Quarterly Update – Q3 ’21 – time and tide wait for none

A few weeks back, my mother sent me a family picture that included an uncle I hadn’t seen since 2011. My uncle struggled for many years before he became prosperous, enough to build a sense of entitlement, and even strain ties when they didn’t suit him.

I’ve seen fortune change many close relatives over the years. Money seems to sway my kind, from traditionally less affluent cultures, quite effortlessly.

I’ve seen fortunes come and go, and ties break in a manner no repair can fully mend. Over the years, I’ve learnt not to linger on these events. I intend to stay grounded. I like stealth.

Instead, I focus on how incredibly fortunate I have been. I read a while back that the face you take into your forties is the face you keep for life. I’m determined to take a happy, positive face into my forties. And why not? I have a wonderful wife, healthy parents, and a happy daughter who is quickly becoming her own person.

Perhaps, I’m already as rich and happy as any man can be.

We’re at coastFI, and don’t intend to actually retire, not early early. We’ve saved aggressively since 2016 and we can afford to take our foot off the pedal every now and then.

We should not have to wait till retirement to live the life we want.

As such, we plan to buy a bigger house to give our daughter more runway, a reading nook and us some space. We’ll travel a few times a year. Our Honda Fit is probably good for ten more years, but I wouldn’t mind a Honda CRV-hybrid.

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And now, after the digression, our Q3 portfolio update:

Our net worth increased by 3.7% in Q3. Even with the S&P 500 dropping by 4.7% in September, our net market gains YTD exceeds our actual savings. It is important to note that the true gains come more from the dollars we invested early on than those from recent times.

YTD, we trail the S&P500 14.7% to 13%. But take our cash position out, and our performance almost mirrors the S&P500 at 14.34%.

Our investment allocation is 92% stocks and 8% cash. Our stock portfolio has:

VTSAX / VTI / FXAIX / Wells Fargo’s variant (no ticker): 75.9%
VYM: 3.9%
VGT: 2.4%
Betterment 100% stock allocation: 9.6%

Our aggressive allocation is a result of maximizing our retirement accounts. Since they’re invested entirely in broad market index funds, we’ve ended up owning more stocks than any other asset class. We maxed both our Roths ($12,000) and 401Ks ($39,000) for the year. We are probably done buying stocks for the year.

We make an exception for our daughter’s Colorado 529 plan (all in VTSAX). We contribute $400 towards the 529 every month, with an occasional additional contribution. The idea to build it up significantly when she’s young and let that compound.

We intend to further add to our cash position for the rest of the year.

We spent $52,160 YTD, less YTD than in all previous years. But take out $31,332 that go into our mortgage and daycare, our expenses are a measly and unbelievable $20,828. This includes a trip to Cancun, several other outings, and a fully well lived YTD. We track our expenses because I enjoy looking at numbers, but do not keep a budget.

Our plan for the rest of the year is to is to build up cash. We’ll use most of it max our Roth IRAs in Jan 2022.

We want to travel every year going forward.  We’ll start with international cities that Denver has direct flights to. We did London and Paris in 2019, Cancun this year, and Puerto Rico in 2016.

We’ve done lots of road trips stretching every which way in our trusty Honda Fit. Come of think of it, I should really log these. It’s incredible how many we’ve done and forgotten.

As for our trips going forward, I’m thinking we’ll start with a package tour to either Japan, or Europe in 2022.

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