Why you need to have an Emergency Fund

Photo by Fabian Blank on Unsplash

I screwed up!

I’ve got a confession to make. I made a stupid mistake when it comes to personal finances. I started investing my money before doing of the most important things when it come to personal finance. Investing is great and I’m already starting to see some returns but damn! I didn’t save up an emergency fund. It’s the first thing you learn about personal finance and as much as I preach it to other people, I’m guilty of not practising what I preach.

Of course the universe has a way of showing us the error of our bad decisions and over the course of the next month I’m going to be in and out of the dentist. (Apparently grinding my teeth which I sleep is not a normal thing to be doing.) This whole affair is going to cost me roughly $700 by the time I’ve paid for the appointments and the mouth guard. That’s $700 I don’t really have which is why it’s so important to have an emergency fund saved up. Luckily the dentists in Australia mostly have payment plans so I’ll be able to pay these bills off in instalments without it doing too much damage to my cash flow.

What is an Emergency fund?

An emergency fund is sort of like a self managed insurance. It’s a stash of money that you keep aside in the event of an emergency which could be anything from dental work, car accident or even unemployment. Did you know that 4/10 Americans wouldn’t be able to access $400 in the event of an emergency without selling off assets or going into debt? That’a nearly 130 million people or more than 5 times the population of Australia.

If you could save up $400 for the event of an emergency then you would already be doing so much more than nearly half the population of America. Remember my case though. Looking at $700+. That $700+ is for minor dental work too. Imagine if I needed some major work priced in the thousands! *Shivers*

Looking at your budget, try to figure out where you could set aside some money each week to put towards and emergency fund. If you can put $21 aside each week for an emergency fund then in a year you’ll have $1k which trust me, would make a huge difference in the event of an emergency.

How much money should be in an Emergency Fund?

The amount varies depending on a few different variables from whether you have private insurgence, mortgages and other expenses. Most experts say that you should have from 3-6 months of living expenses saved up. This doesn’t include things like going out for dinner or the bar on Friday nights. These things are your loans, your bills, food and fuel etc. It seams like a huge amount to save up and it can also look pretty overwhelming to someone who is just starting which is why I choose to have goals to work towards so that the process is a little less tedious. Considering i’m about to start saving for my emergency fund, I’ll show you what my plan is.

First Goal: $400. When I reach that goal I know that I am in a better position than a lot of other people which serves as some peace of mind. Things could be worse

Second Goal: $1000. It’s a pretty number. Pushing past that $1000 will feel like an achievement.

Third Goal: $3000. There it is. That’s one month of income right there. I know that if anything happens, I’m all good for a month.

Fourth Goal: $9000. There it is. There is my three month of emergency funds saved up. I’ve done good. Now lets do it one more time to be sure.

Fifth Goal: $13,500. I’m half way there. Just another $4.5K and I’ve got it.

Sixth Goal: $18,000. There we have it. I’ve got six months of income saved up. If I’m eve in an Emergency then I know that I have enough money for the next six months to get things back on track.

After reaching your goals, you can then start directing that money elsewhere. Personally, I’d still continue throwing something like $21 a week into the Emergency fund just so it was still growing but any extra money that I was investing into the Emergency fund would be diverted to investments elsewhere.

Some final thoughts

I have to apologise for all this time I was preaching personal finance and I’d ignored one of the most important pieces of personal finance advice. Save an emergency fund. It’s not a matter of if you need it, only a matter of when you need it.

I almost fell for a Pyramid Scheme


Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

How was I so stupid?

Okay I might have stretched the truth a little bit. I didn’t almost fall for a Pyramid Scheme, I was almost recruited into an MLM (Multi-Level-Marketing). Pretty much, a Pyramid Scheme that just barely fits within the loopholes our legal systems have.

Let me tell you the story. I’d just applied for a job I’d seen online (I’m looking for a bit of a career change) and the Job description was pretty cool. B2B Marketing and sales with leading clients around the country. The successful applicant would be in charge of helping boost sales for one of their clients. The whole job was focused around helping clients boost sales and there was a lot of training offered as well as great upward momentum. I wrote up a cover letter and sent that off with my resume and not 1 hour later I had a missed call, a text message and 2 emails from them. Sounded great. I pumped my self up in the car ready to call back and the first RED FLAG!

She answered the phone with, “Hello?” . . . . Not, “Hello this is Blah blah from woop woop how can I help you.” Just a measly, “Hello?” So we got passed that and she talked about a few things about my profile she wanted to update before we move further along in the process and then asked if I’d be able to come in for an interview some time soon. I agreed and she said that tomorrow there were 3 sessions. Second RED FLAG. I agreed to come in in the afternoon and that was the end of the phone-call.

Wanting to prepare for my interview the next day, I decided to do some research about the company on a website called glassdoor.com. (I highly recommend this site to anyone looking to research their future jobs) Most of the reviews were pretty good and happy go lucky but the bad reviews tipped me to become very sceptical. A few reviews on that website mentioned that this company was a Pyramid Scheme which they so vehemently defended against claiming that they couldn’t possibly be a Pyramid scheme as those are illegal. It turns out that this job I was applying for was an MLM where the bottom of the chain sold raffle tickets on the streets and in shopping centres. A far cry from what the job description said.

I then inspected their website and that only confirmed my worst fears about them. On every page they talked about their goals, their achievements and how you can join the team. Their entire website was geared around getting people to come work for them and nothing, I mean absolutely nothing was said about the services they provide. Not a, “We can be your marketing solution,” or , “Contact us for a free quote about our sales and marketing solutions.” It was all, we are so good, we make lots of money, if you want to make lots of money then join us too! Nothing, about the services they provided. Which really cemented the fact that the lady I had just spoken to on the phone was really trying to recruit me into an MLM or Direct Sales or Community Sales or however they try as they might to cover up the dirty name of MLM.

LiveChat Partner Program

What the F*** is an MLM?

The above image should be information enough. An MLM is a company that has a product or a service that they sell, but instead of more traditional methods of sale, do the above. You buy into an MLM for a small start up cost and you are given items to sell to customers, but anyone who is worth their salt will realise that you can’t make much money selling products for an MLM. Instead, you recruit people below you to sell the items for you. You buy the item from your superior and then sell it to your recruits at an inflated price. They can then do the exact same thing you just did. Recruit someone to sell the items for them. They buy it off you and sell it to their recruits. So you buy it off your boss, sell it to your recruits and they sell it to their recruits and they sell it to the public. Hey presto, that’s MLM. As you can see the money isn’t made by selling the product to the public, the money is made by having as many people working under you that you can. The moral problem with this though is that the person at the bottom is nearly always going to be running at a loss unless they recruit people.

There are a lot of articles, forum posts and videos all over the internet talking about the risks and dangers of MLMs and what exactly they entail. John Oliver does an excellent segment about it if you have the 30 minutes to spare watching it.

MLM can be done in a legitimate way but there would need to be a few changes. Firstly, work based 100% on commission is pretty shady, especially if you are selling low cost products. For my opinion to change on MLM’s there would need to be a base rate plus commission. Secondly, the focus of the entire business shouldn’t be centred around getting more recruits to sign up to the MLM, it should be about selling the product that is on offer. The MLM part of it should be an afterthought as a marketing avenue.

Just Quickly

If you are ever approached by or accidentally apply to what you suspect is an MLM, make sure you do your research about the company, what products they are trying to sell and what training they offer as well as any fees that may apply. Usually they won’t tell you about any of the fees until after they try to hard sell you on becoming part of the team so look that stuff up online. People can be successful in MLMs, it’s not a complete scam. It just isn’t what it appears to be on the surface and morally I can’t bring my self to support them or work for them, even if they offer valuable experience and growth. I can’t morally agree with a business structure that leaves the bottom rung of the ladder out of pocket most of the time.

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Disclaimer

This post contains affiliate links.

How the f**k do I budget!?

You’ve told me a thousand times!

You have probably heard this more than once. Maybe from your mother or grandmother or that weird aunt that won’t eat bread but loves toast.

“Make a budget and stick to it.”

– Aunt who wont eat bread

They always, very conveniently leave out the ‘how’ part of the equation like it should be some intrinsic knowledge we all have. Look I’m not going to tell you like I’ve got the key. Budgets are easy but sort of not so without rambling on, I’ll just go ahead and get into it.

1: Figure out your cash-flow.

This step is the most complicated of them all, but because it’s the first step it turns a lot of people away. Trust me though, after this step, everything gets a lot easier.

So what is cash-flow? In simple terms, cash-flow is the money that is actually yours. Cash-flow is the money you have left after you pay your dues such as bills and mortgage. Figuring out your cash-flow is the next part so read along slowly and make sure you understand, if you get confused then just go back to the top and read it again.

You want to figure out how much money you make whether that be from investments, your salary or your monthly bank robbery. (For legal reasons, that’s a joke) Figure out how much money you much money you make every month and write it down.

That’s your income

Now you need to figure out how much of that money you owe to other people. Lets say your monthly income is $3k and you owe the following.

(Don’t forget to add in expenses that span over a few months, just break them down)

  • $1.1k Mortgage
  • $400 Utilities
  • $400 Fuel
  • $250 Land Rates
  • $80 Car Registration
  • $120 Insurance
  • $20 Netflix
  • $15 Gym
  • $500 Groceries

All up, you’ve got an expense of $2885 a month which means your cash-flow is $115 a month. That’s all of the money that you don’t owe anyone. What you do with that money is up to you. A lot of people just spend it on movies and eating out or other activities and end up living paycheck to paycheck.

Now you’ll here this from every personal finance guru (Which legally I am not, I write blogs) If you aren’t using your Gym membership, cancel it. That goes for any membership service you have that you don’t use. Don’t pay for it if it doesn’t provide any value. You could save hundreds of dollars a year if you cancel unused memberships.

Insurance. Shop around, this goes for all of your regular bills and utilities. Make sure you are getting the best deal possible. Shopping for better deals again could save you hundreds every year.

Land-rates. . . Sorry I can’t help you there. Tax is tax.

Groceries. Try buying home brand goods in stead of brand name. You’ll be surprised how quickly a $160 shopping bill can go down to $100 when you are paying $1-$2 less on every Item.

You could turn that measly $115 monthly cash flow into $500 or even $1000 if you’re diligent.

What to take away

I don’t know if much of what I’ve said here will help you but hopefully you’ve learned at least enough to figure out your cash flow and maybe some tips on reducing your expenses. There are troves of information about budgeting and what does and doesn’t work. If you are searching for a budget type then remember that the most important budget is one that works for you.

Personally, I have a zeroed out budget or as some call it, ‘give every dollar a name’ but that’s a story for another time.

5 tips to negotiate a pay rise


Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

What you’re paid vs what you’re worth

It’s probably time we tackle the fun subject of asking for a pay rise at work. Did I say fun? I meant awkward. But the key to being successful is to get over that awkwardness. Instead of feeling like you are just asking for money, look at it in a different light. You aren’t just walking in and asking for money, you are participating in a negotiation over what you’re worth the the company and the value you bring. If you leave behind the shackles of awkwardness about asking for money, and change how you view the situation then you will be better equipped mentally to succeed in your negotiations. With that out of the way lets move forward.

5 tips to negotiate a pay rise

(1) Be worth it

This should go without saying but if you are going to negotiate a pay rise, you need to make sure you are worth a pay rise. Which isn’t a hard prerequisite to meet. Make sure there is an intrinsic value that you add to the company such as great team leading, new innovations that you’ve brought to the company or saved the company some money in one way or another. There are other things you can do but the point is if you being employed ads value to the company then you’re worth it, and you can go and ask for the pay rise. Don’t ask for a pay rise if you don’t do anything special. If you just come to work, do your job, clock off at the end and repeat, then you might need to change your mindset and work ethic before asking for more money.

(2) Time and Place

There is a correct time and place to be asking for a pay rise and that isn’t at the Christmas party after a few too many shots. In terms of specific times of the year, the best time to ask for a pay rise is after the start of the new financial year and if you’re privy to the information, after the company budget has been written. Generally, companies will have money put aside in the budget to accommodate things like pay rises and bonuses. By getting in at the right time, you’re a head of everyone else in your office that wants a pay rise and you also get to set the bar for what value you provide to the company. You want to talk to your HR manager ahead of time and just ask if they can schedual you in for a meeting about your future within the company. It might not be that very day, but its a more friendly way to approach the situation than just barging into their office and demanding a pay rise.

(3) Start with your achievements

It’s okay to brag if you do it politely. Now is when you can bring up how much money you have saved the company, efficiency changes you have made and customer deals you have closed or successful marketing campaigns you’ve run. This is where you can lay it all out on the table and prove to the company just how valuable of an employee you are. Chances are this is already stuff they’ve already recognised. By showing how much value it is to have you working for the company you are more likely to get a pay rise.

(4) Know your numbers

Before you go into the negotiation, it’s imperative that you know exactly what you are asking for. Don’t walk in and say, “I dunno, maybe $1 or $2 an hour extra.” Not only is it incredibly unprofessional, it also gives your employer the upper hand and your not here to give them the upper hand, you’re there to get what you want. Know the specifics right down to the cent value of what sort of pay rise you are after. Helpful free tools like Payscale can give you accurate figures about the market value of your job as well as tell you the lowest amount being paid for it, the highest amount being paid and the median wage rate for other people in the country or area that have the same job as you. If your job is worth $22.04 an hour don’t negotiate for $22.00, negotiate for the full $22.04, even if that means you have to compromise to a lower amount which is a very likely possibility. You need to be the one to make the first offer. This is a negotiation and you need to establish your footing. Never let them make the first offer.

(5) Remember that this is a negotiation

It’s not a one sided conversation so don’t treat it like one. This is a negotiation where you want something and the person you are negotiating with wants something. Just like how they are going to need to make compromises with you, there are times that you are going to need to make compromises with them. You might argue for $25 an hour and they offer you $23. You could compromise by accepting $23 an hour and a change in working times or you can accept $23 on the condition that after 2 quarters there is a review that starts at $24. There are multiple different compromises that you can make but that’s the whole idea of negotiation. You are trying to get the best for you and they are trying to get the best for them.

Regardless of the outcome

Make sure to remain professional and if you don’t end up securing a pay rise. Ask the right questions. “What goals should I meet to become eligible for a pay rise?” “Is there anything within my job that I could be doing to achieve better results.” The answer no is not a be all and end all. It’s just a hurdle that needs to be jumped and you can figure out how to do just that.

Just don’t be afraid to ask. The worst thing that can happen is they can say no. Not much risk for a high reward if you ask me. If you don’t ask you don’t receive so, just ask.

Is P2P money lending really worth it?

What is P2P Lending?

To decide whether it’s a good investment option you have to understand what it is and how banks lend money out. If you own a bank account then you are already lending money out to people. You store your money in the bank, and the bank lends that out and you earn interest on it. The bank uses your money and assumes the risk of the loan.

With P2P lending it get rid of the bank which was the middle man and there are a few advantages and disadvantages to this.

 Pros and Cons.

Pros:

When you get rid of the bank and lend money out using a P2P network like Ratesetter or Lending Club, you get a higher rate of interest on the repayment of the loans. When you have your money in the bank you might earn 2-3% interest but with P2P you can get a higher interest rate at roughly 6-8 percent and depending on your level of risk it can go higher than 10%.

A quick one for borrowing as well. Because of the nature of P2P, it cuts out a lot of the normal bureaucracy that happens in the bank which means it cuts costs. Generally, because there is less bureaucracy involved, they can offer a lower competitive interest rate compared to the banks meaning if it was a choice between the bank or P2P, overall P2P is going to win out on the interest rates.

It is a very cheap investment to get started on with Ratesetter having a begging investment of only $10 and other brands with minimum investments around the same price.

Cons:

This is where I would have to state that I personally don’t recommend investing in P2P Lending platforms. I have $100 in Ratesetter at the moment and when the loan comes to maturity I’ll be taking that $100.27 out of the account. That leads me to my first con.

Liquidity, or lack thereof. When you invest your money in P2P lending you don’t have access to that money and interest until the loan has been repaid (Understandably). The lack of liquidity is the biggest reason why I’ll be divesting when my loan has been repaid. Most lending platforms offer 3-5 year loan terms which means when you invest in a loan, you will slowly be paid back over the 3-5 years your principal plus interest. You can’t sell your loan like a share so if you invest $1000 it could be 3 years before you see that $1000 come back with $180 interest. This ties into my next point.

There is a possibility for you to lose your entire principal if a borrower defaults on their loan. Ratesetter offers a provision fund to protect it’s lenders but it is still not a guarantee that you will not lose your entire investment which Ratesetter themselves stress in their own information document about their provision fund. With the lack of liquidity you need to take into account the economy. It’s possible that there will be another recession which could result in millions of people losing their jobs, some of those people being your borrowers. In the event that happens I don’t see it as unlikely that the Ratesetter provision fund could run out. Because you can’t sell your investment, you might just lose the whole lot.

Tying back in with losing your entire principal, when you use P2P lending, you assume the risk of investment. Usually the bank assumes the risk and if the bank loses money that it invested from your account, you don’t wear the cost of that, they do. With P2P, you assume the risk hence the realistic likely hood to lose your capital. Also, if these lending companies go bankrupt, it’s likely that you will lose your principal there as well because the first people to get paid are the creditors of the company and technically you aren’t a creditor of the company, more like a user of their platform, so if they go bankrupt, you won’t be at the top of the list.

So what’s the verdict?

That con list is a little bigger than the pro list. As I previously stated, I have money invested within Ratesetter and I’ll be pulling that money out when the loan matures. My personal opinion on the matter, is that there are just better investment options out there that offer the same if not a better ROI compared to P2P lending as well as those options being easy to liquidate in the event that you wish to either access the money or move the money to a new investment. The lack of liquidity and not very competitive ROI means that it’s a no from me.

However if you want to borrow from these platforms, they do offer a very competitive interest rate compared to the banks so you can save your self thousands buy using these P2P platforms for borrowing as opposed to lending.

Are you Rich or Poor? The dangers of lifestyle creep.

It’s all about how you think.

Morning break conversations are where it’s at. What is the meaning of life? Have you heard about the current world politics? How are the kids? Did you hear that Barry Gary just quit? It’s a really great small chunk of time in our day where for a small time we can have absolutely meaningless discussion or deep and thoughtful conversation.

So this mornings conversation with my coworker stretched from religious freedom to work life attitude and eventually money. He quoted Warren Buffett (A quote which I don’t have much time to validate) and said, “It’s all about how you think. If you make $10 and only spend $7, and another man makes $100 and spends $101 dollars, which one is rich?” Obviously the answer is the first man with a surplus instead of the second man with a deficit. This is stuff that I already know about, but it’s nice to have a reminder every so often to keep an eye on lifestyle creep.

Lifestyle Creep

Sort of like a real creep only lifestyle creep doesn’t take photos of you on public transport. Lifestyle creep occurs when we start to have access to more money either through savings, a promotion at work or paying off a loan. We start spending more money on things that we used to consider a luxury but now consider it a right. It’s things like a more expensive bottle of wine on Friday nights, more expensive clothes or a TV cable channel. The point is that lifestyle creep when left unchecked can spiral out of control until, even with more money, we save less than when we were making less money. Luckily for me my luxury is my tin of Milo and I make sure to keep that in check.

Lifestyle creep can mean we don’t have enough money in savings or to invest in assets. A US Federal Reserve report in 2017 stated that 4 in 10 Americans Adults couldn’t produce $400 in the event of an emergency without selling something or sliding into debt. That’s nearly 80 million people and or their families. That’s just over 3 times the population of Australia that are financially unprepared for an emergency, both low and middle income earners.

Finances are an important part of our life so we need to remember the multiple facets of personal finance, which is why it’s always good to assess if and how lifestyle creep, is creeping up on you.

Why I wear a cheap and clunky $3 watch from China

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Photo by Alvin Mahmudov on Unsplash

On my left arm when I sleep, when I work and even as I’m writing this at the moment, I wear a cheap watch. It boasts a brown fake leather strap with some form of a metal clip.  The face is circled with a gold colored metal with a mechanism on the outward-side to change the time and date. The face itself has the Roman numerals from 9-3 (IX,X,XI,XII,I,II,III) with the other numbers market with a simple strip. Blue hands tick around the face, telling me that it’s getting closer and closer to bedtime. (I still have to make my lunch.)

This is the third watch I’ve been through. One just stopped working and the other one had its strap break at work. So on my left wrist right now I wear my 3rd cheap and clunky $3 watch from China. I have 17 more of them sitting in a tub, in my garage waiting until my current one breaks, and I require their services.

It would have been late 2017 and early 2018. I thought to my self, “People are always buying cheap stuff from China and selling it here. Why can’t I just do that?” So that’s exactly what I did. It took me a few months to set up, I watched multiple videos on Youtube and read countless articles, even attended webinars all based around reselling cheap goods from China. I registered a business with the all of the legal entities required, built up a website sourced the products talking to multiple different suppliers and after a broken leg in November gave me a lot of time to wallow in my crippled sadness and smash through a lot of the admin side of things, early December I was done. The product arrived and I started advertising straight away. All the way up until Christmas. And then I advertised some boxing day sales. Then I advertised some New Years Sales! I cut my price by nearly 50% and by the end of it, I was just trying to make back what I lost. No one bought the watches. (Good thing I only had a small amount of stock.)

By the end of it, I was left with a failed business with no sales and a few hundred dollars down. I think it totaled around $600 by the end of it so all and all, not the biggest loss that could have been made. I moved on to my next thing, which involved taking a course in online business and entrepreneurship but that’s a story for another time. I was left with 20 units of stock. So no I wear them. I don’t wear them to remind me of my failure. I wear them to remind me of the lessons I learned and most importantly, I wear them as a testament to my journey.

When I look down and see my watch, I don’t see some cheap and clunky $3 Watch from China. What I see is a fraction in time where I decided, I was going to do something. I was going to make a business. I liaised with suppliers, I built a website, I invested my money and I ran advertisements. I learned how to write countless spreadsheets and emails. I shipped in some product and set up a business. When I look down at my watch, I see that there was a time in my life when I was completely committed to an idea and followed through with it. Regardless of the outcome, I decided to write my own history and improve my self.

That is why I wear a cheap and clunky $3 watch from China.

I let Bitcoin defeat me and learned a valuable lesson.

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Photo by David Shares on Unsplash

The year would have been 2017 and I was ready to invest. I had hardened my resolve about wanting to live a life of financial freedom and I was ready to work toward that. I started messing around with stocks or to be more specific, leveraged CFD trading. For those of you that don’t know what that is, I’ll make a post about it some time and link it here. I was trading in mainly commodities and cryptocurrency. I had invested maybe $500 and a few good trades with Silver and Oil had my portfolio sitting at $1100 after a few weeks. I had gotten into Bitcoin and decided to ride the wave up. This was when bitcoin was sitting at around $3600. I’d ridden the wave for a small time and my portfolio value was sitting at about $1400.

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I had made the biggest rookie mistake you can make in leveraged CFD trading and I went to bed one night with active trades, no stop loss set. I thought I was riding the wave. Then at 5am, I get a message from a friend. “Are you shorting BTC?” In my half a sleep state I reply, “Huh no, long. Why?” I decided to jump onto my platform to have a look at what he was talking about and that’s when I saw it. My portfolio sat at $0.

I had to rub my eyes for a few seconds and then double take, no, triple take to check that what I was seeing was real. It still read $0. My heart sank in an instant. In a matter of a few hours, I had lost $1400. I read in the news later that day that China was cracking down on the use of cryptocurrency so all of the Chinese investors were pulling out quickly and the price dropped overnight from $3600 down to $3000. It even hit $2900 at one point. I didn’t set a stop limiter on my trade and that was it for me, the portfolio I had spent the last month and a half slowly building was all gone in an instant!

I became pretty depressed. My next paycheck rolled around and instead of investing my positive cash flow I just spent it instead. It was probably on alcohol, I had an alcohol addiction at that time which also didn’t help my mental health. I didn’t want to touch stock anymore, I didn’t want to touch CFD trading.  I was in a rut where I lost all motivation. My next paycheck came in and again it was spent on alcohol. A few weeks later, bitcoin had started rising again and was in the news. it hit $4000 but again, I was off it. I didn’t want to touch it. Then it hit $10000. It was on the news, and all of the mother and father breakfast news viewers all for some reason thought it would be smart to invest their entire life savings into it. By the end of the year, bitcoin was sitting at about $24,000 AUD. Obviously, it crashed as anyone should have expected it would. But I had missed my chance. I lost motivation and didn’t want to invest. If only I had invested, I would have made almost a years wages before the crash where clearly it would have been time to sell.

Losing everything, giving up hope and watching helplessly, I had learned a lesson that I can only recently put into words. I was three feet from gold. (Google three feet from gold.) If I had continued investing and not let my defeat dishearten me, then I would have struck digital gold. This lesson taught me that failing isn’t a bad thing. Failure is a lesson. There is a simple reason why I lost my entire portfolio and it wasn’t because investing was bad or because the markets are rigged against me. I didn’t set a stop loss. That’s it. That’s the lesson I needed to learn about CFD trading. Set a limit to your losses so if you aren’t there when something happens, you don’t lose everything. It wasn’t the world against me, it was me against me and if only I had taken that lesson, then I would have a lot more money today. It was a hard lesson to learn, I was three feet from gold, but in the end, I did learn it. I didn’t have a $1400 failure. I had a $1400 lesson and in my honest opinion, I think that lesson is worth every cent.

How I started my journey to Financial Freedom

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Let me just set the scene for you. It was 2pm on a Wednesday afternoon and I had just finished jury duty, something that would have a profound impact on my outlook of life and not for the reasons you would think. I didn’t get selected for any trials and we were all let home early. I went to a pop culture store nearby with the intent to buy a comic book for the train ride home. I ended up stopping in a bar close by with chill music playing and a comfortable chair in the corner where I sipped on some scotch on ice while reading my comic. I read through the entire comic and looked down at my watch. 3PM. I was still getting paid for this. Sitting in a bar, reading a comic and drinking scotch. I had no obligations, no time constraints, nowhere I had to be and no one I had to talk to. I didn’t have to worry about money because I was getting paid. It was that moment in my life when I felt the freest. Nothing can really describe that feeling of true freedom. It was like I was completely in control over my life and I could do whatever I wanted. I went back to the comic store, purchased two more books and went back to the bar. I finished another book and another scotch. I saved the last book for the train though.

But all good things come to pass and the next day I was back at work. Up early in the morning and working the grind. Monotonous work that could barely stimulate my brain let alone keep me asleep and all I could think about for that day, no for the rest of the week, was ‘I wish I was at the bar reading my comics.’ That began to stir something within me that slowly began to surface as one of my life’s greatest desires. I wished to once again feel that level of freedom that I had for that one day. From then to now I started to learn, I started to read, I started to figure out how I could make that a reality, from business ventures to cryptocurrency I started getting my hands into anything to start chasing a dream. That dream, to have the freedom to sit in a bar, reading a comic book sipping on some scotch with absolutely zero obligations, zero time constraints and zero worries about money.

This is the story about my journey towards financial freedom. Am I there? No. Will I get there? Definitely. If you really set your mind to something you can do it. There is an old saying that goes along these lines. “You either work really hard when you are young, or you work really hard when you’re old.” Either way, there is work involved, and I’m prepared to work really hard now so I can have the freedom I desire.