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Have Camera, Will Travel (hello from CA)
Old 06-15-2010, 10:02 AM   #1
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Have Camera, Will Travel (hello from CA)

Hello everyone. I've been reading this forum as a lurker for a while and thought I should introduce myself. In a nutshell, I am 37, married, no kids but have a dog. I did my engineering degree in canada, came to the US for grad school, met my wife, got a job (under NAFTA visa), and liked California so much I stayed here.

Like everyone else, I would like to retire or be financially independent asap. Started amassing a reasonable sized portfolio and it's been amazing to see some months where the change in my investments was multiple times my salary. I follow the boglehead philosophy of investing (and often read the diehards forum). Invested in low cost index funds, ETFs, and (where there is no other option) mutual funds. Well diversified along US/Int and size/value. Probably a little light on bonds (portfolio is 80% stock, 10% bonds, 10% cash roughly). Portfolio has fully recovered from March 09 lows and except for the recent dip, has been at all time highs (dumped a lot of cash into equities over 2009). Besides mortgage, we have no debt (I recieved tuition waiver and stipend in grad school, wife's education debt was small and paid off long ago).

Recently got laid off which I think was the best thing to happen to me since I was considering leaving my job on my own (experiencing some burnout). With being laid off I received severance and eligiblity for UI insurance. Luckily it turns out I won't need UI as I've already gotten another job and I've arranged to start work in a few months so I have time to recharge.

As I mentioned the goal is to be FI asap. Probably doable in 5 years with the major obstacles being healthcare and housing. Healthcare might be helped by PPACA (or we can move back to canada), mortgage is currently at $3K/month which is very reasonable while I am working but we may be able to move to an area with a lower cost of living.

Interests are in photography and travel. This can get expensive although it is not bad as some interests/hobbies can go. Starting to sell some of my work which offsets much of the equipment costs.


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Old 06-15-2010, 11:06 AM   #2
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Welcome photoguy. You will find lots of company here. you think digital cameras are just a fad like CB radio or should I sell my Instamatic?

Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:30 AM   #3
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Welcome to the boards--there are several posters who hail from Canada and also from California, so you will feel right at home!
Go Cubs
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Old 06-15-2010, 08:07 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by travelover View Post you think digital cameras are just a fad like CB radio or should I sell my Instamatic?
Thanks all for the welcome.

Digital cameras are definitely here to stay but just like painting never went away, neither will film.
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Old 06-15-2010, 08:50 PM   #5
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i find my film photography habit is not that expensive. i have a bronica etrsi (645) system and a mamiya c220 (TLR). i also have a beseler 23c xl which gets put away when guests come and seems to take longer and longer to put back up. we have a small photography business as well - all digital canon. what's your poison?

look forward to your posts.
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Old 06-15-2010, 08:56 PM   #6
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Travel and photos! I like you already!! Welcome!
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Old 06-16-2010, 08:55 AM   #7
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I started shooting film and that wasn't so expensive initially, but when you start getting to hundreds of rolls it begins to add up. (I also can't imagine the environmental impact of all those processing chemicals).

Now I'm shooting digitally with a canon setup (5dII, f/4L lenses for travel). No incremental costs for shooting but a higher initial purchase cost (and you need more expensive computers to work with the digital files). This past weekend I took a workshop using a Hasselblad H4D which is a beast of a camera and also costs more than my car (price is well over 20K). While it would be nice, I'm going to LBYM and avoid it in the future. (However pentax released a MF digital camera...). Also have a giant printer which goes 24" inch wide.

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