Our Three-Year FIRE Anniversary

July 1, 2021 – Time flies! I can’t believe I already had my 3-year FIRE anniversary last month! Time to reflect and think back on the first three years of early retirement: travel, moving, “market timing”, dealing with the shutdown, and some other exciting news in the ERN retirement life. Let’s take a look…

Good timing: Travel

Geez, are we glad we retired when we did! After we FIRE’d we went on an 11-month trip around the world. Not all in one piece but spread over two long trips: 7 months in 2018 visiting 21 countries. We briefly interrupted that trip to set up our new home in Washington in early 2019 and then went on another trip for “only” four months from April to August 2019 to check the following places off our to-do list:

  • Spend Easter with family in Atlanta
  • A Trans-Atlantic cruise from Tampa to Barcelona, Spain with stops in Key West, La Palma and Teneriffe (Canary Islands, Spain), and Malaga, Spain. It took 14 days and was the most relaxing and luxurious way to cross the Atlantic. And you have no jetlag because the time changes are gradual, i.e., 1 hour every 1-2 days!
  • Spain: Barcelona, Madrid, Toledo, Seville, Cordoba (didn’t make it to Granada. Next time!)
  • Portugal: Algarve and Lisbon (didn’t make it to Porto. Next time!)
  • Morocco: Casablanca, Marrakesh, Fes
  • Italy: Venice, a full 14 days in the Dolomites, then Rome, Florence, Sienna, Turin
  • A Mediterranean cruise out of Venice to Bari (Italy), Santorini, Crete, Cephalonia (Greece), and Split (Croatia)
  • France/Monaco: Nice, Cannes, Provence region (lavender fields!), Monte Carlo
  • Germany: Munich, Konstanz, Hannover. Then back to Portland’s PDX airport.

I’m glad we got to do all that before the 2020 health crisis hit! One of the lessons from my extensive work on Safe Withdrawal Strategies is that you are bound to make an error in your retirement planning:

  • Type 1 Error: Work too long and over-accumulate and you have money left over and you beat yourself up over why you hadn’t retired earlier.
  • Type 2 Error: Retire too early with an insufficient nest egg and you might run out of money.

Because of so many decades of uncertain asset returns ahead of us, we still can’t tell for sure what error we are making. I’m getting more confident, though, that we’ll be making the Type 1 error (=worried for no reason). Our portfolio was already more than 30x our annual budget three years ago and with the recent equity rally, we are pretty secure with our retirement finances. So, it’s good to know that we contained the loss from the Type 1 error by splurging on our travel expenses a little bit.

Market Timing: Moving to the suburbs!

We’re glad we left San Francisco. It’s not that it was a bad place to live. Quite the opposite, it was the perfect place to hang out in mid-career when you live comfortably in an outrageously expensive city and you got the cash to enjoy a lot of the amenities there. But always walking the fine line between staying Stealth Wealthy and Stealth Frugal! I could easily afford to buy an apartment right in the middle of the city; in a great location, walking distance to the office. And the place even appreciated quite a bit between 2008 and 2018. If you factor in the tax write-offs, the implicit rental income, and the modest leverage, I even realized a pretty sweet return, see “My best investment ever: Homeownership?!“. No complaints here!

But as I wrote previously, we eventually settled down in the suburbs. That has worked out splendidly so far. It turns out that right after we sold our condo in San Francisco the market there leveled off, while our property value in Camas, WA rallied post-2018. We couldn’t have planned this better! We essentially front-ran the pandemic exodus from the cities to the suburbs by about 1.5 years and we’re sitting on a nice 35% (paper) profit on our little single-family home here. Market timing, baby!

35% doesn’t sound like much compared to the outsized equity returns over that timespan. But also notice that we did have a big chunk of money left over after the home purchase to divert into more productive assets (equities and my options trading account in this case). And always keep in mind that both the condo and the house returns were really only “price returns” without factoring in the implicit rental income of the home (hence, the quotation marks around “returns”). See my post on the price return vs. total return issue.

Asset “Returns” since we purchased our home. S&P 500 and options returns are up to 6/28/2021. Condo “return” is the current value vs. the Jan 2018 sale price, as I don’t have an accurate Nov 2018 reading for the property. But the market moved sideways in 2018.

Also, don’t get me wrong, the move to the suburbs wasn’t successful purely from a financial aspect and market timing considerations. Even without the pandemic and without the outsized gains in our small house, we wanted a single-family home with a backyard in a quiet suburb and in a good public school district. It’s just a more relaxed life. And fewer health hazards on the sidewalks than in the big city!

Good Timing: Moving to Washington State!

We could have clearly achieved that move to the suburbs in California as well, but since we already had the fixed expense of having to pack up everything we decided to look beyond the state line as well. Most importantly, we disliked the California state income tax. A lot of our investments did phenomenally well in 2019, 2020, and 2021 YTD, so not having to pay taxes on dividends and options trading income was a big plus. Other retirees might be better served staying in CA. With a smaller portfolio and a leaner budget, if you stay within the 4% or at least within the 6% bracket, you face a relatively small effective tax burden! But we would have ended up well into the 10.3% bracket. No, thank you!

Moreover, the congestion, the cost of living, water shortages, potential blackouts (never happened while we lived there but could be on the horizon soon), wildfires, and many other crazy antics had us itching to leave California. I’m not saying that Washington is perfect. For example, we were impacted by the September 2020 wildfires and suffered for about 3-4 days from the bad air quality. But that same problem seems more regular and more persistent in CA than in WA!

So, as much as we enjoyed our stay in California, we’re also glad we left on time. But let’s not exaggerate CA’s problems either, see the (satire!) news headline my prankster buddy sent me a while ago. Come on, man, it wasn’t that bad!

Is that enough firepower to make it through the East Bay? Just kidding! Source: babylonbee.com/

Surviving the pandemic

How did we cope with the shutdowns? Oh, we went hardcore, baby! We diligently followed a strict lockdown, isolation at home, and a tight, tight, tight social distancing protocol! For about 3 to 4 days. And that was because of the Oregon and Washington wildfires and the resulting bad air quality in September 2020. For the most part of the “shutdown”, we went about our business almost as usual. We enjoyed outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, and snowshoeing. We traveled a little bit less than in a “normal” year; shorter trips to Montana, Idaho (2x), and Bend, OR. We flew to Utah during Spring Break this year. No international trips on the horizon until 2022.

Most importantly, though, we had – gasp – playdates for our daughter starting in April 2020. And letting the kids play, the adults had a good excuse to mingle and fight off the cabin fever and maintain sanity, too. We are all young and healthy and we played it safe: if someone had even the slightest symptoms their family would not join that day. We got vaccinated as early as possible. Worked out all right for us. Someone out there will scream at me now that we all escaped almost certain death, and what a bad example we are. So what?! Bite me! Our daughter will thank us later!

New Opportunities

If you remember my 1-year anniversary post back in 2019, I outlined in item 2 that “I wonโ€™t let my blog interfere with my early retirement (yet).” Now that we finally settled down and we travel less I could have certainly spent more time on the blog. But I decided to dedicate the additional energy and bandwidth to some other projects I am passionate about. Specifically, if you recently checked out my LinkedIn profile you would have noticed some changes. In January 2021, I started two new gigs: First, I got a neat new title “Chief Economist at Valravn Capital”. Does that mean we fell on hard financial times and we are desperate for cash now? Not exactly. Valravn Capital is a Fintech and hedge fund startup, so I am willing to work there without a salary but for a small share of the equity pie. If it all works out and the company becomes a success, there is some profit potential in the end, but I don’t count on it. The scope of work is also part-time and it’s completely remote. No need to move, no commuting. I’m working with a team scattered all over the U.S. and even one colleague in France. I get to spend time with some exceptionally smart people a few days a week. Not a bad way to spend your free time in retirement.

My second gig: I am teaching Introduction to Microeconomics in the UC Berkeley Extension Program. Even though I’m a macroeconomist by training, I always enjoyed undergrad micro material a lot. How is the pay? Don’t ask! If you have ever taught as an adjunct professor you will know that there is very little money in that line of work. Sure, full-time tenured professors have a very cushy life – probably the only career path that could have talked me out of my FIRE plan. But adjunct teaching gigs are often woefully underpaid. So, I’m doing this mostly for fun. And the maximum percentage, 70%+ of the little money I make there goes straight into the University of California retirement plan.

It’s always best to leave your job on good terms

Another random thought that I was reminded of recently: When leaving their job, some people are tempted to go out with a bang. You know, let the F-U money in your bank account give you the courage to pound on your boss’ desk and give him/her your unfiltered F-U opinion. Bad idea. Not that I would have even had much material to shout at my boss back then. But even if I had, it’s always better to leave on good terms. In early 2018, when I notified my employer about my plans to leave, I tried to be as respectful, courteous, and cooperative as possible. By being extremely nice and flexible about my departure I was able to negotiate my departure as a layoff. I got a severance package including pay and health insurance until November 2018 and – even more valuable – I got to keep three more years of deferred bonuses. You would normally leave that money on the table if you exit your job in the finance industry on your own initiative. Three more years of bonus payments definitely helped from a Sequence Risk perspective! I could have even applied for unemployment benefits. California still “owes” me a six-figure amount after paying taxes there for 10 years and not getting all that much back. But it just didn’t feel right (much less legal) to receive unemployment benefits while traveling abroad and sitting at the beach in French Polynesia.

Also, you never know if and when you might need your old office contacts again. At Valravn Capital I’m now working with two former colleagues, including my former boss. Nice how that all worked out, isn’t it?


I realized that I skipped the 2-year anniversary post last year. Was there anything important going on in the summer of 2020? Nah, didn’t think so. But with three years of FIRE under my belt, I thought I share some random updates, thoughts, and insights. I hope everybody else’s retirement is going as well as ours!

Hope you enjoyed today’s update! Looking forward to you comments!

Title picture source: pixabay.com

94 thoughts on “Our Three-Year FIRE Anniversary

  1. Congrats Karsten!

    You forgot to mention that you made thousands of people life’s better.

        1. Big ERN, you have shared your knowledge and advise throughout the journey which is great. Thanks and congrats. Heres to many more years of FIRE and knowledge sharing.,

  2. Congrats Karsten!

    Looks like you have really hit the sweet spot. I had my three year anniversary at the beginning of the year. I still wake up every morning feeling thankful to be retired. Life is good!

  3. While tenured professors have good lifestyles, getting tenure is not trivial.

    You must also enjoy options trading – that 5% difference needs quite a bit of work.

    I have been reading your blog a long time – just changed email.

    1. Yes, correct. Getting tenure is quite stressful.

      The rationale behind the options trading is not to beat the market by 5%. I’m happy underperforming the market on average. It’s about having only 1/2 the risk!

  4. I submitted my Plutus Awards nominations for you… fingers crossed that you win multiple categories!

    By the way, I was wondering if you have researched risk parity style portfolios in retirement as a way to potentially reduce risk/extended drawdowns and increase safe withdrawal rates. There’s a newish podcast called Risk Parity Radio hosted by a retired and very knowledgeable attorney (https://www.riskparityradio.com). The podcast was recommended by the folks at ChooseFI, and I must say it’s opened up my thinking to having more than just a run of the mill stock/bond portfolio during retirement. Would love to see your analysis of the Risk Parity portfolio concept and its affects on SWR, sequence of return risk, etc.

    1. Thanks for the nomination, Paul!

      I generally like the risk parity idea. A variant is the approach of determining the max-Sharpe Ratio portfolio and then scale up/down to the desired risk/return profile. I’ve shown this to work here:
      Can be done easily with just Stocks and Bonds, by the way!

      There’s not a long enough history to simulate a full-blown RP portfolio with all the other asset classes. I have attempted to simulate the Ray Dalio All-Weather portfolio (15% gold instead of 7.5% gold+7.5% all commodities). Doesn’t work well historically in a SWR setting:

      1. I read your “Lower risk through leverage” and “Synthetic Roth IRA” articles with great interest. Do you happen to know of a step-by-step guide for how to do rolling futures contracts with Interactive Brokers? I have no experience in this area and would greatly appreciate learning how to actually do it.

        From a risk parity/max SWR perspective, what would you suggest is the ideal stock/leveraged bond portfolio ratio during retirement? Are 10Y Treasury Futures the best option, or are there longer term treasury futures which might deliver an even better max-Sharpe Ratio? Thank you!

        1. IB lets you trade spreads. So, you can place a sell order for the near contrct and a buy order for the 3m ahead contract all at the same time.

          The ideal mix is around 60-70% 10Y bonds and the remainder in stocks. You can go with longer-duration bonds but they may not be quite as liquid as the 10y futures.

          1. Thank you Karsten. I’m trying to reconcile your ideal mix recommendation above with the following quote from your “Lower risk through leverage” article:

            “Probably the most elegant way to implement a sample portfolio of about 80% equities and 120% bonds would be to hold the entire equity portion in physicals (e.g. Stocks, ETFs, mutual funds), another 18% in bond funds and the remaining 102% bond futures. The 2% leftover cash is more than enough for the margin on Treasury futures.” Is this your suggested ideal mix from a risk parity/max SWR perspective for a stock/leveraged bond portfolio ratio during retirement?

            I’m currently still in the accumulation phase with a 100% equity portfolio, but looking ahead to early retirement within the next decade (fingers crossed ๐Ÿ™‚

      2. After retiring summer 2020, I spent several months trying to reach a “max Sharpe ratio at acceptable risk” portfolio. I did not reach the desired level of confidence for a 20-40 year portfolio. Decided there is no perfect portfolio. Just have/bought index funds, growth funds and individual stocks and rode the wave up.

        Could not agree with you more on leaving your former employer on good terms. Firm asked me to work on projects here and there. It keeps me sharp and eases my anxiety about not having earnings coming in, even though we don’t need it.

        1. Nice, congrats on your retirement!

          Ex post you can always find faults with your portfolio choice, especially over short horizons. But there is some rationale to using this max-Sharpe portfolio plus leverage. At my old job we had a product doing this for 30 years, very successfully! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Good to hear things are going smoothly, in spite of the fact that we will have to dispatch the early retirement police to revoke your ER membership due to not 1 new job, but 2 new jobs!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Take care, Big ERN!

  6. Hallo Kartsen,
    like to read on the none financial side of your retirement. Nice global trip, noticed also including my hometown Konstanz (Constance @ the lake of Constance). Hope you had a good time there! Drove yesterday with the air cooled classic Porsche 911S towards the Black Forest.

    Warm regards, Grizzly
    enjoying an extended sabbatical leave ๐Ÿ˜

    PS Unfortunately not always possible to depart in a friendly manner โ€ฆ

  7. Great Article BigErn and Happy 3rd anniversary.

    Regarding Type1 error vs Type2 error.
    I would consider Type1 error as a good feature rather than an intentional error .
    Even if some of us don’t agree I think most would rather deal with leaving inheritance/charity giving than running out of money when you are at the old age. Think it is an intended margin of safety.

    I like to quote Charlie Munger :
    “I did not intend to get rich. I wanted to get independent, I just overshot!”

    >At Valravn Capital Iโ€™m now working with two former colleagues, including my former boss.

    Oh.. Let us call the Retirement Police ..you are back to work ..
    Just kidding.

    1. Yes, that’s a good point. It’s not a Type 1 “error” more of an overshooting. But for people who really hate their jobs (never applied to me) one could argue that working even one day longer necessary is an error. Not sure this applies to many, though.
      Psssss, don’t tell the police! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Karsten, Ironically, you skipped your “Year 2” post and I skipped my “Year 3” post. Fun to be traveling my early retirement journey on parallel tracks with you. We, too, moved out if the city and have watched our mountain cabin value increase dramatically as city refugees flood into the countryside. Nice to have “caught that wave” early!

  9. Congrats – I copied ‘I was able to negotiate my departure as a layoff’ so I can do something similar. I’m looking to change jobs, but don’t want to leave my manager is a limbo.

  10. Hi Karsten,
    Congratulations on your 3rd anniversary of becoming FIRE(ish)! I could not agree more with you on leaving your employer on good terms. I managed to get a decent severance, as well as the option of returning to work on a short term contract basis.
    All the best.
    PS I will be happy to submit a nomination for your blog. It is by far the best of its kind that I have come across.

  11. Plutus Awards nominations done! Thanks for the great wrap-up of your first 3 years. I’m close (1-2 years) out and devouring your site trying to determine which error I’m most likely to commit. Your spreadsheet is an amazing tool too. My family settled in Camas in 2019 and are really enjoying it. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Thanks a lot!
      Oh, wow, that’s awesome! If you ever want to get together please shoot me an email. There are several FIRE families here in Camas! Seems to be a real FIRE magnet! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. It seems like the blue print is to get to FI, retire and take up activities that interest you that may pay money and if they do you can live an even larger lifestyle if you choose to.

    As I’ve gotten closer to FI, I’m starting to realize I don’t want to completely give up work. Instead, just work where and when I want to

  13. The SWR series was a game changer for me and I reference it frequently when talking to people about FI. You have my vote (just submitted). Glad you are able to enjoy retirement the way you want too!

  14. Very interesting texts here. Unfortunately, there is too much advertising. Has become unenjoyable for me. Thanks anyway. Anthony

    1. Some of the highest quality free content in the FIRE community, incl. free retirement simulation tool, written by a PhD+CFA, and you complain about advertising?

  15. I am a tenured full professor and it isn’t that cushy. Don’t get me wrong I love my job and the live of the mind is awesome, but the bureaucracy and attacks on public higher education has a lot of us down in the dumps and actively have me thinking about early retirement. Adjunct teaching actually looks appealing or even a full-time Lecturer gig.

    1. Let me also say that I absolutely love your content. Congrats on your new adventure and early retirement (plus I am from Minnesota). Go Gophers.

      1. Wow, that’s awesome. So is Dr. Leif (Physician on FIRE), by the way! Go Gophers!
        And as my old macroeconomics prof Tim Kehoe always says “God Bless Minnesota Economics” ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. Thanks for pointing that out. My post was not meant as a dig against my prof friends. Indeed, I’ve heard a lot of concerns like yours from some grad school friends who went into academia. And they too are thinking about an early exit and FIRE. Would have never thought that!

  16. We have heartfelt gratitude for the work of our area firefighting agencies who helped contain the Elephant Butte Fire, and are ever-preparing. It’s our three year anniversary today! And we are releasing our bottles of Whiskey Storm! The NFCC provides fire services across the UK a prime opportunity to deliver and develop the Fire Reform agenda.

  17. Big ERN, you’re the real deal ! Congrats on all market and covid timing success ! So how did your former boss ended up in the same startup as you ? That seems to be quite a story. Has he reached FIRE too ? LG

    1. My former boss (a “she” actually) is apparently just as FI (or more) and left my old company a year after me. She went to the startup and made the recommendation to bring me on board. It’s a small world in finance! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Hi ERN – I’m confused. You say you are FIRE but you took a job as Chief Strategy Officer and Adjust Professor? That sounds like full time work.

    Do you think perhaps you are one of the reasons why a lot of people think FIRE is a gimmick? To me, it makes no sense to take two jobs and say you are FIRE.

    Why not just say you have gone back to work? Is it because of branding reasons that you don’t want to let go of your FIRE identity? I really think there needs to be more transparency and diversity in the FIRE community.


    1. The retirement police finally caught up with me. As I stated, I get no salary from my finance job. I do this job for the intellectual challenge and it’s half-time, probably even a bit less than half.
      The teaching gig is also only a few hours a week. It doesn’t even cover our grocery budget.
      I use FIRE to do things I love. Something I could not have done without the FI-sized investment portfolio.

      1. Like most americans, FIREs also suffer from the “Happy Slave Syndrome”. Just like people who suffer from Stockholm Syndrome, in which a kidnapped person establishes an emotional bond with their kidnapper, a slave can find that they are happy with their lack of freedom.

          1. It’s an analogy. If you google “Happy Slave Syndrome” you’ll understand that going back to work without needing for money is a psychological thing. Not being able to enjoy life because you enjoy being a worker and need to feel productive is a engram very very hard to break free from

            1. Looked it up. Doesn’t sound like me. I tell you what, you do what I did, i.e., become a multi-millionaire at a young age and then see if you never want to put in another hour of honest work again.

                1. I guess this is the exact point Jimmy was trying to make. No one chooses to work if you don’t need….it’s the society that makes you feel that you need to do that

                2. I am going back to teaching due to “societal pressure”. It’s something I always liked to do. I would do it for free. I certainly do it for that little bit of extra funny money spending cash.

                3. “No one chooses to work if you donโ€™t needโ€ฆ.itโ€™s the society that makes you feel that you need to do that”
                  I disagree, there are lots of activities people enjoy to do that fall into the category of work such as teaching/coaching/blogging. They often pay less than less enjoyable forms of work though. A lot of people especially in the FI community naturally task/goal oriented, even if they’re retired and don’t need the money. Not everyone wants their whole week filled with pure leisure even if they can afford it.

  19. Do you think it’s too risky to be 50% bonds 50% stocks with the market at the current levels?

        1. 27? In 2008 you were 14 years old. How much money did you lose in 2008 that you fear the market so much that you have only 50% equities right now. The opportunity cost of lost returns by not being 100% equities over the last few years must be 10x what you lost in 2008.
          Long story short, As I outlined in SWR series Part 43, young savers should be 100% equities: https://earlyretirementnow.com/2021/03/02/pre-retirement-glidepaths-swr-series-part-43/

        2. If youโ€™re still working and only a buyer of shares, volatility is your friend, allowing you to buy for less when the market drops. On the other hand if youโ€™re retired or near retirement and about to be a seller of your shares, then start to thin about cutting back on equities.

          Just think of your equities as 15+ year CDs, when you buy and hold for that kind of timeframe its really hard to lose with equities. In fact, in the past 50 years, the worst 15 year return on equities was 2000-2015 when they โ€œonlyโ€ had +3.7% annualized returns.

          What would really scare me for someone not retiring soon, is owning bonds yielding when inflation is 4-5% like right now. Youโ€™re getting a negative 3-4% real return after inflation and the Fed is thinking about raising rates in the next couple of years which could be painful for bonds.

          1. Yes, I was 15 and my family lost a TON of money in 2008. My wealth is family wealth and when I turned 18 I started managing my own wealth (well, what was left of it)
            I don’t work for money so I consider myself FIRE

            1. At 27 and working I would normally recommend 100% equities (and not paying down the mortgage!).
              FIRE at 27, with a 60+ year horizon is a bit different. I would probably still do a 70-80% equity portion. 50% bonds will not carry through the many decades ahead!

              1. OK. You convinced me. I’ll bump up to 80% equity. I just hope I don’t have to come here to write about a huge loss in the coming years because I ‘m quite sure I won’t be able to ride it out without panic selling

                1. If you’ve been 50/50 all this time and didn’t have the itch to buy more equities when they were down 35% in March 2020 (almost 50% cheaper than now), then I’d hesitate suggest you move it all at once. Maybe 1% a month and see how comfortable you feel adding more equities in the middle next 10-20% decline? I’d hate for you to make the same mistake twice if you panic sold in 2008.

                  No one can predict the future, we could have a 10%+ drop tomorrow or the market could keep going up 11%+ before the next one.

                  Some people are more comfortable with a 2-3 fund portfolio so they can see their bonds appreciate during the usual stock market panics so they can sell them to rebalance to buy stocks low. While others prefer a set it and forget it 1 fund portfolio. Vanguard has some 60/40 and 80/20 “LifeStrategy” Funds that do this.

  20. Hi, do you think FIRE is doable in every other country? I’m 23, I live in Central Europe and the earnings are smaller there, but so are the living costs. Do you have any knowledge about introducing the concepts in other countries? A very nice blog, I discovered it recently and quickly became one of my most popular reads! U are doing a great job bro ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. It should be. For example in Germany you have lower salaries and higher taxes. But it also takes a lot less money to live well there. Health care costs pose a huge risk in the US, but that’s less of a concern in a lot of the European countries.
      It’s really a tradeoff.
      Thanks, bro! ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Congrats on getting on getting two jobs! Not to mention monetizing this site. I guess that was a quick FIRE journey.

    Can you recommend other FIRE bloggers who remain retired after many years? Preferably ones who donโ€™t have working spouses as well?

    Thank you

    1. Relax Danny. There are many different versions of FIRE (not just the one you have envisioned for yourself). It’s not one size fits all.

      Big ERN has spent countless hours analyzing data and providing some of the best and most reliable content in the FIRE community, all for free. I’m pretty sure you haven’t paid him a dime for reading this content and wealth of information. Yet you still have the nerve to criticize the minimal and unobtrusive “monetizing” of this site? Please go find something else to waste your life complaining about. Your opinions and comments here definitely won’t be missed.

  22. If you’re still working and only a buyer of shares, volatility is your friend, allowing you to buy for less when the market drops. On the other hand if you’re retired or near retirement and about to be a seller of your shares, then start to thin about cutting back on equities.

    Just think of your equities as 15+ year CDs, when you buy and hold for that kind of timeframe its really hard to lose with equities. In fact, in the past 50 years, the worst 15 year return on equities was 2000-2015 when they “only” had +3.7% annualized returns.

    What would really scare me for someone not retiring soon, is owning bonds yielding when inflation is 4-5% like right now. You’re getting a negative 3-4% real return after inflation and the Fed is thinking about raising rates in the next couple of years which could be painful for bonds.

  23. Sorry if I missed it somewhere but how did your put writing make out in March 2020 when the big drawdown happened?

  24. Hey ERN,

    If it’s not too cheeky, is there a way I can get access to recordings of your lectures at Berkeley? I’m not sure if that breaks any rules or anything. Just thought I would check, would love to audit!

      1. hahaha… well… worth a try…

        Yes, that may be true. I wouldn’t normally take an intro to econ class for fun, or intro to rocket science for that matter. But if Elon was teaching, you bet I would. Same goes for you… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  25. Since your portfolio has climbed quite a bit above inflation over the last almost 5 years since your, have you made any big ticket spluges beyond your initial retirement spending such as trips/home or car upgrades/extra services?

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