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Welcome to the Fishbowl: FI Experiments for 2017

We started as a financial independence laboratory.  While many aspects of your journey to FI are simple (save a significant percentage of your income, invest most of your money in low-cost index funds, max out your 401k, etc., etc.) there is still a lot of room for experimentation, especially on the making money side of the equation.

We know you might not have the time or resources to run all these experiments yourself, so we’re going to do them ourselves and blog about them every step of the way!

So ‘welcome to the fishbowl’ where you can watch the good, the bad and the ugly of all of these experiments!  Some might succeed beyond our wildest dreams and some might fail miserably, but you can be sure that we’ll document every step we take and post it here for all to see.

At the end of each experiment, we’ll all be wiser and have a blueprint for success in each of these areas.

Choose FI Experiments for 2017:

Experiment: Building a Blog

This is the most obvious experiment of all! Jonathan and I are launching in early 2017 and we’ll document everything we’re doing to build, grow and succeed with this new
site from the ground up.

Building a blog is the ultimate ‘side hustle’ and we know it appeals to a lot of people in the FI community.

The metric we’ll use to measure our success is page views per day.  By the end of 2017, we hope to have 5,000 pageviews per day.  This is a huge goal, as neither of my other successful websites ( and are even at that level, but we think it’s doable for Choose FI.

Experiment: Starting a Podcast

Similar to building a blog, this is a ‘side hustle’ with significant upside potential! Neither of us has any experience whatsoever with starting a podcast, but Jonathan just built a studio in his home (wow, did he go all out!!) and bought some training materials from and we’re getting down to work recording our first episodes so we can go live in early 2017.

I simply have no idea what to expect with the results of this podcast, but we hope to quickly get to the point where our episodes are being downloaded thousands of times per month.

It would also be nice to get 250 ‘five-star’ ratings on Itunes in 2017.

We plan to post at least 2 new episodes per week and will keep these episodes to under 30 minutes each, as that’s a nice bite-sized amount that you can consume in a day’s commute or while exercising.

Experiment: Peer-to-Peer Lending

Lending Cluband Prosper are interesting alternatives to traditional investing; with P2P lending you are actually loaning money (in increments as small as $25) to people who applied for loans through those websites.  Lending Club and Prosper are marketplaces that connect borrowers and investors looking to loan money for a significant return.

Our plan right now is to invest ~$2,000 on each site and document the process, how we selected the loans to invest in and to report back on our performance.

Experiment: 3 Hour Car Flip

Broken down blue carThis is one of the experiments I’m most excited about!  Jonathan follows the 3 Hour Car Flip site which they describe as “the simple way to buy and sell cards for profit” and he is going to document his very first ‘3 Hour Car Flip.’

He is going to buy a beat-up used car, repair it and ‘flip’ it for a profit in a matter of days.

Jonathan has no experience with this, so if he succeeds it should be 100% replicable by you!

Experiment: Real Estate Investing

Online real-estate listingThis particular experiment is still in the planning stages, but Jonathan and I are each interested in real estate investing and we want to thoroughly research the field and find out what our options are.

I’ve recently been following Paula Pant at Afford Anything, Chad Carson at and came across this gem of a podcast from Listen Money Matters on, so my mind is spinning with ‘single family rental’ options.

Our experiment might be taking the plunge and buying a single family home that we’ll rent out, or it might be as simple as investing in a fund through Fundrise or Roofstock.

Stay tuned!!

Experiment: Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)

Fulfillment by Amazon logoFBA is also known as ‘retail arbitrage’ where you buy products on clearance locally (or online as ‘online arbitrage’) at a huge discount and then sell them on for retail price and make the difference (less fees) in profit.

A friend of mine does this locally here in Richmond, VA and it is extremely interesting to me! My wife Laura intends to research this and start her own FBA business in 2017 (our youngest is going to kindergarten in the fall, so Laura is going to have a lot of time on her hands!).

The goal is to make $1,000+ in net profit every month, which we think is quite attainable with the right amount of research and work ethic.

What Experiments Should We Add?

The above is our tentative list of experiments for Choose FI in 2017.  If there are any experiments you want to see us run in 2017 (or you’re running yourself and want to document on our site!), be sure to comment below:

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