To get some inspiration for this post, I went to my photo album and navigated to the month of September. Sometimes the weeks and months can run together, and I needed a refresher of what I was up to last month. The theme that quickly jumped out at me as I flipped through my photos was camaraderie. (Props to anyone who could correctly spell the word “camaraderie” off the top of their head before reading this post. It took me a couple of hilarious attempts to try and spell it before I could check it against my dictionary 🙂 )
The first thing that made me think of camaraderie in September was Comic Con. The second thing was a weekend retreat I went on with my all-women’s a cappella chorus. And the third was lots of happy, smiling photos with family and friends.
Camaraderie abounds at Comic Con SF
After a five-year hiatus, Comic Con finally returned to San Francisco last month. In the past, it was called Wonder Con SF; the most entertaining convention I’ve ever been to. If you’ve never been to Wonder Con or Comic Con before, one of the most memorable experiences is checking out all of the people dressed in elaborate and familiar costumes.
I specifically remember loving the last Wonder Con because walking up and down the aisles spurred countless giddy memories of all the toys, comics and games we were surrounded by as kids of the 80s: MOTU (He-man, She-ra, etc.), Star Wars, Dungeons and Dragons, Marvel, DC Comics, Capcom, Super Mario, Cabbage Patch/Garbage Pail kids, Fraggle Rock, etc. If any of you grew up in the 80s like me, you’ve got to attend one of these conventions that are held across the country each year. They’re seriously a total blast even if you’re not a huge fan of any particular comics or characters.
The most recent Comic Con SF was a lot smaller with hardly any toy tables, but the fans turned out and did not disappoint. There were so many great costumes, not to mention a lot of talented artists drawing on site as well. It’s a lot of fun going to conventions like Comic Con because people from all walks of life come together to have fun and act like complete kids again.
Pure joy wrapped in an inflatable T-Rex
One of my favorite moments at Comic Con this year was watching a 30-something-year-old guy in a deflated T-Rex costume arrive in the show room and then start jumping up and down hysterically like a 4-year-old on a sugar high when he saw two other T-Rexes down the hall in the exact same costume.
I’ve never seen someone inflate a giant costume that fast while running in place. I couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear as I watched him run over as quickly as his poofy costume would allow in order to join his newly formed crew of dinosaurs.
Word is Comic Con will be back in SF next September at the Moscone convention center, which is where the original Wonder Con took place (hooray!), so I have high hopes that they’ll have a lot more booths and an even bigger turn out. Bring back the 80s toys guys!
If you’ve never been to any type of convention before, I highly recommend you attend one sometime. There are gazillions of conferences and conventions each year ranging from every hobby imaginable to super niche career topics. It’s a LOT of fun to be surrounded by people who share similar interests even if you’re just observing.
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2016 Goals Update
I have a couple main career goals for 2016 that I’m actively hustling to meet or beat this year. In each of my income reports, I provide a quick update on my progress:
1) Goal: Invest At Least $5,000 Every Month
I surpassed my goal of investing $5,000/month in September and deployed over $40k into three investments and also paid down extra mortgage principal. I’ve now more than made up for the earlier months in the year when I chose not to invest.
I winded up purchasing a 5-year structure note tied to the S&P 500 along with the iShares Barclays 7-10 Year Treasury Bond Fund (IEF) and iShares Select Dividend ETF (DVY).
2) Goal: Grow My Net Worth By $75,000
I’m on a quest to become a multi-millionaire! It’s a long journey, but an exciting and fulfilling one. When I ran my mid-year net worth figures, I was happily surprised that I hit my goal and passed the $1 million mark over the summer. I think I can stay above $1 million if I continue to save and the markets don’t tank significantly in the next few years.
Economic growth in the U.S. is nothing to get excited about right now and I still think things are going to soften into next year. I don’t need to make any large purchases in the short-term so I’m keeping my focus on the long game.
Right now my assets are primarily U.S. focused, which I’m pretty comfortable with but I could probably use a bit more international exposure. I have a decent amount of investment exposure in Europe, but not much elsewhere. Although I don’t have any plans to buy assets like property abroad, it’s been a while since I looked at international investments like ETFs.
If the U.S. is headed into a slump, it’d be nice to enough international exposure to get a pick up abroad. I came across an interesting article on Fidelity about recent trends in Emerging Markets, which I haven’t looked at in a long time. Emerging markets have their own risks of course, but there might be some opportunities worth taking there.
Income Report September 2016
Onwards to my September Income report…
Total Revenue Streams = $11,346
- Web & Project management $5,600
- Editorial, writing, marketing $1,835
- Teaching music, pet sitting, misc. $45
- Dividends & interest income $524
- Rental income $140
ADVERTISING & AFFILIATE: $3,202
- Partnerships, affiliates: $2,850
- Advertising: $138
- How To Engineer Your Layoff $112
- Bluehost: $90
- Amazon Associates: $12
Expenses = $(5,958)
- Aweber, Marketing, Subscriptions, Fees: $(355)
- Other work related: $(338)
- Meals & Entertainment – business: $(250)
- Travel – business: $(100)
- Living expenses: $(4,050)
- Meals & entertainment – personal: $(425)
- Travel – personal: $(220)
- Shopping & misc expenses – personal $(220)
$11,346 (Income) – $5,958 (Expenses) = $5,388 PROFITS
One of the greatest joys in life is witnessing happiness in other people. When you see someone experiencing pure joy like the guy in his T-Rex costume, that happiness becomes contagious and you can’t help but smile and laugh yourself.
My takeaway for September is to surround yourself with people who share similar interests as you and who are also happy and fun to be around. Camaraderie is priceless. Hold fast to the relationships that lift you up and let go of the rest. You’ll get much more out of life and your career if you surround yourself with good people.
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Whatever your interests are, focus on building your skills and developing your own unique niche! I’ve been blogging since 2010 and it has allowed me to break free from the corporate grind to travel, work from home and do so many more fulfilling things with my life. There’s not a week that goes by when I’m not thankful for starting this site. Be sure to check out my step by step guide on how to start your own blog.
Break free! If you’re burnt out of your day job, believe that you too have options and can turn your career around for the better. I didn’t believe I could escape the grind for the longest time, but fortunately I wised up before stress destroyed my relationships with family and my health. I never would have thought I could negotiate a severance package and get paid to leave a job I grew to hate, but I did! Learn how you too could get paid to leave your job like I did and open your eyes to new opportunities.
Untemplaters, have you ever been to Comic Con before? Do you have a favorite convention or conference that you look forward to every year? Where have you found the best camaraderie in your life and career?
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Graham @ Reverse The Crush says
Amazing job on your financial goals! Keep it up 🙂
I do have to say that my favourite part of the post was how you closed it. Camaraderie and liked minded people really are priceless. It kind brought a smile to my face when you were describing your September takeaway. Love it! Thanks for sharing!
The best thing about Comic Cons are the costumes. All the booths and speakers don’t really interest me much. It’s just too busy in the booth area. Great to hear that you had fun there.
EM funds have been in a slump for quite a while now. It’s probably about time for them to pick up some steams.
Great job with your investments and net worth. What’s multi-millionaire to you? I recently read that $10M is the threshold. I’ll never get there…
The costumes are so much fun to look at. People are really creative, especially those who hand-make a lot of their costume pieces.
I haven’t settled on what exact multi-millionaire figure I want to hit. $10 mil is too much of a stretch for me. If I could hit $3-5 in my lifetime I’d be thrilled.
IGU Rewari says
Wow. Really inspiring. Thanks for the earning stats.
Sam @ Financial Samurai says
Excellent write-up! That Emerging Markets chart really is eye-opening. If only they could just GET IT TOGETHER in terms of policy in the US, and less random exogenous variables like corruption etc.
Joy is seeing joy in others. So true, so fun. Love comic con!
Thanks for highlighting my book too! Whoo hoo.
Thanks Sam! Sometimes I get so focused on what’s happening in the U.S. economy that I overlook what’s happening abroad. It’s pretty amazing how many different governments there are and how many different economies too. It’s astonishing how rapidly a country can decline as well. The situation in Venezuela as an example is hard to fathom. Their food exports have plummeted, the government is almost out of cash and people are struggling to buy basic necessities yet the government refuses to accept any help because they don’t want to be perceived as weak.
Anyway, enough about that! Yes, Comic Con is so much fun. I’m really looking forward to next year in the Moscone Center. I gotta go mark my calendar.