As I mentioned in a recent post about quitting my day job, we are planning to do some extensive traveling over the next several months. We love to travel, and thought we should do it now while we’re not employed…..and the Little Man is not yet in school. With that in mind, our proposed trip has changed a little over the past few weeks. We had been planning to loop out to the Pacific, hit an investor conference in Los Angeles, then north to San Francisco, and back through Denver and the midwest. Part of the reason for that route was my wife has never seen the Pacific, and I have driven very little of the pacific coast highway. Unfortunately, a conflict developed with the investor conference in LA. So instead we are making a loop through the midwest and upper midwest. Don’t worry though, we’re still going to the Berkshire Hathaway meeting in Omaha. I figure I need to see Charlie and Buffett while they are still alive and kicking. Those old boys sure aren’t getting any younger. Continue reading

Humble Investing

Last week I wrote a post about how my wife and I decided it was time for me to quit my day job. Were going to do some traveling and think about what’s next. I love researching investments, traveling, writing, and volunteering. I think I’m a pretty darn good investor as well, but I also must recognize that my assessment is biased. This isn’t Lake Wobegon, and we can’t all be “above average”. I’ve noticed that during a bull market, just about everyone thinks they a superstar investors….and that profitable investing is easy. The reality is that the circumstances of a bull market make profitable investing look easy, but over the long term it can be very difficult. The most difficult part of investing over the long term, at least in my opinion, doesn’t really revolve around market characteristics. Stock market valuation envariably, eventually, follow along with the financial results of a given company. If the company’s revenues and profits increase, investors will be willing to pay more money for a share of that company’s stock…..and the stock price will go up. That part is easy for most investors. No, I believe what trips up most investors is …… well …….. themselves. Continue reading

Mini Hedge Fund?!

It’s been a wild couple weeks around our house, but on the horizon we can begin to see things calming down now. As I wrote last week, I recently quit my day job. We feel really good about the decision, but it does complicate our finances as my wife largely stays home with our son. She does work about 10 hours per week at our church, but by in large I am the primary bread winner. Still, we live a moderately frugal life. Not as efficiently as I would like, but that level of frugality would probably drive my wife and son insane. Our Black Lab probably wouldn’t mind, but “if mama ain’t happy…..ain’t nobody happy”. While we have made substantial strides toward financial independence, like being debt free and developing passive income streams, we aren’t ready for early retirement quite yet. On a monthly basis there is currently a $1500-$2000 deficit. We’ll continue working to close that gap, but we aren’t there yet. Continue reading