My main goal* was to build an investment and cash portfolio of $1,120,000* ($1,000,000 to retire on and $120,000 to pay off the house) in 1500 days**, starting from 1/1/2013 and ending in February of 2017. I made my goal in 2016, my 1500 Days are over, and I’ve left my job. In the interest of openness, I’ll continue to share my numbers.
Call Me Cacafuego
When I can’t think of a good title, I start googling. For this post, I wanted a word to go with compound (I’m a sucker for alliteration), so I googled:
cool words that start with c
And wouldn’t you know it, cacafuego came up! It means this:
A blustering, swaggering boaster
When I publish a good performance update, sometimes a reader will accuse me of bragging. I’m not sure I understand their complaint. I’ve never claimed that I’m any kind of savant. I’m just obsessed with tech and got lucky with some stocks. Also, do these accusers notice that I also publish updates when the portfolio performs like shit? I don’t know and don’t care. But, for those who think I’m bragging, you now have a new way to insult me:
Mr. 1500, you’re just a big, stupid cacafuego!-Angry Reader
I admit that I like the word because it resonates with my deeply juvenile, 7th grade level of humor. According to Mental Floss:
It literally means “fire-pooper” in Spanish.
At least you can’t tell me that you never learn anything from 1500 Days…
In April, our net worth breached the $4,000,000 mark for the first time ever.
Compound interest is amazing to ponder, but a little difficult to process. It seems too good to be true. And to experience it in real life is surreal.
Here is how it’s worked out for us:
The First $1,000,000
- Date: 11/26/2014
- Age: 40
- Accumulation time: ~6,174 days (17 years of work, from a starting point of -$60,000 [university debt and credit cards])
- Date: 11/29/2019
- Age: 45
- Accumulation time: 1,828 days (5 years, 3 days)
- Date: 8/21/2020
- Age: 46
- Accumulation time: 266 days
- Date: 4/15/2021
- Age: 47
- Accumulation time: 237 days
The last $1,000,000 took 237 days. During this time, I took some trips, built some stuff around the house, and waited out COVID.
Working for money is a suboptimal situation:
- Your work could disappear. Hello Enron!
- Life may throw you a curveball and you don’t have time or capability to work.
- Maybe your work sucks.
- Maybe you’d just rather spend your days with your children or learning a language or learning piano or playing tennis or just being outside. I’m quite partial to the last one.
Money working for you is much better. Do what you want (you can still work too!) while all of those invested dollars are plugging away. You’re on the beach while your dollars are reproducing through either dividend reinvestment and/or share appreciation.
It’s liberating and amazing. I’m so thankful.
Note: My experience with compound interest is accelerated. My obsession with tech stocks served me well. It may take longer for you, but the important thing is that if you give it time, it will happen.
April was another great month. Our net worth started at $3,826,009 and ended at $4,042,234 for a gain of $216,225:
Again. before you call me cacafuego (I know you want to), remember that the investments are the stars of this show. I just put my money to work and the investments are doing the heavy lifting.
2021 (as of 4/30/2021)
- Days elapsed: 120
- Net worth gains: $512,488
Since the Start (1/1/2013)
- Days elapsed: 3041
- Net worth gains: $3,306,191
One More Thing
All of this money stuff is fun to think about, but the real goal is to enjoy life. If you’re so obsessed with winning the money game that you forget to enjoy life, you’ve lost. I know this from experience. If I had to do it over again, I would have gone slower. Hell, I might of actually still been working.
No matter where you are on your journey, don’t forget to appreciate each day.
More 1500 Days!!!
You can also find me (and the dinosaurs) at:
Mile High FI podcast:
- EconoMe: Hey look, I’m speaking at EconoMe later this year!
- Facebook: Facebook group and page
- YouTube: My channel is mostly devoted to home improvement, but I have some other material coming up soon too.
- Instagram: Pretty pictures of dinosaurs, sunsets, and nail guns!
- Twitter: Spontaneous, often insane, ramblings
- Coworking space: On the surface, MMM HQ is a coworking space. Look a little deeper and you’ll see that we’re really building community. The members of MMM HQ are some of the finest people I know.
Other resources I like:
- Camp FIs are amazingly fun! I hope to attend Rocky Mountain and Joshua Tree this year. See you there?
- Need to learn how to invest? The Simple Path to Wealth is all you need.
- New to FIRE? Need some FIREy guidance? Check out Fiology and the accompanying workbook!
*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. Since my investment portfolio now sits at $1,550,000, I can spend about $62,000 in my first year of retirement.
**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 (LOOK at the MONEY I’m MAKING!). My compromise was to have enough money put away to cover the mortgage at the time of retirement.
***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.
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.