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My FIRE Path: 2021 Mid Year Update – Blowing past my year-end goal & hitting 50% FI

Reading Time: 5 minutes

I can’t believe it’s already six months since my 2020 year-end My FIRE Path post. A lot has happened since then and a few milestones have been crossed, so I think it’s a good time to have a mid-year review. Let’s jump in!

Contents

I did end up changing jobs

So I mentioned in the year-end post that I was considering leaving my job due to stress. An update on that front is that I did but just only and I found something that will provide similar compensation so that’s not going to affect my savings rate much.

I believe that the new job is going to fit much better with my skills and interest – so although the stress level may be the same, I’d enjoy it a lot more.

I haven’t start at my new place yet so I’ll update you on whether that ended up being true or not at the end of the year.

Blowing past my year-end goal

If you’ve read my 2020 year-end post, you’d know that the portfolio value goaI I had for the year 2021 is to hit S$850,000. Well… I’ve already hit that amount.

As of this writing, my portfolio has just gone above S$900,000 and we’re just halfway through the year.

Of course, this was in large part because of the cash-out refinancing of my condo, so it was a transfer of net worth from a less liquid asset to a more liquid one. However, I already took that into account when I initially set the goal so it’s still quite impressive.

Aside from the cash-out refinancing, all additional investments I made went into IWDA.

Here are some interesting figures – capital injection includes the cash-out refinancing:

Portfolio Value (As of 31 Dec 2020)S$575,081.65
Total Capital Injection to DateS$203,883.02
Total Market Gain to DateS$123,805.40
Total Portfolio Value ChangeS$327,688.42
Current Portfolio Value (As of 10 July)S$902,770.07
Current XIRR (As of 10 July)21.61%

The market has truly been doing extremely well. The fact that I made over S$120,000 in the last 6 months from market gain alone is pretty impressive (no meme stocks required) – I think this is the reason that quite a lot of people are worried about a possible market crash. It does feel quite frothy.

Though I think I wouldn’t worry about it and keep my consistent investing going forward and take a crash as an opportunity to buy in cheap again. The COVID-19 downturn was a godsend for those who can afford to keep investing after all.

So hopefully this keeps those of you who are following a similar investing approach motivated. It can seem slow at first, but once you hit a certain portfolio size – daily movements and growth become quite significant, eventually dwarfing your take-home pay.

This brings me to the next milestone.

Hitting 50% of my FIRE amount

Long-time readers of my blog would know that my FIRE number is based on a S$5,000 monthly budget and a 3.33% safe withdrawal rate – which means my FIRE number comes out to be S$1,801,801.

So as a result of the massive market run-up, I have now hit the 50% mark of my FIRE amount!

This is a huge milestone! According to the projection, the 50% mark should mean that I am about 66% of the way towards my FIRE goal based on the amount of time. So since I have started this journey about 5+ years ago, getting to S$1.8 million should take another 2.5+ years – if the projections are correct!

This will mean that (in the most optimistic scenario) I should be able to get to my FIRE goal by the time I am 38+ years old – way ahead of my target. One could only hope.

Of course, this is an optimistic estimate – conservatively I will still need about 4 years. So we’ll see which ends up being correct. I’ll certainly keep you all updated.

What’s next? Adjusting my goal for the year

Man, all that happened in the last 6 months! Life can be pretty insane sometimes.

I guess it’s true that once your portfolio gets to a certain size, the daily and monthly movements can be pretty extreme! At the moment I’m regularly making more in daily market movements than my day job – and my day job pays pretty well.

It’s both exciting, encouraging, and discouraging at the same time. Imagine slogging away at a job you really hate… and at the end of the day you made less than the market movement did. That’s happening quite often now.

So, given that I’ve blown past my original year-end goal, I think it’s appropriate to move the goalpost a little to always have something to strive for (and surpass) and keep things interesting.

So given that I have now hit S$900k, I think the next appropriate milestone would be S$1,000,000 – so that’s what it will be! So check back in next January to see whether I’ve managed to hit it or not. At the moment, that seems doable if the market keeps climbing at this pace. However, if the market crashes between now and then, it’s going to be a different story.

My approach to investments has not and will not change, staying the course with index funds regardless of market conditions.

So that’s it! A short and sweet update. See you back here for the year-end update in 6 months!

Cool charts and graphs

I’ll leave you here with some charts and graphs of my portfolio in case you’re interested in more visual representation.

Portfolio Value and Cost Over Time

The large immediate increase to the portfolio is from the injection of the condo cash-out refinancing. It’s pretty interesting to see that it took about 4 years for me to get to S$250,000 – then just another 1+ years to get to S$500,000.

It’s possible, that it will be just another 1+ year to get to S$1 million – effectively doubling the portfolio value every 1+ years (of course the cash-out refinancing was a huge help.)

Percentage Gain/Loss & XIRR Over Time

The huge drop in percentage gain/loss line is due to the condo cash-out refinancing injection, with that much cash being injected into the portfolio, of course, the total percentage gain would drop. However, the portfolio continues to grow and the percentage gain is almost back up to the same level before the injection.

Total Gain ($) Over Time

The portfolio has essentially run almost straight up since March 2020 with a few brief pullbacks. You can see that from January to today, the portfolio gained over S$100,000 as I already mentioned in the table above.

Net Worth Over Time

My total net worth (including CPF and Property) has already grown by about S$300,000 over the last 6 months… but it’s mainly due to the cash-out refinancing.

Well, that’s all for now! Stay safe everybody and I hope the economy opens up soon!

Until next time!
FPL

9 thoughts on “My FIRE Path: 2021 Mid Year Update – Blowing past my year-end goal & hitting 50% FI”

  1. What a year indeed! congratulations.

    I would personally have reduced the property equity post refinancing/cash-out in the Networth calculation. It makes sense to add it to the portfolio (the portfolio did grow) but your networth did not grow by changing asset class.

    But anyway. Congrats again.

    Reply
    • Hey Bob! You’re right! Though in this case there’s some complexity in the ownership structure that I’m also trying to account for. However, looking at the chart again, it still might not make too much sense, so I’ll relook at that. Know that the amount shown is already net the mortgage amount – so I’m not ignoring the debt.

      Reply
  2. Congratulations! Great progress.
    I see you don’t have SRS as part of Networth. Is it a case of not investing in SRS so far?

    Reply
      • So you count SRS as part of your FIRE $1.8mil? Even though you can really withdraw (unless incurring penalty) from your target retirement of 40 to 62 yrs old?

        Reply
        • Yes, it might sound odd, however the amount in SRS will be extremely small compared to the rest of the portfolio so I will be withdrawing from the non-SRS parts until SRS funds are available. Given that I’ll only be contributing to SRS for less than 10 years (with only 15,300 per year), it will be a tiny amount and won’t be needed by me until the other funds are depleted – which is not supposed to happen for many years and by the SRS funds will be available. So if you are counting SRS funds as your FIRE amount, do plan around the withdrawal dates as well.

          Reply
  3. What’s the point of setting targets for your portfolio if you’re buying IWDA. Because this means your portfolio is dependent on the performance of a fund that you have no control over. Shouldn’t your target be about how much you inject into your portfolio, because that is a variable that you have control over. Would love to hear from you! Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hey Eric! That’s a great point and I agree! I’ve used my total portfolio value as a target because it’s the topline number that’s easy to talk about. However, you’re completely correct that the only amount I can control is how much I save and invest – that’s a very good point and I should add that to my goal for the year-end.

      Though for the next 6 months, I aim to be able to invest an additional S$50,000 (fingers crossed) – so based on that, I am hoping for an additional S$50,000 in market growth (the non-controllable portion. Here’s to hoping! :D) That is about 6% on the S$900,000 so that MIGHT be possible in the next 6 months.

      Reply

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