It seems like every day that passes, there’s a new variant of the acronym: fatFIRE, leanFIRE, seaFIRE… even baristaFIRE! Today, I am going to dissect each of the different variants of FIRE, starting with FIRE itself!
It’s easy to get discouraged by investing. With interest rates hovering at 3-5%, even modest retirement budgets require well over a million dollars in investments to work properly (e.g., $1,000,000 x 3% = $30,000). Many people get discouraged because they don’t have much saved now, but the truth is that the most important thing in any retirement plan is making repetitive, reliable recurring investments.
Time is the most precious commodity we have, but people waste it all the time because they don’t know its value. Use this interactive calculator to get a better idea of what your time is REALLY worth to you.
Although my eventual goal is #FI, I derive the largest part of my income from good old fashioned American work. Actually, it's new fashioned American techwork, complete with standing desks and kegerators. I've got it pretty good but I'll have to move on and choose between job offers someday.
With the current expansion nearing its tenth year, it's actually possible that someone could have already worked a third of their professional career knowing nothing but expansion. I figured it might be interesting to describe the experience of a recession for all of those that have never known one, and provide some tips to soften the blows.
At some point, I’d really like to stop working. I enjoy my job, but I am guessing if I had the opportunity to simply “manage my own affairs”, I’d jump at it. I guess I’d like the ability to choose not to work. It’s a nice dream. But, without a job I will definitely need to increase both the number and the volume of my passive income streams.
I’ve repeatedly seen two narratives told over and over again. First of all, debt is bad. Second, although debt is bad, having a mortgage is alright because it acts like a forced savings plan, slowly enabling borrowers to build wealth. But can't the “forced savings plan” idea can be extended beyond simply mortgage debt, if executed intelligently with low interest, short term debt?
Big gains get all of the glory. Lottery winners. Moonshot bets on bitcoin. One-in-a-million penny stock wins. Unfortunately, obsessing over big bets and big gains takes all of the joy out of the incremental gains that actually build wealth on a predictable basis. This post is all about the little gains I never celebrated, and my plans to improve them even more in the future. These tiny incremental improvements collectively add up to big, big wins.
Life is expensive, and that can make it really hard to save. With rent, cell phones, cars, healthcare, food, childcare, vacations and thousands of other little costs, it’s not unusual for someone to have 80-90% of their income disappear into the ether. Lately, I’ve been thinking about ways I can try to turn at least some of those recurring payments into recurring investments, or at least mitigate them so I don’t lose so much of my income to recurring expenses each month.
Forgive the alliteration. There's been an awful lot of hyperbole written about the markets over the past week. I thought it might be nice to take a deep breath and look at some raw figures that might help to put things into context. I don't have any real point here... take from it what you will.
Without an investment adviser, I've had to go and create my own portfolio. It's a little scary, for sure, but here's the thing: all it takes is effort. With enough research, patience, self-control and fortitude... I feel I can be just as successful as if I worked with an adviser. What's more, after seeing "how the sausage is made" working at a large wealth management firm, I would say the benefits outweigh the risks.
Because investing is so vital and so confusing, most people decide to hire an investment advisor instead of doing the work themselves. I firmly believe that most people will be better off avoiding the fees and cookie cutter advice.
If you work in technology you know that there's a deep seated rivalry between San Francisco and Seattle. Which has the most startups? Which has the most successful technology companies? Which is the best city for innovation? Which is the most pleasant city to live in? Here it is: the final showdown in Seattle vs San Francisco.
I've been learning a lot about my own financial "standpoint" as I've been writing over the past couple months, and it's been an interesting process. One of the things that I have been thinking about over and over is the amount of money that I'm saving in comparison to my total earnings. How much is enough for me to retire in my early 50's?
The best part about personal financial is that everyone has a personal take on it. As I've been writing over the past three months, I've also been reading a considerable amount of material from other personal finance blogs. One of the things that's interested me the most is the #FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) movement. Since this is my personal, personal finance blog, I'll come right out and say that I'm not #FIRE-ing. Here's why:
One of the main reasons real estate is so attractive as an asset class is its privileged tax treatment. Understanding the full implications of real estate taxes for both primary residences and income properties is a vital part of being a real estate investor.
Portfolio Visualizer is a comprehensive suite of investment analysis tools that you used to have to pay thousands of dollars for, but thanks to the interwebs, is now free. Here’s what you can do with it.
Go work for a startup! If you work in technology, chances are you've heard this advice, or you've thought about it on your own, or you're already working for a startup. In any case, I've noticed that there are tons of questions on Quora and Reddit and various other sites with people wondering how to find the "right" startup to join, which usually seems to actually mean "how do I choose a company that's going to make me rich." That's a little narrow-minded maybe, but it's reasonable to wonder how to find a company worth joining.
As I said in my welcome post, I’m going to try to skip the basic stuff in this blog. There’s no way I am going to be able to cover “setting up an emergency fund” any better than Dave Ramsey, or all of the hacks that emulate him. But… this first topic is something that would genuinely be useful for anyone. It’s certainly essential if you plan on saving and investing in any serious amount.
Lets face it: there are thousands of articles on reducing credit card debt, creating emergency funds, and socking away money into a 401k. Those are all intelligent and valuable things to do, but they have already been covered in such depth there’s frankly no point in going over it. My goal for this blog is to provide more detailed, practical, and advanced, financial guidance than is typically available on the internet.