Sri Lanka Nine arch bridge

March 2024 FIRE Portfolio Update: Can’t Stop Won’t Stop

March 2024 was just a continuation of the bull trend that started all the way back in November 2023. This has got to be one of the longer bull stretches that I can recall. It’s certainly the longest bull run that I can remember without any meaningful pullbacks. Any slight dip was met with buyers and it just seemed like there was no stopping it.

If you haven’t already read my posts before, I achieved Financial independence back in late 2020 early 2021 with a portfolio of roughly $1.3m invested in mainly ETFs. This ballooned to $1.7m during the peak of the markets in early 2022 before coming back down to Earth later in 2022.

Nine arch bridge ella sri lanka
Nine arches bridge in Sri Lanka

This post will be part of a monthly series of portfolio updates that summarizes how my portfolio performed, what trades I executed, what my monthly expenses were, and my general outlook on the economy/markets. This is by no means financial advice so do not look look at me for sage advice. I make stupid trades and make even worse losses quite frequently.

This is simply the performance of my portfolio and how it has performed on a month to month basis.

Monthly Highlights – March 2024

  • Net worth is near $1.86m as of March 2023 Month end
  • +$50k for the month
  • Went back to Sri Lanka and Bali during the month of March.

What is in my portfolio?

My portfolio is quite simple and straight forward. I have my holdings primarily spread out between a few ETFs, fixed income, and various single name stocks.

Fixed Income

Due to rising rates, I’ve also allocated a small part of my portfolio (<5%) to fixed income products. I’ve been purchasing 5.5% yielding treasury bills with a 3-6 month expiry. I currently have about ~$60k invested in a 3-mo T-Bill that will expire in March 2024. As they expired in mid March, I bought another 3 month T-bill expiring in mid June yielding a similar 5.4-5.5%. I suspect by the time June comes around, these yields will start going down since that is when the FED is expected to start cutting rates.

This is guaranteed money with zero risk which I decided to take advantage of while waiting for better entry points. However, it seems like this money probably would have been better used just buying the market but this is opportunity cost I’m willing to sacrifice.

I also purchased I-Bonds in 2022 at the height of inflation peak when I-Bonds were paying 9.5%. The rates have come down significantly since then as inflation itself has come down. The optimal time for me to sell these bonds were on Dec 1, 2023 as that would have been the last month I was eligible for the higher rate of 6.4% (still higher than what treasuries paid). As you must forfeit three months of interest upon withdrawal before 5 years, in total my blended rate of return was around 8% for 15 months which is definitely something I can live with.


Again, my primary holdings are in a few ETFs. My primary holdings are in VTI, VGT, and VCR. I’ve always been a big proponent of big tech and have been heavily invested in the Nasdaq for over a decade. This has paid off very well for me given the massive bull market of the 2010s and is essentially what allowed me to FIRE so quickly.

I used to hold more dividend generating stocks as I was really into this type of investing at a period of time. I currently do not have many dividend specific ETFs as I prefer growth more than income. This kind of goes against the ethos of financial independence but I have enough money coming in from other sources that I don’t need to focus so much on income.

I added to my ETF positions in March 2024 but not so much as I typically do not like buying more stocks at all time highs. Often times this is not good market advice as the prevailing sentiment has always been “time in the markets trumps timing the markets”. Nevertheless, I like to think I know a thing or two more.

Single name stocks

Some of the single name stocks I own are the following

  • Tesla
  • BRK.B
  • Netflix
  • RITM
  • ASML
  • ANET

These single name stocks make up less than 10% of my total portfolio. I tend to not buy much single name stocks anymore as there’s no point to take on unnecessary risks when I’m already so diversified with my ETFs.

Real Estate

I currently own no real estate. I used to own property in the US but have sold it in 2022 before rates started rising. I am not a big fan of real estate. While it definitely can be a good investment, I don’t think it beats investing in the markets. In addition, real estate is highly illiquid with high transaction costs that few people consider.

Finally, as someone that travels around the world and does not like to be tied down to one location, real estate doesn’t make sense as managing it from afar creates a bunch of headaches. I much prefer to have my money liquid and in the stock market.

Market Commentary – March 2024

March 2024 was another month for the ages. The bull trend that started in November 2023 has not shown any signs of stopping. It’s literally been a straight shot up to new all time highs and beyond on the back of solid earnings growth and expectations of the FED cutting.

As you can see from the chart below, the Nasdaq has been in this perfect upward channel since the Oct 2023 lows with even the slightest dip being met with buyers.

In March, markets rallied to all time highs once again with Nasdaq up nearly 15% YTD at its March peak. March also saw a lot of juicy news releases that showed inflation being stubborn staying above the FED level but markets didn’t seem to care. It seems like there’s nothing that can affect the market which is further supported by a VIX that hovered in the 13-15 range this entire year.

While I do suspect small pullbacks to occur, it sure seems like the markets are doing everything to buck the trend of the “healthy pullback”. Generally during election years, volatility is typically higher than normal but this hasn’t materialized yet. I suspect the low VIX is just a ticking time bomb for action to follow. What drives that action is still TBD as it seems like the market can do no wrong.

Market Value of Portfolio

Here is a history of my portfolio value. As you can see, it’s moved in line with the markets as should be the case since most of my holdings are in ETFs that track the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq.

TickerQuantityMarket Value
Total Stocks$1,803,109

In total, my portfolio is sitting somewhere around $1.86m which also includes cash and fixed income positions. This probably be over $1.9m if it weren’t for my covered call MTM losses.

Trades executed for the month of March 2024

March was a very quiet month for my trading regime. I sold covered calls on my holdings of VGT, VCR, and VTI in December which was already rolling the strike of a previous call I had sold since the epic stock market rally meant all my all calls were in the money. March is when these covered calls expired and as they were still very much in the money, I had to roll them again.

My previous VGT calls had a strike of $480 which I rolled to $510 with a maturity in August 2024. This is still in the money since VGT is currently sitting around $525-530. However, I don’t foresee the market rally continuing its same blistering pace and I hope that I can just roll this contract one more time and finally be out of the money. This was a painful lesson in my covered call selling as I will have lost out on any premiums for almost 1 year.

The theta on my new covered call contract is long dated but that’s what happens when your existing contracts are more than 10% in the money. You need to roll out your options later and later.

During the month of March, I also purchased a few AI related plays which I still think have a bit more room to run. I missed out on the majority of the AI run by not buying NVDA or AMD outright. Thankfully, VGT has a 5% stake in NVDA which has now become 10% driven by its insane rally.

Summary of stock and ETF purchases


Portfolio withdrawals and expenses

Withdrawals from my portfolio is an important part of the financial independence ethos. The 4% withdrawal rate rule is one of the main concepts of the FIRE movement which I try to adhere to. Generally, I prefer to sell from my portfolio when markets are near or at all time highs to capture, and only when I actually need the cash.

Cape Town Vespas signal hill

For the month of March 2023, I traveled through Sri Lanka which was great to finally check off country #93. I really liked Sri Lanka for its beautiful natural landscapes and beautiful beach vibes especially along the southern coast.

I made no withdrawals from the portfolio as I had enough cash coming in from my blog as well as leftover cash from other sources. My blog generates money every month to the tune of $3-4k and I cover exactly how I earn money from blogging in other posts.

Dividend Income

For March, I collected a total of $3.2k in dividends. I typically reinvest my dividends which has served me well during the market downturn of the last year or two. I think I will probably stop reinvesting dividends in the near term as I like to keep a cash pile while stocks are at all time highs to reinvest when markets eventually dip.

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