Personal Lessons and Takeaways from Re-Reading JL Collins Stock Series

I’m going to re-read JL Collins Stock Series from start to finish. At the time of writing, it’s 31 parts. I’m going to read 3 parts per day over the next 10 days. My goal is to finish before baby #3 arrives as expected on February 19, 2018.

I’m going to re-read because…

  • JL Collins is a smart dude who knows a lot more about money management than me.
  • I don’t recall if I’ve ever read it front-to-back like a book, and I can’t recall everything he talks about.
  • A friend of mine recommended The Intelligent Asset Allocator by William Berstein (which I noticed Jim Collins references in a comment in Part XXIII in response to a reader), and I’m interested to see how Collins’ and Berstein’s investment philosophies differ or mirror.
    • BTW, check out the conversation in the comment section between JLCollins and Mr. Money Mustache from 2012 regarding this exact thing. People who know MMM will get a good kick out of it. I also think this commentary-conversation predates the public publishing of JLCollins Stock Series.
  • Once I finish re-reading the series and finishing The Intelligent Asset Allocator, I’m going to decide on some changes to our own asset allocation across all of our portfolios.
  • I’m going to jot down some personal notes from reading and post them on the blog – keyword “personal”, as in how it applies to us. If you’re interested to follow along, join me in reading the series or just check back to this post for my own thoughts.

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Monthly Family Finance Update – January 2018

Budget and Expenses

  • January under budget: $8,355 vs $8,498
    • Accounting slightly different this year. Decided to excluded expenses paid from cash flow from budget (similarly excluding the cash flow income used to pay for said expenses, e.g. $2100 rent on $1500 Mortgage = $600 income, $0 expenses). Basically using net cash flow only.
    • Food: over budget $796 vs $721 – but 2nd lowest monthly Food expense in past 13 months
  • February Budget
    • Sticking with the new lower budget $8,498
    • Will obviously be a bit more fluid and unknown with kid 3 coming this month

Savings Goals and Savings Rate Update

  • Saved $13,810 towards 2018 savings goals
  • Currently front-loading my 401k
  • Will do catch up on other 401k, IRAs, and Rental Mortgage Paydown starting in March
  • January savings rate = 54% – anything over 50% is amazing!
SavingsMTDYTD AmountOn TrackAnnual Goal
Total$13,810$13,810163%$101,808
Mr 401k$6,675$6,675433%$18,500
Mrs 401k$1,471$1,47195%$18,500
Mr IRA$0$00%$5,500
Mrs IRA$0$00%$5,500
Brokerage$0$00%$0
College$734$734100%$8,808
Car Fund$0$0$0
E-Fund$4,200$4,200$0
Rental Mortgage Paydown$730$73019%$45,000

Net Worth and FI Update

  • Net worth up to $1,211,779, up from Dec-17 $1,167,676, up from Jan-17 $965,651
    • Net Assets: $1,568,389.05
    • Liabilities: -$356,609.47
    • College Savings: $116,609.26 (not included in net worth or FI)
  • Financial Independence in: 6.47 years
    • Not realistic. Artificially too few years due to front-loading 401k – makes it seem like our savings rate (53%) higher than what it is traditionally (40% in 2017)