Wow, did I bring you out of the bushes, or what?
You apparently didn't realize that I was talking about Flagpoles in general, and have little to no idea about your specific personal situation.
However, given that, I will respond, meantime the DJIA is down trivially.
1) It is entirely likely that apart from a few trivial details, that were in essence selected from an industry-standard catalog of such details, your exact strategy is essentially indistinguishable from the generally-recommended industry standard.
2) I knew this one would get you! Talk about a guy wanting to feel like he's in control, like he's DOING something! I want to be unequivocal that I was not being disparaging when I described being a diversified long-termer as passive. However, your GAINS result from nothing you have done, other than to speculatively hold an asset, the identity and manner of holding of which is prescribed by someone else. You do no work to improve the property, at all. Even if you end up with gain, you did nothing to produce it, you were just in a position to collect it--and it is not you who have put yourself in that position. True, you are in the market, but almost anybody who has ANY disposable income is in the market.
Just talking stocks alone, US participation peaked around 66% in 2008, and was around 52% in 2013--and I believe that number does not include those in the bond market. Almost everyone with any disposable income is in the market. Some have dropped out because they have fallen on hard times and have had to cash in their 401k's. So the fact that you are "in" shows no initiative whatsoever--it is not only the de facto default position for anybody with disposable income, but it is the position recommended, supported, and enabled by law and public policy. So, your being "in" does not show any initiative, nor are the gains attributable to either any initiative or work on the asset, on your part.
3) It was not I, but others I know, who described the market as a "lottery". I agree with you in part that it can be different, but that goes to my other point about information, along with control. But you're aiming at the wrong target here, we do not disagree, and agree that it depends on how one manages one's market activities.
4) I don't know you personally, you might be right--however, people tend to fool themselves into believing that they actually have varied options in life, apart from those narrowly-circumscribed ones that they fall into. Contemporary American society is quite homogenous in terms of the individual, and the fact that you seem to not appreciate this shows me that you don't have much international experience, or much appreciation of history. Again, I don't know you, you may be different--but the chances are overwhelming that you are in fact not different, that given a blank canvas, you will draw a picture that is immediately recognizable by others. That is just a fact, and derives from the fact of socialization. In a salutary way, it describes you as "well-adjusted". You see yourself as your own man, but I see you as the everyman, choosing which corner of your small box to inhabit. Again, I do not mean to be disparaging, I'm just stating facts that are generally true--in fact it is true of every human, including myself, only some of us have larger boxes than others. Again, I don't know to what extent your current situation actually derives from your own choosing, if your "investment strategy" is really one that you have chosen and decided upon from a wide range of practically realizable alternatives. I wouldn't, and don't, take your word for it, extremely few people I have met have any valuable perspective on their own situation. However, the fact that the strategy you employ is the absolutely conventional norm, is to me suggestive. And don't think that having had kids was totally your independent decision, either. It is also the conventional, expected norm.
5) So what are you sacrificing for the bigger house and the instruments? A better car? A bigger boat? A better vacation? That's not sacrifice. Sacrifice is giving up something valued, for the sake of other considerations. At best, it could be said that you have sacrificed some freedom--however, that freedom is hypothetical, and never really existed. You are only imagining that you have given it up, since it is something that you never had. OTOH if you waited until you were in the swing of life, and then actually gave up something of value to have kids, that would be different, and not speculative. As far as saying that you sacrificed the freedom of your youth, that's b.s.--youth is about irresponsibility, learning, exploration, etc., which get tiresome after a while, and one changes, naturally. You lose those things anyway, they are not "sacrificed" because you have kids--in fact, the opposite is often true, where people say that it is their kids who "keep them young". Just by the response you made, the way in which you framed the idea of sacrifice, I can see that you don't understand the basis of my suggestion, which once again tells me that you are utterly conventional in your thinking.
6) Not sure what you are responding to, seems like you misunderstood something.
7) Really? And you just happened, through ACTIVE choice, to choose the most utterly conventional, industry standard route? Let me tell you something--nobody with actual expertise acts in that way. There are ALWAYS advantages that can be had over the conventional industry standard, no matter what the area of endeavor, for those who have both put in the time and the work to both know the landscape and to have practical ability, and who have some creativity, the ability to deal with the blank canvas. The same holds for investing in the markets, UNLESS the system is complete bullcrap and essentially unknowable--in which case, one ignores the investing side and concentrates on the trading side. Not only did you happen to "choose" the utterly conventional, you have restricted yourself to the utterly conventional, recommended markets--equity/bond, and residential RE. No, in view of this fact, I have no faith that you have actual options, and that you actively chose from among them. I could be wrong, of course.
8) LOL. "Prepare for retirement." You don't even realize how you sound. You have been in so long, and are in so deep, that you have absolutely no perspective. The idea that you still believe in the concept of "retirement", whatever that means to you, speaks volumes. It's too late for you, Flagpole. You might get lucky and "enjoy" the "retirement" you were promised, but then again you might not. SS benefits can be altered, tax rates can be altered, Medicare can be altered, exemptions can be altered, insurance can be denied, EVERYTHING upon which your vision is dependent can be altered. And no, you are not in control of these things, you are entirely dependent upon the system that put the guarantees in place, and that maintains them, including the unprovable guarantee that "the markets will always go up over time". If you have, say, $7M in liquid cash and assets, properly held, you will likely be fine, even if it all goes to pot.
9) You do this by absolutely believing that the systems upon which it is dependent will endure, not by the mechanisms you suggested. Nowhere did I say that money cannot be made in equities, and nowhere did I suggest that you or anybody like you should do anything differently than you are currently doing. Quite the contrary--you, and people like you, form the system and define and embody the normative values upon which it rests, and impart a certain amount of stability thereto, which makes it easier for guys like me to do what we do, because the risk analysis turns in our favor.
10) Yes, I have. I do hope that your luck of timing holds as long as you need it to. Just make sure to keep your skills sharp, and your clients on the line, and to somehow stay in the game, just in case.
All in all, I'm rather amused when someone thinks he's his own man because the mass-produced car he owns is red, rather than silver or black.
DJIA now up trivially on the day.