And just like that, we are about to close out another year.
To say it’s been an eventful twelve months would be an understatement.
But then again, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. At least for me, the writing has been on the wall for a long time – albeit in a good way.
Two young children. A busy job. And a wife with a successful career of her own.
Combine that with an exceptionally busy year in investment banking (you know things are bad when even the Goldman analysts are begging for mercy), a growing real estate portfolio, and this blog – and you’ve got yourself a solid recipe for a year with less free time than oxygen on Mars.
To be honest, it often felt like I was spinning one plate too many. But as I look back on 2021, I feel pretty happy about where things ended up.
Our family had a lot of fun, quality time together.
In addition, now that travel is back on, both the in-laws and my parents have also been able to visit for extended stretches of time, bonding with their grandchildren (and giving me and my wife a much-needed reprieve!)
I also had my best year ever at work – at least in terms of revenue generated.
It always feels great to work on some cool deals. Just as important, I’ve done enough to highlight my work internally which should hopefully translate into a decent “number” in a few weeks’ time.
Our real estate portfolio continued to grow by leaps and bounds. Back in March, we knocked off our 2021 property investing goal by adding a $1.6m detached house to the mix.
In the meantime, the rest of our properties continued to appreciate at a nice clip, courtesy of increasing rents and declining cap rates. In January, we will close on a $250k cash-out refi, with another (smaller) one to come later in 2022.
Last but not least, the Banker on FIRE blog continued to grow nicely. The last time I checked, we were on track to clock half a million pageviews this year, and our mailing list is about to cross the 1,000 subscriber mark.
Other than mentoring a couple of younger bankers, I don’t have time to do much in terms of volunteering.
Thus, I am always encouraged when I see so many people visiting this blog for inspiration and education on how to build a richer, happier life. To all my readers – I am grateful for each and every one of you.
The Road Ahead
I have to admit that when it comes to goal setting, things are a bit more complicated this year.
On one hand, the plan is to continue doing more of the same.
Maxing out my comp. I always had the philosophy that if I’m going to spend so much time working, I might as well be good at what I do – and get paid for it!
I also plan to continue growing our property portfolio by adding another $2m or so of real estate over the next 12 months.
But the broader theme is one of recalibration, especially when it comes to my career.
Ever since turning 40, I’ve been thinking through various options – both in terms of location and the specifics of what I’d like to do next.
Thankfully, the health issues I’ve experienced earlier this year are now pretty much behind me. In fact, I’ve been hitting the gym hard over the past few weeks and feel pretty damn amazing as a result.
Equally, as much as I enjoy investment banking, it’s a big and interesting world out there, and there are many other things I would like to try before I punch out the clock.
I certainly won’t rush into things, but like any good banker, I’ll definitely keep my eyes open and ears to the ground.
The one thing you can be sure of is that I will keep writing on this blog. After a few days of relaxing over Christmas, my brain is buzzing with all the topics I’d like to cover over the next twelve months.
After all, building wealth doesn’t have to be a slog. In fact, creating a prosperous, happy future for ourselves and our families can be a lot of fun, and I look forward to being on this exciting journey with all of you.
In the meantime, I wish all of my readers a Happy New Year and an amazing start to 2022. May all your dreams and desires come true.
See you on the other side.
About Banker On Fire
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Banker On FIRE is a London-based M&A (mergers and acquisitions) investment banker. I am passionate about capital markets, behavioural economics, financial independence, and living the best life possible.
Find out more about me and this blog here.
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