Mr. I’s Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
Mister Imperceptible
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Mr. I’s Journal

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:42 pm

May 2009: Graduated from undergrad, $150k+ of student debt.

February 2013: Secured a 100% income increase by entering a new line of work. Still $126k in student debt.

May 2015: $66k in student debt. Started saving for a down payment.

August 2016: $66k in student debt. 20% equity in a rental property.

January 2017: Secured a 100% income increase by switching jobs with almost 4 years of relevant experience.

July 2017: Student debt paid in full.

Wondering whether to crush mortgage on rental property in short order or save to invest.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Mr. I’s Journal

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:58 pm

Why pay off the mortgage:
-Freedom from debt never experienced as an adult
-Ability to leave current line of work, chase dream (involves an income decrease) perhaps sooner

Why save to invest:
-Become FI sooner
-Increase long term net worth

Why ‘save to invest’ rather than just ‘invest’:
We are quite probably in an “Everything Bubble” and if I’m going to stop working (with the emphasis on maximum income) early (and extremely) than it would be nice to have a bunch of cash to buy distressed and cheap assets.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Mr. I’s Journal

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:01 pm

Quite interested in living outside the US. Europe has the intellectual and cultural history, at a lower cost in some parts. This leads back into portfolio composition- Ive read and heard of US investment accounts being liquidated when people are abroad. Real estate is a way around, but can any expats share how they invest in stocks?

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Viktor K
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Re: Mr. I’s Journal

Post by Viktor K » Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:04 am

Hello and welcome!

I haven't had any trouble yet with investing while abroad. I can do most transactions through online banking/fund services.

One time I needed to send in an account close request by mail, so I had a relative in the US do that part.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Mr. I’s Journal

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:54 pm

@Viktor K,

Thanks, it was on a podcast, don’t remember which one. My Roth IRA is with Fidelity, no stock market investments outside of my Roth currently. Does your account custodian actually know you are abroad though? Or do your relatives maintain enough of a paper trail that you are still in the US as far as they know?
Last edited by Mister Imperceptible on Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Mr. I’s Journal

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:27 pm

A bit more background:

Grew up wanting to be in the arts. I’m the first in the family to have graduated college, so the importance of education was impressed throughout my upbringing. What was not said was that education can be a hindrance if too much is paid for it. So after receiving my very impractical and expensive Bachelor of Arts degree, a $1,000 monthly student loan payment had me in scramble mode. Couldn’t move out of my parents house- making the loan payment was hard enough without rent. When I started working in my current field in 2013, my goal was to pay off the student loan ASAP, and begin pursuing my dream in earnest. But realizing that rent would replace my student loans, I began saving in 2015 for a down payment. I grew up, was educated, and work in a high COL area, but was sent down south for a project in 2014. I employed a bit of geo-arbitrage here- using my higher pay in a high COL to buy a real estate in a lower COL area.

I do not enjoy the work I do at all, but I don’t take the money for granted either. As my degree is not relevant to the work I do, I suffer from a bit of Imposter Syndrome. I do take a bit of satisfaction that despite having no relevant education and not entering this line of work until age 26 that my finances are where they are at age 30. Income increases are the most important to long term net worth, and I’ve made 2 big leaps, the last in January 2017. Some senior level people whom I trust have told me that my pay is near a plateau, so I’m on the bottom end of that part of the S-curve where it starts to get vertical. To use round numbers, someone making $40k post-tax with $20k in expenses has a $20k savings rate, but someone with $160k in post-tax income and $20k in expenses has a $140k saving rate. So despite a fourfold increase in pay, savings actually increase 7 times. The problem is that most people increase their spending along with their income. So acknowledging the saving rate disparity between my current job and my ideal one (at least where I would start in my ideal one) I am basically wearing golden handcuffs at this point.

Like many here I’ve become weary of explaining my life strategy to those who are unable or unwilling to understand, so I started this journal hopefully to bounce ideas with like-minded folk. My expenses would likely indicate my lifestyle is more ERE-lite, but my investment outlook is much more in line with ERE than MMM. I think there is a huge systemic risk to all the index funds, and the idea that you can put your investments in auto-pilot. I feel like the the mindless dollar-cost averaging is the next oncoming wave from the sea of Baby Boomer lies. “Just go to college, it doesn’t matter what it costs” soon followed by “just put 15% of your salary into the market for the next 40 years.” Then we can hold the bag when the Boomers cash out. I only put in 6% of my salary into a Roth 401k at my last gig because they offered a 50% match- after leaving that job I rolled the Roth 401k into a Roth IRA and cashed out the match to realize the benefit. When I get emails from Fidelity saying “Are you on schedule for retirement?” I grab my balls and say “SCHEDULE THIS.” The dividend and long term capital gains rate is 0% for under ~$40k, Social Security will eventually be defunct and/or taxes will likely be much higher in 40 years, so I don’t need to be on the Baby Boomer’s schedule.

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Viktor K
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Re: Mr. I’s Journal

Post by Viktor K » Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:58 am

That's a good question. I'm pretty sure everything is still noted as me living in the US. My bank knows where I am, though. Hmm, I'll have to look into this as I've never heard of any sort of liquidating scare

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Mr. I’s Journal

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:15 am

I’ve perhaps intentionally avoided putting myself under the microscope and foregone making regular journal entries. But I haven’t been shy about offering my own opinion elsewhere on the forum and I really should be accountable to the forumites and subject myself to the same criticism. Fair play.

I can probably do with a longer journal entry with so many details to divulge, but let’s just start with my recent RV purchase. @SavingWithBabies requested I log my experiences somewhere, and my own journal is probably the most appropriate place for it.
Mister Imperceptible wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:43 pm
***UPDATE***

As of last night, I am the owner of a 1989 Winnebago Superchief. Class A.

31 feet long. Less than 26,000 miles. Excellent condition. $10k, paid with cash. The dealership had bought it back from the original owner. He had it for 30 years, kept it stored in a pole barn. I might have to replace the tires and coach batteries, and apply some caulking, but otherwise seems to be remarkably good shape for something 30 years old.

It will be interesting to see how a cloistered booknerd troubleshoots the inevitable maintenance problems, so I will likely take it to a campground with hookups and get myself acclimated before taking it to hard tops for rent-free living.
Last night was my first night in the RV. Not at all unpleasant. I got it to a campground where I am paying $500 for a month. The campground has hookups for electricity, water, propane, and WiFi. I hope to figure out how the rig works so I can boondock thereafter. I’m not much of a mechanic, so this will be a steep learning curve.

I drove my Civic to work, 15 miles from the campground. It’s a secret to everybody.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=eT3J9T3MNQw

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Mr. I’s Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:42 am

I feel like the the mindless dollar-cost averaging is the next oncoming wave from the sea of Baby Boomer lies. “Just go to college, it doesn’t matter what it costs” soon followed by “just put 15% of your salary into the market for the next 40 years.” Then we can hold the bag when the Boomers cash out.
I wonder about this too.
I grab my balls and say “SCHEDULE THIS.”
:lol: This forum could use more attitude sometimes. Too analytical.
Last night was my first night in the RV. Not at all unpleasant. I got it to a campground where I am paying $500 for a month.
That's great, let us know how it's working out.

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Jin+Guice
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Re: Mr. I’s Journal

Post by Jin+Guice » Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:22 pm

I'd love some more journal entries from you. From what I can glean from your posts elsewhere you've had an interesting go of it and I'd, for one, like to know more about it. I also wanted to give you shit for being paranoid and angry, and I thought your journal was a better place to do that than the threads where you are helping my (clearly remedial) ass learn how to invest. But there's nothing here! UPDATES!

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Re: Mr. I’s Journal

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Wed Nov 28, 2018 8:44 am

Really enjoyed learning about your background, Mr. I

How many years of expenses are you at in terms of investable assets?

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Mr. I’s Journal

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:03 pm

Jin+Guice wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:22 pm
UPDATES!
The details of my life are quite inconsequential. Very well, where do I begin?

It’s been a little over a year now since I joined the forum. I appreciate all the great people for filling this space with their thoughts. Finding Dr. Fisker’s blog late in 2016 was a godsend.

If I have offended anyone with my posts I do apologize and hope you can offer the principle of charity in your interpretations.

I had a bit of a militaristic upbringing. If I seem combative I think I can attribute some of it to that. Along with my DNA. According to that other personality test I scored the maximum for disagreeableness. I’ve tested as both INTP and ENTP and read that ENTPs are perceived as arguing when they are really not. I sometimes go back and read what I wrote and feel somewhat obnoxious. I think one of the reasons I have not posted regularly in this journal is because I feel I can be obnoxious. Also, I do not want to dox myself.
Jin+Guice wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:22 pm
I also wanted to give you shit for being paranoid and angry
I was a bit doe-eyed when I signed up for all that student debt. I could blame my parents and counselors for not issuing a stern enough warning, or the school and Sallie Mae for predating upon me, or governments from being ignorant as to the second-order effects of guaranteeing student loans, but ultimately it was I and I alone who signed the dotted line. I remember arguing with a toxic “friend” (see more below) about what needed to be done. We were both six figures in debt and a couple years out of school. He said we were taken advantage of and the government needed to do something. I said we were foolhardy and we needed to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps. Now, I am out of student debt, and attribute a lot of that to my mentality that no one will save me, I am not important or special, no one is accountable for my destiny but me. That leaves me feeling contempt for a lot of my peers who act with a sense of entitlement. On the other hand, I fully recognize that I am just a barcode as far as my alma mater, my student loan lender, and the government are concerned. Once you realize that your parents, teachers, counselors, elders in general are fallible, it follows that all persons and institutions are fallible, up to and including governments, and that human nature is in play. So I do not love the establishment either. Generally speaking, I am cynical/skeptical of authority because I know authorities are human beings just like me. I do not claim to be smarter than individual authorities, I just do not appreciate being lied to.

If you feel you got railroaded out of your twenties because you signed up for a huge debt when you were 17, how much faith would you have in a system that made your indentured servitude possible?

I had some issues in the workplace this past year. Basically, I was said to have done something I did not do. This was distressing, it felt like an existential threat. Of course, in the corporate arena, if you’re a man and someone says you did something you did not do, a certain percentage of people nowadays are going to automatically assume you are guilty. What was troubling is that some people who I thought were close friends were amongst those making that assumption. I think that lends itself to some pretty Kafkaesque feelings of alienation and paranoia.

Strangely, it was at this same time that I had been reading investing materials, this forum, Tyler9k’s website, that I bought gold, asked for firearm recommendations on the forum, and became a first-time gun owner. My friends knew about the workplace troubles and the guns, but I did not tell them I bought gold. So they thought I went crazy and called ERE a subversive alt-right forum. :lol:

I guess it was a long time coming, but it was not what was going on at work or the fact that I bought guns, but when I bought the RV in August that was beginning of the end for me and a particular “friend.” I am usually pretty patient when people push boundaries but he took certain things beyond the line with insults after that. Now that the friendship is over I can say I feel much better having removed this toxic person from my life. I think I read somewhere recently on the forum about being the average of the 5 closest people in your life. This particular person was always critical of me, my frugality, my aspirations, everything. I think just by arguing with him on a semi-regular basis, I became somewhat of a prick. A few other friends I have not broken off with completely but I have been talking with them considerably less. Removing this source of irritation, along with ignoring the news completely, and the resolution of the work situation, I have been feeling better lately. It is interesting to read how others talk about building a social network as part of ERE. I have done more subtraction than addition! Coming soon: “How to Make Enemies and Antagonize People” by Mister Imperceptible.
Gilberto de Piento wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:42 am
:lol: This forum could use more attitude sometimes. Too analytical.
I am not sure if Dr. Fisker agrees. Although when Rita escapes, I am sure Zordon will recruit me if he changes his age requirements. :twisted:

The work situation did resolve. I believe the only thing that saved me, was that the person falsely claiming I did something wrong was a person not in good standing. I still got stern words from management, and I believe that had the person making the claim were considered more credible, that I would be gone. I have no overwhelming desire to discuss the politics surrounding the issue but when the situation was ongoing I was pretty furious and you can probably read some of that anger in my posts elsewhere in the forum, even if I was actually discussing another topic. Another incentive for me to make employment optional.
2Birds1Stone wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 8:44 am
How many years of expenses are you at in terms of investable assets?
I would put it at around 14x annual expenses, if I include real estate equity. Not bad considering my net worth was negative until 2 years ago, and negative six figures for most of my twenties.

Regarding the RV: I stayed in it for 3 months. I left the campground after one month (felt stupid for paying the campground $500) and stayed behind a Cracker Barrel and in a storage facility for a month each after that. It’s gotten pretty cold and I am back indoors. I decided it’s not worth the risk of freezing to death or getting into an accident in the snow trying to move the RV from one location to another. Made sure to run RV-antifreeze thru the potable water lines. I found a cheap room on AirBnB and negotiated off the app with the landlord for a better deal. Fortunately he never has the other room rented so I am by myself (thank goodness). I am very close to work so in the spring I will have to re-evaluate the hassle of boondocking in the RV and working at the same time. I do not think Cracker Barrel or the storage facility where the RV is parked will let me stay anymore. :P

I will try to write more soon.

Jean
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Re: Mr. I’s Journal

Post by Jean » Thu Nov 29, 2018 2:56 am

Nice to read. False accusations should be judged as harshly as the crime they were accusing someone of.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Mr. I’s Journal

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:51 am

This was an insightful post.
Jean wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:23 pm
@mister imperceptible
What is annoying, is that sometimes, you seem to assume disagreement, when this is obviously just a vocabulaty issue.You seem to have developped some sort of paranoia due to being surrounded by people who don´t accept to disagree.

The Old Man
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Re: Mr. I’s Journal

Post by The Old Man » Thu Nov 29, 2018 12:44 pm

Mister Imperceptible wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:03 pm
Basically, I was said to have done something I did not do. This was distressing, it felt like an existential threat. Of course, in the corporate arena, if you’re a man and someone says you did something you did not do, a certain percentage of people nowadays are going to automatically assume you are guilty.
Now you have learned the wisdom of the Pence Rule.

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Re: Mr. I’s Journal

Post by Jean » Thu Nov 29, 2018 3:52 pm

Thank you, compliment on this forum are worth a lot to my ego.

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Re: Mr. I’s Journal

Post by Augustus » Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:23 am

Re: friends, riggerjack I think said something about certain people being human anchors. In general you should stay away from them, or keep contact limited. It's pretty normal to lose a friends as time goes by. You have to have things in common, otherwise the divide just gets bigger every year as you move farther in different directions. Also, most people just don't really care that much about anyone else, including you. I try to classify people based on what they'd do in various situations. Practically anyone will shoot the shit for a few minutes, fewer will make plans and not flake, fewer than that will show up to help when you need something, fewer than that would do so repeatedly. You can be "friends" with people who are type 2-4, but you have to set your expectations appropriately. Even if the type 3 or 4 is boring, you want as many of those in your life as possible. Type 1 and 2 are pretty much just a liability, it sounds like whoever dicked you over at work is one of those. I just smile a lot and only say polite things to those people, never get too close, and never say bad things about others to them either.

I may be giving bad advice though, I don't have a large social circle, only a handful of type 4s.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Mr. I’s Journal

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:20 am

The advice is not bad. Intellectually I had already drawn those conclusions about people. I wanted to make a sincere effort to maintain friendships given my social circle is small. I realized long ago that there was a growing chasm between myself and those I grew up with. I always tried to find common ground, and never told anyone how they should live. Now I can look back without remorse knowing I tried, even if the effort was a waste.

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Re: Mr. I’s Journal

Post by prognastat » Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:56 pm

I'm definitely on the have fewer deeper friendships rather than a large amount of shallow friendships bandwagon. It requires similar effort to maintain a large amount of shallow ones as it does to maintain a handful of deep ones, but the latter generally gives you much more in return. Not trying to make it sound transactional, rather that you get much more in return in both emotional and mental support on top of actually being able to rely on them more.

I'm also a big proponent though of being realistic about your friendships. If you have a friend you (once) considered close, but more often than not they are bringing negativity in to your life, disagreeing with your goals and they generally can't be relied on when you need them either emotionally or during emergencies it's time to reconsider such a relationship. If it's a long lived friendship and you feel some responsibility to try to make the relationship continue it would be time to have a serious conversation with your friend to see if this can be improved or not.

I think it's pretty rare for people to maintain friendships for a long time once they become adults as the time you have to maintain the relationships decreases. Between work and often more serious relationships requiring larger portions of time this leaves less for your friends. Even if you avoid these things through ERE and/or not having a serious partner chances are many of your friends won't be ERE and will eventually find a partner meaning they have less time to spend with you.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Mr. I’s Journal

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:33 pm

prognastat wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:56 pm
Even if you avoid these things through ERE and/or not having a serious partner chances are many of your friends won't be ERE and will eventually find a partner meaning they have less time to spend with you.
I sometimes feel like a reminder to my friends and their wives that there are alternative choices in life, and I think their wives hate it as much and anyone else. :lol:

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