Preterpluparenthetical Performance Update 41/50 (Coming clean about my Addiction)

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 my financial updates until the end of 1500 Days, so I continue.

It’s time to take a look at May. First though, I need to talk about an addiction I’ve been living with for quite a while. Bear with me, this isn’t easy.

Preterpluparenthetical Me

I have a confession. No need to beat around the bush. These words are painful to write, but I must:

I’m an addict. A junkie. A user and an abuser.

It’s true. I’ve been living with my demon for a long time now (most of my life). It’s finally time to come clean. I suffer from preterpluparentheticalism.


I’ve love to write and I’m OK at it, but I’m certainly no Ernest Hemingway or Stephen King. I recently looked back at some of my early posts and was filled with dread. Many of those early paragraphs I had published were horrible. My old prose was clunky, ugly and excessive.

This made me happy too. My disgust with my earlier work shows that I’ve improved. I still have a long way to go though.

One problem is over use of parentheses (news to no one). There is even a name for my affliction:

Preterpluparenthetical: addiction to parentheses.

I admit that I’m addicted to parentheses (is there a support group?). However, the first step in recovering from any addiction is admitting the problem, so at least I have that going for me (what is step 2?). I’ll try to stop (I swear it!).


Preterpluparentheticalistic Performance Update!

May was a good month (not great). My investment portfolio started at $1,102,113 and ended the month at $1,120,455 (up $18,342):

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 5.09.53 PM

Yeah, I’m also addicted to Personal Capital!***


  • Days elapsed: 142
  • Days remaining: 244
  • 2016 gains: $62,494 (including 401(k) and some after tax contributions)
  • 2016 401(k) contributions: $29,750****

Since the start (1/1/2013)

  • Days elapsed: 1246
  • Days remaining: 254
  • Gains since 1/1/2013: $534,412
  • Needed to quit work ($1,120,000 in investments): Mission accomplished!
  • Net worth*****: $1,379,455

Where will Mr. Market take us in the second half of 2016? I have no clue and neither does anyone else. I’ll keep shoveling money in and enjoy the ride.


Three years and counting

This week marks the three year anniversary of us buying our home. In the past, I’ve called it Uglyhouse because that’s exactly what it was:

Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 1.56.45 PM

The facade only a remodeler could love

We started working on the home within a month of moving in and here is where we’re at today:


Still not done, but close

If you would have told me 3 years ago that I still wouldn’t be finished with it, I would have laughed at you. In prior rehabs, I plowed through the work in mere months by working 16 hour days. With kids, this wasn’t possible. I also made two mistakes:

  • I underestimated the amount of work that needed to be done:
    • I had no idea a concrete wall was falling over and that I’d need to prop it up.
    • I had no idea that the addition on the home was illegal and the work was improperly done, causing me to spend a lot of time bringing it up to code.
    • I had no idea that there would be a 1000 year flood three months after we moved in.
    • I had no idea Mickey Mouse wired the home, causing yet more fixes.
    • I had no idea that the trees in the front yard had infiltrated the sewer line and would eventually block the pipe completely. Not-so-fun fact: I made this discovery the day I needed the toilet most. I had been to a beer fest the evening before and on the drive home, instructed the designated driver to go through the Taco Bell drive-thru. This decision, influenced without a doubt by alcohol, was not a good one:

beer + multiple Diarrittos = gastric distress

gastric distress + toilet that won’t flush = pure misery (and colorful metaphors)

  • I underestimated how hard it would be to hire competent help: Before I started work on the house, I assumed that if the remodeling dragged on or I got tired, I could just hire people to help me out. Bad assumption. The only people I ended up hiring were rough carpenters (which took me 6 months to find after firing the first one) and roofers/gutter people. Building is booming here in Colorado and the demand for labor here is crazy. I contacted at least 100 different people over the course of the remodel. Less than 5% bothered to get back to me.

Would I do it again if I knew then what I knew now? Probably not. It just took too much out of our lives.

  • I’ve missed reading. Hello books, I know you’re waiting. I’m sorry for the dust on your covers, but I’ll be with you shortly.
  • I’ve missed biking (my road bike has 0 miles on it in 2016) and exercise. Keeping in shape should be a core activity, just not something you do as time allows. Health is everything.
  • I’ve missed conversations with the wife. We have gone weeks without having a really good conversation. If our marriage wasn’t as strong, the stress of the remodel may have driven us to Splittsville.

It’s almost done now. Those front porch posts will be wrapped in about a week and then the girls and I will finish their playhouse (yes, the zip line is still in the plans):

The playhouse will go down something like this

The playhouse will go down something like this

Despite my bemoaning, Taco Bell bleating and a bit of bitterness, every time I look at Uglyhouse now, I smile a little because Uglyhouse is no longer ugly (and almost done).



*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 which 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 spectacular person.

****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
  • Cars
  • Bicycles
  • Load of parentheses: Here on 1500 Days (thanks for reading by the way!), I never short you on the parentheses (never!). I guarantee you 50% more parentheses than the next blogger or the next post is free!

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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63 Responses to Preterpluparenthetical Performance Update 41/50 (Coming clean about my Addiction)

  1. I can’t even comment on the article without saying this: You have done a phenomenal job with your home. I am extremely impressed! The landscaping really adds a great new dimension.

    Also, I had a chuckle when you pointed out your use of parentheses; my issue is overuse of the semi-colon (see?).

    Regarding the month of May: I can’t wait until an $18,000 increase in my net worth in a single month is considered ho hum. Thanks for keeping me inspired to chase FI!
    FinanceSuperhero recently posted…The Fundrise eREIT: Accessible Real Estate Investing For the Average InvestorMy Profile

  2. House is looking good, and the net-worth is looking good.

    Preterpluparenthetical is what I call a $10 word. You pay me $10 and I’ll try to say it.

    I think you’re a little too negative about your writing…you’re better than 90% of the other writers out there, me included!
    Mr. Tako @ Mr. Tako Escapes recently posted…The Road After FI: Post FIRE OccupationsMy Profile

    • 1500 says:

      Thanks for the kind comments Tako!

      You should try to work the word in to your next conversation with friends. With a straight face: “I’m feeling a bit preterpluparenthetical today….”

  3. Wow. The before and after pictures of your house are crazy! It doesn’t even look like the same house.

    And thanks for constantly increasing my vocabulary with your posts. I’m always learning new words!
    Linda@Frugal Turtle recently posted…What A Week Without the Internet Taught MeMy Profile

  4. Mr.RIP says:

    Ooooh I’ve (finally) found someone with my very same problem! Let’s celebrate today as the day of Preterpluparentheticalism!

    I (almost) always felt sorry for (ab)using parentheses, I was hiding in the shadows… now need it no more! Today is Preterpluparentheticalism pride!

    I even tried to substitute with dashes – sometimes – to avoid abusing. No more since today!

    P.S. how do you handle the urge to nest parentheses? Am I gone too far? 🙂

    • 1500 says:

      Preterpluparentheticalists, unite! No need to be ashamed anymore!

      And nesting, I do it all the time with square brackets. I’ve even been tempted to nest within a nest (have you seen the movie “Inception?”).

      Must be strong and resist… Not easy…. I CAN’T! ARRRGH (feels good letting it out [really good])!!!!

  5. Solid work and let’s hope the economy (and stock market) hangs in there. I heard economists predicted there is currently a ~20% chance of recession (I think I got this from the WSJ). But there is no better place to have your money than the stock market (personal belief).

    Oh and don’t worry about being Preterpluparenthetical, it happens to the best of us :).
    The Green Swan recently posted…My Actively Managed FundsMy Profile

    • 1500 says:

      Certainly, we’ll have a bear market (20% correction) at some point. It is the way of things. I just hope it happens when I’m still working so I can throw money at it.

      Thanks for the kind words about my problem. I was embarrassed to tell my doctor, but I understand that there are drugs to help (Piagra).

  6. Believe Fire says:

    Amazing transformation of your home! Not a bad jump in net worth this month either.

    Always a pleasure to read your blog Mr. 1500.
    Believe Fire recently posted…The Simple Path to WealthMy Profile

  7. Mr. PIE says:

    Love the shrubs that bracket your front path.

    Preterpluparenthetical ( try saying that after you are eight beers deep and have chomped through three bags of Dorritos)

    Reading, biking and talking. Mmm…..on my to do list also. Then beer maybe.
    Mr. PIE recently posted…The Simple Path to Wealth, by J L Collins – Our ReviewMy Profile

  8. Tara says:

    Lol, am addicted to parentheses too. My aunt and brother lovingly call me “footnote” as a result of my side bar convos and facts in my conversations. Embrace it!!

    Also, I love the house updates. I have too severe anxiety to do major DIY myself to my house so I live vicariously through DIYers. When it’s all done, if you’re bored, help out a Habitat for Humanity group in your area if you get the itch for more home improvement. That way, you get a sense of accomplishment but don’t have to live with more chaos. ?

    • 1500 says:

      It used to give me anxiety too. The most difficult part is getting over that fear. Most of the work is actually simple. Take your time, watch a couple YouTube videos and you’ll be amazed at what you can do.

  9. Haha. You’re also addicted to asterisks * and dictionaries. haha The house looks awesome! Mrs 1500 must have more faith in your remodeling abilities than Mrs IS. We will be moving in about 6 months…..and I was told to remodel before she moves in, because she and our toddler “will not live in a house while it’s being remodeled”. Ugh…..
    Income Surfer recently posted…Beach Escape WeekendMy Profile

    • 1500 says:

      Hmmm, show her all of the money you can make from a value-add property. Does it suck at times? Sure! However, the money can be amazing.

    • Petra says:

      Actually sounds like a smart plan, with a todler. I’m with your wife on this one. Good luck with the remodel!

  10. I really hope your kick the addiction to (Preterpluparenthetical).

    The house transformation is amazing! I’m sure the family learned some new swear words along the way. 🙂

  11. You crack me up! I think I have the same addiction to parentheses, too! Hahah. I was also really impressed seeing those two house pictures side-by-side. What an improvement! Your sweat equity has really paid off. And nice job on your continued net worth growth!
    Kate @ Cashville Skyline recently posted…How Much is An Hour of Your Life Worth? #TheRoad2016My Profile

  12. ZJ Thorne says:

    I’m really impressed that you started with uglyhouse and had the vision for what your house has become. It is beautiful.

    After your first bike ride what will be the first book you dive into?
    ZJ Thorne recently posted…My Frugal DIY Face RoutineMy Profile

  13. That house looks so much better. You have really great vision!

    PS want to come to Maryland to work on some flooring and bathrooms? I’ll provide plenty of beer.
    Chris @ Flipping A Dollar recently posted…Ask the Reader: Do you check your “watched” items?My Profile

    • 1500 says:

      I might, really. We’ll be out there in 2017. I’d be up for some carpentourism (MMM term).

  14. Aghhhh! I too, am I hopeless parenthesizer (it’s true). You’re right; our writing is never perfect, and there’s always something new to learn about ourselves.

    The house looks fantastic, by the way! Mr. Picky Pincher and I are house shopping (kill me now) and it’s so hard to know what you’re getting into. Those things can be such time and money pits!
    Mrs. Picky Pincher recently posted…A Letter to Vending Machine GuyMy Profile

    • 1500 says:

      Come on, house shopping is fun (most of the time). Yeah, money pits for sure. Time pits as well which I think is even worse…

  15. That house looks very nice today. You have some really good house renovation skills.

    If I ever buy, you would be the first one to reach out to.


  16. Steven says:

    What you mean you haven’t been biking this year?!?! I’m not mad at you, I’m just dissapointed.

    Well I model my writing after yours so if you see a parentheses on my next post, just know you did that.

    The drawing was fantastic. Make sure to keep the playhouse around for dating and add more obstacles. Want to go on a date with my daughter……let me see if you are Mr. 1500-Ninja Playhouse worthy!
    Steven recently posted…The Simple Path to Wealth by JL CollinsMy Profile

    • 1500 says:

      I have been biking, just errands on the electric bike though. I miss the big trips up into the mountains.

      You model your writing after me? Yikes! Be careful!

      And that is an awesome playhouse idea for future dates. I’m going to add some fire and boiling oil into the mix…

  17. Eric Bowlin says:

    You really did an amazing job on your house!

    My favorite punctuations are the – and ;. People rarely use the semicolon; They are great at breaking things up. I really love the dash – you can isolate your point without bold or italics.

    But my favorite symbols are $ and sometimes ¥ (my wife is Chinese so it makes sense).
    Eric Bowlin recently posted…I’m at a Cross-RoadMy Profile

  18. Tawcan says:

    Amazing job you’ve done to the house. Beer + Diarrittos = bad! I’ve done that a few times myself, not going to try that again ever. 🙂
    Tawcan recently posted…Don’t be ordinary, be extraordinary… Part 2My Profile

    • 1500 says:

      Taco Bell + beer is a recipe for disaster. My stomach groans now, almost 3 years later…

  19. Zaxon says:

    I also use paren’s too frequently. And apparently… ellipsis are bad too.

    Ellipsis (plural ellipses; from the Ancient Greek: ἔλλειψις, élleipsis, “omission” or “falling short”) is a series of dots (typically three, such as “…”) that usually indicates an intentional omission of a word, sentence, or whole section from a text without altering its original meaning.

    • 1500 says:

      Falling short, shit! I fall short all the time then.

      I wonder what it means if you use loads of *** and !!! in each post?

  20. Mrs PoP says:

    Thought of you when I saw TSLA today… Ooof! The market does not seem to like the idea of marrying two of Musk’s babies!
    Mrs PoP recently posted…PoP Balance Sheet – May 2016My Profile

    • 1500 says:

      Ha ha, I thought it was a good idea: “Ma’am, would you like solar panels with your new Tesla?” Silly Mr. Market.

      I’d never bet against Musk. The guy lands 15 story tall rockets after all!

  21. I have an addiction to parenthesis as well.. I heard from my doctor that if the problem persists, I should visit the local Preterpluparentheticalics Anonymous! (also an addiction to exclamation marks!)

    I always enjoy reading your updated portfolio posts. And congrats that you have a loving and strong marriage to your wife!
    Finance Solver recently posted…Make Money In Your SleepMy Profile

  22. Ree Klein says:

    Always a joy to read your posts (really, I mean it!). Despite all the stress and, uh, bathroom problems, your home is stunning. I’m looking forward to reading some book reviews!
    Ree Klein recently posted…Entrepreneur Unveiled Interview with Samara Kamenecka #001My Profile

  23. Mark Eichenlaub says:

    Holy cow! Congratulations!

  24. SpacemanFry says:

    Did you ever program in Lisp? Might explain the love of parentheses 🙂

  25. Oh dear, I fear I’m also afflicted with this disease (Seriously, I just can’t help myself!)

    I don’t think my writing has really changed much in the 3 years I’ve been blogging. I still waffle on for far too long and take ages to make my point (Must try harder!)
    theFIREstarter recently posted…an introduction to the house crowdMy Profile

  26. Team CF says:

    Wow your house is looking amazing! Job well done so for, looking forward to see the zipline.

    “gastric distress + toilet that won’t flush = pure misery “, we don’t even want to imagine….
    Team CF recently posted…What is the Optimum Amount of Equity in your Home?My Profile

  27. Arrgo says:

    I need some trees cut in my yard. I put in calls to different companies and I was surprised that many didn’t call me back. Two that did respond and were going to come over for an estimate didn’t show up or respond to set up a time. Its probably going to be an expensive job and its hard to believe they arent even going to make an effort to get some work. I just cross them off and will never call them again for anything. It makes you see how undependable some people are.

    • 1500 says:

      My experience with these types of folks is that they don’t plan ahead: “I have work for this week? Yippee! No need to worry about next Monday.” The ones that do call you back happen to be between jobs.

      I’m not sure why this is. I’ve done freelancing and even if I was booked for a year, I’d always call back. If someone took the time to consider hiring me, that’s the least I could do.

  28. Debt Hater says:

    That word is definitely a mouthful! I think I might suffer from a small case of preterpluparentheticalism myself. The progress you have made on your house just from the picture of the front is awesome, even if it did take all of those extra struggles.

    P.S. Did you know that Taco Bell was giving away free tacos this past Tuesday?
    Debt Hater recently posted…Net Worth Update – June 2016My Profile

  29. Jeff says:

    Hi Mr 1500!

    First, want to say really nice job on the house. It looks amazing and you should be proud of all the hard work you’ve put in.

    Second, as you know I had a chance to chat a bit with mrs 1500 this week, and she’s very into you retiring. So I’ll do my best to convince you.

    As you state, Your goal is 1,120,000 – but that was from a few years ago. Surely with low interest rates, your loan on ugly house isnt 120,000 anymore, is it?

    You’ve made your goal to retire and support your family on your earnings – but now you dont have to. Mrs 1500 has got a pretty sweet gig and you guys can live off of her salary with out touching what you all have built up the last 5 years. How awesome is that?

    You’ve admitted to being insecure about money before (for good reason) but you’re a rational guy and the numbers dont lie. So, I suspect this is your final hurdle. Do you have any plans of dealing with this? Im sure there’s got to be a way to ease or potentially completely eliminate it.

    And maybe when you do, you can bring your road bike up and we can take a ride.

    • 1500 says:

      Thanks Jeff! I’ll be happy when I can wake up on a Saturday morning and not have to work on the house. Soon…

      Thanks for your comments about my retirement. I think about it every day now: Do I further reduce my hours (3 days per week) or bail altogether. My mind won’t be in a better place until I cut the cord completely, so maybe it’s time. On the other hand, 3 days/week would allow me to sock a lot more money away. Dunno.

      And how to deal with it? The key is to come up with something really good to retire to. I think I finally figured it out. I’ll tell you about it when I see you in person.

      I’m down for a bike ride.

  30. BeSmartRich says:

    The house looks great! You never know until you try. Trials and Errors (right?)

    Congrats on growing your net worth once again. Mine is going strong as well!
    BeSmartRich recently posted…How to save $200,000 in 6 years and retire before 45My Profile

  31. Kyle says:

    First step is admitting the problem (we should start a support group with TG beer).

    My house is still pretty ugly; I had plans for it too, but I keep deciding to put money away in retirement accounts rather than putting much money into fixing it up. I didn’t find MMM and other financial blogs until just after I had bought the house.
    Kyle recently posted…The Obvious Truth About Your JobMy Profile

  32. Petra says:

    Congrats on the house and on your investments. The Brexit outcome may have influenced your portfolio a bit, too, but things like that happen.

    • 1500 says:

      Brexit! It sure did! I was hoping for a bigger drop. A correction (-10%) would have been nice. Perhaps next week…

  33. Frank says:

    Your home looks awesome! I’m about to start renovating ours and I honestly hope that I didn’t underestimate any of the work that needs to be done because I don’t think I have the time or budget for big surprises!

  34. Tommy says:

    Did you really retire? It’s not really clear from the website… Not judging but it seems that you are still working as a programmer after reaching the goal. Is it realistic to make this kind of goal or would most people in that position (assuming that you represent most people) decide that it’s better to keep working to increase the level of the retirement lifestyle?

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