Portfolio Update – 2019

Happy New Year, Friends. If you didn’t make good last year, you probably did something horribly wrong. Reflect back on the gaps that need filling, and understand where you erred, and why.

We trailed the S&P 500 – 22.44% to 28.88%. For the first time, we made more from the market than we saved. The trailing has to do with our allocation having some bonds and cash, and not being 100% stocks.

We averaged $467 in monthly dividends – which is nice just knowing even though we’re not exactly dividend investors.

We saved almost the same amount as we did last year. We earned slightly more this year, and used that to make some extra mortgage payments, and fund a ten day vacation to London and Paris in June. Despite our frugal ways, I think our $72,463 annual expense is very high. But take away housing expenses and our expenses look rather impressive. Our non-housing expenses add up to $37,281. I’d say that’s pretty swell. Only our gift making and recreation expense need some curbing in 2020.

Our plan in 2020 is to max our Roth IRA and 401K accounts, and invest remaining funds to our taxable accounts in VTI. We will continue to push small amounts to VTI every time the market falls ~1%. Our taxable investments are now fully parked in VTSAX / VTI and VYM. I am tempted to look into VGT, but I think that ship has sailed for now.

We are 100% invested in low cost index funds and ETFs. Our Roth accounts are in Betterment with a 90% stock and 10% bond portfolio. We plan to open Roth accounts in Vanguard going forward. We hold S&P 500 tracking index funds in our 401Ks. Our emergency fund is in VMMXX and good for 3-4 months. But we want to add one extra month’s expense in my wife’s checking account because VMMXX is not immediately available.

Our asset allocation currently stands at 81% stock, 6% bonds and 10% cash. The remaining 3% is unclassified (but you could dig into it if you’re using personal capital).

Lastly, we are having our first child in March so we will alter our plans accordingly. We will try to commit to our strategy of living on one salary and saving the other. But Denver has high daycare costs, and my wife will not be able to work has many hours as she has in the past. So I’m not sure if this will hold. But thanks to our pursuit of FI, we’re better placed then we would be if we hadn’t pursued FI.

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