve Financial Independence. He’s also a big DIY guy. Trust me, I’ve seen his projects firsthand. His newest project is DIY Hard Cider. I greatly look forward to trying this one myself in the very near future.

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Hi Readers of 1500 days! Like a bad rash, I’m back again to answer the new questions. If you missed my first interview, you can read it here. Not only have the questions changed (and the pizza place gone away) but the focus of my site has changed as well and I wanted to let all you awesome readers of 1500 days know!

Tell me about your blog and why it’s great.

When I started Sustainable Life Blog in 2009, I was a broke-as-a-joke student still working on a (worthless) masters degree, had a huge amount of debt and poor financial habits. After reading blogs and other financial literature for a while, I decided that I wanted to get out of debt, so that was my sole focus (and the focus of the blog) for 5 years. I was able to pay off my debts by ignoring all the people that told me it wasn’t possible ($@%# you haters), changing my habits, and focusing on living a greener lifestyle. While I was working on the debt pay off, I read a lot of blogs that I never would have read, and learned a lot of new things. I had never heard of FI before, and had I not just spent the last 5 years busting my butt to pay off all my debt, I probably wouldnt have thought FI was possible for me. I ran the numbers (a lot) and talked to my wife, and we have set retiring early as our new goal. Once debt freedom had happened, many doors that we didnt even know existed were opened.

What post are you most proud of and why?

Continue reading

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Ask the Readers: Do you have a Good Relationship with Money? (I don’t)

I mentioned last month that Ask the Readers is taking the summer off. However, there’s been something on my mind lately that I can’t wait to ask about.

Today, I’ll ask you about your relationship with money. First, I must tell you about recent 1500 Portfolio developments.

Google goes nuts

Last week was an incredible one for the 1500 portfolio. One of my biggest stock holdings, Google, announced spectacular earnings. The stock climbed almost $150 over the course of the week:

Weeeeeeee!!!

Weeeeeeee!!!

My portfolio reflected it, rocketing past the $1,050,000 mark for the first time ever:

Life is good.

Life is good. Chart from Personal Capital*

While this is all great news, my relationship with money isn’t a healthy one. I’ll get back to that in a moment. Continue reading

Posted in Ask the readers | Tagged , | 102 Comments

10 Questions with Eric at Retire29

Today is the 13th edition of our new periodic guest post series called 10 Questions. We have a list of 17 NEW questions we pose to fellow financial bloggers, and they are free to pick and choose 10 or answer all of them. Let us know if you would like to be featured in a future edition of 10 Questions. (If you have already answered the first set of 10 questions, please feel free to answer these new ones.)

Eric at Retire29 has some pretty crazy goals. By “crazy,”  I really mean awesome. He plans to bail from the workforce at the tender age of 34! 34 is the age when typical folks are jockeying for middle management positions at ABC Corporation and financing their first BMW. Forget all that, Eric will be done! Read about how he’ll do it here and here.

One thing that I always think about when folks set goals like this is if they’ll actually achieve them. I’ve come to the conclusion that not only will most of the FI seekers achieve their goals, but most will probably exceed them. This FI community is incredibly bright and driven. You all are some of the smartest people on the plant. I fully expect Eric to be able to throw in the corporate towel long before age 34! Full speed ahead my friend!

image1-e1422074213453Tell me about your blog and why it’s great.
Retire29 is a place for inspiration. I delve into numbers quite a bit, like figuring out how much longer you’ll have to work to buy a pair of jeans, or showing how our baby has so far made us money. However, I believe we’re swimming in financial advice , but we lack inspiration—so that’s my specialty. I love presenting all this FIRE stuff in very entertaining ways that inspire action, like encouraging people to envision their perfect day, or questioning why there’s never anyone standing on all those nice decks and patios. Plus, you’ll get all my numbers and the path I’m taking to achieve FI in 2019 (at the age of 34). Continue reading

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Thursday Rant: Of Marshmallows and Men

I’m glad I was born a guy, despite the shorter life. Males have defective DNA which results in a reduced lifespan relative to our female counterparts. Perhaps this is also what causes us guys to do ridiculous, futile and dangerous things like:

  • keg stands
  • root for the Chicago Cubs
  • laugh hysterically at farts
  • watch Jim Carrey films
  • enjoy monster trucks
  • play with fire
Just some of the dump things that amuse men.

Just some of the dumb things that amuse men.

For me, it is a worthy tradeoff:

  • I won’t ever have to give birth and I’m very thankful for that (shout-out to women everywhere!)
  • I’ll never feel pressure to brush my hair or worry about shaving my legs because society is OK with me shaving my head and no other parts of my body
  • I’ll never worry about makeup or feel the need to pluck my wild eyebrows

Above all, I’ll never get invited to an endless parade of “parties” thrown by “friends” hawking products sold through multi-level marketing (MLM) schemes. Continue reading

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Interview on Islands of Investing

R2, you're looking a bit worn out, but I love you just the same.

R2, you’re looking a bit worn out, but I love you just the same.

Today, I redirect you to a riveting interview that I did for my buddy Jason over at Islands of Investing. Among other things, you’ll learn about:

  • Mrs. 1500’s previous life as an acrobat in Cirque du Soleil
  • My previous life as a worm rancher
  • Why my childhood R2D2 sits atop my desk
  • My favorite color
  • My top 3 stock picks for 2016 and beyond
  • Why I love romantic walks on the beach
  • The new weight-loss book that I’m writing: “The Marshmallow Diet”
  • The best advice I ever heard

OK, most of those things are complete and total BS. The last one isn’t though and in my humble opinion, it is one whopper of a quote courtesy of Warren Buffett’s partner in money, Charlie Munger. Flip over to Islands of Investing to see it and the rest of the interview.

Big thanks to Jason for sharing his little piece of Internet real estate with me!

Posted in Something Completely Different | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

10 Questions with Adam Chudy

Today is the 12th edition of our new periodic guest post series called 10 Questions. We have a list of 17 NEW questions we pose to fellow financial bloggers, and they are free to pick and choose 10 or answer all of them. Let us know if you would like to be featured in a future edition of 10 Questions. (If you have already answered the first set of 10 questions, please feel free to answer these new ones.)

This week’s 10 Questions comes from Adam Chudy, who blogs over at AdamChudy.com. He delves into personal finance, investing, gardening and anything else he feels like writing about.

AdamChudy

Tell us about your blog
I’m not strictly personal finance. I try to give you a glimpse in to our lives (with pictures), investing, business, travel, DIY, books and whatever is on my mind. I’m told our garden is pretty epic to follow. I hope it’s entertaining.

Here are a few of the more popular articles.
How I graduated from college debt free
How I traveled to Brazil on 1 credit card bonus
What I learned from the 50th Anniversary Berkshire Letter
Stealth Wealth and Badassity
It’s about living well, not being cheap

Tell us about you

1500 Days is about early retirement. Do you have early retirement dreams? At what age do you think you will retire?
I’m definitely working my way along the early retirement path. I watch people like Go Curry Cracker and Bumfuzzle and I think the traveling lifestyle they’ve been able to build really appeals to me. Once I’ve satiated the travel bug, I have some personal projects I would like to pursue, maybe a permaculture farm.

I’m not sure when I’ll retire. I’m currently 29 and somewhere around 1/3 of the way there, but it’s accelerated a lot as my income has increased. Continue reading

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Performance Update 30/50: June Doom!

My main goal is to build a portfolio of $1,000,000 in 1500 days with no debt*, starting from 1/1/2013. Every month, I provide an update on my status. My goal for 2015 was to get my portfolio up to $874,353. Because we saw exceptional returns in 2013 and 2014, I have already accomplished this. Before we have a look at June, I need to tell you about the chaos in the lives of the 1500’s.

___table2015

It’s been an interesting time to be living in the 1500 household. If you think that I’m using interesting as a euphemism for shitty, you’d be right! I apologize for the harsh language, but there is no other way to describe it. It all started with rain back in May:

  • Sump pump takes a dump: It rained. Then it rained some more. And then it really started raining. On a hunch, I went down to the crawlspace to make sure that the sump pump was working. It wasn’t. I rigged something up to keep the water at bay. During this crawlspace adventure, I also discovered that water was pouring in near a sill plate because the yard isn’t graded properly.
  • Shitty faucet #1 (fau-shit?): Shortly after that, Mrs. 1500 noticed water in a vanity that I just installed last year. Turns out that something in the faucet had broken (again, just a year old) and was leaking. This was in the same bathroom where I recently installed a shower fixture that didn’t work out of the box due to a faulty cartridge.
  • Kid khaos: We installed all new windows in the home in 2014. The kids managed to damage one of them beyond repair by somehow bending the whole thing.
  • Fried mower: While on vacation, a well meaning neighbor tried to mow our lawn with our electric mower. The grass was tall (see the first bullet point) and she pushed it too hard, burning out the rectifier.
  • Faushit #2: I installed a new vanity and faucets in the girls room. A day or two later while brushing her teeth, big daughter goes, “Hey Dad, the faucet is spraying water in my face!” I go into the bathroom to investigate. Sure enough, the faucet is indeed spraying water out the top, right into her face.

Continue reading

Posted in Performance | Tagged , | 63 Comments