“But why?” — My 5 year old niece.
music selection: “Riptide” — Vance Joy (by request!)
weigh-in: 197.4 +1.0 — too much pizza during football games!
The FIRE movement is still a pretty fringe group. And it makes sense that it is. It takes a lot of sacrifice. Unless you are sort of demented, you need a good reason to make sacrifices.
It took me several years of belt tightening. And it didn’t stop when I quit work on 5OCT2012. My savings supported only a modest amount of future spending. Friends, who don’t “grok”, still encourage me to return to work so I can buy a bigger house, better car, and mountains of useless plastic crap. I’m able to resist because I know WHY I took this path.
I’m going to recommend an exercise that has the power to CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOREVER. I hope you all take the time to do this short exercise and apply to your lives. It will improve your work, your leisure, your relationships, your faith, and your attitude. Promise!
But first, my why. I hatched the plan to retire early in August 1998. I was weeks away from completing my undergrad BBA in Economics (GPA 3.95 out of 4.00 if I can toot my own horn.) I did some self reflection on my winding path towards graduating a full 8 years after completing high school. I had worked exclusively for periods, gone to school exclusively for others, and split the difference in others as well. What lifestyle made me the happiest?
I quickly figured out the school only approach made me the happiest. I really just didn’t like the working world, having a boss, and having to conform to a structure I had no input to organizing. Freedom was important me. Controlling my schedule was important. Consuming my time with projects that were personally interesting to me was important. I was fine with being more or less broke (money and spending were not on my personal values list!) I explored my core values and decided to move in that direction for ever more.
So I set a goal to retire from work permanently in 10 years. I like to say I “failed well” because it took me 14 years and two months. Let that be inspiration to you if you are getting started later than your early twenties or are otherwise behind the curve. If you are determined, you can still do it!
So, I’m providing a link to an exercise (it will only take you about half an hour) that will let you define your own personal core values. This is a critical exercise. Until you know who you really are, you cannot build a life that conforms to what personally matters. They don’t walk you through this exercise in school so it is no wonder most Americans are so miserable with their work. They picked careers without considering if they were good fits! Naturally, most ended up with the wrong work!!
I’m a little hesitant to do this because some of you will discover that living for today is truly more important to you than retiring early. I’ll be sad to lose you as readers but happy that you got to find your muse. And happy that your spending will prop up the stock market for the rest of us. This above all else, to thine own self be true. I hope this exercise leads to great happiness and fulfillment for you all.
ACTION TO TAKE: Go to https://www.cmu.edu/career/documents/my-career-path-activities/values-exercise.pdf and perform the indicated personal values exercise. I estimate you will need about 30 minutes. It might be worthwhile to repeat the exercise once a year or so to keep in touch with how you are growing and evolving as a person.
I’ll be delighted if you post in the comments what you discovered and how it changes your life for the better. Else, you can always email me at financial [dot] velociraptor [at] gmail [dot] com
This is a little off topic but I am committed to transparency in my trading plan so I have to report on today’s trade. My written put in Michael Kors (KORS) was doing quite well until the recent volatility when it went from well out of the money to well in it. Frankly, the shares were savaged! I earned around 30% annualized from my premium, which I of course get to keep. Shares were assigned at the strike price of 67 over the weekend.
Today, I wrote covered calls to earn some income while I wait for the share price to recover. I sold KORS181221C00067500 for 1.10 a share. The trade will be in force for 47 days and yields an expected 12.66% on an annualized basis. I think a twelve plus percent return is pretty good considering that the market is telling me I was “wrong” in my assessment of this company. The strike price is 50 cents over my acquisition cost, making room for some short term capital gains. In the event shares are called away, my annualized return will be 18.41%. That is plenty of meat for a ravenous lizard.
Devour your prey raptors!