Search found 484 matches

by traineeinvestor
Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does anyone here with net worths north of $1 mil use financial advisors?
Replies: 111
Views: 7145

Re: Does anyone here with net worths north of $1 mil use financial advisors?

One of my concerns as I get older is the risk that I may "lose the plot" and start making some dumb decisions. As insurance against that risk, I have placed a portion of our assets with a financial adviser subject to a fixed 60/40 asset allocation + prohibition against using debt or derivatives. I v...
by traineeinvestor
Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age did you become debt free and what opportunities did it create?
Replies: 131
Views: 18322

Re: What age did you become debt free and what opportunities did it create?

Not debt free and no plans to be so. I decided to carry a mortgage on our home into retirement. The interest rate is below the rate of inflation and below the dividend yield on the local equity index fund. When its paid off, I'll most likely take on a new mortgage. I'm happy to accept the higher ris...
by traineeinvestor
Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Age you retired
Replies: 112
Views: 8275

Re: Age you retired

Age 47 in 2013.

Could have gone a couple of years earlier but preferred the peace of mind with knowing that I've over engineered my retirement finances.
by traineeinvestor
Wed Oct 19, 2016 9:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees: Where are you going for income?
Replies: 102
Views: 17238

Re: Retirees: Where are you going for income?

No pension or social security safety net where I live. With a potential 50 year time horizon, I worry more about long run inflation than I do about market volatility so we put most of our retirement money into real estate and equities in the hope/expectation that we will see some growth in net rents...
by traineeinvestor
Wed Aug 24, 2016 2:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did you use Real Estate to build wealth?
Replies: 45
Views: 4688

Re: Did you use Real Estate to build wealth?

Yes. The biggest contributor to our early retirement planning was savings from our day jobs but investing in leveraged real estate helped get us there faster. We purchased a few apartments near the bottom of the last bust - prices had fallen 60%, yields were attractive and interest rates were low an...
by traineeinvestor
Sun Oct 25, 2015 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: More advice for BigLaw Survivor, please?
Replies: 180
Views: 21881

Re: More advice for BigLaw Survivor, please?

Congratulations from one "big law" survivor/early retiree to another. Before I pulled the plug on my career, we took a long hard look at our expenses starting with tracking them in detail for several years. We cut a few things even before retirement and drew up a list of things that could ...
by traineeinvestor
Wed Mar 25, 2015 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Improving English Language Proficiency- Please suggest Books
Replies: 51
Views: 4977

Re: Improving English Language Proficiency- Please suggest B

I would recommend Stephen Pinker's "A Sense of Style" over Stunk & White. I also agree with the recommendations to read a wide range of novels good authors; Neil Gaiman, Philip Roth, Jane Austen, Hemingway etc. but would also suggest some good non-fiction writers as well: Niall Ferguss...
by traineeinvestor
Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: High Net Worth Investing
Replies: 84
Views: 13153

Re: High Net Worth Investing

You may (or may not) find some of the ideas in Strategy for Wealthy Family to be helpful: m FWIW, the main things that change as your financial net worth goes up is the potential to invest in a wider range of assets and to potentially preserve your chosen lifestyle against a wider range of adverse c...
by traineeinvestor
Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirees: Do you work part-time for pay?
Replies: 58
Views: 7076

Re: Retirees: Do you work part-time for pay?

I retired from my legal career at the end of September 2013 (age 47). I still do a bit of part time consulting (250 target hours a year). While a bit of extra money is nice, it's not needed - I am doing this because I enjoy it. If I stop enjoying it, I'll stop doing it. If something more interesting...
by traineeinvestor
Wed Jan 14, 2015 12:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If your networth is over $3 million, how did you do it?
Replies: 322
Views: 71045

Re: If your networth is over $3 million, how did you do it?

1. good education followed by a good career (law) 2. LBYM without feeling deprived (we don't own a car because they are unnecessary here) 3. spouse who is on the same page and is happy about it 4. living in Hong Kong (effective tax rate less than 15%, no tax on dividends, interest or capital gains) ...
by traineeinvestor
Mon Jan 05, 2015 6:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WHY is retirement enjoyable / something to look forward to?
Replies: 237
Views: 25084

Re: WHY is retirement enjoyable / something to look forward

I took "early" retirement in 2013 (aged 47). It was something I had been looking forward to and apprehensive about for a long time. You don't retire from something you retire to something better. FIREing isn't about escaping the work force. FIREing is about the things I could do if I wasn'...
by traineeinvestor
Sun Sep 07, 2014 10:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A 'really good book' you did NOT enjoy
Replies: 229
Views: 17454

Re: A 'really good book' you did NOT enjoy

Only somewhat surprised to see some of my favourite books getting a mention ( The Sun Also Rises and Pride and Prejudice being two that I have reread often). Just shows how diverse people's tastes are. Another vote for Life of Pi (I didn't get past the second chapter). David Foster Wallace - Infinit...
by traineeinvestor
Tue Jul 29, 2014 7:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Landlording for long-term wealth? Who's doing it?
Replies: 68
Views: 10115

Re: Landlording for long-term wealth? Who's doing it?

Another longish term property investor. We have a sizeable chunk of our retirement savings in residential property. Yes, it's more work than our fairly passive equity/bond portfolio but even with most of the properties still mortgaged, I sleep very well at night. The properties provide a degree of d...
by traineeinvestor
Sat Mar 08, 2014 8:02 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees: About your retirement
Replies: 55
Views: 7086

Re: Retirees: About your retirement

Financial independence was both a goal in its own right and a means to an end. We only get one shot at life and there are a lot of things I want to do before I get too old to do them and I can't do them while working full time. I mostly quit the legal profession last year (age 47). Currently doing a...
by traineeinvestor
Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When did you dump your life/disability ins?
Replies: 10
Views: 1609

Re: When did you dump your life/disability ins?

Once we decided I had enough to retire, by definition we did not need life insurance - if there is enough to support myself and my family while I am alive there should be more than enough to support my family without me. At that point, it was just a wasteful expense. There is no inheritance tax out ...
by traineeinvestor
Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High Earners - What's Your Profession?
Replies: 613
Views: 92527

Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

As a lawyer, I was probably in the 1% based on income. But only briefly - as soon as I had enough to retire, I pulled the plug and took early retirement (last year at age 47).

Life is about accumulating more experiences (especially time with my children), not more money.
by traineeinvestor
Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Gold to tank in 2014: Goldman Sachs"
Replies: 112
Views: 13191

Re: "Gold to tank in 2014: Goldman Sachs"

I really, really do not understand how anyone can credibly predict the price of gold over the shorter term. It' just as easy to make a prediction that the price of gold will appreciate based on (among others): (i) fall in Comex inventories v\http://www.24hgold.com/english/interactive_chart.aspx?titl...
by traineeinvestor
Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you oversave for retirement or not?
Replies: 70
Views: 7438

Re: Do you oversave for retirement or not?

If "oversave" means saving more for retirement than FIRECalc etc tells me is necessary, then yes but I sleep well at night so I would answer "no".
by traineeinvestor
Thu Jan 09, 2014 2:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: when you reach"your number"
Replies: 84
Views: 10723

Re: when you reach"your number"

Other: I worked one more year to provide a larger safety margin and then retired.

It wasn't hard to conclude that there more things I wanted to do outside of the office than I could do while continuing to work. Even though I had a good well paying job, it was still a very easy decision to make.
by traineeinvestor
Sat Jan 04, 2014 2:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on books a year?
Replies: 47
Views: 2957

Re: How much do you spend on books a year?

Easily USD1500.

This is for a family of four and includes my MFA course books. We read a lot .... and the local library doesn't save all that much because my daughters are chronically incapable of returning books on time. :oops:
by traineeinvestor
Sat Dec 28, 2013 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3372
Views: 1467076

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

The Luminaries - Eleanor Catton

Hands down the best piece of fiction I have read in 2013. One of those books you inhabit rather than merely read.
by traineeinvestor
Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need advice for a non-US investor (expat Brit in HK)
Replies: 9
Views: 1077

Re: Need advice for a non-US investor (expat Brit in HK)

While the range of funds available in HK has improved hugely from the 1990s when you were lucky to find anything that did not come with a 5.5% front end load and expense ratios of 3+% for equity funds (and you had to work it out yourself), the range of funds is still quite limited and the expense ra...
by traineeinvestor
Sun Nov 24, 2013 7:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: would you feel comfortable "retiring" ?
Replies: 30
Views: 2656

Re: would you feel comfortable "retiring" ?

If it were me, I would pull the trigger and retire so long as I was confident (i) that I was retiring to something that was more enjoyable or more meaningful than my current job and would not end being bored (ii) that I had the self discipline not to inflate my lifestyle to an unsustainable level.
by traineeinvestor
Sun Nov 24, 2013 7:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advantages to Dual Citizenship?
Replies: 34
Views: 11138

Re: Advantages to Dual Citizenship?

Our children had the right to obtain three citizenships which we did for the following reasons: 1. none of the countries impose taxes based on citizenship (very few countries do this) 2. under current laws, it gives them the right to travel to and live and work in a number of countries without needi...
by traineeinvestor
Sun Nov 24, 2013 7:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Living in Japan - Offshore Insurance Wrapper?
Replies: 14
Views: 2271

Re: Living in Japan - Offshore Insurance Wrapper?

Greetings from another expat Kiwi. They sell those insurance wrappers in HK too (and lots of other places). Dump anyone who "advises" you to sign up for one of these things. The key features are (i) an extra layer of fees (ii) usually a commitment on your part to pay in for a few years (ii...
by traineeinvestor
Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Not Planning To Retire?
Replies: 51
Views: 4217

Re: Not Planning To Retire?

Each to their own. I retired on 30 September (age 47). I didn't dislike my job - I just concluded that life had more to offer outside the office than inside it and the only reason for staying was making money that I don't need to sustain my lifestyle (famous last words). Put differently, I believed ...
by traineeinvestor
Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: If you were retired, how would you spend your time?
Replies: 90
Views: 10659

Re: If you were retired, how would you spend your time?

I retired early at the end of October. Currently doing an MFA in creative writing part time. Completely out of my depth but having a great time.
by traineeinvestor
Sat Nov 02, 2013 2:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pull-ups and Push-ups
Replies: 395
Views: 88359

Re: Pull-ups and Push-ups

I only do weights once a week (maybe twice every now and then), but it is amazing how much you can get out of a bodyweight only routine.

Here's a book which I found helpful: http://www.amazon.com/You-Are-Your-Own- ... 0345528581
by traineeinvestor
Sun Oct 20, 2013 5:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wine Investment
Replies: 23
Views: 2783

Re: Wine Investment

Collectibles in general should not be treated as an investment, especially those sold with a large dealer markup. It's pretty tough to make money when your item has to double in value for you to break even. About the best you can do is insulate yourself from future price increases by buying what yo...
by traineeinvestor
Sun Oct 20, 2013 4:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 48 Hours in Hong Kong -- Recommendations?
Replies: 4
Views: 800

Re: 48 Hours in Hong Kong -- Recommendations?

It depends what you want to do. I second the suggestion of the Peak Tram, followed by a walk around or over The Peak itself and lunch at Peak Cafe (make sure you book) and a visit to some of the markets (the Temple Street night market was my favourite but it has been several years since I was there ...
by traineeinvestor
Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The hazards of retiring ...
Replies: 73
Views: 10489

Re: The hazards of retiring ...

If it's a choice between a 15% increase in the risk of Alzheimer's and adding another 15 years to my time in the work force (which would probably drive me insane anyway), I'll take the increased risk.
by traineeinvestor
Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fitness Wristbands??
Replies: 13
Views: 1863

Re: Fitness Wristbands??

My wife has the Jawbone Up. It doesn't work - not even close.
by traineeinvestor
Sun Jun 23, 2013 6:24 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in Hong Kong
Replies: 15
Views: 2056

Re: Investing in Hong Kong

You can do a search of ETF's listed in HK here: m There is a US and a world ETF available. Some comments on investing in HK: 1. ERs are generally higher than in the US 2. unlisted mutual funds/units trusts are plentiful, but just about everything that is authorised for sale to the public in HK carri...
by traineeinvestor
Wed Jun 19, 2013 11:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A thought on net worth 'skewedness'
Replies: 53
Views: 4715

Re: A thought on net worth 'skewedness'

I was a B for many years but when the local real estate market crashed, we used as much leverage as we could get to buy a few rental units and our own home. Taking that risk has helped put us in a position where we can take early retirement (less than 4 months to go ). Most of the properties still c...
by traineeinvestor
Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Those of you with alot of money, how did you do it?
Replies: 81
Views: 10957

Re: Those of you with alot of money, how did you do it?

If you define "a lot" as "enough" to take early retirement and live comfortably (not extravagantly): 1. good but not overly expensive education 2. invested time in a career that pays well (law) 3. lived well below our means (50% savings rate some years, less house than we can aff...
by traineeinvestor
Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Midlife Crisis
Replies: 109
Views: 14287

Re: Midlife Crisis

I retired for my midlife crisis at 52. Was not even thinking about retiring but was very unhappy with my job. Things were not going well. Then the company I worked for offered a company wide early out retirement deal for lots of long term employee classifications. I fit the requirements. So I studi...
by traineeinvestor
Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's your usual retirement day like ?
Replies: 201
Views: 45227

Re: What's your usual retirement day like ?

I will be taking early retirement later this year. One of the things I dread is being bored* so I have made a very long list of things to do including (possibly) going back to university to do some further study as well as some more volunteer work. I have also agreed a transitional arrangement throu...
by traineeinvestor
Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your most intense movie scene
Replies: 155
Views: 15447

Re: Your most intense movie scene

I found some of the drug taking and cold turkey scenes in Christiane F. quite disturbing (even more so now that I have two daughters of my own).
by traineeinvestor
Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wade Pfau on depleting assets
Replies: 43
Views: 5633

Re: Wade Pfau on depleting assets

At the risk of oversimplifying things, since I don't know how long I will live, it's a choice between (i) spending more when we are younger and taking the risk of being forced to cut back on living expenses as I age and (ii) retaining the ability to spend at a similar level as we age at the risk of ...
by traineeinvestor
Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What was your mid-life crisis
Replies: 53
Views: 6335

Re: What was your mid-life crisis

I don't know if I had a mid-life crisis, but I do remember turning fifty and suddenly realizing, with some shock, that I couldn't call myself "middle-aged" unless I was planning to live to 100. By definition, "middle age" is 15 years older than you are at any point in time you c...
by traineeinvestor
Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does looking forward to retirement mean you havent found...
Replies: 77
Views: 5887

Re: Does looking forward to retirement mean you havent found

I used to love my job, but the challenge gradually went out of it and I eventually woke up to the facts that: 1. the only useful thing that continuing to work will achieve is to enable me to earn more money that I don't need - trading another year or two of my life for a fancy sports car seems like ...
by traineeinvestor
Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How did you make your million(s)?
Replies: 81
Views: 13390

Re: How did you make your million(s)?

Dual income household (all bar two years) both earning above average incomes and living well below our means.
by traineeinvestor
Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did you retire before normal retirement age?
Replies: 93
Views: 14824

Re: Did you retire before normal retirement age?

I'll be taking early retirement next year - a combination of #3 and #5 - we will have the financial resources that we need and I have long since ceased to feel stimulated by my job and I have other interests I wish to persue. Unless I was forced to, I would not wish to retire unless I was confident ...
by traineeinvestor
Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: One hit wonder (Albums)
Replies: 68
Views: 3829

Re: One hit wonder (Albums)

Frankie Goes to Hollywood


(in addition to those you list)
by traineeinvestor
Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why do people [Why Would I] live in expensive places?
Replies: 51
Views: 3236

Re: Why do people live in expensive places?

Off the top of my head 1. Jobs, strong and broad economic base. 2. High quality school district 3. Convenience (close to major metro, airport, highway) and short commute times. 4. Other amenities (arts/culture/recreation opportunities, Shopping.) I sound like a realtor now! +1 And proximity to fami...
by traineeinvestor
Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The [work] pressure is killing me
Replies: 36
Views: 5437

Re: The pressure is killing me

Sorry to hear about the stress. For a 25% bump in net worth (+/- ROI and savings over the next three years), personally I would suck it up unless you feel (i) that either your health is endangered or it is affecting your family (if any) or (ii) you won't spend the next few years thinking about the m...
by traineeinvestor
Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V
Replies: 3372
Views: 1467076

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

The Ancestor's Tale by Richard Dawkins

A fascinating look at evolution - tracing the origins of present day humans all the way back to the first life forms on the planet.
by traineeinvestor
Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's Your Risk IQ?
Replies: 50
Views: 5434

Re: What's Your Risk IQ?

94.1
Filed in the same file as a Briggs-Myers "test", Smart Money's experts' stock picks for 1999 and a horoscope from the carnival.
by traineeinvestor
Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: parents - did you quit work to start a family?
Replies: 46
Views: 3695

Re: parents - did you quit work to start a family?

We both kept working full time until our oldest started school when we decided that one of us should spend more time helping her with schoolwork - at that point my wife shifted to a part time arrangement (which she is very happy with). It helped that my salary was enough to cover our needs.
by traineeinvestor
Thu May 24, 2012 4:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 50 things to do before the Sun goes down
Replies: 32
Views: 4957

Re: 50 things to do before the Sun goes down

Consistently outperform the market over a long period if time Take part in a protest Perform an an amateur drama or musical production Run for public office Complete an endurance sports event (marathon, trans-ocean yacht race, whatever works for you) Learn a foreign language Retire early....really e...