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 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.
My days as a streaker are over. I suppose they couldn’t last forever. And if I’m going to be totally honest, it was getting a little uncomfortable. I mean, I did it for like 7 straight months. Deep down, I knew that I was getting away with something and it would end badly.
Not that kind of streaking. I’m talking about my streak of investment portfolio appreciation. Seven months of growth came to an end in February:
It felt unnatural to have those kinds of gains for so long. While the long-term (10 years and beyond) trajectory of the markets is usually up, short-term is much different. I’m glad the streaking is over. It’s cold outside.
Stock Market Versus Real Estate
Our portfolio is split between real estate and the stock market. From this point on, I’m going to break out the gains (or losses) so you can see how each is doing. And since I haven’t provided an update on my portfolio in a long time, I’ll briefly summarize my holdings now.
Stock market: Almost all new purchases go to index funds, but I still have a lot of individual stocks from my days as a stock picker. I’m winding this down slowly to avoid capital gains. Here are my top 5 holdings:
- Facebook: $257,853
- Amazon: $97,628
- Vanguard Information Technology index fund: $95,319
- Google: $79,000
- Berkshire Hathaway: $75,602
Real estate: I own no rental properties near where I live. The market in my neck of the woods is overheated. However, that doesn’t stop me from investing in real estate:
- Trailer park ($170,000): Mrs. 1500 and I own part of a
trailer park. Wait, I’ve been told to not call it a “trailer park” anymore. Mrs. 1500 and I own part of an Elevated Home Park.
- Syndication deals ($275,000): We have money spread across six syndication deals:
- Private loans ($195,000): Both of our loans pay 10% interest.
- Praxis Debt Fund ($50,000): This one pays 8%.
- Random cash ($30,016): All of the real estate investments spit out cash:
- The private loans and debt fund pay monthly.
- The syndication deals pay quarterly.
- The elevated home park is still being rehabbed, so we haven’t taken a payment yet. I don’t expect to earn anything from it until the second half of the year at the earliest.
When we earn cash from the real estate investments, we put it back into an account to help fund the next real estate deal. If the amount gets too big, we’ll put it back into the markets. We hope to keep our money evenly divided between the markets and real estate.
Performance Update: February
Our net worth went from $2,112,322 to $2,090,431 for a decrease of $21,891:
2018 (as of 3/1/2018)
- Days elapsed: 60
- Portfolio gains: $69,622 (including 401(k) contributions**** of $7,088)
- Net worth gains: $119,622 (portfolio + home appreciation of $50,000)
- Stock market: $835,414
- Real estate: $720,016
- Cash reserve: $20,000
Since the start (1/1/2013)
- Days elapsed: 1884
- Investment portfolio and cash: $1,575,431
- Gains since 1/1/2013: $989,388
- Needed to quit work ($1,120,000 in investments): Mission accomplished!
Net worth: $2,090,431. This includes:
- Investment portfolio and cash: $1,575,431
- Home equity: $450,000
- Silly toy car: $45,000
- Other cars, bikes, dinosaurs, custom Peeps deely bopper: $20,000
The Next Streak?
I glanced at Personal Capital while I was typing this post and noticed that my portfolio was down over $31,618 this morning (3/19):
Yikes. Hold on a second, I take the “yikes” back.
I still remember when I started investing. If I was up $100 in a day, I’d get super excited. If I lost $100, I’d be filled with terror.
$31,618 is a big chunk of change to lose. It’s enough to fund the luxury version of our lives for 6 months and the clamped-down version for a year. And the thing is, I just don’t care. Over the long term, everything will be fine.
It took me a LONG time to get to this point. I’ve been thinking about investing for two decades and it’s only in the past twelve months that I’ve made my peace with money. Life is good, even if I’m down $31,618 in two hours.
Now excuse me while I go outside to run around naked.
Greece Chautauqua (fully clothed at all times)
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*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 $60,000 in my first year of retirement. I’d stick way that number too because market valuations are ambitious. And I just don’t need to spend $60,000 per year.
**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.
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****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.
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