The Splinter In My Thumb: September 2020 Recap

Here's my September 2020 recap. For the past two weeks, I've felt sharp nerve pain thanks to a splinter in my right thumb. I've looked closely, hoping to see a tip so that I can use a pair of tweezers to pull the splinter out. Unfortunately, I've seen nothing.

I'm resigned to leaving the splinter wedged deep inside, letting my body hopefully one day absorb the foreign object into my bloodstream. For now, I'm treating the splinter as a reminder to never get too comfortable.

Samurai September was supposed to be a month of relaxation. I was going to purposefully write less and spend more time doing nothing when I was off childcare duty. However, after doing nothing productive for about one hour, a restlessness built inside that willed me to get busy again. Things have to change.

Here's a recap of September 2020 so I don't forget life during the pandemic when I'm older. To be frank, I'm most excited about doing these recaps for my family.

September 2020 Recap

Family (5/5)

My son missed the first full month back to preschool. We thought we'd feel FOMO for keeping him home, but we didn't. Part of the reason why was because we were able to set up his first 1:1 playdate with one of his old classmates from preschool. Hooray! The lack of social interaction is the main issue I've been worried about for my son during the lockdown.

The month flew by and we enjoyed teaching him math, Mandarin, and Japanese. I've been working on teaching him one of my favorite song's by Jay Chou called, Listen To Mama as well.

The lyrics are perfect for when he finally understands them all. The song is about respecting your mother, understanding her sacrifices, and taking care of her after you grow up. He's got the chorus down so far.

It was also fun taking him on field trips to Chinatown and the TransAmerica building downtown. We had been showing him a “then and now” San Francisco book for over a year, so he was super excited to finally see some of the sites from the book.

We randomly found this one playground right across where I used to work at 650 California Street downtown. Only when you become a parent does your radar for playgrounds turn on, especially an unlocked one during a pandemic. It was surreal playing with my son in front of my old office building. So much can happen in your life in a few short years!

In terms of cognitive development, I really think homeschooling has an advantage. The one thing I plan to work on is helping him ride his scooter, tricycle, and maybe a pushbike. He's still quite hesitant about movement and balance.

My daughter is nine months old and is finally crawling. Yay! We've thoroughly childproofed the house and put on her little head a bumper helmet. It's really nice to reuse a lot of the things we bought for our son.

She always provides me a lift because she is always smiling. I hope her cheerful personality continues to shine throughout her entire life. We match really well.

They say it's best to spend more time with your oldest since s/he will remember the most and needs the most love. But I think I've gone too far and need to recalibrate my time. I'm really going to miss the baby phase.

Here is something to think about: If the logic goes that kids are the biggest blessing in a parent’s life, shouldn’t parents want to have as many little blessings as possible?

If I could snap my fingers, I would want four children. Alas, I started too late. Maybe we will look at adopting! For those who want to have kids and are over 30, I wouldn't wait another month.

Finances (2/5)

September was a poor month for the S&P 500 and NASDAQ, selling off by around 5% and 10%, respectively. I'm not worried about us going back to the lows of March 2020. I expect to see another stimulus package pass to support us through the rest of the year.

That said, it's sad to no longer be making money hand over fist with stocks like Apple, Tesla, Amazon, Redfin, and more. It feels like the good times are going to take a while to come back given all the uncertainty surrounding the presidential election on November 3, 2020. Further, ballots may not be fully counted until mid-November.

Net Worth Growth

According to Personal Capital, the free financial tool I've been using since 2012, my overall net worth grew by a dismal 0.2% in September due to a poor showing in stocks. YTD net worth growth is up about 11.5%, which hits my +10% annual target.

The only reason why my net worth was essentially flat was due to continued online income and passive investment income. But that's kind of a bummer right? You spend an entire month working at your day job or generating revenue from your business to see no net worth progress.

September 2020 review
Flat net worth growth for Sept 2020

The point where your investment performance overtakes your active income is a double-edged sword. Hence, if you've got a comfortable amount of capital to live off of, please continue to do your best to protect it from major corrections.

Mobilizing Cash Hoard

After taking a relatively aggressive long bet in stocks in March, I've been very cautious since the S&P 500 hit 3,000. I've mainly been saving as much cash as possible and paying down some mortgage principal here and there. We're back to having about five years of living expenses in cash, which is way beyond the one year I'm generally comfortable with having.

But with so much cash, I now have the fire power to comfortably buy another rental property. The value of rental income has gone way up, but rental property values have not. Therein lies an opportunity, especially in San Francisco.

September playing
Playing in front of my old office building

The exciting benefit of owning rental property that I had forgotten is that it might help our children. Imagine if you were a child and actually grew up in the various rental properties. Your parents followed the strategy of buying one home every 2-5 years, living in it, and then renting it out.

Over the years, you followed your mom or dad to visit the rental properties to do some maintenance work. Surely, with this experience, you will develop a natural affinity for these properties. You will likely want to take care of them when you grow older if given the option because they are a part of your childhood. As an adult, you may want to learn as much as possible about this asset class.

Some time over the next 2-3 years, I expect to see a large rebound in big city living interest. I've been here since 2001 and it's always the same thing. Therefore, I want to position this cash accordingly. At the same time, for the past four years, I continue to have real estate exposure in 18-hour cities.

Passive Income Through 3Q2020

Passive income through 3Q2020 is roughly $298,971. However, this figure contains my original capital investment as well, so it's not pure gains. Because I invest in a couple private funds with multiple holdings each, I can't figure out the exact composition of the returns because the funds don't break them down.

I won't know exactly what my passive income figures will be until after year-end. My guess is that out of the $298,971 through 3Q, at least $100,000 is original principal invested. Therefore, my true passive income through 3Q2020 is likely closer to $200,000.

This dilemma of counting passive income is why I wrote the post What Is Considered Passive Income? All capital received from my investments I made years ago feel like passive income. However, it's good to separate out capital gains and original capital invested to gauge performance.

FS Passive Income 3Q2020

Two Examples Of Opaque Distributions

1) I received $30,555 in distributions from my venture debt fund on September 15, 2020. I'm assuming about $15,000 is my original capital investment. To make things a little more accurate, I recorded 75% of the amount for my passive income chart ($22,914 instead of $30,555). Come year-end, when I know a little more, I'll reconcile the books.

Structural Capital distribution

2) I received a total of $191,679 in distributions from my real estate crowdfunding portfolio this year. I'm guessing at least $100,000 of the distribution is my original capital investment. I recorded 75% of the distributions through 3Q ($143,757 instead of $191,679) and I will reconcile the books in the new year as well.

Real estate crowdfunding distributions through 3Q2020 Financial Samurai

There's probably a 40% chance I end up receiving no more distributions from my private funds for the remainder of the year. If so, I'll end up including 100% of my venture debt and real estate crowdfunding portfolio distributions instead of 75%.

However, I'm certain to receive continued passive income from my various other sources like rental property income, dividend income, and bond income. Therefore, for the year, I'm guessing pure passive income will come in at between $260,000 – $280,000.

Finally, the Monthly Passive Income column is calculated by dividing total distributions I've received through 3Q by 12 and annualizing the more predictable income streams. For example, I know with high certainty I'll receive at least $6,900 in online savings interest income. Again, the Monthly Passive Income includes original capital invested for the private funds. Therefore, the figure is inflated. However, the actual cash flow is not.

If you're interested in real estate investing, for the average investor, I think Fundrise offers the best solution. Fundrise has diversified eFunds that generate passive income.

Financial Samurai (4/5)

When I wrote about taking it down a notch in September, I really meant reverting back to my normal posting schedule of 3X a week.

In July and August, I decided to ramp up my posting schedule to 4X a week, refurbish old posts, publish a weekly newsletter, and record several podcasts. I didn't want to feel like I had wasted my time during a pandemic when I look back. However, it was simply too much.

Going back to posting 3X a week feels just right again. In general, I like to do Financial Samurai-related stuff for 3-4 hours a day. Anything more and the site would start to feel like work, which would increase the chance of burnout.

For those interested in learning how to make money from home, I'll share my thoughts about online entrepreneurship in a future post. Although I've been able to generate more revenue over the past 12 months, I'm definitely not happier.

Pillar Post Of The Month

The most important post I published in September was The Proper Safe Withdrawal Rate: 4% Rule Is Outdated. The post was highlighted on Bloomberg, MarketWatch and several other larger outlets. It has guided me towards thinking more logically about financial planning and generating more tax-efficient income.

Despite receiving a lot of ridicule and criticism suggesting a 0.5% withdrawal rate may be more appropriate due to a potential structural decline in returns, I'm not bothered. Ridicule has always been part of my life.

Good examples of past ridicule:

  • Working at McDonald's as a teenager so I could make $4/hour to take my girlfriend to the movies. Some classmates made fun of me that I put on a uniform on the weekends and made breakfast. But thanks to my time working at McDonald's I've developed a work ethic and appreciation for money that hasn't left me since I was 15.
  • Telling colleagues in 2012 that I was going to retire from finance and do some traveling and blogging instead. I'll always remember one colleague making a funny face while typing on an air keyboard when I told him my intention at a team dinner. Taking a leap of faith at 34 has been the best lifestyle choice I've made by far. If I had stayed, I probably would be extremely unhealthy right now.
  • Getting bullied online for wanting to profile other teachers' stories on FS. People weren't happy that I identified as a high school tennis teacher instead of as a retiree or a blogger. It's funny how people try to pigeon hole others. Be who you want to be folks!
  • Writing a bullish article about the stock market and the real estate market in 1Q2020. People told me over social media I was an idiot and the declines would be much worse than the 2008-2009 financial crisis. I hope they didn't short too much.

Despite the constant ridicule, I've grown to embrace it. I use critical feedback to help me make hopefully better financial and life decisions. I believe my safe withdrawal rate post will help you think more logically about your financial future too.

Remember, you don't need to win a financial argument. You just need to win by getting rich. Once you're rich, you stop worrying as much about money. You also tend to obtain more freedom.

Lessons To Learn

I will teach my son and daughter how to embrace criticism and follow their own paths. Helping my kids develop strong self-esteem is one of my key goals as a father. As a high school tennis coach, I've seen firsthand how instilling in kids self-confidence creates winning results.

Further, I will encourage my kids to always be intellectually curious – to not be afraid to ask questions. There are no dumb questions.

Finally, I will encourage my kids to try and understand where their critics are coming from. Do they have a point? Is there a blindspot that needs addressing? One of the best ways to learn is through conflict.

September Was Just OK (3/5)

September felt like a warmup for a potentially tumultuous 4Q. The wildfires in California continued to test our resolve by producing poor air quality that limited our outdoor activities. Check out this picture below taken at around 11 am on 9/9/2020.

Sepia day in San Francisco, September 9, 2011

Restaurants, playgrounds, museums, zoos, and restaurants are opening up in October. It's been a long time coming and I'm excited to take my kids to the science museum. I really want to show my daughter the penguins and all the fishies.

At the same time, we will stay as vigilant as ever in wearing masks and practicing good hygiene. We should be optimistic knowing that if any of us get COVID-19 now, at least doctors know way more about the virus than six months ago. We have also kept up with our fitness this year, which may help with recovery.

I'm hopeful life will continue to get better. Perhaps October will be the last great month until the cold starts kissing our cheeks. Maybe once the election is over, there will be a huge sense of relief, regardless of who wins.

September Over, Goals For October

  • Go to bed a little hungry 5X a week and start doing 60 push-ups and 150 sit-ups again after every tennis match 3X a week
  • Spend more time squeezing my daughter
  • Help my son learn how to ride a scooter
  • Go on a family vacation to Lake Tahoe
  • Publish 3X a week on average on Financial Samurai, record at least two podcasts, and send out at least two newsletters

How was your September? What are you looking forward to in October and beyond? Samurai September will continue forever. September is my favorite months to get things done. Check out my Top Financial Products page for great tools to help you get through September and the rest of the year.

About The Author

30 thoughts on “The Splinter In My Thumb: September 2020 Recap”

  1. Ms. Conviviality

    The majority of my income is from a W-2 so my earnings/savings rate doesn’t fluctuate month-to-month since the same 60% of each paycheck goes into savings and stock purchases. I do like what I’m seeing in the equities I own though. Twelve months ago, I only owned 6 stocks, and I now own 23 stocks. Total returns are up 63% from 12 months ago. My husband’s handyman business has seen a significant increase in work which will have us reaching our savings goal, to purchase an investment property with all cash, 6 months ahead of schedule. There are lots of people wanting to get things fixed since they’re working from home. It seems like trades related to home improvement are doing well in speaking to painters, fence installers, tree cutting services, and flooring installers. They all mention about how backed up they are with work. I’ve even started to doing some painting with my husband on the weekends to help him catch up.

  2. I’m new to the site and I love it. I am getting knowledgeable (I think) and am interested in crowdfunding. Do you have any articles or recommendations for a ‘newbie’ in terms of Fundrise vs. Crowdstreet. I would qualify as an accredited investor.

    1. Very cool! I thought Robert Frank was going to write an article. Guess I’ll just have to publish one this week and get deep into it since I already updated the chart.

      1. It’s on CNBC’s YouTube channel under “Biden tax plan defines wealthy at $400,000 per year or more—Is that the Goldilocks number?”

        1. Yep, found it! It’s funny, but I spent like 45 minutes updating my budget chart for $400K and writing some explanations and I didn’t get a response back. And then end result is highlighting “two staycations and a Toyota Highlander” lol. But than a poke in the eye!

          I’ll just have to publish my in-depth piece this week and include the clip. At least he gave me a good idea for a post! Hope everyone develops their own platform too.

          Thx for the heads up!

  3. A recommendation for your thumb: soak it in soapy water for 10-20 minutes at a time several times per day. This will soften the wood, reducing pain and help your body tissue eject/encapsulate the material. It may also make it easier to see. If your thumb gets more red, swollen and/or painful seek medicl attention for antibiotics.

  4. Hi Sam-

    Long time lurker-


    I got a copy of Morgan Housel’s new book. Particularly was thinking about the spectrum between risk and luck this month and the concept of “enough”. You often write of bolting for Hawaii and calling it a day; is this driven by a number or another metric? I’ve read your posts consistently for awhile but don’t have a clear sense of this off the cuff. More and more I’m simply geared to set things to a passive allocation ala boggleheads 3 fund plan and divert my time to other things of higher value.

    September 3/5:

    My oldest started back to school (Kindergarten) part time which I’m thankful for (in Wisconsin). The socialization and change in stimuli is important for kids this age in my view. I have two younger kids (3.5 & 1.5) and the difference in conversations driven by being around their peers is striking. This is offset by the need to start critical business travel and then self quarantining in the basement for 3 days on return and waiting for a Covid test to come back and the suicide of a close friend from undergrad.

    My $.02:

    I appreciate your writing more and more on the aspects related to parenting as this is engaging in it’s relationship to goals not related to a financial number. One thing I haven’t seen you write much on is the importance of other relationships. Losing a friend recently has highlighted the importance of where you spend time to me and I’d like to hear your thoughts on friendships/how you value time beyond your family unit (not including tennis buddies/fitness). I don’t think I’m qualified to author a post on the topic, but think it could be insightful.

    1. Yes, the plan for the past 3 years has been to move to Hawaii in 2022 when my son is eligible for Kindergarten. At the end of 2021, we would apply to two or three schools close to our house in Honolulu. If we get into one of them, we will relocate. Hence, the pandemic hasn’t changed our plans. The pandemic has given us more conviction to move.

      If we don’t get it, which is more likely, we’ll homeschool and spend months in Hawaii anyway so I can spend more time with my parents and live it up more.

      Age 5 is also when we really start to remember our travels. Hence, doing too much traveling beforehand is a waste for children. Right now is about developing the foundation of love, trust, and reliability that may or may not filter into a child’s life. Hope it does!

      Check out my Relationships category. Lots of articles discussing its importance.

      Here are a couple posts:

      Say hi to Morgan for me.

  5. Chicagogirl

    We are looking into purchasing investment property overseas specifically in Europe. Have you ever considered this?We live in San Francisco and property here but I am leery about investing more money in California in general give them any problems that is facing and which will no doubt lead to increased state and even property taxes. I am curious about your thoughts regarding this

    1. I have not as I don’t have an edge… however, I was thinking of buying Singapore property back in 2005. That would have been a home run investment.

      I really just like buying a property to live in for a while and then renting it out once I have the capital to buy another property or need/want another property.

  6. Thanks for the recap, always interesting to hear how others are doing in these trying times. We are also in CA and the bad air quality this month made things so much harder. We have a two year old and all he wants to do is play outside. How do you tell them that you are keeping them indoors for their health? They don’t understand. I hope this month is better.

    Genuine question- why don’t you go see a doctor for your thumb of it is bothering you? I would think they could get the splinter out.

    1. I did some calculations. If 24 hours of breathing 200 AQI air is equal to smoking 12 cigarettes, then breathing 150 AQI air is only like smoking 0.2 cigarettes. Still not good for kids, but not bad for adults. Glad the air is great again though!

      On the splinter, I like to be reminded of discomfort. It helps me not take things for granted. I use my right thumb all the time, but it’s not painful enough to go to the doctor. The body will either absorb or eventually expel it.

      Related: The Importance Of Feeling Consistently Uncomfortable For Personal Growth

  7. Yes, get a push bike for your son. It’s easy for kids to get used to and it helps a ton for the transition to a regular bike. I’m sure he’ll have a ton of fun.
    September wasn’t great for us either. I’d say 3/5 sounds about right. We were stuck indoor for about 10 days due to the smoke. That was annoying. Our net worth dropped a bit due to the stock market. Oh well, that’s life.

  8. Simple Money Man

    Start intermittent fasting….it works given your diet is fairly clean to begin with. I’m on 16:8.

  9. Why the move to permanent insurance? It seems contrary to most other bloggers and why incur the expense even for term if you are financially independent?

  10. Frugal Bazooka

    In the spirit of “recapping”
    I started investing during the dot com boom and my only conclusion was I was a stock market genius because everything I bought came up roses….until a few didn’t (i.e. Skymall aka led balloon). My first proper market “crash” (2008) I had almost no portfolio so I literally ignored it until it went away. My income skyrocketed around this time so I put my excess cash into 401k based mutual funds. when I opened my eyes a few years later I had a six figure portfolio. Ahhh, the wonders of free market capitalism and compounded interest. So all of us FI/FIRE types where happy getting fat and sloppy while big market gains rained down from heaven year after year…until boom – COVID. Now, with a much bigger portfolio (and a few years older) the name of the game is preservation…sort of. And the last 7 months have been a torturous up and down market slugfest w all the emotions that come with trying to predict the future. A few smart people that I trust went against the herd and reminded me not to bet against the US Economy. So I stuck to my guns and things have mostly turned out ok. The COVID crash – my first real market crash – was an invaluable test for me and a lot of people who thought they could handle risk. You never really know until you’re staring down the barrel of a 6 figure loss and you have 2 choices:1. Curl up in a ball and sell sell sell or 2. bite down on the bullet and shovel good cash right back into Nasdaqie Spnyse because you believe things will get better sooner than later. The humility I’ve gained these last few months has given me the motivation to balance a portfolio that just a few months ago was 90% stocks and real estate. This last 7 months has helped me answer questions I wasn’t even asking.

    1. Humility for investors is great. So easy to get cocky when we’re making so much, so easily in tech stocks etc. It’s good to convert some of those gains into a better life.

      Instead of losing 32% in March, think how much better your life might be if you spend that 32% on your life now that we’re back. I’m not saying they should, and spending some of that recovery is a great hedge in my opinion. That’s what I do.

      1. Frugal Bazooka

        I’m in…in the past 3 months – bought my wife a new car w cash, paid off my daughter’s Masters degree loan (she’s paying me back over a 100 year period) and I’ve re-programmed my frugalness into enlightened consumption (this means I buy Xmas stuff at Costco instead of walmart). I’ve also promised my friends to use less parentheses (starting…now!)

  11. brother my birthday was in September
    and I turned 31 with that being said September and last two years have been hell brother. I got SJSsyndrome burnt from inside out and lucky to be alive when 88 % don’t pull through but paying to live and now waiting on a kidney because medicine that saved me…… Ended but doubling damage to not just kidney but all organs vision…….2 Months later my ex girlfriend tried to Take my Life with hers. going 75 miles an hour through 3. Red Lights Killing a man an injuring his wife as well as myself was in a coma in the trauma unit,,,, after the hospital and being blamed for the accident and proven i wasn’t the driver. and she wasn’t injured and now in prison….. I walked with my lil puppy that was in the car accident as well. headed out of California where i moved in with her smh… i walked through reno and all the way to vegas no BS.
    ““` had nothing lose everything again….. after that next Easter Sunday i was Stabbed 9X with an icepick by a lowlife thug who was receiving and intercepting my mail. and bank cards bank info tax info social security and stole my information as wells as stealing my identity messing up anything possible in my finances and never knew until year later not only did he do all that mostly he tried to take my life and kill me and finish taking everything including my Life. BUTTTT!!!!…. Thank Jesus Chrst my Lord and Savior he shoe yet again mercy and love and gave me gift of cheating beating death a 3 Time then months later gt hit by a drunk driver walking in dallas during christmas as well a few other pedestrians walking and had to get facial reconstruction and spend christmas and have surgery in Texas and was only there on vacation ended up being almost a month smh….. so not only did my Life come Close toDeath and didn’t think i would be here at 31 years old……. i lived in my BMW i had got lucky getting blessed with…. i stayed 6 months in that car and sat there in the heat and in the cold Nights,,,

    but put my mind in Training and was focused to at least get into a apt. house. or rent a room at least. in san diego where im currently at now,,, and worked my ass off knew it was only temporary and i would come back from a Major few Set backs an losses…. and my dedication and hunger not to just make it and survive and do it all myself because never had my parents or family i was hungry and still am and study researched and investigated on my own on what everything did and happend and finding out that i have a lot of MOney Insurance Deposits FDIC failed banks ID Theft insurance money ETC….. what i went through and made it to still be alive and was taking from and still being taken from by hackers online city i live criminals that already had my info and people overseas selling my info and info being in a Data Breach……… im going to be hopefully a very comfortable young millionaire all said and done…. and my NPO WEALLEATLIKEKINGS…

    ““non profit feeding the homeless hungry sick hurt single mommas and dads and elderly including VETS…. as myself being an Afganistan Iraq Vet myself…. and start in the US> and then Take it Global helping millions of children people all over the word with clean water houses churches buildings Food supply Medicines and hopefully save and help millions of lives……….SO BROTHER NO!! september is not been GOod at ALL as well last 2 YEars…… im Truly Kinda Scared of this month and next couple because of the corona virus and money of 20 grand that is being owed to me and me trying everything to find help and lawyers or someone that can truly help me either with my finances or Just GIve me a shot in whatever possible and to have faith and belief in me knowing im truly one of a kind and destined for Victorious victory and A True Testimony and MOvie slash book of a Biggest Comebacks and success story!! ever told…. and to hopefully BE lucky enough to learn and work hard and to have a Great SUccess Story Like YOU HAVE and IS TRULY AMAZING AND INSPIRING…. i don’t look u to many people especially ones i haven’t meant and randomly found on the internet one night looking for help and resources and a miracle and you popped up…… not sure what that all means and if i will ever even hear personally from you back hence oyu being a true busy man and probably wont read this long Story of my SEpy. and Last 2 3 years pitty story i feel like i wrote you… EVEN THOUGH THSTD NOT WHY I M WRITING DONT WANT PITTy…. lol…. just read your email and like you said sometime its good to let it out figured id tell you if you needed any motivation or spark or going through something in your life or famiys…. that whatever happens youll make it and be ALright and not to worry God got you keep trust in him and keep being a inspiriation and true light in peoples lives helping them like you in ways have for me,,,,,,,,,,email or call anytime if you ever wanted to talk,, would love to talk some real goals plans ways you do and truly hopefully get lucky and giving a shot with personal start up once up,,, and scucessful with your help and teachings and money made from the start up,,,, would Pay it back 2X 3X what was orinialy started just to show you thanks and how grateful and live saving for me and only Famly i got and to Live my Dream and truly hep thers and save there lives with a Biggest NPO ever. andit being GLobal all around the world and it being all because of YOUR TRUST FSITH AND blessings…. but because of you!!! and really be the man ive been reading of and learning from reading your emails and know that there is still One man out there thats ONe of Kind like me,,, whos already Made help out just one like you never helped someone before and seeing truly God work Wealth Created and millions and thousands more of people blessed because you blessed me and held me live my Dream before my TIme is up!!! God Bless Brother sorry for long message just needed to vent let it out and hopefully my heart and soul crying out that someone will here my testimony and story and want to help make miracles and live changing business together you only live once….. and im going to do it with out someone or with that one who has faith and true help getting me started and ahead of the game you can save my life litterly in more ways you would ever know!!! GOD BLESS THANK YOU SO MUCH
    Brian R.

  12. Canadian Reader

    Nice update- sounds like life is going well for you guys.

    September blew by very quickly for us. We indulged in take out a few more times than usual, soaked in a few final beach days, and finished the exterior work on our latest house project. Windows took much longer than expected due to supply chain issues- hopefully it’s not the same thing with kitchen cabinets.

    Our daughter turned 10 months and we started early potty training. I was very surprised to see her go 6/7 times on day 1. Obviously this will take time, but I’m encouraged by whats happening so far.

    We also learned we are expecting a surprise baby! So it was very sweet and relatable to see what you had written about more kids in this post. We are very excited about our second child!!

    We moved our stock investments to a 30% cash position about a month ago. Our investments fell 4.8% last month. Seems like we’ve been in a holding pattern for a while now.

    Best of luck through October!

  13. So interesting that you used to work at 650 California. That’s where my most recent job was located, until COVID-19 happened. I’m so familiar with the building, neighborhood, and playground across the street. Nice shot of the exterior, very iconic! I’ve been following your blog for years, but never imagined that we would have worked in the same SF office building.

  14. Kathy Abell

    When you were working in that office building, did you notice the park? Or has it been added since you retired?

    1. I remember the park above the St Mary’s garage, but I didn’t remember the playground area. But I bet it was always there. Kinda random to have the playground there between all the big towers, but maybe not due to working parents and Chinatown close by.

  15. Sounds like you did well considering all the circumstances. The wildfires in CA have been crazy this year. So sad there’s been so much damage. I remember the day the sky was orange all day. That was eery.

    Great updates on your family stuff. Lots of my friends are homeschooling their kids this year too. Exciting your daughter is crawling!

    September went really fast for me. I made some progress with my goals but not as much as I’d hoped. I’m aiming to have a better October. And I sure hope the rest of the wildfires get contained fast.

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