Million Dollar Islands update – 31 January 2015

Portfolio 31 Jan 2015 - Islands summary

The first month of 2015 has come to an end – at least for the stock market – so it’s time for an update of the Million Dollar Islands portfolio.

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 earlier post.

So how did the Islands start the year? [Read more...]

Stocking up on bargains – at the supermarket and the stock market

20140115 shopping for bargains

Last night I did one of my regular trips to the local supermarket, armed with a shopping list prepared by my wife. I diligently stick to only those items on the list, and usually avoid unnecessary temptations fairly well.

The one thing I do sometimes fail at is actually arriving home with everything that was on the list, and of course the right versions or specifications of those items. How I can forget an item when there’s a list in my hand is something I am yet to comprehend, but that’s a topic for another day… [Read more...]

Investing in your loved ones always gives the best returns

20150117 - WeddingI met my wife almost nine years ago now, and it didn’t take long for her to completely change my life. I asked her to marry me less than two years later.

I had more certainty than any risk-free investment you could possibly find that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her, and am even more certain still today. It’s like turning a $1,000 investment into $20 billion, and asking “hmmm, should I give this up to try find another one that will turn into $30 billion??”. It’s already $19.99 billion much more than I ever dreamed I’d have, more than I’d ever need in my life. I couldn’t be happier. [Read more...]

Do you rue your missed investing opportunities? Try taking this perspective instead…

perspectivePerspective is such a critical factor when it comes to investing. Regardless of the dollars you generate or the percentages your portfolio climbs, without the right perspective, it can all pretty meaningless. You can be miserable while generating awesome, market-beating returns if you fall into some of the psychological traps us humans succumb to so easily – not to mention how you’ll feel when you lose money!

I’d like to highlight one fundamental flaw that I think most of us have when we look at our own investments, and suggest what we can do about it to help bring us closer to our aspirations of ‘Investing Serenity’. [Read more...]

The plan for 2015 – Islands of Investing Income Increase Initiatives!

waterfallAfter recently reflecting on 2014, it’s a perfect time to plan out what I want to achieve in 2015 with those highlights and lowlights fresh in my mind.

Now, I have a bad habit of wanting to achieve a million things at once, and of course, failing at most of them. My desires for 2015 are absolutely no exception, but after writing and re-writing this post a number of times, I’ve narrowed my goals down from a long list to only a few specific ones for 2015. It’s especially important this year because with the move to a new house this month, as well as a baby due in June, I expect my discretionary time will become even more scarce this year. [Read more...]

Million Dollar Islands update – 31 December 2014

Portfolio 31 Dec 2014 - Islands summary

It’s been around three weeks (and only 11 trading days) since I first shared the details of my Million Dollar Islands Portfolio, but I’m keen to draw a starting line at 1 January 2015 to see how the portfolio performs over the calendar year. It also gives me a chance to test-drive my first performance update, even though it’s been less than a month!

Here’s the overall picture since 12 December 2014: [Read more...]

Reflecting on 2014 from the Islands

20150101 - reflections

Happy new year everyone! Hope you enjoyed some great end of year celebrations, spent some quality time with family and friends, or even some quiet time to yourself.

In our busy, noisy lives, it’s so important to create the time to reflect on what you’ve been doing, on what’s most important to you in life, and where you want to spend your energy in future. The Christmas and New Year period is a perfect time for this, as most of us take a break from our day jobs to be with family and friends and take a well-earned rest.

And what better place to reflect on the year than relaxing on our tranquil Islands of Investing. After all, a big focus of ours is ‘living well’, and until you take the time to reflect on what that means for you, it’s pretty hard to achieve. And reflecting on your highlights and lowlights for the year is a great way to steer you towards what living well really means for you. [Read more...]

2014 savings rate (and targets for the next two years)

2014 savings rateAs most of you readers know by now, our focus here on the Islands of Investing is to become better investors, and grow our money in a tranquil and peaceful paradise. We don’t really talk much about saving money here, but it’s obviously a key component of investing – you can’t invest what you don’t save!

And having just established my Million Dollar Islands, as well as having just bought our new home, we have some serious financial challenges to tackle in the near future. As it looks today, it will be difficult keeping our savings rate above zero for the next 12 months, which of course would also mean no further contributions to the Million Dollar Islands until either income grows or expenses decrease. [Read more...]

If Peter Piper picked a portfolio of people with profit potential, what sort of portfolio would Peter Piper pick?

Peppers

Sometimes the investing world just seems far too complicated. Much of this is perception, but some is reality. Either way, you have almost total control over how simple or complicated you make it. And often, it all comes down to your own perspective of the world.

I recently shared the story of my friend who had trouble overcoming a barrier of complexity which was preventing him from taking his first investing steps.

But we shouldn’t just stop there once we’ve got the investment ball rolling. As most visitors to the Islands here are fairly open-minded, curious, and like to think differently about things, it’s always worth framing ideas a different way to consider another perspective on the same message. [Read more...]

My Portfolio: Part 2 – A journey around the Islands

Journey around IslandsIn the last post I shared with you my goals, my ‘why’, and a little bit about my investing approach.

So now it’s time to introduce you to my portfolio – the ‘Million Dollar Islands!’ (at least that’s what it’s aspiring to be one day!)

In Peter Lynch’s excellent investing book ‘One up on Wall St’, he talks about looking at stocks in different groupings, according to their characteristics. I’ve done something similar, but here we invest on different Islands, which each have different characteristics. Here’s a summary, including the latest balances at of Friday 12 December: [Read more...]