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.
Life continues to be busy in the 1500 household, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel.
We’re wrapping up the kitchen now, currently waiting for countertops to arrive. I also need to install new lighting, tile the backsplash, and build a booth. However, most of the crappy work is done. The last projects where you work on the surfaces you’ll see every day are the most fun.
October was a great month. The best ever. My first job out of university paid me less than $40,000 per year. Our portfolio went up over $600,000. In one month.
I’m always a little shy about posting updates like this.
When I started this blog, I wanted to be public with my numbers to show the dirty details of our journey and inspire others. But when the numbers get big like this, sometimes people get mad:
But, it’s just what happens to money if you give it enough time. Also, I publish these updates every month, so those who accuse me of bragging should check out some of the months that didn’t go so well.
Best Month Ever
I won’t beat around the bush or bury the lead. October was an amazing month. Our net worth went from $4,258,593 all the way up to $4,864,732 for a gain of:
How did this happen?
House Refi: $100,000
In April of 2020, we took out a mortgage on our home and invested the proceeds. So far, this has worked out well. Leverage isn’t for everyone, but if you can stomach it, you’ll probably end up with more money if you don’t pay off your house.
Our mortgage was 3.5% and rates are really great right now, so we refinanced. We’re now at 2.875% (30 year) and we only had to pay $400 in closing costs.
$100,000 of our net worth increase this month is due to the new appraised value of our home.
Tesla stock started the month $778.40 at and ended at $1081.86 for a gain of $303.46. For my 1145 shares, this came out to a gain of $347,461. Oof.
I don’t recommend holding individual stocks. Most of my Tesla holdings are a throwback to a silly purchase in 2012 when I didn’t know about index investing. Sometimes you get lucky.
Indexing: A Lot
Indexers, don’t fret! It was a good month for VTSAX too:
Most of our money is in index funds now. Indexing is simple, passive, and incredibly effective. What more could you want?
So yeah, October was great. Our net worth started the month at $4,258,593 and ended at $4,864,732:
2021 (as of 10/31/2021)
- Days elapsed: 303
- Net worth gains: $1,254,986
Since the Start (1/1/2013)
- Days elapsed: 3225
- Net worth gains: $4,048,689
If the gains hold, this will be the second year where net worth increased by over $1,000,000. It’s a little crazy for me to process. As a kid, I thought having a million dollars was some crazy unattainable goal. Now, I don’t have a job and we make that much in a year. Surreal.
Some random thoughts:
1. You have to be in it: Being in the market at all times is incredibly important. An article from the Motley Fool has this to say about what would happen if you missed the 10 best days between 2003 and 2018
If you were fully invested in the S&P 500, your annualized total return was 7.7%. But if you missed the 10 best days in the market, it dropped to a paltry 2.65%.–Motley Fool
Lesson: Do not be naughty and try to time Mr. Market. Mr. Market will be mad and it won’t work out well for you.
2. Start young: I started investing when I started at my first real job a little 22 years ago. I remember being excited when my portfolio would go up $100 in a day. Fast forward to today when we just had a $600,000 month. Life is good.
Lesson: Money will do great things if you give it enough time.
3. If you’ve had the same success, consider giving back: I was just reading about crab mentality. Supposedly if there a bunch of crabs in a bucket and one tries to escape, the other crabs will pull it back. No one wins. Crabs, this is shitty and I expected more from your species!
If you’re the person who did well with money, don’t be like the crabs. Instead, I encourage you to lift others. We all win that way.
This morning, I talked to students at The University of Colorado. Perhaps a couple of my words will sink in.
Lesson #1: Crabs are assholes.
Lesson #2: We’re all in this together. If your life is great, perhaps you can help make some else’s life great too.
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.
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