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.
What a difference 5 months makes. Back in January, the S&P 500 crested 4,800. As I type this now, it’s below 4,000. The year-to-date chart looks like the fun part of a roller coaster. It’s less fun when it’s a market chart:
However, when you zoom out, the chart tells a different story. Here is what the past year looks like:
This chart above isn’t as scary as the first one. The first 8 months or so go mostly up.
Let’s continue this thought exercise by zooming out 5 years:
Now, we see that the current drop is even less scary. Sure, it isn’t fun. But when viewed in the perspective of the prior increases, it’s diminished.
And this is what you have to put up with if you’re a long-term investor. Most of the time, markets go up. But not all of the time. However, if you believe that productivity (one of the main drivers of economic expansion) will continue to increase and that the world is getting better, you have nothing to worry about. Eventually inflation will calm down and the war will end. Mr. Market will rejoice and continue the upward march. If you’re a long-term investor, you must also be an optimist.
Astute readers may have noticed that I skipped the March Performance Update. This wasn’t intentional; life just got busy. However, you don’t need to look any further than the right column on the blog homepage to see my numbers. If you don’t want to do that, here they are:
March was great! We were up $285,554. But then April kicked us down $492,146. Oof! Mr. Market wasn’t happy and my tech-heavy portfolio got hit extra hard.
2021 (as of 5/1/2022)
- Days elapsed: 120
- Net worth gains (actually losses): –$755,166
Since the Start of The Experiment (1/1/2013)
- Days elapsed: 3408
- Net worth gains: $3,501,433
I’ve been done with formal work now for a little over 5 years and I’ve been so damn fortunate. The S&P 500 was at about 2,300 when I left. The market has been on a tear. Don’t forget that sequence of returns works both ways! Mindy also chose to go back to work at about the same time that I left. Her work gives her joy, so she stays. One of the best parts of having money is it frees you from having to think about money.
Life is good.
More 1500 Days!!!
You can also find me (and the dinosaurs) at:
Mile High FI podcast:
- 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.
*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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