Monthly Update #20 – April

After March’s huge declines, came April’s record bounce. I’m sure more than a few market timers are licking their wounds. Things are still in the red for 2020, but looking a lot less severe than they were a few weeks ago.

Some positive signs around COVID-19 treatments and the tentative reopening of economies hopefully pave the way for a route out of this crisis and back to some form of ‘normality’. Thankfully, I stayed the course and it is nice to report some ‘green’ in this last monthly update. Let’s get to it.

Net Worth Snapshot

So, time for the usual numbers one last time…

Here is a snapshot as things stood at the end of April. I break down my current financial assets as at the end of the month and compare these to the previous month (March 2020) and then also relative to 1-year ago (April 2019) to see how I’m doing.

With April’s positive tone in markets, my total net worth rebounded 4.8% for April to £642,505 – (an increase of £29,428) thanks to roughly 8% gains in pension and other investment pots. This was no way near enough to fully recoup March’s decline, but a good step nonetheless. Excluding property, this translates into a gain of 7.8% to £358,133.

Overall, Net Worth remains higher than a year ago, which is positive given the recent carnage at +11.1% overall and +3.6% on an ex-property basis.

Final Thoughts

So, after a year and a half of blogging, I’ve decided to close the chapter that is Pursue FIRE.

It’s been quite an experience and one that I’ve learned a lot from. From having never blogged before, I managed to build the bare bones of a website; write a few half-decent articles, guides and other helpful content and even received a few compliments along the way, scattered between all that spam 🙂

So why am I stopping? For a number of reasons really. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the creative process of writing and the hustle of deciding on a topic and trying to craft a message worth hearing. However, I had no real expectations as to what my blog was supposed to achieve. What was I looking for in blogging?

To be honest, I really can’t remember other than to give it a try. I think over the last few months that lack of purpose has shown itself to me and made me question what I’m doing. What’s the goal here? Is my (limited) free time being deployed effectively? Is it fun talking into an empty room?

Between a young family and a demanding job, time is really limited and I need to distribute my energy to so many different things. I’m unlikely to make any meaningful money from blogging and so the time and effort it takes to maintain it feels like it can be better spent in areas that will benefit me and my family more directly.

Passionate about personal finance and the FIRE movement I felt like I wanted a seat at the table within the blogging community. With my experience, I felt as though I had something to offer, no matter how small it might have been. But when I stop to consider the time I’ve invested, the money I’ve spent in putting this together and the hours writing content I have found the lack of interaction a little de-motivating.

I don’t know whether its a general trend that blogging is fading in the face of other mediums or whether mine is just not very good 😉 But putting up posts, which I’m pretty sure nobody is really reading or engaging with, stops being fun after a while.

I’ve also questioned whether I have anything new or innovative to say. There seems to have been an explosion of blogs around the FIRE movement in recent years and I dare say mine is at risk of joining a rather large number that have faded away altogether or stand static. The few good ones remain pillars of inspiration.

Does this mean the FIRE has gone out? Far from it. My own efforts to cut short my working life, seek early retirement and practice what I preach remain a laser focus of mine. I guess I just don’t feel the need to publically talk about it anymore. I know what works and what does not.

So, before I slip back into the shadows, I’d like to thank those of you that read these pages. I hope you all find your way on this journey that is life. I’ll still be working away, building things, being creative and who knows, one day I’ll see you around.

Feel free to explore my site as it stands. If you still find value from these pages that is worthwhile and you can still drop me an email on anything you’d like at dan@pursuefire.com or via twitter (@pursuefire)

The site will stay up for a while until I’m asked to renew any fees and then it will be gone.

All the best (for now) Pursue FIRE (a.k.a Dan)

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Weenie

    I’m sad to read that this is your last update, Dan, but understand your reasons for not continuing. I think you’ll find that you’ll always have a seat at the FIRE table! Thanks for your time and effort with all your guides – if it’s ok, I’ll copy/download some of them in case I need to refer in the future? Perhaps we’ll see you back on the slack channel? If not, all the best to you and your family!

  2. SavingNinja

    I’m very saddened by this Dan, but it takes a lot of courage to stop something that you’ve invested so much in. You will be missed!

    Just make sure that you create a back-up of your website and database and store it in cloud storage like Google Drive or Dropbox. That way, if you ever did want to come back, or simply wanted to read through some of your old content, you can re-upload your site (or view it from your local network). You can ask your hosting provider to create the files for you.

    Or better yet, find the cheapest 5 year hosting deal you can and buy it. After a number of years, domains gain ‘authority’ and rank easier in Google, if you wanted to sell your site or re-visit blogging, you’ll have a mature, authority-heavy domain that you can work with. You never know what you’ll want to do in the future; £10 per year is surely worth keeping the option open, right?

    Good luck with everything, I hope to be riding the train home with you, both a little bit tipsy, once again sometime!

  3. cgc

    Sorry to hear you’re ceasing your blog but completely understand your reasons. Had been looking forward to hear the outcome of your ELO-based value model analysis and of your Tennis system website you mentioned last year that you were planning to develop. Let me know if you make progress on these. Wishing you and your family all good things.

  4. Dr FIRE

    Sad to hear, Dan, but completely understandable. I’ve enjoyed following your posts and have found several of your guides very interesting over the past year or so. Hopefully we’ll still see you around on Twitter and Slack. All the best!

  5. southwalesfi

    Ah boo 🙁 Not tempted to look at your google stats to see that people are actually reading what you publish? Can definitely relate to the free time issue- I went down to a 4 day week for exactly that reason- I just felt with everything else going on, I just wasn’t getting enough time for me.

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Hello and welcome to Pursue FIRE. My name is Dan and I am the owner and author of all content on this site. I am passionate about personal finance and look forward to engaging with you.
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‘Billion Dollar Whale’ is an incredible book, which they actually tried to ban publishing in Britain. It examines the incredible tale of how one man swindled over $5bn with the aid of Goldman Sachs in what has been described as the “heist of the century”. Gobsmacking how this sort of thing continues to happen.