Stocktake: Q1 2022

Thus while I rave, a gleam of pleasing light
Spread o’er the place; and, shining heav’nly bright

What’s new?

War in Europe, which has had remarkably little impact on asset valuations. Of all the blips on my FI progress chart, the 2018 monetary policy tightening appears to have been the most impactful.

Looking ahead, inflation shouldn’t do much damage to equities, and my exposure to fixed income is rather limited.

How’s the progress?

On track across the board. Even the savings rate is remarkably solid for this time of year at 52%.

As I’m moving into the final tertile of my FIRE journey, I’ve been pondering the meaning of (arbitrary) large round numbers. The number appeared on my spreadsheet last year and failed to have any impact whatsoever. Mainly because I knew it was all bullshit anyway — I hadn’t bothered revaluing the property part of the asset pot (can’t be asked), but had I done so, I would’ve seen the same or similar top number on the same spreadsheet ages ago.

The feeling was not at all what I thought it would be. Instead of elation, I felt flat. Meh. It’s just another number on a spreadsheet that shows how much is not enough.

It’s going to be four more years at least.

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4 thoughts on “Stocktake: Q1 2022”

  1. haha, congrats on passing the big one 😉

    > War in Europe, which has had remarkably little impact on asset valuations.

    Fat Lady ain’t sung on this one yet, IMO. Not so much the valuations as effect of the oil shock, which si a movie we’ve seen before in 1973. Plus subsidizing the fuel costs of up-and-coming regions by not competing in the marketplace for it. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, and indeed if it favours renewables accelerating perhaps it’s an ill wind, but it will speed up a power shift. Buggered if I know what it will do to valuations, though the effect on the value of cash is out there in plain sight

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    1. To be honest (though do try very hard to not be a cynic, alas, I fail) re: up and coming regions, it seems like any prosperity there, even if it comes from being more competitive on output prices by the virtue of using subsidised inputs like Russian oil and gas, that ends up inflating asset prices here. So long as the west is the place to be seen spending time at, so long we hold the monopoly on popular culture and most of the intellectual property, everyone from every up and coming region will want to be us, and will want to spend money on shit we own and creat, like iPhones. Even if they end up making that stuff in their own local factories… It seems to me like prosperity over there exacerbates inequality over here, but it’s a net gain for the West overall, however unequally divided. So they’ll make fewer German cars in Germany – so what, they’ll make more of them in India using cheap Russian energy — a net win for the shareholders of German car companies. And so on and so forth. There are so many layers and interdependencies, it’s like throwing pebbles in a bucket of water – the surface wave from the first stone is nice and neat and easy to see, but then they reflect and superpose and before you know it it’s a total mess.

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  2. Haha, we’re back to ‘the slog’ again. 😉

    Maybe you should follow Munger and his mathematician and “invert, always invert”.

    How would you feel if you hadn’t made such progress? How would you feel if you were starting out today? Maybe that will help make you more justifiably proud (/grateful?) of what you’ve been able to achieve so far?

    The mid-marathon slump is definitely real.

    As for the number, I was slightly more excited — enough to screenshot it anyway. (Happened when I was checking something in my active portfolio, which at the time was about 50 times a day hah).

    What I found more emotional was when it slumped back below again not long after due to a mini-wobble in the markets. Which I guess proves the old adage about losses being worse than gains…

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    1. Haha, yes, that gives it some perspective.
      What would I do if I was starting out now? Cry, probably, but I guess better late than never. 😉 Now I can definitely understand, albeit not sympathise with some of my former coworkers — early to mid 40s, overstretched financially, saddled with children, part-time-teaching-assistant-aspiring-to-be-full-time-housewife wives, and chips on shoulders about the Joneses, blowing money on expensive hotels and crap just to keep up the illusion of the middle class dream. Keeping an an entry-level model Porsche on lease in the garage (no time to drive it, obviously, because: children) and calling it a compensation for all the shit they have to take at work and at home. These used to be the worst types, with the most sensitive toes one could ever step on. I used to think that was because they were twats, but now I can see it was probably mostly desperation. Being overcommitted and with one’s back against the wall, afraid that any more serious mistake at work could blow up the lifestyle… that tends to bring out the worst in people.
      The best thing that money has bought me so far? Less fear, which enables me to be kinder to others. I don’t have to shift / assign or apportion blame if I don’t want to, nor do I have to kiss ass beyond the level that I deem reasonable 😉. You could almost call it dignity 😂

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