September was a month of change and closure. Once the month ended so too did the third quarter of the year, along with my full time employment in the corporate world. I’m not sad to see either one of them go.
As we start a new month and a new quarter I am also officially self employed. That has a great ring to it, and it makes me proud to be able to say it. However, saying it and doing it are two separate things and it didn’t take long for this new reality to set in.
In just a few days I have had to really step outside of my comfort zone. I won’t go as far to say I am an introvert, but I am a very shy person. Talking with people I don’t know is very hard for me even on a personal level. Now as a business owner I am being forced to break out of that shell and not only talk to people, but in a manner that convinces them to consider me for their business.
My first task was to travel to all of the relevant local businesses and introduce myself. I probably visited fifteen businesses and there wasn’t a single instance that I didn’t have to talk myself into getting out of the car. This process usually included a few choice words and ended with challenging myself to just do it. I hope in the future this part of the job gets easier, but on this day every stop was a nerve wracking tug-o-war between the heart and my brain.
The next reality was when I removed my regularly scheduled paychecks from my personal finance system. It’s a very sobering moment when you see what’s budgeted for expenditures and you just lopped off 40% of your income from the budget. It’s even more sobering when your new business doesn’t have any clients or cash flow yet. Lucky we have a good amount of savings or things could go south in an expeditious manner.
The big question is how does this impact our F.I.R.E. journey? I expect for the time being we will see a negative impact on our savings and a decent amount of cash burn. We had to lay out a chunk of money to get everything set up and also to acquire the necessary office equipment and supplies for the business. Now that everything is in place I don’t foresee anymore business expenses for a few months. On the personal side we need to control our spending and keep our cash flow as close to even as possible while working to generate income from the business. I’m also looking at doing some gig jobs just to help decrease the negative cash flow rate.
All of this brings us to where we ended the month of September and the third quarter of the year. This is our new baseline and the point where we start this new and exciting chapter in our journey. As has been normal for this year September was a roller coaster, but this time it ended in the right direction.
Normally I would be excited heading into the fourth quarter, but these are not normal times. October has historically always been a toss up month. Some of the largest stock market crashes in history have happened in October. However, we have also had nice run ups into the end of the year as well. The way the month has started so far it could go either way. Four trading days in and we have already had a massive sell off followed by strong buying. It seems that there is a faction of people looking for an excuse to sell at any moment and a faction of people looking to capitalize on it. So which side wins out is the million dollar question.
My thoughts, for what it’s worth, is that we continue to head on a jagged and nerve racking path upwards. Despite the trade uncertainty and political gamesmanship going on, you can’t ignore the fact that the economy is strong, unemployment is low and interest rates are going lower. Based on this the stock market is the place to put your money if you want a return on investment. This is solely my opinion and I could be wrong, but that’s how I see it at this time.
Here is where we finished the month of September:
Portfolio- $991,163 (Cash and Investments)
Portfolio Goal – $1,500,000
Amount needed to reach goal – $508,836
Our portfolio increased by $28,464 or 2.96% from the end of August.
Year-to-date we are up 19.20%.
Net Worth – $1,192,097
This is an increase of 1.86% from the end of August.
Year-to-date we are up 17.67%
Not a bad month! We continued to flirt with the seven figure portfolio threshold throughout the month but never managed to cross it. Every time we got close there was a sell off that brought us back down. Now with our anticipated cash burn it will be interesting to see if we are able to gather enough gains to offset the cash outlay and make a run at the million dollar portfolio mark.
We look forward to keeping everyone updated on this new leg of our journey. We think it will be exciting and challenging as well as a great learning experience for us. We also believe that sharing the good, bad and the ugly will not only help us grow, but it might be beneficial to others that are thinking of venturing out on their own.
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Until next time…………….