November Freedom Fund Update: Progress is Not Always Visible

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Welcome to the monthly update of our journey to financial independence, where we report on the progress of our FI tree, aka Freedom Fund. Our mangoes are almost ripe and we’re projecting to reach our goal by July 2017. This means that we’ll have enough investments to live off of without ever having to work again to pay for living expenses. We’ll consider ourselves financially independent when our Freedom Fund is able to support our lifestyle indefinitely. Our Freedom Fund is comprised of mutual fund investments, short-term reserves and a real estate property.

Freedom Fund Progress

Percentage of Freedom Fund reached in November

Our Freedom Fund stayed at 91% from the previous  month. If we were to retire today, our investments could cover annual expenses up to $32,035 a year. That puts us $2,965 shy of our annual income goal of $35,000!

Year to date gains


Progress is not always visible

One of the world’s most ambitious and challenging projects took approximately 10 years and, unfortunately, over 22,000 lives to build: The Panama Canal. The 50-mile-long passage created an important shortcut for ships. While working on this project, workers encountered a series of problems such as disease and equipment issues, among other things.

They were many other setbacks, but the truth is that they were moving forward. They were getting closer to the finish line. Every day, month and year that passed meant that progress was being made. The progress that we’re making on our journey might not be visible to us because it’s happening in real time. However, we notice how far we’ve come when we look back.

As we mentioned on our previous FF post update, gaining the last 10% could be a challenging milestone. Our formula for investment success still hasn’t changed. We’re still following the same saving and spending patterns that has gotten us to this point. However, the market is kind of in a wait-and-see mode and that holds our Freedom Fund down for a bit. It also provides opportunities to buy lower than last month.

We had a spectacular spending month in October: $3,006.66. That was our second lowest spending month of the year! What helped to keep it down? No travel, zero drinking and very low dining out expenses. These are the kind of things that you wouldn’t know from looking at our progress chart, which has been stuck in the 90-91% for four months.

On another note, I’m so excited that the elections are over next week. The great thing about elections is that they don’t impact long-term investing, no matter which party wins. Happy investing!

What were your financial goals for the month? Did you meet them?

Risk disclosure: All investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal. The material contained on this website is for discussion purpose only and should not be misconstrued as financial advice.

Featured image by Skitterphoto

Please like & share:
October Freedom Fund Update: Earnings Increased 25% Over a Year Ago
December Freedom Fund Update: We Are Very Close to Declaring Financial Independence

Mr. Enchumbao

Mr. Enchumbao retired at 44. He worked for 13 years at Vanguard, primarily as a Communications Project Leader in the Institutional Division, helping people save for retirement.

  1. Dividend Diplomats

    Those are some awesome figures! congrats on the great progress. Your progress isn’t going to jump off the paper (or spreadsheet) every month. That’s just not how it works in the investing world. Some months the market soars and you don’t invest. Some months prices tank and you see your market value decrease. If you want a true picture on your progress, I think you have to expand your lookback period. Compare your current progress to the same period last year. You will then see how much you were able to accomplish over and extended period of time, one that includes both months of progress and setbacks.

    Thanks for the summary!


    • Mr. Enchumbao

      Hi Bert –
      Looking back to compare our current progress to our past progress it’s a great tip. It’s definitely what keeps up investing on a regular basis regardless of what the market is doing. The only thing that I do is check our asset allocation to see where we should invest new money. Is our REITs allocation low? Then maybe it’s time to buy some more. Did the stocks gain too much causing our bonds to be lower? Than maybe we should buy more bonds.

      Thanks for dropping by!

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