October 2015 Financial Reports

October, I hardly knew ye. It’s not officially winter yet in Northern Virginia, but summer is definitely over. The Vikings and Timberwolves (for now) are looking better than most thought they would. After 8 months of bliss, the wife has once again discovered the thermostats, and has commenced her hourly pilgrimages to them to pump the dry heat.

Biblical Halloween Costumes

Halloween was awesome! As you can see from the photo, we again went with a biblical theme. I figure, if you’re going to dress up as somebody, you may as well dress up as Christ. The baby was my shepherd protege, and the wife played Mary Magdalene. We’ve been the same things for several years now, but people still recognize me.

We took a trip to Orlando to hit the beaches and visit SeaWorld. We drank the Kool-Aid after watching the Blackfish documentary last year, but now that we’ve heard the other side of things, I’m once again pro-Orca enslavement. They sure are amazing creatures, especially when they perform dance routines to today’s best music.

There is some good stuff in the posts queue for November. Of the seven posts I’m looking to push out this month, I’d say a good four to five will actually be worth your time. Stay Tuned.

Looking back, five “non-update” posts hit the presses at Retire29 in October:

The stock markets had their best month in four years, with the S&P 500 up 8.3% for the month. You’ll see below how that affected my net worth.

Interestingly, the things that normally go well for me (dividends and passive income growth) did poorly this month, while the things that normally do poorly (side hustling) did well.

Let’s get it on!

The Path to Financial Independence

My passive income plus side hustling covered 16.3% of my expenses in October. This is a record high!

Retire29 October 2015 FI Chart

Passive Income

Retire29 October 2015 Passive Income


See Investment Portfolio for Full List of Holdings and Details

Paid In October: $523.83
Previous Forward Dividend Income: $803.37
New Forward Dividend Income: $795.55 (-0.9%)

Soooo, that wasn’t supposed to happen. My forward dividend income (monthly dividends expected going forward) decreased for the first time ever. October was supposed to be a great month, too. A pile of companies increased their dividends last month: Kinder Morgan, Holly Energy, Middlesex Water, Starbucks, Valero, Aflac, and RPM International. However, I was bit by the energy drop. Hi-Crush partners, who had been getting absolutely killed, suspended their dividend.

Hi-Crush mines fine grain sand for use in fracking operations. With nat gas prices at unprecedented lows, more and more rigs are going idle, and Hi-Crush—although still profitable—is halting their dividend temporarily until the demand side gets a clearer. Hi-Crush had been paying me about $20/month in dividends, so this cut hurt a lot. I couldn’t hang with them, either, as it was rather evident that the dividend would be reinstated, at the earliest, a year from now. I put that money in STAG Industrial, a REIT with far more favorable financials.

I also bought more Bank of Internet—a company I see as a ten bagger. Bank of Internet got hammered with, what I believe, is a frivolous lawsuit. I see this drop as a great buying opportunity to obtain ownership in one of today’s great disruptors.

The drop in dividend income puts the year-end goal of $925 (forward dividends + interest) somewhat in doubt. I think $900 is probably more realistic.



Paid In September: $0.00
Previous Forward Interest: $42.74
New Forward Interest: $42.99

My annual interest payment for my annuity occurs in April. I’ll continue contributing a little bit each month to this account.

Side Hustles

Retire29 October 2015 Side HustlesOctober saw two goals get accomplished. Reach 60,000 page views for the year, and reach $120 in blog income for the year.

I have no plans to move the goalposts, I met those goals and will set some higher ones for 2016.

Retire29 had it’s most profitable month ever, with $90.02 in revenue and no expenses. $65 of that came from an affiliate payment from BlueHost, my hosting service. Apparently, somebody wants to start a blog (that’s awesome!). The other $25.02 came from Google Adsense. That Adsense amount is low, especially considering I was at about $20 at mid-month. I took away a couple ads to make the viewing experience better. A commenter complained, and I listened. I strayed from my values a little too much and got click-hungry. Adsense will almost certainly fall this month due to those changes.

I also wrote one article for SeekingAlpha. I get a penny per page view, so I got that goin’ for me. If I can somehow churn out seven more articles this year (a longshot) I’ll meet that goal of 12 articles, as well. Each article I write brings me more and more SA followers (now at 293), which raises the floor on pageviews. I’m excited to think how that will look in four or five years, when I’ll be using that money to help augment my retired lifestyle.


Retire29 October 2015 ExpensesAh yes, expenses. The best part of my expenses is that a big portion is actually debt paydown (about $800 in mortgage and $700 car loans). Travel was higher than normal for SeaWorld tickets, our cat babysitter, rental car (didn’t realize I could’ve used points for this, ugh), and part of one train ticket for Thanksgiving (the rest were covered by points).

Auto was also high. Virginia levies property taxes on personal vehicles, so that was $380. I hope next year to have that cut in half (sell one car), and the Mercedes will be paid off this month. Both of our cars are ridiculously low in miles (20k and 60k), so we’re not exactly needing another car payment any time soon. It’s a grind, but it’s getting there. Home/Other was actually negative since we returned some stuff we had bought in September.

Oh, and let’s finish up with food. $100 of that $284 in dining was actually one meal. An all-you-can-eat buffet of high-quality seafood in Orlando (Boston Lobster Feast). I would’ve never sprung for such a lavish affair, but that’s why I have my wife; she keeps me balanced. It was worth it (the dinner, that is. And the wife.)

Everything else is pretty normal. My company also put out our medical insurance premiums for 2016. No changes, thank God.

2016 is shaping up to be pretty sweet. No car payments, half the insurance/tax for the cars, credit card hacking in full force. Yep, should be pretty dandy.

Net Worth

Net worth rose 5.7% this month to $352,242 (all time high). The S&P was up 8.3%, so I trailed the index. However, a lot (20%) of my net worth is in home equity/cars/cash. Likewise, 20% of my investments are in annuities and bonds—so my returns tend to be a bit less volatile than the markets.

While October trailed, my net worth is up 18.8% for the year, against an S&P which is up just 2.2%. Not bad.

Retire29 October 2015 Net Worth

Thanks for reading and following along, as always! I’m looking forward to a great November with you!


Previous Financial Reports:

2015: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep

2014: Dec


  1. I don’t think you should consider the $800 in mortgage paydown an expense. The expense should be the amount you HAVE to pay each month. The rest should be considered savings.

  2. It seems crazy that November is already here! Feels like it was mid-summer just a week ago. The Vikes game on Sunday was a nail-biter! I didn’t have faith but my wife did…mainly because she didn’t want to watch overtime.

    You were probably better off paying for the rental car. Often times the value in points is very low because you can use Hotwire or something similar to get a sweet deal on the rental. I use The Points Guy to identify the value in $ for various point programs.

    I took your advice to start a blog but I can’t claim credit for using BlueHost. :/
    Two questions:
    1. Nothing in your assessment of BofI changes? The headlines for the auditor complaints sound really bad but it seems to be a complaining, disgruntled employee looking to cause trouble. He should have purchased some puts. He would have made a killing (and probably be headed for jail).
    2. Is the Virginia vehicle tax a percentage of value? Do they use the KBB value?

    ~ Mr. Benny
    Mr. Benny @ Stuff That Pig recently posted…Tuesday Morning Bluster: Fast Cars and DebtMy Profile

    • Hi Mr. Benny!
      My assessment of BofI is as strong as ever. I’ve read the whole lawsuit and transcribed the entire call from executives; nothing in the lawsuit sounds legitimate. What’s more, nothing has been proven or even corroborated by another source. In fact, Erhart’s former boss (Johnathan Ball, who left the company) came out and said Erhart’s reasons for Ball’s departure are totally off the mark. This will blow over within a year, and at a 15 P/E for a company growing this fast is a steal. If interest rates rise, it’s an even bigger steal.

      The vehicle tax is based on assessed value (make/model/year). I don’t think they’d use KBB values, since KBB values depend a lot on mileage and condition. $230 for a 2001 Corvette and $150 for a 2003 Mercedes E500 (to give you an idea).

      Go Vikings! Are you a Vikes fan?

      Retire29 recently posted…October 2015 Financial ReportsMy Profile

  3. Nice costumes! Great job setting a new high on the passive income covering your expenses. Great job buying BOFI on the cheap. I am looking into the company and it seems pretty good, just wish I would have dipped a toe in on the drop to $80. Looks poised to go right back to $140.

    It’s going to be awesome to see you reach new heights in the portfolios once the cars are paid off. It will also be quite the relief. First time I’ve ever had a car payment and I don’t like it at all.

    Keep up the great work 29.

    American Dividend Dream recently posted…Dividend Income – October 2015 UpdateMy Profile

  4. Every year seems to fly by even faster than the previous. Hard to believe that we already need to start gearing up for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Although I’m looking forward to the cooler weather after our ridiculously hot summers.

    That’s awesome that your passive income and side hustle income covered 16% of your expenses. It’s pretty amazing to see how consistent yours is. Mine is a lot more lumpier and can reach 40-50% in great months but then it works out to 15-20% other months. But it’s still growing and covering more of my expenses over time which is all I can really shoot for.
    JC @ Passive-Income-Pursuit recently posted…After The Run Up There’s Still Double Digit Return Potential For Johnson & JohnsonMy Profile

    • I attribute my consistency more to how to do the measurements. Rather than looking at my actual paid dividends, I instead look at my forward average dividends. In this regard, the month-to-month swings of dividends are smoothed out.


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