2018: Year in Review

Every year, I do a year in review, with highlights and lowlights and a summary so this is my year in review for 2018.

Highlights

-spent more time with my best SF friend Tony this year, went on  Lake Tahoe trip
-Sold my SF apartment for a profit. Bought for $515k, sold for $835k ($748k after fees) for a 45% profit in 5 years.
-Took 3 months break to travel Korea and Asia for a much needed rest
-I broke up a toxic relationship I had with a friend who was never really a friend. see here

Lowlights

2018 lost money:
-$60 phone broke after shipped to customer
-$80 stocking fee for watch
-$80 extra for sony blu ray player
-$75 DVD/VHS player doesn’t work from ebay
-$40 for free watches that I never used
-$80 for Lyx Pro that I threw out
-$300 for defective Klipsch earphones
-$70 for coolermaster keyboard that I gave away to ebay customer
-$40 extra shipping for OQO model 2
-$150 for ebay fees that I shouldn’t have paid
-$2300 for screwing up a chanel bag usps delivery. Chose first class instead of priority – tracking number doesn’t go into Canada – package got lost – forced to refund.
-$1100 for lost Sony A600 camera + lens
-$100 for broken Hendrix statue
-$80 for extra airplane baggage fee
-$800 due to missing kickstarter items

36 wire transfers x 30 = $1300
First Republic service fee x 4 years = $1200
Crypto Insiders payment = $700
origination fee + loan interest + CC fees = approx $7500
Credit card interest = $1000
Parking space = $1400
repairs + fixes = $1250
Renovation = $8000

QuadrigaCX becoming bankrupt took away $405k of my money – almost all my savings.

-$16k of my money was lost (above) due to financial issues
-$10.6k in renovations and repairs were needed to sell my apartment
-$15k of fake ‘masternode’ ponzi coins and $8.5k worth of fake ICOs were scammed from me
-Lost a third of my net worth this year due to the crypto crash including the majority of the 3 loans I had taken out to dump into crypto (stupid I know).
-the rest of the my net worth was wiped out due to QuadrigaCX becoming insolvent as a result of the CEO suddenly dying. Really bad luck, I know.
-Korean gf broke up with me partly as a result of my financial setbacks and thus being unable to visit to visit her in korea.
-suffered through bouts of anxiety and depression this year as a result of both those financial setbacks and the breakup.
-forced to sell my SF apartment to pay off the loans
-Most of my good friends left SF
-My main phone died in Korea AND my replacement phone was lost leading to no data plan or phone number as of end of 2018 right now

Summary

This was easily my worst year in recent memory. If 2017 was the year I doubled my net worth, this was the year when I felt I lost it all. Financially it was horrible. At the beginning of the year, I had over $80k in profit from crypto and had the opportunity to send it to my gf’s Korean crypto account to make an additional 40% in profit at that time. I didn’t do it. When one of the ICOs I invested in last year debuted in Feb, I could have sold it for $30k profit. I didn’t do it. I instead took out personal loans and dumped it into altcoins in late Jan. I lost almost everything. I was selfish, and greedy and FOMO got me too much. I could have had over $100k if I had taken all that profit. But instead, I went down $150k. That’s a swing of over $250k!

On top of that, I though the rest of my net worth was safe right ? I had apartment but I was forced to sell it to pay off the crypto loans. I hurriedly tried to transfer my money back to Canada because I wanted to buy an apartment in Vancouver and take advantage of the USD-CAD exchange rate. Unfortunately I chose the wrong exchange at the wrong time. I chose to use QuadrigaCX which was Canada’s oldest bitcoin exchange but unfortunately their CEO suddenly died on his honeymoon months after I transferred my money over (and still waiting for withdrawal) and he was the only one who had the keys to the bitcoin wallet they were using which resulted in the company becoming insolvent, therefore losing the rest of my money (over $405k gone). I am obviously going to try to get as much of it back as I can, but nothing is certain.

That was enough to make me depressed and give me anxiety attacks for the rest of the year. I was on anti-depressants for a few months. In addition, my company didn’t let me take any vacation at the beginning of the year because they lied to me about our work getting ‘busy’ when really we were not busy at all! Instead I was doing the same monotonous tasks and most of the time didn’t really have anything to do. I spent my days surfing Quora when I was at work. Due to the combination of the crypto crash taking out most of my savings + my company not letting me take vacation, my gf got really impatient about me, and we starting having lots of fights, finally resulting in us breaking up. I am still broken because of it. I really thought she was the right person. I thought I had found my Korean wife at last. It turns out, I still had a lot of searching to do. I’m no closer to finding another gf this year, and that dream of marrying a Korean girl still seems as out of reach and as impossible as ever.

Most of my good friends (except for Tony) had moved out of the SF Bay Area, either to LA or back to Japan/Korea/China/Canada. For most of the year I was stuck living in a place where I had no friends, no opportunities to meet friends, at a job that I wasn’t doing anything at, and every paycheck going to paying off those 3 stupid loans I had gotten at the beginning of the year, and my savings were all devastated from the crypto crash. There were times this year I wanted to kill myself it was so bad. It’s hard to imagine a year being worse than this, but at the very least I can say that I’m still alive, and my family and friends were still doing well, it seems. Now I’m waiting and praying for my money to hopefully transfer successfully back to Canada so that I can use it to buy a place in Vancouver next year as was originally my plan for this year but got pushed back.

The root cause of most of this year’s troubles really was that crypto crash that started on Jan 10, 2018. Before that, I was riding high. $100k in profits. A beautiful sweet loving Korean gf. A beautiful SF apartment. All of it destroyed in less than a year. God really had it in for me this year, but hopefully next year I can come back stronger and wiser than ever. I learned a lot of valuable lessons this year. At least they were better learned early than later, I suppose. I am now starting over fresh, except getting a US job is more difficult due to me having lots of TN visas on my record, and I’m 30 years old instead of 23…