The Hoard: September 2016

The Dragon's Hoard

Every good dragon has a hoard.  You know.  The collection of gold, jewels, and other valuables that the dragon guards in his or her cave.  For me, The Hoard is what I call my assets.  The collection of stocks, bonds, and other income producing assets that Mrs. Dragon and I have collected thus far.

Mythological fire breathers have to protect their hoard from knights seeking glory, wizards wanting power, etc.  Real-world FIRE breathers have more mundane, but very real dangers to their own hoards: the tax man, the cable company, lifestyle inflation, high-fee brokers, and many more.

This is one post in a series that documents my progress towards financial independence.

You might recall that I don’t include our primary residence in the assets (it doesn’t produce income) and I don’t include our primary mortgage against the assets.  If we had a rental house, I would include it in both parts of the equation, but I’ll address the primary residence in a separate category.

I do not differentiate between tax-advantaged accounts and taxable ones in the number for The Hoard.  Assets are assets.

We use the excellent (and free!) service Personal Capital to keep track of how The Hoard is coming along.  It lets you view all your accounts on a single homepage for a convenient snapshot of your financial life.  It is a top-notch service.  Highly recommended.

Mrs. Dragon and I want $600,000 in liquid assets and a paid-off house to consider ourselves financially independent. We’re hoping to accomplish this by February of 2025.

How are we currently doing?

The current market value of the hoard is $201,517 (vs $197,338 last month).  This is about 33.6% of our $600,000 goal.

Primary residence: The mortgage is $93,637 (vs $93,891 last month), which means it’s about 4.45% paid off.

Woo-hoo! We broke the $200,000 mark!!!  This puts us over one third of the way to our investment goal.

Looking back, I wrote this little tidbit in October 2015 when we broke $100k for the first time:

They say the first $100k is the hardest and I certainly hope they’re right.  It took thirty years to get the first one, and I’m hoping for more like 1.5 years to get the next one.

Turns out they were right (they always are).  We got the second $100k in 11 months, which absolutely exceeded my expectations in the best way.  As you can see from the above quote, I wasn’t expecting us to hit this mark until about March of 2017.

Racking up $100k+ in networth in the course of a year is killer progress for us. I don’t anticipate that we will continue at that rate. This year, with the birth of Baby Dragon and Mrs. Dragon taking some time off work, I expect our reduced income and increased expenses to slow financial progress a little bit. However, any time spent saving that aggressively pays off in a big way.

Are you staying the course in 2016? Leave your most recent milestone in the comments!

Expenses: August 2016

ExpensesExpense report!  Since I’m a total voyeur for finance, these types of details are exactly the kind that I love to read on other people’s blogs.

Don’t get me wrong though, these numbers are primarily written for me and Mrs. Dragon.  Every good FIRE breather knows that to be successful, you have to track your expenses. You have to track them like southern boy tracks college football scores.

How else will you know when your Hoard is big enough?

Without further ado, here are the numbers for August (rounded to the nearest dollar):

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The Hoard: August 2016

The Dragon's Hoard

Every good dragon has a hoard.  You know.  The collection of gold, jewels, and other valuables that the dragon guards in his or her cave.  For me, The Hoard is what I call my assets.  The collection of stocks, bonds, and other income producing assets that Mrs. Dragon and I have collected thus far.

Mythological fire breathers have to protect their hoard from knights seeking glory, wizards wanting power, etc.  Real-world FIRE breathers have more mundane, but very real dangers to their own hoards: the tax man, the cable company, lifestyle inflation, high-fee brokers, and many more.

This is one post in a series that documents my progress towards financial independence.

You might recall that I don’t include our primary residence in the assets (it doesn’t produce income) and I don’t include our primary mortgage against the assets.  If we had a rental house, I would include it in both parts of the equation, but I’ll address the primary residence in a separate category.

I do not differentiate between tax-advantaged accounts and taxable ones in the number for The Hoard.  Assets are assets.

We use the excellent (and free!) service Personal Capital to keep track of how The Hoard is coming along.  It lets you view all your accounts on a single homepage for a convenient snapshot of your financial life.  It is a top-notch service.  Highly recommended.

Mrs. Dragon and I want $600,000 in liquid assets and a paid-off house to consider ourselves financially independent. We’re hoping to accomplish this by February of 2025.

How are we currently doing?

The current market value of the hoard is $197,338 (vs $183,376 last month).  This is about 32.9% of our $600,000 goal.

Primary residence: The mortgage is $93,891 (vs $94,143 last month), which means it’s about 4.19% paid off.

Score! Another huge increase this month. The market has been steadily climbing for a while now, and that’s definitely reflected in the most recent increases in The Hoard.

Unless the market takes a nose dive we should clear $200k by next month! That would be awesome as we are currently ahead of schedule for meeting our goals.

Honestly, we’ve been so busy getting used to taking care of Baby Dragon we haven’t thought very much about either our spending or The Hoard.  Luckily, all our investments are automated so while we are busy living our lives, the numbers just keep climbing higher and higher.

As you can see, we are still focused on investing vs paying off the mortgage right now. I expect this to continue for at least another year and quite possibly for several more.

How has your portfolio been faring in the recent run-up? With markets at all-time highs are you sticking to your plan, or being more conservative with your investments?

Expenses: July 2016

ExpensesExpense report!  Since I’m a total voyeur for finance, these types of details are exactly the kind that I love to read on other people’s blogs.

Don’t get me wrong though, these numbers are primarily written for me and Mrs. Dragon.  Every good FIRE breather knows that to be successful, you have to track your expenses. You have to track them like an Olympian tracks the conditions in Rio.

How else will you know when your Hoard is big enough?

Without further ado, here are the numbers for July (rounded to the nearest dollar):

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The Hoard: July 2016

The Dragon's Hoard

Every good dragon has a hoard.  You know.  The collection of gold, jewels, and other valuables that the dragon guards in his or her cave.  For me, The Hoard is what I call my assets.  The collection of stocks, bonds, and other income producing assets that Mrs. Dragon and I have collected thus far.

Mythological fire breathers have to protect their hoard from knights seeking glory, wizards wanting power, etc.  Real-world FIRE breathers have more mundane, but very real dangers to their own hoards: the tax man, the cable company, lifestyle inflation, high-fee brokers, and many more.

This is one post in a series that documents my progress towards financial independence.

You might recall that I don’t include our primary residence in the assets (it doesn’t produce income) and I don’t include our primary mortgage against the assets.  If we had a rental house, I would include it in both parts of the equation, but I’ll address the primary residence in a separate category.

I do not differentiate between tax-advantaged accounts and taxable ones in the number for The Hoard.  Assets are assets.

We use the excellent (and free!) service Personal Capital to keep track of how The Hoard is coming along.  It lets you view all your accounts on a single homepage for a convenient snapshot of your financial life.  It is a top-notch service.  Highly recommended.

Mrs. Dragon and I want $600,000 in liquid assets and a paid-off house to consider ourselves financially independent. We’re hoping to accomplish this by February of 2025.

How are we currently doing?

The current market value of the hoard is $183,376 (vs $161,997 last month).  This is about 30.6% of our $600,000 goal.

Primary residence: The mortgage is $94,143 (vs $94,396 last month), which means it’s about 3.91% paid off.

I can’t help but laugh at the huge increase in The Hoard this month.  We had a couple thousand extra dollars in income last month because I’m teaching an online summer class, but the VAST majority of the increase is because of an uptick in the market.

This is why you don’t time the market, people. There was a lot of doom and gloom about Brexit last month, and the markets took a little dive. If you were silly enough to sell anything then you missed a substantial rebound for both US stocks and foreign stocks.

Of course, we’re just chugging along. Our investments are automatically deducted from our paychecks so the wheels keep turning without any help from us.

The huge jump means that it’s possible that we will break $200,000 this year! That would be incredible!

It’s just one more number on the way up, but it would be awesome to hit 200k in 2016.

In other news, we are adjusting to our new life with Baby Dragon.  There are already a few ways that our monthly spending will increase with the new addition to the family.  Most notably: increased health insurance costs and childcare costs.

Naturally I’ll be giving you the full rundown on these in the expense reports.

I hope your summer is going well, and you didn’t sell during the Brexit downturn!

Expenses: June 2016

ExpensesExpense report!  Since I’m a total voyeur for finance, these types of details are exactly the kind that I love to read on other people’s blogs.

Don’t get me wrong though, these numbers are primarily written for me and Mrs. Dragon.  Every good FIRE breather knows that to be successful, you have to track your expenses. You have to track them like Mrs. Dragon tracks US gymnastics.

How else will you know when your Hoard is big enough?

Without further ado, here are the numbers for June (rounded to the nearest dollar):

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The Hoard: June 2016

The Dragon's Hoard

Every good dragon has a hoard.  You know.  The collection of gold, jewels, and other valuables that the dragon guards in his or her cave.  For me, The Hoard is what I call my assets.  The collection of stocks, bonds, and other income producing assets that Mrs. Dragon and I have collected thus far.

Mythological fire breathers have to protect their hoard from knights seeking glory, wizards wanting power, etc.  Real-world FIRE breathers have more mundane, but very real dangers to their own hoards: the tax man, the cable company, lifestyle inflation, high-fee brokers, and many more.

This is one post in a series that documents my progress towards financial independence.

You might recall that I don’t include our primary residence in the assets (it doesn’t produce income) and I don’t include our primary mortgage against the assets.  If we had a rental house, I would include it in both parts of the equation, but I’ll address the primary residence in a separate category.

I do not differentiate between tax-advantaged accounts and taxable ones in the number for The Hoard.  Assets are assets.

We use the excellent (and free!) service Personal Capital to keep track of how The Hoard is coming along.  It lets you view all your accounts on a single homepage for a convenient snapshot of your financial life.  It is a top-notch service.  Highly recommended.

Mrs. Dragon and I want $600,000 in liquid assets and a paid-off house to consider ourselves financially independent. We’re hoping to accomplish this by February of 2025.

How are we currently doing?

The current market value of the hoard is $161,997 (vs $161,935 last month).  This is about 27.0% of our $600,000 goal.

Primary residence: The mortgage is $94,396  (vs $94,647 last month), which means it’s about 3.68% paid off.

Not much progress since last month, mostly due to a large down-swing in the markets because of the UK’s decision to leave the EU (#Brexit).  The Hoard was above $172k at one point, but has since tumbled quite a bit.

That’s life in the markets! Some months are up and some months are down.  We just continue to invest every month. I’m hoping things don’t rebound this week since we get paid on the first of each month.  That way our automatic purchases will be at the new discounted prices!

We have family in town so I’m going to keep this short and sweet.  We’re expecting Baby Dragon any day now, so I haven’t really been thinking too much about our investments.

Hopefully you’re enjoying the warm weather and making time for friends and family this summer!

What are your thoughts on Brexit? Is it affecting how you view your investments?

Expenses: May 2016

ExpensesExpense report!  Since I’m a total voyeur for finance, these types of details are exactly the kind that I love to read on other people’s blogs.

Don’t get me wrong though, these numbers are primarily written for me and Mrs. Dragon.  Every good FIRE breather knows that to be successful, you have to track your expenses. You have to track them like a democrat tracks superdelegates.

How else will you know when your Hoard is big enough?

Without further ado, here are the numbers for May (rounded to the nearest dollar):

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The Hoard: May 2016

The Dragon's Hoard

Every good dragon has a hoard.  You know.  The collection of gold, jewels, and other valuables that the dragon guards in his or her cave.  For me, The Hoard is what I call my assets.  The collection of stocks, bonds, and other income producing assets that Mrs. Dragon and I have collected thus far.

Mythological fire breathers have to protect their hoard from knights seeking glory, wizards wanting power, etc.  Real-world FIRE breathers have more mundane, but very real dangers to their own hoards: the tax man, the cable company, lifestyle inflation, high-fee brokers, and many more.

This is one post in a series that documents my progress towards financial independence.

You might recall that I don’t include our primary residence in the assets (it doesn’t produce income) and I don’t include our primary mortgage against the assets.  If we had a rental house, I would include it in both parts of the equation, but I’ll address the primary residence in a separate category.

I do not differentiate between tax-advantaged accounts and taxable ones in the number for The Hoard.  Assets are assets.

We use the excellent (and free!) service Personal Capital to keep track of how The Hoard is coming along.  It lets you view all your accounts on a single homepage for a convenient snapshot of your financial life.  It is a top-notch service.  Highly recommended.

Mrs. Dragon and I want $600,000 in liquid assets and a paid-off house to consider ourselves financially independent. We’re hoping to accomplish this by February of 2025.

How are we currently doing?

The market value of the hoard in mid-May was $161,935 (vs $158,175 last month).  This is about 27.0% of our $600,000 goal.

Primary residence: The mortgage is $94,647  (vs $94,898 last month), which means it’s about 3.42% paid off.

This post is a little late, because we have been super busy lately, so I’ll keep it short and sweet.  Another solid month of progress here.  Our investments are pretty much on autopilot, so things just keep going smoothly.

But Mr. Market is a moody S.O.B. so you never know when a sudden spike or drop will come along.  However, we’re mentally prepared for when they inevitably do come.  For now, we’re just enjoying the relatively smooth sailing.

Expenses: April 2016

ExpensesExpense report!  Since I’m a total voyeur for finance, these types of details are exactly the kind that I love to read on other people’s blogs.

Don’t get me wrong though, these numbers are primarily written for me and Mrs. Dragon.  Every good FIRE breather knows that to be successful, you have to track your expenses. You have to track them like a Michael Phelps tracks his gold medals (the Olympics are this summer, woo!).

How else will you know when your Hoard is big enough?

Without further ado, here are the numbers for April (rounded to the nearest dollar):

Read more