Reading these two blogs -then subsequently seeking out and researching more and more thereafter- have absolutely changed my life for the better.
Getting right to it:
I came across Jacob Fisker’s Early Retirement Extreme (ERE) blog first, and was immediately drawn in. I started from the beginning of the blog and just kept going to the next and the next for a while, entranced. Eventually, I started skipping around to what I thought would impact me more currently, that included most of the popular posts as well as most of the 21 day makeover which also includes Investing for Early Retirement part 1 & part 2.
Along the way, I started researching on my own and looking into other sources of information and case studies. That is when I came across JL Collins’ The Simple Path to Wealth blog. For this one I started with the Stock Series and jumped around a bunch, landing on How I Failed My Daughter -which really hit me hard now that I have one- and running into so many new words of which the definitions I was either fuzzy on or entirely new! So I started using Investopedia to learn about each word or phrase before continuing on (often getting sucked into some fun definition binges in the process) – a process I highly recommend if you want to be able to follow along with any of these blogs. Eventually you remember the terms and start to be able to skim even faster through all the content, making sense of it quicker and having a lot more fun in the process of learning!
JLC always includes links to other parts of his blog while you are reading, which is extremely useful and made me like this blog even more than ERE, especially useful are the links in his manifesto. I followed and read them all. I ended up finding loads of new resources from his site, including F-you money, the 4% rule, tax tricks, and why a house is a bad investment, many of these are found in the readings of the Stock Series, the tax tricks found in Part VIII. For JLC’s blog, always remember to read the multiple addendums near the bottom as he goes back and updates when new information is acquired or to fix something, etc.
It is great that these two bloggers actually don’t see eye-to-eye on a lot of points; it helps you come to your own conclusions based on the pros and cons they put forth. But they do both have the same message about how to live in a healthy, debt free, frugal manner and that was one of the real takeaways for me!
Through the ERE and JLC blogs I ended up finding a plethora of sites and resouces and help on Financial Independence and Retiring Early (FIRE): in no particular order
- Mr. Money Mustache
- Uncommon Dream
- Go Curry Cracker
- Dogs of the DOW
- Money Chimp
- Compound Interest Calculator
- The Motley Fool
- What Could Have Been
- Physician on FIRE
- White Coat Investor
- Dividend Growth Investor
- The Escape Artist
- Mad FIentist
- The Foolish Game
- Budgets Are Sexy
- The Journal of Finance
- SEC Comprehensive Search Page
- Intro to Investing and Finance (this guy is a total jackass and actually hard to watch, he is also in jail for being a douche, an idiot, and a liar – but the fundamentals he teaches in the early videos are solid)
- History of the Stock Market
I also came across a lot of books that REALLY help get you into the right state of mind as well as help you understand all this stuff:
State of Mind:
- Emotional Intelligence – Daniel Goleman
- Fooled by Randomness – Nassim Taleb
- Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki
- Practical Wisdom – Barry Schwartz
- Waking Up – Sam Harris
- Thanks a Thousand – A. J. Jacobs
- This is Marketing – Seth Godin
- The 4-Hour Work Week – Timothy Ferriss
- Margin of Safety – Seth Klarman (out of print so it’s in the thousands, suggest searching for a free PDF version online)
- Principles of Corporate Finance – Richard Brealy
- Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits – Philip Fisher
And of course these I would suggest these: Since they are from the blogs that started me off. Disclaimer, I never purchased these two, but instead read all the info they provide in their blogs
With the help of Investopedia -every time I was stuck- I’ve come to a far greater understanding and enjoyment of the financial world at large. Something I sorely lacked when I was younger and am only now feeling the pain of having not known what I do now. I am so thankful I found all this now rather than later, but I dearly wish I had learned more about this when I was much younger – preferably in high school. I am truly baffled that none of this is taught as a standard.
I am not an expert, but I do know more than I did in the past and these are all great resources to help you get to where you want to be, so I highly suggest you start digging in!
Join some subreddits about financial independence, personal finance, living frugally, the economy and investing, etc. Start reading financial news. Buy a few stocks in something you like just to get started (Robinhood is easy and free and works on mobile too) and enjoy the feeling of owning a company and understanding how it all works. You’ll likely -as I did- kindle a fire that was already burning in you and you just didn’t know what to do with!