This November marks 1 year of me being on a Financial Independence and Retire Early journey. Boy does it feel good. Here is all that I went through the past year.
My portfolio when I started
My first post on Financial Independence and my portfolio update was in October’19. However I put in a lot of serious thought and my detailed update including my stocks and other assets was a month later, in November’19.
From November’19 to November’20, my portfolio has increased by over Rs.17 lakhs. That is more than 3 times from where I started off in November’19 with Rs.5 lakhs.
Truth be said, not all of that is money I earned or invested. When I started my blog last year, I had not considered several savings and assets such as PF and a ULIP I had.
So factoring in the parts I did not consider initially and added a few months later, in the past 12 months, I started my journey towards FIRE and growing Passive income with a total of about Rs.10,00,000 and now have doubled it closing this year with Rs.22,82,741.
How did my wealth grow during the past 12 months? Well several ways:
Passive Income streams
At this point, my passive income streams did not add the most to my savings. They did contribute a total of Rs.2,14,910. The point is that this is Year 1. As time goes and my investments grow, passive income will become a bigger part of the pie.
The ideal state for anyone in search of FIRE is to have a source of passive income that is far larger than what they earn. I wish to have the same 10 years from now by age 40.
Consistent Saving of money
This is as important, if not more important than building passive income sources. During the initial stages like I pointed out earlier, I get little passive income. During this time, saving money month on month will act as the multiplier for growing wealth.
This is required much later as well, but in 5 years time, as per my trajectory, the money saved from my salary will be much smaller as passive income will be a lot more at that time.
Nevertheless, I have made it a point to add money every month and only failed to do so in October and November as I had larger than usual medical bills, purchases and donations to take care of.
Good returns on Investment
Every rupee I made has been thoroughly utilized and made to work hard for me. I spend countless hours to ensure that:
- I am getting the best of returns
- loose very little money to scams
- Constantly stay vigilant for the best of opportunities
Funny as that might sound, this year I was in the right place at the right time. That is, during the time stocks were down due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, I was able to quickly buy up a lot of stocks at dirt cheap prices.
This helped me add Rs.1.5 Lakhs to the 12.8 Lakhs I have made this year. Lucky I say!
Things that changed for the better
There are a number of things that changed for the better as I started my Financial Independence journey 12 months back.
Goals, Goals, Targets, Targets
From day one, this was the most important motivating factor for me. I realized that I needed something concrete and reliable to keep me going. Yet, this had to be realistic.
One of the first things I did after deciding to reach FIRE was to set a target for myself.
In my case, it was:
Simple as that. And that goal gave me a purpose. And for every single day from then to now, I have aligned almost everything I do towards that goal.
Tracking and monitoring
Post starting this journey, I have been tracking a lot of expenses, savings, investments etc. I don’t use anything fancy, just an Excel file that I update every few days.
This is a lot more than what I used to do in the past. A year before, I was a 28 year old family man who never tracked expenses or income.
This helped me realize a lot of opportunities and even streamlined decision making in terms of managing finances.
Peace of mind
There usually is this nagging feeling at the back of your mind on how you will pull through. Weather you will have enough for your child’s education etc.
Not for me. After I charted out a plan for myself, not once have I ever worried about if I will pull through financially in the future. Because, for me this is no longer art. With this much tracking, forecasting, monitoring etc, managing personal finance has become a Science!
Eagle Eyes for Opportunities
Like I said, almost everything I did was tied to my goal. As such, I was super careful to not loose any money. Be it a scam or a poor income generating source, I had to be very meticulous in choosing where to invest.
This is not just in terms of investing. Even for Offers and deals, I kept my eyes and ears open. Buying a laptop or phone at the best times far below the market rate is definitely money earned!
Growth in Passive Income streams
As stated earlier, growing my passive income streams is my area of focus for 2021. In 2020 I have invested a bit into a few passive income generating businesses.
Gradually I hope to build these up to earn some money while I sleep and holiday!