This month I finally admitted to myself that I had reached Financial Independence – giving notice at my work (which I absolutely love and was torn about doing so) and ultimately making the decision to support and spend time with family whilst I still have the chance. Going forward, I am moving home soon and will be looking for a new job that is part time (does that make me Barista FI?)
This month I also learned more about Bitcoin, and started a trial roboadvisor investment with Stockspot to see if a ‘hands off’ strategy might be the way forward for me with managing my investments. To catch up on everything I have been doing, and how the investment portfolio has performed, read on below.
CaptainFI Total Net Worth
CaptainFI Financial progression
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
I am still heavy on Australian shares through the A200 fund because I was chasing the franked dividend yields for a baseline level of income stability. I am now working to balance this home bias concentration risk by an automated purchasing of VTS and VEU through Pearler
I consider all my smaller non-automatic investments, speculations or ‘fun plays’ as a form of microinvesting and keep this separate from my main automated index style investments.
Stockspot Auto-invest portfolio
This month I trialled investing with Stockspot using their roboadvisor platform. They allocated me the Topaz portfolio (which is their most aggressive portfolio). I put in the minimum investment of $2000, but unfortunately because they used a phased system you need to get up $10,000 in your account before it is fully diversified. Currently this is what it is sitting at- pretty much 50:50 aussie stocks and bonds;
For the record, I am not a fan of the bonds and cash component, but this is a fully automated roboadvisor investing platform and I can’t really do much about it.
To date though, it seems to be going alright and in a month it is already up 1% which seems on par with the long term averages. If this simplifies my investing and can handle rebalancing, tax loss harvesting and smart portfolio asset allocation then this may become something I rely on more and more going forward.
If you want to learn more about Stockspot, check out the dedicated review I did on Stockspot – which I will be keeping updated with all the lessons from my personal use trial.
Since Stake isn’t really designed for investing in ETFs (which you can do – and I did using VTI) I thought against all my better judgement I would just have a go stock picking again for a laugh – I decided to go for Tesla for no other fact than it sounds cool, I like what Elon is doing with launching rockets, and it seemed to have gone down in value lately. Also because Tesla gives some exposure to Bitcoin I thought why not!
After realising I was being TOTALLY FLEECED on extra monthly costs for my Raiz account on a custom portfolio I just reverted it to the aggressive portfolio which has nearly a quarter lower monthly fees. This seems to just tick along nicely in the background.
Testing out the platform more I decided to have a go at one of their brokerage free ETF offerings – with myself being a recent target of identity fraud what better ETF parcel to choose than ‘HACK’ – a group of cyber security companies. I put $100 into this ETF which was brokerage free, and annoyingly it went down a bit almost as soon as I did so haha. I expect it should go up over time though.
Spaceship Origin portfolio: Top 100 Global Blue chip ETF. This seems to be going alright but If I am honest, for a speculative punt I should have probably gone for the Universe portfolio which seems to be having insanely high gains – I am hoping the origin portfolio will have more stable gains and wont collapse like the universe might do. No one can know, but time will tell.
Plenti P2P lending
Plenti Peer to Peer lending account, not seeming to do much at all due to the fairly low investment rates at the moment. I have it all set to auto reinvest and over time it should slowly grow.
Crypto seems to have gone up by about 13% in the last month alone which was pretty cool. I did a podcast episode on Bitcoin with Stephan Livera if you are interested to learn more about it.
Going forward, my aim is to have about 1% of the portfolio in the BTC+ETH split, so I will be looking to invest another $10,500 or so in due course via Dollar Cost Averaging into ‘Stacking Sats’. I have yet to figure out an appropriate amount to regularly invest and I am thinking maybe $100 per fortnight is a reasonable figure to speculate on.
With last months issues finally being resolved, we have achieved DA for single story dwellings from the council to start the build – so hopefully looking like progress will begin soon with earth works. Ironically, despite the massive profit downgrades from townhouse to bungalow, because the property market has just been going insane on the East Coast, the project looks like it will still turn a tidy little profit.
At the completion when I refinance, I will do an article explaining all of the costs and what the profit was. If anyone is thinking about building an investment property or doing a development – don’t do it. Just don’t. Buy a house that’s already built. Enough said?
Online Business (websites)
The online business portfolio currently has a valuation of $75,000. With nearly 3,000 hours going into it so far, that is a whopping unrealised $25 per hour, after factoring in the companies debt of around $10,000. However, I would strongly encourage anyone on the path to financial independence to secure digital real estate (domain names) and start their own online business (websites).
The beauty however is that the income from the website portfolio now exceeds what I am getting in dividend yields from my share portfolio – and I am now actively looking to purchase MORE websites to add to my portfolio and supercharge this money spinner.
This seems like a very viable alternative to FI – although it technically is not completely passive (I would describe it as ‘Semi-passive’), leveraging ideas from Tim Ferris’ 4 hour work week.
I have done a pretty comprehensive review of the eBusiness institute as well as interviewed Matt and Liz Raad about this on the podcast if you want to learn more about this lucrative side hustle. They Even provide a free introductory course for CaptainFI readers.
Cash and emergency fund
I learned a hard lesson about cash flow this month and found myself down to my LAST $300 of cash at one point – EEK. This was due to a number of large(ish) investments in the business (SLR camera, legal costs etc) but also deciding to invest in StockSpot to give it a go without properly budgeting for the extra investment.
I find it a real struggle to keep cash on the side-lines when I see how productive my investments are, so I seem to always invest most or all of it, scraping the boundaries but somehow always getting away with it – which seems to reinforce the behaviour that it is OK not to have an emergency fund.
Currently, whilst I am in full time employment and have a decent leave balance this is not too much of a worry, but when I transition to part time
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 $4000 out of the $6,800 ‘passive’ income goal, or about 58% of the way to ‘Family FIRE’.
This is actually double my ‘Single FIRE’ figure, so I am fully aware that I have reached my FI number, but still want to continue slowly working towards ‘Family FIRE’ figure. As I mentioned at the start of the article, I am going to be looking to transition from full time to part time work when I get home in order to help look after my sick parents.
Thankfully, the investments have well and truly started to snowball, and hopefully they will continue to grow and put me closer to ‘Family FIRE’ even with a reduced earned income.
For more information on how I am planning for Early Retirement you can read my dedicated transition to retirement financial planning process article.
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.||LINK|
|Mar 21||$1,155,594||+$20,322||71%||Continued investment into the portfolio as well as growth of investments and business. Gave my notice at work and looking for part time job at home for ‘Barista FI’|