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 earlier this year, 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 October. But first, I must talk about kicks to the groin. Oof!
Kick me in the Nuts (and The Epiphany)
So, I just returned from Ecuador where I attended the annual party put on by Jimmy Collins and friends. I am working on an epic, three part writeup about the experience, but today I’ll be talking about the equator.
The first day of the trip, we visited the middle of the earth:
I first spied pictures of the equator sometime in elementary school. I thought it was awesome. Visiting the equator was on my bucket list before bucket lists were even a thing. As I sat there at the middle of the earth, two thoughts occurred to me:
- Holy crap, this is awesome! I’m at the friggin’ equator!
- I was happy to be seeing something I’ve been wanting to visit for years, but then another thought washed over me: I haven’t been happy in a long time. I’ve had short spurts of happiness, but I haven’t had deep, consistent happiness.
And I deserve a swift kick in the nuts for that last bit because I’ve had a great life:
- I’m 42 and have enough money to never work again: Sure, it was a lot of hard work (I had $60,000 in debt less than 20 years ago), but I’m fortunate to have been born in a place where effort is rewarded.
- I have a fine marriage and good kids: Sure, the wife and I fight sometimes and the kids fight all the time, but family life is solid.
- Bucket list!: Besides visiting the equator, I’ve done all kinds of other cool stuff:
- I’ve visited 39/50 states. I’ll knock most of the remaining 11 out in 2017.
- I’ve ran with the bulls in Pamplona.
- I’ve stood on top of Mt. Whitney, Half Dome and the Eiffel Tower.
- I’ve built some awesome shit: I’ve turned ugly houses into beautiful homes with my own hands.
- I’ve convinced my daughters that marshmallows are a tree fruit. Ok, this one isn’t so great, they they all can’t be winners.
In Ecuador, one of the presenters (Cheryl) gave a talk on happiness. She mentioned that 50% of happiness is determined by genetics. I lost the gene lottery on that because I’m not a happy person by nature.
UPDATE! Shut your complainy, whiny, mouth 1500!
Since writing the first draft of this post, I had an epiphany. Something happened in Ecuador that was a wake up call and made me realize that my life needed to move in a new direction. Big changes are on the way. Very soon. This deserves its own post, so you’ll have to wait a couple weeks while I wrap my mind around it.
My winning streak came to an end in October. After 5 straight months of portfolio increases, I took one on the chin this month. My portfolio went from $1,230,542 down to $1,219,095 for a decrease of $11,447. It’s all good because it’s silly and dangerous to expect your investments to increase in a steady, linear fashion. While the long term trajectory is upward, like a lot of things in life, the stock market is cyclical.
2016 (as of 10/31/2016)
- Days elapsed: 305
- Days remaining: 61
- 2016 gains: $161,134 (including 401(k) and some after tax contributions of about $30,000)
- 2016 401(k) contributions: $51,000****
Since the start (1/1/2013)
- Days elapsed: 1398
- Days remaining: 102
- Gains since 1/1/2013: $633,052
- Needed to quit work ($1,120,000 in investments): Mission accomplished!
- Net worth*****: $1,469,095
Another kick in the Nuts (Black Trumpeter Swans)
I don’t like discussing politics. You’re not going to change anyone’s mind, so what’s the point in bleating your beliefs? It just leads to alcohol infused spats at Thanksgiving. Uncle Larry knows he’s right and anyone who thinks different is an idiot. We all have an Uncle Larry, don’t we?
I avoid the topic of politics like the plague unless I know I can have a thoughtful, conflict free conversation. However, I need to discuss the effect of the president-elect on my portfolio because it’s a
black swan event black trumpeter swan event:
The election of Trump has kicked my portfolio in the nuts. While I’m an indexer now, I still have stocks left over from my stock picking days. Unfortunately, Trump has previously declared war on some of my biggest holdings including Amazon and Apple. While the rest of the stock market soared after the election, my tech heavy portfolio has dropped almost $50,000.
I’m not optimistic about what the next 4 years has in store for my holdings. Most of the companies in my portfolio have values that are at odds with Trump. For example, Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple are all supportive of clean energy. Trump denies global warming, so coal mining companies may fare better over the next four years.
Enough Trump talk. I won’t bring it up again. If you’re in it for the long term (and you should be), four years doesn’t mean much.
Optimism (Now it’s Time for Change)
I’ve been so negative lately. On Monday, I complained about health care. Today, I’m complaining about not being happy. Waaa waaaa waaaaaa!
I can’t let the cat out of the bag about my big epiphany yet, but the Ecuador trip convinced me that my life has been in a rut. Lack of time has taken me away from the things that matter. I had been working out and getting results, but I gave it up because I had no time:
I haven’t been reading much.
I let my Diet Mountain Dew habit get out of hand (3 cans per day, really?).
Most of all, I forgot about doing work that really moves me (the epiphany has to do with this).
However, it’s all about to change:
- The home improvements are done: No more evenings and weekends swinging a hammer.
- This week is my last week of full-time work for the man: After this week, I go down to a Tuesday-Thursday schedule. No more 40 hour weeks for The Man. Ever.
Now that I have time, I seek to do nothing less than reinvent myself. I want to start attacking the reading list that’s grown out of hand. I want to learn to play Rocket Queen on my electric guitar. I want to get rid of my stomach flab and crank out 20 pull-ups and 100 push ups in a row. I’m a builder and I want to work at things that move me. It’s time to destroy the person I’ve been and start over.
Life is too short to not follow your passions.
*My goal isn’t to have $1,120,000 at the end of 1500 days, but at any time before the day count was up. Why? It all goes back to the 4% Rule. Remember that our little friend, Mr. 4%, is nothing more than the most conservative safe withdrawal rate. So, if I were to quit my job now, I could spend about $44,000 in my first year of retirement. I’d stick very close to that number too because market valuations are ambitious. Let’s say that Mr. Market caught a cold tomorrow and my portfolio dropped down to $800,000. No big deal. This would mean I’d be safer stretching my spending a little north of 4%.
**My original goal was $1,000,000 and no debt, I later raised the goal by $120,000 to $1,120,000 because I will have debt in the form of a mortgage and I firmly believe in not paying it off. My compromise is to have enough money put away to cover the mortgage at the time of retirement. So, to retire today, I would need about $1,120,000.
***This is an affiliate link. If you sign up, the blog (me) makes some cold, hard cash. Personal Capital is a totally free and awesome way to keep watch over your investments. It’s worth it for the fee analyzer alone. I would never recommend anything that I don’t personally use and completely believe in, so give it a try. If you’ve already signed up through the link, please know that you are a fine person of above-average intelligence.
****My 401(k) contributions include my own, Mrs. 15oo’s, and the contributions from my corporation. Self-employment with a solo 401(k) is a very powerful savings tool. I should have done this years ago.
*****The numbers on the right side of the page only reflect my investments and cash. Net worth includes, but is not limited to
- Home equity
- Fun dinosaur pictures! In Ecuador, if anyone left their phone unattended, I “borrowed” it and discretely photographed Frugalsaurus and Spendosaurus. I didn’t photo-bomb everyone’s phone, but I got most. Here are a couple samples that I snagged from the event’s facebook group:
Receive Email Updates!
I'll never ever spam you. And if you sign up, you'll be my favorite person. Really.