How An Early FI Investor Thinks

by FI Fighter on March 21, 2015

in Real Estate Thoughts, Stock Investing Thoughts, Thoughts

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We early financial independence freedom fighters think very differently from the mainstream. For myself, I’m now on Year 4 of the journey, and everything I do now feels totally natural and normal. However, when I pause to think about it, I’m almost certain that if you teleported me back to my college years, my old self would be flabbergasted to hear such talk.

If you aren’t in the loop, it all sounds so strange and bizarre!

Some (or all) of the following may resonate with you… Here’s what separates us from the masses, who relate more with the conventional line of consumer thinking:

 

Life In Mainstream: “You only live once! We are going to max out the credit cards and go full baller status. First class flights and luxury suites at the finest hotel!

Early FI Enthusiast: “You only live once! We are going to max out the credit card miles and go full baller status. First class flights and luxury suites at the finest hotels for FREE!

 

Life In Mainstream: “When I go to Target/Walmart… I always find extra items that I need to buy.

Early FI Enthusiast: “When I go to Target/Walmart… I always go straight to customer service and ask them to please reload my Redcard/Bluebird card. I resist the urge to buy extra items that I know I don’t need.

 

Life In Mainstream: “I make it a routine (and big deal) to go Black Friday shopping every year! The deals are insane! I either don’t sleep that night, or wake up first thing in the morning to go bargain hunting.

Early FI Enthusiast: “I make it a routine (and big deal) to go Black Friday House Hunting every year! The deals are insane! I do sleep that entire night before, and do wake up first thing in the morning to go bargain hunting (open houses).”

 

Life In Mainstream:I’m saving up funds diligently so that I can splurge on that Vegas trip next month! Can’t wait, it’s going to be AWESOME!

Early FI Enthusiast:I’m saving up funds diligently because I have too many stocks on my watchlist and there are too many good deals. Can’t wait, it’s going to be AWESOME!

 

Life In Mainstream: “My savings account balance is always low… I buy too many toys!

Early FI Enthusiast: “My savings account balance is always low… I buy too many houses/stocks!

 

Life In Mainstream: “My goal is to purchase a single house in my lifetime.

Early FI Enthusiast: “My goal is to purchase a single house… every year.”

 

Life In Mainstream: “The terms: short-sales, foreclosures, REOs, etc. scare me. I’m going to avoid them!!!

Early FI Enthusiast: “The terms: short-sales, foreclosures, REOs, etc. delight me. Where can I find them?!?

 

Life In Mainstream: “I hate my job… I don’t know how many more years of this I can take!!!”

Early FI Enthusiast: “I hate my job… I’ve calculated and know EXACTLY how many more years of this I’ll have to take before I’m FREE!”

 

Life In Mainstream: “I have too much debt, it’s scary! Sometimes I worry I’ll have to borrow money from friends/family to pay my bills.

Early FI Enthusiast: “I have too much debt, it’s scary… but it’s good debt that will make me more wealthy in the future. Sometimes I contemplate I’ll have to borrow money from friends/family to fund more deals.

 

Life In Mainstream: “Debt is evil and must be eliminated to build wealth! Come hell or high water, I’m paying off all my debts ASAP! You want to give me a new loan? No thank you!

Early FI Enthusiast: “Debt (leverage) is a blessing (when interest rates are at an all-time low!) and must be utilized responsibly to build MASSIVE wealth. Come hell or high water, I’m going to attempt to get as many loans as I can ASAP! You want to give me a new loan? Yes please!

 

Life In Mainstream: “Watching stocks go down in value makes my stomach churn. It’s nerve-racking and makes me not want to invest!

Early FI Enthusiast: “Watching stocks go down in value makes me want to dance. It’s exhilarating and makes me want to back up the truck and invest more!

 

Life In Mainstream: “I love home renovations! I always splurge on the nicest items. I deserve the best! I’ll use my HELOC to fund the improvements.

Early FI Enthusiast: “I love home renovations! I always splurge on the nicest (but most affordable) items. My tenants deserve the best! I’ll let my tenants pay for the improvements (in the form of higher rents).

 

Life In Mainstream: “The more money I make, the more I spend. Lifestyle inflation, baby!

Early FI Enthusiast: “The more money I make, the less I spend (higher savings rate). Lifestyle deflation, baby!

 

Life In Mainstream: “The more money I make, the harder I need to work to justify it!

Early FI Enthusiast: “The more money I make, the lazier I become!” 🙂

 

Life In Mainstream: “Earning a high income is the key to becoming financially independent!

Early FI Enthusiast: “Earning a high passive income is the key to becoming financially independent!

 

Could we be any more worlds apart? 😉

Fin

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dividend DiplomatsNo Gravatar March 21, 2015 at 8:35 pm

This is the best one:

Life In Mainstream: “The more money I make, the more I spend. Lifestyle inflation, baby!”

Early FI Enthusiast: “The more money I make, the less I spend (higher savings rate). Lifestyle deflation, baby!”

Great article, love it and makes me laugh at how many of these shows I’m an early FI enthusiast!

-Lanny

Reply

2 FI FighterNo Gravatar March 23, 2015 at 5:24 pm

Lanny,

Glad you enjoyed it! I’m glad many of those quotes resonated with other early FI enthusiasts, such as yourself. 😉

All the best!

Reply

3 BeSmartRichNo Gravatar March 22, 2015 at 12:30 pm

Excellent posting. Haha Put me in Early FI enthusiast bucket. I wish I could own all the companies that are on my watch list. I can’t wait to own all of them add more and more and more….. hold forever and ever and ever….

BSR

Reply

4 FI FighterNo Gravatar March 23, 2015 at 5:25 pm

BeSmartRich,

Definitely, I feel the same way. Even as I’m writing this, there are a handful of stocks that I’m itching to buy. Unfortunately, I’m short on funds at the moment and will have to be more patient, even though that’s tough to do!

Yup, buy and hold forever, I love that strategy!

Take care!

Reply

5 SavvyFinancialLatinaNo Gravatar March 22, 2015 at 6:06 pm

I feel the same way. I can’t wait for my next paycheck so I can put some away into savings that will later end up in my investment accounts.

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6 FI FighterNo Gravatar March 23, 2015 at 5:26 pm

SavvyFinancialLatina,

Yup, same here! I’m waiting anxiously for my next paycheck so I can go shopping for stocks again! 😉

All the best!

Reply

7 Midwestern LandlordNo Gravatar March 22, 2015 at 8:28 pm

I really like this one:

“Debt (leverage) is a blessing (when interest rates are at an all-time low!) and must be utilized responsibly to build MASSIVE wealth. Come hell or high water, I’m going to attempt to get as many loans as I can ASAP! You want to give me a new loan? Yes please!”

There is nothing wrong with debt, as long as someone else is paying for it.

Reply

8 FI FighterNo Gravatar March 23, 2015 at 5:28 pm

Midwestern Landlord,

Like you, I’m a big fan of leverage as it’s opened many doors for me, that otherwise would be outside my reach. I’ve been fighting hard for early FI and a huge part of it was made possible entirely by leverage.

Not everyone has opportunities to borrow money, so if you are qualified, it’s definitely worth considering. With the right deals, it can definitely speed up early FI.

Take care!

Reply

9 Andrew@LivingRichCheaplyNo Gravatar March 23, 2015 at 11:26 am

So true! I get excited about investing my money and seeing it grow. Recently I’ve been excited about jumping in on investing in real estate. Didn’t think it was possible living in NYC, but thanks to you and a few others, I’ve learned that out-of-state investing is possible.

Reply

10 FI FighterNo Gravatar March 23, 2015 at 5:30 pm

Andrew,

Out of state investing is definitely possible and many people do it. Thanks to the internet, it’s becoming easier and easier to get educated on where/how to invest out of state.

Real estate investing has been very good to me; I definitely don’t have any bad things to say about it as it’s carving the way for my financial freedom.

All the best!

Reply

11 Even StevenNo Gravatar March 23, 2015 at 1:51 pm

PREACH!!!

Early FI Enthusiast: “Earning a high passive income is the key to becoming financially independent!”

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12 FI FighterNo Gravatar March 23, 2015 at 5:30 pm

Even Steven,

You got it! Took me awhile to learn that, but once I did, I knew what I had to do!

Cheers!

Reply

13 JamesNo Gravatar March 25, 2015 at 5:43 pm

“Debt (leverage) is a blessing (when interest rates are at an all-time low!) and must be utilized responsibly to build MASSIVE wealth. Come hell or high water, I’m going to attempt to get as many loans as I can ASAP! You want to give me a new loan? Yes please!”

Yes! It’s nice to see this out there. Definitely what I’ve been thinking, but wasn’t sure how to articulate it. I’m relatively new to the FI mindset, after all.

Reply

14 Happy FrugalerNo Gravatar March 30, 2015 at 9:44 pm

Great post, loved the comparisons of Mainstream to FI, particularly the leverage.

I’m new to the FI scene and already loving it!

The leverage is something I’m not used to seeing many FI people be as fond of; whereas, personally, I look at it like you.

My second blog post was actually on that specific topic:

https://happyfrugaler.wordpress.com/2015/03/16/leverage-is-it-always-bad/

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