There is not much more that can be said about our current situation than we outlined in our previous blog. The good news is that there is now light at the end of the tunnel and we are taking everything one day at a time.
Financially the month of March was pretty good considering we had a large cash outlay to pay off our son’s first year of college. Due to this expense we expected that we would, at the very least, have a negative month. We were really just hoping it wasn’t too negative. Throughout the month the markets were very choppy due to rising yields, inflation concerns and of course covid-19. In the end some positive news pushed the markets up and much to our surprise we were able to squeak out a small gain.
March is one of those fun months where you get to watch dividends roll in and get reinvested. This March was much better in that respect than 2020 was as the economy seems to be slowly moving in the right direction and we also boosted one of our core positions which always gives us a nice quarterly payout. As a result our first quarter dividends jumped up to $5,179 this year compared to $3,684 from the same time period last year. That’s a year over year increase of 40%. Definitely can’t complain about that now can we!
Here is where we ended the month of March 2021:
Portfolio = $1,476,943
Portfolio Goal = $1,500,000
Amount needed to reach goal = $23,057
Our portfolio increased by $1,024 or 0.07% from the end of February
Year-to-date our portfolio has increased by 19.92%
Net Worth = $1,507,392
This is an increase of $5,945 or 0.40% from the end of February
Year-to-date our Net Worth has increased by 4.53%
It doesn’t look like the best month at first glance but let’s remember we shelled out a few tens of thousands of dollars in college tuition money. Factoring that in, any gain is a good gain when you start out in that deep of a hole. Also, this is just the first installment of two so we get to do it all over again in the Fall or early Winter.
Overall we are very pleased with our results. Now that we are getting back to some sort of normalcy, aside from the whole accident and living in a body shop parking lot thing, and the dust is settling from our transition to full time RV life we are able to start budgeting based on actual living expenses. This is giving us a better look into the future of what living this lifestyle is actually going to cost us each month. As we get settled it will also be interesting to see how accurate our budget estimates were that we prepared in the months and years leading up to our transition. We will not truly know the answer to this until we can get back on the road and finnish getting everything set up in South Dakota.
As we sit now, literally, we are only $23k away from our goal of $1.5M which is really something. Only a college tuition payment kept us from achieving it in March and while we do have anther installment later this year to take into consideration we are so close. Being able to say we achieved our F.I.R.E. goal just two years after starting this blog will be a great accomplishment and an exciting moment. Maybe it will happen in April, fingers crossed!
As for the markets going forward I would expect it to remain choppy. We are in a moment in time that I would still consider uncharted waters. It’s like a battle royal for the heart and sole of the economy. Between stimulus payments, bond yields, jobs data, inflation worries, manufacturing concerns, housing prices, housing supplies and mortgage rates who knows how we will come out of this period of time. It could be the start of the boom of all booms or there could be something lurking around the corner that could be a negative catalyst. Not to sound pessimistic, but we have seen it happen before in 2000, 2008, 2011, 2018 and of course 2020. Just when you think everything is going along great the bottom falls out. And with the fed and other governments pumping out cash and credit on demand we shouldn’t pretend to know exactly how this will all play out.
To combat uncertainty in unprecedented times we follow the time tested tradition of sticking to our long term strategy of steady and consistent investing and reinvesting. We also hold enough liquidity to both ride out and take advantage of any downturn. The old wall street adage is that bull markets climb a wall of worry. Let’s hope that holds true as we forge through these uncharted waters. If not, we are ready.
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Until next time…………………