I have always been attracted to the topic of personal finance as far back as I can remember.
As life evolved and as I went through certain experiences, the love for personal finance grew, evolving into more sophisticated topics in finance and eventually entrepreneurship.
Of course I believe the two can be very much interrelated, especially for an aspiring entrepreneur, or one who already is one. In my own life’s experience, I learned two things quickly about personal finance.
I realized that learning and applying basic principles in personal finance were not going to cut it if I wanted to achieve MY goals and objectives. I also realized that in order to be a successful entrepreneur, one must condition the mind (thought process) to think on a higher level compared to the rest of the crowd.
Most personal finance blogs and websites that I have come across online do a good job of covering the basic fundamentals that our schools unfortunately do not teach our youth. However, very few of these discuss ways to expedite wealth building and perhaps retire early without subscribing to lifestyle servitude.
There is nothing wrong or unusual about getting rich slowly over time through the age old advice of living below your means, saving and dollar cost average investing. But that route wasn’t for me.
I was not willing to subscribe to a life of mediocrity at best, hoping for the markets to cooperate and for me to be alive at 65 to enjoy the few remaining years of my life. I was not OK working for 20 to 30 or more years only to hope to enjoy an average retirement at best.
I decided very early that Corporate America was not for me in the long run. I was therefore more interested in advanced topics in personal finance, ones that went beyond just setting up retirement plans, employer match on 401k and getting out of debt from an education perspective.
Basically, I found most topics in basic personal limiting or restricting in many ways for someone who wanted to get rich quickly (not slowly) and retire early (at least in the traditional sense of the word retirement). And yes, there is such a thing as get rich quickly.
As a result, I started reading about business and finance on a larger scale, such as studying the economics, successful companies, how money works, banking, and so forth. Reading such material expanded my perspective and gave me ideas about how I can apply some of that education in my own life.
A broader perspective of business and finance helped me see the bigger picture. Rather than simply executing on the basics, I started contemplating ways to increase the top line. I became more of a planner, a strategist more so that an executor.
It is because of that broader macro level view of the “world” that I was able to start thinking and acting more like an entrepreneur. This shift in mentality, coupled with execution of basic personal finance fundamentals is tactically why I consider myself successful and far ahead of most who are my age.
With that said, I don’t consider myself a personal finance guru by any means, but I know enough to generate, grow, manage and protect wealth, just as good as anyone else I can trust.
Over the years I have made an effort to learn, understand and practice some of the more complex areas of personal finance. For example, owning real estate under an IRA to legally avoid taxes is an excellent way to propel your riches. Reducing your effective tax rate as much as possible is another.
I am also not saying that there is anything wrong with the tortoise’s approach to slow, steady and guaranteed road to financial security. In fact, most people that reach a level of financial security do it this old fashioned way.
I am all for the Tortoise method, but if you want a bit more out of life and separate yourself from the crowd, you have to start doing some things different from the rest of the them.
Readers: Have you decided to follow the tortoise’s path? Or have you chosen to expedite your journey and reach your destination sooner? Why did you choose what you chose? Do you think you will switch gears at some point? Why?