My Personal Finance Journey

Personal finance observation, musing and decisions in a journey toward financial independence by 2020 with at least $3 million.

By Topics

0. About (10)
1. My Progress (139)
2. Car & Home (107)
3. Credit (138)
4. Banking (33)
5. Saving (49)
6. Investing (308)
7. Taxes (89)
8. Spending (74)
9. Misc (97)
A. Archive (49)


Feb 2014 (3)
Jan 2014 (6)
Jan 2012 (1)
Apr 2011 (1)
Mar 2011 (1)
Feb 2011 (1)
Jan 2011 (1)
Dec 2010 (1)
Oct 2010 (1)
Sep 2010 (1)
Aug 2010 (1)
Jul 2010 (1)
Jun 2010 (1)
May 2010 (1)
Apr 2010 (1)
Mar 2010 (6)
Feb 2010 (2)
Jan 2010 (7)
Dec 2009 (3)
Feb 2009 (4)
Jan 2009 (8)
Dec 2008 (1)
Jun 2008 (2)
May 2008 (2)
Apr 2008 (5)
Feb 2008 (3)
Jan 2008 (15)
Dec 2007 (32)
Nov 2007 (6)
Oct 2007 (8)
Sep 2007 (9)
Aug 2007 (24)
Jul 2007 (2)
Jun 2007 (1)
May 2007 (3)
Apr 2007 (4)
Mar 2007 (4)
Feb 2007 (13)
Jan 2007 (6)
Dec 2006 (3)
Nov 2006 (7)
Oct 2006 (7)
Sep 2006 (6)
Aug 2006 (4)
Jul 2006 (10)
Jun 2006 (1)
May 2006 (3)
Apr 2006 (2)
Mar 2006 (6)
Feb 2006 (6)
Jan 2006 (3)
Dec 2005 (1)
Nov 2005 (9)
Oct 2005 (8)
Sep 2005 (13)
Aug 2005 (25)
Jul 2005 (16)
Jun 2005 (17)
May 2005 (19)
Apr 2005 (20)
Mar 2005 (24)
Feb 2005 (23)
Jan 2005 (36)
Dec 2004 (40)
Nov 2004 (34)
Oct 2004 (17)
Sep 2004 (21)
Aug 2004 (59)
Jul 2004 (37)
Jun 2004 (31)
May 2004 (29)
Apr 2004 (52)
Mar 2004 (49)
Feb 2004 (49)
Jan 2004 (31)
Dec 2003 (48)
Nov 2003 (52)
Oct 2003 (29)
Sep 2003 (8)
Aug 2003 (5)
Jul 2003 (2)
Jun 2003 (2)
May 2003 (5)
Apr 2003 (2)
Mar 2003 (2)
Feb 2003 (3)
Jan 2003 (29)


The $1M Goal Revisited: Should I Take Risk?

Contributed by mm | January 2, 2009 3:13 PM PST

One of the few things that are long-lived at PFBlog is the $1M goal stated in the tag line.

When I started PFBlog in 2003, my intention is to use the blog to track my progress to become a millionaire by the age of 40. It doesn't take long for me to realize that we can claim a seven-figure asset much earlier with diligent savings and financial planning. Therefore, in 2005, I changed the goal to break the million-dollar mark by 36.

Now you may say one million dollars is no longer enough to support a comfortable retirement, but it is still an attractive milestone, isn't it?

So after a long hiatus in my blogging activity, a quick snapshot assessment of where we are:

To start off, we still ended the year with just over $800,000 in assets. In a few months, I'll turn 33, so we still have about three years to add the final 200 grand to our coffer.

In these uncertain times, we will still count on the one time-tested rule of getting financial prosperity: savings. Assuming my job is still safe -- a good call considering that companies will always need capable (although high-paying) controllers to cut cost in this environment -- that's an almost guaranteed $100+k annual savings after paying all bills and taxes.

So if we play it safe by converting all our portfolio to cash, we will almost certainly top $1M in two years. In fact, if we try this plain-vanilla way at the end of 2007 (when we had close to $900k in assets), we would be a millionaire by now.

No cries over spilled milk, but the question of the day: should I play it safe or should I take risks?

This Post Has Received 26 Comments. Share Your Opinions Too.

Meg Commented on January 2, 2009

It seems like you are sacrificing what would be the best plan for you and your family over the long haul in favor of reaching this arbitrary goal. Converting to all cash now is not a good idea right now by almost any means. You're 33, you have no trouble saving and aren't relying on investments for current income. You presumably don't need your savings for a very long time. If you were 63, 73, or 83 then ok, MAYBE I could understand and support your temptation. But you will in all likelihood miss out on the almost inevitable stock market rally if you convert to cash - only to reach this arbitrary goal in an arbitrary amount of time.

Monevator Commented on January 3, 2009

Welcome back MM, you blog is an inspiration. I have to say I've never understood why you aim for net wealth though as a target. It's too arbitrary and down to fluctuating markets. True financial freedom comes from secure inflation-proofed income, not a particular capital figure.

Jonathan Davis Commented on January 5, 2009

I feel now is the best time to invest as the market is so low. You'll only make money over the next three to four years as the market recovers, so why put it into cash? You're weighing risk, which is a good thing, just don't let the risk scare you.

Jonathan Davis Commented on January 5, 2009

I feel now is the best time to invest as the market is so low. You'll only make money over the next three to four years as the market recovers, so why put it into cash? You're weighing risk, which is a good thing, just don't let the risk scare you.

Gavin Commented on January 5, 2009

“Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”

Jason K Commented on January 5, 2009

Now is a great time to invest, but the key is to maintain a veriety of investments. I recently came across tax liens and put some money towards them. I have gotten about 2% per month while I have owned them. Won't put to much in them because of their liquidity but it is nice to have when the market drops like a rock.

Eric H Commented on January 6, 2009

I disagree with most of the posters here. If his goal is 1 million by 36, the best and most risk free way of reaching that goal is by being defense and being underweight stocks. Can anyone here with 100% certainty that the market bottom is in and it's smooth sailing from here on out?

Cameron F Commented on January 7, 2009

In response to Eric H's comment:

Yes, if the goal is $1 million by 36 and that's the only goal and will continue to be the only goal, then yes, play it safe and convert to cash.

If, on the other hand, there's an underlying goal that's bigger. If for example you plan to continue to save even after you reach $1 million. If $1 million really is a "milestone" as you describe it, instead of the end of the road, then it really doesn't make sense to abandon stocks altogether.

We've had a tough year in the market, so it's tempting right now to abandon the idea of it. But in the long run, for a 32-year-old, it's nuts to abandon the market.

Maybe utilizing some risk will mean you come in under your goal at 36, and maybe it'll mean you come in over it. Odds are very high that if you participate in the market, by 56, you'll be way ahead of had you not.

Bernz Commented on January 15, 2009

I believe you should do both....have some cash for emergency and if you have the money that you would not need in the next 3-5 years I would buy some undervalued good stocks. Make sure you do your due diligence in picking them.

Adam Commented on January 27, 2009

Converting to all cash is so extreme.
Why don't you buy a (depreciated and/or foreclosed) house and rent it.
It's like a stock that pays dividends. Pay someone 5% to manage it since you are a busy professional.

medz Commented on February 23, 2009

Good Job!!! It's very inspiring to know that you are almost there in hitting your goal. Well, if I were in that situation, I would invest my money by putting up my own business related to real property, food or health. I guess coverting all your portfolio into cash is not yet the time to do it.

asEnhmzy47 Commented on December 16, 2016

noroxin vantin antibiotic geriforte brahmi seroquel prometrium 100mg estrace generic zyloprim cialis

TracyNuami Commented on January 27, 2017

wh0cd175532 lasix water pill web site atarax kamagra oral jelly usa atenolol 50 mg lasix medicine cialis buy lexapro online citalopram buy elimite

AaronSit Commented on January 29, 2017


AaronSit Commented on February 4, 2017

wh0cd527596 cialis 5 mg cost amitriptyline over the counter diflucan cipro furosemide 40 mg extra resources hydrochlorothiazide online citalopram hbr 10mg

Bennyanymn Commented on February 5, 2017

wh0cd851564 avodart citalopram hydrobromide augmentin xr celebrex prescription

KennethCed Commented on February 6, 2017

wh0cd387116 cephalexin 500 mg capsules amitriptyline hcl dilantin aldactone atenolol citalopram for anxiety and stress order generic cialis ventolin trazodone 100mg price of cialis

MichaelNub Commented on February 6, 2017

wh0cd751580 ventolin for sale viagra soft 50mg cialis pills Clonidine indocin generic cefixime Viagra Without Prescription

TracyNuami Commented on February 8, 2017


AaronSit Commented on February 9, 2017

wh0cd848268 can i buy amoxicillin online ivermectin for sale triamterene celebrex online view site generic adalat nexium cephalexin cymbalta

EugeneOrert Commented on February 10, 2017

wh0cd620988 lisinopril hctz ampicillin Cheap Indocin where to buy allopurinol buy avana generic atarax

Antoshkafen Commented on February 20, 2017

Good day!

Best resume and cover letters templates. - Download resume templates in Word DOC with high print quality and creative forms, prepare a professional resume and get your dream job.

These docs editable templates created by professionals who know what recruiters look for.

How to start?

STEP 1: Idea. Begin by organizing together the content of your cv. Bring into focus work experience, summary of achievements, keywords and any other significant information that makes a powerful resume. - “How to Make Up a Great Resume” will take you through the whole game step by step.

STEP 2: Format chronological, functional or combination. Make sure you present your career in the format that highlights your experience, education, and skills the best thinkable way. See - “Choosing a Format” Guide by James Madison University to decide which format is the best for you.

STEP 3: Appearance. - Find the most beneficent template to ‘dress up’ your content. This page has different templates to choose from.


AaronSit Commented on March 2, 2017

wh0cd863964 motilium bentyl cephalexin citalopram hydrobromide 40mg cheap ventolin inhalers viagra no prescription

TracyNuami Commented on March 6, 2017

wh0cd52659 neurontin revia cytotec for labor induction

Bennyanymn Commented on March 8, 2017

wh0cd101098 wellbutrin generic lipitor valtrex tretinoin buy vpxl

CharlesLiede Commented on March 29, 2017

wh0cd751544 vpxl without prescription celexa wellbutrin

Add Your Comments

Remember personal information?

(It will take a few moments for your comment to be published. Please do not close the window until then.)

Read More ... 152 Posts In The Same Category

This page was last rebuilt at March 29, 2017 01:47 PM PST. (292 Words)



Consumerism Commentary
Get Rich Slowly
My Money Blog
All Financial Matters
The Simple Dollar


Copyright 2003-2014, All Rights Reserved. (Privacy Policy)