Making a Mess on the Million Dollar Islands

Island summary 30-Sep-15Wow – I know in my last update I said I wanted to slow down the updates on the Million Dollar Islands, to create more serenity and less chopping and changing of the portfolio, but it feels like the Islands have been abandoned!

In reality, I’ve been debating whether to keep sharing this progress at all. I didn’t want the focus to be about me, my investing and my own plan. I’ve much more enjoyed bringing in a few different perspectives on investment plans through the interviews on Investment Plan Island, and also prefer sharing thoughts and ideas that can be applied more broadly.

But the personal element is what makes it interesting right? I know from all the interviewees we’ve had as guests to the Islands, it’s the personal decisions, plans and challenges that each person grapple with that I find fascinating (as well as checking out their performance!). [Read more…]

Investment Plan Island Interview with… Income Surfer!

ICONIt’s been a while since our last visit to Investment Plan Island, but today I’m thrilled to have our latest guest joining us – Bryan from Income Surfer!

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.

It involves a mix of up to 15 questions to get you thinking about your own plan, and help us dig a little deeper into your approach and perspective.

And if anyone should feel at home here on the Islands, it’s someone who loves to surf! Hopefully you brought your surfboard with you Bryan, and after our interview here you can jump out and catch a few waves (I’ll just sit back and watch you from the comfort of the beach if you don’t mind…). [Read more…]

Living on the edge (of a budget)

Living on the edgeWhen it comes to Island finances, we don’t tend to set any fixed budgets each month.

But what we do do is review our income and expenses in detail, every month. This works great for us, because we tend to focus on spending on things that we truly value, and hate wasting money on things that don’t provide value. There’s always room for improvement here, but as long as expenses are less than income, it means life is good!

This monthly review of expenses is the single most important thing we do to keep our finances in control. If one month’s spending is a little higher than we would ideally like, it provides a good focus for the following month to try and reign it in. Only having to think about money once a month, for an hour or so, means no wasted time and energy during the month worrying about our broader financial situation – creating a delightful ‘budgeting serenity!’ [Read more…]

Commit to your shot – a golfing perspective on investing

Commit to your shotGolf is one of my absolute pleasures in life. There’s something about a beautifully designed course, the serenity, the feeling of the swing and flight of the ball, the endless challenge of trying to better yourself, and the complete and utter responsibility for every action and outcome that just resonates with me every time I play.

I know when it comes to discussions of retirement, particularly the early variety, an all-to-common phrase when talking about early retirement plans is “I’m not just going to play golf all day!”. Sure, I might not do it all day, every day, but it would definitely have a place in the weekly roster! [Read more…]

Having no choice can be a glorious thing

Having no choiceI absolutely love freedom. I love being able to take advantage of opportunities when they arise, combined with being able to listen to my body and mind, to do exactly what seems right at that time.

And I’m not talking about life-changing events necessarily. Things like being able to pour myself into some writing when the waves of inspiration flow over me, dashing out for a run along the river when the sun comes out, or playing silly games with my daughter when we both just want to have a little fun. [Read more…]

Escaping the noise

Escaping the noiseI had a vision when I created the Islands of Investing. I was sick of the constant noise I was being bombarded with in the world, particularly when it came to investing. This noise was definitely not helping me become a better investor, or a better person.

And I suspected that many others out there felt the same. Or worse, they were being seriously harmed by all this noise as they searched for the answers to their investing needs. [Read more…]

A burst of sunshine for the Islands!


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!


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…]