the dude's diary

Where are you and where are you going?
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El Duderino
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the dude's diary

Post by El Duderino » Fri Nov 28, 2014 1:42 pm

The dude likes to keep things simple. Einstein was a smart man with a lot of quotable words and one set I like is when he said that everything should be as simple as possible, but no simpler.

My goal is to experience a long, prosperous existence in fulfilment of my inalienable rights of life, freedom and happiness.

A purple dinosaur once taught me, through a clever song, that sharing is caring. I'd like to record my journey here to share with you and for you to share your thoughts with me. Right now, it feels like there is a lot to learn from this community.

I don't like to get long winded, but since this is my first journal post, I feel the need to set a bit of contextual background. The dude is a lazy man, yes, and also a major tightwad. So much so, that when the dude breaks wind, only pomeranians can hear it. Because of this, I've generally made fairly intelligent financial decisions, though there have certainly been frivolities (gasp, how fancy) and heaps of old fashioned and new fangled dumbassery leading up to this point. Yet, I find myself with a job that I don't mind too terribly bad and a totally workable portfolio that I've been building up since I started to get serious about my long term financial position about 7 years ago. I've got records from before then, but they're not great. My savings rates from 2007 have been 50, 41, 40, 38, 60, 52, 53 and 2014 could be 75 if things carry on. Kinda gangster, but could be better, sure. Investment assets consist of tax deferred and taxable accounts. I've also got a rental property with just ₡ 500 to go before it's paid off fully (May 2015 perhaps)! It brings in approximately ₡ 10 a month, once costs of running are factored in. Aside from the home mortgage, I've had other debts taken care of since 2009. Oh yeah, and the dude is in a one man wolfpack of sorts, having not yet been able to find that perfect lady to woo and win her heart.

Capital accumulation is the name of the game right now and then it'll move to another phase, where I quit my job and do other stuff. I don't have a good name for that phase yet but a working title could be 'The Dude's Neverending Trip'. Any Neverending Story fans out there? Well, the dude is going to be flying high with Falkor right about the time his 12 month rolling average annualized spending is below 3.5% and there is a ₡ 300 buffer for year 1 trip stuff. But that time has not yet come, so until I harness my sleep dragon in the realm of Fantasia, let's get practical.

These are the metrics I find useful in evaluating my progress towards the next phase of life. I monitor the below, along with all the details behind them, on a fortnightly basis but I'll report on them here for the start of each month. Before I add November's figures on Monday...

Oct '14:
--contribution to investment assets: ₡ 57
--investment assets: ₡ 5,549
--annualized spending as % of assets: 5% (-5.4%)
--rolling average from last 12 months: 7.1% (-.3%)

Notable stuff that happened in October:
1. Realised that tracking something analogous to SWR is really helpful in balancing the scales between spending and saving. What a concept! It's now completely replaced net worth as my favorite thing to add up on the spreadsheet.
2. Switched up my investment choice on Vanguard from VTIVX, an age targeted retirement fund, to VTSAX , the total stock market index, for reasons of lower expense ratio mostly.

Notes:
₡ is a shorthand of my own devising since I'm too cautious to divulge the actual numbers.
Last edited by El Duderino on Tue Dec 02, 2014 5:54 am, edited 2 times in total.

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WYOGO
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Re: the dude's diary

Post by WYOGO » Fri Nov 28, 2014 7:27 pm

Kudos to the dude. That was an enjoyable read. Great choice on VTSAX. Most regular users of this forum are engaged enough with their investments to not need their mutual fund portfolio rebalanced automatically in exchange for higher fees.

IlliniDave
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Re: the dude's diary

Post by IlliniDave » Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:43 am

VTSAX is a good core fund. Systematic withdrawal rates are a neat concept. I generally do my planning based on 2% SWR during the "early" years. For once I hit retirement age, I use 3% which is generally considered a "safe" SWR when looking over time span of 30-40 years. The problem with SWRs is their neatness. They're easy to "test" because it's a simple process, but depending on how they're applied and how things go, they can be either too pessimistic or too optimistic. But just being aware of the strategy and testing your situation against various SWRs, you're ahead in the game. Good luck.

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El Duderino
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Re: the dude's diary

Post by El Duderino » Mon Dec 01, 2014 1:53 pm

Nov '14:
--contribution to investment assets: ₡ 91
--investment assets: ₡ 5,728 (+179)
--annualized spending as % of assets: 5% (nc)
--rolling average from last 12 months: 6.9% (-.2%)

Notable stuff for November:
1. Been reading a lot of good information about dividend investing thanks to the enjoyable writing of Dividend Mantra. Although he is a persuasive man, I'm not completely sold on this approach, yet. Though the argument about not eroding your base by selling off stock certificates is compelling. Looking forward to learning more and it's already gotten me to go back through my 1099-DIV's for the past year and learn a bit about the difference between qualified and unqualified dividends.

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El Duderino
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Dividend doubts

Post by El Duderino » Thu Dec 04, 2014 2:17 pm

I dig idea of using quality investment instruments to earn money while focusing personal efforts on finding clever new ways to surpass the known limits of human and ensconce myself in the plush, creamy velvet trappings of wealth. This in turns peaks my interest in this whole dividend investing (DI) thing, though I still don't quite understand why one would chose DI over other means of earning passive income. In particular, I couldn't help but to compare that a certain blogger's current portfolio value is just a marginally higher than the market value of my rental property, yet it's ROI is about half what I'm currently seeing from my non-optimized situation. The property I have wasn't chosen expressly for the purpose of renting out, so it's probably not even close to being at peak efficiency. Owning a duplex in a university town could arguably provider a higher, more stable return with less invested. I'm not saying that I'm doing so great, but rather, why would one chose DI over property in this situation?

Additionally, I get really apprehensive when DI advocates talk about whether or not a company's fundamentals, product or leadership makes it an appealing time to buy/sell. This sounds a lot like trying to time the market, through either technical or traditional valuation methods, which is something that I've heard repeatedly is a no-no. Even with (or perhaps especially with) a portfolio of 50ish companies, how can a DI investor be more informed than professionals with all their analytical models and proprietary trading tools? Not to mention their propensity for unscrupulous behavior. It's a lot of work to keeping up with matters for a properly diversified DI war chest. Now, I know that for a lot of DI fans, keeping tabs on their investments is all part of the fun, but even so, it is a big effort and the dude is most certainly a lazy man.

I'm not declaring property or mindlessly adhering to a x% SWR rule is superior to DI, just wondering how one could reconcile the huge capital investment for relatively modest gains when there are still very real risks to the strategy, such as if the company, despite their longstanding record of increasing dividends decides against that or worse yet, their business erodes.

George the original one
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Re: the dude's diary

Post by George the original one » Thu Dec 04, 2014 3:55 pm

Short answer is diversity. It is extremely tough to diversify $200k amongst more than a couple rentals whereas a dividend investor can diversify among as many companies as they'd like.

If all your rentals are in the same town, then you have a geographic concentration, where if the local economy tanks, you have no out (in the '50s, who would have thought Detroit homes would be worthless?).

If you have only one or two rentals, then does your insurance cover lost rent after a fire while you're rebuilding the units? There are a zillion other loss scenarios in real estate, too, just like when owning stocks.

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Re: the dude's diary

Post by A Life of FI » Thu Dec 04, 2014 4:00 pm

I think many people that aim for FI and invest in dividend paying stocks do so to have a higher and more dependable income (large corporates that have a history of paying high dividends are hesitant to cut even in bad times). The dividend investing strategy that is described in your post I think goes a bit further than this though and is used by people trying to get a very high dividend return, which leads to holding very few stocks (as there are only a limited number of stocks yielding more than 4%+) which leads to higher risk due to heavy portfolio risk concentration and thus a lot of time analyzing and monitoring the companies to control the risk and to find the next 4%+ payers. There is nothing wrong with this more extreme version and some people get good returns and enjoy spending their time doing it, but its not the only way to invest in companies which pay higher dividends.

If you are not interested in regularly researching individual stocks, dealing with deciding to buy/sell stocks on a regular basis and holding a portfolio that is concentrated in a few stocks you could invest in an ETF which invests in a large number high dividend paying stocks. There are some out there with very low expense ratios (VYM for example) which invest in the highest dividend paying stocks of the largest 400 or 500 US companies. This will not get you the same dividend yield that the research oriented person holding a portfolio of 10 to 15 stocks gets (typically 4%+ in annual dividend yield) but it will get you 3%+ in annual dividend yield, which is better than the S&P 500 dividends yield of 2%+. It will also typically get a total return (dividends + capital gains) that approximates the S&P 500.

I am not sure what type of returns you get on property or your situation so I can't say if this is better for you, but think it is also worth considering the time you spend on managing the property and probably more importantly the fact that the property is a much more risk concentrated investment than owning 400 or 500 of the US largest companies. One relatively minor event in terms of the entire country, such as moving part of the university where you property is to another city, a large cut in state funding to the university, a large employer moving out of the city, declining university enrollment due to people in the state having fewer children 20 years ago etc. could have a large negative effect on the value/ROI of the property while having no noticeable effect on value/ROI of the largest 400 or 500 US companies.

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Re: the dude's diary

Post by IlliniDave » Thu Dec 04, 2014 8:44 pm

First, I should say that I'm not a dividend investor. I think dividend investors expect a higher dividend income relative to stocks in general, and other financial investments (CDs, bonds, etc.). One thing to keep in mind is that the dividend is only a portion of the total eturn of a stock. If you consider time in decades there's also an expectation that the value of the share will rise at the rate of inflation plus the real earnings growth. People I know that adopt the dividend strategy simply like the tidiness of collecting their dividends and spending them without having to sell off their shares, along with a reasonable expectation that the dividend payment will rise a little faster than inflation . But they use low cost mutual funds to achieve this so they are not managing a portfolio of individual positions. If someone is doing that, well, picking stocks is picking stocks, and making timely transactions is part of it.

Investing in rental real estate in my mind is more like running a small business. I could make more money over time with rental real estate than I probably will on my stock investments, but managing property is a job I don't want to have, and a lot of other people feel the same as I do. But there are a lot of people who do very well in that business. For people with the right drive and disposition, it's a great choice. My goal is to have a highly liquid largely set-it-and-forget-it passive income capacity. I can't say I'll never get into the rental business but right now it seems unlikely.

I don't really know how it's risks stack up against a diversified stock portfolio. Of course dividend-focused portfolios are usually rather concentrated I'd think.

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El Duderino
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Re: dividend doubts

Post by El Duderino » Sun Dec 07, 2014 3:18 pm

Good points all about the likelihood of risks being lower with a DI portfolio. Real estate wasn't meant to be the only comparison, but all the points made are spot on. In fact, there was a period of time in 2012 when the place was vacant for about 6 months as the previous tenant had left it in a not so nice state and it was costing me significant money, about $10K all told, just to get the weasel city inspector off my back so I was permitted to rent it. One would never have that issue with stocks, where a company insisted that you bought 10K in bonds, for example, in order to receive dividend payments.

A Life of FI, it would be great to be able to get by on the 2-3% payments from a S&P500 or dividend focussed ETF. I need to work on my SWR for that though. I'm not even super comfortable with my 5% right now as I feel I may be making tradeoffs by not spending money that I should swallow the cost and just do it and not think about the expense. In other words, my savings rate for this year is too high for my comfort, but such is the dilemma of a true tightwad and it probably doesn't help that I've been obsessing more than usual now that I've found this community.

IlliniDave, you're right on about it being a small business. There were certainly times in 2012 when I was thinking, man, how can I get myself out of this situation. I was really jammed up about it, being very un-dude-like. Then I poured myself a nice white russian and weathered the brief storm and now it seems like it's on autopilot. Being perfectly honest, the thing that got me through the tough times was having a robust war chest / emergency fund that I was able to dip into to the full extent so that paying the work to the house didn't affect other aspects of my finances.

As far as the house goes, I see three paths forward. One is to continue on keeping up with repairs and rent it for the long haul. Another would be to move in myself, get a nice rug that really ties the place together and just abide. The third would be to wait until an opportune moment and swap it for a fat stack of cash, reallocating the funds somewhere else.

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Re: the dude's diary

Post by sterlingarcher » Sun Dec 07, 2014 5:22 pm

get a nice rug that really ties the place together
such dudeness, lol

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El Duderino
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Mid-Dec Update

Post by El Duderino » Tue Dec 16, 2014 8:29 am

Mid-Dec '14:
--Assets: ₡ 7763 (-74)
--Debt: ₡ 462 (-42)
--Nov Spending: ₡ 41

Assets breakdown:
Image

Spending breakdown:
Image

I had a desire to touch ₡8000 net worth this month, which, despite very near numbers for close of Nov, didn't happen. This helped to remind me that it's silly to try to anticipate NW as many of its fluctuations are not in my control. After taking some fresh air, I turned my attention to something else entirely and had a very productive practice session on the guitar, which has been my new skill to learn for this year. I started playing Rocksmith 2014 in January and have really surprised myself with how much I enjoy playing badly and have learned how to play a half dozen songs reasonably well so far.

I've taken the decision to string out paying down the mortgage on house, which makes up the entirety of the debt figure, until Nov-2015 rather than May-2015. This should allow me to continue to buy a healthy chunk stocks each month and not have to cut my margins too thin. Any extra and I'll pad my EF until it gets to a full year of spending, something like ₡500.

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GordonsGecko
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Re: the dude's diary

Post by GordonsGecko » Thu Dec 18, 2014 11:24 am

Another reason people like Dividend Investing is the pleasure it gives when sticking it to the Tax Man.

If The Dude were to find that righteous chick and remain within the 15% tax bracket for married hipsters, then he and his lady could enjoy nearly $75k of tax-free dividend income on qualified dividends. That's a lot of white russians....

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El Duderino
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Re: the dude's diary

Post by El Duderino » Fri Jan 02, 2015 6:19 pm

Dec '14:
--contribution to investment assets: ₡ 42
--investment assets: ₡ 5, 670
--annualized spending as % of assets: 10.2% (+3.2%)
--rolling average from last 12 months: 9.5% (+.1%)

Notable stuff that happened in Dec:
1. Lots of expenses for travel and gifts around christmas. Spent more than I really needed to on fixing up my car and gifts for myself as well including a new guitar and navi system/tablet for the car
2. Bought my sister a copy of Your Money or Your Life as one of her Christmas gifts. Surprisingly, the rest of the family has said they're also interested in reading it too!

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El Duderino
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Mid-Jan '15 Update

Post by El Duderino » Sun Jan 18, 2015 3:00 pm

Mid-Jan '15:
--Assets: ₡ 7780 (+16)
--Debt: ₡ 420 (-42)
--Dec Spending: ₡ 55 (+14, but still under budget. It is Xmas after all.)

Assets breakdown:
Image

Spending breakdown:
Image

In a period where my bitcoins shrunk, the pound to dollar conversion isn't in my favor and the stocks are dropping as people 'locked in' 2014 gains by selling, the dude is totally cool, very dude-like.

Watched a neat video on tiny homes, about a guy who seemed shockingly unprepared to go through the process of building one. What I couldn't get is how the tinies justified having a big ass monster truck hauler to drag their house around in. And if you're going to not drag it around and permanently moor is somewhere, ...well, where? Not to mention the structural issues of a house that is put through the equivalent of some kind of earthquake each time it's moved. I didn't see much extra care taken to make sure the thing can withstand NVH. Ah well, they were cleverly done in some cases.

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El Duderino
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Feb '15 Update

Post by El Duderino » Wed Feb 04, 2015 3:53 pm

Feb '15:
--contribution to investment assets: ¢ 73
--investment assets: ¢ 5, 611
--annualized spending as % of assets: 5.2%
--12 month rolling average WR: 6.6%


On the one hand, I'm thinking that I could call it quits now and I'd be pretty safe. Posts like this from MMM seem to push me in that direction.

Then again, the longer I stay saving, tech keeps getting better (ya! more toys and entertainment) and my future standard of living keeps getting more plush and automatic. Although, there is that proverb about how the gap between more and enough never quite closes.

Definitely need to get this rental property/future home paid off first. Really looking forward to November for that. Need to think of a suitable celebration. How does an ERE aspirant celebrate an accomplishment? Treat myself to something indulgent or is that too consumerist? I'll be near Chicago in October for a friend's wedding. Perhaps it should be a location-based experiential kinda thing. Like the dude's own personal burning man festival.

upgrade schedule for 2015 looks like this:
chemex coffee maker_________$50 + 8.5 cents a filter for life
dell xps 13__________________$1300
upgraded computer rig________$500 - $1500
Patagonia untracked ski jacket__$500

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El Duderino
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Re: the dude's diary

Post by El Duderino » Fri Feb 06, 2015 12:46 pm

Been playing around with this idea called the four 30's. It goes like this 30K, 30X, 30E, 30S.

30K -- got a budget worked up that I could live in the lap of luxury for $30K annually. I know that this is probably a silly high number to most EREs, but it does include a 10% safety margin and 20% estimated tax rate on top of everything. I'm finding it difficult to estimate the true cost because I'd be changing my home base (but not sure exactly where to) and so rent is a big question mark as well as a great deal of uncertainty for healthcare and transport.

Here's the breakdown per month.
_rent - _______800
_food - _______600
_clothes - _____40
_healthcare - __150
_phone - ______40
_transport - ___150
_exercise - ___100
_10% buffer - _188
_taxes - _____414
_total - _____$2482

30X -- like to have a multiplier of 30 on the annual spend (900K) in savings that are earning a competitive return. This equates to a 3.33% SWR, below my first post, 3.5% target.

30E -- a years spending set aside in emergency fund

30S -- this is startup or seed money that I'd use in FI on projects to ensure that I've got loads of dry powder at my beck and call.

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Legthorn Brownboat
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Re: the dude's diary

Post by Legthorn Brownboat » Sun Feb 08, 2015 6:59 pm

I love your four 30's. Let's call it the 430s plan. What would you like to seed with your 30S?

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El Duderino
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F430

Post by El Duderino » Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:53 pm

430, yeah! I like the sound of that.
Image

Good question, LB. One of the things I really struggle with is what the hell am I going to do when it's time to turn in my security pass and turn off my work phone. I suppose backing up my contacts and getting a personal phone would be the first thing, but then what? Sure, it'll be nice to not have an alarm clock but without one will I turn into a sullen night owl that sleeps away the most productive hours of the day?

There's a few small projects in the mental hopper, but nothing that would certainly take a determined me longer than a few weeks or month to really sort out. I'm currently banking on one of these small projects developing into something bigger; something that I really enjoy doing in a masterful way, yielding lots of joy and value for myself and others. To truly explore how deep my interest goes, I think a gradual investment in one or more of these projects would be necessary do it it properly. That's what 30S would be for, something like one of these three.

1. Wood working -- even as a kid I watched Norm Avram on New Yankee Workshop (and before him, that lovable ginger on the Woodwright Shop, IIRC). As a teen, I even had the chance to hang out with a guy owned a wood shop. That was special, going in on a Saturday to an empty production floor and smelling the clean, earthy fragrances of the different woods mixed with mechanical tin can smell of the old machinery. Working in there, with the variety of tools ( even though he really only let my unskilled hands touch the planer and the router table) was so neat. The reclaimed wood projects from pallets thread had me nearly salivating at the prospect of pulling apart some hard wood pallets and making something strong and durable from the treasure. In particular, I love the idea of convertible furniture that saves space and serves lots of purposes.

2. Grease monkeying -- I learned how to turn wrenches in college because car maintenance is expensive and as my knowledge grew I found myself making silly choices and installing performance parts. Thrilling, yes. Financially sound, hell naw. Eventually I developed a side business making and selling parts on ebay that mitigated most of my spendthrift behavior. It's still a weakness as I am a sucker for a hot rod (hence the immediate F430 connection) or a shiny bolt-on part. Best to proceed with caution on this one, though I've got a pretty decent tool collection and it would be a shame to let those sockets sit idle. A four corner post lift and tig welder would be amongst the first purchases. Spin off paths include car flipping, carbon fiber layup work and engine tuning.

3. Homesteading -- Buy a plot of land and building a homestead of sorts. I could kit it out to my spec and learning a lot from guys like this and this along the way. There's lot of inspirational characters in the ERE world, isn't that great? With this, I'd certainly experiment a lot with gardening, animal husbandry (chickens, mostly, I have no experience with this stuff yet), and acquaponics for the ideal HQ.

Basically, after living in a shared housing situation for more than a few years now, the idea of having a place of my own again, with a dedicated atelier and/or yard is immensely appealing.

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El Duderino
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Mid-Feb '15 Update

Post by El Duderino » Tue Feb 24, 2015 5:22 am

Mid-Feb '15:
--Assets: ₡ 8,096 (+316)
--Debt: ₡ 377 (-43)
--Jan Spending: ₡ 32 (-23)

Assets breakdown:
Image
Spending breakdown:
Image

Currently in the midst of a major travel sesh, which is hella fun but makes it hard to do my regular routine stuff, like keep up with updates here. No biggie, just 9 days late. Spent lots this past week or so doing sightseeing stuff, but this current week will smooth it out as I won't be doing quite so much touristy stuff and the week after that will be quite low as most expenses will be on the employer.

Would like to write more about all the stuff happening but time on holiday is precious indeed and there’s so much to see and do in Hong Kong that I’m obliged to try and soak up as much of the local scene as I can. Until next time, friends!

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El Duderino
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March '15 Update

Post by El Duderino » Tue Mar 03, 2015 2:15 am

Mar '15:
--contribution to investment assets: ¢ 93
--investment assets: ¢ 5,985
--annualized spending as % of assets: 4.6%
--12 month rolling average WR: 6.5%

Solid numbers folks, that's all I'm saying because they speak for themselves.

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El Duderino
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UberX drive

Post by El Duderino » Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:54 am

Had an interesting conversation on Friday with my UberX driver, I'll call her Linda for the purposes of this story.

This was my first ever UberX drive, so I couldn't help but ask her if she drives full time or how all that works. She immediately opened up completely with me and volunteered that she's working two jobs and Uber is a way for her to get additional income so she can retire in just two years! I think that the ice was broken because I just plopped myself in the passenger seat instead of taking the rear of the vehicle, which is where I suppose most clients might sit but it feels weird to be driven around in the back seat of a car to me, and the front seat ride is usually more comfortable too. The dude is all about comfortableness.

Anyways, Linda works as a teacher for young kids and since our teacher's aren't all that well paid, she supplements this income by driving people around and getting a bit of extra cash. When she told me about her retirement goal, I was like, 'Oh cool, me too.', and then we proceeded to have a really nice chat over the next hour or so as she drove me to my buddy's house in another suburb, where I was staying for the weekend. As it turns out, Linda is saving up $250K, of which she has $140K already, to retire with. I was initially a bit worried that wouldn't be enough, but later on she mentioned that she has some of her ex-husband's pension coming in as well and she's planning for a 20-23 year retirement period. We didn't get super-detailed because I wasn't about to pry, though she didn't seem bothered at all to say what she knew. I'm a lot more cautious about telling people finance stuff, but she was so open and transparent and I found it really enjoyable to talk with a like-minded person face to face. I did find it surprising that she's letting someone at a major investment bank manage her investments, which she seems to believe is mostly kept in a money market account, though some of it is invested in stocks and if there are earnings, they're returned to her MM account. Seemed odd to me and I suggested that maybe she look into that a bit because she could potentially be earning more with a low expense mutual fund, but given the close time horizon and my lack of knowledge as to her situation, maybe there's more factors that I can see just now.

Where it started to get really interesting, was how this plan has affected her relationships with her husband (divorced him after 17 years because he won't ever change and will constantly try to sponge off her), her kids (a mixed bag of a daughter who is close with her father and in bad financial circumstances, a son who is trying to retire in 5 years at age 35, and another son who is 25 and sort of between the other two in his attitude about money) and her relatives (most notably, a sister who has racked up $10K in IOU's with Linda and who is now cut-off from monetary aid, though she and her husband currently live in Linda's house with her family). Linda also shared her motivations to getting her money in order, stemming back from her youth, as she was one of eleven children and grew up having to do without.

What I found amazing is that despite our vastly different lives and approach, we had so much in common. Furthermore, she's come up with this plan and has been working at it for a while almost entirely independently from anything or anyone else.

When Linda dropped me off, I said, 'Hey Linda, thanks for the awesome ride and great chat!' and we fist bumped but then she said 'Aw, no way, get over here and give me a hug' which was excellent for me because the dude is often hungry for hugs. Before she left, we agreed that upon retirement, we're going to celebrate and, of course, keep in touch in the meantime.

cimorene12
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Re: the dude's diary

Post by cimorene12 » Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:34 pm

Dude, that is a wonderful story and a lovely surprise. If you're still in touch with her, you could send her here. There are lots of likeminded people. :)

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Chad
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Re: the dude's diary

Post by Chad » Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:27 am

That is a great story. Always great to stumble on a real conversation outside of the normal wasted chit chat about the weather.

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El Duderino
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Mid-Mar '15 Update

Post by El Duderino » Mon Mar 16, 2015 12:47 pm

Mid-Mar '15:
--Assets: ₡ 7998 (+218)
--Debt: ₡ 334 (-86)
--Feb Spending: ₡ 29 (-26, makes me think that I miscalculated January's spend somehow)

Assets breakdown:
Image

Spending breakdown:
Image

I was buzzing after my conversation with Linda, and then reality has set in like a big weight as my big travel binge is over and I'm easing into the routine of 'normal' life. It's so very nice to settle back in to a rhythm and indulge my introverted tendencies.

Reading about the Gervais Principle from the thread about work demotivation has sparked a torrent of situational interaction memories that will take some time to sift through. It may be that I'm feeling very blah less because of a cool down from travel stimulation and more because I'm coming to grips with my internal P-C-L situation.

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El Duderino
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Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:24 pm

Apr '15 Update

Post by El Duderino » Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:20 am

Apr '15:
--contribution to investment assets: ¢ 93
--investment assets: ¢ 5,966 (c'mon 6K!!!!)
--annualized spending as % of assets: 6%
--12 month rolling average WR: 6.4% (-.1%, headed in the right direction!)

I've moved into new living accommodations this month. I felt like I'e been overdue for a upgrade for a long time as I was making some compromises to keep cost of housing down that were annoying at times. This puts my rent costs up by about 60%, but there are real advantages to this setup for me, so it's well worth it...so far.

I also finished YMOYL and am thinking really hard about going on the 9 step plan they advise. While this seems remedial to me because I'm already doing things like tracking spending very closely (okay, maybe not to the penny, but c'mon) and I'm well on my way from FI2 (financial integrity) to FI3 (financial independence), I think there are two draws. One, is that I don't know what things it will reveal to me unless I actually do it. Perhaps in figuring out how much I earned in my formative work years compared to what I'm earning now, I will rediscover some more passion for what I do and feel better about how my bonus check for 2014 probably is higher than everything I earned in my life up until I graduated from university. Also, I've been increasingly thinking about life after FI3 and what that looks like. One thing that is kind of scary is something that I read about on Dividend Manta's website, I think. He described how after he 'made it' he got straight down to reconnecting with friends and spending his newly available time pursuing those relationships only to find that they didn't have so much time for him. Perhaps it would be better to share some of this stuff with my friends and what better way than going through the steps together? I'll probably suggest it to at least one close friend and my sister, who is currently still reading the book I got her for Christmas.

Anybody else read YMOYL and go through the steps? Was it worth the effort?

The great news is that receiving a bonus for this year means I'm going to be able to pay off the rental property and be 100% debt free for the first time in 15 years. With a modest investment account portfolio (stocks and bonds) and a free and clear house that has just been renewed on a 2 year lease to an excellent tenant on a $1600/month payment, that's nice, passive income.

Bleh, that's a lot of writing for a bank holiday. I'm going to play some guitar now.

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