My main goal is to build a portfolio of $1,000,000 in 1500 days with no debt*, starting from 1/1/2013. Every month, I provide an update on my status. My goal for 2015 was to get my portfolio up to $874,353. Because we saw exceptional returns in 2013 and 2014, I have already accomplished this. Let’s take a look at March.
March was a transition month (Translation: transition = crap). I finally started my exit from the Apple Cart. At the same time, I made my first contribution to my new Solo 401(k). Let’s talk numbers before I get into all of that.
I started the month at $1,029,877 and ended at $1,006,450 for a decrease of $22,427. $20,000 of this loss was due to debt I paid off (more below). Even without the debt payoff, it was still a losing month. They can’t (and shouldn’t) all be winners, so I don’t lose sleep over stock market farts. The long term trajectory is upward, but not always so in the short term.
Here are the numbers as of 3/31/2015:
- Days elapsed: 90
- Days remaining: 275
- 2015 gains: $19,097
- Left to go (2015): Goal accomplished!
Since the start (1/1/2013)
- Days elapsed: 820
- Days remaining: 680
- Gains since 1/1/2013: $420,407
- Needed for $1,000,000 (investments and cash only): I’m there!
- Needed to retire ($1,120,000): $113,550
- Net worth**: $1,256,450
Giving 175 shares of AAPL a new home
I have too much Apple stock, so I placed a stop-loss sell order at the end of February. Not more than a week later, the order executed netting me around $22,000. I took most of that money and paid off one of the last bills from our home construction. That lightened up my portfolio by about $20,000, but I sleep better at night without the debt.
Han Solo 401(k)/saving like a Wookie!
In 2014, I contributed just enough to get the full match in my company 401(k) and stopped there. Home renovations drained our bank accounts silly. Perhaps we were silly for spending all of that money in the first place. I don’t regret it, although I would have done things different if I had a rewind button. No tradebacks though.
With all of that construction spending in the rearview mirror, the savings pedal is to the metal. We’re socking money away with wild abandon from now until my job ends. This month, I made my first contribution to my Vanguard Solo 401(k) to the tune of $5,475. Wow, that felt good.
Rolling over and playing Vanguard
My job recently changed and I had to switch to self-employment. This has been pretty great because I can plow loads of money into our Solo 401(k). Another benefit is that I’m able to roll my 401(k) over (about $275,000) into low fee, Vanguard funds. I’m in the middle of this now and will have a full report soon. I’m still a bit of a fool, so I won’t be putting it all into VTI…
Random thought: money isn’t the hardest part of retirement
A co-worker recently went to part-time as he prepares to retire. He is 71, but you would never know it from looking at him. The guy has a sharp mind and body. Even at his advanced age, I’m convinced that he’s in better shape than most 40 year olds. He’s a real inspiration.
On the flip side, my parents get worse every time I see them. Somehow, they find ways to become more sedentary and eat more fried food. My co-worker is a decade older, but I’ll bet that he’ll outlive both of my parents.
At the same time, I see all of the searches that bring traffic to this site and it’s clear to me that lots of others also struggle in retirement. While I don’t think that I’ll have this issue, I admit that it scares me just a bit. Remember that investing should be passive, but retirement should not. More on that later.
*I still owe something like $120,000 on my mortgage. Because I have a low rate, I firmly believe in not paying it off. My compromise is to have enough money put away to pay off the mortgage at time of retirement. So, to retire today, I would need about $1,120,000.
**The numbers on the right side of the page only reflect my investments and cash. Net worth includes, but is not limited too:
- Home equity
- My huge fan base: No, I’m not talking about the tens of readers who come here each month. I’m referring to actual fans. I have no idea why, but I have fans everywhere. Our home is infested with them. I hate being hot, so perhaps I went overboard during a summer spell of heat when I couldn’t think straight. Maybe I’ll try to conjure up my own personal tornado or hurricane one of these days.
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