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FI Weekly – March 2, 2021

Quote I’m Pondering

Comparison is the thief of joy” – President Theodore Roosevelt 

It’s so easy to get caught up in comparing yourself to others around you in almost every aspect of life, regardless of how successful or well off you are. In this regard, humans compare on a relative basis, not an absolute one. Those around us matter the most in this comparison. 

One of the best aspects of joining the FI Community is that we’ve stepped off that “keeping up with the Joneses” hamster wheel and aren’t as concerned about what others think. Subtracting this ‘thief of joy’ is an often-overlooked benefit of FI that I wanted to point out. 

Aggregation of Marginal Gains

We talk quite often at ChooseFI about the power of making small 1% changes that compound to something great. This is the concept of the “aggregation of marginal gains” we were introduced to from the British Cycling team where each individual change can seem almost meaningless, but when aggregated together can be life changing (or Tour de France winning in their case). 

I cam across an article on CNBC that explained the concept brilliantly and this one section stuck out to me: 

Brailsford believed that if you make a 1% improvement in a host of tiny areas, the cumulative benefits would be extraordinary. The theory of marginal gains…has been credited for vaulting the British cycling team from a mediocre performer to 16 gold medals over two Olympics and seven Tour de France wins in eight years. 

The examples of microexcellence used by the British cycling team are legendary in the sports world. 

Brailsford had the floors of the team truck painted pristine white to spot dust on the floor because even the slightest amount of dust could potentially impair bike maintenance. 

This act alone wasn’t enough to win a race or make any more than a borderline gain, but when added to a host of other small improvements, it made all the difference.” 

Read the article

Reminder: Live Event Tonight

A quick reminder that Jonathan and I are recording live podcasts the next 9 weeks on Tuesdays at 7:30pm EST. You can send in voicemail questions & messages during the event that we can play live. Join us tonight by clicking this link on your mobile device: 

Join the live event!

ChooseFI Community Taking Action This Week

  • Kara said, “Way more than one percent better: All my credit cards are paid off as of last month, and today I signed the final disclosure statement on our refi taking our 30-year @ 4.125% mortgage to a 15-year @ 2.00% interest rate, and because our appraisal was higher after putting on a new roof this past summer, PMI dropped off and our payment actually went down by about $35/month. Winning!” 
  • Ron said, “Great win for me this week. I’ve landed an exciting job after being out of work for a while. The job market has been pretty tough due to the pandemic but the FI principles of building a substantial base of investments and keeping structural expenses low held me in good stead. Consequently, it’s been fairly stress free and I feel refreshed and raring to go with the new role.” 
  • Kate said, “Last week we refinanced 2 of our 3 properties and cut the interest rate in half. We also opened up a custodial account for our daughter, after reading it in the ChooseFI Community Taking Action section!” 
  • Eric said, “Here’s what we did this past week, to make our lives 1% better: We downsized. We moved from a 2410 sq/ft home that we owned free and clear, to an 864 sq/ft apartment. This might sound counter intuitive; to take on a new rent payment, but this is a huge step in our plan. We’re taking the equity out of our home and repurposing it as per our plan. Decreasing our taxes in two ways: 1) Moving out of the city eliminates a “City earnings tax” 2) Eliminating our Property tax and home owner’s insurance.” 
  • Audrey said, “My 1% win of the week: I started a new job 6 months ago but have continued looking and putting in applications and I was offered over $10,000 more at another company. I brought this number to my current company and explained my stress of getting my Masters and working over 40 hours a week. Not only was I able to drop down to a more manageable position but I also got a raise- enough to keep me at my current company! Your advice and weekly win emails help motivate me. Thank you!!” 
  • Moe said, “Thank you for all you do to provide easy to understand financial education and information to the masses. My Financial Win of the week was passing along the ChooseFI path to my 3 children so that they can start off in much better shape than I did. I got my 2 daughters the J.L Collins book, A Simple Path to Wealth for Christmas and got my son, The Millionaire Next Door . Last week, my oldest daughter (23) opened a Vanguard account and started investing, my son (21) has already started funding the ROTH IRA we opened as a Christmas present and my youngest daughter (17) said the book was her favorite Christmas present. “This is something everyone should be learning about mom!” She is so passionate about what she is learning that she’s reached out to a few of the teachers at her school in an attempt to bring this information into her high school in some way. I am proud of all 3 of them and grateful for all that you’ve taught me through your podcast and website. ChooseFI has become a regular part of our vocabulary here. Thank you!” 

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Lessons From a Young Entrepreneur | Ep 422

At least once in most of our FI journeys, we have pondered what our life would look like if we started earlier. Maybe you have even wondered what value could’ve been gained if you had started in your teenage years. Well, for some context into the possibilities decision that could provide, we decided to have 17 year old listener Devin on the podcast to discuss what life can look like when you go against the cultural norm of going to college, and instead opting for an entrepreneurial and FI friendly lifestyle. Oftentimes we mention that there are rewards that come with stepping out of your comfort zone, and the same can be said for going against the societal norm and carving out your own path! For our younger audience who may be interested in getting started with their FI journey, let this episode be a useful resource and reassurance that this journey can begin no matter your age!

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