Irish Financial Independence & Personal Finance Podcast

October 2021 Portfolio Update

Wednesday 3rd November 2021

Taking New Opportunities

When I was teenager, I had a very good friend. We played golf together. When we first started playing together, we had a similar ability, Both playing off around a 14 handicap. He had great natural talent and a real passion to become better.

As the years went by, his passion grew to desire and I soon noticed that he was working harder than ever on his game. He started missing his study and investing more in his game. He paid for regular lessons and practiced nearly every day.

His scores started to get better as well, and his handicap dropped as a result. He soon found himself with a clear goal - he needed to get to a 3 handicap to qualify for golf school. This would allow him to eventually become a pro-golfer. I admired his work ethic when it came to golf and he was a pleasure to play with and watch - he made it look effortless.

I will never forget the day that he finally got his handicap under 3. I was so excited for him - I remember saying something like “well, are you going to get the paperwork and apply for golf school”..... “Na, he said…. I like playing as an amateur too much, I don’t think I will go for it”.

To this day, I don’t truly know why my friend didn’t want to push himself - he had so much talent that it has been hard for me to come to grips with his decision, even all these years later. To see someone sacrifice so much, and to be given such a gift that hasn’t been able to live up to its full potential. I have never come close to his ability on the golf course, in fact I am far worse than a 14 handicap these days!

I have been reflecting recently on the story of my friend and comparing it to my own career as a software developer. Ironically, software development and golf have a lot in common - the good golfers make the game look easy, yet most of us struggle to even hit the ball straight!

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. Would I be doing what my friend did when he finally got down to a 3 handicap by moving to part time work, at a time when my hard work is finally starting to pay off?

Of course, this is the problem. Greed VS time - it is the FIRE trade off that everyone on this journey will face at some point. That inability to reduce hours when one can. The whole “just one more” challenge that we all have to try to overcome.

And here lies the issue. We know that our FIRE journey is ultimately about sacrificing today to give ourselves a better future, but where do we draw the line?

I think I need to plan my FI journey from here. If I take a high paying role, does that give me an earlier path to FI before 50? Would I be better off to take a stress free, cruisy role and focus on lifestyle design and just accept I won’t be able to fully retire until I am 50 or later, but knowing that I can enjoy the next 12 years or so until I get there. These are the questions I will be looking to answer in the next few updates!

Shout out to Ben

I just wanted to give a quick shout out to Ben, who I know from the Limerick FI Group. Ben is bullish on property, but is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to working out tax efficient investments in Ireland. He recently started a blog, which can be accessed by clicking here.

October 2021 Portfolio Report

Portfolio Summary (as at 31st October 2021)
Opening Balance €196,943.50
New Contributions €4,000.00
Portfolio Growth €5,374.72
Closing Balance €206,318.22

Monthly Portfolio Growth Report

Monthly Portfolio Growth Report
Capital Gain + Dividend Income from Equities €4,749.01
Real Estate Income €629.23
Total Growth €5,374.72

Portfolio Breakdown

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

Portfolio Asset Breakdown (as at 31st October 2021)
Equities €104,624.48 50.71%
Real Estate €88,052.20 42.68%
Cash €13,641.54 6.61%
Total €206,318.22 100.00%

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