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My FI Journey » MFIJ blog » I thought what I’d do was, I’d start a blog

I thought what I’d do was, I’d start a blog

New Year 2013It’s a brand new year.  2013 to be exact, but you probably already knew that, unless you’re still wasted from that New Year’s party.  As a present to myself, I figured I’d grab a domain name and start a blog to track my journey to financial independence (FI for short).

Achieving early financial independence is something that I’ve been interested in and actively pursuing for some time now.  So here’s my blog about it.  Read on for greater detail and some frequently asked questions.

What do you mean by “financial independence”? 

Simply having enough investment income to pay all my bills, thus negating the need for a day job.

What do you mean by “early”?

Sooner than age 59 and 1/2, the earliest age you can begin drawing off your tax deferred retirement accounts without penalty.

I got a late start at making money and saving money due to spending way too long in education and training.  But as of last year (age 33), I finally have a real job with a real six-figure income.  So now I can kick things into high gear.  Here’s the targets (assuming no radical life changes):

  • Age 50 - Envelope math says this should be pretty easy.
  • Age 45 - Envelope math says this is doable, but difficult. *This is my target*
  • Age 40 - Envelope math says this is pretty much impossible short of winning the lotto or inheriting a ton of money.

How do you intend to achieve early financial independence?

A combination of the following:

  • Maintaining the order of my financial house
  • Frugal living
  • High savings rate (50%+ of net income)
  • Investing in dividend growth stocks
  • Investing in high yield dividend stocks
  • Selling put options
  • Investments in other income producing assets (P2P lending, real estate, silent partnerships) as deemed appropriate and as opportunities arise
  • Blogging to keep myself on track and to interact with other bloggers and commenters

So you’re another one of those early retirement guys, right?

No.  I don’t hate my job.  Actually, I find it rather enjoyable.  But then reality gets in the way.  Over the course of a 30 year career, it is unlikely that things will remain the same.  Maybe I’ll get ‘rightsized.’  Maybe my boss, who is cool, will be replaced by a total douche.  Maybe I’ll get tired of work or burned out.  Who knows?  Early financial independence is simply an insurance policy so that when and if these events happen, the fallout will be on my terms and play by my rules, not those set by circumstance.

What do you plan to blog about?

Whatever I feel like.  Here’s a short list of things I’d like to write about in this forum.

  • Dividend growth investing
  • Tracking my progress and cataloging my failures
  • Investments in other asset classes
  • Thoughts related to the world of financial independence
  • Book reviews
  • Dividend stock analysis

I spend way to much time thinking about the above and it would be very nice to start putting my thoughts in writing.

How often do you plan to update this blog?

Whenever I have something to say and the free time to say it.  My primary foci are my job and my investments.  During summer I like to get out, travel a bit, and see the area.

Also, I don’t want to write crap just to fill up a 3x, 4x, or 5x per week posting schedule.  I might write crap anyway, but at least this approach will minimize that.

Other Points

Some other things you might want to check out while you’re here:

  • Check out what I’m trying to do with my life on the 2013 goals page
  • See my current investment portfolio
  • Read the about page to learn still more about me

Readers: What are your thoughts on financial independence, early or otherwise?  How about early retirement?  What suggestions do you have for myself or others hoping to achieve financial independence?

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11 Responses to "I thought what I’d do was, I’d start a blog"

  1. It is great to see so many new blogs popping up from DG investors. I also like the fact that you are combining options trading. I still have a lot to learn but am getting fairly comfortable selling puts and a couple calls here and there. I look forward to seeing some of your ideas and watching you hit your goals. Happy New Year!

    1. All About Interest,

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Options took me a little while to grasp, and I am by no means an expert. But that’s why my first rule of puts is only sell them for stocks I would have bought anyway. That way, even if my option play is a dumb one, I still get a good stock as a consolation prize.

      We’ll see how my options strategies evolve over time.

  2. Great to see some more DG/early FI bloggers. I want to add more options, mainly selling puts, to my income strategy but I find it very hard to have that much cash sitting in my account knowing that I can’t touch it. Of course my returns are usually much higher than the dividends I would have received if I held over the same time frame. I guess it’s just a psychological thing since I can see that cash in my account but I can’t do anything else with it. I should probably open up a second brokerage account to use options more. Best of luck in 2013 and starting your FI path! I know I’m still not even close to FI yet, but I already feel less burdened knowing that there’s an end in sight should I choose.

    1. JC,

      Thanks for stopping by.

      I don’t worry about cash sitting around when I sell puts. That’s one of the reasons I limit them to 10% of my account. When/if I get to the point of having a lot more investable income per month, I’ll probably sell puts with the intention of getting assigned the stock (and collecting a couple of bucks too).

      I’m really far from FI too. But, I’m just going to truck along. If I can keep up my savings rate, I can pull off FI.

  3. Pauline says:

    Good luck with your goal and Happy New Year! I think your target is really feasible, with a 6 figure income you should get there quicker than you think, but it obviously depends on the lifestyle you expect to live after that… I worked for 7 years after graduation with normal salaries, and was out at 29, but I live a very simple and cheap life. Looking forward to see how it develops for you, in my case, with the implementation of a much simpler lifestyle, many ”needs” disappeared, allowing for a much earlier exit. I was aiming for 40 at first.

    1. Pauline,

      Thanks for stopping by. I’m pretty fine with living simple. My ancient car and one bedroom apartment will attest to that. Cheap isn’t really my style, though. I try to find a balance between keeping my expenses down and not living like I’m in poverty. It’s hard, especially when my peer group of educated professionals lives way better than I do. FI is great, but it’s not worth become a social pariah for.

      One of the biggest obstacles to saving is the insane cost of living here. It’s 50% higher than where I used to live. Basically, I’m spending twice as much per month for the exact same apartment as I had before. And other things like car insurance and utilities are all noticeably higher.

      I’ve got so much education and specialization that high cost of living areas are the only place I’m really employable. But at least I’m well compensated.

      Oh, and then there’s taxes. I saw 5% of my net pay vs last year get ripped away by the state and federal governments today. And I just finished revising my budgeted spending down by 5% to compensate. I am not happy about that.

  4. Integrator says:

    Congratulations on starting your new blog!. I am also hoping to get to an accelerated financial independence through dividend investing. I’m shooting for 40 to try and get to about $50k in passive income. It seems some ways off from where I am now, but I feel even getting close will give me peace of mind to start slowly refocussing on other things.

    Best in hitting your goals.
    Integrator

    1. Integrator,

      Thanks for stopping by. $50K by 40 is a pretty aggressive goal. I stopped by your blog, and it looks like you’re already making great progress in getting there. It all comes down to savings rate, which is a combination of your income, your cost of living, and how willing you are to press the limits of frugal austerity. But keep at it and I’m sure you’ll get there.

  5. Headed Home says:

    Good luck on your journey. I look forward to following your progress.

    1. Heading Home,

      Thanks for stopping by. I hope that some of what I post will be useful to others seeking to achieve financial independence, whether early or otherwise.

  6. [...] In late December of 2012, about the time of the Mayan apocalypse (Coincidence? I think not.) I decided to start this blog.  On January 1st 2013, the blog launched. [...]

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