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Achieving Financial Independence Through Corporate Employment

Category: Investments Page 2 of 4

Credit Card Rewards – An Easy $2,200/Year

Introduction to Rewards Credit Cards I first stumbled across travel rewards while in college.  I had little bit of credit and was able to apply for and get a Hilton Honors points credit card.   Earn a free hotel night or two to supplement a trip?  Sign me up!  Over the course of the next ten years we would earn a few free nights a year.  Eventually we added the Hilton Amex and has a brief run with manufactured spending (thanks…

2018 Year End Update and Asset Allocation

"When the bear rears its ugly head, throw cash at it until it goes away" - Anonymous. 2018 has come to a close and I have now completed two thirds of the "work nine more months" plan. The fourth quarter came with gut wrenching excitement if you check your investment accounts on a regular basis (that's me!). Here is the year end update on our asset allocation and investments. There was some tinkering and attempts at market timing this quarter.…

Disclosing our Investment Policy Statement

The Investment Policy Statement: The written document between a portfolio manager and an investor outlining the investor’s goals and risk tolerances. As a do-it-yourself investor, this is a written document written by me and for me. The concept always seemed elusive to me, but I finally set down and formalized my Investment Policy Statement. Credit goes to the White Coat Investor for originally introducing this idea to me the recent market volatility for forcing me me formalize the IPS.  Today…

How Do You Handle an Irrational Market?

https://twitter.com/TomGartner/status/1075499140757499908?s=20 This chart was from Nov 30th, we're now way past that -10% drop! At the time of the time of this writing, the total stock market index is off by 17% from top to bottom.   Multiple other indexes are past a 20% decline, which defines the infamous bear market.  This is the worst decline from top to bottom since 2012’s decline of 19%.   If the total market index or the S&P 500 exceeds a 20% drop, this will be…

Reader Question: Do You Have An Opinion On Crowdfunded Real Estate?

Answer: Yes!  (Maybe the better question, what *don't* you have an opinion on) I had a reader ask me specifically about my opinion on "multifamily syndicates" and any advice I might have about them.   He had been hearing that these investments have recently been providing a 6%-8% cash on cash return then providing 1.5x to 2x the equity contributed at exit in three to five years. In full disclosure, these investments *have* been providing this level of return.  They have…

Setting a Tax Diversity Target

The 2019 IRS Limits for Retirement Accounts were recently released and savers will be able to put away more than ever into various tax deferred accounts. With that comes one of the occasional and sometimes political debates of what will happen to our retirement accounts in the future?  Potential negative risks in the future include means testing for deferral benefits, a cap on total account size, and a potential reduction of social security benefits based on retirement savings accounts. We…

Is Financial Planning This Complicated?

Should developing a Financial Plan be complicated?  One of the appeals of the Financial Independence movement is how easy the the planning formula is.  It can lure people in through simplicity and that's a good thing!  Save a pot of dollars, invest it in the total stock market index, and withdraw up to 4% per year.  If you want to figure out when you'll be financially independent, run a quick spreadsheet or online calculator based on your savings, projected additions, and…

Why I’m Saving HSA Receipts Again

I wrote a year ago about why I stopped saving Health Savings Account Receipts.   We had accumulated a low five figure balance worth of HSA expenses but I was frustrated with the high fees and poor options available in my employer's plan.  The math said we were better off taking a distribution and putting that money in a low-fee and tax efficient index fund.   My employer finally made some changes to the plan and its time to update the original…

Hey Bro, its Crypto!

I was revisiting old posts from early in the blog and it has me reflecting on the rise and fall of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.   It was obvious hysteria between Thanksgiving and Christmas 2017.    The internet and financial independence forums were taken over by crypto-bros, bragging about how much money they made in Bitcoin and writing nonsense about various "currencies", ICOs (initial coin offerings), and discussing building "mining rigs".   If you attempted to debate them, they would respond with…

The Math of Financial Independence & FIRE

FIRE can be a controversial topic to the masses. Look at any of the comment sections on a featured article it'll be full of the emotional responses of fear, anger, jealously, rage.  Those of us who write about Financial Independence have a responsibility to be transparent about how we made it because there aren't shortcuts to financial independence.   The math is four components:  Income, expenses, investment returns, and time.  Everyone's features about financial independence includes four parts to the story.…

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