May 2020 Financial Update

Hello there! Yes, it’s been awhile.

There are good problems to have in life. One of those good problems when you are the owner operator of a business is too much work. Now when I say too much it really means enough that you are consistently busy and are not sitting around hoping for something to do. This is where I currently find myself and I can’t complain. The only downside is that this blog is suffering from neglect.

May was a record month for our little business and we couldn’t be happier. We are fortunate to be in an industry that continued through the pandemic and as long as interest rates stay low we should continue to be busy. Financially I’m not making the same money I did in the corporate world but I also do not have the negativity that comes with that life. There is no boss to report to, no deadlines that have to be made and no office politics or fear of losing my job. Because of this there are also no sleeplessness nights or anxiety. To me the trade off is well worth it.

One of the perks of being a business owner is definitely being able to make my own schedule. We took advantage this in May and decided to head out in our RV for a four day break from the madness. It was much needed and welcome break. Usually I send out a few pics but it didn’t even occur to me to take one to begin with. We just wanted a change of scenery and to relax with mojitos in hand and it was wonderful.

We recently had an exciting development. Our son is officially done with high school. This had to be the most anticlimactic endings for a high school graduation in history. We received an email from the school saying seniors are done. Very classy! No celebration, no fan fair, no ceremony. Just an email. But if we want we can go by the school at a scheduled time and take a picture in the cap and gown. Yippie!

By the sound of it the Fall college semester is going to move forward like normal but we will find out for sure in mid-June. If so this means our plans for college road trip 2020 will move forward as well. Following that trip we move into the next phase of life which is sell and downsize to full time RV life. To think we are merely two months away from the start of this process is crazy! After all we have been planning for this moment for years. In the meantime we are trying not to get too excited until it’s official. They could always start the semester remotely which will push everything back months and throw a wrench in our plans.

On the financial side, things are definitely looking up. The markets are rebounding from the Covid lows and the economy is beginning to open up. I know a lot of people are confused by the markets moving up during uncertain times. Some people think it doesn’t make sense and is manipulated. The media tends to claim people that invest don’t care and are just greedy. The explanation is really a simple one, Markets are forward looking and react accordingly.

When covid hit stocks tanked because of fear and uncertainty. Now that the economy is opening they are moving up on optimism and the removal of that uncertainty. To put it another way, bad things happen and markets react accordingly. As the picture becomes clearer the markets settle and look forward. It doesn’t matter if the bad thing still exists because it’s now a known factor and already priced in. The focus is on where we are heading next.

The economy was extremely strong prior to covid and because of that the rebound will probably be strong also. Or at least that’s what investors are banking on. Will we get back to 3% unemployment and 4% growth? Probably not anytime soon, but it’s a possibility. The fact that investors feel the underlying strength is still in place is enough to give them that level of optimism. Had the economy been poor or flat prior to covid we would not be having this type of move. The real test comes when actual data and guidance for the second and third quarter starts rolling in. That is the point where optimism hits reality and the markets will adjust accordingly.

As long term investors with a timeframe of decades we don’t really do anything based on this data. However, it’s good to watch, learn and understand what is driving the markets. We might not trade on the information, but we do make life decisions based on our financial situation.

For example, if I reached FI in the last six months or plan to in the near future and was looking for an exit point to pursue the next phase of life I would probably not make that leap just yet. First, it’s not smart to stop working in a down economic time if you can help it and second I would be giving up opportunity to add to my positions at lower prices. I would wait until the data reaffirmed the optimism and look for an exit point farther down the road. If the data does not improve then nothing changes and we keep plugging away until the economy is on solid financial footing.

We can’t time the markets but we can time our decisions around the economic cycle to give ourselves the best opportunity at success in the long term. I encourage people to pay attention to the data and what’s moving the markets as opposed to people’s and our own emotion in the moment.

Here is where we ended the month of May 2020:

Portfolio = $1,001,314

Portfolio Goal = $1,500,000

Amount needed to reach goal = $498,686

Our portfolio increased by $41,756 or 4.35% from the end of April

Year-to-date our portfolio is down 4.41%

Net Worth = $1,214,165

This is an increase of $40,342 or 3.44% from the end of April

Year-to-date our Net Worth is down 2.94%

Look at that, we are back to a seven figure portfolio! And to only be down 4.41% after all that has happened is pretty amazing. It just shows that continued investing during troubled times helps to turbo charge your returns in the recovery phase. It can be stomach churning at the moment but if you have the means you have to make that leap.

Over the next few months we will probably have some volatility in our numbers regardless of market conditions. We are getting to that bittersweet point every parent with a college age kid deals with. We will have to pay out of pocket for a lot of things like moving expenses, books and (gulp) tuition. This will no doubt put us into negative cash flow for a short period of time.

After this initial shock and making our move into the RV we hope to make up this cash shortfall. But it’s going to be tough for awhile to adjust to this new reality.

Thank you as always for reading our blog. We have a lot of exciting adventures coming up and will be sharing them on Instagram as they happen. Make sure to click on the button to the right and follow us there as well.

We look forward to the future and appreciate any feedback you might have.

Until next time………………….

Joe

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