2018, A Year End Review

2018 was quite the year. A lot has happened in the past 365 days and I would like to update all of the future millionaires reading this on what my 2018 journey has contained.

Changing Jobs

One of the biggest events from 2018 for me was changing jobs. I left my job as a business analyst at Carmax in April. I had accepted a new role as a Sales Engineer at Keyence Corporation. 

At Carmax I was surrounded by wonderful people and coworkers, but ultimately a few factors caused me to need a change. I decided to look for something a bit different from life in a cubicle.

I only mention this to let anyone in the same situation know that while it might be scary, you are in control and you can leave. From the time I mentally committed to finding a new job to the time I signed my offer with Keyence I was only on the market for one month.

It is also worth noting that we are in one of the lowest periods of unemployment in the history of our country. Now is a great time to be looking for jobs because companies are competing for top talent and their offers show it. 

Now I travel around North Carolina and Virginia meeting researchers and demonstrating the capabilities of Keyence’s research grade life-science microscope and very much enjoy it.

Personal Finances

2018 will hopefully go down as the worst year of investment performance that I ever have.

This year has been extremely tough. As you all can probably tell I am pretty “invested” in personal finance. I spend a lot of time conducting research and trying to make smart financial decisions that allow me to reach my goals. This year’s investment performance makes me feel like I would have been much better off not paying attention to it at all.

The investment series portfolio has heavily under-performed the market this year as have my other personal accounts. I have been very successful at saving money and putting it aside, but growing it has not gone so well.

This is an incredibly humbling experience, but one that I will not take lightly. I am going to re-evaluate my investment goals and priorities as we enter 2019 and try another strategy. 

When listening to a personal-finance related podcast the other day I heard a quote that struck a chord with me: “I don’t want to get rich quick, I want to get rich for sure.” I need to strike a balance between taking risk and building wealth with methods that are sure to make it last.

Moving To Raleigh

With my change in jobs also came a change in cities. In early August I moved to Raleigh NC.

After leaving Carmax in April I had two months until I began training with Keyence. I spent that time enjoying my last weeks in Atlanta and traveling around Europe with the girl I was dating at the time who is now crushing it in Boston. Traveling for the first time in awhile reminded me how much I enjoy seeing new places. It helped me frame my priorities moving forward and now I am trying to visit new countries a few times a year.

Raleigh has been a good home so far. My parents are in Charlotte, my younger brother is still at UNC and my older brother and his wife are in New Bern. Being closer to family has meant that I see them a lot more which is always nice. I also joined a tennis league and met some solid people through that.

I also somehow managed to use my move as an opportunity to reduce my expenses further. I found a solid roomate/apartment situation that only costs $550 a month including utilities. This has allowed me to save even more towards my goals.

Starting My Test Prep Company

On December 1st I launched my first online business. This was a project I had been working on for over a year, mostly because I had some writer’s block with my GMAT guide and things ended up on the back-burner for a while.

I decided to do the 5am challenge and wake up at 5am for 30 days straight. This ended up being the spark that re-ignited levels of productivity that I had not seen from myself in awhile. 

Starting 50 Hours or Less Test Prep has been quite the project but I have already learned a ton about e-commerce, advertising, and starting a business.

I will have a number of 2019 goals that relate to this new business such as finding the right people to author guides for other standardized tests.

Let’s Be Millionaires

The blog has stagnated in 2018 and that is 100% my fault. I haven’t posted much content aside from the investment series. 

For 2019 I am going to aim to post more educational content. If you have any topics that you would like to see covered, please leave them in the comments.

I also want to open the blog up to guest posting so that more people in the community can talk about their personal finance related journeys, successes and failures.

Closing Thoughts

2018 has been a roller-coaster for me. While I may not have increased my net worth a ton, I have learned a lot and put myself in a much more enjoyable job.

Let’s keep doing the things that have worked and work to improve the things that haven’t. Let’s be millionaires for sure.