Hey look, we’re halfway through 2018 already! Time to look back on the first half and a little more…
The S&P 500 was flat for the first half of 2018, but my portfolio is up $87,269. About $20,000 of this is due to 401k contributions! (Thanks blog income and Mrs. 1500’s job!) Another $16,000 is from real estate investments including private loans and syndication deals (the trailer park has made $0 so far). The other ~$50,000 is from tech stocks.
Tech Stocks FTW!
While I’m a big believer in indexing, I wasn’t always that way. When I launched this blog in January of 2013, I didn’t even know what an index fund was:
My stock picks overall have beaten the indices by a large margin, but they’re not sustainable for the long term. I have no idea when empires will fall and they all fall.
However, in the near term (less than a decade for everything except Google [IPO purchase baby]), it’s going very, very well.
I’m a geek:
- I dream about electric
- I talk nonstop about stuff like VTOL autonomous aircraft and battery technology.
- I’m obsessed with augmented reality and artificial intelligence.
So, almost all of my stocks are tech. Software is eating the world and it’s also boosting my wealth. Amazon is absolutely killing it this year. So are Google, Facebook and VGT (Vanguard technology index fund):
One of my FIRE goals is to become fitter. My skinny frame’s ideal weight is around 150. That didn’t stop me from ballooning up to 180 at my low (high?) point. Not good. I’m trying to remedy the situation…
Does anyone actually like to run? I don’t think so. But it’s good for us humans, right?
My fitness challenge for the first quarter of 2018 was to run a half-marathon and I would have liked to do it in 2 hours or less. I ran it, but 30 minutes tardy of my goal. I’ll run another one at the end of 2018. Wish me luck.
My second quarter goal was to increase strength. I was doing pretty well with this one. But then, the girls got out of school and I lost my focus. At the end of May, it all fell apart. Ya’ gotta wanna and I didn’t want it bad enough. I didn’t make the time for training, but I’m back on the horse now. Stay tuned for more updates and disturbing pics in the near future.
Running is hard. So are pull-ups and push-ups. However, walking is… well… walking. Easy. One foot in front of the other.
My goal is to walk 6,000,000 steps this year and I’m happy to report that I’m ahead by 160,390 steps:
Finally, a win!
I’ve been on vacation, so have had some time to think. While walking on the beach, I had these thoughts.
My favorite part of blogging is the excellent community of other bloggers and readers that I get to interact with. I’m reminded of this every time I meet folks in the community. On our current road trip:
- Our friends, the Waffles on Wednesday people hosted a party on July 4th and invited members of the FI community. All of the people were pretty great and one of them had even flown F-16s!! It’s not every day that you get to chat someone like that up. Very cool. (Note that I’m also obsessed with aviation.)
- On another day, Mrs 1500 and I met with a reader decided he wanted to pursue FI and went after it full-throttle. While he’s not retired yet, he very quickly acquired a mini real estate empire. It’s neat to see people make a swift life-pivot when they realize they want FIRE. And is also neat when you can chat about Python programming with the same person.
- Mrs. 1500 and I also got to meet the Crispy Doc. Crispy Doc is a great guy who was kind enough to serve us a delicious lunch in a beautiful park near the beach:
When I started this blog, I avoided personal interactions. Now, I seek them out. There are so many interesting people with good stories, it’s not hard for even an introvert like me to enjoy these meetings.
I’m in a better place than I was last April when I left my job, but I realized on our vacation that I’m still not quite where I need to be. Our vacation is slow paced, but I find myself planning when I’m supposed to be relaxing. Living in the moment ain’t easy!
When I started this blog on January 1st of 2013, our investment portfolio was worth $586,043. 66 months later, it’s worth $1,614,970 for a gain of $1,028,927. That breaks down to increases of $15,590 per month. But not so fast:
- $100,000 of this gain is due to a house sale that we put into the markets.
- About $150,000 is due to 401(k) contributions.
- A little more (somewhere south of $50,000) is due to after-tax investments.
After subtracting these contributions, my portfolio appreciated by about $10,600 per month. I’m fortunate to have gotten lucky with my stock picking:
I’m also fortunate in the big tailwinds that Mr. Market has given us. Those tailwinds won’t last forever, but I’ll take them while I can get them. And when they stop, I’ll wait patiently for them again.
Life is good.
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