2020 Financial Samurai Year In Review: Didn’t Give Up!

Phew! We made it! What a year 2020 has been. I'm absolutely exhausted from taking care of my two young kids, experiencing so much uncertainty, and writing so much.

Unfortunately, the first half of 2021 likely won't be much different. Many cities and counties will still be under shelter-in-place. Most of us still won't get vaccinated. And the fear of the virus will remain. Yay.

All the same, I'm looking forward to better times in 2021. But first, here's my 2020 year in review.

2020 Financial Samurai Year In Review

For this review, I thought I'd highlight some wins and losses that first come to mind. Then I'll go through Finances and Family in more detail.

The Wins

The thing I'm most proud of in 2020 was not giving up. Whenever life gets more difficult, my tendency has always been to try harder. I'm stubborn in that I refuse to let bad things get me down.

  • I did not give up on Financial Samurai. Instead, I continued to publish three times a week and write one newsletter a week on average all year. I also modernized a lot of old posts from years ago. To maintain my writing schedule, I got up by 5 am on average every morning to write.
  • I did not give up on my children. Instead of flying off to a tropical island to drink Mai-Tais on the beach all day, I committed to 4-5 hours every day of childcare all year. The days were long as hell. But I made it.
  • I did not give up on my body. Instead of eating myself into a stupor every day, I ate in moderation. Yes, I admit I ate more lemon meringue pie during the first half. But I also regularly played tennis and softball three times a week. Therefore, I was able to stay the same weight.
  • I kept my family safe. Life would have been much easier had we sent our son back to preschool in July, but we gutted things out at home. We would have felt bad if he got the virus from school when both of us don't have day jobs. I drove my kids to every doctor's appointment, we loaded up on PPE, and didn't do anything to put our kids in danger.
  • We didn't put our fellow Americans in danger by gathering with others or flying or cruising anywhere. We respected the mask and distance guidelines.
  • No major injuries. Still no gray hairs at 43. Perhaps I wasn't as stressed as I thought I was. My gray hairs started sprouting at 33 because I hated my job and wanted out. Then they went away six months after I left.

The Losses

  • I lost my aunt. May she rest in peace. I'm so sad to have not seen her more recently. If it wasn't for the pandemic, I would have probably seen her during the summer or Thanksgiving 2020. Not seeing family and loved ones is what negatively affected us the most about this pandemic.
  • I lost my temper three times. I've always prided myself on being calm and collected, no matter how stressful the situation. But due to the constant exhaustion and having two young kids at home 24/7, I became less patient and more irritable. To put things in perspective, before we had kids, I never lost my temper at home.
  • I wasn't able to spend more time with my parents. The main reason why I want to relocate to Hawaii is to take care of them. I want to bring them food, help set up their electronics, do some gardening, and keep them company when they are lonely. This pandemic screwed up my plan to visit them. If I had gone to Hawaii, I would have had to quarantine for 14 days away from them. 14 days is too long to be away from my family.
  • My vision got worse by at least 0.15 diopeters. This was probably due to too much indoor screen time and not enough outdoor activity. I don't plan to see an optometrist until there is herd immunity. The same thing goes for getting my teeth cleaned. I've got my own dental tools at home.

Financial Performance (4.5/5)

Oddly, 2020 was one of the best financial years ever. From an absolute dollar standpoint, it was the largest gain.

After 2019's gains, I said I no longer hesitated ordering a $4 Filet-o-Fish sandwich. In the past, I would just stick with the $1 menu.

After 2020's gains, I no longer have hesitation ordering a couple pieces of toro sashimi! In the past, I would just order hamachi.

Stock / Bond Portfolio (~30% of net worth)

Overall, I'm tracking 12 investment portfolios. It's getting out of hand because I opened up two Roth IRAs for my kids, two 529 plans, and two custodial investment accounts as well.

I'm also glad I super-funded my son's 529 plan in 2017 and my daughter's 529 plan in 2020. They have grown to be relatively significant amounts. I should have opened up my kids' Roth IRAs and custodial investment accounts sooner. Developing a strong worth ethic early is important!

If I focus on my core six portfolios, consisting of three taxable portfolios, a rollover IRA, Solo 401(k), and a SEP-IRA, the overall performance is up a surprising 40%.

I'm thankful to use Personal Capital's free investment tools to keep track of them all. I can easily check the performance of each portfolio and come up with an aggregate as I've done below.

2020 Financial Samurai investing portfolio performance

Stock Outperformance Due To Luck

The main reason for the outperformance is due to my tech holdings. I've owned companies such as Apple, Netflix, Tesla, Google, and Amazon for years. They benefitted most from the pandemic. Therefore, the outperformance was mainly due to luck. If there was no pandemic, big tech wouldn't have had such dominant gains.

Being able to lose less during the meltdown and make more during the meltup is always the investor's dream scenario. I've tried to achieve this goal by going with a barbell approach: buying individual AA-rated municipal bonds and tech growth stocks. However, it wasn't until 2020 when the strategy really took off.

I did invest about $300,000 in stocks during March after writing my post: How To Predict A Stock Market Bottom Like Nostradamus. When the S&P 500 was down about 25% from the peak, I made a call that it wouldn't go down by more than 35% from the peak.

In retrospect, I wish I had bought even more stocks and held on even longer. However, some of the positions really started to dominate my portfolio (e.g. Tesla), hence the trimming.

My worst trade, besides selling a lot of Tesla too soon, was selling my entire California municipal bond fund (CMF). My municipal bond fund was supposed to be a defensive position for times like these.

However, it ended up selling off about 20% in March! When it rebounded back to 80% of its original value, I sold it all. I was upset that my municipal bond fund didn't do what I thought it was supposed to do. If I had held on, I would have been up about 8%.

Real Estate (~40% of net worth)

Real estate had a bipolar year for me. Because I own single family homes on the less dense west side of San Francisco, they have all benefitted from a fanning out of residents.

Essentially, people started moving away from the more dense east side (downtown) to the cheaper west side. Instead of trying to geoarbitrage to a different city or state, most rational people decided to first geoarbitrage within their existing city.

Back in 2014, I moved three miles west and was able to save 40% on housing expenses. It finally took a pandemic for some folks to realize how much great value there is in other parts of their city.

Due to the demographic shifts, I will conservatively estimate that my single family properties appreciated by 5% versus the national average of 8-9%.

Below is an example of a west side home that sold for $705,000 over asking in November 2020. The home is nicely remodeled, but has no views. This home would indicate my single family homes gained closer to 8%.

There are so many examples of strong single family home sales on the west side of SF in 2020. I've been keeping track every month.

[Demand for SFHs is strong]

On the negative side, I own a 2/2 condo that has probably experienced a 10% decline in value. Condo buying declined simply because people want more of their own space. Studios obviously got hit the worst. Meanwhile, as usual, there was more inventory in the downtown area where there is a lot of new construction.

The positive of the condo is that it has continued to receive steady rent. It also has a balcony and is right across from a fantastic park. The condo has no mortgage and my goal is to own it forever.

Overall, I'm estimating that my physical real estate portfolio increased in value by about 3% – 4%. However, I'm expecting a rebound in 2H2021+ as people flock back to big cities.

Real Estate Crowdfunding

I own a fund that invested in 17 commercial real estate projects across the country. Four are done, 13 properties remain. Supposedly, four are underperforming their projections and nine are performing inline.

It's really hard to tell how the fund's performance will do until all the capital is returned. However, I did get a sizable amount of distributions in 2020, which was way beyond my estimate ($226K vs. $70K).

I'm guessing the fund is providing anywhere from an 8% – 11% annual return since 2016 inception. My hope is that the economy opens up by 2H2021 and much of the world gets back to normal. If so, the fund should do better and continue to return capital.

Real estate, real estate crowdfunding, and venture debt are my main new investment focuses for 2021. It's too hard for me to invest more than maxing out my tax-advantageous accounts in the stock market at these levels.

The S&P 500 is valued at roughly 25X expected earnings, the top end of the range. There's much better value to be had in real estate, which has lagged the stock market, and generates valuable cash flow. Never forget that cash flow is what it's all about if you want financial freedom.

One of my favorite ways to generate potential cash flow, 100% passively and with less voliatility is with Fundrise or CrowdStreet.

Fundrise, for non-accredited investors has created diversified eREITs and eFunds for exposure. CrowdStreet, for accredited investors, focuses on individual real estate deals in 18-hour cities for accredited investors. Both are free to sign up and explore.

Venture Debt And Venture Capital

I invested in a venture capital fund, which has a 10-year time horizon. Therefore, I have no idea how it will perform until the far future.

The two venture debt funds I've invested in are returning about 15% net of fees. Therefore, I decided to invest in their third fund for 2021.

Online Business

Revenue squeaked out a record number. Meanwhile, online business valuations are at new highs. With the NASDAQ up 42%, interest rates way down, and online businesses generating cash flow throughout the entire pandemic, the demand for owning online businesses is way up.

I've had more people inquire to purchase Financial Samurai in 2020 than at any time since its founding in 2009. It's been eye-opening talking to various suitors. But at the end of the day, I'm not interested enough because I'm still having fun. The supplemental retirement income is great. Further, I hope to one day teach my kids about online media.

Based on my conversations, online business valuations are up anywhere from 20% – 50% in 2020 alone. For example, I had one offer in 2020 for 114% more than a tempting offer in 2018. I felt a little foolish not aggressively pursuing the new offer. However, when you own 100% of something you enjoy doing, it's hard to put a price on it. Everything feels like gravy.

Every year that I don't sell Financial Samurai is a win. It would be almost impossible for me or others to recreate the content on this site. Everything I've written is based off of firsthand experience.

On the other hand, if most of the content was written by freelance writers writing generic content, then it would be much easier to replicate. The site would also be much easier to offload.

Overall Net Worth Growth

It is hard to calculate my true net worth growth since the majority of my net worth is not in highly liquid assets like stocks and bonds. My net worth gain is anywhere between 18% – 50% for the year. The realistic number is probably around 25%. But in the books, I'm keeping the figure at 15%.

Whatever the net worth figure truly is, I'm happy with the result. Since leaving my day job in 2012, my goal has been to grow net worth by 10% a year into perpetuity. So far, so good every year.

The power of compounding really becomes apparent after a while. Please continue to save and invest aggressively. Before you know it, you may start making more from you investments than your day job. In my case, that's easy because I have no job.

My main focus is to build enough steady passive income to take care of my family. Passive income is what buys me the most precious asset: time. Below is my latest estimated passive income streams for 2021.

Financial Samurai 2021 Passive Income Streams

Family Review (4/5)

My #1 goal this year was to protect and provide for my family. The beginning of the pandemic felt like having White Walkers at The Wall (Game of Thrones reference).

It was mainly due to the pandemic and the desire to protect my family that pushed me into redline exhaustion all the time. In March, April, and May, I was regularly waking up between 2:30 am – 4 am because of all the uncertainty. My mind kept on trying to think about ways to do more.

But I'm happy to say both of our kids are fine. Further, starting in the second half of the year, I started waking up more regularly at 5 am.

Neither of our kids will likely remember the pandemic or understand what mom and dad had to go through to keep them safe. Maybe they'll read my 2020 monthly review posts when they are older and appreciate us more. Fingers crossed!

What's good about taking care of a baby in 2020 is that we wouldn't have traveled anyway. Therefore, we didn't feel like we missed out on travel.

Looking back, we are glad to have spent so much more time with both kids all year. It feels great to nurture and impart wisdom.

We may not end up sending our son back to school after there is herd immunity. Instead, we may decide to homeschool for the next 10 years to provide for better accommodations. We shall see.

Overall, my daughter and son have been hitting their milestones. They are healthy and happy. That's all a parent can really ask for.

Boldest Move In 2020

Investing several hundred thousand dollars into stocks in March 2020 was not my boldest financial move. There was a move that took much more effort and a lot more capital.

After pulling our son from preschool in March, we had to come up with a homeschool plan. That was when when our house started feeling a little tighter. The ground floor was still going through a remodel with no certain deadline.

A month into shelter in place, inexplicably, a fantastic house went up for sale. I couldn't believe the seller wanted to list the home in April, during the height of uncertainty.

I smelled an opportunity.

On Redfin, the home initially appeared as a “Hot Home.” Despite thinking I had no shot at buying the home, I decided to spend some time getting to know the listing agent over multiple visits. It was just he and I talking for hours about life given open houses were shut down. It was nice to have someone to talk to besides my family members.

We created a bond and in the end, I was able to buy the house for 7% below asking. All my paperwork was in order because I got preapproved for a mortgage earlier.

It's one thing to find a great house and envision the possibilities. It's another thing to negotiate a good deal and risk a lot of money during the most fearful time. But I believed in my thesis that real estate outperforms during stock market corrections.

Thankfully, like everything else, prices have rebounded from their April-June lows. I'm confident the home would sell for 2-3% over its original asking today because a close comp just closed at such a price. The home I bought is larger and nicer than the mega-overbid in the example above.

Taking Action Felt Good

One of the most annoying things about the pandemic was the feeling of helplessness at times. We didn't know exactly how the virus spread. Further, there was so much misinformation about how to protect ourselves. As a result, most of us just shut down for the first month.

Taking action to materially improve our living standards in a crap year felt great. We moved into the house a week after closing. Then, I ended up renting out our previous home a month after moving out.

All of this took time, effort, courage, and luck. But I'm pleased that I didn't let the pandemic stop us from trying to live our best lives. As the main provider of the family, this was my duty.

I don't care if I end up making any money or not on our current house. I'm just thrilled everybody is enjoying it while we wait for potential herd immunity.

As a parent, when you see your kids running and crawling around with joy and your oldest telling you how much he loves the house, all the effort feels worth it. Once you have kids, you appreciate owning a home even more. It's not about the money. It's about how much you can provide.

Ever since I started Financial Samurai in 2009, I've always done my best to do what I say and invest in what I believe in. 2020 was no different. Without taking action, writing is just jibber jabber.

Spent Money On A Better Life

Before 2020, one of my concerns was never being able to fully spend my hard-earned money on a better life. I've been so frugal since I was a kid thanks to my parents. You've got to be super frugal to achieve financial independence before the traditional retirement age.

Recent examples of frugality include driving an old car I bought for $8,000 for 10 years, downgrading to a 40% cheaper home in 2014, and walking around Naples, Italy in 90 degree heat because I didn't want to spend $50 on a hop-on hop-off bus.

However, I decided 2020 was finally the year I would use my money to counteract a bad situation. It was a breakthrough after suffering from frugality disease for so long.

Here are some of the things we spent money on:

  • Grocery delivery and food delivery from our favorite restaurants.
  • Got a bigger size iPad so my son could see details better.
  • Changed my two front tires before hitting the tread bar for $820 without guilt. Safety first!
  • Spent whatever we needed for our daughter without hesitation. We plan to give everything away to families who cannot afford books and toys.
  • Bought three new Toto Washlets for our new house. The Washlets were the only thing missing.
  • Picked out nice fixtures and materials for a big rental property remodel.
  • Bought a sweet new house.
  • Donated money more freely.

After 20 years of saving 50% or more of my after-tax income, you would think I'd feel terrible no longer doing so. However, I don't regret a single dollar I spent in 2020.

If there's one thing the pandemic has made me realize even more is that our lives are not guaranteed. Time is precious.

Dying with too much money is a terrible ending. It means we worked too much, stressed too much, and wasted too much time.

Overall Rating For 2020: 3.25/5

Our lives did not change much in 2020 because we survived. We haven't had day jobs for years. Since 2012, I've also been mostly writing from home. Further, we weren't going to travel anyway with a new baby for the next three years.

However, what obviously got us down was all the uncertainty. Every sniffle, sneeze, ache, and cough made us wonder whether we had caught the virus. Every time we went out in public, we were wary of getting too close to anybody.

It's unfortunate not to be able to go places and feel at ease. Right before the lockdowns began, a bunch of us were going to fly down to Palm Springs to watch our favorite Indian Wells tennis tournament. We missed the event by one week.

As an extrovert, I miss hanging out with friends, going to events, eating at restaurants, and drinking at bars. All the random meetups in San Francisco were something I looked forward to every week. I would also love to once again bring my boy to the playground and feel at peace.

2020 made us think more about what we are doing with our lives. Are we doing meaningful work? Are we doing what we want? What can we do to be happier? Hopefully, all of us will take more action to improve our lives going forward.

2020 has also created more empathy for others. When most of us are stuck in a suboptimal situation, we tend to be more understanding and forgiving.

Finally, 2020 brought us greater awareness about the importance of hygiene and the prevalence of systemic racism. As a result, I'm hopeful there will be less sickness and more racial harmony going forward.

Here's to a better 2021!

Related posts:

2021 stocks and real estate outlook

Best Of Financial Samurai 2021

Best Of Financial Samurai 2022

2022 Financial Samurai Year In Review


Give yourself the gift of financial freedom by pick up a copy of Buy This, Not That. It is an instant Wall Street Journal bestseller. The book helps you make more optimal investing decisions so you can live a better, more fulfilling life. Amazon is having a great sale right now.

Buy This Not That Book Reviews

Readers, how would you rate your 2020? What were your highlights and lowlights? Thanks to everyone who read and shared Financial Samurai all year. Your support and wisdom are greatly appreciated! You can sign up for my weekly newsletter or get my posts via e-mail here.

About The Author

37 thoughts on “2020 Financial Samurai Year In Review: Didn’t Give Up!”

  1. 2020 needs to be graded on a curve, so a 3.25/5 is a pretty good result! Whether by luck or skill, that market outperformance is an incredible boost. There is such a split between people who are invested in the market and experienced successes and gains in 2020 versus small business owners and others on the fringes who had no silver lining to a terrible year. Hopefully brighter days ahead for all of us. Cheers to 2021!

  2. Lovely reading this post. You’re right! We couldn’t wait for 2020 to end, but the situation hasn’t eased all that much. Sorry to hear about your aunt. Although the pandemic was tough, it sure did have its moments of excitement. The financial markets have offered great returns, which is terrific for someone planning a retirement portfolio.

  3. Ms.Conviviality

    Sam, I’m happy that you had a good year despite the pandemic. I’ve read every post since discovering your blog in 2016 and am still amazed by the number of quality articles you are able to consistently produce. I wish you and your family prosperity and health in the new year.

    This was a milestone year for my husband and me. We finally purchased our first investment property after eight years of saving and second guessing ourselves. While we own our primary home and a condo, neither had been purchased as strategic investments. There are only a few moments in my life where I’ve experienced the type of thrill and excitement that can’t be contained and this purchase was one of those moments. By the time we finish renovating the property, it will be worth at least double the purchase price. My stock investments increased by 67% this year. I wish I could take credit for choosing the right stocks but I have to credit the Motley Fool for their stock pick articles.

    1. 67% is huge! Congrats!

      And thanks for reading and helping me with my typos all these years. Much appreciated! I’ve gone crossed-yee a number of times in 2020. And three keys on my keyboard no longer work properly. Time to gt a new laptop after 5 years. Goodness knows my existing one used to type all these posts has been fully utilized!

  4. Hi Sam,

    Thought I’d come and check out your yearly review after your comments on Monevator. You’re right, it’s a compelling read.

    Congratulations on a wonderful and pro-active 2020!

    We are going to be making some changes this year with our website. One option is to go more personal, but I am not sure it’s super likely. Still if we could even hit your posting schedule, that’d be something. ;)

    Have a great 2021.

    The Investor @ Monevator

  5. Money Ronin

    I’m so happy you got an amazing deal on a bigger house. March was the time to invest in real estate and stocks but I had to conserve cash just at that moment due to the possibility of rent collections falling off a cliff because of eviction moratoriums. Collections did take a hit but not the catastrophe that I prepared for.
    I’ve given up buying a bigger house primarily because of the huge property tax bill that is not tax deductible. I’m grandfathered into my 2013 tax basis and any new house would double my property tax at a minimum. We’ll make do in our 3 bed/2 bath house and may even downsize once the kids move away in 10 years.
    You have very diverse portfolio. My goal is 50/50 real estate and almost nothing in bonds. I’m happy any year I can get close to the S&P 500 returns. I’ve beaten it most years since 2013–probably–since my net worth is also tied up nebulous real estate valuations.
    Do you have a benchmark return goal, e.g., a specific number or index?
    BTW, my entirely family’s eyesight has deteriorated this year. My optometrist says visits are down due to people avoiding office visits, but eyesight has gotten worse across his patients.

  6. Hey Sam-

    Happy NY! This year was really crazy where so much devastation has happened but my NW grew from $1.4M to $2M. I’m super happy about it.

    I’m 31, married and we have a $400k income. We have 95% of our money in equities and 5% cash. Just don’t see any reason to get out of heavy stock allocation.



  7. Another great post, Sam.

    Your post on real estate love letter was the reason I was able to buy my second house in the Bay Area. With slow down in condo market especially in SF, are you seeing any opportunities to buy condos for your real estate portfolio. Would love to hear your thoughts.

  8. Frugal Bazooka

    Interesting post as always. Based on the optimism I’m hearing, I’m starting to wonder if I’m the only person in the stock market who is petrified of the Senate going blue. If that happens I expect we will see very negative ripples including onerous re-regulation of certain businesses (particularly energy) higher taxes on income and a 30-40% capital gains tax. Worst of all we’ll see socialist bureaucrats tinkering w the 401k/403b program which is undoubtedly one of the most powerful wealth building pieces of legislation as it stands today. All that makes me think it might be time to reallocate to more tax friendly investments. None of these things bodes well for strong capital markets over the next 4 years and That’s assuming we don’t have a pandemic inspired recession which would add fuel to a market meltdown.
    2020 was a banner year for us financially, but I’m not feeling great about being able to keep those hard earned gains as a call for “equity” from the party in power generally comes at the expense of those of us who worked hard in school and busted our asses at work to get ahead. Here’s hoping I’m 100% wrong.

  9. Sam –

    Thanks for sharing your experience in 2020. I have been reading your blogs for years now and I always learn something new. I appreciate you breaking down your portfolio in review. With Risk comes reward and it clearly states that with your results that you achieved. Happy New Year!

    – Joe

    1. Thanks Joe. It was such a hard year to make big money in 2020. However, there were also so many ways to make big money too. For active fund managers, it must have been really frustrating!

  10. About 80% of our investments are equity mutual funds. My wife and I together have (6) 401Ks and (5) brokerage accounts including individual IRAs. Our combined return on all of these accounts in 2020 was 24%. Given all of the challenges in 2020, we are happy with these results.

    We joined the 8-figure net worth club this year so I guess this would be our highlight since it has been a primary goal for a while now. The next milestone will be to pay off the mortgage and live debt-free, along with my wife joining me in retirement whenever she is ready. Our only child graduates from college in May so yet another milestone on the horizon.

    1. Nice job hitting $10+ million! Now make sure you protect those gains and don’t go in reverse! Time to also calculate how much you may have left upon death so you can potentially spend more money while living.


  11. Thanks for all of your work this year. Checking in daily, to see if you had added content, was one of the bright spots during 2020. Very, very appreciative of your knowledge sharing and wit. It certainly helped me not only survive, but thrive in a challenging year. I hope the Financial Samurai family was a wonderful, healthful, and successful 2021

  12. I truly believe asset allocation is important as we head into 2021. As seen in 2020, maintaining a proper allocation can prove to be extremely important to achieving outsized risk-adjusted returns.

  13. Eric D Meyers

    Great read! Thanks for your guidance this year through these tricky times. I bought some stuff I probably wouldn’t have in a normal year, but I don’t regret it and their things that I use a ton. Also, had lots of time to research what items would be the most lasting and high quality. Also, thanks to your recommendation of moving in 10% a week out of bonds my Net Worth rose 120%. Partly because of Tesla.

    Happy New Years, Sam!

  14. Marketing Maven

    The picture of your little guy wearing his Santa outfit with his velcro runners was the best way to start 2021.

  15. Thanks for the blog post.

    I too have achieved a 40% return in stocks his year. Couple that with 2 cash flowing home purchases below market value and syndications hat have performed right on or above pro-forma. I would say 2020 was a great year.

  16. Congratulations Sam on the house purchase! You motivated a lot of us to buy home for quality of life and bigger appreciation. I did the same, and both the old house (now a rental) and the new one have appreciated 10% since purchase. It did take courage and hard work to execute!

    In 2021, I want to increase my exposure to stocks. What do you think of the equity market in 2021?

    1. Good stuff! Congrats. Check out my 2021 outlook coming out soon.

      I have no idea what your net worth asset allocation is, risk tolerance or objectives, so can’t answer your question.

  17. Thanks for all the great reads this year. Seems you had great returns on business and personal fronts.

    I did well this year. Net worth grew 28%. I use Personal Capital based on your recommendation for a few years now. It seemed touch and go for awhile but really turned on in the 2nd half.

    Oldest son started college and while hes being robbed out of some regular experiences hes having a good time and did great in high school so its not even costing me any money, lol!

    2021 looks to have me change job titles for the first time in awhile so Im looking forward to that so I can get a renewed interest in work to make it to 50 and step away. Thats the goal anyways.


    1. A 28% net worth growth is fantastic. Congrats!

      I’m bummed about kids getting their college years diluted. Boy were they really, really fun for me. However, maybe when they go back in person full-time, they’ll be much more measured and appreciative!

      GL with your new job. Makes me wonder if I should get one again so I can get a break from fatherhood. Hmmm!

  18. Was a good year to purchase cash flow during 1q and 2q – hoping I can buy again at marks less than their values (again). Amazing how quickly things have quickly come back but still some great opps in public and private markets. Thanks Sam for your recap – I did the mental scoreboard as I was reading.

    1. I’m kinda hoping there will be great deals… but not really in the stock market. That would mean my existing positions take a beating.

      I think the great deals will be had in any over leveraged hospitality and office commercial property. Get them now if they can’t hold on until the good times in 2H2021+!

      This is one of the reasons why I’ve subscribed to CrowdStreet’s offerings. They are looking for us.

  19. I don’t understand: if Roth IRAs require the funds to come from earned taxable income, how can you open up two Roth IRAs for your two preschool children?

    1. Financial Samurai

      Happy Holidays.

      Sure, I started a website about family finances. I also have Financial Samurai that discusses family finances. My kids work has models for the websites for branding and graphics to accompany the content.

      So much cheaper and safer to pay my kids than hire child models during a pandemic. Teaches good work ethic as well. Start earning income while young to build lifelong habits and appreciation for money.

      As my kids grow older, they can do side jobs for my neighbors and work minimum wage jobs as teenagers.

      See more here: https://www.financialsamurai.com/opening-a-roth-ira-for-your-kids/

      1. “… hire child models.” It’s a legal loophole, as Sam has posted before. Paying your kid the going rate for a child model (it’s a blog about his family so stock photos won’t work), to clean the office, etc. and then opening a Roth IRA is a great way to transfer family wealth. On the extreme end of wealth transfer, Donald Trump earned $200k per year working for his father starting at age 3.

  20. Thanks for keeping it real and for entertaining and teaching us things all year! It’s not easy doing what you do! And sounds like you had quite a fortune year, congrats!

    I was so wiped out I didn’t even realize today is already NYE until the afternoon lol. Things register in my brain much slower these days. I’m looking forward to better things in 2021 and to be rid of this stupid covid madness for good!

    Happy New Year!

    1. It’s interesting how the first half of 2020 felt so slow, and the second half felt very fast. Time movs on no matter how little or much we do. Hence, might as well make the most of it!

  21. Good year in review Sam and myriad ways to diversify and expand your financial portfolio. Mostly been heavy lifting on stocks with a prime house and one rental property. Makes me want to reach out and touch something else in the very near future perhaps. Might be time to take stock market gains (plus 28% as of Year End a few hours ago) of few hundred thousand dollars and ???
    Thank you my man and HNY!

    1. Maybe! I’d just have an asset allocation and stick to it. Focus on growing the overall pie. If you want to reduce your stock positions, do so in a tax-efficient manner while growing other parts of your net worth. GL!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *