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 $158,175 (vs $146,901 last month). This is about 26.4% of our $600,000 goal.
Primary residence: The mortgage is $94,898 (vs $95,147 last month), which means it’s about 3.17% paid off.
Another spectacular month. I continue to be amazed every time I write one of these posts. Our investments are automated so the money goes to work without any help from us. That means I don’t see the bottom line very much throughout the month.
An increase of $11,000+ is certainly welcome any time! Of course, we had a little help from Mr. Market. According to Personal Capital, our investments earned 2.2% since the last update. Because our nest egg keeps growing that 2.2% is actually a decent chunk of change now!
The breakdown on this increase is approximately as follows:
$6200 – payroll deduction straight to retirement accounts (including employer match)
$750 – side hustle income
$3200 – investment gains
The rest – take home pay sitting in checking/savings accounts
As you can see, we never even saw most of that money. I cannot overstate the importance of automating your finances as much as possible. It makes it so much easier to keep your spending in check if the money never hits your account.
Naturally, you can take months like this with a big fat grain of salt. The market happens to be up right now, but there will be plenty of months when it is down. The important thing is that the general trajectory of your net worth is upward!
After recently realizing that we hit a 76% saving’s rate last year, I’m feeling pretty good about our finances right now. Some months it certainly seems like we are being spendy, but the numbers here on the blog tell me we are doing just fine.
How was last month for you? Do you think we are on track for our FI goals by Feb 2025?