Irish Financial Independence & Personal Finance Podcast

March 2021 Portfolio Update

Sunday 11th April 2021

Improving My Work Situation

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. I decided I would stop working for any clients that either added stress, made me unhappy or the coding side just didn't bring me joy.

This resulted in me dropping around 20% of my current client base.

You wouldn't believe what happened. My productivity went through the roof, I started getting up earlier to start work and working later. I wasn't tired anymore and any ill feeling about Monday's went away very quickly. Because I was working more efficiently and turning around solutions for my existing clients, they sent me more work. Even though I had less clients, I was now busier than before.

Passive Income Update

In March, I learned first hand that passive income isn't something that can truly be relied on long term. One of my passive income projects that had been providing me passive income for around two years changed their revenue structure with one week’s notice. My passive income stream from that project pretty much stopped overnight!

It was pretty frustrating, as years of hard work had gone into generating the passive income and I had finally started to see some significant benefits. I am now fully focused on becoming FI through portfolio income alone. I still think passive income is an important way to build wealth, but it shouldn't be depended on as a means of early retirement.

March 2021 Portfolio Report

Stocks continued their rise in March and 2021 is off to a flying start! Likewise my Bitcoin investment was way up in March.

I am still looking to move away from my investments in peer to peer lending. Thankfully, as I continue to pump new capital into safer investments (namely equities through my pension), these earlier foolish investments are not as prominent in the portfolio.

I also decided to stop trading my own capital in the Forex markets in March. The income I was making was simply not worth my time. I have really started to appreciate my own ability to generate income through software development recently, that the time I spent studying a short term market chart just didn’t seem worth it. I thought I could find some edge, or build some system in the Forex market, but the reality is, I was just another sucker trying to make an easy buck. Overall, I pretty much broke even in the end after trading for 2.5 years - just going to show that short term trading is a game of luck as much as anything else.

Moving away from short term trading is definitely a massive fundamental change for me. I have been doing short term trading in the markets since 2018, but it has been a great relief to finally give up any dream of being a trader and focus instead on my primary skill of software development.

My path to FIRE is now far more easily defined. Earn money through my primary skill, save at least half, and invest it wisely.

Portfolio Summary (as at 31st March 2021)
Opening Balance€136,460.54
New Contributions€4,000.00
Portfolio Capital Gain + Income€3,611.70
Closing Balance€144,072.24

Monthly Portfolio Growth Report

Monthly Portfolio Growth Report
Capital Gain + Dividend Income from Equities€3,116.71
Real Estate Income€76.34
Peer to Peer Lending Income€4.99
Cryptocurrency Capital Gain€413.66
Total Change€3,611.70

Portfolio Breakdown

The table below shows the breakdown of my portfolio into the various asset classes:

Portfolio Asset Breakdown (as at 31st March 2021)
Real Estate€64,366.3944.68%
Peer to Peer Lending€1,280.300.89%

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