Status and Progress – February 2018

The month is nearly over and we continue to move steadily in a good direction when it comes to Mind, Body and Bank Balance.  I’ve been a rebel this month though…

  1.  Bank Balance

Net worth has crept up in the right direction this month.  There have been no dramatic movements because there’s been no significant expenses or incomings.  This month we really are living the ‘get rich slowly’ mantra.

February 2018 NW position

Progress towards the ‘goal within a goal’ set last month has been steady and we are on target to pay off a particular chunk of mortgage in the middle of the year.  This is good because it is progress towards my principle of getting overheads low as a means of ensuring life has more choices than unwanted commitments.   The not-too-exciting movement of the blue line should therefore be a bit more exciting when there’s a nice jump in mid-year.  This is a bit of a test of my deferred gratification muscle, as I’m occasionally minded to pay it off more quickly, but it doesn’t make rational sense due to the fees that would be levied if I don’t wait.  I quite like sweets, but prefer fee-free ones and I’m willing to wait.  The approach I’m taking to the mortgage is described here but essentially I’m seeking to get overheads down and paying the mortgage off is a good way to do it.

I’ve been playing around with different ways to pay myself and how to manage cash flow between the business and me (e.g., would it be good to have 12 months of ‘essentials’ in the bank, or 6 months of ‘full expenses’ in the bank, but as I write I know this is BS.  The rules don’t change; I need to make some money, spend less than I earn, and put the remainder in productive assets.  I do quite enjoy the mental arithmetic and modelling but need to stay close to key principles.   You might not take much from reading that but it as useful to think through the sentences!

1.1 Confession time

Readers – I have to admit that I have sinned!  I invested in a crypto currency.  Only a little bit, so I will neither win or lose big.  I did it because I see it an important to be educated about what’s going on in the world.  I think its very easy for us oldies to dismiss new things and then rationalise our views post-hoc.  The truth is that in the early days they said (who are they?) the internet wouldn’t take off.  Before that, the earth was definitely flat, and some time in-between journalism was a well-paid endeavour.   We’re wired to be suspicious of the new, and I’ve elected to have a little poke around, for intellectual and emotional stimulation.  There – I’ve said it.  Crypto-anonymous!  If I remember I’ll be very honest about how it goes, so you get to say ‘I told you so’ as and when.

1.2 Stock market turbulence

It’s fair to say that the markets have been up and down like a bride’s nightie this last few weeks.  I have surprised myself by how little of a f*ck I have given about this. I thank the giants whose shoulders I stand on and whose posts I read for helping me see the gyrations as noise rather than cause to panic.  I note that the Sage of Omaha has largely kept his rather significant pile of powder dry this year according to his recent shareholder letter.   As per my mortgage strategy, this year is not about buying shares or funds, it’s  about using money to slice a chunk off the mortgage while retaining a meaningful position in the markets; FWIW this for me includes being light on US, and a bit racy in Emerging Markets.  I’m still in accumulation phase, and still working so I’m comfortable with a bit of EM-related gyration.

Mind

The theme for 2018 has definitely been getting used to owning a company rather than being owned by a boss.  I’ve oscillated between enjoying the autonomy and managing some demons which stem from an inner drive to do more.  Overall, I see the combination of independent-mindedness and drive as a blessing which will help me get stuff done and run a business.  The susceptibility to being relaxed about stuff will help me cope with stress and hurdles.  As previously discussed, not having an expensive life and wife also helps in general.  I am so grateful for the fact that I don’t have a big hill to climb every month – I just sometimes want to climb it faster!

Due to being a bit busier I’ve done less blog posting than I wanted to.  I’v got some ideas nurdling around and maybe this month I’ll knock out some more essays.  I might not though – the priorities are family, work, health, usually in that order.  Writing about it is nice and therapeutic, but will be sacrificed for the other things.  As a result of not writing and twittering my blog views have dwindled.  That’s cool; I’m just pleased I’ve got the thing set up; who knows what the future might bring.

Body

Big win!

I am a running machine!

I’ve upped the miles, and consequently the pace of those miles to the extent that I’m happy with my fitness regime.  There’s a virtuous circle at play here, and I’ve benefitted from doing more runs ->  eating less shit -> drinking less booze.  It’s all good.

There’s another factor at play here too.  Subject to commitments, I can run when I want.  I choose what goes in my diary and in the new world there are fewer barriers to me getting out to run.  That is priceless, and another thing I am grateful for.

The truth is that good physical health also brings good mental health.  If you want my advice – I say go for a jog.  Remember 1) Don’t judge a run by the first mile and 2) You might feel slow and / or fat to start with but you are lapping the people on the sofa.  Does getting fit remind you of anything else?

 

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