How to save $200,000 in 6 years and retire before 45 41


 

Finally, our family achieved $200,000 of net worth today. Another major milestone has been reached for our Single Income No Kid (not yet) family. In the end of July 2006, I stepped on Canada as an English as a Second Language (ESL) student and 10 years later this random Korean immigrant’s net worth reached $200,000. It took me about 6 years since graduation of university.

 

starting point

Luckily I did not have any debt when I graduated. $2,000 is a very good starting point.

 

net worth 200K

My portfolio as of last night. Finally…. Let’s go $300K! (10.5% of cash position just in case Brexit happens)

 

People say, the first $100,000 is the hardest and yes it definitely was for me. Our net worth reached $100,000 in January 2015. It took about 4.5 years to achieve that however from $100,000 to $200,000, it only took about 1.5 years. I am very confident that it will take less than 1.5 years to achieve $300,000 milestone because that $200,000 is working 24/7 for our family to bring in more cash every single day through dividend incomes and capital gains from investing. I am on the right track to retire before 45.

 

200K graph

That wasn’t hard at all. Just stay focused! Step by Step.

 

 

Is $200,000 within 6 years sounds too good to be true?

 

What about $1,000,000 or $2,000,000 before 45 and retire permanently?

 

If this interests you then the following 5 key tips will guide you to amass sufficient money to retire from your job permanently and live life as you like on your own terms.

 

early retirement pic

Early retirement dream!

 

1. Understand who you are and set up your own goals

When I first came to Canada I was able to get some part time jobs working in kitchens and doing some chores making $7 per hour which was less than minimum wage at the time.

 

minimum wage pic

Yup. $7/ hour. It wasn’t great.

 

Although I was glad that I had a job at least paying some bills at the time while practicing my English a bit, I felt stuck in life. The employers dictated hours and days I work while only paying me $7 per hour. When I was growing up in Korea, I saw many foreign workers from developing countries in 3D sectors (Dirty, Dangerous and Demeaning) where not many Koreans prefer to work. I looked into a mirror and quickly realized that I was one of the foreign workers in Canada.

 

I was easily replaceable by other foreign workers who is willing to work for $7 per hour. The jobs I was doing could be done by anyone with very little or no educations. I was taken advantage by the employers due to the fact that I spoke poor English and was a fresh foreign worker without a university degree. Honestly, I was worth only $7 per hour person by my employers. Nothing more, nothing less… Quite sad huh?

 

That was the beginning of my awakenings. I flew 11,000 km from Korea to Canada to wake myself up.

 

I assessed myself. I….

-was around mid-20’s

-lived in Vancouver, Canada where English is one of its official languages but had no English skills whatsoever

-had a high school degree which was the highest degree I had

-no family and no close friend connections

-a return flight ticket to Korea and a visa expiring within a year

 

I knew I had to act quickly. Luckily I had two positive things going for me.

First, I just graduated from 2 years South Korean Military service so had a full of confidence and an anything-is-possible-attitude and

second, I had about $20,000 savings that I accumulated over my lifetime.

 

Once I assessed what I was missing, I started to set up my own goals.

A. Be fluent in English

B. Get higher educations and build irreplaceable skills

 

I had many small goals in between but those were two major goals.

 

I realized, in order to at least be treated equally, I need to speak fluent English. Basic communication skills are absolutely necessary. I surrounded myself with English only. I stopped anything to do with my own mother tongue. I read local free newspapers, I spoke only English even forced my Korean friends to speak English when we talked, I listened radio shows and news and I watched any kinds of TV shows and movies during my free time believing that this is the only way to learn. The results were surprisingly good. Within only a few months, I was able to at least communicate with most of native speakers without having too many problems, I started to pick up more words from TV shows and gaining a deeper understanding of the local cultures.

 

After setting up goals, I became focused. I was driven to achieve goals. I could be the best I can be by striving for highest potentials. That’s what setting up goals do to you. Goals motivate you and give you purpose but you gotta make sure stay focused because they can be easily neglected by stresses of life. When you are focused, you will be closer towards the goals and start knocking them off one by one before you know it.

bill copeland

 

As I said, you need to objectively assess yourself. The most important conversation you will ever have is the one you have with yourself. Self-assessment is an honest and a very humble process. You should ask yourself who you are right now and what you want to be in a near future. It may be painful to you right now but after 2-3 years you will be surprised by how much you have achieved. It is a process of asking who you are then better yourself. Once you self-reflected then you need to set up your own goals. Does not matter they are SMART goals or not. Just start something first. You will figure things out as you move along.

 

Let me share my first ‘goals paper’ that I created around March 2007 and used it until September 2013. The way I set up my goals is simple. One piece of A4 paper and fold in half from left to right. Then I put my career related goals in the left side and put hobby/ bucket list related goals on the right side. I added a goal and a hobby at a time. Some goals were quite silly and embarrassing when I think of them now, some were quite serious and some were considered to be almost impossible at the time.

 

goals picture

Quite embarrassing when I see it now but it wasn’t funny when I put the goals up.

 

Both sides are equally important. (What’s the point of life if you don’t have any hobbies? 🙂 )

The picture was taken a while ago and I created another goals paper that I am using that is less career oriented but more value oriented.

Attach the goals paper on a wall where you can remind yourself every day and cross it off as you achieve them. Put a date when you achieve it by the side.

To be honest, this step is the most difficult one so if you come this far then give yourself big applauds.

journey of thousand miles

 

 

 

 

2. Invest in yourself

About 8 months of staying in Canada working and learning English, I had to decide whether to go back home or stay and get educations. Heading back home would have been easier than staying and living out of my comfort zone but I knew in my heart that I wanted to take challenges. I was young and fearless (still I am 3:) ). What is to lose? From the part time jobs, I was able to save another $4,000 and I put all my eggs into getting educations. I researched almost all of the universities in Canada and found a great and very affordable university.

Life begins at the end of my comfort zone right?

Right after moving, I visited the university and told myself ‘My dreams begin here’

voyage

BeSmartRich’s master piece – Inspired by Columbus – Title ‘Voyage to the new world’

 

 

I passed a pre-requisite English test to get into a university and studied my ass off trying to catch up. All of a sudden, English which used to be the biggest issue of mine, wasn’t an issue anymore.

Most of classmates were 6 years younger than me at the time but I always told myself that it was never too late. In fact, I was earlier than so many people who really had not given themselves a time to look into themselves and going beyond their potentials. Age is just a number. Age difference should not stop you. You can improve yourself anytime whether you are 50 years old trying to do something different.

 

I previously wrote in this blog that my wife just started studying nursing when she is just about to become 30 years old. Most of the classmates are 10 years younger than her but she tells me there are a lot of 40-50 years old immigrant doctors in their home countries studying nursing. Some used to be brain surgeons and family physicians. They are not afraid to change from what they have studied entire their lives to make themselves more flexible in this foreign country to provide better and safe environments for their kids. I am learning every day from just listening to these stories and you should as well.

 

mad artist

Nothing is impossible!

 

I always knew I wanted to be a business man. My passion and my heart was there. Coincidentally, I did well in accounting courses (Yes, you are right. I am from Korea) and that’s when I decided to become an accountant. and added some more related goals into my goals sheet. I knew I had to work 2-5 times harder than others to have my random Asian name to be picked among other job candidates. I worked my ass off and was able to find my first job in my 4th year of university. All I had was unlimited amount of confidence and laser-sharp focus.

 

Did I tell you that to find my first job, I sent out more than 100 resumes?

To find my next job after moving here in Toronto, I had 5 unsuccessful interviews?

 

You gotta keep trying. Keep pushing hard because there is no failure as long as you keep trying. There is no failure if you haven’t given up. The moment you give up then that’s becomes your failure.

steve jobs

 

 

Here are reasons why you need to invest in yourself

A. Irreplaceable skills

Once you go through specified training, no one other than people who went through the same or similar training can replace you. Think about it. It is quite simple. Without training, I wouldn’t have been an accountant. Without necessary training, I cannot be a mechanic, nurse, physician, pharmacist, HR officer, sushi-chef, hotel managers etc… Even if I could be one of them through starting from the bottom, it will take a lot longer than people who were pre-trained through colleges and universities.

One of my favorite quotes from Warren Buffett is the following.

education quote warren

Well said sexy old man!

 

 

 

B. Monetary benefits

According to College Board report ‘The benefits of higher education for individual and society’, the benefits of a 2-4 year college/ university degree are equivalent to an investment that returns 15.2% every year. To put it in context, Warren Buffett’s, the 3rd richest man in the world having a net worth of $64 billion, average investment return was 19.2% during last 50 years. 15.2% isn’t as high as 19.2% but high enough to get you easily where you want to be and live comfortably.

salary difference

The gap is only going to get bigger as people get older

 

buffett compounding

Education gives 15% of compounding return which is quite close to Warren Buffett’s 19.2%? Count me in!

 

C. Other benefits

-Longer life spans through better access to health care, better dietary practices and live healthier lifestyle. Lower obesity and smoking rates.

-Greater economic stability and security and more family oriented

-Greater job satisfaction

-Greater knowledge of government and political environment, higher voting rate and less dependency on government assistance

-Greater community service, volunteer work and leadership

-More self-respect and confidence and continuing education

-More attendance of leisure and artistic activities

The Greatest investment we can make is in ourselves

 

 

3. Live below your means

The Canadian landscape has changed a lot since I arrived. More and more people are obsessed with fancy and bigger houses and shiny luxury cars in this fast changing world where cheap and super quick borrowed money is readily available. I am definitely an odd ball here trying to do the exactly opposite.

 

Luxury cars? No…

Buying houses by getting into unaffordable mortgage in this inflated housing market? No…

Trying to keep up with Joneses? No…

 

For example, by not having a luxury leased car, you will be able to save about $1,000 per month ($500 from lease, $300 from insurance and $200 from other incidentals such as expensive fuels and maintenance). That $1,000 per month over 5 years equal to $50,000. Oh wait… if you invested that money in an index fund at historical average returns at around 11% compounded over 5 year then it would have been $80,000.

 

saving from car

I will take $80,000 in a heart beat over a luxury car and so will you.

 

 

The result of saying ‘No’ to those temptations?

$200,000 in your bank account within 6 years into career.

 

Many of my CPA colleagues from my accounting schools live like millionaires even though they are still in debt. A lot of them wear expensive Italian suits and lavish dresses and purses that cost $2,000-$5,000 and drive Mercedes but I often hear them complaining about their credit card debts and its high interest charges. They have relatively higher salary than most of people but what’s really the issue? They are misunderstanding what ‘You only live once’ really means.

 

It is really about getting rid of your desire for those luxuries in your life so that you can live happier life by doing what really matters more. I drive an 8 years old car that I bought used in cash which fully satisfies my needs while I am saving $15,000- $20,000 per year giving our family a huge boost to do things that actually matter to us.

 

One great news is that it is not difficult to get rid of the desire of craving for unneeded luxuries.

Dave Ramsey, a radio host and author of many personal finance books said the following in his radio show that I love

 

“We buy things we don’t need

With money we don’t have

To impress people we don’t like”

 

Here… I put together 30 ways to minimize your expenditures while maintaining the quality of life.

 

Cost cutting is by far the most powerful way to increase your wealth. All you need to is to identify where you can cut and act on it. Stay away from TV, magazines, shopping malls, family, colleagues, friends’ pressure to spend and spend more. Don’t ever borrow to buy depreciating assets. Get into the habits of minimizing your expenditure and have a mentality of “Less is More”

The biggest misconception of ‘living below means’ that most of people have is sacrificing quality of life to live below means.

You don’t have to sacrifice anything important. Most of great things in the world are free or low costs. All you need to do is to look around.

I introduced several articles that how I enjoy what we love to do while cruising off of passive incomes and capital gains from appreciating assets.

 

 

 

4. Save and invest

A. Pay yourself first

I pay myself first no matter what happens. I know how much monthly essential expenditures would be such as rent, grocery (I never sacrifice quality of what we eat), utilities, internet etc… Everything else goes immediately to our investment accounts where we buy high quality undervalued stocks and ETFs. Other discretionary expenditures such as eating out and drinking come later.

Pay yourself first

Man, why are you so sexy?

 

 

B. Start earning side Income

A lot of self-made rich people are hustlers. You gotta find various ways to add to your bottom line.

Me? I love writing, teaching and sharing.

My wife and I have been running this blog for a while and have been making some money from blogging that adds to our bottom line. I use adsense and other affiliate links (e.g. Amazon). I never knew that I would be able to make money through blogging when I started this blog but it really grew significantly over time. Thank you for your support my precious readers. Nothing is better when I do what I love and make some money to support the family.

If you want to learn how to start blog, click the link below.

How to Start a Successful Blog in 30 Minutes

 

 

 

C. Automate saving

You are your own worst enemy when it comes to saving and investing. If you don’t think you can handle ‘pay yourself first’ mentality, then automate it. Have your bank set up a monthly or bi-weekly automatic recurring transfers from your chequing accounts to your investing accounts. This forced investing approach work great and will make you extremely happy while you see your investment account growing.

automate saving

 

 

 

D. Start investing ASAP

It is never too late when it comes to investing and growing your net worth. I put together an excel to see how long it would take people to reach $1,000,000 of net worth.

 

Assume Person A and B and used a simple average return of S&P 500’s 11% between 1990 and 2013.

Person A

  • Starts investing at 30
  • Only $5,000 per year for only 15 years. Total contribution of less than $75,000.
  • When he becomes 60, he/she will be a millionaire.

 

Person B

  • Starts investing at 40
  • Have to invest $12,650 per year for 21 years until he becomes 60. Total contribution of $266,000.
  • When he becomes 60, he/she will be a millionaire.

 

start invest early

Can you see the difference? Start Investing ASAP and let compound interest does its magic.

 

Albert Einstein said,

“Compound Interest is the Eighth Wonder of the World”

 

I wrote an article about saving early to be a millionaire in the past. Use the calculator from the article and see how long it would take you to reach your financial independence.

 

 

 

E. Stay invested

While you are collecting dividend incomes and enjoying compound interest does its magic, there will be market crashes. No one knows when and it happens very quickly. When market crashes, your portfolio may lose its 20-50% of market value and you would start to panic and your emotion may overwhelm you to make stupid decisions.

stay invested

Let compound interest does its magic. Can you see the red circle mark there? That’s when I bought as many investments as possible with all available cash. All of the purchases are now 20-30% higher.

 

The last thing you want to do is sell everything at the bottom. I repeat here again. Don’t sell. As long as you have diversified portfolio with lots of quality stocks or ETFs then nothing to worry about. Market crash could be once in a lifetime opportunity for you to make a huge gain if you have some cash to take advantage of markets. There have been more than 10 market crashes since 1950’s. Every single time, the market recovered back and reached higher than the pre-market crash level. Think it as your opportunity, not time to sell.

Always do your own research and invest based on fundamentals, not emotions.

Investor Sentiment Wheel

 

 

 

F. Don’t invest in mutual funds but invest in low cost investments

I gotta admit I wasted about 3- 4 years investing in mutual funds. I had poured money into mutual funds from the beginning of my career in September 2010 until I started researching on my own and decided to be more responsible for my own financial future (September 2014). I opened direct investing accounts and started investing in high quality and low cost Vanguard and Blackrock (i-share) ETFs and dividend stocks. If you are not sure what ETFs to buy? Then my best recommendation goes to this extremely diversified total world ETF, VT or VTI

There are also so many great ETFs that you can choose from. Stick to low MER ETFs with some international diversification.

 

 

 

G. Debt is your biggest enemy

Well, if you can manage it properly, debt can be your net worth booster however make sure stay as far away as possible from high interest debts (e.g. credit card debt) That 19.99% of credit card debt is your net worth killing machine. Warren Buffett became the third richest person in the world by having only 19.20% of annual return and the credit card company charges you 19.99% of your debt. They are the biggest thieves in this world if you carry debt. I love using credit card for its convenience while earning 1-3% cash back on purchases. However, I always pay my credit card debt off every month before interest kicks in. Don’t make credit card companies richer but yourself by paying your balances in full every month.

18

Once credit card debt is gone, then focus on next highest interest charging debt. Attack it relentlessly until it is gone. Manageable low interest mortgage and investment debt can be great tool of building wealth when used wisely.

 

 

 

H. Minimize taxes

Utilize 401K and IRAs (TFSA and RRSP for Canadians). Among many legal tax planning strategies, those are the simplest tax saving vehicles that will get you to your destination extremely quicker. They serve two extremely important purposes. Contributions to those accounts (401K, IRA and RRSP) not only allow you to deduct from your taxable income and generate higher returns during tax season but also the funds sitting in those vehicles will compound extremely faster than normal investing accounts as the dividends and capital gains are sheltered from taxes.

 

Take a look at this blogger optimizing their taxes. Learn how to minimize your taxes.

 

 

 

I. Start tracking your net worth

Knowing where you are and where you will be headed is a great starting point to be a millionaire and retire comfortably. Set up your saving & investing goals and see how you are doing and identify areas that you can improve. Improving your financial lifestyle is a great addiction to have.

I tracked my first net worth on August 30 2014.

 

 

and about 2 years later.

200K graph

I had to stop publishing current net worth as my wife was not too comfortable about publishing net worth but I can confidently say that the growth has been spectacular and it is getting faster everyday 🙂

 

 

 

J. Learn from the best

Lastly, I recommend the following two super investors of the world. Take a look and see how they invest. No need for reinventing the wheel.

 

11 Most important Warren Buffett’s Stock picking Tips, especially 7th one.

 

 

 

Legendary Investor Peter Lynch’s Top 13 Best Stock Picking Tips from ‘One Up on Wall Street’

 

 

 

 

K. Read the books that will teach you top secrets of accumulating wealth

 

A book is a dream that you hold in your hand.

 

–Neil Gaiman

 

Check out my hand picked top 10 personal finance and investing books that you should read. You won’t regret it.

 

10 Best Personal Finance and Investing Books Everyone Must Read to be Millionaire

 

 

 

5. Enjoy your life to fullest while letting your money work

It is really possible to achieve an early retirement. Let your money work for you and grow itself up indefinitely. Early retirement means that having your essential and some fun expenses covered by non-work related income. Nothing more than that. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out how this works but somehow many people perceive early retirement like a big taboo.

Open your mind. Keep learning something new and accumulate knowledge. The key is having a mindset that an early retirement isn’t difficult, because it really isn’t but you need to be focused and put some effort. Set up your goals and achieve them one by one. You will be reaching your destination before you know it. Don’t think too much about the destination because the journey itself is quite fun and rewarding.

Good luck! You can do it!

torontoisland

I can do it!

 

 

Have you enjoyed the post?  Then share the post with your friends, like my Facebook page and subscribe your email for more free updates.

 

 

 

Did you enjoy my post? Here are my other popular posts.

 

 

 

I recently put Warren Buffett’s top 50 quotes together. Check it out.’

 

 

Don’t forget about his stock picking tips!

 

 

Have you heard about Peter Lynch, a Wall street legend? Check out Peter Lynch’s top 13 best stock picking tips as well. You won’t regret it.

 

I also shared why cash flow is so important when you buying any stocks

 

Also importance of not waiting too long when you find great companies

 

Importance of insider ownership- especially founders

 

Many people like this post as well.

 

I recently restructured my portfolio and changed investing style

 

The result of restructuring

 

This was interesting

 

Classic Kevin o’leary post was quite popular.

 


Leave a Reply

41 thoughts on “How to save $200,000 in 6 years and retire before 45

  • EL @ MoneyWatch101

    Hey good job reaching such a big net worth in a short time frame. What is your current investing / savings rate on average monthly? I believe I will be hitting FI by my 50th birthday as I have 4 girls. If not it would have been much sooner. Good luck.

    • monsterid
      Be Smart Rich Post author

      I save and invest about 40- 60% of my income now. Once my wife graduates (2 years from now) it will probably go up to 75%. The return on investment on my wife’s education will be huge and I really can’t wait for that Hahaha 🙂

      Hitting financial independence by your 50th birthday is a great accomplishment. Not to mention having 4 GIRLS is another great accomplishment. Huge congrats!!! I want to have 5 kids in the future since my wife and I do not have any family here in Canada. It will be a great feeling!

      I am glad we are in this journey together. Let’s kill it!

  • MrSLM

    Congrats on the milestone, and those are some solid tips! So important to get going early, as your chart shows. Someone who starts just a little later, but still relatively early, has to contribute more than 2x as much just to match person A. I’ve tried drumming this into friends and family but often just falls on deaf ears 🙁

    • monsterid
      Be Smart Rich Post author

      Haha that’s the reason why we need to express our opinions in our blogs so that we can keep our sanity. It is not like our friends and co-workers do not understand but they do not want to understand 🙂 Hopefully more people wake up and start preparing for the future. Because when tough time comes, I won’t be telling them “I told you so”

  • Vivianne

    Growing up here in America, I did take English for granted. Although, I was always able to make high marks in English and speaking classes, I should invest more in communication skills which I now know it’s super important in the work place. But then again, something got to give, I was focusing on making higher mark on math and science to get through grad school in my field. But I do admire your effort learning and mastering a new Language in your 20s.

  • Sarah@themoneydiary

    Well done on crossing another milestone, that’s quite an achievement! I just found this post from the link in your July summary, some useful tips thanks. I’m new to your blog, can I ask if you take the dividend income each month, or do you re-invest some also? Also, do you invest for growth, or just dividends? Interested in seeing what strategies different people use, thanks!

    • monsterid
      Be Smart Rich Post author

      Hi Sarah,

      I re-invest dividends in my registered accounts such as TFSA and RRSP. I don’t re-invest dividends in my non-registered taxable accounts to keep my tax simple.

      I am slowly changing my investing strategy from dividend oriented investing to ROE oriented investing.

      Cheers!

  • DiligentDividend

    congrats on the net worth increases! I’m impressed that it only took you 1.5 years to go form $100,000, to $200,000! that is some amazing progress my friend. i hope to be on the very same level one day soon.

  • MWM @MyWealthManifesto

    Living below your means and saving is where most people fall short.
    The first pretty much causes the second. You can’t constantly be spending more than you make and somehow save money.
    That simple point you presented seems to be lost on a lot of people.

  • DivGuy

    Very nice post BSR! When I was in my mid 20’s, it was more important to me to make (and spend) a lot of money. As I got older (now reached mid 30’s), I have 3 children and understood that the real riches are found within my family. We started to spend less and live more. Congrats on reaching a 200K networth so fast. The million dollar mark shouldn’t be too hard to achieve with such dedication!

  • Penetrator

    One of the most important advices: live below your means.

    Live below your means, but by 40 years old, get a little more comfort, as recommended Stephen Jarislowsky in his book.

    • monsterid
      Be Smart Rich Post author

      Haha, I remember reading that. That is one the last page of ‘Investment Zoo’ That book is so underrated and I really think every DIY investor needs to read the book. Final advice is priceless and I think they are ones of the most important things we need to look for when picking stocks- checking integrity of the CEOs, Founders, largest shareholders, chairman of the stocks you pick…

      -Use life for the good
      -Remain loyal to mentors, colleagues, family and friends
      -Even when fortune smiles, remain simple in your lifestyle but without being niggardly
      -Look for real values in life and practice them
      -Strictly avoid bad guys
      -Act with and expect total integrity and keep as distant from those who do not live up to this standard as you can
      -Be sure that you like what you see in the mirror

  • Dividend Diplomats

    Congrats on reaching $200k! That is one heck of a milestone to reach. Second, wow. This story is inspirational. Your five points breakdown anything you could possible need to implement and pull off a successful personal finance journey. You showed that it isn’t easy, but rewarding in the end. Starting a journey in a different country has to be extremely difficult and I can’t imagine some of the hurdles you overcame. But you and your wife were tough, stuck to the plan, and now are reaping the rewards. Congrats again on the great progress!

    Betr

    • monsterid
      Be Smart Rich Post author

      Thank you. $200K was reached about a year ago and now we are getting really close to the next milestone. Things have been challenging but glad things are working out slowly. We will keep at it with positive minds while enjoying the life to the fullest! Thanks for your kind words Bert!

        • monsterid
          Be Smart Rich Post author

          Haha only one challenge I can think of is investing is really about fighting with yourself like a shadow boxing. It requires me to stay patient. Because the stocks that I own are quite boring and do not grow 100% over several months or so. I will be glad if mine grows 15% every year which makes mine to double every 5 years. Assuming I have $300K now and 5 years later $600K then another 5 years $1.2M then another 5 years $2.4M then another 5 years $4.8M. So within 20 years, I would have $5M… But if I put even extra capital into it then it will grow a lot faster… Warren Buffett is one of the richest because he is living a long life and has his money compounded at 19.2% or so… every year…

  • chu

    Hi ! I found your blog yesterday, and share it with all my friends. I found your story really motivational and thanks for sharing with us ! I start reading your blog during my lunch time, to convince myself that every dollar saved today will be a bullet for my future investments,,,,, Thanks for the motivation !

    I really like the idea of “keep investing” which is so tough to implement in recent few years of “black swan” events for e.g. the brit exit, US election etc… I got bumped out of the stock markets a few times…. and later to discover the rebounds ….

    I have a couple of questions, hope you can take time to answer. First, you mentioned that during the period (2016- now) which you “keep investing”, the portfolio increased from $200K to $200K+, but you have to overcome a lot of hardships /frustrations to get from $200K to $200K+. I am sure people are interested in success stories, but more people are interested in learning how you actually tackle and overcome those hardships /frustrations, would you share with us what are those hardships /frustrations exactly ?? And how you actually tackle them one by one ??

    For e.g. you mentioned briefly that one of your stocks in the portfolio has generated a very disappointing return, so you have to sell / cut loss, how do you overcome the mental emotions /setbacks ?

    Second, is a very typical situation in share investments, if one day or during a period of time when you track your portfolio, you noticed that your portfolio was down 30% or 50% or even more. And your cash level is merely 5%-20% or less(since the strategy of “keep investing” is implemented)

    Again how do you hang on to your philosophy of “keep investing” ? Again how will you overcome this emotion of setbacks from winning $200K +, to a 50% setbacks ? What strategy will you use (given the fact that your cash level is only around 10-20% or even less. ) ?? How will you maximize your return during this rough period of time ??

    Thank you for answering my questions, sorry English is also my second language, so if you don’t understand what I was asking about, let me know and I will try to retype the questions again.

    Thank you and have a wonderful day !! 🙂
    Chu

    • monsterid
      Be Smart Rich Post author

      Glad you are finding my blog helpful. Keep coming and sharing with your friends! 🙂

      I don’t know whether there were hardships from $200K to $200K+. I have been enjoying my life to the fullest with my wife and dog travelling places every weekends this summer. 🙂

      Yes… One of the stocks that I owned crashed… and that obviously did not make me feel good about it but I learned the most important lessons of my investing life which is sticking to the quality of the stocks I buy. It was emotionally difficult to see losing some money but I did not really put tones of money into the company so I was kinda happy to see this happening at the early stage of my investing life. Imagine this happened if I had $1-2M and losing $100’s of thousands… That will hurt. Quality really matters…

      I changed my investing style. Check out the following post.
      http://besmartrich.com/2016/09/19/adopting-to-a-new-world/

      The best thing that will ever happen to me is market crash… It will be down 30-50% but as long as what you own is super-high quality making money after money then what’s the point of not buying more??? Let’s say Constellation Software which is being traded at 27 times of cash flow… Market cap of $14.5B and trailing 4 quarters operating cash flow is $526M. Very expensive now but a super high quality company deserve that multiple. 30-50% of stock setback will make the company traded at 13-15 times of cash flow??? Wow… that would be an once in a life time opportunity for me to grab as many shares as possible… The reason is simple. The stock will recover to where it was before because the company would still make the same amount of money or even more soon enough and investors will realize jees, I gotta get back into it.

      If I buy stock A and that crashed because of fundamental deterioration, then I need to consider selling it however if I own a solid diversified portfolio and if they are all down because of market sentiment or temporary economy downturn, then it is my chance. I would not sell and squeeze every dollar I have to grab more of the solid companies.

      We should not be investing if we need the money in 1-4 years… If we look at 10-15 years then 30-50% setback is our chance to take advantage of.

      Take a look at Brexit…
      http://besmartrich.com/2017/05/18/besmartrichs-portfolio-update-may-2017/
      That was the time that I made really easy $6,000 (More now…). Everything crashed at the time… If you had cash, that could have been your easy money made day.

  • Personal Alpha Investments

    Great post. I believe #2 and 3 would lead on to #4. Its like a cycle – a vicious cycle for the better.

    On another note, even though you have honestly documented your growth to 200k in about 6 years, I tend to believe the market timing had a bit of role to play. I am not trying to say you got lucky, because after all you not only knew what you were doing but believed in doing so when the public opinion was not so bright about the markets in general.

    Also, having goals in writing is key. Its great to see you show that to us. Discipline plays a bigger role. This reminds me I have to revisit some of my goals :P.

    Cheers