The Hoard: March 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 $146,901 (vs $125,424 last month).  This is about 24.5% of our $600,000 goal.

Primary residence: The mortgage is $95,147  (vs $95,397 last month), which means it’s about 2.91% paid off.

Hell. Yes. For those of us keeping score that’s a $21,477 increase since last month! Of course, we did not earn anywhere close to $24k from our jobs last month, but our money has been hard at work earning us more money. According to Personal Capital, our investments have returned 9.26% since the last update.  That’s a helluva month!

The market is really starting to take control of our progress.  That’s great news because it means we have a sizeable chunk of money invested now, but it also means that our ride is about to get a lot bumpier (that’s a word right?).

Because our net worth is now tied to market movements that means that we will gain or lose huge chunks of money depending on the mood of the market.  That’s OK with me though.  It supercharges our savings when the market is up, and provides a sale on stocks when the market is down.

Anyway, with this sudden boost we are almost at 25% of our goal!  That’s damn exciting!

We are still investing vs paying down the mortgage.  I’m not sure if my feelings on the subject will change after baby dragon gets here, but for now we are still pumping money into investments every month.

How was last month for you? Do you think we are on track to meet our goals by February 2025?

Expenses: February 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 groundhog tracks his shadow.

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

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

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