February was another month with a lot of curve balls, and the net worth down by over $30,000!
I said goodbye to two of my dogs, helped write the Advanced Care Directives for my Dad (for the hospital), talked to Mum through her Chemo over the phone, had my third council DA rejection (and equity write down) for the investment property build, and I was also a victim of identity theft and fraud.
In response I generally tried to simplify my life and automate my finances. I am still very thankful for all the wonderful people I have in my life and the opportunities I get. Despite a significant paper loss on my Net Worth, I have never felt closer to Financial Independence – read on to find why.
Financial Independence Portfolio
My Financial Independence Portfolio is a simple portfolio which is split between three Exchanged Traded Index Funds (ETFs):
- I now have this portfolio fully automated through Pearler which has been a huge gamechanger for me and a massive weight off my mind
- I track my share portfolio using Sharesight, which means my accounting is also completely hands free using the Pearler API plugin.
- This means I pretty much only need to log in to confirm all the trades and dividends over the year when needed for my tax return, however I also choose to log in each month to produce these monthly updates for you guys.
Portfolio vs Target – Pearler chart
am not quite at my target portfolio of an equal split and am heavy on Australian shares through the A200 fund because I was chasing franked dividend yields. I am now working to balance this home bias concentration risk by an automated purchasing of VTS and VEU through Pearler
NDQ: VTI which is the total US stock market index ETF
Custom Diversified ETF: Equal weight ETF fund: STW (Australia) – IAA (Asia) – IEU (Europe) – IVV (America)
Spaceship Origin portfolio: Top 100 Global Blue chip ETF
Plenti P2P lending
I put another chunk of funds into Plenti Peer to Peer lending account, bringing the balance up to $1000.
I put $1000 into cryptocurrency through CoinSpot, and will be exploring some of the other Crypto exchanges over the next few months to compare.
After having the third DA rejection, I have found building to be a super stressful experience and will probably never do it again. I will never recommend anybody build a property, especially if you think a development is an easy way to get cash.
The latest rejection means we cannot build two story (shadowing restrictions) and so will now only be able to build single story, with a significant loss of final realised value, reflected in my having about $92,000 less ‘Equity’ in my Net Worth tracker. OUCH!
This has probably been a wise lesson about ‘Not counting your chickens till they hatch…’
I have a portfolio of websites which I am developing as part of my online business, with associated social media channels. It has been tricky at times but overall I am really glad I have done this.
This has been a hot topic and the source of some great debates over the past few months since I let the cat out of the bag. I also wrote a dedicated article about how I make money online, as well as interviewing Matt and Liz Raad from the eBusiness Institute on the CaptainFI podcast about online business and how I started and am growing mine. I actually recently provided a comprehensive review of the eBusiness Institute if anyone is thinking of doing anything similar.
Conservatively, my online business portfolio currently has a valuation of $72,000. However, I personally feel that the value is way higher and would not sell these cash-flow machines for anything near that!
Cash and emergency fund
Currently I am keeping about $1500 in cash and 3 months of paid leave on my balance to form my emergency fund. I also have about $3000 tied up in the bond for the apartment I am renting, not sure where to factor that. I guess no where since its not accessible.
I am still working toward my ‘Family FIRE’ goal of $6,000 per month (after tax), however I have distanced myself somewhat from thinking about the future and am more just trying to focus on enjoying the now rather than imagining the future.
When looking at the trust structure, to earn $6,000 per month after tax it will more or less take $6,800 of gross portfolio income.
Conservatively I am sitting at around $3900 out of the $6,800 passive income goal, or about 65% of the way to ‘Family FIRE’!
For more information on how I am planning for Early Retirement you can read my dedicated transition to retirement financial planning process article.
February personal update
February was another month that was pretty hard for me, although I am still very grateful for all the wonderful things and opportunities in my life.
A big focus for me again this month was simplicity and automation. Basically trying to remove any unnecessary complexity, unproductive areas and stress in my life. This has manifested in continuing to sell things from my apartment and minimise my physical possessions, but also in switching my investments from Selfwealth to Pearler so I could take advantage of their portfolio automation tools. I consolidated my ETF portfolio and invested money from the struggling property development offset since it looks like that is all about to wind up in an epic fail. I also became an official affiliate for Pearler and you can read why in my Pearler review.
Unfortunately February meant it was finally time for the trip across the rainbow bridge for my best mate, and I’m still pretty heartbroken that I couldn’t be there with her at the end. Rather sadly, her older sister also passed this month not long after and so it has been a pretty sad month for the family back home. I honestly don’t think I have been so sad for a while, and even just mentioning it makes me tear up a little.
My parents are still fighting cancer with some pretty horrible chemotherapy treatments, and to be honest I feel so FUCKING guilty that I am working interstate.
Mum had a pretty severe anaphylactic reaction to one of her treatments (Carboplatin) which was absolutely terrifying which put her in the ED overnight, so her treatment has been paused until the oncologist can come up with a replacement treatment cocktail. I feel so powerless to help her and its just so hard talking to her on the phone when she is out of breath from just talking.
I worked with my family to help write the Advanced Care Directives for my Dad because he is not of sound mind and is very ill at the moment with a blood infection. The doctors gave him a slim chance to survive an emergency surgery – but with his fighting spirit he of course pulled through! Unfortunately he has lost his leg and foot as a complication from his leukaemia treatment, and is also staring down the barrel of dialysis with kidney degradation.
I have been seeing a therapist to talk through all of this which has been really good, and they have been helping me work through it all and unpack my feelings. I don’t like how they constantly bring up confronting emotions though. For most of us Pilots, we get through life by compartmentalising out emotions – no time for emotions in the air, so we just bottle them up for later (and usually forget to ever get around to unbottling them later).
Following advice from pretty much everyone, I am also booked in with a meeting with my manager and HR department this month about potentially transferring to a different basing that is closer to home (Closer to lots of family and within 4 hours drive of the farm).
In other more fantastic news, it looks like I will be an Uncle again, with one of my Sisters expecting later this year. One of the things I struggle with the most is being away from my niece and nephews, so I am really looking forward to potentially be able to work (or FIRE?) and be closer to home in the not so distant future.
Captain FI net worth progression
The net worth progression graph is rather crudely constructed in Excel, but still demonstrates the ‘somewhat exponential’ journey over the past 13 years.
|Date||Net worth||Difference||Saving Rate||Notes|
|Jan 09||$5,000.00||?||Estimate NW based on historical Super, Bank statements and assets at the time||LINK|
|Jan 10||$24,000||+$19,000||?||Estimate NW||LINK|
|Jan 11||$40,000||+$16,000||?||Estimate NW||LINK|
|Jan 12||$92,000||+$50,000||?||Estimate NW||LINK|
|Jan 13||$130,000.00||+$38,000||?||Estimate NW||LINK|
|Jan 14||$161,000.00||+$31,000||?||Estimate NW||LINK|
|Jan 15||$200,000.00||+$39,000||?||Estimate NW||LINK|
|Jan 16||$281,000.00||+$81,000||?||Estimate NW||LINK|
|Jan 17||$340,000.00||+$59,000||?||Estimate NW||LINK|
|Jan 18||$482,000.00||+$142,000||?||Estimate NW||LINK|
|Jan 19||$542,000.00||+$60,000||?||Estimate NW||LINK|
|Jul 19||$578,900.00||+$36,900||84%||Finally began tracking NW this like a proper adult.|||
|Aug 19||$560,100.00||-$18,800.00 (-3.2%)||78%||Share market slight correction, Ok savings.|||
|Sep 19||$584,744.88||$24,644.88||72%||Share market rebound, savings rate not so good.||LINK|
|Oct 19||$600,386.00||$15,641.12||84%||Good saving this month. Normal salary, plus allowances, dividends from index funds, tax refund, eBay selling and was working abroad in asia where things are cheap.||LINK|
|Nov 19||$612,917.21||$12,531.21||76%||Falling short of my savings goal of 80%. Mostly domestic legs this month with higher costs. Also invested in hydroponics.||LINK|
|Dec 19||$625,350.00||$12,432.79||76%||Good savings of cash (for development) and investment, however higher spending due to Christmas period (Travel and Gifting).||LINK|
|Jan 20||$865,212.00||$239,862.00||55%||Super settlement was a HUGE boost to NW. $9K growth from stock market. Expensive month lots with lots of unexpected bills – weddings, travel, Booking flights, fines etc.||LINK|
|Feb 20||$851,802.0||-$16,592 (-1.9%)||52%||Large increase in spending on myself this month, still managed to tuck away $5K to put into shares and property. Corona Virus market scare resulted in a correction and gave NW a small negative trend. Time in the market not Timing the market! Became Single again.||LINK|
|Mar 20||$819, 354.6||-$31,806.95 (-3.7%)||80%||Another small step backwards in the NW due to the ‘corona crash’ in full swing. FIRE Portfolio of ETF/LICs down about 15% this month, however due to high savings rate and structure of my superannuation annuity the NW is only down 3.7%. Savings rate good at 80%, higher than usual income (with some slightly higher spending, too). Picking up shares on discount – this is the best outcome for someone in the accumulation phase with good income!||LINK|
|Apr 20||$847,023||+$27,668||85%||$11,000 in rebound of stock market capital prices alone (up 6%), plus first quarter dividends paid (heavily reduced due to banks withholding dividends). Great savings rate due to COVID-19 lock-down = no spend. Increased entrepreneurial efforts and selling down of physical possessions provided side hustle income. Two standard paychecks from flying activity; domestic day trips only so no allowances. All cash unfortunately had to go into the property development due to contract timing, I am chomping at the bit to buy some more index funds before they go back up in price too much – hence why I am selling most of my toys!||LINK|
|May 20||$857,859||+$10,836||92%||Some Great sales as I let go of my Super Sport Motorcycle, Some gym gear, expensive flying equipment and a few other various bits and bobs and invested this money. Flying still reduced, but increasing from April. The share market grew as I continued to make my fortnightly investments. I also wrote down the ‘value’ of some of my possessions (liabilities) such as my car, tools and furniture by around $10K to align them to market price (“tell him hes dreaming…!”).||LINK|
|June 20||$858,650||+$791||90%||Small Net Worth gain as I continue to declutter and simplify my life, despite being off work due to a family emergency. Share market not doing much.||LINK|
|July 20||$888,218||+$29,568||68%||Majority gain due to share market going back up, low spending due to being on the family farm and at home because of lock down.||LINK|
|Aug 20||$1,029,293||+$141,075||74%||Became a millionaire. Achieved this massive milestone I set out for myself in Dec 2019. Included unrealised gains in my property development as well as website business. Good savings rate due to not much spending, invested in Aus and total world shares. Investing in my web business. Starting to shift focus away from $$$ and more into looking after my mental health.||LINK|
|Sep 20||S1,045,486||+$16,193||60%||Officially took time off work for the rest of the year to be close and look after family during major operations. Continued to sell down physical possessions and work on digital business while at home. NW gain mainly due to valuation of websites.||LINK|
|Oct 20||$1,064,399||+$18,913||80%||Base income (retainer) and leave loading, dividend and websites provided income, as well as raiding my P2P lending capital. Significant bill for property due to design not meeting standards which effectively lowers my equity position, as well as fence being stolen.||LINK|
|Nov 20||$1,143,433||+$80,394||82%||Big gains came from share market growth (influencing both the Financial Independence share portfolio and Invested superannuation), Business gains (due to increased earnings) and a $30K boost to my annuity thanks to me logging in and checking the fine-print on the accumulation stats. I only invested around $7K. Insane that in one month, I accumulated nearly more net worth than I did in four years from 2009-2012||LINK|
|Dec 20||$1,152,920||+ $9,487.32||84%|
Share market slight drop, Earnings from Business, Contract work, Selling possessions. No share market investments this month (oops! I forgot and money was tight). Invested a lot into the website business this month (way more than planned) and it is still running at a decent loss (plans to turn it cash flow positive in 3 months).
|Jan 21||$1,165,678||+$12,757||79%||Great returns from the share market. Earnings from Business, Dividends, Flying wage, flipping items on consignment. Regular share contribution, investing in micro investing platforms, P2P lending, Investment property and big reinvestment into the business (still running at a loss)||LINK|
|Feb 21||$1,135,272||-$30,406||76%||Significant write down on property development due to council DA rejection and redesign requiring more money and creating less equity. Offset by small increase to Business value and investments. Simplified my investments and switched over to Pearler.|