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Explore the archives

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 a first-time contributor. Our family has made countless 1% better moves over the past 4 years since I first began listening, including: We are in our mid-40s and are now on track to be work-optional by 2030, right when our kids are finishing up college (if they decide to go that route!). Thanks to the entire ChooseFI team for

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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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FI Weekly – July 13, 2021

The Essence of FI I was listening to the All The Hacks podcast episode with Morgan Housel and the following quote from jumped out to me as the essence of the financial aspect of FI: “I’ll leave you with one financial hack that might disappoint you, but it’s the only hack that works and it works incredibly well in finance. You want to do well with finance? Spend less money than you make and be patient. That’s 90% of what finance is, and if you can actually do those, you have a black belt in finance.  It’s the only hack that I think really

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FI Weekly – July 6, 2021

Books I’m Enjoying (Plus a Quote) I’m currently reading two of the best books I’ve read in my entire life (shout out to the FI Weekly community for recommending them!); reading these will definitively make your life better, so first check if your local library has them, but if not, the Amazon links are: The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel Richer, Wiser, Happier: How the World’s Greatest Investors Win in Markets and Life by William Green In the “Beyond Rich” chapter of Green’s book, this paragraph jumped out to me, as it touches on so many things we talk

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