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.
It’s All About The Tribe
I’ve been enjoying life lately. Here is how a recent weekend went down:
Friday: I went to Denver to take care of some business. After that was done, I met my good friend Evan (formerly known here on the blog as Denver E) for tacos and beer. Evan isn’t quite 40, but has already been retired for over a year. He’s a top notch guy and I’m happy whenever I get to hang out with him.
Saturday (morning): Mrs. 1500 got her dream job as a result of the blog (full story here). She doesn’t have to work, but does because she likes her job so much. (Side-note: If you can find something that you enjoy, gives your life meaning and pays you, you’re in a good spot.)
Mrs. 1500’s boss (Josh) is one of those unicorn type of people who you rarely cross paths with. He’s a smart, thoughtful leader who put in years of hard work to build a successful business. I’m thankful that I get to shoot the shit with him every once in a while.
On this day, our families hung out together. Josh and I talked about all kinds of stuff that greatly excites me, but I rarely get to bring up in normal company (autonomous cars, Chinese startups, meditation, etc.). And we also got to hang out with alpacas:
Saturday (afternoon): I went to MMM HQ to meet a new friend who happens to be a Rails wizard (Rails is the technology that I’m using to build a new business on). The Rails wizard is just one of the many interesting people who hang out at MMM’s new digs.
The common thread in all of these stories is that none of this would have happened if I didn’t find the FI life:
- Evan was a reader who sent me a random email.
- Mrs. 1500 met her boss Josh at FinCon, a blogger conference.
- I met Mr. Money Mustache after a very bad day at work when Google led me to his blog.
- I’m building my business with a partner I met at the Ecuador Chautauqua.
It Only Gets Better
2018 isn’t even here yet, but I think it will be one of my best years yet. My FI related events include:
- January: Camp FI Florida! I’m giving a talk! Brace yourself attendees!
- March: Half-marathon with my friends, the Wafflers in Portland, Oregon. (Join us! More details on 1/1, but here is what we’re doing)
- May: Berkshire Hathaway meeting with the Penny Planters. I’m also going to run the 5K here.
- Summer: East Coast travel for blog related stuff. I hope to visit with the Frugalwoods, Danny the Pizza Guy, Biglaw Investor, Lenny, Isaac, Alex, Mr. Crazy Kicks, Jeff from Jersey, Broke Millennial and everyone else whose name eludes me at the moment.
- October: To be announced later, but I mentioned it here.
We’re Not Better, Just Different
There are an abundance of FI meetups popping up. First came the Ecuador Chautauqua. Then came Camp Mustache in Washington. Now, the Camp Mustache concept is spreading. Events are starting to spring up up all over North America.
Why is this?
I’ve always felt like an outsider. Maybe you have too. The things that interest me don’t interest others. Try talking about Robo-Advisors, compound interest, lithium battery technology, solar panels or augmented reality at the next family reunion. Watch how fast the eyes glaze over.
However, I’ve always found that others in the FI community are similar in a lot of ways. We do like to talk about technology. We enjoy board games and bicycles. Of course, we love to talk about money. And we can sit around a fire with good beer (another common [maybe too common] thread) and be happy.
You guys are killing me the last 1.5 days, just recovering from the flu and saw about 400 beer tweets ?
— Apathy Ends (@ApathyEnds) December 24, 2017
Just to be totally clear, the people in our community aren’t better than anyone else. That’s a dangerous thought and a path none of us should go down. However, some of us are different. I’m definitely one of them. And I enjoy hanging out with other, different-minded people.
There are many reasons that I’m thankful for financial independence. At the top are all of the interesting and fun people that I get to rub shoulders with.
Performance Update: November
Holy crap, this has been an incredible year! November was another month of progress. My portfolio went from $1,502,059 to $1,518,363 for a gain of $16,304:
I’m came thisclose to the $2,000,000 mark (Double Double Comma Club) in November. I actually crossed the $2,000,000 threshold a couple of times in December, but it didn’t last. Perhaps some day, I’ll become a permanent member.
2017 (as of 12/1/2017)
- Days elapsed: 333
- 2017 gains: $261,235 (including 401(k) contributions**** of $44,000 and car purchase of -$45,000)
Since the start (1/1/2013)
- Days elapsed: 1794
- Portfolio gains since 1/1/2013: $932,320
- Needed to quit work ($1,120,000 in investments): Mission accomplished!
- Net worth: $1,983,363 which includes:
2017: Changes Baby, Changes
If I had to define my 2017 with one word, it would be:
Changes, lots of changes.
OK, that’s more than one word. Forgive me. I’ve had a strong beer (mmmm, beer) already and it really has been a big year of big changes, one of the biggest of my life:
Bye-bye job: I left my job in April. I missed my self-imposed deadline of 2/2017 (1500 days from 1/1/2013) by a couple of months, but still quit in time to enjoy a summer of travel. We were on the road for 41 days this summer including Minnesota, Maine, Vermont, New York City and Scotland.
Real estate: At the start of 2017, I had $145,000 in real-estate investments; one syndication deal and one private loan. At the end of this year, I’ll have $660,000 in real estate including 4 syndication deals ($200,000), 3 private loans ($290,000) and a trailer park ($170,000). Soon after the first of the year, I’ll close on another syndication deal which will bring my portfolio to equilibrium (half real estate, half stock market). I’m not quite sure where I’ll go from there, but figuring it out is most of the fun.
Health: While I haven’t accomplished my goal yet (body fat < 14%), I weigh 155 now. Before 2017, I hadn’t weighed under 160 in two decades. It feels good.
So Much More, But…
There is so much more to tell you about. I haven’t posted embarrassing pictures of me without a shirt on for a while. I haven’t updated you on my portfolio. I haven’t dug into the details of that trailer park deal. Life has just been too busy.
I barely have time to blog these days. I’ve been hacking away on Rails code. I’ve been writing my talk for Camp FI Florida. I just installed new brakes on the car and redid some of the plumbing in the crawlspace. I’m designing fancy planter boxes for our yard…
It’s too much. I shouldn’t be busier without a job than I was with one. Something is wrong.
If there is anything I’ve learned recently, it’s that it’s OK to slow down. This message started to sink in when I talked to Mr. Crazy Kicks (Mr. CK from this point on) in Central Park. Mr. CK had a high stress job involving writing helicopter software (How cool is that? Also, don’t screw it up!), but now takes it easy. In Central Park, I listened to the details of his life with curiosity and envy. Mr. CK takes on much less than I do and is happier. The whole time he was talking, I was thinking this:
This beer is great! (Mr. CK had brought Sip of Sunshine as well as a home-brewed Saison)
But, I was also thinking this:
I need to be more like him.
So, this is my goal for 2018:
Take it easy.
It’s all about balance, right? But these is still this:
The battle goes on.
*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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