Financial Independence Update Report – September 2021

Michael QuanFI / FIRE, Investment, Misc, Net Worth10 Comments

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Financial Independence Update Report – September 2021

Take a peek at our personal numbers for the month of September 2021.  This includes a synopsis of our net worth and monthly cash flow activity.

Learn HOW to calculate your net worth, but NEVER define yourself by it.  Curious as to WHY I calculate and share our personal net worth?  I explain it here.

Want to track your finance automatically and for FREE?  See how I use Personal Capital to help create these financial reports.  If you’re new to budgeting, download my F.I.R.E. Budget spreadsheet.

September – Overview & Updates

I love the Fall. Out with the hot and in with the cool. It’s also a fine time to travel, especially when the kids are out for their Fall break. Despite having two weeks for the kids’ Fall break, we ended up not taking any family trips this time because I was attending FinCon21 the first week and my wife had a girls’ trip the second week.  Nevertheless, the kids still had a fantastic Fall break hanging out with their grandparents, cousins, and neighborhood friends.

FinCon21 was held in Austin, Texas this year. It’s the first conference I’ve been to in a couple of years in person and it was really nice to get back out. This was both an in-person and virtual event for those who weren’t prepared to make it out in person. Although I had a little reservation about coming out, I felt the risk outweighed the reward and I’m glad I went out.

The conference was Wed. – Sat of last week. And being that my mastermind group was all attending, we decided to do an offsite beforehand and shared an Airbnb right in the heart of downtown Austin. This was incredible and quite relevant as were speaking on a panel later during the conference about masterminds. And although we meet regularly throughout the year, being in person added another level of connection that isn’t always possible in a virtual setting (sorry Zoom, it’s true!).

In addition to talking about our businesses, we also got to shoot the shit about life and lots of fun tangents like NFTs and family fun nights. It’s hard to place a tangible value on these interactions, but because of this mastermind, I was blessed to be connected to so many other brilliant minds over the weekend and I found some clarity that I’d been missing for some time (more on that later).

I also brought 10 books to the FinCon21 authors’ booth where you could sell your books to other attendees. And, I’m happy to say I sold out! This was great because I didn’t want to have to trek any excess back home.

It was also nice getting my feet wet “speaking” on a panel during the conference. It went well overall and I think people appreciated the ideas we brought forth. I also recorded a podcast episode with Carl (aka. Mr. 1500) and Doug Cunnington of MileHighFI – an up-and-coming FIRE podcast.

Upon completion of the conference, I took a bus ride up to Dallas to hang out with my cousin for the weekend. And just before that, I had to good fortune of meeting up with Mr. Hobo from MrHoboMillionaire. He was super nice and has an incredible story of entrepreneurship in the software side of tech.

On the money side of things, September had a lot of movement. It may not seem that way because our total NW didn’t shift all that much, but there were a lot of swings which I’ll cover below.


Net Worth Summary

Financial Independence Update Report – September 2021

September was a small move for net worth.

We finished the month at $2,858,432 vs. $2,855,215 this past August.  This is a +$3,217 increase to our net worth or +0.01% by percentage.

What is interesting, however, is that there was a lot of movement within our different silos of wealth, whether it be cash, equities, or real estate.

Cash flow was UP for September.Financial Independence Update Report – September 2021

We ended up with +$15,014 of cash flow for the month.

*As you’ll see above I still have to make some manual adjustments here and with the income accounts as Personal Capital has been having some problems recently – including some income entries not making into my total monthly cash flow. 

Income for September was UP from the last month to $28,778.

Financial Independence Update Report – September 2021

Our recurring income is primarily made up of my wife’s teacher salary, rental income, dividend income, misc investment income, and online income (coaching, FBA. blog, book, etc.).

As mentioned above, Personal Capital isn’t showing all income entries. So, the adjustments are for the missing STR income AND online income.

This may seem like a great month of income from first glance, but it wasn’t all that great. Here’s why. Most of the positive cash flow seen here was from the CA tax refund that FINALLY made it back. If we back this out, we were only up a bit as we have some larger unexpected expenses come through (like a new A/C unit).


Financial Independence Update Report – September 2021

September’s expenses of -$13,764 were UP compared to last month.

The STR (short-term rental) continues to do well income-wise, but we’ve continued to have ongoing issues with the AC unit. So after several visits/repairs later, I decided to just bite the bullet and purchase a new A/C unit for the property. It wasn’t worth the hassle and scheduling nightmare to the existing guests. You’ll see this show up as real estate cap-ex on the second line.

The good news is that with the AC issue finally resolved, this should stabilize the energy bill expenses which were out of control in the months past.

Finally, note that our mortgage payment of $4000 includes our PITI (principal, interest, taxes, & interest) PLUS an extra $1820 that goes straight towards the principal (to accelerate our mortgage payoff). So, technically this is another form of savings

Portfolio Balances (Equities)

Financial Independence Update Report – September 2021

The markets took a noticeable hit towards the end of the month in response to the uncertainty of the FED budget balancing.

As you’ll often see, markets don’t like uncertainty and confidence waivers. As such, our portfolios went down in value, but it was offset by a strong real estate market.Financial Independence Update Report – September 2021

Despite the devaluation of the overall portfolio, the allocation didn’t change much.

With that said, what you won’t find on here is some diversification into cryptocurrency… namely ETH.

I have been purchasing some more ETH through Coinbase and then transferring it over to my meta mask wallet so I can trade NFTs.

Speaking of NFTs, remember that Spider-man one I shared last month? Well, the floor price for it went from $2500 to $8500! That’s quite the move and suspect it’ll go up even higher in years to come. I plan to hold it for quite some time since I bought it with prior profits, but I’ll update you guys here from time to time.

Final Thoughts

I’m always amazed by how much markets and specific sectors can move, yet within our own silos of wealth, it doesn’t look like that much has occurred. I suppose that’s a good thing because it shows the power of diversification.

Also, look for more conversation around crypto coming up. I’m definitely bullish on ETH, not just because of NFTs, but because of what it will mean for future business transactions. NFTs are only the beginning. So, I’d like to diversify our portfolios even more and get more exposure to crypto which I have been doing more of lately.

On the real estate front, I need to re-apply for a new HELOC so we can bid on new STR properties with cash. We made a couple of list price offers recently as conventional buyers but lost out to cash buyers.

Finally, I’m working on a new project after FinCon21. As I mentioned I got some additional clarity around some areas of focus I’ve never explored and it’ll be interesting to test the market. More specifics to come, but let’s just say I’m going to do a better job of tapping into my personal story and create value in a new way.


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Readers, how was your September? Are you ready for the holidays around the corner?

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10 Comments on “Financial Independence Update Report – September 2021”

  1. Nice update! Personal Capital does have a BETA section for Crypto in which you can manually enter the amounts that you own. I use this to be able to track my Crypto holdings alongside my other investments. You may have to ask them for it, but here is what they told me:

    Just as you would for other manual holdings, you’ll be able to link your crypto as a manual account by:
    – Clicking the “+” or “Link More Accounts” button at the bottom of your list of accounts.
    – Click “Add Manual Account” at the bottom.
    – Select “Cryptocurrency BETA” from the list of account types.
    – Then for each of your cryptocurrency holdings, just add your currency’s symbol, exchange, and the quantity you have.

  2. Wow you actually ended at a stable net worth for the month. Even after getting 3 paychecks, my net worth still declined, sad day. It does give me comfort that my capital is now starting to outgrow the importance of my paycheck but it doesn’t hurt any less when down months happen.

    I had no clue you were in FinCon! I wish I could’ve been there this year, but Delta scared me so much. I’m hoping another FinCon event happens in Texas.

    1. Hey, nothing wrong with a little decline. Like you said, it means your capital is outgrowing your paycheck. 🙂

      I think Fincon is tentatively scheduled for Long Beach, CA for 2022.

  3. I’m impressed you were able to check out a positive network in September. After a 4% decline in the S&P 500, I could not. Were are you guys short some stocks?

    I’ve been buying the dip, and plan to continue for the rest of the year. If you have short ideas, pls let me know!

    I think I only saw one tweet about Fincon the entire time. How much more team was it, on a percentage basis from pre-pandemic?

    By the way, in retired life, what is the goal of a mastermind group? I’m curious to know what are you guys talk about. I’ve never joined one, but it sounds like it could be fun? I just spent most of my leisure time playing tennis and softball, and then chatting with them. Is that kind of like a mastermind group?

    But I don’t know what we are masterminding about, maybe how to hit the softball straighter, or have a more consistent serve.


    1. Nope, no shorting here. 🙂 I did have a fair amount of diversification into alt investments like NFTs which actually moved the needle in my favor.

      Fincon was great but definitely different than in years past. It was a much smaller event, but great to get out nonetheless.

      The mastermind focuses on family, business, and impact. There’s usually enough to chat about regularly and keeps my mind active vs. playing hide and go seek with the kids. Softball is an important skill set!

      1. Cool. Sounds like the conference was a lot of fun. I still haven’t been able to get on a plane just yet. It’s mostly given both my kids are too young to be vaccinated. And being away from them for more than a couple nights is also kinda tough.

        That is cool your entire mastermind group was there. I think I’ll just consider my softball and tennis friends my mastermind buddies then!


        1. Yeah, I think a lot of people stayed away still. I was a bit on the fence too, but I decided to just proactively self-quarantine from my family when I got back. Thankfully no issues.

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