In this blog series, I will share with you exactly what my strategies are and how they serve my financial goals. I’ll explain to you why I change tactics with shifting economic cycles and how I identify emerging markets. I’ll also show you how I’ve structured my own portfolio and how I manage those assets. Along the way I’ll explain my thinking and rationale so you can judge for yourself what might be worthwhile to consider further. Many of these ideas will be new to you; they were to me as well. However, just about every successful investor I know uses all of these strategies and many others too.
Are We There Yet?
Defining Financial Independence
Remember when I said that the Wall Street model of retirement was wrong? That you don’t need a mountain of money to retire? Let me introduce a new definition of financial independence, a new definition of success that goes far beyond saving up for tomorrow’s retirement “nest egg” and can instead, impact your quality of life today.
The concept is so simple and yet was so elusive until I opened my mind and considered something different. This is my definition of Financial Independence:
When your monthly expenses are paid for by your monthly investment income, you can retire.
When all my monthly living expenses are paid for by my monthly investments, I can go sailing on a Wednesday, travel on my own schedule, play with my family and friends and work toward some long-standing life goals. (Singlehanded Transpac Yacht Race 2024, I’m looking at you…)
However, I do love to work, and now that I’m collaborating with other women to build wealth together and share what I’ve learned, I’ll admit it’s hard to put it away for the weekend!
There are numerous investment vehicles and tactics you can utilize that will pay a safe, consistent, monthly income. There are also amazing investment strategies that will earn tax-free income for you too. Keep working if you like your job—or stop working to do something else—the choice is yours.
Come On Now…What Are You Really Selling?
I don’t care what you do with your own portfolio, I just want you to know that you have so many more, different options than what you’ve been fed by Wall Street. I’m writing this blog because I’m pissed off! I’m sick and tired of hearing how women are still getting the short end of the stick. My blog is an attempt to share the “keys to the castle,” to move us all toward a more level playing field by showing what various options I have found in the investment space. There are numerous wealth building strategies as well as small tips and tricks that over time, produce solid results. (For the record, I don’t believe in “get rich quick”.)
Whatever your dreams have been for your life, they can still be achieved, and sooner than you’d think. Are you afraid you won’t be able to retire, were you wiped out financially after a divorce or have unexpected medical bills that derailed your wealth building plan? I want you to know there’s another way to get where you want to go, a better way in my opinion. I’m going to show you my exact pathway and ongoing journey, then you decide what might work for you.
If you want different results for yourself, you have to be willing to consider alternative investment vehicles and wealth building tactics, ask probing questions and most importantly, you must be willing to have a fundamentally different conversation with yourself and your family.
Get Out Your Papers and Pencil
If you’ve read this far, maybe you’ll come along a bit further…
Here’s your first homework assignment:
You can’t know where you need to go, until you know what you need—so let’s figure that out right now.
Your Current State of Affairs
Pull together all your account statements, everything.
IRAs and 401Ks (old ones from former employers), precious metals, real estate holdings, annuities, bank statements, under the mattress stuff—pull it all out. Include cash on hand, your emergency fund. And let’s not forget all those bullsh*t fees I mentioned above; make sure you check on your current fee-based accounts and note exactly how much they are. Let’s get some clarity about your current situation.
Also pull out all your debt accounts; short and long term. Let’s see the damage; we can’t solve any problems until we know what they are!
Monthly Budget (ya got one right?) I don’t mean a loose idea of your financial ins/outs but a reasonable grasp of the details. Check your bank and credit card statements for reminders of what subscriptions you pay for on a monthly basis—“monthly” is key here—I’ll get to that in a minute. For those bills you pay on an annual basis such as insurance or property taxes, do that math and add it in as a monthly expense so they’re captured too. We want to know on a monthly basis exactly how much it costs you to live. I’m not expecting an austere budget, this is not a financial diet—so add in whatever you reasonably spend for vacations, represented in that monthly amount.
Lastly, let’s get a handle on what your tax situation looks like—do you have any write- offs currently? Are you working with a Tax Strategist on an annual basis to guide you?
I’m not a CPA, attorney, Financial Planner or wealth advisor but I have them all on my own personal team of advisors—you should too. The ideas I share with you are merely that, my ideas and should be construed by you as education not professional advice. (My attorney will be happy with that CYA statement!) Later, I’ll share my thoughts about how to find good ones for your own team. And also when you might need to upgrade an advisor if they’re no longer serving you well. (I know I’ve had to do this and it’s never fun but was always necessary).
So, What’s Next?
Do the homework and get to know your monthly number. That is your magic number, the “Freedom Number.” Once your investment income equals your monthly expenses, you have arrived at financial independence. It won’t happen over night, but by asking different questions, thinking outside the Wall Street box, considering alternative investment options and making new connections, this goal is possible for each of us. In my next blogs, I’ll dive into various cash-flowing strategies, how to invest in real estate (with and without the tenants/trash/toilets and termites) but also discuss options for private money lending (where you can even use your self-directed Roth IRA or 401K for tax-free investment income). As you read these articles, I hope you’ll begin to construct your own investment portfolio as I have mine; balanced with both offensive and defensive tactics and truly diversified across many sectors.
Every week I set aside time to speak directly with others who need to ask questions or seek clarification. If you’d like to schedule a quick 15-20 minute appointment, please sign yourself up on my website and we will arrange a time to talk together.
(Don’t worry, I never share or sell your info, ever—it’s just for our own use. You won’t get solicitations or pesky emails—I hate that too!)
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
Dr. Maya Angelou
I hope this helps to get you thinking…