2016: The Year I stopped Blogging and Investing

I thought it was about time to bring out of the ol’ keyboard and start typing away. It’s been long overdue. As such, you would think I’d start by telling you about all the things we’ve been doing as bookkeeper (me) and CEO/President (Megan) of Fitzgerald Finance. Instead, I’ll share what we haven’t been doing: Blogging or investing.

The reason I stopped blogging was pretty simple: (1) Started a new job and (2) gladly have my hands full with this guy. His time as an only child is about to come to an end and he doesn’t even know it. Poor guy.

20160702_164756

The reason I stopped investing requires a little more time to explain.

Getting Ahead by…Not Investing?

Let’s start by reviewing our 2014-2016 Goals:

goals

Our list is short in quantity but big in magnitude. On one hand, it’s painful  to watch up to $100,000+ accumulate in a bank earning 0.01% interest. But on the other hand, having only one goal and seeing tangible progress makes it easy to focus on the task at hand rather than get so worked up about sacrificing one goal for another (“Should we have done this or that or that or that or that? AHH!”).

With our goals in mind, here was our investing strategy in 2015:

2015

And here it is in 2016:

2016

The rationale behind our decisions is this: Although we’re *temporarily* missing out on returns from a year of compounding interest, a greater return will be realized two or three years down the road.  The big down payment is more important to us than investing because it will set us up to really invest AND make fast progress towards living in a paid-off house AND the capacity to save for whatever short-term needs/wants arise in the meantime.

The flexibility gained in years 2017-2027 is more valuable than the interest gained in 2016. Like most young people, we only have the capacity to aggressively tackle one thing – kick ass on a short-term goal (down payment) OR kick-ass on a long-term goal (grow our retirement accounts). We picked the short-term goal…because it sets us up to kick the hell out of our long-term goal.

Paper versus Life

What’s best on paper is not always best in life. Sometimes we have to make financial decisions that put other things ahead of money, like flexibility with money. Will I now have slightly less money to look at on a monthly statement from our broker in 40 years? Definitely. Will I be kicking myself? I highly doubt it.

But, hey, at the end of the day perso-…personal fin…come on you can do it, Luke. Personal finance is pers- *gulp* -onal finance is personal. Sorry, I just threw up in my mouth a little bit (here’s why).

So…What do you think of our strategy? Have you taken one step backwards for two steps forward?

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2 Comments

  1. We put investing on the back burner last year as well to scrounge up cash to build our house. There is the potential of lost compound interest, but for the short-term with the roller coaster market, it really didn’t bother us much.

    Glad to hear you are doing well. We are expecting baby #2 in April and our 15-month old daughter doesn’t realize how much of an awakening she is in for yet either. Poor thing, lol.
    Josh recently posted…The Importance of Health and WealthMy Profile

  2. Welcome back! Congrats on the baby news. What a great photo.

    I like the aggressive short term savings to lessen the debt on major purchases going forward. It frees up cash going forward to invest. Sounds like a solid plan.

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