Investment Update – Feb 2013

The following is an update of Tim’s plan to retire early.  Please note the house is paid for so net worth is no longer tracked.

To track my progress I’ve decided to track both my expenses and my investment gains.  So once the investments gains are consistently beating my expenses I’m financially independent and can stop working.  I think my ideal tracking of this would be one full year of investment and spending data, but I don’t have that yet.  So for now I’ll do a trailing six month average on spending and investments for the calendar year.


Account (Contribution), [+/- Gain or Loss less contributions]

RRSP $32,300 ($100), [+$230]
LIRA $12,250 ($0), [+90]
TFSA $17,470 ($0), [+$10]
Pension $68,830 ($973), [+$547]
Wife’s RRSP $38,280 ($2550), [+$170]
Wife’s Investment Account $13,510 ($0), [-$80]
Wife’s TFSA $11,610 ($0), [-$200]
My Investment Account $7,150 ($0), [+$40]
High Interest Savings Account $1,900 ($700),[$0]

Investment Net Worth $203,280 ($4023 ), [+1106 or 0.5%]

(YTD Contribution: $11,055), [YTD Gain: $9,524 or 5.2%]

Spending Averages

Last Month $1156

Trailing Last Six Months (less mortgage payments) $2478


Number of months spending covered by investment gains: 1.9 {Target 1.0 or higher}


So this month I used my average 2013 monthly gains compared to my trailing 6 month spending to get my Result number of 1.9, but given the small sample size this doesn’t mean much.  I need that to be occurring on a 12 month trailing average for both investments gains and spending before I declare my retirement plan a success.  Interestingly enough, even if you compare spending last month to gains, I’m still only $50 short last month.

It’s nice to see I’ve broken the $200,000 barrier with my investments.  I checked and I broke the $100,000 barrier back in Feb 2010, so in three years I’ve doubled it.  Not bad given I’ve only focused on increasing our investments in the last four months.  I can say the second $100,000 was WAY easier than the first.

Also please note this new format is still under development, so things may change.

Any questions?

16 thoughts on “Investment Update – Feb 2013”

  1. How do you plan to compensate for year to year fluctuations in the economy? (large up and downs in the stock market, change of rates for bonds)

    And congrats on your achievement

  2. @Elizabeth,

    Oh, good question. The fluctuations are less of an issue right now, but as I get closer to the end I do have a plan to use a floor to my investment income. Basically regardless if my portfolio returns 12% one year I won’t pull the pin until I can cover my basic expenses with 4% of the portfolio. So that way I’m fairly certain to cover the down years as well as enjoy the good years.

  3. Why won’t you be tracking your net worth now that the mortgage is paid?

    I am still undecided if I should include my house in my worth. Some people leave it out because they have to live somewhere and they house is not for sale.

    If my house is included my net worth is $190,000.
    If I don’t include my house my net worth is -$9,000.

  4. @Jane – The reason I don’t include the house is I don’t plan to use any of the equity for my retirement plan. So to me it isn’t measuring what I want if I did include the equity.

  5. Interesting way of thinking Tim by not including the house. I’ll be paying ours off in April and I do a net worth update on the blog monthly as well am not sure what direction I will take with my monthly updates. Keep up the good work mate.

  6. @Tim

    Congratulations on both paying off the house and reaching the 200K mark.

    Any plans to lever the house equity (i.e. HELOC)? Could speed up the plan. I’ve done this with a smallish chunk of my paid off house – interest cost on HELOC is 3%, income on investment is 8% – clear 5% steady (actually a bit more due to interest cost being tax deductible) – note: numbers are before tax.

    I agree having expense data is crucial – personally I have 25+ years of personal expense data – makes planning very easy – simple 1 page data collection sheet (paper!) with about 25 categories (grocery, gas, clothes, etc. )to capture day to day expenses, transferred monthly to a spreadsheet which aggregates to yearly and then ongoing year over year. Whole exercise takes maybe 2 minutes per day (if that) and a further 10 minutes a month to transfer. Simple and it works. I also collect (compulsively :-)) receipts for EVERYTHINHG!

  7. I include the value of our city home in our “stache” (sorry, spending alot of time over Mr. Money Mustache’s these days) because we also have our gulf island acreage which will be our retirement home… the sale of our city home will be a 300k final boost to our nest egg which will hopefully last into our golden years.

  8. I personally like your new networth tracking set up a lot better than the way you had it in the past. It shows actual gains/losses versus savings so it’s much easier to follow yields. Additionally, I applaud your decision to not include your primary residence in your networth, as the house isn’t really a cashflow producing asset, unless you liquidate it and then either downsize or re-invest the capital gains. Like I said, much improved tracking. My only suggestion to fine tune it, (and maybe you don’t want to post it on-line, but use it for yourself), would be to break out the yield portions even further to see if your gains were coming from particular asset classes within each investment. For example are your index funds doing better than your bonds, versus individual stocks and so on. This would make it easier for you to periodiclly rebalance as asset classes inevitably drift from your target parameteres. I’ve designed a simple four tab excel spreadsheet which allows you to input your investments, track yields, and monitor the effect of a potential 4% drawdown over any number of years that you input. I’d gladly share it with you Tim if you’d like me to e-mail it to you.

  9. @John the Contractor
    any chance you’d be willing to share your spreadsheet with other readers?

  10. @John the Contractor – Thanks for the input, sure please email me your spreadsheet, you can use tim.stobbs[at] I don’t think I would post that much detail, but I’ve been wondering how to track those details myself, so I would love to see your template.

  11. @jon_snow – Well that makes complete sense in your case, if you plan to use the equity, then include it. Mine is purely backup.

  12. @GCAI – I’ll leave that for Tim to decide. I sent him a copy, and if he sees fit to share it on his blog, he can do that. There’s really not much too it, just four pages; Invesments, ETF Holdings, Rebalance, and Drawdown. Each of the pages is linked so that when you rebalance your ETFs it updates your ETF holdings page and also your Investments page. As your Investment page updates, it then updates your Drawdown page so that you know what your existing nest egg amount is. On the Drawdown page you can project out the amount you’ll need (ballpark) for a given number of years and input various inflation rates. In our case, we projected out to 85 years old and then assume we will be selling our principal residence to live off of in some type of extended care arrangement. Of course, life never goes that linear, so that’s why all the input values can be changed.

  13. @Tim
    Has John the Contractor send his template and more to the point are you going to post it?
    I’m really interested.


  14. @GCAI,

    I have it, but haven’t finished going over it yet. I also have to purge all John’s data out of it prior to sharing. It should be up next week.


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