I finally did it. I cut the…cyberspace pathway to Netflix! No, it wasn’t for the extra $8.95 a month. It was for time. Time to read, workout (no more butt in seat), and just be more productive at the end of the day. Netflix is a great product if you can practice restraint. When you finish a show you have about 10 seconds to decide if you want to watch the next episode or…okay watch the next episode!

This was completely disregarding the message I learned in “Take the Stairs: 7 Steps to Achieving True Success” by Rory Vaden (a book I will be rereading). As Dave Ramsey says, “Personal Finance is 80% behavior and only 20% head knowledge.” It was easy for me to get home from work, make dinner, and watch a 20 minute show while eating. That 20 minute show turned into another 20 minute show, and sometimes another! No exercise happened. No betterment happened. Well I did get better at destroying a bag of Baked Lays.

I strive to act now and not procrastinate. That is my daily resolution. Whether it is picking up a piece of trash, being content doing the most rudimentary work at work, doing a short workout, listening to someone vent at work (Many people are so miserable at work if you look around. Very sad.), or helping a new guy/gal out at work. I lose some days but now find myself winning more and more. A nice, gradual, upward trend with a few pullbacks here and there.

I want to incorporate this mindset into my saving/investing by:

  1. Budget, Budget, Budget! I have a general idea of where my money goes. Reading that last sentence makes me sick. Lack of preparation that needs to be fixed.
  2. Slowly increase saving/investing rate. I’m averaging around 43-50% a month.  I will temper my desire to go over the top so I don’t crash and burn.
  3. Continue to invest in solid performers
  4. Continue to pay myself first (bills and investments)
  5. Stay excited and motivated when stocks are in the red. Personally, I like to look at the 5 year charts (or longer) and dividend history to regain my perspective.
  6. Never feel obligated to give someone else my time unless I truly want or need to. I will just say “No thank you.”
  7. Schedule my time for the things that matter.

I will likely think of and learn other things to add to this list.

Below is a 2:33 video of Chris Hogan talking about retirement. My favorite part of it is when he says, “Retirement is not for old people. Retirement is for people that are intentional.”

Retirement is Not an Age -Chris Hogan

I am still trying to get a grasp on all of my numbers and set concrete goals for myself. It is an exciting project that I am looking forward to! I did realize on my way home from work that if I do not increase my savings rate or get a pay raise, I will be able to max out my Roth IRA each year on dividend income in under 5 years. I will not be choosing to do that, but that option is open. It shows that the plan works. I just have to execute now.

As my dad told me many times growing up, “Okay. You have the easy part done now.” I reminisce of this and smile because I am aggressively following my current plan for achieving financial freedom. Having an end goal in mind makes bad days seem okay, okay days seem good, and good days seem great!

I wish you the best of luck (and sweat) to achieving your dream(s). Take care!

 

 

 

I have to constantly fight my nature to be like the hare. I REALLY want to be the hare. The excitement and speed is just too much to pass up…This is usually the point where I have to slap myself, spill coffee on myself, or watch a Dave Ramsey video.

In my vast quarter century experience I have learned (not learned) a couple of things about myself:

  1. I generally lack in preparation.I am slowly getting better at this, but I always think that I should/could be doing more.
  2. I can become obsessive whether it be running, chess, weightlifting, reading a book, (stocks!!).
  3. (Referencing point 2) I do not stick with one thing long enough to be great at it either due to boredom or brick walls. My most recent setback has been learning the Russian language. I was close to becoming proficient in Russian, but then work amped up. I fell off the horse. Timeline delayed.
  4. I still haven’t decided whether I want to be a “Jack of all Trades; Master of None” kind of guy or if I want to master a craft. The whole 10,000 hours concept seems to get thrown around everywhere these days. I first read about it in the book Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else This was one of my better airport book pickups (my guilty pleasure).
  5. I am still impulsive. I think that is why making purchases each month works for me. Average down, average down, average down…
  6. I have so much more to learn about investing…that way I can confuse myself but sound more intelligent while doing it!
  7. Many days I feel like this.

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My man Jimmy (Cramer; In my head we are on a first name basis) said something that I disagree with on his show. I will paraphrase it as: Young people should take more risks with their investments because if they lose it all they have their whole life to make it back up. I used to believe that too before I learned more about consistent investing in great companies.  It’s like comparing the Facebook/Twitter stocks to Walmart/Proctor & Gamble stocks. When I do hear people talk about investing (YESSS!) it’s always about these stocks: Facebook, Netflix, Amazon, Tesla, Disney, Apple, and/or Twitter. No one gets pumped up about Southern Company for some reason.

I call this mentality “The Body Beast vs The thing everyone knows to do but doesn’t do”

 

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Thoughts before starting the program might go something like, “I want to look like that guy. It’s only 3 months too! I can do that.”  Later: Falls off after a couple of workout sessions. Back to not working out and looking for another program. This reminds me of a couple of people that I know who have been turned off of the markets due to losses. Comments usually follow as: “It’s rigged.” “No one can time it.” I think what attracts people to this workout style is there is an endpoint. Three months. Three months and done. This outweighs the nagging reality that is in the back of their head saying that it’s a lifelong process just like investing.

There are also the people who believe you should make the most of (spend!) your money now because what is the point of having it when you’re old. This way of thinking/living makes me cringe.

My takeaways from this person are:

  1. You have accepted (trapped?) yourself into working late in life. That sounds like…well work.
  2. Terrible Planning (if any)
  3. Tell me the age where I should just give up. Why can’t I have fun in the later stage of my life?  I see plenty of 50-70 year olds with more energy and contribution than some 20-30 year olds. The 9th Oreo is hard to resist at times.

I absolutely refuse to accept the fact that I will be working at a job in my later years that I do not enjoy. I will suffer now to be happier down the road. I may be unhappy (yes unhappy is still a word…not everyone is depressed) most days, but I will keep the end goal in mind. I have a roof over my head, have food, and can aggressively save/invest. I am very blessed and look at temporary pain as a way to grow and learn. I’m pretty stubborn so it usually takes a little pain to get through to me.

I will, however, work at a job that I can find meaning in until the day I die if allowed. I might have to carry some hedge trimmers for my nose hair by that point but who knows what technology will be out by then! I still like the advice I was given a couple of years ago about different jobs.

  • You can have a job that you dislike/hate but you make enough money and have time to pursue hobbies/passions.
  • You can have a job that you like/love but you might be hurting for money
  • You can have a job that you like/love and make enough money.

I like the last option personally which leads me to believe that I am still searching for my craft to pursue. I have tried a couple of things, thought of many others, and still have a few ideas to try. I know this will take time (and work) to come to fruition, but I believe it will be worth it in the end just like food cooked in a crock-pot tastes better than microwaveable food.

So here’s to the tortoise. He might be slow, weighed down, and even dull at times, but his persistence, ability to block out the the noise (CNBC & Fox Business) of the hare, and stoicism makes him a great marathoner! I am still striving to be more like the tortoise.

Take Care,

 

JT