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 and my 1500 Days are over, but in the interest of openness, I’ll continue to share my numbers.
Not Working For Money
October was a stellar month. My portfolio went from $1,462,077 all the way up to $1,502,059 for a gain of about $40,000. For perspective, my first real programming job paid me $37,000/year. And that job wasn’t fun.
My boss had a bunch of old school rules:
- We had to wear a tie to work. (I hate ties!)
- I had to be in the office from 8:30am until 5:30pm. Because I wasn’t allowed to come in early and miss rush hour, I spent at least 90 minutes in traffic every day.
- I got a 15 minute break and a 45 minute lunch that I was only allowed to take at mandated times.
My portfolio is a lot more fun. I spend about 5 minutes per month managing it. The 5 minutes mostly consists of depositing checks from my private loans with my bank’s smartphone app. It’s ridiculous that this money can’t be direct-deposited, but if this my only complaint, I have nothing to complain about.
And the bigger picture is even prettier. My portfolio is up almost $250,000 this year. $44,000 is from contributions. The other $206,000 is appreciation. I never made anything close to $200,000 when I was working.
We don’t have to draw down any of our money since Mrs. 1500 is still working. But even if we did, our portfolio would still be growing. The 4% rule states that we can spend $60,000 per year, but we don’t need anything near that to get by.
The Best Is Ahead
And even more amazing, the best years are yet to come.
Our home will be paid off in about a decade. At that time, our expenses will be $12,000 less per year.
Our kids will also be out of the house in 10 years. At that time, we’ll be able to live in a far cheaper part of the world. I’m not sure if we’ll move, but it’s nice to know we have this backup plan. And even if we stay in Boulder County, we’ll be able to sell our 4 bedroom and move into something smaller.
And I’m only 43. I’ve been working and saving for less than 20 years. I still have 40 to 50 years left. Within a couple of decades, I’m sure I’ll have a month where my portfolio appreciates $100,000.
I fully acknowledge that everything is inflated right now. The stock market will correct down 30% or more, but that’s just the natural cycle. The long term investor doesn’t worry because in decades, even major corrections look like little blips.
You’re Now Free To Roam About Your Life
Would you rather work for money or make money work for you? The latter is better.
Once you’ve saved enough and your money hits critical mass, that’s it, you’re done. You’re now free to do whatever you want. That money will keep making money so you don’t have to. Those little dollars are the best employees in the world.
No more spending 2,000 hours per year at a job you may not like. No more traffic. No more pointy haired bosses. You’re now free to roam about your life. The sooner you can get to this position, the better.
Performance Update: October
These days, I’m an index fund investor. However, I still hold stocks from when I was younger and ignorant. Luckily, the stocks that I bought including Amazon, Google and Tesla have been on a stellar ride.
Much of my excellent October was due to Amazon and Google. In a month where the S&P 500 was up 2%, Amazon was up 14% and Google 8%. If I had to commit to owning one stock for the next 10 years that I wasn’t allowed to sell, Google would be my choice. Amazon would be a close second.
2017 (as of 11/1/2017)
- Days elapsed: 303
- 2017 gains: $244,931 (including 401(k) contributions**** of $44,000 and car purchase of -$45,000)
Since the start (1/1/2013)
- Days elapsed: 1764
- Portfolio gains since 1/1/2013: $916,016
- Needed to quit work ($1,120,000 in investments): Mission accomplished!
- Net worth: $1,967,059 which includes:
Back in 2015 at the end of the year, I found myself at 180 pounds. That didn’t hang well on my slender, 5′ 11″ frame. And by “didn’t hang well,” I mean that I was in terrible shape.
Over the summer, I went to the doctor. My weight was 173 and my blood pressure was 130/80 (not good). At the end of August, I committed to get my health in order.
Since then, I’ve been doing a lot of walking with a little bit of strength training. The physical part is easy. The eating, not so much. But I’ve made progress. I’m now down to 153 and my body fat percentage is between 17 and 18 percent. With about 5 more pounds to lose, I’m on the home stretch. In the interest of transparency, here are the pictures:
After I make my weight/body fat goal, I’ll switch my routine over to more strength training and less cardio. I’d like to end up at around 160 with a body fat percentage of around 12. Stay tuned…
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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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