Performance Update, Day 1641: Falling on the Beerwagon

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 is very expressive. Here she is eating Costco pizza. I admit that the pizza isn’t that great, but from the look on her face, you’d think that we were feeding her rat poison:

She is also expressive in her art:

I didn’t know this about rhinos:

A couple week ago, she presented Mrs. 1500 and I with this piece:

  • Me: What is this?
  • Child: It’s beer! You and mommy like to drink beer!
  • Me: Oh, ok, thanks?!??
  • Child: Are you going to hang it up on your office wall with my other art?
  • Me: Ummmmmm….

First, we don’t drink beer out of a glass that looks like that. Our child calls all adult beverages beer. Her art was a picture of one of Mrs. 1500’s wine glasses.

But that is one small detail. The real issue is this:

Let’s back up a minute…



Before I left my job, I led a disciplined life. Some of my rules:

  • No alcohol Sunday – Thursday: I wanted to be in top form for my job.
  • Regular exercise: I’d workout at least 3 days a week. I’d alternate between running, biking and P90x.
  • Semi-normal bedtime: I’d try to have the lights out my 9 or 10. I wasn’t very good at this one.

And I only thought my routine would get better when I left my job in April. I had big dreams:

  • I’ll get myself in the best shape of my life!
  • I’ll have loads of time to read!
  • I’ll have the lights out at 9pm every night.

It didn’t quite work out like that.


No Discipline

Events related to early retirement conspired against my plans.

First, I went on a lot of trips:

  • I went to Wisconsin.
  • Then on to Florida.
  • Wisconsin again.
  • And then over two weeks in Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin again.

On vacation, I tend to let my routine slip. And slip it did.

At the Physician on FIRE’s second home

The official state food of Wisconsin

And then my freedom allowed for more social gatherings. Many of these took place at local microbreweries.

The fun came to a head on the 4th of July at our friends’ annual party. I decided to copy a local restaurant and make beeritas. A beerita is a margarita plus beer. I forgot to take a picture of one of my creations, but here is one at the restaurant:

By now, you probably think that I have no liver. It’s not that bad. On most days, I have zero drinks. But I’ve been having more than I had when I was working.

I fell off the discipline-wagon and landed on the beerwagon.

Now, it’s time to get back to a healthier place.

More biking, less beering.

More P90x, less pizza.

More kettlebells, less kettle chips.

You get the picture.

Except for that trip next month to see the Mad Fientist


Performance Update: June

June was a down month. Our portfolio started at $1,405,617 and ended at $1,404,233 for a small loss:

Personal Capital!*** (that steep increase is because PC suddenly remembered my ETrade account)

Down ~$1,000? This is the most boring performance update ever:

Earnings season is upon us, so next month’s update should be more exciting. I believe in indexing now, but my portfolio is still a throwback to my days as a stock-picker:

Listing from Personal Capital!***

Because I have so much money in individual stocks, my portfolio is volatile. Earnings season is a roller coaster.

2017 (as of 7/1/2017)

Since the start (1/1/2013)

  • Days elapsed: 1641
  • Portfolio gains since 1/1/2013: $818,190
  • Needed to quit work ($1,120,000 in investments): Mission accomplished!
  • Net worth: $1,859,233 which includes:
    • Investment portfolio and cash: $1,404,233
    • Home equity: $390,000
    • Silly toy car: $45,000
    • Other cars, bikes, dinosaurs: $20,000

Diversification through Real Estate

We now have a $364,671.23 in private loans ($314,671.23) and syndication ($50,000).

Private loans: The $314,671 in private money is comprised of 4 loans. They bring in $2,525/month or $30,300/year. Three of these loans are 1 year in term at 10%. The other is longer term and we earn 8%. I love these numbers and these loans. We’re going to close on another private loan soon.

My long term goal is to have my money evenly split between real estate and index funds. This will allow me to have some fun reallocating money. For example, if the stock market took a drop of 50%, I’d direct more money to VTSAX.

As conditions stand now, I’m throwing money at private loans as fast as I’m offered them: (scary?)

Syndication: I have invested $50,000 in one syndication deal. The return is variable, but if projections are on target, I’ll earn over 10%. While this investment is young, it’s outperforming so far. I plan on investing another $50,000 in a separate syndication deal later this year.

All of these investments are funded through my self-directed solo 401(k), a tax sheltered account.


Discipline Equals Freedom

We’re halfway done with the year and it’s time to get back on track. No more screwing around. I’m giving myself until the end of the year to:

  • Get my body fat down to under 15%: I’m somewhere between 20 and 25% now (5’11” at 166 pounds). I found a place near me that measures body fat percentage with water displacement (the most accurate method). Stay tuned for a titillating update in a future post before the end of the year.
  • 50 push-ups: I used to be able to do this.
  • 20 pull-ups: I’m up to 7.

Sorry, but in the name of transparency, there will be pictures. Sensitive readers, avert your eyes now:





  • Finish decluttering: We moved from a 4500 square foot home into 1850. And we brought all of our stuff with us. We’re about halfway through a massive decluttering effort. My main enemy is the garage which despite what it looks like below, is light years ahead of where it was two months ago:

From top left, moving clockwise: Chaos, more chaos, not too bad, gratuitous shot of the NSX’s sexy roofline amongst the chaos.


I look forward to getting life back in order. I don’t look forward to showing you more pictures of my skinny white torso, but I do it for you. Hey, stop laughing!


Halfway Done!

2017 is halfway in the bag. Where did the year go?

  • Did you make resolutions and if so, how are they going?
  • How would you rate your 2017 so far?
  • Do you have any big goals to complete in the next 6 months?


*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.

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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47 Responses to Performance Update, Day 1641: Falling on the Beerwagon

  1. Great update and I am cracking up at your daughters art work and her faces. She seems like she is a fun kid to be around. Although I do worry that she likes rhinos bc they eat people.

    • She is fun! She says the craziest things too. Like this comment recently after she tried a dish Mrs. 1500 cooked up:

      “Yuk! This either tastes like zucchini or puke.”

  2. I’ve noticed when you take away structure, you tend to lose… structure.

    Structure to your schedule, routine habits, including exercise, sleeping, and general self restraint. At least you’re having fun, though.

    20 pullups as a goal? In what time frame — like a day? Or a week?


    • Ha ha, I’ll be mad if I can’t crank out 20 pull-ups in a row by 1/1/18. Getting closer to 150 would make it much easier…

      I just learned that their is a pull-up competition at Camp Mustache Florida which I’ll be attending, so I’m super motivated.

  3. Loved the update. The cool thing is even after slacking off a wee bit you’re still in decent shape! I am also trying to decrease my BF percentage. The wife likes a six pack and my work pays me for a low BMI ($200 cold hard cash). I’m currently at 20% body fat and 44% muscle, looking to get down to something like 16-18% body fat while maintaining muscle. We should start up a competition amongst you and the readers for most BF percentage lost! 🙂

    • “We should start up a competition amongst you and the readers for most BF percentage lost! ”

      Love the idea! How do we do it? I’ll throw in $100 prize for motivation. Maybe we can just do it as a percentage of weight lost?

  4. At least those beers were from some excellent micro-breweries! Good luck with new routine!

    And your daughter is adorable! 🙂

  5. I’m very interested to see how the private loans go. Curious to see if they hold strong (or stronger than stocks, at least) in a downturn.

    And love the family updates and pictures, of course!
    Matt @ Optimize Your Life recently posted…As Happy as an Old PersonMy Profile

    • Yeah! The main reason I like the loans is that I’m confident they’ll do OK when the market finally corrects. And then I’ll divert money back to the S&P 500 with proceeds from the loans. And if my borrowers stop paying me, I get to own some more real estate!

  6. Team CF says:

    Dear fellow alcoholic and workout fanatic, we already have a 3.5 year old with a love for alcohol free beer (she is now even requesting her own bottle when daddy has a beer). I foresee a terrible (but jolly) future for both our kids 😉
    Thanks for the safety moment on kettle bells.
    P.s. those personal loans are amazing! Like Matt said, hope they work out well during a downturn.
    Team CF recently posted…The FIRE BarnMy Profile

  7. Thanks for sharing! Love the faces that your daughter makes! Looks like you might have a diva on your hands haha

    Glad you went on some fun trips and let your discipline slip a bit. Looking forward to seeing your progress as you get back into things!

    • She is a firecracker! And I didn’t mention that she’d obsessed and fascinated with bad words. She doesn’t say them, but the second someone says one or she sees one, she focuses in like a laser.

  8. To our son beer and wine is called “juice” or “special juice.” I’m not sure you would be able to get away with that now since my son is 2.5.

    I don’t blame you from wanting to spend so much time in WI and MN, it is pretty awesome up here. Plus we have some great beer! Perhaps not as great as Belgium beer though 😉
    Budget On a Stick recently posted…Escaping The American TrapMy Profile

  9. Samantha says:

    I have to kindly disagree with your daughter and say that Costco pizza is a wonderful heavenly creation. That is all.

  10. Brian says:

    Even though she does seem to like Costco pizza, I like her spirit not wanted to waste it and powering through. 🙂

    Is there any money in memes? I think you found your next side hustle. Great recap and photos.
    Brian recently posted…Mid-Year Goal Check-InMy Profile

  11. Letting loose a little after retirement is expected. I don’t see any harm in that but having a plan is key. The hedonistic treadmill can get ramped up when it pertains to food and lounging just as much as it could with spending.
    If you were disciplined enough to save like you did, you’ll get back to where you want to be in other ways.
    I took a break myself from running the last six months but I made myself sign up for a half marathon in December so I’m back out there again in the 100 degree heat running (really jogging at this point) to build back up the endurance for December.

    • Whoah, how do you run in the heat? I can’t stand it. I just don’t like being hot period. My ideal temperature to workout in is about 60. Heat is the main thing holding me back right now actually.

      • It’s not fun. I slow my pace about 60-90 seconds per mile and that keeps me from passing out. I figure it will pay dividends come movement when it gets down to 70 here.

        • Do you notice your time slowing down? I’m a minute slower in the heat. I try to go first thing in the morning to avoid it, but that’s not always possible with the children out of school.

  12. MrWow says:

    You act as if beer is bad? Beer is a gift from the gods.

    That being said my biking has escalated and I’m hoping to maintain 100+ miles a week. With running and some occasional weights.

    Give Insanity a try. I think that’s the best bang for the buck work out and it’s all body weight so travels well. Do that 3-5 times a week. It’s no joke and Shaun T is just as quotable as Tony Horton. “I hate it, but I love it”. Hit us up if you need it.

  13. Kyle says:

    your just riding the retirement honeymoon high, time to get back to discipline. My goal since July last year was to get to 170 lbs by July 4th. Mission accomplished. I’m 6’11” too and just hit 165 lbs this morning. I feel a friendly competition coming on.
    My goal is to get further in shape, and renovate a large section of my house before winter. I’m not sure where to invest excess funds, another goal of mine.

  14. Mr. SSC says:

    Our kids have recently “discovered” alcohol and beer while we were on vacation. Meaning they figured out the words, asked ltos of questions and now are in alcohol crazed mode. Evidently in the bath yesterday, the talk was all about beer and alcohol… (lowered head shake)

    I’ve been slacking on the exercise this summer, and definitely on the beer drinking reduction, but that will die down because I have an upcoming race to train for, so… yeah…

    Good luck on your goals!
    Mr. SSC recently posted…According to “Retirement Calculators” I’ll Never Retire…My Profile

  15. Ms. Montana says:

    The private loans are super interesting! I looked at getting a construction loan a few years back and they were crazy expensive! I thought, “there must be a better way than this!” ($7,000 closing, 12% during construction, only 9 month time frame then another $4k closing cost) A private loan at 10% actually looks like a heck of a deal in that situation, for both parties. We are starting to get cash heavy, but lending that out might be a great option. =)
    Ms. Montana recently posted…10 Lessons from a Mini-RetirementMy Profile

  16. Jason says:

    Well, 12 oz curls can be exercise :). I am sure you will find your way back to routine, once the summer is over, the girls are back in school and the like. Summer can be difficult for all routines. It is for mine and I go to my office 3 times a week.

  17. Mr. Tako says:

    Today I learned several things: What a beerita is. To avoid Rhino’s. Mr. 1500’s daughter takes hilarious pictures

    All in all, I’d call this a good bit of learning for one day! 🙂

    Take it easy Carl — it’s a marathon not a sprint!
    Mr. Tako recently posted…The Keys To Wealth: 4 Investing Books That Changed My LifeMy Profile

  18. Tawcan says:

    ROFL on your kids think you guys are alcoholics.

    Maybe you should be on a “see food diet” – you see food you eat it! Ha! 😀

    If you ever come up to Vancouver we should hang out, lots great breweries here.

  19. It’s hard to pass up a good microbrewery! They’re expensive, though. I love the one we used to frequent, but a pint was something in the neighborhood of $6-7.

    So far, 2017 has been all about working and getting ourselves organized in various aspects of our lives. Nothing glamorous so far, but definitely rewarding.

  20. Bahaha! Kids are so innocent and honest, aren’t they? Good for you for adjusting to a more disciplined lifestyle. It’s so hard not to fall off the wagon! For me the issue is with exercise. I absolutely hate it, but I’m getting a little doughy, so it’s a necessity. But if I go just one day without exercising, it turns into a month of no-exercise. Ugh.

    So just gotta stay the course. 🙂
    Mrs. Picky Pincher recently posted…How to Make Cold Brew CoffeeMy Profile

  21. Great update & great pictures!

    I love the mid-year update from all the FIRE folks. Gets my competitive juices flowing

  22. GYM says:

    Your daughter is adorable, especially in meme form! That Costco pizza looks good- I have yet to try one but I’m already a huge fan of the hotdog and drink combo for $1.50 (CDN). Sounds like you have some new goals to set up now that you’ve met your financial goals! 🙂

  23. The Roamer says:

    I am laughing so hard for 2 reason.
    1. I can’t believe the irony that I just left a comment about drinking on your last post.
    2. You are really good with your images and captions. The faces you capture and the captions you add!

    I hope you can get back on track with your work out routine. It looks like your goals are all health wise. Let me know if there is anything I can do to keep you motivated.

    As for me. I cannot believe it is the middle of the year. Jr is going back to school in a few weeks and I still have a lot to purge before we move to Michigan in Oct.

    But congrats on the garage, it is way better then the last time you posted a picture with the wet saw( i believe) in the foreground. You’ve made huge strides in that.
    The Roamer recently posted…Capsule 8: Spring & 2 years of capsule wardrobesMy Profile

    • Thanks for the kind words Roamer! The garage is looking better, but still needs about 20 hours of time to be in the shape I want.

      My kid makes the best faces. She is a never-ending source of material!

  24. Joe says:

    Awesome update man. One tip about exercise. You should schedule time for it everyday. Well, at least 5 days per week. I scheduled a time to workout whenever my kid goes to school and it worked really well. I did 19 pull ups check out my video. It’s about half way in this post.
    Summer has been tough, though. Our kid is out of school and I haven’t had time to work out much. I’ll have to start over again in Autumn. At least, I’m not drinking that much beer. 🙂

    • “One tip about exercise. You should schedule time for it everyday.”

      Agreed, but like you said, it’s almost impossible now with the girls out of school. We’re just too busy. Once September rolls around, I’ll be able to get on a normal routine.

      Nice work on the pull-ups! Teach me your secrets!

  25. Haha!
    That was a laugh of recognition!
    I’ve had 4 weeks off recently and totally let everything slip, and have just written a kind of similar post about it.

    Definitely something to watch out for when entering full time financial independence mode….!

    P.s. I really want to go to PoF’s house!
    theFIREstarter recently posted…stopping to smell the flowers – a most unproductive 2 months updateMy Profile

  26. ERRevelation says:

    Fairly new reader here. You may have covered it somewhere else, but how do you find private real estate loans and how are they brokered.

  27. Education is a process that takes a lot of time and effort from parents. She has a very good and wonderful life.

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