Performance Update (Day 1550): Daughter D Learns a New Word

My main goal was to build an investment and cash portfolio of $1,120,000* in 1500 days**, starting from 1/1/2013 and ending in February of 2017. I made my goal last year and my 1500 Days are over, but in the interest of openness, I’ll continue to share my numbers.

Our 7 year old (I’ll call her D) says crazy things. On a recent trip, she unleashed a couple memorable lines:

We were at a playground and she was standing on a concrete block. I asked her to jump off and she replied:

Dad, I’m not risking my life for that.

Much to my angst, she loves TV. I hardly ever let her watch it, but in a hotel room, I had some stuff to do. To keep her busy, I said it was OK if she watched one show. She got very agitated when she couldn’t get the TV to work and with great enthusiasm, she let this out:

The TV is a douchebag!

I hate that word, so I never use it. I wonder where Daughter D got it from? Oh wait, I know:

Mrs. 1500 doesn’t know the T-shirt Rules (you can’t wear your own shirt). (Mrs. 1500 note: It’s meta. And douchebag is literally my favorite word.)

Anyway, I recently had a conversation with Daughter D about money:

  • Me: What is your net worth?
  • D: Ummm???
  • Me: I mean, how much money do you have?
  • D: $45.
  • Me: Is that a lot?
  • D: No.
  • Me: What is a lot?
  • D: $100.
  • Me: What would you do with $100?
  • D: If there was a house for like $99, I’d buy it. I’d then fill it with dogs.
  • Me: Do you know what our house is worth?
  • D: Probably $1,000,000. (Actual value is $460,000)
  • Me. How much did our Honda Element cost?
  • D: $200. (Actual price was $20,000)

And so it goes. Little Daughter D has a lot to learn about money.


March Update

March was a great month. My portfolio went from $1,351,858 to $1,389,206 for a gain of $37,348. $16,470 of the gain was from 401(k) contributions.

Chart from Personal Capital***

2017 (as of 3/31/2017)

  • Days elapsed: 90
  • 2017 gains: $132,078 (including 401(k) contributions of $27,940****)

Since the start (1/1/2013)

  • Days elapsed: 1550
  • Gains since 1/1/2013: $803,163
  • Needed to quit work ($1,120,000 in investments): Mission accomplished!
  • Net worth*****: $1,759,206


Valuation Consternation

Market valuations are sky high and it scares me.

I’m not a market timer, so I’m not calling a top and moving money to cash. However, when other opportunities present themselves, I open my ears and my wallet. This is especially true with real estate.

I’m not buying any properties personally. Instead, I’m helping others buy them in the form of hard money and syndication. I currently have two hard money loans ($195,000) and $50,000 with a syndicator. This month, I’m loaning another $60,000 in hard money to bring our loans up to $305,000.

I like the real estate investments a ton. With the hard money loans, I’m in first position on the lien and have low loan to value ratios. The worst case scenario is that we end up owning a property or two. The syndication deal has more risk, but the syndicator has an excellent record, so I don’t lose sleep over it.

If all of these investments go as planned, I’ll make a 12% return. I’ll take that any day of the week.


Experiment Update

I still have unhealthy desires to buy individual stocks. To convince myself that this is a bad idea, I chose a portfolio of my favorite companies and threw $10,000 at it. The goal here is to lose to the S&P 500 so I no longer want to pick stocks. March was a tumultuous month, but I’m still winning.

Still winning. Blue is me, green is the S&P.


Health Update

I’m on the road in Chicago living the hotel life. I didn’t take pictures or weigh myself before I left, so you’ll have to wait until next month for an update. Do you really want to see those pictures anyway?

Instead, I’ll let Mrs. 1500 have the final word.



*My goal wasn’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 $48,000 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, beautiful, 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 ($350,000 after the appraisal!)
  • Cars
  • Bicycles
  • Zzzzzzz: I just worked a 12 hour day (7 more to go!). I’m tired, so nothing clever here this month.

Join the 10s who have signed up already!

Subscribing will improve your life in incredible ways*.

*Only if your life is pretty bad to begin with.

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41 Responses to Performance Update (Day 1550): Daughter D Learns a New Word

  1. Congrats on hitting your goals. They sure are driving you hard for work with a week to go. Or is it you driving you to not feel like you left them high and dry? I’m guessing the latter as I can see myself doing that, but I’m curious,
    FullTimeFinance recently posted…Personal Finance: The intermix of Tactics and StrategyMy Profile

  2. Your plan is on point! One week to go! man that must be a good feeling.

  3. Curious where you find the other party in your hard money loan investments. Word of mouth?
    Fervent Finance recently posted…Slowing Things DownMy Profile

  4. Brian says:

    Not letting you coast the last free days at work? What’s up with that?

    I love the honestly kids speak with at a young age. Our youngest son always spoke his mind. To the point my wife and I were almost afraid of things he might said to others, about their appearance. He never called anyone a D-Bag. 🙂

    Congrats on another great month.
    Brian recently posted…Net Worth Update: March 2017My Profile

  5. So the 4-plex owning old lady neighbor still refused to sell? Lame. I’d be interested to hear more about those hard money deals. Sounds interesting!
    Gwen @ Fiery Millennials recently posted…Monthly Status Report: March 2017My Profile

    • Old lady is in her mid 90s and still going strong. Barring a miracle, the 4-plex won’t happen. It’s the crown jewel, multi-family property in town and someone will pay (overpay) over $1,000,000 for it.

      • “Every decade or so, dark clouds will fill the economic skies, and they will briefly rain gold. When downpours of that sort occur, it’s imperative that we rush outdoors carrying washtubs, not teaspoons. And that we will do.” I don’t see many dark skies right now…why not wait to invest in a 4-plex when it is raining gold?
        mrplantingourpennies recently posted…PoP Balance Sheet – March 2017My Profile

        • Nice Buffettism. I dig it.

          Yep, I’ll invest in the 4-plex when the price is right. Just like you with your duplex. In our case, the price may never be right, but I’m OK with that. There is always opportunity somewhere.

  6. Argh! That word gets under my skin too. Probably because my best friend growing up used it all the time – probably because he knew I hated it. Great guy.

    Would love to hear more about the experience and details of the hard money lending. I too am fearful of overvaluation in the market and am looking for other opportunities, but I don’t even know where to begin on the hard money front.
    Freedom 40 plan recently posted…Monthly Net Worth Update – March 2017 – $1,366,136 [+14,004]My Profile

    • “Would love to hear more about the experience and details of the hard money lending.”

      BiggerPockets is a great place to start. Free too!

      And yeah, I need to write a post on it. Soon…

  7. LOL I feel ya on the weight thing, and it’s kind of funny that D picked up on that word (although I’m sure you’re not thinking so). 🙂 I’m a little jealous, er, I mean impressed your net worth went up what a lot of people’s yearly salary is.

    • “although I’m sure you’re not thinking so”

      The ability of young minds to pick up dirty words never ceases to amaze me. We had to show D the letter “Q” about 500 times before she remembered it. However, utter one naughty word and it gets embedded in their brains forever!

  8. I’m glad you’re still doing these updates. I also love the stock market challenge. I’ve learned the hard way that I am a terrible stock picker. S & P 500 index from here on out for me!

  9. Miss Mazuma says:

    Damn! Those are some nice looking gains since 2013. Just goes to show the value of compound interest yet again. My nut is quite small in comparison but I am still amazed at how quickly it is gaining. I can’t wait to see what the next 5 years will do!!

    Your daughter is adorable…even with the beginning stages of trucker mouth. I have the confirmed mouth of a trucker and have worked very hard over the past decade to really perfect the nuances that come with it. I think I’ll take a page from D and add douchbag to my repertoire. Really rolls off the tongue… 😉
    Miss Mazuma recently posted…2017 1st Qtr Net Worth & Savings Rates…Homerun!!My Profile

    • “Damn! Those are some nice looking gains since 2013.”

      Yeah, once that snowball starts going, the snowball starts going. If you know what I mean. It’s fun to watch.

      Little D used douchebag a second time today. This time, she called her sister a db. Sigh…

  10. Hi Carl,

    Stocks are high these days. If you look at forward earnings however, they are “more reasonable”.

    I recently looked at the S&P 500 earnings history in a blog post. The big cause of concern to me is the lack of earnings growth on S&P 500 over the past decade. If earnings do not start growing soon, we may not get good returns over the next decade. Of course, I am not a market timer either, so I will just sit tight.

    I think that if you can find a way to earn 10% – 12% elsewhere, you should take it.
    Dividend Growth Investor recently posted…Raytheon (RTN): A High Dividend Growth Stock to Consider on DipsMy Profile

  11. Joe says:

    How did you get into real estate lending? That sounds really interesting to me, but I have no idea how to start. Maybe go to the local landlord association meetings?
    Our kid doesn’t understand money either. He has $300 in his piggy bank and he think can afford all the LEGO and toys he want. We don’t let him buy them, though. I guess we’ll keep talking about money so he know the value of $300.

    • “How did you get into real estate lending?”

      The wife works for BiggerPockets, which is a great resource. We researched this shit out of it and proceeded very cautiously. We charge a smaller rate than most hard money lenders (and no points), but we only lend to a couple people.

  12. Nga Pham says:

    The stock market is always interesting and challenging. But I like it haha. Sometimes like we are exercising for the heart. Look at the table, nervous can not breathe.
    Currently I am investing in real estate companies. One day I will use interest to buy a property for my own.
    Tks for sharing!

  13. Hee hee hee, D sure is adorable! I’m sure she’ll learn about money in no time. 😉 Sorry to hear about the exhausting travel! Great job with the numbers, as always. 🙂
    Mrs. Picky Pincher recently posted…The Picky Pinchers’ March Budget ReportMy Profile

  14. Mrs. BITA says:

    How did you get started with the hard money loans?

    Shortly after Toddler BITA discovered the spoken word, she and I were playing in the family room. Mr. BITA was in the kitchen. He opened up the slow cooker to transfer the pork chops into a container to put into the fridge. He discovered that I had not noticed that the temperature probe was lying on the base of the slow cooker before I put the inner container with the pork chops in. As a result the probe had melted and fused to the base, ruining the cooker. He said “Fuck!”. Cut to the family room. Toddler BITA didn’t look up from her blocks. She kept playing. But she started to chant, “fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck”. We froze and just didn’t react at all. Eventually she stopped. #ParentingAtItsFinest

    Mr. BITA argues that the fact that fuck was one of the first ten words toddler BITA said was morally my fault because I left the probe in there. I remain skeptical of this argument.
    Mrs. BITA recently posted…On the path to financial independence: March 2017My Profile

    • “How did you get started with the hard money loans?”

      The wife works for BiggerPockets and we connected with people there. The site is a great resource and it’s free.

      Oh. My. God. That story is friggin’ hilarious!!! Little brains are sponges for new words. It was good of you not to draw attention to it. Too bad you didn’t have it on video though.

      Mr. 1500 trivia: My dad hit is hand with a hammer and dropped a big f-bomb when I was a baby. Fuck became my first word, although my parents would like and tell others it was “car.’

      • Mrs. BITA says:

        Hahahahahhaha. Your poor parents.

        I have another: Mr. BITA was making drinks. He told Toddler BITA he was making cocktails, and she repeated the new word a few times. The next morning, her brain apparently forgot half the word and she ran around in little circles shouting out the first syllable (and pointing at our bar). At least with this one we had plausible deniability and could claim that she was talking about a rooster.
        Mrs. BITA recently posted…On the path to financial independence: March 2017My Profile

  15. Mr. Tako says:

    Well, I’m glad my kids haven’t hit that age yet. They’re still at the ‘No’ stage.

    “Is it time for bed?” – “No”
    “Want to go out for dinner?” – “No”
    “Want a million dollars?” – “No!”

    Everything I suggest gets a “No!”…but I’m sure I’ll get into douchebaggery at some point.

    Enjoy your time traveling Carl!
    Mr. Tako recently posted…March 2017 Dividend Income And ExpensesMy Profile

  16. Brent says:

    I think we are in agreement that during Chicago trips, the weight scale gets a little break!!! Haha!

  17. I’m also on a work trip to Chicago, came up from sunny Phoenix and immediately remembered why I moved to begin with. I always find it funny when people in Phoenix complain about traffic, we have the adorable version of rush hour compared to Chicago. Hope you’ve been enjoying the rainy weather we’ve had the last couple of days. I’m super tired as well from working 12 hour days that I can totally relate. Looks like you have at least one more person to inspire along her own journey to financial independence.

    Love the post, great job as always!

    • Oh man, you should have come out for pizza with us tonight. Oh well. And yeah, the sun is a rare sight in the windy city. Unfortunately, horrendous traffic is not…

  18. Tom says:

    Carl, just wanted to write that an earlier mention of the Solo 401k from you is probably one of the most important things I read this year.

    With consultant-dom pending (and last week I thought I’d have nothing to do after I left work – ha!), knowing there is a way to mitigate at least some of the taxes from that additional money is crucial for the next 18 months.

  19. Desi Guy says:

    Glad to see that you continue these updates. Very motivating for a lot of us 🙂
    I am not that great at picking stocks either, in fact i am good at avoiding the nice ones (like passing on facebook at $19 a piece :)).
    Currently am only contributing to index funds via the 401k, waiting for the market to cool off a bit…
    Desi Guy recently posted…Passive Income Update – March 2017My Profile

  20. Kids are so funny! I can’t wait for TFS Jr to start talking.

    Sorry but I have to go with Mrs 1500 here, DB is one of my fav words ever!
    It might be because no one ever says it in the UK so it’s quite novel/funny when you do hear it.

    Great month, enjoy the travels and looking forward to some pics of the naked 1500 torso next time! 🙂

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