A burst of sunshine for the Islands!

Sunshine

I just love being on a tropical island when the sun is shining. And thanks to Eric at Retire29, today is one of those days! Eric has very kindly nominated me for a Sunshine Blogger Award!

Thank you Eric for the nomination, I greatly appreciate it!

Part of the deal is I need to answer a few questions that Eric has thrown my way. Let’s get straight into it! [Read more…]

Slowing down to get more out of life

slowing down

It seems that most people have one big objective that overrides most of their actions in life these days: Faster. MORE! Better, in less and less time! This is the path to success – slowing down is for losers! If you’re not going faster, you’re getting left behind!

Sure, if you’re a leading-edge technology company or an Olympic marathon runner, slowing down might be a disaster!

But does this approach really work for those of us who are aspiring for happiness instead of gold medals or billion dollar IPOs? [Read more…]

Flight Centre – Welcome (back!) to Growth Island!

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Readers of the June Million Dollar Islands update may recall that Flight Centre was one of the stocks I sold to help bulk up our emergency fund. The two other stocks I sold at the time I was much happier to be rid of, but Flight Centre was one I was more reluctant to sell – it was only the strong run in price over a short period that tipped it over the edge.

Well, after my recent inflow of funds, and a little more time to reflect on Flight Centre – especially following a near 30% decline in the stock price since selling – Flight Centre has flown right back in to Growth Island! Hopefully, this time it’s for the long-run!

So let’s have a fresh look at this new investment as I run through my investment checklist (you can download a blank version of the one-page checklist here too by the way, or delve into the more detailed version here) [Read more…]

July savings rate – a big boost to the 10% goal!

Savings rate boost

At the beginning of the year, I set a goal to achieve a savings rate of 10%. I thought this might be a stretch after our new home purchase, and after checking in at the half-way point last month, it was certainly looking that way.

But a surprise boost in income in July has set this achievement firmly in my sights!

I had no plans originally to share my savings rate again until the end of the year, but keeping a closer eye on the savings rate and sharing a little more detail should help keep me motivated to hit that target, especially following the boost in July!

But perhaps the bigger reason for the timing of this savings rate post – [Read more…]

Diversifying your ‘portfolio of life’

Diversification

Most of us are well aware of the benefits of diversifying our investments. If you concentrate too big a proportion of your hard earned funds in a single stock, there’s a real risk that it blows up and you lose it all.

Of course, the chances of this happening are greater for some investments than others, but you’re setting yourself up for some very binary outcomes – joy and excitement when it all goes great, or major stress and devastation when the unexpected happens, including the potential to experience one of the saddest investing tragedies.

It’s hard to find anyone who would dispute the benefits of diversification, even if you’re giving up a chance of achieving a massive payoff. The risk is almost always not worth it.

But many of us don’t tend to live our lives using the same rationale. [Read more…]

A visit from my 45 year old self

A visit from future me

45yo me: “Jason! Hi, long time no see! Wow, it feels like yesterday I was only 34! This is weeeird!!”

Me: “Wha-wha-whaaaat? You’re… me?”

45yo me: “That’s right! I’m paying you a visit from the future, because I sense you’re at a bit of a cross-roads, and I just want to make sure you know how awesome life is for me today! All that hard work you put in has really paid off, so I also just wanted to thank you for those efforts over the past 11 years! Or rather, your future 11 years!”

Me: “Wow, that’s so cool to hear! Well, you’re welcome, I guess? Sorry, I’m still in a little shock! Not just at meeting my future self, but at how fit, healthy and happy you look!” [Read more…]

ASX Limited – Welcome to Dividend Island!

ASX welcome

New additions to the Million Dollar Islands are a very rare thing so far this year.

But after making a few sales in the last month to bulk up (read start) our emergency fund, and ridding the Islands of a couple of legacy stocks that don’t quite fit in with the plan, an opportunity has presented itself to bring a few new residents to the Million Dollar Islands thanks to some recent cash inflows.

So I’m very excited to welcome ASX Limited (ASX:ASX) to Dividend Island! [Read more…]

Are the alternatives to early retirement just an ‘easy way out’?

Easy way out

Inertia is an incredibly powerful force in the universe. No matter what our life circumstances are, most of us find it immensely difficult to change direction. Our actions and habits become deeply ingrained in our system.

So when it comes to our financial lives, it’s all well and good to present great ideas, particularly when it comes to saving more of what you earn, but it’s just too easy to say “I can’t do that! I can’t make that change! Are you crazy!?”

I definitely say it myself. In fact, I’m absolutely a prime example of this. We have a pretty sensible budget with most things in our lives, so how on earth could I cut anything out? [Read more…]

Investment Plan Island Interview with….. Mr 1500!

1500 DaysWelcome back to Investment Plan Island!

Today we have the pleasure of talking to Mr 1500 from the fantastic and always entertaining blog 1500 Days to Freedom!

If you’re new here, this Island is where investors – beginner and experienced alike – come and share their own investing plans and philosophies, to give a unique investing perspective to readers, and to provide a platform for refining, tweaking or enhancing their own plan. [Read more…]

Million Dollar Islands update – June 2015

Island summary - 30 Jun 15

It’s time for another update from the Million Dollar Islands – and a milestone being the official half-way point of 2015!

For those who haven’t previously visited these Million Dollar Islands, the goal is to have these Islands collectively grow to $1 million before I turn 45 (around 11 years from now), as I highlighted in this post.

But as I mentioned last month, the Winds of Change were blowing across the Islands, which meant a little bit of tinkering during this month. I’ve continued to refine my investment plan to try and ensure there is less trading within the Million Dollar Islands going forward. I’m trying to reduce the noise, and keep things as simple but effective as I can, which is what Island Investing is all about. [Read more…]