2013 Shareholder Letter

Warren Buffet’s #1 fan!

One of the ways that Mr. PoP has enjoyed learning about business and investing over the years is by reading (and re-reading!) Warren Buffet’s annual Shareholder Letters written to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway. In honor of the recent release of Buffett’s 2013 letter, here is our own PoP 2013 Shareholder Letter. Click here for the 2012 edition.

Executive Summary

2013 was a very good year for us financially, though it was quite hectic and stressful at times.  While we like the former part of that statement, the latter is something we’d like to continue to address as we seek to continually improve quality of life.

In last year’s letter I mentioned that even in good years our net worth gains would likely decrease on a percentage basis; this is one of those times where I hate being right! Our increase in net worth was 49% instead of 66.3%; a respectable $207K regardless. Here is this year’s prediction: As the market grows as a portion of our net worth we are at a greater risk of being whipsawed by its fluctuations.

  • End of 2011 Net Worth: $256.7K  
  • End of 2012 Net Worth: $417.3K ( YOY increase of $170.2K or +66.3%)
    • 2012 Gross Income: $184.0K Employment / $16.9K Investment Properties
    • 2012 Spending: $55.2K Personal / $16.5K Investment Properties
  • End of 2013 Net Worth: $624.4K (YOY increase of $207.1K or 49.6%)
    • 2013 Gross Income: $183.6K Employment / $17.7K Investment Properties
    • 2013 Spending: $59.4K Personal / $12.7K Investment Properties

Continue reading 2013 Shareholder Letter

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do…

One way to do "cat pose"...

One way to do “cat pose”…

This weekend I did something that I should have done a long time ago. I ended a relationship that for a while now felt like it was taking more out of me than I was getting from the relationship. I broke up… with my yoga instructor.

What’s The History?

I call myself a casual yogi, having been practicing fairly regularly since starting with some community yoga classes that were offered free at a park across the street from my old office in 2007. I find it’s a great way to offset all the running I do.
But when I moved to be in the same city as Mr PoP in 2008, I started going to a gym owned by a friend and I came to really like the yoga instructor that taught a few classes there every week.

When we lived 10 minutes away from the gym, I would go to yoga once or twice per week and it was great. But then we moved 30 minutes away, and making it once per week was the most I could ever do.

So How Much Did Yoga Cost?

Continue reading Breaking Up Is Hard To Do…

PoP Balance Sheet – February 2014

Welcome to our February 2014 Balance Sheet!

We use the structure of a monthly income statement and balance sheet in tandem to make sure we are keeping our expenses low and planting our pennies wisely. If you’re not already tracking your finances using these two methods, go to mint.com and get started today! If you have any questions about how we do this just post a comment and we’ll be sure to help!

Nothing too exciting on the balance sheet this month, though we got a bit of a boost by the stock market’s rebound throughout February.  We’ll see how it ends up for the rest of the year!

But for the month of February:

  • Our total assets went up by $19.2K
  • Our total liabilities went up by $0.4K
  • Net worth rose by $18.8K
  • Total net worth as of the end of February is $692.7K, which represents a 2.8% increase this month.  

But we did add one more way that we hope to continue tracking investment growth, so let us know how what you think of our new “Early Retirement Locale Index” below.

And for the details…

Continue reading PoP Balance Sheet – February 2014

PoP Income Statement – February 2014

Welcome to our February 2014 Income Statement!


Say hello to Beri the miracle fruit plant! Kitty PoP likes her a little too much…

Mr. PoP and I put these income statements together for two reasons. First, we want to be transparent about our finances because we’re trying to be role models for other people who are trying to plant their own pennies (and end up with dollars someday!). Second, we do this to make sure we’re on track to meet our own long-term goals. If you’re not tracking your income statement and balance sheet, we highly recommend you start using a program like Mint to keep track of it all.

February was a solid and uneventful month when it came to our income and spending, but actually a nice and somewhat eventful month for us personally. I ran a marathon, have been cooking a lot in my brand spanking new pressure cooker/slow cooker/yogurt maker (the Instant Pot IP-DUO60), we hung out with a lot of good friends, and perhaps most exciting – I bought a miracle fruit plant. Now I just need to properly care (and keep Kitty PoP from eating it) for it for a few years until I can get it to fruit! Then we’re in for some HUGE excitement. =)

All in all, a solid start to the new year.

The Bottom Line

  • Earnings before principal paydowns and savings allocations of $4,705.

And here are the details…

Continue reading PoP Income Statement – February 2014

He Said She Said: Hustling Or Hassling?

Mr PoP and I found ourselves caught in a little bit of a tourist trap recently and ended up eating dinner in a sports bar/casual dining chain there. The food was okay, the service was atrocious (we’re pretty sure our waiter was high), but that’s kindof par for the course in a place like that, right?

There was something else a bit off about the experience, though. Over the course of our brief dinner, no fewer than two separate salespeople came up to diners at the restaurant (and employees, too!) and pitched them on their products. Here’s how it went…

  • Sales Pitch #1 came from a high-school aged girl scout and her mom. They had cases of girl scout cookies on a small dolly and sold them to a group of fairly drunk older men sitting at the bar, as well as a couple tables on the patio on their way out. Later in the evening we spotted the same mother/daughter pair selling them to folks drinking at an open-air bar* down the beach.
  • Sales Pitch #2 came from a millenial-ish woman selling some sort of cosmetics. (I wish I could tell you the brand, but we couldn’t spot what was written on the bags without being obvious and risking getting dragged in to the ordeal.) She approached tables of young women enjoying drinks and dinner on the outside patio (adjacent to the sidewalk) and made her sales pitch. Apparently it was good enough that not only did the diners buy whatever she was selling, but their server (who was in the same demographic) went and got her own credit card and handed it over to the saleswoman as well!

Perhaps not surprisingly, Mr PoP and I had very different reactions to these ambitious saleswomen.

He Said

Continue reading He Said She Said: Hustling Or Hassling?