Irish Financial Independence & Personal Finance Podcast

All Blog Articles

October 2022 Portfolio Update

Tuesday, 1st November 2022

Back in 2017 our family was deep in the rat race. I was working 8 hours per day as a freelance software developer and we had a spending problem. Money was coming in, but going out even faster. After learning about FIRE, it all made sense - if we can reduce our expenses, increase our income and save the difference, I can finally get away from working 8 hours per day managing multiple clients and dealing with multiple problems per day.

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September 2022 Portfolio Update

Tuesday, 4th October 2022

I sat down in September to crunch the numbers on my investment properties. One of the frustrations in Ireland is that 50% tax rates mean that rental properties with mortgages typically provide no positive cash flow. While this is frustrating when building your portfolio, I made the realisation that when 20% tax rates are applied, positive cashflow is possible from mortgaged investment properties, though it would likely require me to manage the properties myself.

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August 2022 Portfolio Update

Saturday, 3rd September 2022

Over the years, I have heard time and time again that when pursuing financial independence, it was so important to find your “why”. Why is one doing this, and what is getting them up in the morning. I will be honest, for so many years I didn’t really know what my “why” was. I knew I wanted to take back my time, and have a feeling of being in control of my time and finances, but my big “why” was always about time freedom.

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July 2022 Portfolio Update

Tuesday, 2nd August 2022

We ordered Solar Panels back in March and they were finally installed during July. We purchased nine 400 watt panels and a 5KWh battery. It has been a dream so far, and in fact due to long summer days in July, nearly all of our electricity was powered by the panels.

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June 2022 Portfolio Update

Sunday, 3rd July 2022

June marked 7 months of me working overtime. It is tough - long days, with weekends being tired and simply trying to recover. As tough as working overtime is, it is for one simple reason - to build up my portfolio!

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May 2022 Portfolio Update

Friday, 3rd June 2022

Ben from the Limerick FI group made the suggestion in the recent meet up that financial Independence is “just a mathematical problem”. One could argue truer words have never been spoken. FI of course is just about getting the numbers to work in your favour - naturally, in practice it is a lot harder than that.

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April 2022 Portfolio Update

Tuesday, 3rd May 2022

April marked the fourth month in a row that I have been able to make a decent monthly contribution to my portfolio - in fact I have now added €40k to my portfolio in the first 4 months of the year - averaging €10k per month. There is no secret to my success. I have been able to increase my monthly contributions by simply working longer hours each day.

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March 2022 Portfolio Update

Sunday, 3rd April 2022

I sat down recently to work through our monthly budgeting. Like many families out there, with inflation kicking in pretty hard at the moment, there has been a noticeable squeeze on the bottom line!

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February 2022 Portfolio Update

Wednesday, 2nd March 2022

February was a record month in terms of new contributions. We have been looking to put together a deposit for a new investment property in quick time, so I have been working harder than ever before. While there is much to dislike in the post COVID world, such as high inflation, lack of supply etc, one positive thing has been the ability to work remotely. While I have always worked from home, in the post COVID world there are more remote work opportunities than ever before.

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January 2022 Portfolio Update

Wednesday, 2nd February 2022

From an investing point of view, January started off in the red. While it looks like 2022 might be a rocky road ahead, most of us should relish the opportunity to buy at a discount. I decided to be brave, and purchase some additional shares in the Vanguard S&P 500 fund that is available through Davy via my pension.

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December 2021 Portfolio Update

Tuesday, 4th January 2022

From my own financial point of view, 2021 was a great year. I added €54,000 to my portfolio and my portfolio grew from around €125k at the start of the year to just over €220k. Far better than I could ever have imagined. However, I am also well aware that we now face a sharemarket that is showing signs of being overvalued and house prices in Ireland have increased over 10% in the last 12 months.

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November 2021 Portfolio Update

Wednesday, 1st December 2021

We know the ultimate goal is to become financially independent, but I started to ask myself, why am I trying to do this. What is the thing that I am actually looking to change? The answer was that I wanted to make work optional.

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October 2021 Portfolio Update

Wednesday, 3rd November 2021

My earning potential has never been better as a software developer and I am in the age in my life where my experience is highly desired, without being considered “too old” - yet part of me is considering moving back to part time.

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September 2021 Portfolio Update

Friday, 1st October 2021

Last month I gave my presentation titled "Early Retirement Made Possible". I love presenting and I always find I learn so much about my own journey when I need to prepare for a presentation. Up until recently I've been frustrated with FIRE because I felt that to follow the 4% rule was so difficult in Ireland, largely due to the high tax rates. Yes, we can push everything into our pension, but that then rules out early retirement, with no option to retire in our 30's or 40's. It wasn't until I dug a little deeper, that I realised that perhaps we don't need to apply the 4% rule so strictly in Ireland.

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August 2021 Portfolio Update

Wednesday, 1st September 2021

I’ve spent the last few weeks researching alternative FIRE approaches. Some form of early retirement had to be possible in Ireland - surely early retirement isn’t just reserved for those who live in the US. When I reflect, I tend to go into deep thought about certain things, and this was one of those times. How can it be possible to retire early in the US with no decent state pension scheme and free health care, yet here in Ireland, with access to so much state support, early retirement didn’t seem possible.

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Property Route VS Pension Route - Lets put the debate to bed!

Wednesday, 4th August 2021

This debate is somewhat unique to Ireland. We are a country with 50% tax rates that kick in pretty early on in one’s personal income, but we also have exceptionally generous pension schemes - especially if you are self employed. In this article, I explore the concept of investing in property personally VS investing in a pension, to work out the fastest way to become FI in Ireland.

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July 2021 Portfolio Update

Monday, 2nd August 2021

I often look back on my early investing mistakes with regret. Yes, I have learned from so many mistakes and I am now in a far better investor mindset, but the cost of the lesson has been significant. In 2018 I invested around €36,000. Of that, €6,000 went into my pension and €30,000 went into high risk investments. Had the full €36,000 been invested in my pension in a US Indexed Fund, I would be a long way ahead today than I currently am - highlighting the cost of my mistakes in the past.

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June 2021 Portfolio Update

Sunday, 4th July 2021

I recently posted a poll in the Limerick FI group asking what age they planned to retire. It was interesting to see that even in a group of people who were specifically looking to retire early, half planned to be at least in their 50’s before they retired. The reality of living in Ireland, is that because ultising a pension is the most tax efficient way for us to retire and given we can’t access the money until we are in our 50's, it is likely that for most of us, early retirement in Ireland means retiring in your 50’s at the earlist.

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May 2021 Portfolio Update

Monday, 7th June 2021

I have mentioned a few times on the podcast that I was holding 1% of my portfolio as Bitcoin. I decided to sell my Bitcoin in early May. I got a little bit lucky, I sold out when Bitcoin was just over $50k, and it since has dropped in value. I made a small loss selling out in May, but I was up overall for the year. There were several reasons for my decision, but my main reason is that I think fundamentally Bitcoin is a Ponzi-Scheme.

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April 2021 Portfolio Update

Monday, 3rd May 2021

I turned 37 in April. As I blew out my birthday candles, I released I had nothing to wish for - I had everything I needed and was content with my life. Contentment is an important aspect of the FIRE movement, and one which is often not mentioned. Often when blogging and podcasting, it is easy to focus on the exciting things about trying to become financially independent... in truth, 90% of the FIRE movement is simply good old fashioned hard work.

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March 2021 Portfolio Update

Sunday, 11th April 2021

I have often moaned on the podcast that I no longer enjoy being a freelance software developer. On reflection recently, I felt this was unfair. I enjoy 80% of what I do, it was just the 20% of my work that was making me unhappy. I decided that I was going to keep the freelancing clients that made me happy - keeping the clients that I liked working with and where I enjoyed the coding side of their projects.

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February 2021 Portfolio Update

Thursday, 4th March 2021

February was a volatile month! We saw some record market prices, with the S&P 500 and Bitcoin both hitting record highs. We saw a small correction on the last day of February, but overall asset prices are rocketing - which is likely a reaction to the share amount of cash which is being printed by governments at the moment.

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January 2021 Portfolio Update

Thursday, 4th February 2021

From 2021 I will be providing monthly updates on the portfolio and passive income. Get a full update on my portfolio and passive income for January 2021.

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Tailoring your FIRE journey to your lifestyle

Saturday, 19th October 2019

There’s no denying that the FIRE movement is gaining popularity around the world, but it’s important to keep in mind that what works in one country, may not work for them all. Here are a few tips to apply your FIRE journey in Ireland to your lifestyle.

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Review of my first full year of investing - 2018

Thursday, 25th April 2019

This article is going to look back on the last 12 months and share my investing experience. Investing should be simple, but when it's your first time around it seems so much more complicated.

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Stop trying to pay your mortgage off faster

Tuesday, 20th November 2018

Recently, I spoke to a friend who had been to an event focusing on tips to help pay off your mortgage earlier. The first thing I thought was, why would you want to worry about paying off your mortgage faster? Read about why I think your better to invest the extra cash.

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What's so scary about investing?

Sunday, 4th November 2018

Are you afraid to start investing? This article takes a look at what it takes to make that initial investment and take the leap to become an investor.

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