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118R | What Is Socially Responsible Investing

Jonathan and Brad discuss talent stacking, becoming a renaissance man, and financial infidelity.

Talent Stacking

Whether you know this or not, our very own Jonathan is an ultimate talent stacker.

Although he has always been a talent stacker at heart, he has not had the time to develop such a wide skill set until recently. Remember, just two years ago, Jonathan was a pharmacist with hours that did not really leave too much time for learning new skills. Now he has more time to dedicate to learning new skills. Most recently he has picked up the piano but fully expects to continue taking the time to learn new things throughout his life.

When creating ChooseFI, Jonathan had to learn an array of new skills related to podcast creation. It took approximately six months of constant learning to build the knowledge he needed to continue creating this successful podcast. By teaching himself along the way, Jonathan has built an entirely new skill set into his talent stack that he can take with him anywhere life takes him.

Knowledge is power because no one can take that away from you.

If you are interested in building your own talent stack, then realize that it is 100% possible. You have the ability to learn anything new, but not everything under the sun all at once. Start with finding something you are passionate about and then start to dig in.

First, you need to visualize what your final project will look like. Then, start asking questions.

For anyone looking to pick up skills, be a curious person and ask tons of questions.

Depending on your question, you may need to break your questions down into smaller components. More complex problems will require more complex learning.

Related: Talent Stacking To Fast-Track FI

Either way, a good place to start is Google. Simply search for your question. Usually, this will lead you to YouTube. Although YouTube is a good place to start for a straightforward question, more complex problems will be easier to work through on another platform like Udemy or Skillshare. Both of these platforms provide a more classroom approach that builds the lessons onto each other. It is more difficult to stay on topic with YouTube’s recommended videos.

You don’t know what you don’t know.

Once you explore your learning options on these platforms, also consider joining specific groups that are dedicated to your problem.

There are specific Facebook groups for people learning a variety of talent stacks. If you are a podcast beginner, then join a podcasting group. If you are a wedding photographer, then join a group exclusively for wedding photographers. Use these groups as a resource to shorten the learning curve. By learning from the mistakes of others, you can speed your way towards a polished product. You do not always have to learn from your own mistakes, sometimes it is easier to learn from the mistakes of others.

If you have any interest in building your talent stack, then find a skill and start learning.

Financial Infidelity

This week’s episode with Talaat Mcneely from His and Her Money was a powerful story about financial infidelity. Although their story started out with a bumpy start, the couple was able to overcome the break of trust and build a happy life together.

Within a year of their marriage, they were able to pay down thousands of dollars of consumer debt. After hitting that first goal, the couple set another amazing goal to pay off their mortgage in just five years. Through hard work and determination, they were able to hit that goal and celebrate a special moment with their family.

Within the FI community, there is some debate over the idea of paying down your mortgage quickly versus investing that money instead. An argument can be made for both sides. If you are grappling with the question of whether or not to pay off your mortgage on your way to FI, then don’t worry because you aren’t alone. The debate over this question is strong in our community.

In the end, you need to make the final decision for yourself. Take the time to educate yourself on the pros and cons and go with your personal feelings in the end.

If you want to hear the full episode, then check it out here.

Related: Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage Or Invest

Two Income Trap

If you look back in time, then you will notice most lives were built around one income. Over time, the American lifestyle has inflated to include bigger homes, two cars, and a price to match. In order to keep pace with the middle-income lifestyle, many families feel obligated to spend two incomes to keep up. However, that requires two people to remain employed which is inherently more risky than a lifestyle based on one income.

At the very least, building your lifestyle around one income will provide a safety net for difficult times. If you are currently living on two incomes, then consider reevaluating your lifestyle. Although a switch can be difficult, it is a good idea to shift your expenses towards a one income lifestyle.

The Two-Income Trap is a good read if you are interested in learning more.

Related: You Can Pursue FI–Even On One Income

Feedback from the FI Community

Remember, if you want your question featured then use #mailbox in your posts.

Question from Charles:

Charles wanted to know more about investing in mutual funds that avoid sin stocks like alcohol and tobacco companies.

Hello Charles!

Brian Feroldi from Episode 75 called in to answer this question about socially responsible investing or SRI.

For those listeners that are new to the concept, SRI means that you are making investment choices based on your own moral and ethical beliefs.

Another term that goes hand-in-hand with SRI investing is ESG investing. ESG stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance investing. ESG investors look at a company’s business practices in detail and rate them based on factors like their carbon emissions, how they treat employees and suppliers, whether they make political contributions, and their executive compensation, things like that.

The good news is that SRI investors have tons of choices these days. There’s been a huge interest, an explosion interest, in SRI and ESG investing over the last couple of years. There are literally hundreds of index funds for these investors to choose from.

I think these options will continue to grow because millennials seem to have a huge interest in SRI investing. Before you invest, remember that everyone has different definitions of sin stocks and the line can get really blurry. You need to decide what you are comfortable with and make your own decision.

Question from James:

James posted in the Facebook group about seeking remote work opportunities. The recent episodes have him fired up to look for his next remote opportunity. However, he doesn’t know where to start with making an impressive resume.

Hello James!

Voicemail from Gwen at Fiery Millennials and host on the FIRE Drill podcast called in to answer.

You might remember Gwen from Episode 39.

Gwen recently moved to the Washington D.C. area and decided that she needed help crafting a resume. Through a friend of a friend she had met at Camp FI, she found Jules H who was able to help tell a better story through her resume. Between the resume help and Linkedin advice, her job hunt ended within a few weeks. Just a few weeks after starting this job, she is now being headhunted for an amazing opportunity at a big tech company.

The point is that yes, you can do it yourself and you’ll probably be fine. However, if you hire someone great then you will likely walk away with better opportunities for your future.

Hiring someone may seem expensive up front but it could help you earn much more at your next job. It really is a bet on yourself that might pay off in the long run. Consider reaching out to Jules for help with your next job search.

Frugal Win of the Week with Jimmy

Last week, Jimmy and his wife came home to a broke fridge at 2 A.M. After deciding to deal with it in the morning, it seemed like they would have to replace it. However, when Jimmy got home from work, his wife had already fixed it! Through her amazing DIYs, they have saved so much money.

You can join the ChooseFI DIY group here.

Related: Beginner DIY: Some Tools To Get You Started

Wrap up

We have a big update for local groups:

When you head to our ChooseFI local page, you will now automatically see the five closest groups to you. If you do not have one nearby, then consider organizing one in your area. Just email feedback at to get started.

You can also join cohort groups through this page. We have groups for business owners, DIY, educators, families, and many more!

Related Episodes

New to FI? Be sure to check out Episode 100: Welcome To The FI Community!

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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