Author Topic: Some thrilling things in my life  (Read 4458 times)

zedpol

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Some thrilling things in my life
« on: March 21, 2018, 09:43:04 PM »
Some thrilling things in my life.  Actually feels really good to write all this down.

our local store decided to stop carrying my favorite pasta, normally goes for 3.99 a packet.  They had it on sale for 1 dollar so I bought approximately 55lbs of pasta for 55 dollars. 

Starting cutting my own hair.  29 dollars on clippers and scissors, now cash flow positive on that.

saw those dlink weemo smartplugs on sale for 15 dollars. I bought 5 of them, set up a bunch of rules and now am saving about 20 dollars a month on electricity. 

Was having a drink every night,  down to 2 or 3 nights a week, including weekends.

My oldest kid starts kindergarten in a few months, no more preschool to pay for!!

replaced the battery in my 2 year old samsung s7.  Like having a new phone!

(i posted this already but i'm on a roll) negotiated our internet down to 29.95 a month.

We are down to pandora 4.99 a month, internet 29.95 a month, prime 99 a year

Moved to 80% time!!!  Huge quality of life improvement. 

New job, No longer commuting 40 miles a day,  now I'm able to bike about 20% of the time and am averaging more like 15 miles a day.

We remodeled our kitchen which has been a huge quality of life improvement. We use to have a wall between the kitchen and the family room, it is now open which has made cooking and dinner time much more of a family experience.  Money well spent. 

Our networth went from 933k to 1.85 million in a little less than a year due to incredible stock market returns, strong housing appreciation and good savings.  We have truly had an amazing year.

thanks for the great community.
z
Edit for Grammar

« Last Edit: March 22, 2018, 12:46:54 PM by zedpol »

zedpol

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Re: Some thrilling things in my life
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2018, 09:44:39 PM »
Sorry for the multiple posts.  Board went seriously screwy on me.  I even checked to make sure I wasn't posting multiple times but apparently the board says otherwise.  I tried to delete the other posts.  Can an admin help me out?

Thanks,
z

[No problem: this is the only one left now]
« Last Edit: March 22, 2018, 10:40:42 AM by FrugalToque »

Just Joe

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Re: Some thrilling things in my life
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2018, 12:19:07 PM »
CONGRATS! Baby-steps. SO many good ideas here in the forums!

Anyone else ever read red mod notes with the "voice of God" in your head? ;)

August26th

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Re: Some thrilling things in my life
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2018, 01:03:46 PM »
This is fantastic and inspiring! Thanks for sharing.

kdinosaur

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Re: Some thrilling things in my life
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2018, 11:23:46 AM »
Congratulations, this is seriously inspiring to me. (As a young parent paying for daycare, the thought of eventual kindergarten is really keeping us going everytime we look at our finances)

Am also going to look into buying clippers for my husband's hair, had been thinking about that one for a bit.

Slee_stack

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Re: Some thrilling things in my life
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2018, 10:37:20 AM »
I'm jealous of the 80% time.  Still trying to finagle that for myself.


The rest, just straight up good job!

Cali

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Re: Some thrilling things in my life
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2018, 10:51:04 PM »
Well done!

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: Some thrilling things in my life
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2018, 10:56:48 PM »
What a wonderful list!! Tiny, huge, and everything in between. I especially love the changes that are in your control and you made conscious decisions to create. Thanks for sharing your celebrations :)))

(Yep, board goes wonky sometimes and reposts after a delay, despite our best checking. Mods rock for helping us with that issue.)

zedpol

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Re: Some thrilling things in my life
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2019, 09:54:52 PM »
Thought I would update this!

We have spent the last year trying to optimize our current situation.  We like our community, our friends, school, my job.  2 years ago I was pretty unhappy with my job and was trying to FIRE ASAP.  Fast forward to now,  I switched jobs and love it, focused on making friends in our neighborhood which has made us feel so lucky, and made decisions that optimized for time now that we have reached a certain sort of FIRE.  Life is good.

80% time that I referenced last time has sort of turned into 50% time. 

My wife and I are in the best shape we have been in a while. 

our family has dance parties to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31crA53Dgu0 (sia, cheap thrills)

My dad and I rerouted the drainage for the sump pump which basically 100% solved our water issues.  We did this 1 day before a huge set of storms came through and caused all sorts of flooding.  Our house...bone dry!! 

Family has focused on what brings us joy which has included upping our pandora subscription for 5.99 a month to 14.99 a month"gasp" and a membership to a community center/pool/gym/hot tub for the family at 176 a month.  So far that has been some of the best money we have spent.

Our car turned 13, hit 134k miles and going strong. 

Last year I mentioned that I negotiated our internet down to 29.95.  Well it went up to 60 dollars a month but then had a 2 month saga of connectivity issues so the ISP gave us another year for 29.95! 

Still eating our 55lbs of pasta from last year...man that was an awesome purchase.

Gone mostly vegetarian...except when we eat meat :) 

Kindergarten has been pretty great.  Fun to watch the kid learn to read, celebrate in the successes.  Our little family is in a great spot.


Stock returns have been bonkers...40% for 2018, 22% so far in 2019.  Feel very lucky

Networth went from 1.85 to 2.7 !!!  We are in full scale-back mode.  I really like my job so will keep it going until it isn't fun anymore. 

thank you all for the constant inspiration and positive community!
z

Linea_Norway

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Re: Some thrilling things in my life
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2019, 06:45:15 AM »
Do you plan to sell the house when you FIRE? If not, then I would leave it out if the net worth as it only confuses.
In my FIRE spreadsheet I only calculate how much we will have left after selling the house and setting apart half of the sum for a future home. Only the difference is in my FIRE stash.

sixup

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Re: Some thrilling things in my life
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2019, 08:16:58 AM »
Very inspiring thanks for the update. Serious life gains!

zedpol

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Re: Some thrilling things in my life
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2019, 08:43:05 AM »
Do you plan to sell the house when you FIRE? If not, then I would leave it out if the net worth as it only confuses.
In my FIRE spreadsheet I only calculate how much we will have left after selling the house and setting apart half of the sum for a future home. Only the difference is in my FIRE stash.

I include our equity in our NW as we will sell at some point and buy something less expensive.  I just don't know how much we will spend on that future house or when that will be.  Just that it will be considerably less.


Bird In Hand

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Re: Some thrilling things in my life
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2019, 12:18:31 PM »
Stock returns have been bonkers...40% for 2018, 22% so far in 2019.  Feel very lucky

Um, yes you should feel very lucky if these figures are accurate.  Especially considering the S&P500 was down more than 4% in 2018 (and is up only 1/2 of your 22% so far in 2019).

Mind sharing your secret recipe?  Had our portfolio gone up 40% in 2018 instead of down slightly (even after maxing out pre-tax accounts), and up another 22% this year, we'd be FIRE'd by now.

zedpol

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Re: Some thrilling things in my life
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2019, 03:45:55 PM »
Individual stocks - Mostly in the SaaS/Cloud space and Biotech. I don't do index funds, mutual funds, bonds, etc.  You have to be OK with volatility and spending lots of time on investing.  I know this strategy is basically anathema to the folks around here :)

-z

Stachless

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Re: Some thrilling things in my life
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2019, 04:35:23 PM »
Nice work Zed!!

Do you plan to perpetually hold individual stocks or do you plan on migrating to index funds at some point?  If you do plan to shift to indexing...what is the trigger for it? i.e. a certain net worth amount, certain % gain/loss on an individual stock, certain year, etc?

I'm quite interested in hearing more as this strategy is frowned upon here (as you mentioned) and is thus rarely discussed. 

Thanks and congrats again!!

Bird In Hand

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Re: Some thrilling things in my life
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2019, 07:12:33 AM »
Individual stocks - Mostly in the SaaS/Cloud space and Biotech. I don't do index funds, mutual funds, bonds, etc.  You have to be OK with volatility and spending lots of time on investing.  I know this strategy is basically anathema to the folks around here :)

That is an amazing result!  Congratulations -- on this and on your other successes over the past couple years.

zedpol

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Re: Some thrilling things in my life
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2019, 11:30:11 AM »
First a little history.  I've invested in individual stocks for a long time, 25ish years.  I got serious about 12 years ago.  I have relatively good records from 2007 and pretty complete records since 2009.  My CAGR over the 12 years is around 24% a year. A CAGR of 24% over 12 years is about a 13x return vs a 4x return of the S&P 500 assuming a 12% yearly return. 

 Investing is a thing that should be done in a community, not only for the knowledge but also for emotional support.  I use the motley fool public boards as well as have a subscription to, “stock advisor” and, “Rule Breaker” newsletters.  The subscription is 100% worth the 99 dollar fee or whatever it is (I have no vested interest in the motley fool).  I’m sure there are other good resources out there . On the other hand, there are a lot of people who are willing to take your money.  Be wary of anyone that promises you any sort of return in exchange for money.

I wouldn’t suggest a novice investor jumping in with two feet.  Do lots and lots of reading, figure out if you want investing to be a hobby.  I probably spend an average of an hour or maybe even more, a day reading about companies, looking at balance sheets, reading the boards, etc etc. 

There is the “investing” strategy and then the “personal finance” strategy. 

The personal finance strategy is as follows.
While I have an income I plan on having the majority of our wealth invested in stocks.  The very best ones I can find.  We have an emergency fund, no expensive debt and save 50% or so of our income.  I don’t accelerate payments on our student loans, nor our mortgage.  Our student loans are ay 1.85 and 1.99% and our mortgage effective tax rate is around 3% (30 year fixed)  I don’t see any reason to spend money on debt that we can easily service when we have earned on average 24% in the stock market (even if I was doing index funds my answer would be the same).

When I retire I’ll move to 2 or 3 years of cash and cash like assets but continue to invest in stocks assuming I still enjoy it as much as I have over the last decade.

My investing strategy is as follows.
Find a community,  there are too many biases, emotions, and knowledge blind spots to do this yourself.

I look for companies that are growing quickly and have dominant positions in their industries.  They must have little or no debt.

They must have enough cash on hand to operate for a year at the very minimum (in reality all my stocks right now have plenty of cash for an extended down turn)

If they aren’t self-funding they must have a clear path to self-funding with demonstrated improving operational leverage. 

With some minor caveats, I look for companies that have products that are integral to their customers and have recurring revenue or revenue that can be functionally called recurring revenue. 

Management must be honest.  I don't mind promotional management however some move from promotional to just straight up lies.  THey get one by, I'll sell any stock that I don't trust the management. 

Be ruthless about allocating your capital.  Every dollar counts

Continue to buy your winners.

 don't average down when a company is losing. 

Look at business performance separate from stock performance.  Many times they go hand in hand,  but many times they don't.

I run a concentrated portfolio, at the moment 12 position. About 90% of my money is invested in my top 8. 

I'm sure there is more but that is what I've got off the top of my head.

Zed











Mrs. S

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Re: Some thrilling things in my life
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2019, 11:40:37 AM »
Quote
My investing strategy is as follows. ...
Zed
Thanks I have been looking for a clear strategy honed by someone who's put considerable time and energy into it.  We are yet to touch individual stocks and are quite risk averse in long term.
But it's another place to do maths and run scenarios which were enjoy.  Making money will be a bonus.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2019, 03:08:18 PM by Mrs. S »

KathrinS

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Re: Some thrilling things in my life
« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2019, 01:23:54 PM »
Wow, that's amazing! Congrats on your success so far and thanks for sharing your strategy. Something to think about trying in the future.