My main goal is to build a portfolio of $1,120,000* in 1500 days**, starting from 1/1/2013 and ending in February of 2017. I made my goal a couple months ago, but believe that it’s a worthwhile exercise to continue my financial updates until the end of 1500 Days, so I continue.
It’s time to take a look at May. First though, I need to talk about an addiction I’ve been living with for quite a while. Bear with me, this isn’t easy.
I have a confession. No need to beat around the bush. These words are painful to write, but I must:
I’m an addict. A junkie. A user and an abuser.
It’s true. I’ve been living with my demon for a long time now (most of my life). It’s finally time to come clean. I suffer from preterpluparentheticalism.
I’ve love to write and I’m OK at it, but I’m certainly no Ernest Hemingway or Stephen King. I recently looked back at some of my early posts and was filled with dread. Many of those early paragraphs I had published were horrible. My old prose was clunky, ugly and excessive.
This made me happy too. My disgust with my earlier work shows that I’ve improved. I still have a long way to go though.
One problem is over use of parentheses (news to no one). There is even a name for my affliction:
Preterpluparenthetical: addiction to parentheses.
I admit that I’m addicted to parentheses (is there a support group?). However, the first step in recovering from any addiction is admitting the problem, so at least I have that going for me (what is step 2?). I’ll try to stop (I swear it!).
Preterpluparentheticalistic Performance Update!
May was a good month (not great). My investment portfolio started at $1,102,113 and ended the month at $1,120,455 (up $18,342):
- Days elapsed: 142
- Days remaining: 244
- 2016 gains: $62,494 (including 401(k) and some after tax contributions)
- 2016 401(k) contributions: $29,750****
Since the start (1/1/2013)
- Days elapsed: 1246
- Days remaining: 254
- Gains since 1/1/2013: $534,412
- Needed to quit work ($1,120,000 in investments): Mission accomplished!
- Net worth*****: $1,379,455
Where will Mr. Market take us in the second half of 2016? I have no clue and neither does anyone else. I’ll keep shoveling money in and enjoy the ride.
Three years and counting
This week marks the three year anniversary of us buying our home. In the past, I’ve called it Uglyhouse because that’s exactly what it was:
We started working on the home within a month of moving in and here is where we’re at today:
If you would have told me 3 years ago that I still wouldn’t be finished with it, I would have laughed at you. In prior rehabs, I plowed through the work in mere months by working 16 hour days. With kids, this wasn’t possible. I also made two mistakes:
- I underestimated the amount of work that needed to be done:
- I had no idea a concrete wall was falling over and that I’d need to prop it up.
- I had no idea that the addition on the home was illegal and the work was improperly done, causing me to spend a lot of time bringing it up to code.
- I had no idea that there would be a 1000 year flood three months after we moved in.
- I had no idea Mickey Mouse wired the home, causing yet more fixes.
- I had no idea that the trees in the front yard had infiltrated the sewer line and would eventually block the pipe completely. Not-so-fun fact: I made this discovery the day I needed the toilet most. I had been to a beer fest the evening before and on the drive home, instructed the designated driver to go through the Taco Bell drive-thru. This decision, influenced without a doubt by alcohol, was not a good one:
beer + multiple Diarrittos = gastric distress
gastric distress + toilet that won’t flush = pure misery (and colorful metaphors)
- I underestimated how hard it would be to hire competent help: Before I started work on the house, I assumed that if the remodeling dragged on or I got tired, I could just hire people to help me out. Bad assumption. The only people I ended up hiring were rough carpenters (which took me 6 months to find after firing the first one) and roofers/gutter people. Building is booming here in Colorado and the demand for labor here is crazy. I contacted at least 100 different people over the course of the remodel. Less than 5% bothered to get back to me.
Would I do it again if I knew then what I knew now? Probably not. It just took too much out of our lives.
- I’ve missed reading. Hello books, I know you’re waiting. I’m sorry for the dust on your covers, but I’ll be with you shortly.
- I’ve missed biking (my road bike has 0 miles on it in 2016) and exercise. Keeping in shape should be a core activity, just not something you do as time allows. Health is everything.
- I’ve missed conversations with the wife. We have gone weeks without having a really good conversation. If our marriage wasn’t as strong, the stress of the remodel may have driven us to Splittsville.
It’s almost done now. Those front porch posts will be wrapped in about a week and then the girls and I will finish their playhouse (yes, the zip line is still in the plans):
Despite my bemoaning, Taco Bell bleating and a bit of bitterness, every time I look at Uglyhouse now, I smile a little because Uglyhouse is no longer ugly (and almost done).
*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 $44,000 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 which 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.
*****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
- Load of parentheses: Here on 1500 Days (thanks for reading by the way!), I never short you on the parentheses (never!). I guarantee you 50% more parentheses than the next blogger or the next post is free!
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