I like reading blogs, particularly those on personal finance. Whether about retiring early, such as Mr. Money Mustache, or living on a lower cost base, such as The Simple Dollar, I’m always on the lookout for folks who have lived/are living in ways I can aspire to. My morning (instant) coffee is spent reading these on my iPad, usually through an aggregator such as Zite.
Here is the goal: my wife and I want a life independent of location and of career; we’d like to earn/save/invest wisely enough for this to happen during our 30s. Comfortable life; not necessarily a wealthy life. The sooner, the better. What’s in our favour?
- City jobs in finance. We saw both pre- and post-financial crisis highs and lows. Sadly, we were just starting our careers in the bubble before the bust, but the learnings were VERY instructive.
- A high propensity to save. My wife comes from an immigrant family, who came to the UK with nothing. That’s helped us to have the forethought/fear to set aside a healthy portion of our income (around 50-60%) in savings.
- An unnatural love of money. I’m damn-near obsessed with money, particularly in terms of investing. It isn’t the desire to be wealthy (see the goal, above); just the enjoyment of numbers on the screen and the ‘victory’ of winning investments.
- The luck of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). A book I recently finished was Rational Expectations: Asset Allocation for Investing Adults by William Bernstein. In the book was a great comment about how the timing of market crashes significantly affects an individual’s lifetime investment profile. In our case, having the GFC at the beginning of our careers, when we’re regularly saving and buying securities, means we ‘win’ the timing lottery. Compare us to, say, my parents: the GFC hit their retirement funds at just about the time they wanted to retire. A 50% hit to a large retirement pot was far worse for them than for us; we were able to buy into a (as of today) around 200% recovery.
So here I am, sitting in my trading room. I’ll be adding posts when I’m not managing the family portfolio, hopefully with some good ideas/links I find from elsewhere.