The Search for Real Wealth

Well, 2018 certainly has been an interesting year for me, to say the least… There’s been some good, bad, and even the UGLY that I’ve had to deal with.

But as they say, in life you win some and you lose some.

The important thing is to try and learn from your experiences and grow as a person. With all that said, I’ve now sort of reached a crossroads with my life — The last two years have been mostly spent just me selfishly (all about me, me, me, me, me) traveling around the world and embracing a lot of stuff I never got a chance to do while I was working full-time in Corporate America. And more recently, earlier this year, I had to navigate out of a severe shitstorm (via my horrendous decision to attempt out-of-state real estate investing in Chicago), losing over -$200,000 in the process…

To say that type of MASSIVE financial loss was devastating for me would be an understatement… but even more traumatic was the psychological/emotional/physical toll that entire ordeal forced me to go through…

It was pure hell…

So, over the last month or so, I really haven’t been doing too much (I still might be recuperating)…

However, surprisingly, I had some unexpected visitors pay me a visit in the Bay Area, and well, you could say my mind has now re-calibriated and I’m in a much better place…

For the past week or so, I’ve kind of just put everything aside and done my best to chase “real wealth.”

What is real wealth?

I’m still trying to figure that out myself, but I have realized that at least for me, seeing a young child giggle and smile is rather priceless… I mean, I guess I never really thought about things such as having kids (lol I am very much behind on certain aspects of my life), but damn, having the chance to spend a week with my second cousin/niece has been such a fun-filled experience…

Here’s kind of a recap of the past week:

  • Ate pizza like 3-4 times.
  • Went to the lake.
  • Arcades (air hockey, basketball, Mario Kart, skeeball, bunch of other games).
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium.
  • SF trip (Golden Gate Bridge, Lombard St.)
  • Star Wars Marathon (Episode 1-6).
  • Bunch of boba milk teas (lost count).
  • Bowling.
  • K-pop (what the young kids are into, apparently).
  • Etc.

Here’s us playing Mario Kart at the arcades…

Pieology Pizza.

Zachary’s Chicago (my favorite place, hah!) Pizza… Mmmmm deep dish!

Anyway, without going into too many details, I just know that I was able to make a big difference in a young girl’s life, especially at a time when she needed it most…

For anyone who knows me in real life, you probably know that I’m chill as ffff, and don’t really sweat the technique on too much stuff… I’m usually only acting like a drama queen for theatrics, but I’m really very easy-going…

So, I’m definitely not the type of person to lecture, scold, yell, and just be a buzzkill… especially when it comes to kids… Like, all I would ever try to do is get them to laugh and have a good time. That’s it…

Now, I’m not gonna imply that I’ll always be that way, especially with my own kids… but obviously, since I haven’t crossed that bridge yet, I really have no clue how I would parent… Just from the point-of-view as an “uncle” though, I’m pretty much just spoiling the kid rotten (perhaps to the dismay of my cousin)…

And yes, although we went out a lot and ate at some nice restaurants and stuff (I certainly would never splurge the way I did this past week on just myself that way), it really didn’t matter to me… because I realized everything I was doing was making an impact… and I guess for once in a long while (since I was in Manila), I actually felt like I was in possession of real wealth; the time I got to spend with my cousin and her daughter were really precious… and I’ll always cherish the moments we had together on this most recent trip.

Just got this message from my cousin when they arrived back home.

Star Wars Episode 7 next summer! Woot!!!

I know that when it comes to investing/speculating, it’s just so damn easy to get caught up in all that jazz… to the point where it can almost entirely consume your thoughts, activities, personality, etc. Being able to step away from all that was a revelation for me.

Like, I guess I really realized what I need out of life now more than ever before — To make a positive difference in the lives of other people.

Oh, with that said, check out this awesome snippet from an interview @Goldfinger had with Ross Beaty.

From CEO.CA.

Pretty freekin AWESOME, if you ask me! Definitely HUGE inspiration for my own life…

Chasing wealth and more money can be a very “individual” and “me-centric” type of endeavor, and although it’s possible to always keep doing that, there are perhaps better avenues of making money that I need to explore now… so that I can give away so much more… and make an even bigger difference in this world.

Also, I’ll admit after spending a week spoiling a kid rotten, I’ve pretty much realized that my early FI planning is inadequate for supporting an entire family.


Again, most of everything that I’ve done up to now has revolved around my own goals… For myself, early FI was an incredibly solo (boring) journey…

I guess I’m catching on now and here’s my lightbulb moment telling me that there’s something missing in my life.

So, it’s time to chase new goals, dreams… and real wealth.


FI Fighter’s Real Wealth: $1


Gotta start somewhere, right?


The journey continues on…


Thanks for reading!


P.S. Black Pink!

See, I’m hip… I’m with it!


No, not really…


Fight On!

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No Nonsense Landlord
2 years ago

Great recap. The losses in the real estate were not because it was Chicago, although that did not help. The loses were from bad tenants.

real estate is a risky game, far too many people think it is a get rich quick scheme.

2 years ago

Hi FiF, It’s great to have to have these sorts of Revelations every so often! And I’m glad you had both lots of fun with your family and also took something deeper away from it. I’m still on the road to FI as you probably know but am having a lot of fun on the way as already have my own little family in place. It truly is real wealth as you say. There are many other ways to achieve real wealth as you allude to in the post so no need to obssess about partners and kids though (I’m… Read more »