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Explore the archives

FI Weekly – October 5, 2021

Salary Negotiation Wins I’m continually blown away by how much the concept of salary negotiation has resonated with the ChooseFI Community.  I’d recommend you go back and listen to these two actionable episodes on salary negotiation that contain specific scripts of what you should say to create a win-win for you and your employer: Episode 211: How to Negotiate Your Salary Without Burning Bridges with Financial Mechanic Episode 147: Negotiate Your Salary With Tori Dunlap Here are the two wins from the community I wanted to highlight this week:    Sandy: “This week my 1% better is an 18% raise!! I listened (and re-listened!)

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FI Weekly – September 28, 2021

Favorite Board Games Last month in the newsletter, I wrote out my case for the significant benefits of board games to make you a better decision-maker & negotiator, plus how they help you focus on both long-term and probabilistic thinking.  In short, I think board games are one of the best tools to upgrade your mental skillset for life. I promised I’d list some of our favorite games other than just Catan and Ticket to Ride – the old favorites that I always mention. This is also your chance to use one of my other favorite life hacks: CamelCamelCamel.com (CCC).  Create an account at their

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FI Weekly – September 21, 2021

4 Years of Consistent Action Jen wrote in last week with an email detailing consistent action taken over the last 4+ years of listening to ChooseFI and I wanted to copy it here verbatim: “Long time listener from episode 1, but first-time contributor. Our family has made countless 1% better moves over the past 4 years since I first began listening, including: A full review of recurring expenses with changes leading to $7k/year of completely passive savings with no impact on service levels received. Resignation from an 11-year job at an accounting firm 2 years ago to go start my

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FI Weekly – September 14, 2021

Speculation or Investment? My good friend Chris Hutchins had Andy Rachleff, the co-founder of Wealthfront, on his podcast All the Hacks recently and it was a truly phenomenal episode.  You’ll likely see some more quotes from this episode in coming editions of the FI Weekly, but I wanted to start with Andy’s succinct distinction between a speculation and an investment: “The difference between a speculation and an investment is that an investment has a cash flow. You can evaluate its merits based on your expectation for those cash flows. Something that doesn’t have a cash flow is purely a gamble. Why should

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FI Weekly – September 7, 2021

Is Your Home Your ‘Biggest Investment?’ I purposely stirred up a hornet’s nest yesterday on Twitter (I’m posting there daily and if you like this newsletter, I think you’ll like my quick-hit takes on Twitter) with the following tweet: “My home is my biggest investment,” said no wealthy person ever. If the home you live in is your biggest investment, you’re doing investing wrong.” Many responses got caught up in anecdotes of “but wait, my house went up this much!” and while true, that completely misses the point.  As JL Collins wrote in this essential piece, your house is a terrible investment.

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FI Weekly – August 31, 2021

Worthwhile Splurges We’re finishing up our vacation and I’ve been thinking a lot about worthwhile splurges.  We so often focus on cutting costs in the FI Community, but I want you to consider what might be worth a premium to make an experience (or your life) better. Our example: Precise location on vacation is worth its weight in gold.  While this isn’t necessary in 100% of cases, we had two examples this month where we paid a roughly 10% premium for a perfect location and our vacation was quite possibly 3x as good for that small premium. 1) Airbnb in a lake community in

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FI Weekly – August 24, 2021

Benefits of Board Games It’s no secret that my family loves to play board games.  We talk about board games frequently on the podcast, but thought I’d bring it to the FI Weekly in a little more depth. Simply put, board games have made us a better family. They’ve led to hundreds of hours of family time that is invaluable in bringing us closer together. They help promote rules in our family such as “Barretts never cheat.”  We all know this is the one sacrosanct rule that would be cause for near expulsion from the family.  Growing up, for some reason my dad

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FI Weekly – August 17, 2021

Saving Time on Vacation We’re on vacation right now and one of the biggest frustrations is how much focus goes into what we’re going to do each day for meals.  The time and energy that goes into finding restaurants, or going to a grocery store, shopping, cooking, etc. is ridiculous. The entire vacation ends up revolving around the simple act of eating. My wife Laura had a brilliant plan this vacation and she fried up 4 lbs. of chicken cutlets at home before we left and packed them in a cooler for our road trip (along with the sandwiches she

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FI Weekly – August 10, 2021

The Power of Incentives Incentives are one of the most important factors driving human behavior and Charlie Munger speaks eloquently on what he calls the “superpower of incentives” in these short quotes: “Show me the incentive, and I’ll show you the outcome.” “Never, ever, think about something else when you should be thinking about the power of incentives.” If you have some free time and want to read Munger’s brilliant speech on psychological tendencies including a significant section on incentives, I suggest reading the transcript of The Psychology of Human Misjudgment.” This will make you smarter.  Full stop, no question about it.

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FI Weekly – August 3, 2021

What I’m Beyond Excited About A few months ago, I wrote about a deep dive I was taking into the new world of NFTs. It came with a promise that I’d keep you updated because I think this technology will change the way we live nearly on the level of going from no internet to internet. This is a 0 to 1 change that will transform everything.  It isn’t about “owning” some kitschy internet jpeg file like many of the media stories would have you believe, it’s about scarcity, ownership and insider access communities across nearly every aspect of life both online and

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FI Weekly – July 27, 2021

Taking Action Sometimes I get an email that is just so amazing it has to be included verbatim in the FI Weekly. Tyler wrote in with the progress they’ve made in the 53 weeks since finding ChooseFI: “This week we made an offer on our first rental property and the offer was accepted! 53 weeks ago, I found the Choose FI podcast. In those 53 weeks my wife, kids (8 and 6) and I have made some big changes. Like you said, nothing to do with pinching pennies but just being wiser with our time and money. In the last 53

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FI Weekly – July 20, 2021

The Essence of FI Part 2 Last week I included a section called the ‘Essence of FI’ and after some reflection, I wanted to add a Part 2: Part of the Essence of FI is how much you love your future self, and how much you value that future self.  It’s easy to merely live in the moment and maximize enjoyment now, with no care for the future you. Enjoying life is essential, but if you reframe delayed gratification as an act of self-love instead of deprivation, I think this slight mental pivot will greatly enrich your day-to-day life.  In

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