Chapter 22 - "I'm Back..." $174,300 (+$2,093) - The Incompetent Investor

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Monday, July 27, 2020

Chapter 22 - "I'm Back..." $174,300 (+$2,093)

G’day everybody, 

I have been AFK (away from the keyboard) for quite a while. My apologies! I’ve been preoccupied with some real life priorities in recent months. I have missed writing and providing updates so I figured it was about time I get myself organised and recommence with the financial independence experiment updates.

In my time off, every so often, I asked myself, what value am I actually bringing to my readers? I thought to myself, well, I am not as switched on as Dave from Strong Money Australia (who is one of my favorite Australian bloggers), however, I do provide an intimate real life story of a family in Northern Australia attempting to reach financial independence.

 As a reminder, I am attempting to reach financial independence for a number of reasons. Firstly, I love volunteering, so I would love to do this FT without any real need to work in exchange for money. I was also medically discharged from the military, so my health is not as great as it was before I joined the military.

If I could describe my blog in a paragraph, I would describe this blog as a real life story unfolding which naturally faces challenges, change of circumstances and good times. As my readers are aware, as much as possible and where I feel it is appropriate, I am very transparent and I share my failures and accomplishments. I also enjoy a bit of a laugh at my expense too. Humour is important for the mind, soul and body. 

Alright, so what has been happening? I will provide an update on the following

·       Employment

·       Investments

·       Side hustle

·       Life more broadly 


Thankfully, I have employment until the 30th of June 2021. I will likely have to take a break from work as I have some work experience requirements that make part of my Masters in Social Work. This is a 12 week unpaid commitment that I will need to do in September of 2021. 

In terms of good news, for the first time in my career, a HR employee of a local service provider reached out to me for a particular role working closely with Youth. Whilst there was no guarantee I would get the job, it was nice to be recognised for my ability to work alongside young people. I respectfully declined this position as I felt I had an obligation to see my current contract through. In addition to this, my boss is very understanding and flexible which makes work much more enjoyable. The old adage “you leave your boss not your job”

In regards to my wife, boy do I have a story for you. Sometime in December, we were robbed and my wife called in to advise she was unable to make it into work. The police attended the residence and we were provided with a job number so we could share this with Victims of Crime NT. They provided some financial assistance which was a blessing at the time.

Anyway, my wife was let go from her job on the day this occurred. They advised her to return the key and that her services were no longer required. This was a temp role, however I was absolutely horrified that they would let her go on the day we were robbed. Not the following day. On the same day! There were some additional politics ongoing at that particular workplace too. She joined in the midst of a tense period at that particular employer. So in a way, I am glad it went the way it did. 

Due to COVID-19, her next role was delayed by almost three months but I can confirm she has a nice job working as a medical receptionist now. She has a great boss (finally) I’m told and she gets along with her colleagues. 

It really is a jungle out there in terms of employment which is why it is so important to obtain some form of financial security for both yourself and/or your family. Takes the heat off a bit. In a perfect world, the moment my wife felt uncomfortable in the workplace, she could have literally walked away. I did encourage her to do this, although, she felt obligated to support the family. When you are in a position where you need to the work to pay the bills, it becomes much harder to walk away.


No surprises here. COVID-19 definitely had an impact on our investments due to unemployment and job loss, delayed employment and so on. Overall, our investments stand as:

Superannuation: $83,300

Direct Shares: $93,000

Cash: $8000

Debt: $10,000
 Net Position: $174,300 (+$2,093 since last update) 

I have recently sold some of our LIC’s (BKI for example) in favor of VAS to simplify our portfolio. We are still quite heavy on Australian equities with the exception of our superannuation which is completely international focused. This will likely change and evolve as the months progress and I am in a position to deploy additional funds. I am keen to grow our international exposure over the coming years. 

In regards to our debt, I recently deployed the NAB Equity Builder for $10,000. I have been very happy with the product and will likely continue to use it when opportunities present themselves. 

In relation to our cash, my goal is to get us up to $10,000 before adding further funds towards paying off the NAB Equity Builder. Having savings has really helped us recently. For example, our little Odis licked a cane toad and he almost died which resulted in a circa $1500 vet bill. We had to pay up front before any reimbursement was done via our pet insurance. 

We also recently had to repair our vehicle due to some structural damage from a minor accident. The excess for our vehicle insurance was circa $800. Having cash has been great and most definitely made me appreciate the importance of it to ensure we can deal with unexpected life events. 

Side hustle

My wife’s dog business has been growing in Darwin. She has a nice little business going which helps the family. When she submits her tax return I will provide some more accurate figures. She has considered doing a dog training course on an online platform of some kind to diversify our income streams. She is definitely good at what she does and is very passionate so she naturally builds rapport and confidence with her customers. It also helps to have our own dogs highly trained which adds some credibility in her teaching. 

I am also exploring the possibility of doing a podcast and interviewing people from various industries so people can get some anecdotal evidence on what they could expect in terms of work flexibility, broader opportunities within the sector, WFH, salary and more.

More on this next update. 

Life more broadly

On a sad note, a young family friend passed away. She was only 9 years old. My wife loved her, and she was very good friends with my son. She made a big impact on our family and we hope she finds peace in her next life. This young girl came from an Indigenous background and it really hit the nail on the head for me in terms of the gap that exists between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. Coincidently, I got very sick the day I heard the news. My immune system dropped due to the shock. I was bed ridden for a week. 

On a positive note, the wife is 20 weeks pregnant. She is kicking goals with her Nursing degree. She has passed all her recent subjects having completed about 1/3 of the course at this point. 

I am getting through my Masters in Social Work. I should have this completed by 2022. My long term vision is to eventually work for myself in the human services sector. 

I bought myself that gaming computer that I had been waiting on for a few years. It has been the best purchase I’ve made in a long time! It was also the most expensive purchase I’ve made in a long time too. Getting huge amounts of enjoyment out of it and I am glad I followed through. 

That is it from me for now. How have you all been doing during these difficult times? Have you had some unusual encounters in the workplace in your working life? Did you stay on or did you leave regardless of your financial position at the time? 

Take care out there! 

Disclaimer: I have an extremely poor track record with picking individual shares. I also do not have the ability to digest complex financial reports to make informed decisions around buying into individual shares. Also, the information on this website is general information and should not be taken as financial advise. I am simply documenting my journey and experience. I am also not a licensed Financial Adviser. You should also seek independent legal, financial, taxation and other advise that relates to your unique circumstances. The Incompetent Investor is not liable for any loss caused, whether due to negligence or otherwise arising from the use of, or reliance on, the information provided directly or indirectly, by use of this website.

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