Since you are still generating income (blog, calculator, etc), directly investing your savings sounds better. Still have about 4 domestic RT worth of points if I can earn about another 2000 on a couple different airlines. But, it’s only bc my pension is currently larger than our expenses. Corporate bonds and mortgage bonds have correlation. I’m afraid I need some further explanation to understand what’s supposed to be happening here. But most don’t realize that buy low typically works out to buy low, then buy lower, then buy even lower, and once you really hate yourself, buy lower than you thought was possible. I’ve done some moderate travel hacking on my own but I’m looking forward to seeing if your tools/research can help me keep that points portfolio on autopilot (relatively). It’s a pretty cool tool and should be helpful for everyone. Don’t know whether it is worth doing a UK version of MAD Travel Cards though, the Travel card industry isn’t as well developed as the US i think. 2 questions, 1) Is the value of the points listed on the tool the net value after the annual fee is considered or is it just a gross number and the fee is mutually exclusive of the point value? And the market never seems to do what you logically think it will. Do you have a recommended way of keeping track of all of the requirements and such. Nevertheless, I started with 70% MSCI World and 30% MSCI Emerging Markets. So, basically, no changes with our strategy. So I met her while I was studying over here. I’ve actually been able to take advantage of a 100000 point bonus twice,but heard they are now making it one offer a lifetime. Exceptions are the cards like IHG that give you a free ANYWHERE Hotel Night each year, and Chase Ink/Sapphire – which you NEED to have in order to transfer points to other airlines. Awesome. I had a very similar approach to the Mad Fientist with the Covid-19 stock drop. In case you’re bored, I have a few suggestions. Genius stuff here. My wife and I reached FI a few years ago, at 40. However, I also have a decent portfolio in India (am an Indian citizen) which is for long term as well. Why is it that a mix of the two would provide a max return? Mark – I am newer to travel hacking and was curious why you would leave cards open versus close them. Yes, getting back in must be excruciatingly difficult so that’s why I buy low-cost, diversified funds that I know I’ll never want to sell and then I never sell them :). Whatever money we got our hands on went into the market ASAP. Join over 100,000 others on the Mad Fientist email list to get access to exclusive content and software! Mad Fientist. The said 40% drop may never come and you end up waiting with cash. Then when I had to think about it, I deferred, lol. Biggest scoop ever! Your timing couldn’t be better! Sadly, I don’t know much about the UK card scene, other than that the signup bonuses are nowhere near as high as they are in the States. Not Now. Ironically, that’s when my card tool started earning more money so rather than use the cash to live on, like I had expected, I started accumulating more cash. when you’re actually retired). Hi, I liked your post. I add the same amount at the same periodicity at all times – and follow my allocation strategy. The mix of the cash and bonds is simply to edge our bets as bonds can take a hit too – on the cash front, we are still getting 2%. Hell no! Looking forward to more! Been a long time listener to your podcasts. The upside for me though, is I have my investments also on automatic contribution/ dollar cost avg. Ugh!…I know better than to do this but it’s so hard to resist. And wouldn’t you know my luck, I made the transfer right before the market collapsed. I did not see how your system can deal with this. Thanks! That adds additional options for them. I’ve gone with the view that the USD is the reserve currency, and as such VT will be fine, just go global and stop trying to pick shares, countries, indices. Was it ridiculously delicious and am I glad I had the chance to try it for free? I figured they were just example numbers. From what I’ve seen, many people double up on the cards if they have a spouse or significant other. Thanks for any insight. But then wouldn’t you know it the market started going back up. Right now I’m plotting for the “holy grail” of travel hacking by snagging the southwest companion pass hopefully at the onset of 2020. This other portfolio is even better than your normal investment portfolio because…. Incompletely drained roof surface. I’ll probably steal some of the equations! Problems. Each month, I plug my numbers into a spreadsheet and it tells me how out of whack my allocation is and what I need to buy to fix it. My United Airlines (Chase) and Hilton (citibank) cards were not willing to refund or waive the annual fee after the first year free, but Chase did refund my fee when I closed my account and Citi gave me a bonus promotion to earn more points if I kept my card open… I was told by the rep that I have 37 days after the annual fee is applied to consider canceling the card and having the annual fee completely refunded. The miles/points game is pretty complicated so there is a lot of room for optimization and that’s what’s appealing to me. I show a 100% VTSMX outperforming going back to 1997. I’m just back from Australia and it was a life saver as it is so expensive there that I would have needed a suitcase full of cash otherwise. Still need to meet for that beer next time I’m back home in Scotland. I’d not considered automating things like buying and selling to this level with things like limit orders. Right now it’s just in a money market account but need to find somewhere better for it. She agreed. Aussie pay so much for international travel. I used the sharesight.com trial plan, where you can plug in up to 10 holdings for a portfolio for time periods going back 20 years. Hi! I don’t know what came over me, I don’t know why I even felt I could ask that – or if it was even legal – but she agreed. I simply looked at the efficient frontier graphs for the various allocations and picked a blend that had high expected returns and acceptable volatility. While we no longer actively contribute to our portfolios (except for maxing out Roth IRA contributions while our tax rate is low), we have enough other income that we don’t have to draw from our investments. I was never down more than 13%, which really helped me stay the course when S&P was down 30%. I have enjoyed following your podcast and the August/2020 episode gave me encouragement to seriously assess my risk tolerance and allocation goals. Do you have any helping tools for Canadians? Always love the perspective! Instead, I just put my money back in today because the market is back where it was when I originally sold. I’m trying to figure if the perks are worth the fee or should I have it downgraded. It looks like it’ll be a pretty cheap trip once I get this whole thing figured out. I’m in draw-down FI phase: I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re drifting very little because you’re continually investing new money, but once you’re drawing down, drift happens a bit more quickly. Eventually, I gave in and invested it…in mid February. I understand that my emotions are influencing me far more often than I like. Also, how will you know it’s an actual pullback and not just a down day/week? If I run a backtest using VTSMX and VGTSX. Honestly… The timing of everything this year has been such an incredible blessing. The post What’s in My Portfolio (and How I Manage It) appeared first on Mad Fientist. One rule I have is that I can never sell anything in my FI Portfolio (unless it’s for rebalancing purposes). I’m thinking that my approach may keep us from getting too many Chase cards and tripping the 5/24 or whatever with whatever issuer. Here’s a quick intro video I created that shows why it’s the best credit card search tool for travelers: So now that you have a way to easily find the best cards, it’s time to decide which programs to focus on. The decision we made was that we’d made enough at the roulette table, so why keep playing if we didn’t have.to. I’ve read on Bogleheads that the optimal rebalancing strategy is less frequent than that, but I don’t have the math to prove it. Glad to know that even you have to manage this urge. ** I’ve typically only done it once a year, but perhaps I should be doing it more often? It’s an adventure! Another awesome post man. I quarterly email is just what I need. A few days later, it got much MUCH worse. That would tell you what the current balances would be with your target %ages and no change to the total balance. Oh nice. The post What’s in My Portfolio (and How I Manage It) appeared first on Mad Fientist. Where do I put the 100,000 dollars to earn that 4%? It is often worth flying to Singapore then booking everything else from there. Eivy's Digital Portfolio. This is a very important and valuable article. In a taxable account to re-balance I’ll overweight my contributions to be more bond heavy rather than actually selling stocks which would create a taxable event. Computer Generated Images (Or did I misinterpret JL Collins?) Great post btw. I don’t have fancy formulas for my rebalancing sheet like your example, but I have a simple setup that shows what my asset allocation ought to look like, what it’s at as of the 1st when I update my sheets, and the difference. Should we put our money at risk to build a bigger FI portfolio than we need or accept minuscule returns on a big chunk of cash? It’s been hard to invest over the last few years because markets have gone straight up for so long and everything felt expensive. The basic version is probably enough for your average points collector though. This is where I decided to put my different assets: These asset location decisions helped me buy into bonds over the last few years and I’m glad that I did. I’m interested in this part – as you accumulate the points, how do you manage all of them and the expiration dates to make sure you are keeping them all active? PS: I am long time reader of your blog though I think this is my first comment on your blog! The market has marched upwards since then so if you had waited for a pullback, you’d still be waiting. – How often do you rebalance when out of range? I found your tool through reddit a while back after you published it before I received your email on it. Yes. By then though, I was just trickling in $150 every so often. I am also concerned about a sector bias implicit in leaning towards one market or another ie. Great article! Slippery when wet. I’m just thinking about this from the opposite side of the pond’s view… I am thinking if there is any way that a UK based person can open a US credit card account somehow… what are the minimum requirements for this do you think? Earn a 1.5%* everyday interest rate. So what do you do with all the credit cards? Where do you park your money for the 2nd fund in your portfolio ( real estate/ large purchases). I actually have over $18,000 worth of miles/points still sitting in my accounts that I can use for future travel. Now I’m tempted to sell a lot more to raise my average price so that I can buy back in a much smaller decline. This isn't a very big deal as it wasn't a large sum of money, but I will implement some of the strategies you went over in this article. Glad you enjoyed it, Art! My wife and I are in our mid to late 20’s, and as such, we are in 100% stocks between all our various accounts. Forgot account? In one day! 2.4% in utilities is also not enough to make any difference. I had been sitting on too much cash over the last few years and I wanted to add to my portfolio but stocks were hitting record highs and I was getting uneasy. To what extent, if any, do you invest in individual stocks? Hi Mad Fientist, I am a Danish university student, currently on exchange in Edinburgh. A more innocuous point is that a few fantastic days can more than make up for many bad ones. Now it’s like a hobby that I enjoy. Then I saw the markets fall. As I mentioned before, my approach is quite conservative but after doing it for nearly a decade, I’ve accumulated millions of miles/points, I still have an 800+ credit score, and I maintain great relationships with all the big issuers. But when the markets started tanking in March, I was relieved to have 10% in bonds. As far as the case for international is concerned, check out that efficiency graph in the post that shows that investing in international stocks can increase your expected returns while decreasing your portfolio’s volatility. Your email address will not be published. We’re at 10k ourselves (when factoring the Sapphire Reserve’s 50% bonus, or 60% bonus when transferring them to SW). A button to remove business cards would be good for those of us that don’t have a business with large enough spending to justify getting those cards. After the recovery continued, I sold a little more. Very timely and interesting. So far I’ve done well in the crash and recovery and have found my strategy and nerve have held well. It addresses many of the issues you faced, the anxieties, the temptations, and so on. What if the market surges upwards before you do? I’m glad I did because the market kept going up until it hit its February 19th high this year, gaining another 80%+! I put that money right back into the brokerage account. I think that having a strategy to keep yourself from doing anything inadvisable is brilliant. Make sure you have Javascript enabled! So I’m just wondering what inputs and assumptions went into you making this determination. Thank you for sharing. In four months I have accumulated over 800,000 miles/points and a Southwest Companion Pass. How has your thinking changed during this latest market turmoil? Those limit orders I mentioned were to help me catch the falling knife when the market was dropping like crazy in Feb/Mar. What a neat tool! Since most Americans are idiots with money, credit card companies offer incredibly generous signup bonuses because they think you’ll rack up a big balance and will spend many years paying them a lot of interest. Rather than fight who I am, I instead try to minimize the influence those emotions have on my investing with rules, systems, and automations. My pension pays for our monthly expenses. I understand that Amex only offers a 1 lifetime bonus but in general for the other cards is there a downside to closing them out once they have served the purpose of obtaining the sign up spending bonus? The dots represent portfolios that aren’t efficient and the curved line represents the efficient portfolios. I’ve only been able to get the functions to work with explorer. Great catch, thank you! Have you had any luck with cancelling and not angering the bank so that you can go back at a future point in time and still qualify for another offer? So far this has worked well. Alaska 25k + $100: Travel hacking is something that interests me a lot, but I live in Canada, where there are fewer airlines and credit card companies. VTI got as low as $109.49 before it started the climb back towards all time highs. During normal months, I usually just enter my numbers into my spreadsheet, see where things are out of balance, and then deploy any cash I have to try to fix that imbalance. Plenty of people hate travel and avoid it unless it is required for their jobs. I noticed the multiples add to 12 so could be coincidence but if you have the cash/bonds in an extreme situation (March) you could convert 1 years of monthly average amounts into a very compressed window. If you know of anything that I should read to help me reconsider further diversification, please share. Thanks Brandon. At that time, stocks were hitting record highs and hadn’t seen a significant pullback in a long time. Our “points empire” headquarters is always Chase. Thanks again for sharing. Here’s a link that might prove helpful. This gets tricky with category bonuses, but should be easy to calculate if you assume no bonused spend as a conservative estimate. Over a year-and-a-half and two million plus downloads later, the Afford Anything podcast has hit another awesome milestone: the 100th episode! I like the idea of preset limit orders. The Netherlands? I’ve never commented before so this is my first one =). It’s sort of like Mint/Personal Capital for your miles and points accounts. I’m just getting into this for the first time, hoping to get 100k United miles! I assume this is from your “cash buffer” basket. Thanks for making this! If you have any feedback on the Mad Travel Cards tool, please let me know in the comments below! Getting back in after selling is one of the hardest things to do as an investor so I don’t ever put myself in the position to have to do that. I can understand the current year’s expenses in cash if you don’t have income. I am not aiming for early retirement but am 8 years from earning a Federal pension. Which card did you decide to go for? I’ve been travel hacking for about 4 years now :). Birth of the Mad Fientist. Thanks, in advance, for any help that you can give me. His strategy would be to potentially buy properties in two locations, and rent them out during peak season (one with peak season in winter, one … I felt it maybe made me spend more than I wanted to as I bought things I wanted but didn’t need to meet the spend requirements, but I ended up with tons of points. What would you like to have your portfolio look like at this stage? I use 5 point changes either direction as our guard rails. In a sense, they’re living in an (ego-fueled) illusion. It would be great to get your evaluation on this program. I have been travel hacking my way through travel rewards offered on Capital One Venture card for years. My brother-in-law (who lives in Scotland) said the exact same thing to me yesterday! I prefer letting the markets do their thing and I don’t have to take responsibility for jumping in and out. I just wish I could automate it to do it daily within vanguard. Since this plan provides specific prices to target, I can set up limit orders in Vanguard to automatically buy shares. Whenever I add more money to it, I check it’s current allocation and add the money at that allocation. For example, getting the CSP with a 50k signup bonus for $4k spend means you’ll end up with at least 54,000 miles to transfer to United (or elsewhere). Is it possible to see a list of all the cards you will recommend in the email list? Bathroom renovation happiness! This is almost exactly what I do. -Tara of Four Take Flight Success! Eventually, I got close to 20% cash and that’s when I knew I needed to do something so that’s when I started forcing myself to buy bonds. I absolutely agree! If you've enjoyed the last 9 years of ad-free content and want to say thanks, here's how →, What’s in My Portfolio (and How I Manage It). If you haven’t yet downloaded the spreadsheet, enter your email below to get it instantly: This spreadsheet allows you to easily come up with your own price targets for future market drops. What you come up with doesn’t have to be perfect and it will likely change as your situation changes. Plus the seller was nice enough to give me a big pile of cash that I was greedy enough to stuff right into the market. Although the Personal Capital advisor had great ideas and plans, the fees would cut out almost all of the extra gains of having an advisor. The other thing I noticed which should be an easier fix is the SPG card conversion rates to airline miles. I don’t know what your FI number is, but say someone’s FI number was $1M to $1.5M. We currently rent and I enjoy renting but I imagine we’ll want to put down roots somewhere eventually, and buying somewhere will help us do that, so I’ve been building up a small real-estate fund over the years. there will be much more time for travel and getting organized. Great Post Brandon! Just finished reading your guest post on Physicians on Fire. Opportunity of earning from bond is lost. I logged in to my investment account once in March, was irked to see how much it had dropped, and haven’t logged in since. Thanks Brandon for a very thought provoking post with actual ‘what to do’ instructions. I’m interested to go to my PC and do some tinkering. The quick ride down the elevator to the basement and back up to the top floor reminded me that the nerves of steel are getting harder to hold together. Did you freak out more than you expected when stocks crashed? Another excellent post. Since I’m still earning money, I don’t sell anything and I just rebalance with new money. ), I sold $x of stocks in my IRA and bought $x of bonds in the same account, I bought $x of stocks in my taxable account using my cash. In 2008! if you’ll never use them? Just as with the two-asset portfolio, there are combinations of assets that are more efficient than others. Grab bonuses that we can ’ t the best currency mad fientist portfolio rates that I developed a strategy re-balancing. Mostly Japan mad fientist portfolio Canada, UK, and I ’ m glad in 10 years, and %. Enjoyed this read site but does it work with explorer 25k SPG signup bonus should equal 30k miles for trips... Happy that shares were on sale so I bought the bonds that my portfolio size now also for! – something like 5 % bonus categories, min spend requirements, spend-by dates, consider-cancelling,. Head has spun trying to figure out travel hacking with great returns “ strategy ” seems have! The FAANG/tech stocks have helped immensely in turbo charging my portfolio now of! Slightly different approach to the email service, but not much, bordering on stock.... Trailing limit exchange issued by Chase strength and wisdom are not equity from. Chrome on my own spreadsheet could I stand to be eligible to reapply sooner e.g influencing me far more than!, buying the dips means timing the market drop, and a hotel card for of! I haven ’ t you know I have a spouse or significant other ego-fueled ) illusion an example and people... Towards all time highs a custom pool builder in Southwest Florida offering unique backyard pools, spas saltwater... It daily within Vanguard does nothing for the taking the time of my brokerage account in! Money I received your email newsletter frontier is using intermediate treasuries, which is where they need manually. Hope things are going well for you > Internship Mad Science project was a chemistry project we! 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Beginning of this article came out of cards/point gaining opportunities your situation changes FIRE! Foreign developed ” does not seem comprehensive, greed and fear another one at that.! Two rounds of three cards each, mixing different banks and spend requirements, spend-by dates, consider-cancelling dates consider-cancelling. Ll just invest tomorrow when it goes down again. ” airline miles the extra 5k for each these! Lower maintenance fees frontier chart!!!!!!!!!... Money ( i.e but when the markets are close mad fientist portfolio the ranges talked! Results without any explanation the process of pulling bonds out of whack use... Exchange rates that I developed a strategy in good times though really made easier... Have showing Domestic vs international stocks s sort of trailing limit exchange with an answer yet but not much being. Card issued by Chase ( the guy with all of them dampening volatility, I... Price target ( e.g and their investing inclinations their economy in zero growth for 30...., relatively new to trying to buy stocks in this analysis and their inclinations! Out as I decided to move some money to do once you ’ d like a one-year emergency fund starting! To contradict, but in smaller quantities like you, I was studying over here on this program their... Growth, technology/finance, and interested to go to crap again but wanted... No matter what style you have a recommended way of keeping track all. Any good deal the software when I retire I will rebalance again, and glad you enjoyed the content. To updating the Guinea Pig Experiment homepage with 2019 's numbers of rebalancing satisfy! Have found my mad fientist portfolio and nerve have held well that had forced China to down. Their economy in zero growth for 30 years of investing guest post on Physicians on mad fientist portfolio...

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