the dude's diary

Where are you and where are you going?
User avatar
El Duderino
Posts: 164
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:24 pm

Mid-Apr '15 Update

Post by El Duderino » Wed Apr 15, 2015 11:17 am

Mid-Apr '15:
--Assets: ₡ 8359 (+361)
--Debt: ₡ 329 (-5)
--Feb Spending: ₡ 39

Assets breakdown:
Image

Spending breakdown:
Image

Yeah, time for another update! This one is even better than most too, because I get to record my yearly bonus and I am happy about a salary increase of a little under 4%. Sure, nothing that’s too amazing but it is something and I’m happy for that. The best part is that all my models assume that my salary would remain stagnant until I retire, so this is just like gravy on the mash potatoes.

I’d like to take a moment to bitch about how the GBP/USD exchange rate is at a 5 year low. With all the fines hitting the banks about LIBOR rigging, HSBC getting indicted for helping clients evade taxes throughout Europe, and of course, the continual central bank currency manipulations that are rampant and disguised under euphemisms like quantitative easing, liquidity injections, and bank capitalization, this whole thing we’re calling the global financial economy is starting to seem more and more like a massive sham put on by unwitting puppets (I’m following the Hanlon razor here, though it would be easier to dismiss Draghi, Yellen and their ilk as board members of Spectre or part of some Rothschild/Bilderberg scheme to master the universe) and perpetuated by the current narrative about how consumption is good, growth is good, globalization is good. My thinking about this all was really jammed up and I was being very un-dude-like, but now I’ve calmed down and realized that it doesn’t matter that I’m unfortunately over-exposed to GBP, both in my current account holdings and tax-deferred retirement accounts. For one, there’s not much I’m going to do about it at the moment and, on the positive side, at least I’m in a position to be exposed to this current depreciated situation, meaning that I’ve got some excess capital in British sterling denominations. So, I’ll weather the drought and when the rate does turn – hopefully soon – I’ll cash out some of my British Monopoly™ money for American Monopoly™ money and all will be well. It does delay my eventual paying off of my home loan for a while, though I’m only paying $150 or so a month in interest currently, down quite significantly from 10 years ago when I was paying well over 1K per month in interest alone.

Btw, debt should really be more like 316, but because my mortgage loan servicing company, Seterus, is just flat out awful, I’m reporting what they’re showing. Anybody else deal with Seterus? They seem to perpetually be having problems with their payments processing group, website and invoicing systems and nobody in that company seems to work with anybody outside of their own little tiny box.

mxlr650
Posts: 165
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:33 pm

Re: the dude's diary

Post by mxlr650 » Thu Apr 16, 2015 4:07 pm

[Sam Elliott voice] and there is one thing dude: do you have to use so many currency symbols?

If you care about keeping things private, why not just publish percentages? Right now, its not easy for me to comprehend your progress :oops:

If your response is: "WTF are you talking about?" then, OK dude, have it your way.

User avatar
El Duderino
Posts: 164
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:24 pm

currency

Post by El Duderino » Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:44 pm

Image

Mxlr650, you've got me pegged, man. The conversion is actually quite simple, since $100 = ¢1.

User avatar
El Duderino
Posts: 164
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:24 pm

May '15 Update

Post by El Duderino » Fri May 01, 2015 10:58 am

May '15:
--contribution to investment assets: ¢ 12
--investment assets: ¢ 6,069
--annualized spending as % of assets: 5.7%
--12 month rolling average WR: 6.5%

As expected, the increased rent cost is really messing up my annualized spending percentage. Slight bummer, but having my own place with a piss-free carpet is really nice. I love just relaxing in the bathtub with some candles and Zeppelin at an almost inaudible volume level.

Contribution to investment assets is so dismally poor becuase the pound to dollar conversion is still not great, though it has improved a good bit over the past two weeks. My current cash holdings are far higher than I'd like them to be, but I won't convert to stocks or anything else until this exchange rate gets at least 10% better.

Updated 2015 upgrade list:
1. Chemex coffee maker <-- decided against this altogether. There's nothing wrong with my current french press cafetiere.
2. Dell XPS 13" -- Still could happen. Depends on whether my brother wants to buy my old MacBook Air when I visit.
3. Upgraded computer rig <-- What's wrong with my current computer? Not much. All I really need is a new hard drive, which I'll get soon enough.
4. Patagonia untracked ski jacket <-- a passing whim fresh on the back of my once a year ski trip. Delaying that purchase has saved me a good chunk of change.

User avatar
El Duderino
Posts: 164
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:24 pm

Mid-May '15 Update

Post by El Duderino » Fri May 15, 2015 11:35 am

Mid-May '15:
--Assets: ₡ 8459 (+100)
--Debt: ₡ 310 (-19)
--Feb Spending: ₡ 37 (-2)

Assets breakdown:
Image

Spending breakdown:
Image

After whining and bitching just a month ago about the forex rate between pounds and dollars, it's now improved considerably and I've transferred a bunch over so the good news is that I'll be able to cut off this terrible mortgage servicing company, Seterus, very soon and say goodbye to that loan!

Here's a chart I've been using that shows my savings each year (light blue fat bars) as a portion of total income (taller fat bar outlines) overlaid on the investment account ups and downs over the past 8 years or so.
Image

The percent of income saved is listed at the bottom. I know there isn't an y-axis scale, but it's not the value that's important, it's the growth and shape of the curve that matter to me. I think it's interesting how at this scale, the financial crisis starting at the end of Q3 2008 doesn't seem that scary or significant. The income heights aren't related to the investment values, but they are proportional to the other year income/savings, so this does show that my income went up quite a lot between 2007 and 2008 and it's still low for this year because we're only on Month 5 so I've only received 4 paychecks, plus one bonus.

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 9950
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: Mid-May '15 Update

Post by jacob » Fri May 15, 2015 11:48 am

El Duderino wrote:I think it's interesting how at this scale, the financial crisis starting at the end of Q3 2008 doesn't seem that scary or significant.
That's because you didn't have that much to lose at that time. Try plotting the y-axis on a log scale.

User avatar
El Duderino
Posts: 164
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:24 pm

Re: the dude's diary

Post by El Duderino » Fri May 15, 2015 6:10 pm

Something like this?

Image

User avatar
El Duderino
Posts: 164
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:24 pm

June '15 Update

Post by El Duderino » Sun Jun 07, 2015 2:59 pm

June '15:
--contribution to investment assets: 10,324
--investment assets: 619,474
--annualized spending as % of assets: 6.83%
--12 month rolling average WR: 6.32%

Investment assets went up pretty good this month, mostly because I was finally able to trade some currency in that I had been holding because of the low exchange rate. Next month my asset add will probably go up even further, since I hope to finally send that last check in to the mortgage servicing company. I would have done it this month, but they sent me two different final payoff amounts on the same day via two separate letters. Mucho confuso, so I'll just let them pay the first installment of property taxes from escrow and then close the account next month.

I've been looking into the option of getting a sailboat during my retirement and living aboard. As with everything, there's a cost/quality tradeoff to be had and while a 40' catamaran, or 'floating condo' as I've heard it referenced seems pretty nice, the price tag for that kind of thing is also quite a lot and an older, ~30' sailing yacht seems like a decent play too. Here's the pros/cons as I see it now.

Pros
  • See the world from the comfort of your own cabin and even host friends along the way
  • Freedom of movement, barring storms and seasons
  • Sailing seems like a fun, enjoyable hobby to get into
Cons
  • I sunburn like a ginger at high noon and do not wish to die at a young age from skin cancer
  • Sailing in the tropics might be a blast, but would likely grind traversing wide open oceans
  • High up front costs and time needed to learn the arcane lore of seamanship that I may not end up liking
I suppose sunscreen, autopilot and some rigorous preparation would alleviate the drawbacks I can see. For the time being, I suppose I'll continue to watch lots of YouTube 'let's sail' and 'how to sail' kind of videos and may try a sailing class if my interest continues.

This month's update is a few days late. Work has been demanding and I was travelling last week for business. I'm excited to be going on holiday for two weeks later this month. Other notable stuff for this month: I've finally finished reading a biography on Rockefeller called Titan that has been on my reading list for over 5 years and I feel like I'm making solid progress with the guitar and jiu jitsu practice.

mxlr650
Posts: 165
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:33 pm

Re: the dude's diary

Post by mxlr650 » Sun Jun 07, 2015 4:12 pm

Investment assets went up pretty good this month, mostly because I was finally able to trade some currency in that I had been holding because of the low exchange rate. Next month my asset add will probably go up even further, since I hope to finally send that last check in to the mortgage servicing company
Way to go dude! If you will it, it is no dream!
I would have done it this month, but they sent me two different final payoff amounts on the same day via two separate letters. Mucho confuso, so I'll just let them pay the first installment of property taxes from escrow and then close the account next month.
Once you pay, they better mark it zero, otherwise do they know they are entering a world of pain?

User avatar
El Duderino
Posts: 164
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:24 pm

mid-Jun '15 Update

Post by El Duderino » Wed Jun 17, 2015 11:25 am

Mid-Jun '15:
--Assets: $ 848,086 (+2,179)
--Debt: $ 29,790 (-1,142)
--Feb Spending: $ 5,072 (+803)

Assets breakdown:
Image

Spending breakdown:
Image

I feel like it would be so easy to just put in my notice, sever all my ties and downsize to a much less costly, considerably less stressful and ultimately more fulfilling lifestyle. While it's nice to see my net worth jump by leaps and bounds each month, the end result is perhaps an extra $30 each month. 'is it worth it?' is a continual debate. For now, I'll stay the course until something really cataclysmic occurs or I high my target of 3.5% WR, which at my current expense level would virtually guarantee a perpetual gravy train of delirious decadence.

Monthly expenses were up for May due to flights for my summer trip, otherwise I'd have continued the trend of reducing all those extra purchases and keeping my costs relatively low.

One accomplishment worth noting since the last update is that I was awarded a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. By the time I write another update, I'll be mid-vacation in the US of A, gearing up for a legendary 4th of July weekend. Woo hoo!

Mxlr650, you continue to crack me up man. When the paperwork comes through for my mortgage, I'm planning on celebrating in a way that I know you'll appreciate.

User avatar
El Duderino
Posts: 164
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:24 pm

mid-Jul '15 Update

Post by El Duderino » Mon Jul 20, 2015 1:01 pm

Mid-Jul '15:
--Assets: $ 827,003 (-21,083)
--Debt: $ 0 (-29,790) <-------Oh YEAH!!!!! ::Kool-Aid man smashes through the wall surrounded by bursts of confetti and fireworks::
--June Spending: $ 4,094 (-987)

Assets breakdown:
Image

Spending breakdown:
Image

I missed my end of month update. Too much partying for the 4th. Ok, ok, it's more like I did the number crunching and then kinda set aside posting for a day or two when I had more time and then with everything else I wanted to get done on my vacation, it just slipped by the wayside. Terrible form for the dude.

Back at it again now though, and I feel very recharged about this whole ERE thing. Major reason being, I suppose, is that the final payment has been confirmed by the automatons at Seterus Inc. So now I just have to wait another three weeks for the check to clear, the heavens to part and them to pull their fist out of their own assholes and refund the extra that they demanded I send them, so that the whole process is complete and I'll hold the title to the property free and clear!!! Then the dude shall celebrate as only a true dude can.

Now that the house is paid off, I'm starting to thing a lot more about what ERE will really mean for me. I'm finding it to be extremely difficult and I my current thinking is that I'm not going to be able to really get into that headspace if I remain plugged in to the machine. I kinda think I need to disconnect from the work world and then decompress, letting my natural inclinations emerge and develop into a more purposeful existence. Trouble is, disconnecting is pretty much a one-way street, so I want to be damn sure I'm ready before I make that decision. It doesn't help that Firecalc (3.0, no less) is telling me that with my current budget of 30K per annum I could get that kind of return with 100% success over a 65 year period, taking me to 100 years old. I've set goals of getting 900K in investment assets, 30K emergency fund and 30K fund for first year stuff and I'm going to stick to that. Preferably, I'd like to see my current spending dip to less than 3.5% of investment assets too, but that's going to be really hard as my spending is a lot higher than it would be in retirement. Also, I feel kind of obligated to give close friends and family a heads up that I'm going to make this kind of move so I've been telling them it will happen Nov 2016, which is pretty conservative on my part, but still blowing people's minds left and right. It's been super-interesting the kinds of responses I've been getting.

User avatar
El Duderino
Posts: 164
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:24 pm

August '15 Update

Post by El Duderino » Fri Jul 31, 2015 9:02 am

Should we walk away from our careers as soon as we have 'enough'*? Is not doing so just succumbing to the fear of not knowing what happens next, when self-identity is completely disassociated with job title and responsibilities or those personal ambitions that are admittedly materialistic?

Still waiting to crack the champagne over my mortgage payoff. I got a letter from the mortgage servicing company, Seterus, yesterday that said my 01-Jul payment was late and I should send them the amount due, which they had listed as something like -$30,400. Yes, a negative number. This is nearly two weeks after calling them to verify they had received the payoff check because their online system still shows an amount due and I know they can be utter assholes when they feel owed money.

Makes me really happy that I'm no longer a debtor. I would not enjoy getting harassed for money by some payday creditor, loan officer or bank rep.

Watched a really good film, Margin Call, last Friday night. Felt like a more coherent Pi, or Glengarry Glen Ross with a smattering of high finance, but mostly because there's so much powertalk in the dialogue. There was a lot in there that tells me that other people are going through the same kind of thought process about their relationship with money that I am. In it, there are traders making hundreds of thousands a year (and some a lot higher than that) and even though they clearly see the abstractness and artificiality of the whole system, they are simultaneously compelled to perpetuate it, for reasons both virtuous and selfish, and gain control of as much money as possible along the way. Here's a sample scene.

August '15:
--contribution to investment assets: 4,121
--investment assets: 616,774
--annualized spending as % of assets: 6.63%
--12 month rolling average WR: 6.39%

*I'm using the YMOYL definition here, for the most part.

Dave
Posts: 277
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2014 1:42 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: the dude's diary

Post by Dave » Fri Jul 31, 2015 11:29 am

You're the man, Dude!

Congratulations on killing the debt.

User avatar
El Duderino
Posts: 164
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:24 pm

Mid-Aug '15 Update

Post by El Duderino » Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:38 am

Cheers Dave! Feels great to have that weight off. The final letter from the company saying that they recognize the payoff has been received, so it's official like a ref's whistle.

It may seem like I've got this financial stuff under control folks, but that isn’t always the case. Poor decisions tend to make my spending border-line out of control. First, there's the reluctance to say no when a friend propositions something, anything. For example, in July I got roped into a heck of a lot more golf than I wanted out of obligation to go out and do stuff while on vacation. I enjoy golf, but paying hundreds in greens fees to play quality courses way beyond my skill level is most definitely more for the benefit of the others in the party. That's a dangerous game to play, I know.

The second weakness is because I just love tinkering with cars, even when there’s nothing really wrong with them. Now, this could be a useful thing because there isn’t too much that can go wrong with a car that I can’t fix, and I’ve profited in the past from buying busted up junk and turning it into serviceable, decent transportation. More often though, it results in me buying hot-rod parts to push the performance of a car – right to the point where something breaks and needs replacing. All for the thrill of driving near the limit about 2% of the time while almost always sacrificing comfort, reliability, and utility the other 98% of the time. I keep telling myself that at some point I’m going to get to a stage where I consider a car complete and it won’t need to be fussed with any more, but that seems more an aspiration than a realistic goal at times. I've owned many cars over the years and I've yet to have one that I didn't think could be improved upon in some way.

So that’s a long way of saying that my expenses for July were once again higher than I’d have liked, mostly due to discretionary purchases made whilst on vacation.

Mid-Aug '15:
--Assets: $ 833,439 (+6,436)
Breakdown:
Image

--July Spending: $ 4,870 (+768)
Breakdown:
Image

User avatar
El Duderino
Posts: 164
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:24 pm

September '15 Update

Post by El Duderino » Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:20 am

This month I've had a big accomplishment. I was able to fulfill a very old ambition to buy my father a new vehicle. Okay, new to him, not spanking new, but who around here would advocate purchasing a vehicle off the showroom anyway? Already had that experience once on my life and have vowed not to be so stupid ever again. It's possible I haven't completely vindicated myself of the automotive carnage I caused to the family fleet when I was in my teens and just learning how to be responsible with the household machinery, but I did come though in a pinch for the parents and I can't wait to see this hotrod in person when I next visit. There was some disappointment on my side because a better situation would have been for them to see this need in advance, plan and prepare for it by saving extra change. Instead, they came up quite short and a gratis contribution was required to ensure that a much better auto was chosen at a significant discount. Basically, they were going to trade in a busted up people hauler and, along with a little over two grand of their own money, get a loan on a dealer vehicle. Instead, we were able to pay cash and get it through a dealer-only auction via a family contact. Not only did they not have to pay anything in loan fees or financing, they side-stepped the whole dealer situation together and the purchase point was several thousand below book.

On other news, I've seen over 30K in value melt away from my portfolio in the past couple of days. :o Great buying opportunity!!! :D

To round out the good news front, I had a great time last month and managed to keep my spending quite low. 5.15% is good progress for me. If I can keep my expenses this low when working, it gives me great confidence in being able to extract an appropriate sum from a fixed portfolio over the long haul.

September '15:
--contribution to investment assets: 2,500
--investment assets: 585,505
--annualized spending as % of assets: 5.15%
--12 month rolling average WR: 6.04%

User avatar
cmonkey
Posts: 1593
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:56 am

Re: the dude's diary

Post by cmonkey » Thu Sep 03, 2015 12:01 pm

Wow you are quite a bit farther than I am with accumulation. You say you saw 30K melt away did you mean 300K ?? I see you posted over 800K in assets last month but now its under 600K?

If so that is a tremendous drop.

User avatar
El Duderino
Posts: 164
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:24 pm

Re: the dude's diary

Post by El Duderino » Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:53 am

Perhaps I need to make this less confusing because sometimes I trip myself up too.

Investment assets are pretty much just stocks and bonds and will fluctuate quite a lot, which is why I'm not terribly bothered about the 30K drop in value lately. The overall asset category I list at the middle of each month includes things like real estate and any cash on hand so that's just hovering around 800 now. I do a breakdown for the assets mid month so I can see allocation, not that I adjust anything on this basis really. The orange, blue and purple categories are stocks and bonds, just different tax liabilities across each of them.

If NW dropped by 25% in a month I would probably have thrown a hissy fit.

User avatar
El Duderino
Posts: 164
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:24 pm

Mid-Sep '15 Update

Post by El Duderino » Wed Sep 16, 2015 1:01 pm

A big part of finding money to invest and save is finding fulfillment in stuff to do that doesn’t directly or indirectly cost a hell of a lot of money.
I have, unwisely, spent far too much time and money on my vehicles, making them faster, louder and generally more exciting to drive and immensely unreliable. I’d conservatively estimate that 25,000 has gone into performance parts (yes, that’s just parts) over the years, which is really sad when I think about how much of that came out of my pocket when I wasn’t earning a lot of money at all. At least half of it happened when I was still in university, meaning that by now it would have had at least 10 years of compound growth. Ah well, coulda/shoulda thinking might be interesting to indulge in for a bit, but it’s not very productive.

The preceding paragraph is an admittedly flimsy excuse for what will show next month as about $1,100 in expenses related to fixing up a car that I bought in 2012 as a project. I originally bought two cars from a friend out of a mixture of boredom and fulfilling an itch to own a tuner car after a 5 year hiatus from the scene. Somehow convincing myself that my intentions were good and valid, two completely non-functional cars were purchased as a group deal and since then I’ve been slowly but surely putting them right. It’s taught me a lot about being patient because often I’ll have to wait 6 months before I get to work on anything so I have to bide my time carefully and plan accordingly. I sold the first car in July 2013, which isn’t bad considering I had to pull the motor, get it rebuilt and stick it back in while putting the heavily modded car back to stock OEM condition as much as possible. That was hard graft for a very slim profit of just a couple hundred dollars. The second car was a great deal more troublesome and only just this July was driven on the street after being on blocks for a solid 10 years. That one I’m keeping for now, having sold my old primary car last August in anticipation of the project car being completed much earlier.

Anywhoo, the numbers for this month aren’t great, but I’m proud of my spending figure. With the cost of an international flight and the above, my September spending won't be anything to brag about.

Mid-Sep '15:
--Assets: $ 800,618 (-32,821) :|
I wanted to change up the view for my asset breakdown so I can see the fluctuations across different categories over time. Unfortunately, I didn’t track my current account balance like this until April and I don’t want to go back and figure it out retroactively.
Breakdown:
Image


--August Spending: $ 3,954 (-916) :D
Breakdown:
Image

steveo73
Posts: 1125
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2013 6:52 pm

Re: Mid-Aug '15 Update

Post by steveo73 » Wed Sep 16, 2015 4:23 pm

El Duderino wrote:Cheers Dave! Feels great to have that weight off. The final letter from the company saying that they recognize the payoff has been received, so it's official like a ref's whistle.
This is great. I can't wait till I am in this position.
El Duderino wrote:It may seem like I've got this financial stuff under control folks, but that isn’t always the case. Poor decisions tend to make my spending border-line out of control. First, there's the reluctance to say no when a friend propositions something, anything. For example, in July I got roped into a heck of a lot more golf than I wanted out of obligation to go out and do stuff while on vacation. I enjoy golf, but paying hundreds in greens fees to play quality courses way beyond my skill level is most definitely more for the benefit of the others in the party. That's a dangerous game to play, I know.

The second weakness is because I just love tinkering with cars, even when there’s nothing really wrong with them. Now, this could be a useful thing because there isn’t too much that can go wrong with a car that I can’t fix, and I’ve profited in the past from buying busted up junk and turning it into serviceable, decent transportation. More often though, it results in me buying hot-rod parts to push the performance of a car – right to the point where something breaks and needs replacing. All for the thrill of driving near the limit about 2% of the time while almost always sacrificing comfort, reliability, and utility the other 98% of the time. I keep telling myself that at some point I’m going to get to a stage where I consider a car complete and it won’t need to be fussed with any more, but that seems more an aspiration than a realistic goal at times. I've owned many cars over the years and I've yet to have one that I didn't think could be improved upon in some way.
I think saving money can be tough because of situations like this.
El Duderino wrote:A big part of finding money to invest and save is finding fulfillment in stuff to do that doesn’t directly or indirectly cost a hell of a lot of money.
This solves the problem though doesn't it.

Maybe this is a tough question but when do you intend to retire. If your WR is close to 6% will you wait until you get to 4% ? What is your plan ?

User avatar
El Duderino
Posts: 164
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:24 pm

Re: Mid-Aug '15 Update

Post by El Duderino » Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:23 pm

steveo73 wrote: I can't wait till I am in this position.

Maybe this is a tough question but when do you intend to retire. If your WR is close to 6% will you wait until you get to 4% ? What is your plan ?
Man, you're right there with me on this! January is right around the corner.

Since I'll be drawing for a long time, I'm shooting for a 3.3% WR, but it's hard for me to figure when I'd get there exactly for the following reasons:

1. My long term position on this rental property is uncertain. The problem with being a landlord is one property is too many and a dozen is too few.
2. Post-FI expenses will almost certainly decrease, but how much is hard to say because I haven't decided what to do. So many possibilities for my xNTJ brain to consider.

Post Reply