Performance Update 42/50: The FInal Piece of the Puzzle

My main goal is to build a portfolio of $1,120,000* in 1500 days**, starting from 1/1/2013 and ending in February of 2017. I made my goal a couple months ago, but believe that it’s a worthwhile exercise to continue with my financial updates until the end of 1500 Days, so I continue.

It’s time to take a look back at June. First, I must tell you about the last piece of the FI puzzle which recently fell into place, just like this scene in Tetris:



I like to talk all high and mighty about how quitting my job will be a time to do all kinds of wonderful things; read, exercise, spend more time with the kids, volunteer, blah, blah, blah. While all of that is true, it won’t be all books and hikes. There is one activity that I’ve never mentioned, but I look greatly forward to.

Super Mario!

I’m not one of those dudes who gets crazy into computer gaming. I haven’t played any kind of video or computer game since my teens. However, I have fond memories of my original Nintendo. I spent too much time on summer breaks playing Super Mario Brothers, Metroid and the Legend of Zelda. One of the things I want to do in retirement was play these games again. There are emulators and you can even buy old systems on eBay, but those options all seem like a lot of work for a potentially subpar experience.

Anyway, a couple weeks ago, I was doing my morning business (yes, pooping) when: BOOM! This popped up in my news feed:

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For only $60, I can buy an official Nintendo machine with most of the games that I loved. Woot!

I have cleared my last retirement hurdle.

Performance Update: June

June was loaded with excitement: Trump! Brexit! By the end of the month, the markets had mostly righted themselves and my portfolio have recovered. I started the month at $1,120,445 and ended about $10,000 higher at $1,131,764. This is a new end-of-month high:

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Clicking this link will be one of the best decisions of your life –>> Personal Capital***!

Here is what my numbers looked like on 6/30/2016:

Continue reading

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Around the Web

Quick post today to let you know about some of the other places I’ve been popping up around the web:

  • The Mrs. and I were interviewed on Farnoosh Torabi’s So Money podcast . I used to be terrified of interviews, but not anymore. We had a great time chatting with Farnoosh. Listen to it here.
  • MMM was my inspiration for blogging and more importantly, caused a course correction in my life: Hello FI, good-bye job! It was a thrill to write a post about my electric bike for his blog.
  • The core of my nest egg was made with real estate. Without flipping houses, I wouldn’t be a millionaire today. I wrote about it over at Investment Zen recently.
  • Last weekend, I met up with Jim Collins and the Physician on Fire (PoF) in Wisconsin. This was the first time meeting the PoF and he went straight for my heart by bringing me beer. He even brought some of his own including one made with Sour Patch Kids (it was surprisingly good!). Check out my Christopher Guest Post on his blog.

Thanks for the memories Jimmy C.

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Lewd Dudes, Crude Haikus and a Ballyhooed Jimmy C Rendezvous

Last Monday, I announced a contest. The prize was The Simple Path to Wealth book by my buddy, Jimmy C. Time to announce the winners.


Brace yourself, it only goes south from here.

Lewd Dudes

Last week, I mentioned that I’d give away copies of Jim’s book. All you had to do was write a poem or song about the book or Jim. Everything was going fine until the Physician on Fire chipped in with this semi-perverted prose:

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Jimmy C himself joined the party:

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And I couldn’t help myself:

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Finally, Vicki from Make Smarter decisions chimed in:

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I’ll give you a moment to clear all of that shrinkage talk from your mind before I announce the winners… Continue reading

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Me and Jimmy C (and a contest!)

Ask the Readers will return in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, brace yourself for a wild ride. I’ll be discussing stock picks, performing a song with Mrs. 1500, telling you why I love Jim Collins’ new book and even giving away prizes.

Toot toot!

I don’t like to toot my own horn, but I need to in order to get my point across. I’m one of the most successful stock pickers you don’t know. Here are my greatest hits:

  • I bought Google at IPO in 2004 for $85/share (20 bagger!)
  • I bought Apple when the iPhone was announced in 2007 (10 bagger!)
  • I bought Tesla Motors in the $20s ($215 today)
  • I bought Facebook for an average price of $29 ($117 today)
  • Chipotle has done very well for us (and we’ve never barfed after a burrito!)
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Some of my facebook purchases!

One question I get frequently asked is:

You’ve done well as a stock picker. Shouldn’t you keep your whole portfolio in stocks?

I’ve thought a lot about this question. The main problem with my performance data is that it only goes back to 2004, just 12 years ago. The goal should be to build a portfolio that can stand for decades with little intervention. I’m not sure mine can. It’s difficult to know when an empire has stopped growing and has entered a permanent tail spin:

  • Has the iPhone peaked?
  • Will Chipotle serve up more E. coli burritos?
  • Will Facebook go the way of MySpace?

If you research any of those questions, you’ll see “analysts” on both sides of the fence yelling their opinions. I don’t have a good answer to any of those questions and I don’t know which screaming person to trust, so owning these stocks is a game of chicken. Index funds make up the bulk of my portfolio now.

Awful confession: When I first started this blog, I didn’t know what an index fund was.

Intro to Indexing

I was perusing Mr. Money Mustache back in late 2012. Eventually, I ran into this Continue reading

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10 Questions with Mostly Mindful

Today is the 53rd edition of our periodic guest post series called 10 Questions. We have a list of 17 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.

Today, I break new ground! For the first time ever, I have a 10 Questions participant who:

I just watched the TEDx talk and it gave me chills. Really, watch it. Also, this (from the talk):

“…whatever blows your hair back…”

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Tell us about your blog

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

Mostly Mindful is all about living a mindful life, we cover topics like minimalism, being vegan, and reducing your carbon footprint. It’s also a platform for me to poke fun at our urban hippie (mis)adventures. I try not to be too serious, because it’s not in my nature and because there’s enough of that on the web as it is.

Somewhere along Tafelberg Road

Tell me how you’re going to change the world with your blog (dream big or don’t dream at all!).

Sporty and I are on a mission to declutter the world. It’s our belief that the majority of our problems stem from the need to be excessive.

Once you strip away the extraneous and superfluous you have a much clearer view of what’s important. And you very quickly realise it isn’t the stuff you’ve owned, but rather the experiences you’ve had.

Sporty on beach in front of our apartment

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

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LIfe Update

Life has been going by too fast lately. It’s because we’ve been really busy. It’s almost time to slow it down though…

One family ritual we have is to take a long walk after dinner. A couple weeks ago on a walk, I noticed a couple plants growing out of a crack in the sidewalk. My first instinct was to yank them, but I didn’t. This is what the plants looks like today:


I’m glad I let them be.


Post Pain

We’ve been running ourselves ragged. This is how I’ve felt lately: Continue reading

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10 Questions with Med School Financial

Today is the 52nd edition of our periodic guest post series called 10 Questions. We have a list of 17 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.

We have our second physician, Med School Financial, today on 10 Questions. Pretty cool, right? I love it when someone in a position of high income decides to use their money and time wisely instead of buying a Mercedes and vacation homes.

One thing we can never do is underestimate our potential to change the world, even if it’s the world of one person, that’s still an amazing accomplishment and fully worth the effort.

That quote is pretty great. Take it away Med School Financial.

Med School FInancial

Tell me about your blog and why it’s great.
I am a firm believer that our finances and our health are intricately linked with one another and the blog is where I write and share my knowledge and advice on how to take meaningful steps to improving both areas of our lives. If these two areas are well optimized, we will undoubtedly lead healthier, happier, and overall more satisfying lives as we journey to financial independence and well into retirement.

For me it’s the best of both worlds because I get to focus on two areas I am thoroughly energized by and at the same time see a definite need for more great resources that address this knowledge gap on the grander scale of our own society and the rest of the world for that matter.

The blog’s greatness lies in my mission to make a positive difference in improving financial well being and literacy, but also in being a member of the PF blogging community at large. The PF community’s potential for greatness is unlimited and simply cannot be overstated. Whether that’s by achieving SMART goals as evidenced by the 1500 days journey or by many of the readers here who intimately understand what it takes to go the extra mile in achieving set goals.

For example here are some recent posts on Personal Finance:

And a few more in Health and Prevention:

As Healthcare is gradually making progressive steps towards value based care, a lot of these efforts include improved transparency on financing and greater in prevention. I aim and hope to help demystify that and distill it such that it is value add.

Tell me how you’re going to change the world with your blog (dream big or don’t dream at all!).
My drive has always been to make a positive difference for those I have the opportunity to interact with. By training, I am in the business of population health as a preventive medicine physician and the blog offers a real way to reach the full potential of what can come from helping more people than is possible using other mediums. One thing we can never do is underestimate our potential to change the world, even if it’s the world of one person, that’s still an amazing accomplishment and fully worth the effort. Continue reading

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My Psychiatric Evaluation with Physician on Fire

The Physician on Fire (PoF) participated in my 10 Questions feature a couple weeks ago. HIs answers were pretty great, so go read them if you haven’t already.

The PoF then asked me if I’d be willing to answer some of his questions. “Sure!” I enthusiastically replied , not knowing what I was getting myself into.

The interview started off fairly normal. The doctor asked me routine questions about money and financial independence. Then he hit me up with this one:

What do you see here*?

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Damned if I know. It kind of looks like the front of my shirt after I’ve eaten dinner and spilled my food or beverage all over myself (a common occurrence).

The questions returned to normal for a while. PoF asked me about travel and food. Easy; warm beaches and cold beer! Then, it got weird again:

What was your relationship with your mother like**?

And this one:

Tell me about a recent dream***.

And then the interview went off the deep end. PoF is obviously a fan of the movie Airplane:

Do you like movies about gladiators****?

Have you ever been in a Turkish prison*****?

PoF, I thought you were an anesthesiologist, not a Freudian psychotherapist obsessed with Airplane. I’m confused.

In any case, please read the entire therapy session interview over at Physician on Fire.



*He didn’t really ask me this.

**He didn’t ask me this either.


****I made this up too. For the record, I don’t enjoy gladiator movies.

*****More lies. And I have never been in a Turkish prison.

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Ping Pong Machines and Jet Fighter Dreams

Recently, I learned two things about ping pong:

#1: Don’t call it “ping pong”

I recently attended a local Ping Pong club with a friend, A Noonan Moose from Frugal Fringe. I wasn’t sure I was at the right place, so I asked the guy working the front desk of the gym:

  • Me: Is this where the ping pong club plays?
  • Desk Guy: What?
  • Me: The ping pong club. Am I at the right place?
  • Desk Guy <sneering at me now>: Huh?
  • Me: Ummmmmmm…
  • Desk Girl, speaking directly to Desk Guy: Table tennis! He’s talking about table tennis.
  • Desk Guy: Yeah, you’re at the right place.

The guy knew damn well what I was talking about. He was just obstinate. Who knew there could be this kind of pretentiousness in a game where you hit a little plastic ball at someone?

the table tennis club

The table tennis club

#2: I suck at ping pong table tennis

I entered the gym to find the club attendees setting up tables. Continue reading

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Ask the Readers: What will your FI Life look Like?

Below is a picture of Michael Bolton. My strange mind has been waiting to use it in a post for a long, long time. We’ll  get to him in a moment.

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Last week I asked you to comment on two things:

Tell me about a ridiculous purchase.

Could you guess what my recent ridiculous purchase was? The only hint I gave you was that it’s a ball machine that will set me back $500.

I’ll tell you about my new ball machine on Wednesday. Here is what you had to say about your silly spending:

Reader Becky is hilarious: Continue reading

Posted in Ask the readers | 61 Comments