Some months ago I finally landed on the $200K net worth mark.
From now on I think the race to to the next milestone will go a lot faster!
In this article I will describe how I got there, what I’ve sacrificed and which steps I’m going to take to speed up my journey.
I’ve always been an avid saver.
Often I conclude that I don’t need it.
I’m an expert on delayed gratification.
The reason that I am so good with delaying purchases, is that I visualize how much the money could grow if I instead put them to work in the stock market.
Instead of spending $100 on expensive drinks one night out, that $100 could be worth $1,984 thirty years later.
Damn it, that’s almost a 20-bagger!
Think of that the next time you want to buy something.
If you knew that your money would be worth 20 times as much in thirty years, would you still buy that iPhone 11 for $1K?
Well, this is my way of thinking.
I’m always questioning purchases, and because of that I think I have an big advantage in the search for financial independence.
Every month I save between 60 – 65 % of my after-tax income.
This basically means that I live of aprox. 1/3 of my income every month.
For every year I work, I buy 2 years back of my life.
I’ve always been frugal, I think it lies in my nature to be careful with money.
During my studies I lived on aprox. $850 every month.
I’ve done over 10 years of different university studies, and because of limited income as a student I was forced to not splurge.
This is a habit I’ve kept and I haven’t really upgraded my lifestyle too much since then.
During my studies I traveled to India for a month, and then China 6 months later.
These trips changed me.
I saw people living at the street, people poorer than we can imagine.
But I also visited villages where everybody was smiling, where they shared stories around a campfire and showed happiness.
I asked one of them about how much they lived on, and he said it was aprox. 3 $ / day.
This really got me thinking.
How could they seem so happy with so little?
And why do I chase material things at home?
Because I always thought that would make me happy.
With these thoughts in the back of my head as I traveled, I started to welcome the simple life.
I stopped buying new things, simply because I didn’t have enough money anyway.
And as a consequense that I stopped buying new things, I stopped wanting new things.
And as I stopped wanting new things, I noticed that things didn’t have any effect on my happiness at all.
Mindset – Deciding To Be Financial Independent No Matter What
I started my investing journey with aprox. $800 invested in january 2018.
Fast forward to september 2019: my portfolio consists of $195,000 invested in index funds tracking MSCI World (70 %) and MSCI Emerging Markets (30 %).
When I look back at this it’s quite insane how fast my stock portfolio has grown in such a short time!
So how did I do it?
Most importantly, I decided that I wanted to become financial independent no matter what.
I read the book, “The Magic Of Thinking BIG” by David Schwartz and it contained this quote that still influences me:
“Those who believe they can move mountains, do.
Those who believe they can’t, cannot. Belief triggers the power to do.”
I didn’t knew it at the time, but that book changed me.
I started saving more and more aggresively for every passing month.
I invested 10 % of my salary the first month.
The next month 20 %.
Then 30 %, 40 %, 50 % and eventually 60 % as the months flew by.
I told myself that I was going to achieve financial independence, and I’ve repeated this every day since I’ve learned about the power of positive affirmations in “Tools of Titans” by Tim Ferris.
Learning From The Best – Books, Blogs and Twitter
So what happened in january 2018?
Why didn’t I invest earlier on?
My brother told me about index funds at that time, and I was completely hooked.
Was there really a legal escape out of the 9-5?
I couldn’t believe it!
It was too good to be true.
At that time I knew nothing about stocks.
I did some calculations and was litterally blown away by the effect of compound interest.
As I told you, I started my investing journey with aprox. $800 in january 2018.
I started to read the best books out there about financial independence and investing.
I’ve read a lot of books about FI and the behavioural science behind investing.
The 4 books below are the ones I recommend. They will shape your money-mindset, so that you’re ready to get wealthy.
Because to get wealthy, you’ll have to really focus on it.
There’s a lot of blogs that has influenced me from the very start and until this day about how I think about financial independence and investing.
I’ll just mention them below:
–Four Pillar Freedom
–Mr. Free @ 33
–A Purple Life
–Early Retirement Extreme
-A Wealth Of Common Sense
–The Irrelevant Investor
–J L Collinsnh
–Of Dollars And Data
–Get Rich Slowly
Twitter has been a huge inspiration for me. I’ve learned so much from some of the greatest minds out there. It’s also a great platform to share thoughts, ideas and discuss investing.
Here are some great names I recommend:
Best investors & thinkers:— Route 2 FI 📈 (@Route2FI) June 23, 2019
I’ve Accelerated My Savings
As I mentioned earlier I started my investing journey with aprox. $800 in january 2018.
So how did I get to have $195,000 invested in less than 2 years?
-I increased my savings rate gradually from aprox. 30% to 60-65 %
-I sold an apartment I owned that netted me $50K
-I bought a new apartment with my fiancee, but bought it with only 15% equity (invested the rest of my equity in index funds)
The figure below is from last month’s update, but it gives you a picture of my journey so far.
In the same period I’ve read a lot of books, blogs and learned from people on Twitter; this pushed me to try to increase my salary.
Recently I switched job to a position where I work 35,5 hours/week and gain a salary of $81,500 per year.
In some years I’ve gone from $57K to $81,5K, which in turn has pushed my savings rate even further and my financial independence date even closer.
When I first started investing I put $800 into my stock account every month. This number gradually increased after I’ve learned more and more.
To invest more I pay as little as possible on my mortage, I don’t pay down my student debt and I’ve even lowered my tax rate (a smart trick I’ve learned from my mate, Finansnerden).
Fast forward to september 2019, I’m now putting $3,700 into my stock acount every month.
The calculation below shows where I will be in 20 years if I keep on investing that much every month.
When Will I Quit My 9 – 5 Job?
On this blog I’ve made a post where I’m telling in detail on how I’m going to quit my job when I reach a net worth of $600,000.
I’ve been thinking a lot on this goal lately.
Shall I quit working completely or not?
The way I see it I got 3 options:
A) Quit my job when I reach a net worth of $600K. I assume this to be in about 4 years, when I’m 36 years old.
B) Start to work less now. I could easily go from 5 work days/week to 2 work days/week and still live my life as I do today. The only disadvantage is that I barely can invest at all when the income is lower.
C) Continue to work for a lot longer and build serious wealth. If I continue on this path for the next 20 years my portfolio will be worth $4,238,639.
But do I need it?
As one of my favorite Twitter-accounts stated:
Money isn't a good enough reason to sit in a cubicle for 40 years.— Zen FI (@zen_fi) September 22, 2019
Sacrifices I’ve Made On The Path To Financial Independence
I’ll go into the sacrifices I’ve made on my path to financial independence.
But let me change the view on what’s a sacrifice is first.
Did you know that if you’re 40 years old, you only have aprox. 336.000 hours left to live on this planet?
Do you really want to sacrifice 1/3 of that time to a job you don’t even like?
And don’t forget that you sleep 1/3 of the time as well, meaning that you only got 112.000 hours left doing what you like.
I haven’t even mentioned commuting, getting ready for work etc. that as well eats of your time, but it’s easy to see that we don’t have much time to what we really want in life, right?
To me this is the biggest sacrifice at all.
Living an unfullfilled life.
That’s why I sacrifice to live on $1,500 – $2,000 a month now, and save 65 % of my income every month (this is for me alone).
To me this doesn’t feel like a sacrifice at all.
I do all the things that I want to do today (besides from working 9 – 5).
The only thing I want is more time.
And that’s the reason I pursue financial independence.
Have questions, comments or suggestions? I would love to help you with your FI-journey.
I made this 16-pages FREE workbook with the steps I’ve taken on my path to Financial Independence.
Having a goal written down with a set date for accomplishment gives you something to plan and work for.
It’s 7 lessons and I hope you enjoy it!
After you’ve signed up, you will recieve the book right away.