Financial Samurai 2017 Year In Review: The Most Difficult Best Year Ever

Financial Samurai 2017 Year In Review

Happy 2018 Everyone! Here is my 2017 year in review.

Since the year doesn't really start until the second week of January, I've decided to spend more time reflecting. Hopefully you will too on a tropical island somewhere.

Before 2017, the best year of my life was when I got married on a cozy beach in Oahu. It was a simple wedding with only 16 family members in attendance. There was a gentle breeze that rustled the palm leaves while a ukulele player played Somewhere Over The Rainbow. The ceremony was simple, yet so beautiful.

No moment ever topped that day until our son was born last Spring. The birth went smoothly and I could finally breathe a sigh of relief both mama and baby were safe and healthy. We feel so blessed to have him in our lives.

Despite all my preparation, I still underestimated how difficult it would be to work 15 hours every day for months on end. I worked in banking where 15 hour days were the norm. But even in banking, we got at least one day off a week. Further, nobody works every single minute they’re at work. With parenthood, one look away could spell disaster.

Constant sleep deprivation killed my mood. No longer did I have the desire or creativity to spend several hours writing a post. No longer did I have the patience to deal with annoying people. Yet we had to forge on like all newborn parents do to make sure our baby was properly cared for.

If it wasn't for my wife, we wouldn't have a precious son. And if it wasn't for my wife, there would be no Financial Samurai because she started taking over the entire night after he was three months old. Therefore, I thank my wife for everything she has done and apologize for all the times I was unpleasant. She is the sweetest, loveliest, kindest person I know who deserves a partner who always treats her well. I will do better. I promise!

Financial Samurai 2017 Year In Review

When I re-read my goals for 2017 post with the theme, “Always Be Grinding,” I was surprised to read how enthusiastic I was, yet I didn't take any outsized investment risk. In fact, I took risk exposure down by 17.5% after selling a rental house. It was the classic believing in one thing, but taking no corresponding action.

Here's what I wrote in the beginning of 2017:

I haven’t been this excited since I first got a job out of college when the sky was the limit. For the past 10 years or so, I’ve been questioning what’s the point of working so hard if the government is just going to take more from us than what we’re able to keep. To finally get some potential tax relief is thrilling!

Despite my excitement, I didn't pile into stocks because I'm always skeptical of what politicians can accomplish. Instead, I invested $250,000 in real estate crowdsourcing because I believed the Red States would benefit from a Trump presidency and invested just $41,000 in stocks for 1Q2017 out of $611,000 total.

But what I did do right was focus on my largest asset, which is now my online business. I upped production in the first quarter and saw a 48% rise in revenue and an even larger increase in operating profits due to the beauty of fixed costs. Operational leverage truly is one of the best reasons for running an online business.

Despite only seeing a 15.87% return on my public investments for 2017, my online business more than made up for the slack. If you can consistently grow your most valuable asset at a faster pace than every other asset class over the long term, I dare say you will one day do your family proud.

Here's a review of the specific goals I made in 2017 and my year in review.

Business Goals Year In Review

1) Focus on growth by broadening the audience. I've received plenty of feedback that I need to write more for the mass market. Even though my advice holds true whether you have $1,000,000 to invest or $10,000 to invest, readers have told me they can't get their heads around larger numbers.

Failed. I tried my best to write more about budgeting and savings, but I only ended up writing five new posts on this topic out of 175. Two of the posts probably don't even count: Stop Frugality From Leading To Lifestyle Deflation and Millennial Avocado Toast Analysis. The only post I feel can help the mass market is: Housing Expense Guideline For Financial Independence. I doubt my audience broadened very much, but at least traffic grew by 20%.

2) Publish a new ebook by July 18, 2017. Despite the rise in interest rates, it still takes a gargantuan amount of money to generate $1,000 a month in passive income – we're talking $300,000 in capital at a 4% gross yield.

Failed. I worked with several folks to put together a Financial Samurai real estate book in the first half of the year, but lost steam once my baby was born. It's still a no-brainer to produce online products once you've developed a brand and a following, but time is at a premium. 

Related: Ranking The Best Passive Income Investments

3) Focus on three business partnerships. I've got about 10 business partnerships with Financial Samurai right now. As the main writer and business development guy, it's very easy to get spread too thin. So I need to focus.

Failed. I worked on developing a better relationship with two business partners, but not three. I'm not sure what the right business partnership is for my new category: family finances. If there are any businesses out there who want to make me a pitch, I'm all ears. My goal is for each product to provide maximum value at minimal to no cost, just like this site. 

4) Send two to four e-mails a month. I've been paying $150 a month to send out only one newsletter a month for the past couple of years. What an underutilization of resources. I plan to write shorter, punchier e-mails to connect with all my newsletter subscribers.

Passed. I averaged sending 2.5 newsletters a month for the year. I've done a poor job growing my e-mail subscriber list compared to the amount of traffic I get for this site. It's probably because I just don't care for selling anything to anybody.

Personal Financial Goals Year In Review

5) Create a million bucks of wealth. My goal in 2016 was to grow my net worth by $500,000 because I had a neutral outlook. Given I'm now bullish on my business, it's only logical to shoot higher.

Passed. With the way most asset classes have performed this year, it wasn't hard to generate a lot of wealth, especially if you've spent 20 years accumulating a financial nut large enough to retire on back in 2012. I received some interesting offers for this site for multiple millions of dollar, but I turned them all down. You should only buy, never sell a high margin, cash flow positive business that can be done anywhere in the world with minimal maintenance. 

Related: The First Million Might Be The Easiest

6) Invest at least $20,000 a month without fail. The $20,000 a month doesn't have to be in the stock market. It can be in bonds, real estate crowdsourcing, private equity, private debt, or paying down a mortgage.

Passed. I ended up investing $39,609 of new money on average a month for a total of $475,319. At the same time, I was able to strengthen my balance sheet by adding around $450,000 in cash and paying off $916,000 in mortgage debt due to the sale of my rental home. 

Related: Investment Lessons From A Surreal 2017

7) Start earning $20,000 a month in passive/semi-passive income by year end. My passive income is currently averaging about $17,600 a month over the past six months. To increase my passive income by $2,400 a month, I've got to publish my real estate book by year end, market it well and update my severance negotiation book.

Financial Samurai Passive Income Streams

Failed. Since I didn't publish a new book, I didn't receive new passive income. In fact, my passive income dropped because I sold my rental home that was generating over $60,000 a year net (rental property #3) and one of my CDs came due. With $800,000 invested in equity real estate crowdfunded projects, there is the potential to earn a 8% – 15% IRR in 4-5 years. With $600,000 invested in municipal bonds, I should earn $15,000 – $20,000 in after tax income a year. I'll be updating my passive income numbers for 2018.

8) Spend like I'll be dead within 10 years. I've been frugal my whole life. It's one of the main reasons why I was able to hit the eject button at 34. But, I'll be 40 in 2017 so it's time to live it up for the second half of my life. You don't have to be as stealth in middle age because people are more accepting of those who've spent 20+ years working.

Passed. I bought two big ticket items in 2017: 1) a $16,000 hot tub, and 2) a $58,000 vehicle in cash to keep the family safe with zero regrets. I don't miss my Honda Fit, especially since it began having starter problems towards the end. Further, there is no way I would feel safe driving Baby Samurai in a hatchback. The hot tub is the best lifestyle investment ever. I average five hours a week soaking after tennis and softball. I can't wait for the entire family to have fun talking story in the hot tub one day. 

Related: When Is It OK To Forsake Stealth Wealth And Spend Up?

9) Don't chase the stock market. Although I'm bullish on my business, I'm lukewarm on the stock market and the economy due to valuations, political uncertainty, and the prospect of higher interest rates squeezing consumption.

Failed. I chased the stock market because I didn't invest enough during the first half of the year. This was the first time in history the S&P 500 didn't have a down month. At the end of the day, my public investments returned 15.87%, so the chasing wasn't that bad. If I didn't have a huge influx of cash during the summer after the home sale, my investments would look more balanced. Thankfully, real estate and my business grew faster and my overall net worth is up greater than the S&P 500 based on my Personal Capital net worth tracker app

Related: The Proper Asset Allocation Of Stocks And Bonds By Age

Personal Goals

10) Scare myself out of my comfort zone. I haven't been personally challenged in a long time. With a portfolio of over 1,300 posts on Financial Samurai, I know with decent confidence that if I write 152 new posts a year, I should be able to grow traffic and revenue by ~10% a year if I do nothing else. But writing 2-4X a week is an easy goal to achieve.

Passed. I finally started the Financial Samurai iTunes channel, whoo hoo! Too bad it only works on mobile and tablets, and not on the desk top for some reason. In the future, I hope to have my wife join me on the podcast and interview other people as well. It's hard for me to speak eloquently, but I know after one year of practice I will get better. 

11) Really make a difference in 12 people's lives. At the end of the day, the best feeling in the world is when a reader sends a private e-mail or writes a comment that says how much a particular article or the site in general has helped them achieve their dreams.

Passed. I've received over 70 e-mails and comments from readers this year who said something nice about how a particular FS article helped them get their finances in order or improve their lives for the better. These are truly the most gratifying and motivating reasons why I continue to write so much. 

I also spent three months coaching high school kids tennis, which was awesome. We got to the district finals and achieved the best record in the school's long history! The best moment was when a senior, who had never won a big match before, won a huge rubber match in front of his mom and he ran to give me a hug afterward. 

Finally, I finally became a foster kid mentor. It took about eight hours of training and testing, which is probably one of the reasons why more people don't do it. But the training is important given how precarious and important the situation is to take care of innocent kids who find themselves in a suboptimal situation. I've seen my foster kid five times now, and taught him how to ride his bike with no hands. So priceless! I can't share details, but he's a wonderful boy who wants to be a YouTube Gamer. It's awesome that he already knows that creating content is much better than consuming content! 

Financial Samurai Foster Care
Giving shakas after my foster kid mentee learned how to ride a bike with no hands – 12/28/2017 at 12:35pm

12) Start a family. My wife and I feel we've done everything we've wanted to do as adults. We've both engineered our layoffs. We don't have the itch to travel much anymore. We have no desire to climb anybody else's corporate ladder. After two years, our house is finally remodeled to the way we want. We have a digital business that allows us to be present for our child. Finally, we've developed a steady stream of passive income that should support a family of up to four.

Passed. I already knew my wife was pregnant when I wrote my 2017 goals, but you just never know until the baby is delivered. Based on research, speaking to hundreds of other couples, and personal experience, there are often complications that occur during pregnancy. If you've decided you want to start a family and have your finances in order, do not wait another day. 

Related: What's The Best Age To Have A Baby? A Biological And Economical Analysis

Thanks Again For A Great 2017!

Despite all the craziness that went on in 2017, the one thing I will always clearly remember is the birth of our son just like how all I remember during the financial crisis was our quaint wedding.

It was hard to not only keep up the posting frequency on Financial Samurai, but to actually double production in order to buy more time in the future. This is where I really messed up because I didn't maximize the purpose of our lifestyle business: to provide for a better life.

Instead of being so focused about protecting my family's future by working so much, I should have spent more time enjoying the present. Life speed accelerates. Some changes will be made! Stay tuned for my 2018 goals and outlook post.

Related post: Perpetual Failure: The Reason Why I Continue To Save And Invest So Much

Readers, how was your 2017? What were your hits and misses? 2017 Year in review is a FS original post. Intro graphic by

About The Author

61 thoughts on “Financial Samurai 2017 Year In Review: The Most Difficult Best Year Ever”

  1. I finally bit the bullet and shelled out the money needed to do invisalign. It has helped tremendously with my pain, and the process is working even faster than my dentist anticipated. My teeth want to move. I also began re-negotiating how my relationship will go. It could not continue as it was. It may not continue as I need. But, I should not waste life accepting less than what I need.

    Who knows what 2018 will bring?!

  2. Sam, regarding your business goal number 1, reaching a broader audience, I would recommend expanding your topics to include subjects related to financial success. I enjoy the articles you publish about investing and maximizing returns; however, you may find success in reaching more audience if you spend some time on the basic practices required to achieve financial independence (coupons, credit card rates, rewards programs, living a disciplined life [as a samurai]). I would be interested in articles on how you view spending as a part of maximizing returns (for instance, the value hiring aid in the household to enable you to use your time in a more valuable manner).

  3. Congrats on 2017 and good luck in the year to come! Sad to hear that Rhino is gone, but the reasoning makes. Looking forward to the new posts in 2018.

  4. RetiredAt53

    Great year! You’re putting in the hours for being retired, when it’s what you love it doesn’t seem like work. You have found your happy place.

    Question, the rental properties 1,2 , are these your crowd funding investments? You mentioned 3 was the one you sold. Curious, to hear and possibly allocate funds. Big fan of real estate, like originating first position notes on fix and flips.

    1. Nope! They are physical properties I own. Once I go to three rental properties I couldn’t take it. Thought it best to simplify life and take some money off the table. Because I may move to Hawaii in the next five years, I will be back to owning three physical rental properties and that will be an interesting decision again!

      1. RetiredAt53

        Your crowdstreet investments are listed under P2P? You’ve been legging into the position, anxious to see the monthly, quartly cash flow as well as cap gains when they dispose or refi.

  5. Great to see your reflections about 2017. Your income and increase assets value is very impressive. Can’t wait to see what 2018 will bring to us (readers) here on Financial Samurai.

    Best of luck and Keep it up the excellent work.

  6. Congrats on a great 2017! You’ve seemed to have a balanced year – apart from starting a family which is PRICELESS! Best of luck and skill in 2018 for FS and for your family.

  7. “Focus on growth by broadening the audience. I’ve received plenty of feedback that I need to write more for the mass market. Even though my advice holds true whether you have $1,000,000 to invest or $10,000 to invest, readers have told me they can’t get their heads around larger numbers.”

    There are dozens of blogs focused on mass market finance…if you move in this direction you will be in a competitive space. As far as I can tell right now you are the only financial blog tilted a little more toward upper middle than just middle…

    1. As one ffailed politician once reminded me, even if you get 100% of the top 10%, you lose the election to someone who gets 12% of the bottom 90%.

      This is my business man thinking cap I’ve put on To ensure growth and survival.

  8. Recovering Engineer

    Some not exactly constructive criticism but do you have a plan/goal for the newsletter? I subscribe to it but I’m not sure I see the point. When I think back on the year I can think of many articles you wrote that stick out in my mind but I can’t recall the contents of any of the email newsletters that stand out. As you said, you aren’t selling any products so it the goals to drive better traffic to the website from subscribers? As a new father myself I appreciate the premium placed on time. Have you considered eliminating the newsletter to focus more on the e-book? Seems like in terms of value generated that would be a decent trade-off. Maybe others feel differently about the newsletter.

    1. Good feedback. It’s hard to see behind the curtain, but there are different tracks of consumers of Financial Samurai content. There is the everything track, perhaps such as yourself who subscribes to my blog posts, my newsletter, and now my podcast. But then there’s a lot of people who just subscribe to the private newsletter and who want a “weekly download of posts and some pithy insights.”

      It’s hard to figure out what the right balance is. Companies have entire marketing departments dedicated to solving this type of optimization scenario.

      What I learned is you can’t get everything right. And you can’t please everyone. But you can try to optimize to as close to an ideal scenario as possible.

      I’ll definitely be giving my newsletter some more thought this year. And maybe one of the reasons why you remember some of my posts is because I re-highlighted them in the newsletter. Or put a different spin on things. Maybe!

  9. > Despite only seeing a 15.87% return on my public investments for 2017, my online business more than made up for the slack.

    This is what an 9-year bull market feels like… a “disappointing” 16% annualized return!

    1. Haha, yeah. Good point given the ~9-10% long term historical average. But with the S&P 500 returning 19% in 2017, I was an underperformer as commenter Tom says and I missed out “BIG TIME.”

      I think it’s a good topic to discuss regarding how much risk you should take after you have built up a financial nut to never have to work again.

      For example, let’s say you are retired, spend $200,000 a year and have a $5 million portfolio. Is lowering risk to earn just $500,000, a 10% Return good enough when You could’ve taken more risk to earn $1 million return?

      1. Tom is an idiot.
        I have an 8 figure portfolio, would love to dial back risk but it’s easier said than done. With a large portfolio, one is likely sitting on millions of gains, so dialing back risk means realizing gains and paying millions in taxes.

        1. Good point about ending up paying a lot of taxes to dial down risk. I guess if you do so in a 401(k) or Roth IRA then there won’t be tax implications.

          I’ve always had the mindset of reducing risk by building less risky asset positions instead. For example, let’s say I have a $3 million portfolio with $2 million in stocks and $1 million in bonds. Instead of selling stock, I would just try to increase my barn position to let’s say $1 million to have a 50-50 split.

          I would like to know more about Tom’s background and his investment composition and returns etc. his previous comments about been competitive so it’s pretty fun to get some financial background to understand Where he’s coming from.

          1. Ya, with a sizeable income you could rebalance that way. But if your assets are 100+X of income, it wouldn’t make a dent.

  10. Quite the eventful year Sam! We welcomed Baby Widget this year and it has definitely been a wild and great ride so far!

    I like how you set such aggressive goals. I have no doubt you are better off than if you had set more subdued ones.

    You helped me as well finally start a blog after procrastinating for so long! So thank you! Have a great 2018!

  11. “I didn’t pile into stocks because I’m always skeptical of what politicians can accomplish.”

    You missed out BIG TIME then. Seemed pretty obvious that the stock market would soar once Trump was elected despite what many so called experts said. Regardless of accomplishments, investors gained trust in the market again once a businessman was elected as opposed to another career politician (on either side).

    1. Indeed. With a 3.2% underperformance to the S&P 500, my 15.87% returns for my public investments was a big disappointment. I’m constantly trying to learn and I appreciate your wisdom.

      How do you think I should position my public investments in 2018? They make up about 30% of my net worth. How much risk should I take after leaving the work force in 2012? Thanks for your guidance!

      Related: Investment Lessons From A Surreal 2017


    2. I don’t think making a 16% is missing out big time. What were your returns and what was the dollar amount? Do you know longer work as well?

      I’d be happy if I made a 16% return without having to work. It’s like getting gravy on top of gravy on top of gravy. Your comment is some good insight as to why money doesn’t buy happiness. Doesn’t seem like you’re happy with enough.

  12. Sam, congrats on a stellar 2017. Your work ethic is impeccable! But, an even bigger CONGRATS to you for realizing to take more time enjoying the present. This realization is really going to make your 2018 sparkle for you and your family. Cheers!

    1. Thanks Michael. Over about 5 posts and social, I’ve been trying to figure out how to be OK not living up to one’s potential. And I think I’ve finally come to terms that it’s OK to take it easy now that I’m 40.

      Best to you and your family in 2018!

  13. You’ve had an amazing 2017, Sam! Becoming a parent is an awesome experience and clearly one you don’t take lightly! Just keep in mind that stressing out over things isn’t good for your health! And that’s not good for your family either. “I should have spent more time enjoying the present.” I’m looking forward to reading more about the changes you plan to make! Just remember – you’re awesome and what you’ve given to your readers is an amazing gift too. Happy New Year!

    1. Thanks! If it was only so easy to not worry about a single thing. What are some ways in which you have been able to not worry about the future? Happy new year to you and I hope the new house gets done to your liking!

  14. Making progress on biz/finances during the first year of a child’s life is a major win in my book!

    2017 was a big year of transition for me: left my job as Fi, but did not RE. Started up a consulting practice which is matching my previous income (knock on wood).

    Worked on a venture fund which will launch in q1.

    Managed to stay around my target allocation with a little more cash than I should have. Still waiting for the dip!

    Made 2 angel investments.

    Had a little positive surprise with previous crypto investments going bonkers.

    On the negative side, I didn’t launch a couple of projects I’ve been planning – updating my personal site being the biggest. This year!

    1. Congrats Eric! Isn’t it crazy the opportunities that arise once we leave the comfortable nest? To make the same income as a consultant now while doing what you want is great. I’m glad we had a chat before you made your move. Best to you guys in 2018!

  15. Kicking asses and taking names, leading by example. You’ve helped a lot Sam, for that I’m truly grateful.

    I think I’ll hold off buying a rental for now, it seems annoying to micromanage. Secondly, I don’t think a 23 y/o landlord is the definition of authority.

    Alternatively, I’ve been pretty bullish on my investments. It’s been a rollercoaster, but I finished on a +173% average by December’s end. For now, I’m still studying while keeping an eye out on January earnings reports.

    I’m expecting you to bring more of the good stuff in 2018.

    All the best Sam

    1. Wow, 173% is incredible! Congrats. What were your big wins and investment lessons learned? Several more years of those returns and you will never have to work again, unless you are already there!

      1. Thanks Sam. Answered it all in the email.

        For everybody else, it’s weedstocks and cryptos.

        I’m full well knowing that it will crash and burn at some point. I’ll exit when the horse starts to slow down.

  16. I believe it was 2017 or late 2016 that I started reading your site. I’ve taken the dive into maxing out my 401k. I’m always paranoid I’m doing things wrong but I have to stick with the process.

    At first your post worried me, “A picture with armor off? No more FS!?”

    Do you feel like you stayed in your comfort zone with your goals? Or was it a mixed bag?

    I haven’t tried writing goals or “New Years resolutions” since I was in high school. I can say in 2017 that I tried having a business while working FT in cost accounting and going to grad school. It was tough to manage. Maybe writing a blog of some kind would be benficial? I’m just not sure people will care what I have to say.

    Happy New Year and good luck on 2018 goals!

    1. Congrats for finally maxing out your 401k. I’m confident in 10 years, you won’t regret it. The amount of money you can accumulate in a 10 year period with returns and company matching is ASTOUNDING.

      I pushed myself hard in 2017. It was 6am – 10pm every day, with obvious breaks in between. The goal was to buy time now. So yes, I didn’t go out of my comfort zone b/c I’ve done long days for many years.

      But I did start a Financial Samurai iTunes channel, which is totally out of my comfort zone.

  17. Congrats on passing many of your goals! Your 2017 resolutions were pretty solid, so some of them might take a while to materialize. I’d still consider 2017 to be a big win for you and Financial Samurai.

    Happy New Year!

  18. Hey Sam, Congrats on the new baby! I’m sure the little one will be your best investment ever! Quick question. Why RealtyShares and not REIT’s??? Have a wonderful 2018! Barb

    1. Hi Barb – I do have REITs, but I they are very diversified and are more susceptible to interest rate headwinds. I want more concentrated investments in commercial real estate projects in certain areas of the country. I strongly believe there is the largest opportunity to arbitrage out returns now before the masses pile into real estate crowdfunding. Institutional investors haven’t piled in yet either. Once everybody does, the returns start decline. Just like at the p2p case study.

      Related: To Get Rich, Practice Predicting The Future

      1. Also REITs (at least publicly traded) trade at multiples to book value whereas real estate crowdfunding investments you invest at book price of the asset…

        1. Not exactly – REITs and equiv trade off of “cap rates” or sometimes EBITDA multiples. Because most properties were purchased “earlier” and have NOI grown they are worth more than book. The reason a new purchase is priced at book is because you are paying what its worth at that cap rate at that time (or expected cap rate if a new property).

          Eg. In 2000, you buy an apartment that generates $120k/yr in NOI and sells at a 4.5% cap rate, or $2.67 million (book value is $2.67 million). Today, lets say that same apartment generates $200k in NOI and if its at the same cap rate, it’s worth $4.44 million, or close to 2x “book” value. In other words, book value is basically useless several years after the location is acquired. The NOI, needed capex, and interest rate are what determine real estate value. Hope that helps.

  19. smartbohemian

    Happy 2018! I have enjoyed your blog.

    Surprised that people “can’t get their heads around larger numbers” — one of the reasons I enjoy FS is that it is one of the few blogs that do deal with larger numbers. There are a thousand places one could go for advice on getting started saving $5 a day, but few that really deal with developing real wealth.

  20. FS, you always have surprises up your sleeve! So great how you talk about your wife and son. It will be great for them to read this post in 20 years.

    Whatever you decide to do with the website (and whenever), it will be the right thing at the right time. You are truly free, maybe you have always been, and 2018 has great things in store for the Family Samurai!

    1. Thanks mate. I started the podcast for the same reason… to be able to reminisce years from now. And to also provide insurance, that if I’m one day gone before my son gets to know me, he’ll be able to hear hours and hours of his old man’s focus on various subjects so he’ll have a better idea of who I am and always be with him in spirit.

  21. Congrats on a fantastic 2017! I’m amazed at how much you accomplished even with the arrival of your son. I don’t think I did anything during my kid’s first year other than (1) kept him alive, and (2) showed up to work. 2017 was a great year for us financially (thanks to the markets), and even better family wise. Everyone is healthy & happy, and I really couldn’t ask for anything more. Best of luck this upcoming year, Sam!

  22. What a wonderful way to look back on 2017! Isn’t parenthood amazing? It was, of course, the most defining moment of our 2017 as well. I know one day we’ll feel rested again. Maybe. Out of all of your reflections, I really like the idea of shedding the frugal skin a bit. Though I’m not sharing this post with my husband quite yet. He’s actively campaigning for a new car, but I’m still delighting over the “told you so” aspect of him realizing a TSX is not a family car ;) Cheers to a fabulous 2018 full of health and happiness!

  23. Sounds like an awesome year Sam! Having a kid is an amazing experience, and it only gets better as they get older. I am having a hard time breaking into real estate and would love an ebook from someone that I trust online (rather than someone faking it till they make it)

  24. Congratulations on another fantastic year Sam! I still remember how tough our first year with little Max was, it only gets better.

    We had our best net worth growth year as well (+$240k), but unfortunately most of it is still powered by full time employment. If we can keep up that type of growth for the next 5 years, we should be able to hit the eject button.

    Happy new year!

  25. 2017 was a great year for us (except for me losing my grandma) and 2018 could be the turning point in our lives, provided I pass an important interview this spring. I am ready to take each challenge one at a time and see where this year takes us :)

  26. Congratulations on an awesome year FS! And on the birth of your son. As the mom of three boys I know the newborn time is the hardest, but it will get easier as they get older. They start to sleep on their own, and can take care of themselves. Heck, my 14 year old can even cook dinner & takes out the garbage without being asked! Hope you have an awesome 2018.

  27. Mike @ Balanced Dividends

    Sam, re: your comment “I upped production in the first quarter” for the website, do you mean production in terms of number of posts, new subjects, etc.?

    You also mentioned some impressive numbers in terms of new readers – congrats!

  28. I’m in awe, Sam. You truly had a kick-ass 2017. Congratulations on everything, especially Baby Samurai. No complaints in Groovyland. We had our first full year of retirement in 2017 and our net worth still managed to grow nearly $200K. The system works! Best of luck in 2018, my friend.

    1. Got to love not having to work well also seeing a nice boost to your net worth! This is something really good to talk about and what I’ve been encouraging folks in a bull market to consider: Perhaps enjoy life more now that your money is working so hard for you!

  29. Congratulations on a great 2017. You accomplished a great deal even with a few failures thrown in. Great job. Your income streams are very impressive.
    Yeap, enjoy your time with family now. Kids grow up fast.
    Happy New Year and good luck with 2018!

  30. Fulltimefinance

    Easily one of our best years in a long time financially. My wife transitioned to self employed work. No major milestones though since your kids are 5 and 3.

    Are you getting any sleep with the addition of the little one. hat was the hardest part for us. Our sleep schedule is no longer our own. As obvious by me writing this at 730am on New Years Day my sleep schedule is still not my own.

  31. Oh boy, a husband and wife podcast under the Financial Samurai brand sounds AMAZING! Congrats on your new addition to the family Sam, that’s the best news of 2017 hands down.

    Our 2017 has been oddly quiet and boring unfortunately. What a ho-hum year, or maybe I’m just being ungrateful :) glad to try my hand at 2018 though.

    1. Quiet and boring is better than loud and annoying and devastating!

      I think it’ll be fun to get my wife on the podcast to talk story. I want to build a large portfolio of podcasts in case something were to happen to us, our son can always hear her voice. Sniff.

  32. Nice post. Great to read the reflections of someone who has achieved lots in the year past. Well done.

    I liked your personal goal setting. They require hitting personal and financial stretch targets. They require extending yourself.

    If I can request a few articales for 2018 on alternative asset classes. I was intrigued when you suggested art as an investment a while back.

    Reading about Alternate asset classes I think would be really cool. ESI finance published some stuff on coin collecting a while back which was great reading. Bitcoin is all the craze.

    I don’t want Financial Samuri to go to much mass market, I think it’s a great niech business. It also serves those closer to FI than those starting out.

    Thanks for the great year behind us, looking forward to your site in the year ahead.

    Happy New year to you and your family.

    1. Something I’ll consider, thanks! The good thing is, even if I go more mass market, that doesn’t preclude readers from reading about any articles for a more niche audience.

      In fact, I now think it’s a no-brainer to go for the mass-market since I have the ability analogy to write about both. Other sites don’t write about the niche market because they don’t have the credibility. This is partly the reason why a lot of mass media publications have died. They hire freelance writers to write about something they have no experience about.

      This could very well be my aha moment to expand into the broader market! So thanks for making me think!

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