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FI Weekly – June 8, 2021

Choose FI has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Choose FI and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. American Express is a ChooseFI advertiser. Disclosures.

One Year of the FI Weekly

Tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of the FI Weekly Newsletter! I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed writing this and reading your replies full of wins, questions, actions taken, etc. fills me with more joy than you can imagine.

I’m hopelessly behind on responding to all your emails, but please know that I do read each and every one of them!

A trip down memory lane from newsletter #1:

  • Book: The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek. Even for long-term FI thinkers this book is a game changer. I now think in terms an ‘infinite’ (200+ year) timeline. Simply put, a must-read.
  • Life Hack: Camel Camel Camel is the horribly named site that’s an invaluable tool for any shopper. Prices fluctuate up to 50% on every item (seriously), so set a price alert and get an email when it drops below your purchase threshold.

Investing Philosophy

When I polled the community on your Favorite Books of 2020, the most frequently mentioned was The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel. I listen to a lot of podcasts, and the recent episode of ‘We Study Billionaires’ with Morgan (Episode TIP351) was one of the best I’ve ever heard. Please take my word for it and listen to it, but in the meantime here’s one of my favorite sections:

“I know investors and fund managers who I have good degree of confidence will outperform the market this year, the next year, over the next five years. So, then the question is, “Why don’t I invest with those people?” If I’m honest, I think they will earn returns above the index. And the reason I don’t is because I think the more complicated I make my personal investments, the higher the odds that I’m not going to be able to sustain it over time. If I were to invest in one of these fund managers, maybe I’ll do very well over the next year or five years, but is that a manager that I can stick with for 50 years?

The more knobs I have to fiddle with, the higher the odds that I’m going to interrupt my investing process at some point. Versus, I think if my investment strategy is very simple, there’s no knobs to fiddle with, it’s just Vanguard Total Stock Market, and it’s just so brainless, that’s it, I think that gives me a higher chance of sticking with it for 50 years. And if I can stick with something for 50 years, compounding is going to go nuts. That’s all it is, all investing is just money and time and the time is the most important part of that equation. So, all I want to focus on is maximizing time. It’s not maximizing annual returns. It’s maximizing, ‘how can I stay here for 50 years?’ And I’m going to be able to do that with as much simplicity as I can.”

ChooseFI Community Taking Action This Week

  • Maggie said, “I work for a small organization and saw a salary my co-worker (who is at the same level as me) put on Glassdoor and it was WAY higher – like 30% higher – than mine. After stewing over it for a couple of weeks and planning on quitting/interviewing for other jobs, I talked to my boss and he took it to our CEO. Turned out that my coworker was making more than me, but not THAT much more. I haven’t had a raise since late 2018. I ended up getting a $10K raise and more flexibility to work remote…It gets even better! Yesterday, I got my electronic pay stub and was shocked – my management had decided to give me a smaller raise in late 2019 and never told me about it or processed it – so they are putting two years’ worth of raises into a bonus for me this coming paycheck. It is really nice to feel valued.”
  • Justin said, “My 1% better last week was switching my cell phone providers. I had always been on Verizon’s service since getting my first phone and already gotten my bill to ~$25 per month, but I kept seeing Mint Mobile’s $15/month option. I bit the bullet and switched (after their 7-day free trial) and can’t tell any difference in my service! I’ll enjoy saving ~$150 per year, every year going forward!”
  • Maddie said, “My 1% this week is that I’ve started consolidating my husbands and my financial accounts onto Personal Capital (Brad note: Free account at Personal Capital is a great way to track your finances). I love that I can see our net worth and our monthly spending in the same place! Another 1% is inaction: I’d like to buy a different car, but ran the numbers and realized my husband and I can’t pay for a new-to-us one in cash right now. So, I’m trying to live what I preach by saving up until there’s enough to buy one outright. It’s car payments to the bank of me, if you will :)”
  • Mike said, “Win of the Week – I updated my net worth tracking spreadsheet as we closed out the month of May! My wife and I are over the $400k net worth mark and we are really seeing our assets begin to work for themselves! We have some year-end goals we are on track to hit and very proud of my wife and I’s progress over the past several years. My wife’s side hustle photography business is starting to gain a lot of traction and she is booking weddings it’s seems left and right. As for me, I am very close to feeling comfortable to take my Salesforce Administrator certification exam. I am continually practicing and taking practice tests and hoping to take the final certification in June or July. Learning Salesforce has also enabled me to create a whole “org” to track my wife’s photography business. It has helped myself learn more about the ecosystem, and really helped track my wife’s clients. Thanks for recommending this path and I’m going to continue to pursue improving my “talent stack”!”
  • Romy said, “My 1% since I challenged myself to pursue FI a year ago has been seeing my total credit card debt now at $1,000 down from $15,000. I have opened my first brokerage account with Vanguard, and I have also spent the first half of this year organizing my retirement accounts and upping my contributions. I love how much I’ve learned in my journey so far, thank you for being a source of inspiration and information!”
  • Xiomara said, “My cousin turned me on to your podcast and I love it! I have started from the very beginning and have learned so much. I have done several things to make my 1% better, cancelled subscriptions I truly didn’t need, upped my 457 account contribution, and opened a Fidelity Investment account. I have also shared and informed some of my friends about your podcasts; many at first are skeptical, but I tell them it can’t hurt for you to listen, do your own research to help you make better decisions. One of you said something along the lines of, your money should be working for you and that really stuck with me, it is kinda my catch phrase. I can’t tell you how much your podcasts have inspired me and made me feel that despite my old age of 52, there is still hope for FI.”

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Choose FI has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Choose FI and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. American Express is a ChooseFI advertiser. Disclosures.
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