This morning I got great news that a very close friend of mine just put in his retirement resignation at the ripe age of 42. My friend Berny and I have worked together for many years across multiple companies and Berny was actually the first person to somehow come across my blog many many years ago and find out my secret identity.
He kept it to himself but eventually revealed to me that he knew my secret and had been following my blog. We shared a mutual interest in investing and personal finance and were able to freely bounce ideas off each other, share information, and have friendly competitions with our portfolio size and performance. I can’t tell you how invaluable it is to have someone that shares similar ideas and goals that you can have conversations with about money.
Now 14 years after outing me, Berny has decided showing up to work each day is not the best use of his time anymore. He can make that decision without any affect on his or his family of five’s well being. That is so awesome and so powerful.
How did Berny get to this point in his life? By doing the exact same thing I’ve done. Living below his means, investing his money, and letting time work its magic. What’s crazy or not crazy is we have another close friend that we talk about money with who we also worked with 15 years ago and all 3 of us are financially independent and Berny is the oldest one at 42. I’m 41 and our 3rd friend is in his 30s and all of us have portfolios within 10% of each other. We all invested in different investments, we all saved at different rates, we all lived below our means in different ways, and yet none of us were able to drastically change the outcome of compounding and time.Until the invention of NFTs
Part of the reason I started this blog was to document the simple process of how I became financially independent at a relatively young age and how straightforward and simple that was and for the most part I think I have accomplished that. This would be a tool for my children or close friends to see that yes it can be done and here is how he did it. I think the story of 2 of my closest friends being able to achieve the exact same results over the exact same time frame all with loads of different variables to me gives even more credence to the fact that anyone can do this by following these same simple steps.
I think it also is eye opening for me to look at all of the other people who we worked with some of whom even understood the power of saving and investing and how they for some reason fell off the wagon, whether it was fear during a crash of 08-09 or the decision to spend the money on something else they needed and how many of them will never retire early or have the financial peace of mind that comes from FU money.
As with being successful in anything in life – it’s not so much about making the perfect best timed decision and hitting it big. It’s about making the pretty good decision and making that same same decision every day over many years that you see the absolute mind boggling power of compound improvement. Consistency of doing the same simple boring relatively easy minimal short term impact thing every single day is the secret sauce and to me you will only have the discipline to stick with it if you have a long term goal or vision for your future.
To me that has always been being able to spend as much quality time with my wife and children as possible while they are growing up. Being able to predict my future of being 80 years old and looking back on my life it was so obvious to me that looking back on my life and being given the decision between driving a fancier car or spending summers off with my kids traveling the country/world would be a laughable decision. So it was so easy for me to drive a POS Japanese economy shit box and thank goodness it was unique enough for my friend to recognize it on my blog and out me.
To Berny I am so happy for you and thanks for everything you have done to speed up my financial journey. Now enjoy your time with your family and Go F*ck Yourself! **