Progress Update – 7/22/2017 – 3 Alternative Investments

If you’re new to, Welcome!  We started this blog August 2016 after The Revelation, deciding on The Mission, and starting this site.  We post regularly about the journey, personal finance, and miscellaneous musings in the Posts section.

We had been posting our financial goal progress monthly, but as that doesn’t change in interesting ways each month we’ve scaled back to quarterly and for the big events.

We didn’t hit any new milestone, but we are up again since the last update, mostly attributable to stock market gains.  In addition I’ve kicked off 3 alternative investments.  This quarter I dabbled in Volatility, Stock Options, and Digital Currency all for the first time.  To be clear, none of these are a material portion of our portfolio, nor would I suggest they should be.  But as the market rises, I find myself more and more concerned about adding stocks at these levels.  More on the new investments below.

Retirement Portfolio as of 7/22/17 – $1,851,145.09 – up $110,284.85 since our last update on 3/4/2017


Still trending ahead of goal by about 100k.

Charted – Actual retirement savings against our prorated goal is starting to take shape.  Certainly I am happy to see the orange line above the blue one!

Net Worth – $2,133,905.15
Finally hit $2.1MM and blew past that.

New “Investments”….

I put investments in quotes not because they aren’t, but certainly they are outside of my typical ETFs and Mutual Funds.  Because of my job I’m limited in what I can invest in.  Even where I’m allowed to invest, often preclearance is required.  That said, these didn’t because they are ETFs and in the case of Ethereum, not considered an investment.

  1. Volatility – by way of VXX – This is an ETF that attempts to track the VIX index.  The VIX which is commonly called Wall Street’s fear index is a measure of volatility in the stock market.  For more information, Bloomberg put out a great podcast explaining the VIX.
  2. Options – specifically options on XLF – We have tight restrictions on stock options… but because of the diversification we’re allowed buy ETF options as long as we hold for 30 days.  As you may know, options have a strike date so I have to be sure that date is at least 30 days out.  XLF is an ETF that tracks the S&P Financials.
  3. Crypto Currency – specifically Ethereum – Most people at this point have heard of Bitcoin.  It is a digital currency about 10 years old.  Ethereum is it’s younger brother.  Ethereum is the 2nd largest digital currency by market cap.  I’ve been dabbling in 2 ways.  I bought some coins and I build a mining machine.

More on these adventures and the outcomes in my next post.


Read Next: Don’t Wish Your Life Away


  1. I have enjoyed stumbling across your site. Pretty awesome goals!

    I’m not quite as versed in financial planning and have a question without getting into to much detail. Have you considered that your “non-restricted” cash contributions will be relied on for the entire duration between the ages of 40 to 59.5 years old (for now) without incurring penalties from your 401k/IRA investments?

    Basically at your Exit, you will not be able to pull from those traditional retirement vehicles until you are 59.5 yo (for now) without penalty. From a bankrate calculator you’ll need $1.1MM in assets compounding at 4% annually on a $6,700 a month budget to make it the 19.5 years without running out of money. The interest rate might be a little conservative but you never know whats going to happen! Are y’all on track for this?

    Cheers and good luck.

    1. Certainly a good point. The current plan consists of upping dividend paying assets in our taxable accounts. ROTH contributions can be withdrawn tax/penalty free. Also there are some ways to pull money from traditional/rollover IRAs such as rolling to ROTHs waiting the 5 year holding period before withdrawing penalty free.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *