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$1.8 Million Net Worth – How I Got From There to Here





You’ve asked for him and now he’s back. QCash, the 37 year old retired millionaire, goes through his history of net worth updates to show us how he progressed to where he is today.

A while back, I promised FT that I would pull out my net worth totals from 2000 (the year I got married) through 2007 and see what happened that allowed my net worth to balloon and let me experiment with hyper early retirement (a la Derek Foster‘s suggestion).

Unfortunately, I cannot find my files from 2000 and 2001. I experienced a computer crash a year ago September and I thought I had recovered everything and could not find the file. Locating the hard copies requires a Herculean effort at tackling the garage loft and I have not been that motivated.

Net Worth Updates from 2002

2002 Net worth – $677,000

2003 Net worth – $787,000

2004 Net worth – $1,075,000

2005 Net worth – $1,468,000

2006 Net worth – $1,722,000

2007 Net worth – $1,782,000

The Details

The reason my numbers jump so rapidly is two-fold. One, I always list my real estate at the adjusted cost base on my net worth statement. So, for example, in 2003, I sold three rental properties and netted out 50K. Also, I had always listed my investment in my business at its real cost basis. So while this doesn’t fairly paint an accurate picture and shows large jumps, it is how I kept my accounts.

Also, up until our little girl was born in 2003, my wife continued to work and she always earned more than I did.

In 2004, I sold my business and the proceeds from that sale show up in 2004 and 2005 as the commercial property closed in 2004, while I did not receive all payments until 2005. Although I should probably adjust my net worth statement in 2004 to show the money owing as an account receivable, I was not assured of the cash payment until 2005, so I remained cautious.

Finally, almost all of the growth from 2005 to 2006 was from my investment portfolio. After 2004, we no longer had any debt and I was ploughing everything that was made back into my investment portfolio to gear up for my “retirement” at the end of 2006.

Is this typical? Of course not. However, purchasing real estate at a young age paid off huge for me. Living a pretty frugal lifestyle, while planning for a family and working hard on my business, allowed me to take chances. I was also lucky in finding a buyer for my business who wanted both the building and the operating company, allowing me to structure the deal to my maximum tax benefit.

So what next?

Well, I have to admit that I have suffered from a mild mid-life crisis that was satisfied with the purchase of a 2004 350Z Nissan Roadster. Or as my wife describes it – my birthday, fathers’ day, xmas gifts for the next 60 years. And as I describe it – cheaper than a mistress.

I have also used a HELOC to make the purchases to convert my growth funds to income funds without taking a huge capital gains hit. So far it is working out okay. Although I hate to be in debt to anyone, it is allowing me to build the “income portfolio” I want and melt down my capital gains against the interest charged. It will be a slow, multi-year process, but it has worked so far.

I have also started to get the bug again. I had read somewhere that entrepreneurs should take a year off after a successful business venture, to recharge and make sure you don’t overheat.

I have been exploring opportunities in the green energy field. In Ontario, the govt is offering the Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program (RESOP) for generation of wind, solar or biomass energy. After looking at wind (11.9 cents/kwh) and solar (42 cents/kwh), I am leaning towards establishing a biomass generation system (11.9 cents per kwh).

If FT is so inclined to let me, I will provide a follow up to that plan in the near future.

Stay tuned for more from QCash in the near future!

Photo credit: Willvision Photography





16 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Awesome.

    “Cheaper than a mistress” – lol.

    Mike

  2. 2. Warren

    Great article, thanks QCash.

  3. 3. nobleea

    Thanks for the info. May I ask what type of business you were in? When did you start it?

  4. 4. Telly

    It’s always a pleasure to hear from QCash, a well-respected PF guy in an enviable position. I know I would definitely love to be updated again in the near future.

  5. 5. Joshua

    Great article. I would like to hear more about the new business venture, old business, and the real estate transactions as well!

  6. 6. Q Cash

    FP

    I did get the Z in metalic blue to match my wife’s eyes :-) (My wife can’t drive stick, so now I have to be designated driver, so it is actually a savings plan)

    Warren

    Never a problem. I appreciate that FT lets me have this forum to update from time to time.

    Nobleea

    We designed pollution control equipment for industrial applications. Specifically, in-plant air quality issues. I am an environmentalist at heart, but kind of a “green tory” in that I want to save the environment, but I plan to make money doing it ;-)

    Telly

    As long as FT lets me, I am happy to give updates.

    Joshua

    See nobleea re old business.

    The new business may require a separate post, but it involves renewable energy generation. Specifically, looking at biogas (or methane) and bio diesel to power hybrid (diesel/gas) generators.

    In Ontario, the provincial govt will pay 11.9 cent per kilowatt hour of electricity. A 1 MW generator would have a gross revenue of just over $800,000. (this assumes an 80% up time).

    There is the possibility to be paid for accepting the biogas feedstock (but this requires approvals from the Ontario Ministry of Environment and gets into all sorts of problems).

    QCash

  7. 7. Q Cash

    PS

    The roadster’s convertable :-)

  8. Q Cash,
    Thx for this inspiring post!

    Anyway, cars are the best mistress ever…….

  9. 9. Jerry

    What a great post! I, for one, would love to hear more about the plans to take a lead in biomass fuels. I think that these results are replicable for people making good money in almost any field (RE, insurance, business, etc.), but they are equally effective in the long run no matter what you are earning, as long as you can be frugal and disciplined!
    Jerry

  10. 10. Toon

    BUT there were TWO of you building up this pile of dough! Some of us did it on our own! Yes, I know you had expenses with a child, tho.
    Frugality is the secret, but time must be set aside for pleasure also.
    i’d like to get into Windpower business too. I hear it takes a lifetime to start making money out of it tho. Right?

  11. 11. Gates VP

    Hey QCash: I have been exploring opportunities in the green energy field.

    I don’t know your specialty, but I definitely see lot of money going into batteries rather than “green energy”. And if you can do green energy, you can likely do batteries.

    Notice the Prius and other hybrids popping up? They’re all going to need & benefit from newer and better batteries. The Ballard fuel cell was way overhyped, but the next big leap in solving the energy crisis is going to be localized batteries and sites wired to work off these batteries (in tandem with the grid).

    Most “green” sources are inherently limited by the fact that they generate inconsistent amounts of electricity. Better converters, low-waste chargers are really big keys. Eco-friendly and easily serviceable “battery” units are also going to be a big deal.

    Just my $0.02, it’s always more important to follow your dreams :)

  12. 12. Q Cash

    Toon

    No question, having two of us made it that much easier to get from there to here. But of course frugality is the key. I have many friends (singles and couples) who always made more than the two of us. However, we weren’t trying to keep up with the Jones’ and we knew where we wanted to be. My wife loves shopping, but a big shopping trip for her is $40 at Winners every couple of weeks (and of that, $20 gets returned). I don’t spend anything more than I have to on clothes, etc.

    As for windpower, yes the payback is 20 years or more and there are no economies of scale in windpower (i.e. the per kilowatt price for generation is pretty fixed). I am looking at biomass and biodiesel generation. This allows for great consistency in revenue.

    Q

  13. 13. Q Cash

    GatesVP

    No question that more efficient batteries, etc are going to be key in proper generation management in the future.

    I am looking at fuel based generation using biomass and biodiesel. This is obviously more capital intensive but I can look at MW generation verses home based KW generation.

    I am also hoping one day to turn my 350Z in for a Telsa :-)

    Speaking of Telsa, I read recently that there is a movement afoot to rebuild a DC energy grid. Currently we use the AC grid and we have all sorts of inefficiencies built into the transmission of energy over long distances. The whole Telsa vs Edison debate is being fought again now that new materials are available and make DC a realitistic alternative.

    Q

    Q

  14. 14. matty dread

    its Tesla….and there is a band by the same name.

    Their albums are the only Tesla I’ll be able to afford more than likely but you never know…I am 39 and sitting on a decent net worth…most of it accessible….

    Inspiring story. Wise decisions and good fortune were with you. Congratulations.

  15. 15. Andy

    I want to hear more, interesting story and well written. I am going to use that “mistress” line on the wife someday….

  16. 16. Q Cash

    Matty Dread

    Yes… Tesla — sorry. I can’t plead dyslexia, just ignorance :-)

    Andy

    FT has asked if I will continue contributing regularly to the blog to give updates and flashbacks, so you should hear more. Sidenote: Before you use the mistress line, be prepared to duck :-)

    Q

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