Author Topic: Ever Look Back at Pre-FIRE Investment Statements?  (Read 4590 times)

Kaspian

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Ever Look Back at Pre-FIRE Investment Statements?
« on: November 05, 2014, 11:54:51 AM »
Just organizing some old computer file and pulled up a PDF to see what it was.  It was my investment statement from 2009.  When I saw the "MARKET VALUE OF YOUR ACCOUNT: $38,785.25," it made me almost fall off my seat and weep.  At the time I'd been putting away 15% of my paycheque, as "standard" advice tells us to--being a good, little squirrel.  10 years worth of 15% and I'd only done that much.  I was proud of it at the time.  I can't even blame the market crash, because I was very bond heavy at the time and Canadian bonds were at rockstar value levels.

I think it was around that time that I began taking my money much more seriously and upped the ante to 20%.

So the numbers go:

1999-2009 - 10 years worth:  $39K
2010-2012 - 13 years worth:  $74K  (After I began taking things more seriously and reading some personal finance blogs)
2013-2014 - 15 years worth: $189K  (After I found MMM and CCP in July '12)

Like, I'm saving almost more now every year than I had in 10?!  It just seems crazy.  I notice very little difference in my life except that I don't go on exotic trips each season.

Anyone else look back on their older statements and think, "[Sigh.]  You na´ve kid!"?

PathtoFIRE

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Re: Ever Look Back at Pre-FIRE Investment Statements?
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2014, 12:05:56 PM »
Definitely. In fact, until we recently rolled our traditional IRAs into our current work plans, I had the reminder of our balances from our first jobs staring me in the face every time I opened Mint, as our 2 IRAs were the sum total of our savings at those jobs rolled over. It was certainly exciting to see first our current workplace accounts and then our taxable accounts quickly pass those, but also depressing since much of that money was earned during the "fire sale" years of 2009-2011.

Gone Fishing

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Re: Ever Look Back at Pre-FIRE Investment Statements?
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2014, 12:06:39 PM »
I don't have many old statements, but Vanguard has started piloting 10 year charts on some accounts.  Pretty wild to look back at 2008 and see that it was hardly a blip on the radar.  I probably only have 2 regrets, not figuring out Mad Fientist's tax strategy earlier (see below) and hanging on to too much cash after the "crash". 

I did have a life insurance sales man offer to do some pretty fancy projections around 2007 after I told him I wasn't buying any insurance.  He said that was okay, so I let him do it, and the numbers were pretty impressive but fell short of what a mustachian could really accomplish.  I wish I still had it to see how I tracked, but I think I destroyed it in a paperwork purge. Note:  He still recommended more life insurance despite having a decent 'stache, no kids, a working wife, little debt, and a company paid life insurance policy.  I found an error in the calculations that would have reduced the insurance amount and he offered to revise. Low and behold it didn't change! 
« Last Edit: November 05, 2014, 02:37:24 PM by So Close »

kaizen soze

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Re: Ever Look Back at Pre-FIRE Investment Statements?
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2014, 02:31:05 PM »
I do look back and wonder what might have been.  It's only human.  If only I had known then what I know now... And I'm not talking about buying Apple stock back in the 90s.  I'm talking about knowing what was actually knowable -- like the shockingly simple math behind early retirement.  I was a good saver, and didn't spend my salary increases, keeping my lifestyle constant. But I was directionless.  I didn't know what I was supposed to *do* with all the money I was saving.  So I spent it.  First on a fancy new car.  Then on an advanced degree (giving up several years of income in the process).  I don't regret either decision, but in an alternate universe, where I knew a better life was possible, I could already be retired doing what I really want.  But then I wouldn't have met my wife.  And I'll appreciate ER all the more when it finally comes.

Kaspian

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Re: Ever Look Back at Pre-FIRE Investment Statements?
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2014, 02:16:54 PM »
I do look back and wonder what might have been.  It's only human.  If only I had known then what I know now...  ...- like the shockingly simple math behind early retirement.
...And I'll appreciate ER all the more when it finally comes.

Exactly--"the shockingly simple math"!  What's amazing is if an institution told someone--"I have a plan which will increase your investment net worth 250% in only two years, you will hardly notice any change in lifestyle.  In fact--most things will be better and simpler and you'll probably be healthier.," our jaws would drop and we wouldn't believe them.  But that's exactly what MMM, CPP, and the whole  FIRE thing has done for me.  It's almost hilarious that people spend hours worrying and quibbling with a bank to make 0.2% more annually on interest or investments, when a few minor changes in their lifestyle could get them 100%+ on saving.  The small extra bit the bank can provide is peanuts--chump change--compared to one's own spending/savings pattern.

Dances With Fire

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Re: Ever Look Back at Pre-FIRE Investment Statements?
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2014, 07:38:06 AM »
I have kept my original statement from Vanguard. (I should frame it.)

Started with only 10K....Almost 35 years ago now. And was able to add to my IRA ever since.


Mr FrugalNL

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Re: Ever Look Back at Pre-FIRE Investment Statements?
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2014, 10:25:30 AM »
I don't get to look through my old investment statements yet because I don't have much of an investing history.

2013-2014 - 15 years worth: $189K  (After I found MMM and CCP in July '12)

Exactly--"the shockingly simple math"!  What's amazing is if an institution told someone--"I have a plan which will increase your investment net worth 250% in only two years, you will hardly notice any change in lifestyle.  In fact--most things will be better and simpler and you'll probably be healthier.," our jaws would drop and we wouldn't believe them.  But that's exactly what MMM, CPP, and the whole  FIRE thing has done for me.  It's almost hilarious that people spend hours worrying and quibbling with a bank to make 0.2% more annually on interest or investments, when a few minor changes in their lifestyle could get them 100%+ on saving.  The small extra bit the bank can provide is peanuts--chump change--compared to one's own spending/savings pattern.

At the risk of showcasing my ignorance.. What does CPP/CCP stand for? Canadian Couch Potato?

Kaspian

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Re: Ever Look Back at Pre-FIRE Investment Statements?
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2014, 12:15:12 PM »
Yeah, sorry--Canadian Couch Potato.  I know better--one should always include the a full title the first time using an acronym.  Mostly Americans here and they'd have no reason at all to even know that acronym.  :)

Mr FrugalNL

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Re: Ever Look Back at Pre-FIRE Investment Statements?
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2014, 12:54:50 AM »
Thanks.

deborah

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Re: Ever Look Back at Pre-FIRE Investment Statements?
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2014, 01:32:52 AM »
Before I retired I had a financial adviser give me some projections. About once a year I look at them, and smile.

chuckaluck

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Re: Ever Look Back at Pre-FIRE Investment Statements?
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2014, 02:04:06 AM »
I don't have statements per se, but I do have simple monthly excel spreadsheets that I programmed that go back over 20 years that used my monthly/quarterly statements.  On or about the 15th of each month, I have faithfully updated the values/worth of all my bank, mutual fund, IRA, etc accounts, assets, and liabilities. And I have many comments (son born, going to school, addition put on house, etc) that clearly help explain why balances went up or down.  It takes about an hour, but it is time well spent.  I have balance sheets, cash flows, net worth, etc.   But most importantly, over that time, I also included the levels that the Dow, S&P 500, NAS, prime rate, and 10 year interest rates were. The latter has provided a perspective and context to let me know objectively how I was doing relative to benchmarks.  It also has allowed me to see what happens to my financials (individually and collectively) when for example, interest rates rise or the stock market takes a tumble. Because I have the data, I often plot relationships such as the S&P 500 and my IRA account value.  There is no doubt in my mind that spending this hour per month has kept me focused and allowed me to KNOW realistically when I could retire (I did on Dec 2012, age 58), and still pay cash for every small and large expense including home additions/renovations, private college educations for my kids, cars, European vacations, etc. 

Travis

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Re: Ever Look Back at Pre-FIRE Investment Statements?
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2014, 03:24:51 AM »
I've always been a pretty good saver, but over the last decade my portfolio was split between insanely diverse high-fee funds and a shit ton of cash. Literally I could have bought a house with the cash I had in savings.  I discovered YNAB in early 2012 and MMM a year later and sorted myself out.  Due to my decent savings rate during the last decade my net worth has been pretty high, but until recently that money wasn't working for me.