Post FI – Yesterday’s Meet Up (New Direction)

by FI Fighter on August 12, 2016

in Post FI, Thoughts, Updates

HK_Coffee - 1

So, as readers of the blog know, I’m a huge fan of networking and connecting with other like-minded individuals. Throughout this blog’s history, it’s safe to say that what I’ve gotten most out of the work I’ve put in are the opportunities and doors that have opened up because of my efforts. Quite frankly, without this blog, I would not have the access that I do to the greater world, and for that I am most thankful.

Yesterday, I met up with another reader out here in HK, and just as always, I go into these things with a positive, open mindset. If I just use history as a guide, I have NEVER been disappointed with a meet up, and if anything, the caliber of the people that I’ve met in person continues to exceed any kind of expectations that I might have had when I first started doing this type of thing… You readers are truly awesome people and I am humbled that you all even choose to follow and read this blog!

You might have guessed it, the latest meet up was no different (this actually marks the third incredible meet up that I’ve had so far in HK!)…

Without going into too many details (out of respect for a private conversation), I will just say that whatever doubts I had about people and humanity (in general), were greatly restored after yesterday’s encounter. I met a guy who is about my age and he has already been super successful with his career and investments (quite an understatement) so far in life. Actually, everything he has accomplished so far makes what I’ve done look like child’s play…

But you know, just because you have a large net worth, it doesn’t mean you’ve lived a “successful” life… I firmly believe that… so I’m not just heaping praise on someone because they are young and worth a lot of cheddar… No, what impressed me most with this guy is that despite all his success, he struck me as the most humble, unassuming, down-to-earth guy… Someone you can just meet for the first time and carry out a real, genuine conversation… without all the pretenses, smugitude (is that even a word?), and divaness that you might typically expect to find from someone who has conquered the Game of Life

No, I didn’t get a sense of any of that…

And this guy reached his goals and early FI going after things in an entirely different angle and perspective than I did (which is what prompted me to write this latest post)… Because of that, I was most intrigued to learn more. As everyone knows, I like to live life with the assumption that I know absolutely jack shit, and I’m always cognizant of the fact that I need to keep learning in order to grow and evolve as a person…

Yesterday, I just tried to be a sponge so that I could soak up as much information as possible…

Here are my findings and realizations…

 

As much fun as I’ve had with this blog and writing, it’s no secret to anyone out there that the things that I talk about and discuss on a regular basis are more or less a bunch of eclectic topics… Further, as my track record will allude to, I’ve never been shy about pulling any punches, and without having an editor in place, man, I just tell things like it is… I write whatever I feel like… so if I am most adamant about a particular topic, I’m just going to lay it all out there… unfiltered…

I have no sponsors, affiliates, hidden agendas, etc…

I seriously don’t answer to anybody… well, maybe except Google (for ad revenue), but so far they have never bugged me about anything!

I guess you could say this type of approach is both good and bad… Good, because up to now, I’ve been able to keep this blog raw, direct and REAL… I don’t bullshit and I think the hardcore readers of this blog appreciate this aspect the most of all. Bad, because my writing and thoughts change with the seasons, so I am wildly inconsistent…

For instance, in 2015, I thought that the broader stock and real estate markets were becoming grossly overvalued, so I did a 180 degree turn, and stopped investing in those asset classes… For many loyal readers, these kind of sudden “starts and stops” come off as too abrupt (dissonant), so it’s hard for them to follow along… They must be thinking, “One minute this dude is going on and on and on about real estate… and now he’s looking at precious metals? WTF is wrong with this guy?

 

He has no plan…

He has no direction…

He doesn’t know what the fuck he is doing…

 

It should come as no surprise, then, to observe that I’ve lost a lot of readers throughout the last year… This blog peaked in popularity when I was super gungho about real estate (around 2014), and you could say it’s been a challenge and struggle trying to build up this blog ever since I defected from the REI camp… Nevertheless, I don’t give a shit and will keep marching on, regardless of whether or not I am popular or not… Loyal readers of this blog know this to be true; for me, it’s never been about being liked or popular…

All I’ve ever wanted to do is make a positive difference… And tell it like it is.

Substance over flash.

And you know what? Whenever I receive a kind word through e-mail, comment, or even in person, it makes everything worthwhile…

Oh, and getting the chance to “share” in the spectacular returns made by readers or anyone in my own personal network who have taken to heart some of the things that I’ve said on this blog and then followed up by conducting their own due diligence and research is extremely gratifying for me…

Here’s my brother’s own 401k account performance over the last year (published with his permission, of course!).

bro_portfolio

My brother got started on the gold and silver trade in 2015 (using taxable accounts), and went “all in” with his 401k in April 2016 (I will NEVER recommend or encourage anyone reading this blog to do ANYTHING with their own investment dollars, but I WILL force feed my best ideas to family members!)…

In terms of nominal value, his mining portfolio (spread out across many accounts, not just his 401k) is quickly approaching $1,000,000 and he is up, oh I dunno, over $450,000 in unrealized profits at the time of this writing?

 

Life changing gains…

 

So, I won’t lie, when I see other people who follow this blog experiencing AMAZING success, it feels damn good!

 

But let’s be perfectly honest here, even if a bunch of readers and myself make well over six figures in gains with these mining stocks, when all is said and done, this blog will STILL never be accessible to the masses…

 

No one will give a shit… You need to be popular in order to have credibility with the masses in this world.

 

As I discussed with the reader over yesterday’s meet up, this blog is just way too niche

 

And when I sit down and really think about that, it makes me kind of… sad… and frustrated…

 

It makes me feel like I ought to be doing more with my time and efforts…

 

Don’t get me wrong, I still love writing on this blog, but as someone who has already reached early FI and is living out the dream, really, at some point I need to look at things more closely and determine the next course of action for my life…

 

What am I doing here?

What’s my purpose in life?

How do I make a bigger difference in this world?

 

Point blank, FI Fighter just might not be the best use of my time…

 

Again, it’s no secret that I don’t get paid much (if anything) for writing on this blog… FI Fighter is a hobby for me, one that pays far less than even minimum wage… Although debatable, I would argue that the value I’ve created here far exceeds that (hey, I take pride in my work and will stand up for it!). Right now, without a W-2 job, my cash flow every month goes towards meeting my expenses… So, without extra “ammo” to fire at will, you could also start to argue that this blog is losing its effectiveness over time because right now, I’m currently unable to invest alongside you readers…

So, it just makes me think about certain things even more…

No, I have no reason to just chase after money and monetization just for the sake of it… That’s not my objective, otherwise I would have sold out years ago to lock in sponsors, affiliates, etc… This blog would have become a pure REI, DGI, or index investing blog…

Hah!

But if there was an efficient way for me to earn more income, I would be a total fool to not entertain the idea, because I could, for instance, then use those earnings to keep buying investments, which would let me keep on investing right alongside everyone else… Obviously, when you “put your money where your mouth is” your thoughts will carry far more weight…

Further, living in a poorer part of HK has opened up my eyes with regards to the disparity in the world between rich and poor (just wait until I step foot in Vietnam and Cambodia…). Life isn’t fair and for many people in the world, without mincing words, life sucks ass… People from all over the globe work their tails off just to subsist, and they must keep doing so for the rest of their lives… Not everyone has a shot at achieving financial independence (let alone entertain the outlandish thought of early FI!), which really does break my heart…

Because of all that, I’m often asking myself, “How do I make a difference in this world?

 

Like, a BIG DIFFERENCE

 

I don’t want to sit idly by and do NOTHING… As great as early FI is, we all know that people who possess an innate drive to work hard and succeed in life will NEVER be able to just turn all that stuff off forever… I didn’t get to where I am today being lazy! Whatever passion I harnessed to help get me here, trust me, it’s all still there… It ain’t exactly like a light switch that I can turn on and off…

The fire inside still burns…

Although it’s unfortunate, let’s be real here, it’s a lot easier to move mountains when you’ve got a ton of cash at your disposal… No, I don’t mean to suggest that “money solves everything”, but you know, there are only so many hours in a day, and I’m not so certain that the best use of my time will be to go out there every single day and volunteer and get “down in the trenches”, doing all the nitty gritty type of stuff… Definitely, on occasions, I will need to… but with my writing, I think I can reach far more people by blogging…

 

And back to the discussion I had yesterday, I met a guy who has blown open my eyes in terms of what is possible out there in terms of making money online if you just expand your mind to possibilities… I’m talking about big time money that can in fact move many, many, many mountains… It’s all out there for the taking, if you don’t mind working your ass off to get it…

 

Right now, in HK, nothing is making me happier than giving back to the community and helping out the less fortunate… That’s my main and simple motivation…

 

That’s what makes the allure of earning a lot more money appeal to me… Sure, I wouldn’t mind having more income for my own personal (selfish) gain… but in my own personal life, c’mon guys, I sleep on a $20 mattress, obviously, I don’t give a shit for adding more material possessions!

 

And again, FI Fighter is just too damn niche (the content here is not well suited for monetization), so this blog really limits my reach… unfortunately.

 

So, yes, right now I’m starting to entertain the idea of doing a side project, one that will both simultaneously allow me to reach (help) more people and earn more income.

 

No, this doesn’t imply the impending demise of FI Fighter, but I don’t think business and being a “straight shooter” really mix and match…

 

This blog is too “Wild Wild West”… and I refuse to sell out the FI Fighter brand.

 

Too many thoughts right now, but at some point in the future, I will need to figure out what the next steps are for me…

 

Thanks for reading!

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jan August 12, 2016 at 5:37 pm

Can you pursue your side projects and blog about them…and just blog about your life in general. Your readers don’t want to loose you. You are a VERY interesting character!

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2 FI Fighter August 16, 2016 at 12:11 am

Jan,

Thanks so much for the support! Yes, absolutely I have no plans to stop publishing on here. A side project might be the best option for me, and to continue letting this blog run free flow. 🙂

Cheers!

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3 Mike A August 12, 2016 at 6:07 pm

I don’t know if I have never commented, but I have followed your blog for a while. I follow several blogs and there is a time and place for reading. I do a lot of traveling so reading blogs sitting in the airport and at night is nice.

However, when I am home, I am almost exclusively watching Vlogs. YouTube is amazing for that (I cut the cord a few years ago). There are a ton of Vlogs I watch on various subjects. However, I have never found any about investing, stocks, etc. Maybe they are out there and I have missed them. I don’t know.

If I want to live in Philippines (I do) there are virtually 30-50 Vlogs about doing that. Living in an RV, a ton of Vlogs of people actually doing that. Whatever you do, you might think about YouTube Vlog rather than a website blog. I forgone would watch.

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4 FI Fighter August 16, 2016 at 12:12 am

Mike,

That’s a great idea… I had podcasts going for awhile and at some point would like to continue that series again, it was a lot of fun.

I hadn’t thought about video, but I’m an open book, so anything is possible!

Best wishes!

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5 JP August 12, 2016 at 8:22 pm

Keep doing you bro. Niche or not, be yourself and continue to think and over think and change your mind and question everything cuz that’s what we should all be doing. You have blown 9-5 apart with your FI and you are still thinking about your purpose and the direction of your life and blog. Most people can’t even think about their family and life passions until they are hopefully retired at 70. Write about your financials and your life and we will all be happy. Obviously you aren’t doing this for the money. P.S. Was talking to a client from HK the other day and we chatted about sushi being the perfect post workout meal.

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6 FI Fighter August 16, 2016 at 12:15 am

JP,

Appreciate the continued support buddy! Getting to early FI at a young age definitely gives us the opportunity to focus on other growth areas in our lives… I’m looking forward to taking on the new challenges.

Also, thanks for the comment on the sushi bit! Coming from a personal trainer like yourself, I’m relieved to know you think it’s a good idea. After a workout, I figured the high GI white rice would help with refueling/insulin spike and the sushi would be high quality, low fat protein. It seems to be a bit more challenging finding healthy foods out here, so that’s kind of my default choice.

Take care!

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7 Jason August 13, 2016 at 4:55 am

I have similar feelings about my blog. However, I know that it has helped many. I get the fact that you think it is too niche, but think of yourself as a teacher, which I am. I know for a fact that 90% of my students won’t remember this class, but it is the 10% I help and reach that make it worthwhile. I know I am making a difference, even if it is a small one. Perhaps you are selling yourself short a bit with the impact you do have or you need to do something that is much more grandiose than blogging (e.g. go help run a non-profit or something) that would be cool.

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8 FI Fighter August 19, 2016 at 5:59 pm

Jason,

Yup, you make some great points there, thanks for the feedback. Even if we only reach a select few, if we can help other succeed in reaching their goals, it’s all worth it.

Take care!

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9 Rudy SMT August 13, 2016 at 6:31 am

Hi Jay,

I think you are doing a great job in sharing your thoughts.

Your writing is excellent and entertaining with some analytical in between.

If I may suggest few things:

– Your blog isn’t too niche. It’s all over the place.
– Redesign the website and place yourself as a brand would give you more authority.
– A new structure of menu,etc.
– Reach out media channels to get interviews. You can start from HK.

I think your content is excellent and it’s a pity start a new website from scratch.

I’m more than happy to review your website on skype.

Keep rocking

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10 FI Fighter August 19, 2016 at 6:01 pm

Rudy,

Oh yeah, the blog is definitely all over the place… When I said “too niche” I meant at any given time I like to deep-dive into a particular topic/sector and that kind of creates a tunnel vision in the short-term…

Thanks for the feedback. This site does need a refresh at some point to make it more accessible and higher quality.

Appreciate the help. Let me reach out to you when my schedule frees up a bit more. Lots of meet ups planned right now atm.

Cheers!

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11 Investment Hunting August 13, 2016 at 8:31 am

Damn, I wish we could have hung out before you left the Bay Area. Let me know when you come back for a visit. I say do the side project. I’m kicking one off now to take advantage of the money that can be made with affiliate income.

We’ve all seen those blogs the ones that make us want to drive to the bloggers house ad punch them in the face. Well, those people are making tones of money and producing no content of value. There sites are virtual ad boards. Post like the 6 best credit cards or start a blog now. Just affiliate click bait, but they work.

I’m thinking of doing this too, but for charity. All proceeds less expenses get donated to local charities. I think it’s the only way I could stomach it.

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12 FI Fighter August 19, 2016 at 6:03 pm

Nathan,

Yup, I definitely hear where you are coming from! It can be frustrating at times, but we just have to stick with it and realize that we are doing a service by putting out real content as opposed to just click bait to make money. There is satisfaction is putting out quality work.

I love your idea of giving back to charity! That’s my motivation right now, and why I would want to pursue a broader audience and increased monetization.

Cheers!

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13 Income Surfer August 13, 2016 at 9:07 am

Interesting new direction buddy. I have always enjoyed meeting readers as well. (We operate in one of the best communities I’ve ever seen) I look forward to hearing more about your thoughts, and helping winnow down the ideas. Safe travels Fighter, and have a great weekend!

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14 FI Fighter August 19, 2016 at 6:05 pm

Bryan,

Yeah, it’s a real treat to meet up with like-minded individuals. Glad you have had the opportunity to do so as well.

Yup, will keep you posted on all the travels and activities.

Cheers!

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15 James August 15, 2016 at 9:12 am

“You need to be popular in order to have credibility with the masses” Mostly true, but it helps a lot more to be popular in US or other Western countries to have the maximum influence versus being in HK.

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16 FI Fighter August 19, 2016 at 6:07 pm

James,

Yeah, I think the US market will always be the most popular for me, but I think it’s kind of fun branching out and connecting more with others in different parts of the world. No, I wouldn’t expect this blog to really take off in HK or anything, but there are a few select readers here and if we can spread the word a little, sure why not? 🙂

Take care!

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17 A August 15, 2016 at 9:41 am

I have been a longtime reader. Your turnkey REI posts are what brought me here, however it is the unique content that keeps me here. Honestly I enjoy the sudden turns to keep my mind thinking of what else is out there. I would have never thought about precious metals if not for this blog (I wish I jumped in but I had other priorities at the time unfortunately). MrMoneyMustache is a fairly straight shooter as well in my opinion and he is doing very very well. Stick to your beliefs and it will work out.

Fight on J

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18 FI Fighter August 19, 2016 at 6:08 pm

A,

Thanks for the support! I’m so glad you decided to stick around. Will do my best to keep putting out interesting content that keeps you engaged. 🙂

Best wishes!

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19 Christian August 15, 2016 at 9:56 am

Thanks Jay
Two reasons I personally love your blog.

1. Always yourself- no regrets .
http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/185923

2. this clip kinda reminds me of your blog lol.
https://www.facebook.com/shanghaiist/videos/10154847016176030/

Hope you can find the middle way and keep the blog going 🙂
Christian

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20 FI Fighter August 19, 2016 at 6:10 pm

Christian,

Thanks for the support buddy! I really appreciate the kind words.

Take care!

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21 Rose August 15, 2016 at 2:27 pm

Please keep FI going. I am a relatively new reader. It is your unique views and writing style that had me sub to your newsletter in the first place. I also appreciate your honesty in all aspects of this blog. I hope you stay and don’t change.

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22 FI Fighter August 19, 2016 at 6:11 pm

Rose,

I’ll do my best! Great to have you here and onboard for the ride.

Hope you stick around and I’ll do my best to keep putting out quality content. 🙂

Take care!

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23 Jason August 15, 2016 at 5:36 pm

Jay,
First time commenting…. Just wanted to let you know that your blog is the only one I follow religiously. There are others I read, but yours is the one I enjoy reading most due to your straightforward and blunt frame of mind.

Also, ice truly enjoyed reading about your ramblings and info on the mining market and am not sure I would have found that diamond in the rough… No pun intended. Even if my net worth and situation at the moment didn’t really allow me to take full advantage of the potential.

Anyhow, hope you decide to continue your writing and whatever else you wish to ramble on about on here. Thanks much!
Jason

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24 FI Fighter August 19, 2016 at 6:13 pm

Jason,

Thanks for taking out the time to leave this comment! It means a lot to me and I’m so glad that you are finding value with this blog.

I’ll do my best to keep on rollin’ along, keep things unfiltered and blunt! 😉

Best wishes!

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25 Adrian August 16, 2016 at 4:44 pm

I started following along because of the long unique posts, and thoughts/reasoning you had on miners – the companies, the people, etc. Would be shame to see it go.

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26 FI's #1 Fan August 16, 2016 at 6:51 pm

Don’t stop writing. In fact, I will blow you to continue writing. PLEASE, COME ON! I love this blog.

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27 theFIREstarter August 21, 2016 at 12:11 am

It’s great to hear the fire is still burning inside FI Fighter. I don’t think I’m quite as passionate as you are but definitely plan to try to make the world a better place one I’m FI. Not so much time to do that when you’re stuck at work all day! Maybe that is a poor excuse but it’s clear to me you can do far more with more time and more money.

Excited to see what you have in store and obviously hope You keep writing in your straight shootin style here alongside Any new project.

Cheers!

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28 kamil August 22, 2016 at 5:57 pm

I like your posts. I think niche is a good thing, it means your positive predictive value is quite high, meaning you attract the right crowd and most of your readers really like your stuff.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_and_negative_predictive_values

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29 OB @ Out of State Investor August 24, 2016 at 11:01 pm

Hi Jay,
I’ve read your blog for a couple years now and have always enjoyed your writing style and honest opinions, no matter what the topic. As an engineer myself with goals to live abroad someday, your story fascinates me. So keep doing your thing, keep being you, and keep writing here so we can all follow along.
Best wishes!

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30 Kyle o September 6, 2016 at 8:09 pm

I love your blog. I work in I investment banking, and run a mango company as well as a couple multi family homes. Don’t ever quit the blog I have showed it to tons of friends & they all love it.

I could go on I greater detail, but am only running on the 5 hour sleep 😡

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31 Phyllis September 10, 2016 at 3:30 pm

Hi! I’m a first time reader of your inspiring blog and feel so fortunate that I found you through Fabi at The Next Big Rush! I want to thank you for making this available. I’m on a big learning curve and you’re a great mentor. Thank you!

Reply

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