The Hoard: September 2015

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.

How are we currently doing?

The current market value of the hoard is $95,372 (vs last month’s $92,608).  This is about 15.9% of our $600,000 goal.

Primary residence: The mortgage is $96,708  (vs last month’s $96,968), which means it’s about 1.32% paid off.

After the past few months of supercharged gains, the progress this month is a little underwhelming.  However, it’s a game of inches and we did at least move a few inches in the right direction this month.

Also, the S&P 500 is down about 8% since the last time I wrote an update on The Hoard.  The only reason our number is up is because we added more than the market dropped.

We are still firmly in the accumulation phase of our lives (meaning we are still investing regularly), so I actually wouldn’t mind it if the market trended a little further downward as the year ends. Gotta love a good sale!

Despite what the media would have you believe, buying stocks for less money isn’t bad for you.  When the price of stocks goes down, your monthly contributions buy more shares. More shares for the same amount of money?  Yes and please!

It turns out that since Mrs. Dragon and I have been at our jobs for a year now, we vested in our retirement accounts at work in August, which was great timing since the ~$8000 between the two accounts switched from a money market fund to stocks in August.

We continue to invest heavily instead of aggressively paying down the mortgage and I expect that will continue for at least another six months.

The only reason we would change that strategy right now is if something with our tax situation changes.  Right now we are just saving too much money not to put the cash in retirement accounts.  Gotta keep Uncle Sam’s mitts off our dough!

How was August for you? Did you pick up shares on the dip, or sell it all and buy gold?



A Game of Inches
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4 thoughts on “The Hoard: September 2015

  1. As Warren Buffett once said, when stocks go down, it’s a if they were on sale!
    Stocks on sale? I definitely buy more!
    I also believe that stocks are a little expensive right now, so if they could continue to go lower for a another few months, that’d be great 🙂

  2. Since july, I have adapted our game plan a little. We still invest, but a part of our money-to-invest is parked away, awaiting a super sale.
    Being an index investor, I can not pick stock that already went down 30pct from their top. The main tracker I buy is now around the start-of-year price… not a super sale in my eyes.

    With my play money, I do plan to buy some heavily dropped stocks. Over time, the play money should convert into a Dividend and option portfolio worth the name compared to my other holdings

    • I am a big fan of play money for investing in individual stocks. The vast majority of our investments are in index funds, but I do have some fun money in individual stocks and have had some big gainers and some big losers so far 🙂 But there are certainly some solid dividend payers that are waaay down right now that are probably worth a look.

      The idea of holding part of your money out of the market in hopes of a super sale is an interesting one. I like it in theory, but I’m not sure that I personally would go that route. It feels a little too much like timing the market. Do you have a set idea of what constitutes a super sale? 25% down? 35% down? I’m just curious what the criteria are for investing that money. Cheers!

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