Giskard's Journal - slingin code to reach FI

Where are you and where are you going?
classical_Liberal
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Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: Giskard's Journal - slingin code to reach FI

Post by classical_Liberal » Sun Apr 28, 2019 4:04 am

Hi!

I can't believe I've never read your journal before. I grew up in Minneapolis and am still reasonably close in the Midwest. Winters can be BRU-TAL, it's not surprising it's taking you awhile to adapt. Everything is OK through about Christmas, fun to have some cold and snow, but after that it's hell.
Sounds like the hobby/housework helped out last year. Personally, I make it a point to get out of the Midwest winters for at least one month each year. It makes a huge difference breaking it up. This is probably something you can do if you're cutting back with work, it may change your perspective going forward. Also agree with you about Twin Cities area (exception of some suburbs) being incredibly liberal. I don't think many outsiders realize that it could give any East or West coast university campus a run for their money in a deep blue competition.

Interesting to read about your relationship as well. I'm older than you, but am in a similar spot with my GF. We just moved in together last year. Through my tutelage she's seeing the light of financial freedom and making some changes. While at the same time I'm learning a shit-ton about living a better life and compromise from her. Both have caused plenty of disagreements, yet we are muddling through and both happier for it.

You get a gold star for one of the most plain spoken, yet wise comments wrt to life and FI.
giskard wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:14 pm
This is what I have noticed. When I focus on being happier, I get happier. When I focus on improving my life, I improve my life. After I pay my bills for the month, the extra money does not really impact that other than the satisfaction I get from knowing that one day soon I can quit working.
Looking forward to reading more!

giskard
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Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2016 12:07 pm

Re: Giskard's Journal - slingin code to reach FI

Post by giskard » Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:52 am

@classical_liberal, thanks for your comments, yeah I notice a lot of people leave the area in February for a nice long vacation. This year I could not do that but next year I plan to for sure. Yes the liberalism is extreme here, I would have said I was left of center before I moved here! It is exhausting but I am getting good at ignoring it.

It seems like a lot of people on the forums are either in long term relationships and SO is totally on board, or they are single, but it is really good to know somebody else is going through the same things and doing it successfully. I don't have enough perspective yet to know what is a dealbreaker and what kind of expectations can be changed reasonably.

Thanks for the nice compliment btw, that made my day. Sometimes it is easy to write a thing in a moment of self-reflection... it is hard to remember that day-to-day sometimes, I continue to struggle with living in the now vs living in the future that I am anticipating.

giskard
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Re: Giskard's Journal - slingin code to reach FI

Post by giskard » Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:00 pm

6/28/2019 - update

I guess it is time to update the journal. Here are some numbers since I know everyone likes that!

Estimated Net Worth: 593k
Post tax Income in June: 14,150
Post tax Income in May: 14,288
Post tax Income in April: 12,248

Some allocation info:
Amount in Cash: $65k
Amount in Crypto: $20k
Largest amount invested in a single stock: $28k

Well, to summarize: my income has gone up because I am working like a dog a very high rate of pay on a project that is on an accelerated timeline. Last week I billed 10k in hours. A year ago that is what I made in nearly a month... I might take home 20k in July after taxes if I don't keel over from exhaustion. Kind of insane to be in this situation so I am just riding the wave and rolling with it. I figure by the time I get done with this contract I'll probably be at 650k in net worth if things keep going like they are.

If I were to quit this day I would take a few months off, but I can't. I need to hang here on this project for the next few months. I want to quit and take a break but I will seriously screw everyone over if I do that, so I am going to keep going until the job is done, or at least I can be replaced.

I know many people think they would love to work for a year or two doing insane amounts of overtime and it would be worth it. Well, I have only been doing it for a couple of months and I really hate it. I am having a hard time getting to the gym, and when I do my workout sucks. I am eating out a lot. I am feeling exhausted. I know people do this lifestyle, but damn I don't! That is the whole reason I am so into Financial Independence and ERE!

In other news crypto is getting interesting again, so is the price of Gold. Think it is related the tensions with Iran? The threat of the Fed lowering rates and maybe printing money? Trade war? Recession? All of the above? I am allocating money to both (cautiously). Let me know what you think if you happen to read this and have an opinion.

bigato
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Re: Giskard's Journal - slingin code to reach FI

Post by bigato » Sat Jun 29, 2019 2:50 am

I think the spike in bitcoin is related to facebook's libra announcement much more than any of the other factor you mentioned. They are all moving the gold though.

Congratulations on the big numbers, I hope you manage to transition to a lower stress situation before it becomes unsustainable.

Scott 2
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Re: Giskard's Journal - slingin code to reach FI

Post by Scott 2 » Sat Jun 29, 2019 11:47 am

When I've had crunched projects, I found it essential to take one day a week completely off. I'd meal prep, get my home life in order, mentally decompress, etc. Are you doing anything like that? Even better, are you able to pay someone else to do the chores, so you can relax more fully?

I also found the only way to exercise with any certainty, was in the morning before work. I came to really value that quiet time for myself.

giskard
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Re: Giskard's Journal - slingin code to reach FI

Post by giskard » Sun Jun 30, 2019 11:38 am

@Scott 2, not last couple weeks I have been working 7 days a week. But yeah this a good idea. Just make e.g. Saturday the grocery store day, and fun day. I am just not a morning person so I find it hard to do the gym early in the morning, but it is great when I actually make it there in the AM.

@bigato yeah I almost forgot about Libra. That might be something too, but I was not sure if it legitimizes bitcoin, or hurts it by pulling attention away. Time will tell on that one I suppose.

bigato
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Re: Giskard's Journal - slingin code to reach FI

Post by bigato » Sun Jun 30, 2019 1:04 pm

I don't think libra *should* be pushing bitcon up, but that's often the wrong question to ask when you are trying to understand market movements ;)

giskard
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Re: Giskard's Journal - slingin code to reach FI

Post by giskard » Sat Aug 03, 2019 7:39 pm

8/3/2019 Update post July

Today My Net Worth sits at 603k. I am on track to make nearly 300k this year this from my current consulting project. It totally nuts. I can't complain. But damn I am still working for somebody else and not spending my days how I want to spend them.

Anyway. This is just a quick update because I closed the month out at greater than 600k for the first time ever. The world is getting quite interesting, the fed just cut interest rates and I am increasing my exposure to gold and bitcoin.

The next 5 years

I am planning for the next 5 years. This is the last "job" I plan to have. When my contract ends I am going to work on some business ideas, regardless of whether or not the market crashes by 50% or not.

But what is going to happen in the next 5 years? Firstly, I think the fed is screwed. They are going to have to cut rates all the way to zero. Trump will pressure them to cut rates before the election and he will fan the flames of trade war to do it. I think there is a high chance that a very progressive democrat gets elected and does something to vastly expand the deficit OR trump will get re-elected and just continue to enflame trade tensions and geopolitical tensions.

Either way, I think that means we will get inflation. Right now, I don't believe the CPI. The CPI seems misleading when half of the population rents and rents are going up 5-10% a year in most markets. Healthcare cost inflation hovers around 5%. Tuition inflation is at 5% for a 10 year average. So if the only thing that is not inflating insanely is food and consumer goods, what will happen when those start finally inflating due to the trade war? If china puts tariffs on cheap goods and we crack down on illegal immigration, and food costs go up, are we going to finally inflation in the CPI, I think we will.

So because I think there will be inflation here are the things I am doing:

1. Not paying down my mortgage and faster. I think the debt will be inflated away
2. Investing more in inflation hedges like gold, gold mining stocks, and bitcoin.
3. Considering buying another house. If the debt will be inflated away and I can get a loan at 3.5%... How is that a bad idea?
4. Continuing to have high exposure to equities and little to bonds.

Okay what is the counter argument? Deflation? How could deflation happen?


Well a decently convincing case can be made that with the mass retirement of baby boomers there will be a lot of deflation. Why would that happen? Well, boomers are extremely ill-prepared for retirement. The average boomer has something like assets worth 200k, so obviously that won't last very long in retirement. They will have to drastically cut expenditures. A drastic reduction in consumer spending will cause deflation. Millennials have no money to spend due to being saddled with student debt so they cannot pick up the slack here.

The thing about this, is that I just don't believe the government will allow it to happen. The only way the US government can stay solvent with a huge deficit and debt/GDP ratio is to continue to inflate the money supply to inflate away their debts. And if we get a progressive government that embraces MMT (Modern Monetary Theory) then that will result in some inflation when they forgive 2 trillion dollars in student debt and implement medicare-for-all (not making in political statements here, just making predictions and how it will effect the economy).

However, I do think a very conservative government could result in deflation. Immigration is another demographic tail wind for the consumption economy so any restrictions on this would magnify the effect of the boomer retirement crisis. But I just think it is unlikely. The backlash against Trump is so strong it seems far more likely that a progressive government is elected.

giskard
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Re: Giskard's Journal - slingin code to reach FI

Post by giskard » Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:33 pm

9/13/2019

Welp, I quit my job. I suppose it was not a job, just a contract and I basically just decided not to renew. The boss did not take it that well, but I was burned out and decided I had to make a real change in my life. After today I have one more week of work.

My net worth is about 630k, and I have around 60k in cash just sitting around so I can take, well idk, a year off of work? I have some business ideas I am going to work on over the next few months and If I am not breaking even on expenses vs my income from some idea after 6 months, well I will throw in the towel and get a job again (or job-like contract at least).

I spend about 3-4k a month on expenses and I don't honestly watch my spending very carefully at all. I think if I started being careful again I would spend more like 2.5k a month (because health insurance is expensive and shitty gents, let me tell you). So realistically a 3k a month, that is only 18k and I am way over-banked.

I don't really think I will earn no money. I have a lot side hustles related to software I have written, and products I want to build in the hopper so I should have some income coming. I have some long term clients I do freelance work, so that money will be coming in. And I can always pick up more freelance work if I need to. But I really want to try building some products and getting good at marketing / seo, all that stuff.

This is a big deal for me though. I really have basically had a job ever since I graduated college 8 years ago. I can't believe I decided to grind as an employee for so damn long. I feel stupid for not pulling the trigger earlier and trying to do my own thing but also relieved and excited.

At this point I may never have to work a 9-5 job again. It feels good, but it also feels like I might fuck it up. I figure I can build a product that pulls in 3k a month of income and I can do it in 6 months. And if I can't, well I bet I can get pretty close. I will re-evalate in 6 months. At the very least I can probably build some productized service kind of system based on a skill I have. And if all else fails I will just pick up regular client work. I suppose I am something like barrista FI, so even with a tiny bit of freelance income my position is sustainable. But I do want to buy a house within a year or two... So we'll see what actually happens.

Well that is the update. The adventure continues, maybe the boring part is starting to be over!

Scott 2
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Re: Giskard's Journal - slingin code to reach FI

Post by Scott 2 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:55 pm

giskard wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:33 pm
9/13/2019
Welp, I quit my job. I suppose it was not a job, just a contract and I basically just decided not to renew. The boss did not take it that well, but I was burned out and decided I had to make a real change in my life. After today I have one more week of work.
Good for you.

The boss screwed up by working their talent so hard. It's easy to predict what happens next. Outside of your personal situation, the market for developers is too strong to treat people that way.

TopHatFox
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Location: FL; 25

Re: Giskard's Journal - slingin code to reach FI

Post by TopHatFox » Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:36 pm

Yeah holy shit dude, you've amassed 600k in just a few years. Programming + hard work = profit.

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Alice_AU
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Re: Giskard's Journal - slingin code to reach FI

Post by Alice_AU » Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:42 pm

Wow. Just wow. It is stories like this that make us the ERE-newcomers inspired on the first place)

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Giskard's Journal - slingin code to reach FI

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:22 pm

Congratulations! If you could get spending to $2k you have a sub 4% WR......definitely barista FI =) Your idea doesn't even have to earn $3k a month, unless you're bent on further accumulation. Regarding the house, are you upgrading? I saw in a previous post you mentioned not paying mortgage off early, so I assumed you already owned a home. It might be easier to get a mortgage when you have income history, though if your idea takes off, it shouldn't be an issue anyway.

Shit, with everyone quitting, it gives me the itch to type my own resignation letter.

giskard
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Re: Giskard's Journal - slingin code to reach FI

Post by giskard » Mon Sep 16, 2019 4:44 pm

Thanks everyone! I really appreciate everyone here. The ERE forums are a big part of me being able to do this, even if I am just taking a little mini-retirement I know most people cannot afford something like this and I feel super privileged to be able to do this. I am getting more excited, only 4 more days to go.

@Scott 2, yeah really though. I had to my skip my vacation I had planned in July, it was after that I knew I was going to be done.

@2Birds1Stone I think I can get my spending lower, but I really do like to work so I am going to focus on building a business. I would like to make at least a few thousand a month, so yeah I don't need to draw down principal off my investments at all. I think I can get there because I know I can put in the work, and I will be able to enjoy it since I will be working for my own ends and have the autonomy of that.

giskard
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Re: Giskard's Journal - slingin code to reach FI

Post by giskard » Wed Oct 23, 2019 2:02 pm

Update 10/23/2019

I have been unemployed now for about a month and it is glorious. I am so much happier. I am so much more energized. I am working on a business idea that I like and connecting with tons of new people. I'm not retired but I'm not doing a soul-sucking 9-5 engagement (and let's be honest, my last contract was way more than 9-5). The difference in my mindset between 6 months ago and today is amazing.

OK, so numbers. I have about 630k in assets. About 50k of that is in cash, and I spend about 3k a month in expenses. I have to pay for health insurance, ect and I'm not altering my lifestyle a lot so no that number is not coming down.

Given that I never want to sell any investments I have a bit more than a year (16.67 months) of runway before I should start to work again if none of my plans start panning out. OK, on that front I am currently working on a few things but one of them is an online course aimed at something in my previous work industry. I have been doing a ton of content marketing and getting a great response from people. However, my launch list is still less than 100 people, so that has been a little discouraging. We'll see how that goes, I do have a couple of other ideas in the hopper to try but I am going to grind on this for a while. If I had 50 new paying customers a month that would be great, but I just don't know how this will turn out yet.

You know what I honestly feel? I am an idiot and I should have tried this years ago. In many ways it was not worth building up a huge base of investments (and still, it is not enough to float my expenses), and I should have take more breaks from work and tried this once or twice already. Who knows, I could have been much happier the past few years... But at the same time I am grateful I waited until now and I have the work experience and life experience. I am grateful I own a place and don't have to worry about ever increasing rent.

Adamski
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Re: Giskard's Journal - slingin code to reach FI

Post by Adamski » Fri Nov 01, 2019 11:21 am

@giskard - good and inspiring read, and glad to hear you are more energised, and happier. Credit to build investments and gain the security that goes with it at a relatively young age.

giskard
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Re: Giskard's Journal - slingin code to reach FI

Post by giskard » Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:13 pm

Update 12/4/2019

Well, I have been off work for about two and a half months and enjoyed it immensely. My net worth is at about 650k, so no real changes there except for the appreciation in the stock market has offset my spending out of my savings account. My spending is slightly increased because of all of the travel I have been doing, so honestly more like 4k a month lately.

The business I have been working on is going slowly but I think it will build. I have actually been busy working on it quite a bit. I don't want to really talk about what I am doing here because I want to remain anonymous but basically it is a type of info product / software and I haven't made any sales yet but definitely had a lot of success blogging and getting on my mailing list and paying attention to what I'm doing. I have some media stuff lined up (podcasts, guest posts, conference talks) but that is all going to be a long slow game. It is hard to get people's attention even when you are showing a clear value proposition but dammit, I'm starting to do it the more I learn what my customers want.

So, what I am thinking is that I will try to start another remote contract in January. I am casually looking right now to line something up. My monthly spend is higher than my SWR, and my business is not going to make real money for a while I think so my feeling is that I continue to maintain what I am doing with that and try to work a less intense contract for a while, even if I am getting paid less than last time.

At some point either one of the two things will happen:
1. My savings will continue and my assets will appreciate above my SWR
2. My business will start to make enough money that I can live off that income

The number of assets I need is just about a million dollars based on what I seem to end up spending normally. So I'm 350k away from that. If I save 100k a year that is only 3 years away, but I would feel a lot better if I could just get the business going

The cool thing is that if I can profit 2k a month off of the business combined with the SWR that is basically enough. But as I said, I am pretty far away from that point right now.

Till next time!

anesde
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Re: Giskard's Journal - slingin code to reach FI

Post by anesde » Thu Dec 05, 2019 5:43 am

Would building your business suffer if you take another contract? How long do you (conservatively) think it would take to get the business to generate profit?

It doesn’t sound like you need to take another contract (for at least a considerable amount of time) and it may be detrimental to what you’re trying to build.

Perhaps you would be better just focusing on what you’re building and give it [6-18] months to try it out? As you say you can always get another contract if you need to.

giskard
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Re: Giskard's Journal - slingin code to reach FI

Post by giskard » Sat Dec 07, 2019 11:28 am

@anesde

Yes it would suffer for sure, but I would be able to at least continue the marketing I'm doing without interruption. I don't know far away I am from having a viable product I can charge money for (maybe 2 months), or how much active sales I'm going to need to do, or how much feedback I will get and how much I will need to pivot.

I was thinking about this too and to make the situation more sustainable but still have a good chance of success I decided to try to find some part-time contracting. Full time would definitely hinder my efforts with the business at this point, but I don't like how fast I'm burning through savings so doing 20 hours a week might be the ticket. If I can find that kind of work!

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