Comparing our FIRE Portfolios + Asset Allocations (Part 2)

Choosing how to divide your assets among stocks, bonds, and other investment vehicles is a good first step, but asset allocation also impacts your tax rate, portfolio performance, and long-term ease of maintaining it all. In part two, Eric and Jason dig further into their own portfolios from their respective sides of FI and discuss the role of bonds, risk, tools you can use to assess your portfolio and model performance, rebalancing, and an interesting – not often discussed – case for financial advisors.

Did you miss Part 1? Check it out here.

Note: This content does not constitute investment advice and is being presented for informational and educational purposes only.


Show Notes

Portfolio Charts offers a wealth of different portfolio visualization tools and calculators for deeper analysis of your asset allocation, and other personal finance elements. As Eric mentioned in the episode, you’re not likely to find another resource with so many different visualizations available.

Morningstar is perhaps best known as a resource for analysis + ratings for mutual funds. However, the site also has a variety of tools for portfolio analysis and exploration. Some functionality is provided free of charge, while others come with a premium subscription. Importantly, the latter is offered as a 14-day free trial so you can readily use these tools to analyze your asset allocation and then cancel without risk prior to billing.

Big ERN’s SWR Spreadsheet (Early Retirement Now) is a comprehensive planning tool largely aimed at investigating safe withdrawal rate. In line with Big ERN’s standard approach, this is a resource aimed at those desiring detailed, quantitative analysis, and is a bit more “in the weeds”. But having the ability to input your asset allocation along and projected rates of return, is vital to do truly informed modeling. Other tools may be easier starting points, but this one has lots of power when you’re ready to dig deeper.

M1 Pies (M1 Finance) are one of the visualizations Eric discussed to reference the investment approaches of others in the personal finance community, like JL Collins and Paula Pant, which we talked about in Part 1. These are M1 Finance’s flagship portfolio tool, allowing you to see the asset allocations of others and potentially invest in the same approaches.

cFIREsim – This popular tool is the “Crowdsourced Financial Independence and Retire Early Simulator”. cFIREsim is among our favorite sites for performing Monte Carlo analysis of a given FIRE strategy. While you can get started with just a handful of simple parameters, this site is extremely flexible and will allow you to do more complex modeling if that is of interest.

Portfolio Visualizer is a site containing a variety of modeling tools, including the one linked here which allows one to backtest different portfolio asset allocations. While past results are not necessarily predictive of future returns, this approach does allow one to understand the merit + drawbacks of various asset allocations. One useful approach this enables is to compare the performance of your current portfolio vs. a variety of others of your construction.


You can find information on the tools we mention in each episode along with additional information in the Resources section of this site.

Discussing our FI Numbers : Changing our minds, talking to family

Things have changed: attitudes, spending habits, withdrawal rates, what we’ve chosen to reveal to family and friends. In this episode, we discuss how our early FI goals and calculations underestimated today’s needs and move beyond the math of financial independence to discuss the psychological aspects, including important conversations with family and friends. These discussions can be challenging and touch on deep-seated ideas about money, entitlement, and often guilt. It’s common to overlook the importance of these conversations and this side of FIRE when you’re focused on the financial side. Join us as we explore these areas and more in this second episode focused on the math of financial independence.


Show Notes

A few months after posting this episode, Jason wrote a blog post on one aspect of this show – talking about the “RE” part of FIRE and what retirement actually means. The inspiration for the article was a chance encounter at a winery tasting room. What was discussed there and how did it inform his thinking? Read on to find out why we at Two Sides of FI think “retirement” is a word that is perhaps overdue to be redefined!

You can find information on the tools we mention in the episode along with additional information in the Resources section of this site. To navigate to this material at any time, just click the menu button at the top of any page on the site.