Progress and plans

November 6, 2012



59 is just one less than 60 so not much of a drop. Remember also that it doesn’t mean that I am 1% closer to a million… that number is more qualitative than quantitative, until of course it reaches zero.  I have had a few good months after returning from the USA during May and June but also have been depreciating things (basically removing them from my financial software despite the fact that I still own them, one example being my physical gold (which exceeds $10K). Also, the price at which I carry condo number 2 is somewhat inflated but given the recent slide in the US dollar, that number isn’t as big as it once was.


In terms of work, I had my second-best month (overall) ever in October – everyone paid right on time and the right amounts too. All good. I have decided to go to Germany and Austria on vacation (as much as I get one) sometime this spring, and from there to the USA and then back to Asia. Fewer stops this time — so about 6 weeks overall.


The new condo is being furnished and the tenant in the old one is paying on time. Thus, I am coasting towards winter. The work comes in, and the work goes out. My new desk, office, and chair are posh compared to condo number 1, as everything is new and was purchased at a time of plenty vs. 2007, when I furnished my other place with far fewer resources.


I went from nearly broke, owning no property in 2007, to this position, where I own two valuable properties free and clear and can see clearly see the goal of 1m dollars. I did it in just over 5 years, during which there was a worldwide stock market crash and ongoing depression. I have been reflecting on the fact that I have been very lucky and was unaffected by the global turmoil, being tucked away in a hardworking but relatively less visited part of Asia running a service very much in demand with a very uncommon and, as it turns out, valuable skill set when applied just so. However, I also think there are other people out there in the world quietly saving their way to a million or more and looking forward in a few years to being free and living a good life in a safe and wealthy part of a developed country like the USA.


I noted in a previous post that I said I’d have the money ($420K or so) for a new condo in the USA by 2014 — that could have been 2013. Although I don’t anticipate buying in April of 2013 I should have the funds by then, all in cash, though some of it is tied up in my IRA and other long-term investments. After that time, I can start looking for a condo somewhere warm, safe, and affluent where someone like me can just blend in – an average Joe – and enjoy my freedom.


Massive changes

September 24, 2012


I am closing in on it.

There have been major changes. First, I bought another condo – a much larger place than my first one. I paid cash for it and paid cash to furnish it from the ground up. I also re-did the kitchen with fully modern conveniences and even imported an American dryer (a Whirlpool) and had some fellow with a large drill create a hole in the cement wall of my building to vent it. I put in a wood floor, removed some unnecessary walls, and am busy buying all new electronics.

I got a fair deal on the place and am including all the money I spend on it as part of the accounted-for value of the place, though this inflates it some. However, before I reach my goal, I will depreciate everything that doesn’t equal its true value as measured in dollars. For instance, I have this new place valued at close to $300K, but I probably could only sell it for about $260K, which means I will have to depreciate it as an asset down to its true value before my number reaches zero.

And speaking of my number, my income is rolling along. No wavering and no moments of thinking that the whole shebang is coming to a halt (though where I live anything is possible). I will clearly make it. Moreover, I have rented out my old place and have good income from that place.

Next stop is my retirement condo in the USA. I figure I will have the funds for that (plus about $60 – 70K for a new car) by May of 2014 at the latest. I plan to spend about $420K on my condo. I will actually have that much long before May of 2014 but much is tied up  in my IRA, which I cannot touch, and other funds that I’ll need for savings.

Still here!

July 12, 2012



I am still here!


Remember the next time that someone tells you that saving a million dollars is easy… it’s not!


I am busier than ever. Went to the USA too for nearly 2 months to look for a house.


The number dropped. I am getting there!

Still 91

April 2, 2012


I have checked out buying an apartment here and furnishing it and then renting it by the month to international students (or anyone really who will sign a contract). It seems no one has thought of this yet here. Most international students come here — and there are more and more of them – and they don’t want the hassle of going out to find furniture – especially because 1) most of what’s available here is absolute junk unless you go to Costco – that’s what protected markets get you: high-priced garbage for the domestic market, and 2) the furniture sellers don’t speak English or any other language except their own. 

The return appears to be about 8% – not high but not low. Still looking into this.

Another interesting diversion has been social lending (there are two well-known sites for this). I have been ramping up my amounts there and am getting just more than 1% a month on some very conservative choices. Of the more than 150 “loans” I have, only two have defaulted. I am going to continue to make regular deposits into this experiment and reinvest the proceeds too. We’ll see how that goes.

March was very busy – no new records but in the top 10 months overall. No change in my number as I am depreciating assets (see earlier post). It seems my averages are rising. Traveling in May and June.

Oops I did it again

March 23, 2012


Yeah I know. Dumb title.

Ok. I am over it.

Here’s the motivation: my work just keeps getting busier and busier. I like to be successful but every month that goes by, at the end of the month I add things up and, recently, I have been looking at that number and thinking: Well, that’s an aberration. It won’t happen again next month…

And it does. Five straight months of a significantly higher bottom line.

I am looking at more property lately – mainly for income but also as a place to store cash. I view income producing property as simply another form of bank account. I actually feel better with assets tied up in property then I would if the entire amount was sitting in a few banks all in currency. Keep up with this blog and I’ll put the info here on anything I buy — as long as I keep making entries. I am anticipating reaching my goals (visualization?) and wondering practically what I will do with it.

My number doesn’t change. I am depreciating things I don’t want to sell, like all my gold and a few other valuable things that were part of that number but don’t have to be.  Soon enough that number will have to change though.


February 11, 2012


I am not really stuck at 91. I am using my progress to depreciate some things, slowly.

I have a lot of things to depreciate. They have value and different degrees of liquidity, but I don’t really want to count them in my net worth. For example, I have foreign currency accounts and assets which fluctuate relative to the dollar. I already count these assets very conservatively but I want to depreciate them to the bottom of their range over the last few years. So, I do this by removing value from those accounts in my accounting software $100 to $1000 at a time depending on the asset (all my assets are counted in dollars no matter where they are – tricky sometimes). For instance, my car, which really does have value as I hardly ever drive it (I bought it new) has been depreciated down to zero. I also have a considerable amount of physical gold, which I bought at gold sellers here on and off since 2004. Recently, I collected it, weighed it, and added it up (it’s 24K) and was shocked at the value in dollars — it was into five figures! I don’t really want to sell that, and I am not carrying it at anything near its apparent worth, but I want to depreciate it to zero. I am doing this slowly as I earn in what really is the homestretch of my effort here.

One other thing: I have read that when calculating your net worth, you should not include any real estate you own. I have decided not to follow this rule — in fact I feel that RE is a better vehicle for wealth than paper money at this point. Both the dollar and the currency in which I transact have seen massive swings in value of more than 50% against each other, whereas real estate experiences much less actual volatility — at least the type I have, which was generally not affected by the recent housing market bubble (i.e., I didn’t buy in Phoenix, Florida, or Las Vegas in 2006).

Regarding my depreciation plan, the goal is to be finished with it by the time I wind this blog down (when I hit zero).

Another thing: I am reevaluating what kind of car I’d like to get… did you know a Porsche 911S turbo costs over $160000 new? … 🙂


January 18, 2012


This week a house-sized CD I bought a year ago (at about 4.3%) matured and I got a slug of interest.

I also had a good December and everyone paid on time and the correct amount too. Strange but true.

I have been very busy too. As usual, the weeks are flying by. I am that much closer to my goal.

I know there is an election coming up but it seems peripheral. I am not registered to vote and truth be told, I really couldn’t care less who gets elected — sad but true. I just don’t see much difference between the two parties.

More later — don’t really like apathy but can’t escape it when it comes to politics.