Let’s just get the obvious out of the way. March was a disaster for the markets, the country and the world. People are losing their jobs, their savings, their friends and their family members. It has been a pretty dire situation for the last month as we all try to cope with this reality. Bottom line, it sucks!
One thing I love about our country is that we tend to pull together during big events and do what’s best for the greater good. I think MMM hit the nail on the head with his write up about the situation. You can read it here. For the most part people are doing what needs to be done to get us past this horrific moment in history and back on track as a society. This is encouraging to see and we will be successful. Continue reading “March 2020 Financial Update”→
Oh where to begin on this one? In our January update we talked about the end of the month impact on the financial markets from the Coronavirus. At that time we had some panic selling that turned the markets negative for the month and wiped out some nice gains. I was tempted to buy into the market, but ultimately decided to hold off which turned out to be a good decision.
Then came February and the panic took full hold with massive irrational moves to the downside. For me, it was time to move once we passed the 10% correction threshold. I half jokingly tweeted on Friday the 28th as the market closed that I thought we were near the bottom.
By this time I had already made my move.
This was a decision based on how the market was reacting at the time. Although they were still down on the day the Dow clawed its way back up from a 1000 point loss to close down 400 and the NASDAQ actually closed green by less than a point. It wasn’t about timing the market because as I have said before, that is a fool’s errand. The market was showing some level of buying support and that is something I look for in irrational times. It turned out to be a good move so far as the markets rallied on Monday and even with Tuesday’s Fed-induced pullback, they are still off their lows as I write this.
Now, I don’t write this to pat myself on the back. The markets could have, and still can, very easily collapse further. Because of this I also hedged by increasing a monthly contribution in case there is a need to average down. Either way we keep buying at reduced prices for the time being.
The point of this is that there is no reason to panic in uneasy times. It sucks to lose money, but there are long term benefits for those that can keep a level head and see the big picture. There are a ton of quotes from the Warren Buffett’s of the world that we could insert here, but I’m sure you already know them and they don’t need to be constantly repeated.
This is the beauty of having a long term investing outlook. Our timeframe is not today, tomorrow, next month, next year or even next decade. Our timeframe is forever. Again, insert Warren Buffet quote here.
So let’s see where all of this market madness dropped us off at the end of February:
Portfolio = $992,770
Portfolio Goal = $1,500,000
Amount needed to reach goal = $507,230
Our portfolio decreased by $52,319 or 5.01% from the end of January
Year-to-date our portfolio is down 5.33%
Net Worth = $1,203,920
This is a decrease of $50,557 or 4.03% from the end of January
Year-to-date our Net Worth is down 3.75%
As you can see we took quite a hit in February. It’s probably the worst we have had when it comes to dollars, but not on a percentage basis. This puts us back at September 2019 levels which in the big picture isn’t too bad considering the run we have been on.
If I have one small thing I was a little bummed about is was falling below the $1M portfolio threshold. But that quickly rebounded and hopefully it stays that way. I understand that this was more likely than not to happen eventually because we need market corrections for long term growth.
So where do we go from here? I stand by my statement that this virus, while bad, is not the real reason for the market sell off. It might be the catalyst, but it’s not the reason. The reason is that the markets were overheated and well overdue for a correction. The virus gave people looking for a reason to sell their opportunity to do so. Once that process started and fear set in, it snowballed with a little help from the folks in the media. You might disagree but that’s my opinion.
Going forward I expect this hysteria to wind down and for the markets to refocus on economic conditions and the upcoming election. There is no doubt that there will be some impact on corporate earnings and the economic indicators will also take a hit. However unless there is a sudden and dramatic increase in cases and deaths in the United States I believe this will only be a speed bump in the road for the economy as opposed the full blown recession some in the media are fearing. As I have said before, the November election poses a larger risk to the economy than the Coronavirus. Again, my opinion.
March brings the end of the 1st quarter which also means dividend payouts will start rolling in. I’m hoping some of the moves we made at the end of last year increases our dividend income. March will be our first chance to compare our new allocation against the same period last year. I’m not expecting a huge increase but I would like to see movement in the right direction.
We continue to inch towards the Summer months which is when the fun really begins. Stay tuned for that.
Have you ever tried timing selling everything you own, including your home, while trying to work, plan a three week road trip, assist a kid preparing to start college with trying to get scholarships all while also making accommodations so you have a future place to live? Yeah, it’s a-lot of fun.
Thank you for taking time to read our blog. We look forward to bringing you updates on our future adventures as they unfold. One thing is for sure, it’s going to be very busy.
In our last blog I discussed that we are moving forward with going full time in our RV later this year. As you will recall we didn’t expect to have to make plans so far in advance, but it became quickly apparent after a visit to one of the resorts that we were actually almost too late. Since then we put down deposits for November and December to reserve a space.
While this is a current unexpected expense, it is refundable if we don’t meet our timeframe goal and need to cancel. It also gives us some much needed flexibility by booking two months instead of one. Additionally if we do meet our November 1st goal, the deposits go toward the space and the out of pocket cost will be lower at that time. So there really is no risk of losing any money by making this move and it gives us peace of mind. Continue reading “Full-Time RV Finances”→
As we inch closer to March it has quickly become clear that we need to start making some plans and decisions.
We were at our favorite campground recently and stopped by the office to inquire about their extended stay rates for when we decide to go full time in our RV. They gave us the rate, which is just below our budgeted amount 👍🏻, and then the young lady said we had better book it soon as October is already getting full. Wait, what? October is getting full already? Are you kidding me?
This comment thrusted us into a situation of needing to better understand how this whole process works as we were not planning on making a decision until after the College Road Trip 2020 in August/September. It turns out now there is no way we can wait that long if we hope to have a place to live after our house sells. What we thought would be a smooth glide until the second half of the year is now turning out to be a sprint to a goal date. Continue reading “Reality Bites”→
As goes January so goes the year. Well, that’s the old Wall St. adage at least. If that holds true we are in for a down year I guess. But wait, wasn’t January was flying high until the dreaded Coronavirus started spreading across the globe. So are we now saying a week of panic selling is now indicative of the entire month and in turn the entirety of 2020? You see how ridiculous old adages and knee jerk panic selling and buying can be. Continue reading “January 2020 Financial Update”→
2019 was a year of change and planning for our future.
After stumbling onto the F.I.R.E. movement and realizing we didn’t need to work into our 60’s, or even mid 50’s as we had always planned, we started taking our finances more serious. We cut back quite a bit on our spending and increased our savings rate nicely. We have never been able to accomplish a 50% plus savings rate because we have always had a sizable lifestyle and also took on the equivalent of a second mortgage with our RV. However, we did manage to move the needle in the right direction after cutting some costs and scaling back on frivolous spending.
On the downside, sort of, when I decided to move on from my job and start our business our savings rate went down to almost nothing for the last quarter of the year. Hopefully this is just a small set back as the business grows and contributes more to our finances. Continue reading “2019 Year In Review”→
It has been a few weeks now since our RV was damaged in a incident at a truck stop. You can read up on that here if you missed it. This has been a major bummer for us as we have had to cancel two trips now and have been stuck at home on weekends. The good news is that we finally got word this week that the repairs are completed and our RV is ready to be picked up.
The worry however, as with any vehicle, is that there will be additional issues that need to be worked out or that some things will not work the same as they did prior to the accident. I guess we will cross that bridge when we get to it. Also, our insurance waived our deductible so we are not out of pocket for any money. In the end, we got the best results out of a bad situation and we are grateful for that. Continue reading “This and That……”→
This past Summer we enjoyed a wonderful family adventure. We visited Yellowstone National Park and a whole host of other states and campgrounds. It was our assumption that this trip would be the last time our son would join us in the RV as he would be heading off to college next Fall. Well, it looks like we will be doing a little family road trip next year after all.
Now that our son has accepted admission to a big east coast U we started discussing the logistics of getting him and his stuff across the country. Our first thought was for us to fly there and ship all of the necessary items to him. This was going to be very expensive as flying is not cheap and neither is shipping. Our son is also a student athlete so we are not just talking about shipping some clothes and some bedroom items. We need to bring his gear also, which is a big and heavy bag. Continue reading “College Road Trip 2020”→
In our last blog update, read it here, I discussed that two weeks into our new business venture we hadn’t had a single job come our way which was a little disappointing. I also discussed how I have been working a side gig job to try and see if it was a viable way to earn some cash while building some business relationships. This past week everything changed.
After spending time going business to business, meeting people and handing out business cards I decided to do a cold call of a large agency. The response I received was the usual “we will have someone contact you about getting your business set up in our system” which I agreed to but didn’t think much about. About two hours later my phone rang and it was an associate calling to take down my business information. Again, I didn’t think much about it because I’ve already been down this road many times in the last two weeks. But this time, as we grew close to ending our conversation, the associate stopped and asked “do you want your first assignment right now?” My stomach sank and I paused because I couldn’t believe what just happened and I didn’t know if I was ready to answer yes at that very moment. So in a complete haze I answered “sure”. Continue reading “What A Difference A Week Makes!”→