My progress to Financial Independence/Early Retirement

I’m well on my way to financial independence.

$1,000,000 in 10 years.

Except wait…

I’m missing my target for this month, and I missed it last month. At this rate I’ll be working until I’m 50!

That is considered “early retirement” for some. But I have a much more ambitious goal.

The actual journey is never as smooth and easy as the plan. I intend to track that journey right here. I want to keep myself accountable.

So when the stock market tanks and takes my portfolio with it, we can all see if I walk the walk as well as I talk the talk.

If you want to see how I came up with these numbers check out my investment strategy.

  • I get paid on the 15th of every month  or the closest business day before that date, so for practicality purposes, my end of month will be the day before work income payment. I now get paid fortnightly, but I will continue tracking on this page for the mid of each month.
  • My contribution to my portfolio also occurs on this last day of my payment month.
  • All numbers in nominal terms (not real terms) this is why my goal appears to be larger in this table than my original goal set out in my first blog post.
  • Contributions will be held in cash until a purchase of ETF’s or shares is made.

Pat the Shuffler

19 Replies to “My progress to Financial Independence/Early Retirement”

    1. Hey Voyager

      That’s not a bad idea if people are interested. Though it would have to be a short one, I have no idea how to make a full post out of it! I’ll have to give it a bit of thought, go through all the bank records etc, because sometimes I can’t even believe I saved that much in such a short time frame.

  1. Hi Patt! I’m interested how you math the Planned Total Net Worth out. Is it in googlesheet? Can you share it with us?

    1. Hey Jono,

      How I calculated my planned net worth can be found out from my post

      I used excel to create those graphs. I could share the sheet with you byt to be hones it is quite large, unwieldly and hard to follow. I think I am the only one who would be able to follow it because I created it, but I never thought about making it user friendly. It will need a bit of work before I share it.


  2. Hi Patt, just found your blog. Really interesting and inspiring as I am also in Australia, the same age as you and trying to RE. I was wondering what platforms/services you use to trade on stocks (you mentioned in your table that you made some good trades). I’ve found the choices to be rather limited in Australia.

    1. Hi Nomad

      Thanks for the feedback! 🙂

      I use Commsec. I know it is a tad more expensive than other platforms, but I trade infrequently enough that brokerage isn’t really a problem. I have never felt limited in any real way. Commsec has an international trading account for those who are keen in picking certain overseas stocks but I haven’t ventured into that foray yet.

      I just made one really good purchase and it has buoyed my portfolio for the last month.

  3. Hi Pat,

    My partner and I stumbled across your blog via MMM. We’re not new to the saving game however are new to the lets-be-smarter-with-our-savings game. I see in your comment above you use Commsec but arent overly active in trading, am I right? Would like to hear your thoughts on why you’ve chosen that route as opposed to low cost index funds etc?


    1. Hi Savvy dreamer

      You would be correct in saying that!

      I think we may need to clear some things up, to buy a low cost passive index fund you need to use a broker (such as Commsec)!. Commsec charges $20 per trade so they are definitely on the expensive side. So it costs me maybe an extra $60 a year compared with the cheapest broker available, I however get the convenience of keeping all my banking in the same place (assuming 6 trades a year at $120 total for my trades)

      The alternative to using a broker such as this is investing in Vanguards retail or wholesale funds, but the ongoing management expense on these is higher. It can be up 0.1% higher on the whosesale funds, but even on the lower end of about 0.05% higher, that amounts to an extra $125 per year on my current portfolio value and onto $500 per year when I reach $1mil. So it is actually cheaper in the long run to go with a broker (even the more expensive broker that is Commsec)

      This ofcourse all changes with the number of trades per year and your total portfolio value, but I believe due to Capital Gains Tax somewhat locking you into whatever you choose to begin with, for me over a lifetime it is better to go with a broker and purchase ETFs. There is also definitely value in it all being online for using an online broker vs having to mail into vanguard to make a withdrawat etc.

  4. Are you investing in indexing ETFs or are you purchasing individual shares? Using a core and satellite style portfolio or other? I ask as your “one really good purchase” in the last month seems to imply the purchase of individual shares. I haven’t seen a lot of information on your blog past investing in the share market, although I haven’t read everything tbh

    1. Hodor

      I aim to do mostly ETF investing, though sometimes I get a little silly and think I can beat the market, I am actively trying to beat this stupid thought out of my mind, it may take a few years yet to reach that point. I have one portfolio.


  5. Interesting to say you’re trying to beat that thought out of your head because I’ve been dealing with similar urges haha!
    What I’m shooting for now is to do the bulk of my investing with ETFs and then allow myself a small ‘mad money’ fund to scratch that competitive itch with some experiments. Splitting it up that way should greatly reduce my risk of ruin.
    Have you considered a similar approach? The way I see it is that being so young, now is the best time to take calculated risks. What are your thoughts?

    1. I agree with you to some extent. But I am also very analytical and data driven. The data is clear and there is no reason as far as I can tell for me to be so arrogant to think I am special or different to be an exception to that data. So I am definitely moving to a total ETF portfolio, however the individual shares I have already bought so far will remain as relics in my portfolio.

  6. Hi Pat, Just wondering if you plan on sharing your split of investments. i.e. do your figures above include property, cash or super?

    I try and split super out of it but still take it into account for the long term.



    1. The figures above are my whole net worth assuming I place a $0 value on my personal belongings. I rent and do not own a car. Nor do I own any property. The amount of cash I keep on hand is trivial but is included. Most of my net worth is held in ETF’s mostly Australian market ETF (VAS) but also including a small portion of American market ETF (VTS) and other smaller individual Australian holdings.

      I do not include super in my net worth calculations. For me super is a nice bonus, but not to be relied upon.

      1. Thanks for the reply Pat. It seems VAS is a popular choice. And for good reason. Are you combining your figures with your partner like Aussie firebug? Sorry for all the questions. Just interesting to see how people work it out.

        1. Hey Phil

          All good. Right now our finances are separate and the table on this page reflects only my net worth. I have tossed up combining them on this page to give a m ore accurate reflection of when we will reach FI but as of right now have not decided to do so.

          1. Thanks for clarifying all this. Too often people include their super and their partner’s wealth which seems to me to miss the point of the whole exercise…