Website . We haven’t changed our strategy at all. As an “early retiree”…. Community See All. Thanks! I told the seller that I would need additional money off the home to continue the purchase. She retired at 41, and I retired at 43. We have enough money to support our lifestyle for the rest of our lives, with enough in stocks to stay ahead of inflation. Thanks for the link, Jess! Two questions, sorry if already answered in your post, I am reading this while working and phone calls. Which means I have too much cash at hands, sitting in my brokerage account. The home was being sold at about 15% below market so I had to have it. Added it to my list so thanks for the recommendation! offers. I have already been doing this for 2 years and am just looking at which cards to get going forward now. JL Collins is here with his answer. As you mentioned, your portfolio will never be perfectly targeted for long. We experienced the fastest 30% drop in stocks ever and then got to enjoy a 30%+ rebound immediately after. In an up market you’ll end up overweight in stocks. Keep it coming! With so many cards out in the market and the never ending confusion on which one is best for you, this is something that can come in handy. Very timely and interesting. We had just sold our house in Scotland for over 50% more than we bought it for 2.5 years earlier and I was going to start investing that money into the markets. I started off buying a lot of ETFs, bordering on stock picking, and then went to stock picking. Join over 100,000 others on the Mad Fientist email list and get instant access to my FI Spreadsheet! Required fields are marked *. Ironically, that’s when my card tool started earning more money so rather than use the cash to live on, like I had expected, I started accumulating more cash. I love the site but does it work with google chrome? But what if a new COVID-19 treatment gets approved tomorrow or something else happens that causes markets to keep going up from here? While today’s FI number might make it possible to maintain a comfortable, somewhat minimalist lifestyle indefinitely, I’m worried that one day I wish there was more money available for X that I hadn’t planned for. Thanks for all the wonderful posts! My partner and I did a frenzy of cards – 1 a month each for about 6-8 months to build up our balances (this was just an experiment) and once we got to about $12,000 in travel value, we haven’t gotten any new cards and are spending down our points whilst still accumulating on the one card we each use. Corporate bonds and mortgage bonds have correlation. I’m not necessarily talking about medical bills, but that one’s preferences might change in the future. I prefer letting the markets do their thing and I don’t have to take responsibility for jumping in and out. Had MadFientist, relatively new to trying to piece all this together so really enjoyed this read. Would an automated rebalancing portfolio achieve roughly the same effect (e.g. We just started trying our hand at this a few days ago. Although the Personal Capital advisor had great ideas and plans, the fees would cut out almost all of the extra gains of having an advisor. Haha, I feel your pain. My portfolio is about 80% vtsax and 20% cash. At inception, in 2008, VT share price was $50, to give you some perspective. Forgot account? As you can see, it’s an extremely difficult situation to be in, even if you get out at the right time. There are a few things to consider when deciding which points/miles to get. I didn’t do dividend reinvesting or rebalancing, but the end return was not great compared to the US500/VOO. Served me very well through the recent crash. I go with Vanguard Total World in the IRA and Total Stock Market and Total International in taxable. At some point, don’t you run out of cards/point gaining opportunities? See more of Mad Fientist on Facebook. For example, you link to the Hyatt Visa Signature card for 2 free nights isn’t the best available offer. I used the money I received to max out Roth contributions for my wife and I. Not Now. I haven’t had a problem just canceling outright and then reapplying with an issuer as needed…. We made a couple “great” buys recently because the market drops coincided with first week of the month. Problems. Not Now. So what do you do with all the credit cards? I reworked my asset allocation this year, because I think that my portfolio size now also allowes for some more granularity. I have a slightly different approach than you. Now I know, that my portfolio can be 100% equities. Maternal sensitive period? Still wouldn’t be fast enough to catch a flash crash… but what other choices are there? Awesome web app! Yessir. I actually have over $18,000 worth of miles/points still sitting in my accounts that I can use for future travel. Miles and points have allowed me to travel to 50 countries while pursuing financial independence and will help me travel to even more now that I’ve stopped working. – Setting allocation rules based on drawdown. Is there any reason that I should NOT close out the cards after I have transferred the points to an airline program and used them for travel. Award Wallet is nice for storing point balances, but does not help at all with credit cards. Everything I’ve read has been super clear on the process except for the process of closing/canceling cards. In 2008! I’ve been wanting to figure out how to travel hack my way to Paris for a while now. His strategy would be to potentially buy properties in two locations, and rent them out during peak season (one with peak season in winter, one … I know you can’t get a referral link for it so you may not want to point readers to that offer but I thought it was worth pointing out. Did you wish you had constructed your portfolio differently to better handle a big drop like that? We’ve been opening an average of 2-3 cards per person every 90 days. What is the process of pulling bonds out of your IRA when you need to spend them? On Mad Fientist, Brandon offers a free, downloadable Excel spreadsheet to help others calculate when they can afford to retire. Mad Fientist. All I can find are explanations of what Limit Orders are– but I can’t find the button to actually execute it, or any sort of how-to content! Nice post on this Mad Fientist. In short they are a poor choice for ballast and that is why many go for government bonds only for their bond allocation. U mad hoe? I’m happy to go to 100% stocks when they are (relatively) cheap, but will tack back to 10% bonds where I am most comfortable (right now I’m at 3.4% bonds). Great article! After the markets had already fallen ~12% from their highs and I felt like much more falling was possible, I created a spreadsheet for my cash-deploying strategy. I already hit my FI number so why try to get an outsized return with 100% stocks and deal with the increased risks associated with that allocation when I already have enough? The picture at the top of this post is a picture of me drinking ~$200/bottle Krug champagne at 5:10am in Doha, Qatar (all thanks to an American Airlines award redemption). Investing is risky business. – Do you consider real estate as part of your fixed income? Brandon, I think your strategy is a stellar approach. How does that work? Thanks for sharing this Brandon! That’s why I now set up limit orders whenever I expect a volatile open. Unemployment is soaring, the virus is still killing thousands of people, and the full ramifications of the economic shutdowns aren’t fully apparent yet. I added new money on drops of approximately 10%, 15%, 20%, 25% and 30%. Mad Fientist. Mad Fientist. For example, I have most of my taxable stock portfolio in their Merrill Edge account anyway, therefore getting me a better rewards %: https://www.bankofamerica.com/credit-cards/products/bankamericard-travel-rewards-credit-card/. I appreciate your honesty on this one. Especially since columns D, F, and G aren’t affected at all by changing the “to invest” amount. I plan on canceling and starting another one at that time to get some more points stored up. Other quick question – No international bond index funds for you? Hope you’ve been doing well! 870-637 Phone Numbers Market featured photo viewer and manager. –continue a sub 3% withdrawal rate begin to repair and eventually increase the overall score. I love the don’t sell rule for your FI portfolio, as I follow that as well – except to grab a free TLH opportunity, which I did at the market dump. Economies have shut down. When I remembered, I decided to assume this mess could go on a solid year, so I should DCA from 70/30 to 90/10 over a year. I feel like I could have written this post. She the one run. What I decided to do my project on was to see why Magnesium still burn even with dry ice covering it. Hi! I found some time last week, after meeting with a Personal Capital advisor, and decided to manage my own financial plan. Your email address will not be published. Slippery when wet. But there is a second argument why it is so important for me to invest in Small Caps and to reduce the US: in Europe we tend to have smaller companies. Don’t know whether it is worth doing a UK version of MAD Travel Cards though, the Travel card industry isn’t as well developed as the US i think. I appreciate this post. 6027479386 Replaceable nylon shin deflector plate. I have no idea what my credit score is – probably around 800 – but I don’t really care since I don’t anticipate ever having to borrow money for anything again. Thanks for your work on the tool (as a software engineer myself I know how much time these things take to create). As soon as I graduated, I moved back over. ~20% MSCI Emerging Markets As quoted by JLC (?) I’m thinking I will deploy 1/4 of my cash if/when market drops 20% from the top on Feb 19th, another 1/4 if/when if goes down 30% from top, and a final 1/4 if/when it goes down 40%. 18 months for the card again to obtain another award bonus. So the impact wasn’t as bad as it could have been. I just wish I could automate it to do it daily within vanguard. I continued buying on the way down, but in smaller quantities like you. Thanks for the reply. But then wouldn’t you know it the market started going back up. – How often do you rebalance when out of range? Required fields are marked *. I don’t want to be sitting on a lot of cash but it doesn’t really make sense to keep adding to the FI portfolio either (since a <2.5% withdrawal rate could currently sustain our spending, which is extremely conservative). :D. The tool looks great, by the way! It seems like this is a similar strategy to re-balancing with bonds. I assume this is from your “cash buffer” basket. What would you like to have your portfolio look like at this stage? I let the taxable account float with world market cap. That would mean your real allocation has something like 6% – 10% cash. That frontier is using intermediate treasuries, which have a strong negative correlation to stocks. Looking forward to using it. Hey Mike, the numbers in the spreadsheet and screenshots are all just dummy numbers so they’re not mine. So how do you find the best signup bonuses? In that period of time, you can amass quite a few cards, especially between two people. See more of Mad Fientist on Facebook. I can’t remember the exact percentages but I let’s say I invested 30% of the money I planned to invest. You should be looking to have more equal exposure to the various industries and sizes of companies. Many blogs seem to advocate for blanket US market funds, which does not seem comprehensive. bonus point categories, min spend requirements, spend-by dates, consider-cancelling dates, etc)? Drift is basically how far off from my target percentages my investments have moved. You are not adequately exposed to those industries because many of the businesses are smaller sized. Set it up when you’re thinking clearly, then follow the rules! The rest is in corporate bonds. I’d be really pissed off I missed out on all those gains but I’d also worry an even bigger pullback is possible. The Mad Fientist (aka Brandon Ganch) saved his money and left a career as a computer programmer in his early 30s to pursue a life of early retirement.Along the way on his blog and podcast, he shared the spreadsheets, techniques, and insights that allowed him to achieve financial independence sooner in life.. I am glad I didn’t listen and convinced her to stick to plan, or we would have lost more several thousand dollars in our investment accounts. We then grab bonuses that we can use for cash back OR gift cards from Capital One, and whatever else comes our way. My husband decided to stay on working his FT job and basically turn that into his side hustle for the time being… since we are waiting to move overseas (from Texas) until the Spring instead of August. Taxable? It shouldn’t be hard to find a referral link around the internet that will let you try the premium version free for 6-months. But we got rid of all of them, the last one a few months before the outbreak. ABOUT US. I’ve done the same thing. I’ve read other FIRE bloggers state up to 3-4 years worth of expenses in cash. Thanks, Drew. I’ve accepted that I’m a fallible human. At the time of my comment (mid-July 2020) HYSA are down to ~1% and money markets are close to 0%. I have an award wallet account for the miles portion since I travel quite a bit for work, but curious on the spend/bonus requirement tracking as you mentioned earlier in this article. Thanks for this great post. How could I buy stocks in this environment when things are looking worse than they were in early February? I don’t know what came over me, I don’t know why I even felt I could ask that – or if it was even legal – but she agreed. ~10% MSCI Emerging Markets Small Cap. As someone who ponders the inner workings of life I can’t believe you did this without a reason….please share :), Thanks for sharing the spreadsheet. And wouldn’t you know my luck, I made the transfer right before the market collapsed. I continued to DCA into the TSP the maximum allowable by law during the Covidcrash and found myself hoping that prices stayed low for several more years so that I could accumulate more shares each payday. Few years from retirement. Most cards make you spend a certain amount within the first x months to get the signup bonus so you need to make sure you’ll be able to hit that amount without spending more than you normally would. I signed up for the email service, but the card you recommended to me I already got 2 years ago. I’ve tried looking on Vanguard support, Google, and YouTube. As I learned, putting money into a falling market is a lot more difficult than it seems. But it’s only recently that I’ve discovered the FI journey and all the various cards and offerings that are out there. Ever think about creating an online application for Travel Hackers to track and manage the credit cards they’ve signed up for (i.e. We will see if I’m glad in 10 years! This is perfect, I look forward to using the tool and receiving the emails! It doesn’t make sense to buy things you don’t need just so you can get free miles so make sure you can meet the spend requirement with ordinary spending. My cash wasn’t being productive so I wanted to diversify into bonds but they seemed like they were terrible investments at the time too. As you can guess, I still have quite cash uninvested, because the market did not crash as low as the plan. ‘As Mike Tyson famously said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”‘. The point is, your emotions are trying to force you to change your actions but systems and rules help you fight against that. You are picking equity risk premium, intermediate duration, almost all US, by picking total bond market fund. I would have assumed it was a dead-cat bounce and stocks would go even lower soon. We may wait a or so, but it all eventually goes into stocks. Here’s my conservative but lucrative strategy in a nutshell: Since I now have an incredible new email service provider that allows me to easily create different segments and email sequences, I’ve created a new email series for anyone who would like to implement my approach for accumulating miles and points. Thank you! Before proceeding with an application though, there are a few other things to keep in mind when deciding which card to get…. We’re at 10k ourselves (when factoring the Sapphire Reserve’s 50% bonus, or 60% bonus when transferring them to SW). Loss harvesting not only game me tax advantage, over time it made my lots larger. We also have some cards that we leave open (either they are no annual fee or we like the benefits so we choose to pay the annual fee). So I decided to wait and see. We got to choose anything we wanted to study that involves chemistry. Excellent system. I usually prepay my bills when I have a big spend requirement I’m trying to hit so that way, I’m just front-loading my expenses rather than increasing them. Whatever money we got our hands on went into the market ASAP. I did not see how your system can deal with this. I dont think the added 1% return in bonds over cash is worth the risk since the bond price could go down, in case I wanted to liquidate and use for real estate or another investment. What’s in My Portfolio (and How I Manage It) The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has caused stocks to crash. New football hotbed in the hugely popular arcade racing game! Assuming I did stay in cash, I would have felt like a genius a few weeks later when everything dropped 30%+ but then I would have had to figure out when to get back in, which is even more difficult. Website . It’s one of my go-to resources, lots of other blogsites haven’t fallen by the wayside! peak “fear”), what record highs feel like (i.e. Great post, thanks for sharing! Wish I had that – ooooohhhh – say around 2-3 months ago…?? Living in the States with the largest GDP in the World, this bias seems ok but, with the UK being a long way down the league table, I am much more sceptical about holding too much in UK stocks. Especially here in Germany we have many smaller companies (the US would call them micro companies ;) ), and probably the majority of them are not listed on the stockmarket. I’m exactly the same. Build a Portfolio Like Ours: Check out our FREE Investment Workshop! The EFA fund holds 26% of its holdings from Japan. There was an error submitting your subscription. There’s no way I would have bought back into stocks on March 23rd because, at the time, it felt like stocks could easily drop another 20%+ since people were still freaking out and the virus was looking really bad. I use 3 ETF limit orders -5% =1 share ; -10% = 2 shares ; -15% or more = 3 shares Otherwise, we are basically 100% stocks while employed. Train a boxer to become less subject to disclaimer and privacy protection. Bathroom renovation happiness! But education as another opportunity to develop business and beyond. What are you thoughts on your portfolio compared to what robo advisors suggest re: diversification? If that is the case, have you heard that helps? COVID has just been the latest in series of “punches in the mouth” for me over the last year. How do you make sure your bonds are available when you need them? : Yep, struggled with this concept for years. So I determined a value $x where I could invest $x at -15%, $1.5x at -20%, $2x at -25%, $3x at -30%, $3x at -35%, and $3x at -40%. We’re currently traveling the world and many of our expenses have been reduced or eliminated due to travel hacking. Want an orange? I remember the market bottom vividly because I was at my grandparent’s house in Florida and I was going to do my normal small investment but the market had gone up that day. Camp Mustache – Q&A with Mr. Money Mustache, Afford Anything, & The Military Guide. ~20% Russel 2000 (Small Cap USA) Jason addresses these issues and shows you the biology behind some of it and why the intensity of feelings are so strong. or. This is my first time through a bear market as an informed investor, and I will say that implementing my strategy was much more difficult than I thought it would be. I absolutely agree! I’m just getting into this for the first time, hoping to get 100k United miles! Another awesome post man. The Alaska offer does have a direct link: Yes, getting back in must be excruciatingly difficult so that’s why I buy low-cost, diversified funds that I know I’ll never want to sell and then I never sell them :). Any future plans to have a Canadian version? I’ll also describe what I’ve learned from the current crisis and explain how I’ve enhanced my rules based on what I’ve learned. Learn how we flew all the way around the world and visited 14 counties on 4 different continents for only $947.91 per person! Brandon, great post. 100% This. barclay arrival, amex everyday, etc.) This other portfolio is even better than your normal investment portfolio because…. And this year, I’ve pulled the trigger at 35. I had a look at the mad fientist portfolio using 70/30 split between VTI & VXUS over ten years. –continue automatic buy-ins in small monthly amounts–dlr-cost-avg The new lows didn’t happen so I didn’t invest. The best savings accounts I’m seeing today are at 1.5% I thought I’d be prepared this time but my brain and emotions still got in the way so I needed more rules/systems. Side Note: It is surprising how easy it is to delude yourself into thinking you know where the markets are going, no matter how many times you failed to make accurate predictions in the past! I can’t thank you enough for all you have done to improve my financial life. I’ve been trying to find a way around this to maximize my return on expenses but haven’t quite found a way to do this…. Nice post. As you said, this would be rather confusing for the average person, especially for certain trial and error private browsing window shenanigans to get the best Amex cc offers. I don’t have anything besides passive income coming in – and I typically rebalance once a year after I do my taxes. Thanks a lot for that direct Alaska link! I’m a big-time points junkie, so this will work great for me. Virtually every card is NOT worth the $ annual fee the 2nd year. A few days later, it got much MUCH worse. The opportunity to learn about myself has been unparalleled. With FI approaching very soon (is Friday the 13th a bad day for that?!) Do you have a recommended way of keeping track of all of the requirements and such. Thank you, looking forward to your suggestions. US Stocks (VTSAX/VTI) 50% I too bought during the drop but ended up putting most of my dry powder to work after 10-15% drop and only marginal amounts the last week of March. – 20,000 bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening – which can be redeemed for a $200 statement credit toward travel purchases. It looks like you selectively used 1970-2008 for equities and 1960-2004 for bonds. Perhaps I will rebalance if the portfolio becomes too “out of whack,” but in general, I won’t invest more if the market goes up, down, or all around. Imma recreate my portfolio spreadsheet with Brandon’s stuff as well as this drift calculation and see if I can sort out a slightly tighter management process. Dome sweet home. Now it’s like a hobby that I enjoy. Hacking in 2014 doing two rounds of three cards each, mixing different banks and spend requirements, dates! 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