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 last year, but I have a lot of fun with these financial updates, so I continue.
There are loads of great things about being financially independent (FI). I think I’m a better, more honest person. Consider the following:
- No worries about what anyone thinks of you: Feel free to let your co-worker know what you really think of his shitty PowerPoint. If Bossman decides to fire you, you can be like:
- Be yourself: Now that I’m FI, I find that my true personality comes through more often than ever. This is not necessarily a good thing:
- And I can be my true self right here on the blog too: After 4 years of blogging, I’m still not exactly sure why email lists are such a big deal. However, every blogger who knows what they’re doing (the opposite of me) states that collecting emails is important. So, I signed up for a fancy service to try to persuade you to give up yours. I can’t take it seriously, so I configured a couple of my forms like this:
Life is just a lot more fun when you don’t have to care. And it’s even more fun when you don’t care.
February was another great month. My portfolio went from $1,316,646 to $1,351,858 for a gain of $35,211. $1,47o of this gain was from 401(k) contributions.
When I add my portfolio to my home equity ($350,000), cars and other stuff ($20,000), my net worth comes out to $1,721,858. February was the first month I passed the 1.7 million mark. Life is good.
Can $2,000,000 be far off? Maybe. If I reach it, what do I call it? The Double Double Comma Club (DDCC)? That sounds clunky, but I don’t have have a better idea, so I’m sticking with it.
I have a better chance of joining the DDCC some day if one or more of the following happens:
- Mrs. 1500 stays at her job for a while longer: I put no pressure on her. She can do whatever she wants (she ignores me anyway).
- We pull off some real estate deals: I’m trying to work multiple deals including the home next to us. I’ve also been thinking about getting a piece of land in a mountain town near us and building a cabin or two.
- Physician on Fire (PoF) sends me $100,000: I was studying PoF’s Investor Policy Statement when I noticed an empty space at the bottom of the Other category. I immediately added my own line item:
Now I cross my fingers and hope that PoF, in a lapse of judgement clouded by laughing gas and beer, sends me the money. Or maybe not. PoF caught wind of my scheme and replied with this:
2017 (as of 2/28/2017)
- Days elapsed: 59
- 2017 gains: $94,710, (including 401(k) contributions of $11,470****)
Since the start (1/1/2013)
- Days elapsed: 1517
- Gains since 1/1/2013: $765,815
- Needed to quit work ($1,120,000 in investments): Mission accomplished!
- Net worth*****: $1,721,858
Exercise and the Beer-O-Meter
My P90x routines were P90meh. The fire just wasn’t there. I recently started mixing the routines up with kettle bells to break up the monotony. The good news is that my gut continues its downward trajectory, although my weight loss decelerated:
Not many changes in the body though:
I vowed last month to cut down on beer. It didn’t work out so well. My February consumption was identical to January. I’ll try harder in March.
We’ve recently started tracking our spending. I’m not thrilled that we plowed through $2442.36 in February. The items that disturbed me most were Food (grocery store) and Food out (restaurants). The Beer category looks disturbing, but most of the spending was on birthday gifts:
This doesn’t include our mortgage/tax/insurance payment of $1246.49. We have enough cash to pay off the mortgage, but don’t because I like to leverage debt. If I add all of that up, it comes out to $3,688.85 for the month or about $44,000/year in spending. According to the 4% Rule, this would require me to save $1.1 million. I have $1.3 million, so I’m good. Besides, I only have 11 years to go on the mortgage.
My $10,000 Experiment
I started an experiment to convince myself not to pick stocks. I picked a basket of my favorite companies and threw $10,000 at it. The goal here is to lose to the S&P 500 so I no longer want to pick stocks. Unfortunately, I’m winning, so the experiment isn’t going well. Or maybe it is. I don’t know.
Finally, we moved another $100,000 out of the markets and into real estate. We funded a hard money loan to bring our real estate investments up to $245,000 (one other hard money loan of $95,000 and a private equity investment of $50,000). More on this when I write about my portfolio in a couple weeks.
*My goal isn’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 $48,000 in my first year of retirement. I’d stick very close to that number too because market valuations are ambitious. Let’s say that Mr. Market caught a cold tomorrow and my portfolio dropped down to $800,000. No big deal. This would mean I’d be safer stretching my spending a little north of 4%.
**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.
***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.
****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.
*****The numbers on the right side of the page only reflect my investments and cash. Net worth includes, but is not limited to:
- Home equity ($350,000 after the appraisal!)
- NES!: When I was a kid, I saved up for months to buy the original Nintendo. And I loved it. Games like Metroid and the Legend of Zelda amused me for long periods of time. One of my goals once I fully retired was to play more video games (eagles may soar, but weasels don’t get sucked into jet engines). Last year, Nintendo announced that it was releasing many of the old games on a new system, the NES Classic Edition. Despite their great games, Nintendo is a shitty company that purposely keeps supplies low to generate hype. Four months after the initial release of the NES Classic Edition, they are still selling for triple the retail price on reseller sites. I was tenacious and managed to get one by standing in line at a Target for 15 minutes before the store opened. Life is good. And slightly less productive.
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.