Personal financial tracking tool – new to the Treasure Chest!


It’s the start of a new financial year, and what better time to start tracking your finances and getting a better handle on your money situation! (or perhaps to start using a fresh new template if you already track your finances!)

The financial benefits of simply tracking your money are enormous. Without regularly doing this, and having a good handle on exactly where your money comes from and goes, it’s so easy for those dollar bills to just melt away, leaving you with very little at the end of every month.

I’ve been tracking my finances as a monthly habit for a few years now, and it’s been immensely valuable for me personally. It really is a fundamental money habit, no matter what your financial or investing goals are. [Read more…]

2015 Goals Part 2: Non-financial goals, and reflections


If you read the update on my three financial goals for the year, you’d be forgiven for thinking I’m probably a little disappointed with the progress at the half way point through 2015.

But despite the relatively low self-assessed progress scores, there’s definitely been a slightly different story playing out over the past six months.

But before I reflect too much on the overall picture so far, it’s time to first review my progress on the non-financial side of things. [Read more…]

2015 Income Increase Initiatives – half-time check-in!

half time

Back in the distant past of January this year, I set some goals for 2015, and shared them here on the Islands of Investing to keep me accountable.

And just like a good Investment Plan, it’s important to take some time to check in along the way and make sure things are on track. That gives you the opportunity to make some changes to your behaviours or focus if needed, and also reassess that those goals are still important.

So as we near the half-way point of 2015, I’ve reflected on how I’m going so far this year.

I set five specific goals, with the first three being income and financial focused. These are the three I’ll look at in this post, with the final two and an overall summary to follow in the next post. [Read more…]

Investment Plan Island Interview with…. Jason from Dividend Mantra!

Dividend Mantra

After kicking things off with a great investing interview with the Integrator, we have some more fantastic insights into the investment plan and behaviours of another very special guest – Jason Fieber, founder of Dividend Mantra!

I’ve been following Jason’s blog for some time now, and there’s two things in particular that have struck me about him: [Read more…]

Investment Plan Island Interview with…. the Integrator!


Every individual has their own unique approach to investing – either by careful design, habit or from their unique journey of experiences in the investing world so far. Some are just starting out on their journey, and others are investment veterans with years of practical experience under their belts.

My own approach has changed over the years, both in terms of the ‘technical’ aspects, and my mind-set and attitudes towards my investments. And one of the biggest influences in this is talking to others about their own approaches, or reading about their own views on investing, and thinking, “ah, that particular element of your plan might work even better for me! Let me make some tweaks to my approach!” [Read more…]

How do you score on the ‘Investing Serenity Scale’?


One of the big reasons these Islands of Investing were created was to provide a quiet place of calmness, serenity, or peace of mind when it comes to investing.

The returns you achieve are important, of course. There’s a bit of a balance in setting up a plan that will achieve your goals, but one that you’re comfortable with and doesn’t cause you too much stress. But at the end of the day, most people are investing to create a better life for themselves. And if you’re stressed out all the time, that kind of defeats the purpose!

For example, you might be knocking it out of the park with 38% returns per annum over the last 5 years, but completely stressed out of your brain, constantly worrying about something going wrong (perhaps because you’re highly leveraged!). You can’t stop thinking about your investments and are constantly chasing some new way of investing to stay on top. [Read more…]

Disaster strikes! A Tsunami hits the Million Dollar Islands!

A freakTsunami - Islands tsunami has crash across the shores of the Million Dollar Islands, destroying asset values and leaving many investments in tatters. The damage is still being assessed as those giant waves continue to roll through the Islands.

There was absolutely no warning of this catastrophe, and no opportunity for any of the Million Dollar Island residents to evacuate. One minute the sun was shining, the next minute, a tsunami came crashing down, seemingly out of nowhere. Tsunamis are known to have occurred on rare occasions in this part of the world, but this has come as an incredible shock. [Read more…]

Start living your post-financial-independence life today

activities then timeWhen it comes to personal finance and investing, there seem to be two very clear and separate worlds – life before financial independence, and life after financial independence.

Two recent posts have really struck me with how clear a line there seems to be between these two worlds. Justin at Root of Good, who achieved financial independence (FI) at 33, recently shared his current weekly schedule. The variety and balance of activities was in stark contrast to his pre-FI schedule, which was filled with work, and any other activities crammed into the extremities of the day. [Read more…]

Million Dollar Islands update – May 2015: Enhancing the Plan

Portfolio 31 May 2015 - overall summaryTime for another monthly update from the Million Dollar Islands, the 6th since we started last December. But this update is a little different to others.

Those winds of change that have been blowing across the Islands recently have also swept through the Million Dollar Islands, bringing some tweaks and refinements to the strategy.

But before I dive into that, here’s a quick look at what happened in May: [Read more…]

Remembering self vs experiencing self – who is more important for a happy life, and what role can Financial Independence play?

Experiencing vs rememberingMost of us are aware of two directly competing versions of ourselves. There’s you, ‘right now’ you, who gets to experience things real time. Then there’s ‘future you’, whose future experience will depend on the things that you do today.

The tension between the two is pretty clear. To give future you the best experience, right now you probably needs to do some things that he / she would rather not do. Perhaps it’s exercising, rather than sitting and watching TV which might be far more enjoyable right now. Or not devouring a super-cheesy-crust pizza and five beers, which is awesomely delicious right now, but will make future you a little less healthy. [Read more…]