034 | The Stock Series Part 2 | JL Collins

034.The Stock Series Part 2

This podcast is Part 2 of the Stock Series discussion with JL Collins, author of The Simple Path to Wealth and the website JLCollinsNH; we discuss the Great Depression and the mindset you need to be a successful long-term investor, plus how to allocate between equities and bonds.


In Today’s Podcast we cover:

  • Part 2 of the Stock Series conversation with Jim Collins
    • If you have not yet listened to Part 1 you can listen to it here
    • Be sure to check out the associated Friday Roundup here for Brad and Jonathan's take-aways
  • A discussion of what happened during the Great Depression and the Crash of 1929
  • A large portion of the crash was due to many people buying stock on margin
  • Jim’s explanation of leverage and buying stocks on margin
  • Jim’s Four Lessons to watch out for
  • Making peace in your mind when a crash/correction happens. What caused it?  Psychology or something legitimate?
  • Unless you believe the US economy has permanently collapsed, then “the market always goes up” over time according to Jim
  • Jim says the best thing that can happen to a young investor is a market crash as you get to purchase stocks “on sale” for potentially years
  • Savings rate is the most crucial aspect for the FI community since it allows you to continually invest in good markets and bad
  • Bull markets and bear markets are a part of life. We need to toughen up mentally to prepare for both
  • Jim’s explanation of the 40 year period starting in 1975 showing the calamities that happened and yet how far the market increased
  • Nobody knows what the next 40 years will hold, but we have a dynamic economy
  • What stage of investment life are you in? It varies depending on your age
  • Wealth building and wealth preservation stages and the discussion surrounding both
  • When you’re in the wealth building stage you need to have your psychology correct: Keep pumping money into the market and take advantage of sales when the market goes down
  • 100% equities in the wealth building stage per Jim
  • When you stop working for money you are in the wealth preservation stage
  • What percentage should you have in stocks and bonds in the wealth preservation stage
  • The more you have in bonds the smoother your ride will be, but the lower your return will be
  • Your tolerance for volatility will determine your percentage in equities and bonds
  • Would Jim ever consider going back to 100% equities?
  • Mathematically you are always better off in stocks than bonds over the long-term
  • Even Jim contemplated selling during recent market plunges, so everyone is susceptible to this

Links from the show:

Books Mentioned in the Show:

Related Podcast

033R | The Friday Roundup

Friday Roundup 033R

In today's Friday Roundup we go in-depth on Episode 33 with Dominick Quartuccio including thoughts on self-improvement, meditation and a challenge from Brad. Frugal wins of the week plus three voicemails from the community.


In Today’s Podcast we cover:

  • Unpacking Episode 33 with Dominick Quartuccio and our takeaways from the episode
  • Intentionality allows you to purchase your freedom, and we want to expand that intentionality beyond just personal finance
  • Our focus on living a happier, more content and optimized life
  • The ultimate luxury is the ‘perpetual money making machine’ to provide time and focus on what matters in life
  • How Dominick spent $28,000 this year on personal development. Have you spent any time or money on your own personal development?
  • Spending on things that you value, and directing money and resources as such
  • How to improve your life for $0 and learn and grow
  • Brad’s challenge: Make one change in your life this week that will make your life better
  • Break some negative habit and disrupt it in your life this week
  • Jonathan’s change this week: Eating carrots and salad without salad dressing
  • Meditation and breathing. Take one deep breath.
  • Brad’s description of his meditation practice
  • What gets you excited or nervous about life coming up in the near future? How are you expanding your horizons?
  • How Jonathan has learned by starting ChooseFI and how it has been the excitement in his life this past year
  • Discussion surrounding guilt over not feeling content with your “perfect” life
  • Limiting beliefs: Don’t let them hold you back and also go back and analyze the beliefs and stories you have been carrying with you your entire life
  • The value of making small changes over time to improve your health
  • Jonathan’s search for better tea
  • Feedback from the audience on Episode 33 with Dominick
  • Frugal Wins of the Week:
    • Holly saved money by not going to the movies and bought the game Outburst
    • Adlay fixed his air conditioner after watching videos on replacing a capacitor on YouTube
  • Quote from Paige how she only has control over her spending and savings rate
  • Discussion about contest with Alan Donegan on building a business
  • Voicemail from Jessica with new segment we’re calling “Highlighting the Hamster Wheel”
  • Voicemail from Royce who used our voiceover guy for his side hustle contest submission
  • Voicemail from Thomas about a side hustle to teach English to Chinese students
  • Itunes reviews

Links from the show:

033 | Design Your Future | Dominick Quartuccio

033 Design your Future Dominick Quartuccio

In today's podcast we speak with Dominick Quartuccio from DominickQ.com and the author of the book Design Your Life about disrupting your behaviors and ‘creating a future you can't wait to live into.'


In Today’s Podcast we cover:

  • Our guest is Dominick Quartuccio the author of Design Your Future who is here to talk about ‘designing a future you can’t wait to live into’
  • This is a very personal episode for Brad, as Dom is a close friend and the person Brad goes to for advice and motivation
  • FI is focused on freedom and that is what Dominick focuses on, but with an emphasis on energy
  • People in Dominick’s world were asking questions about ‘where to go from here’, even though they seemingly have everything
  • Community is such an essential aspect of life
  • We all need to be intentional and not drift through life
  • Dominick’s explanation of the term ‘drift’ as defined by Napoleon Hill and what happens if you live an unintentional life
  • How to know if you’re drifting in life? Are you reacting based on fear?
  • Progress is an essential aspect of being a human
  • What is on your life horizon that gets you ‘excited like a kid on Christmas morning’?
  • How beliefs impact how you live your life and how Dom’s belief held him back from leaving his corporate job
  • Systemic spending. How Dom’s gym impacts his entire system
  • An awakening: Most are unintentional, but Dominick advises looking for intentional awakenings
  • Disrupting: How to disrupt your behaviors, stories, etc.
  • Possible disruptions would be to abstain from a behavior for a period of time (“no Netflix for 60 days”, etc.)
  • ‘The space between a stimulus and the response’
  • How to interrupt your normal response after a standard stimulus
  • How 95% of your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, etc. fall below your conscious thinking
  • How the 5% of conscious thought can impact and change the 95% of habits, behaviors and become habitual
  • How to design the future you can’t wait to live into
  • Writing your own eulogy to focus on the ‘celebration of life’
  • How long do you want to live? What do you want to experience in life?  What did you leave behind – what lives on beyond you?
  • Shifting your focus to realize you have ‘ultimate authority’ over your life
  • Dominick’s Eulogy
  • A 90 day action plan to set a defined goal to help design your future
  • The value of small changes and process improvements over time
  • What happens to your energy when working through a 90 day plan and tips to sustain the plan
  • How to curate an internal state that makes you stronger
  • Hot Seat Questions
  • Meditation is Dom’s favorite life hack
  • Dom’s biggest financial mistake: spending too much money launching his business

Links from the show:

Books Mentioned in the Show:

032R | The Friday Roundup

In today's Friday Roundup we discuss Episode 32 with Joel from FI 180 on the ‘Milestones of FI', plus a life hack voicemail from Noah and Frugal Wins of the Week from our Facebook community.


In Today’s Podcast we cover:

  • The Friday Roundup after the Milestones of FI episode with Joel from FI 180
  • We’re having a FI get together in Richmond and hope to expand beyond Richmond
  • The gamification aspect of personal finance and the milestones
  • When your ‘financial freedom clock’ starts and discussion of where certain types of debt plays into the calculation
  • Financial freedom clock equals positive net worth and all junk debt is paid off
  • Milestone two is when you have a $100,000 net worth (when Personal Capital starts calling you for a personal consultation)
  • The next milestone is ‘FU Money’ and there is discussion on where this fits into the continuum as the concept is nebulous
  • Should there be a milestone before $100k net worth and FU money?
  • Adding in ‘checkpoints’ along the way on the journey to FI in addition to milestones
  • Milestone four is ‘Half FI’ which means you have 12.5x your annual expenses saved up
  • Milestone five is ‘Lean FI’ which means you have enough to cover all your core expenses for life (not including your discretionary expenses)
  • The discussion surrounding the math and psychology of paying off your mortgage or not paying it off
  • The next milestone is the “crossover point” where your investments earned more than you did from working in a given month
  • The many catchphrases of Brad and Jonathan
  • Milestone 7 is Flex FI, followed by Financial Independence as Milestone 8 and Milestone 9 is Fat FI
  • The power of the concept of Flex FI and how you have an 82% chance of succeeding even at this milestone
  • The conversation surrounding where Brad is on the path to Financial Independence and where the side hustle factors into the calculation
  • Our ask that the community helps us refine the milestones and checkpoints
  • How Joel’s FI journey and drawdown strategies can be a case study going forward
  • Voicemail from Noah from Money Metagame on hacks to save on utilities
  • Take action and make the calls to compare prices on auto insurance, utilities, etc.
  • Frugal win of the week from Michelle about unclaimed property
  • Frugal win of the week from Vicki about Magical Iced Coffee
  • Input from Don and Scott about buying cards and gift giving
  • Focus on our discussion about gift giving from a prior episode and the Five Love Languages
  • Itunes reviews winners

Links from the show:

Books Mentioned in the Show:

032 | The Milestones of FI

032.The Milestones of FI

In today's podcast we discuss the Milestones of FI with Joel from FI 180; this is a new look at the path to FI and the milestones along the way.


In Today’s Podcast we cover:

  • The ‘Milestones of FI’ with Joel from FI 180
  • We welcome Joel as our first repeat guest on Choose FI
  • The Milestones of FI as a ‘master’s degree’ journey after Dave Ramsey’s baby steps
  • Joel plans to be fully FI in January 2018
  • Joel is completely debt free and is shooting for $25,000 per year in other spending
  • FI creates a “magic money making machine” that spits out yearly ‘checks’ (the 4% rule)
  • FI is the ultimate luxury purchase to save for this ‘magic money making machine’
  • The Dave Ramsey Baby Steps explained
  • To get started on the Milestones of FI: Debt Free and/or $1 of positive net worth
  • First FI Milestone: $100,000 net worth when you first start getting calls from Personal Capital to setup a phone consultation
  • 2nd FI Milestone: ‘FU Money’ set; 2-3 years of yearly expenses saved up
  • 1st and 2nd milestone can be similar depending on your yearly spending
  • The 3rd milestone is ‘Half FI’ which puts you halfway to FI in total spending, but actually more than that in terms of time on your FI path
  • The path to FI is not linear and Joel explains
  • Milestone #4 is ‘Lean FI’ which means you have enough money to stop working forever if you cut out the discretionary aspects of your budget (about 30% of Joel’s budget)
  • Lean FI is an ‘emergency fund that would last forever’ as it covers your housing, food and other essentials
  • Lean FI is perfect for people with a side hustle to do it with no risk
  • The ‘crossover point’ could be another Milestone of FI. This is where your portfolio increase is more than the income you’re earning from your job
  • The next milestone is ‘Flex FI’: This is a ‘5% rule’ or 20x your annual spending in your total net worth
  • Flex FI is only viable for people who can build flexibility into their lives from year to year depending on the market returns, etc.
  • FI is not one milestone but a smooth continuum towards this goal
  • Flex FI has an 82% chance of success according to the Trinity Study (75% stocks, 25% bonds)
  • Financial Independence is the 7th 25x your annual spending.
  • All the work you do after you reach FI is completely optional. Now you can do what you want with your time.
  • When you reach FI you can pick and choose what you want to do at work and in life
  • The 8th milestone is ‘Fat FI’: This is 30x your annual spending which is the “closest thing to a sure thing” you can get in life
  • Where is Brad in milestone continuum?
  • Where is Jonathan?
  • What does Alexis and Joel’s milestone celebration look like?

Links from the show:

031R | The Friday Roundup

031R - The Friday Roundup

In today's Friday Roundup we discuss travel rewards, flipping holidays upside down, buying presents, the upcoming FI Documentary and much more.


In Today’s Podcast we cover:

  • Submit your applications for the contest to win a one-on-one business coaching relationship with Alan Donegan from PopUp Business School
  • Brad’s slow travel vacation through New York State this August
  • How we’ll publish episodes while on vacation and living a FI lifestyle
  • Discussion of Episode 31 on travel rewards
  • What to do with your strategy after Chase cards
  • Clarification of Brad’s past and future travel rewards strategy
  • Noah’s feedback about an alternate option for staying under the Chase 5/24 rule
  • Feedback from the audience: Pastor FI on how he switches Mother’s Day and Father’s Day
  • Feedback from Frank on not doing things on holidays or other busy times. Don’t wait in line “with the lemmings”
  • If you’re busy all the time, you need to come up with strategies to make your life better
  • How Jonathan feels that buying cards for holidays are a terrible waste of money
  • Brad and Laura don’t exchange presents for any holidays/birthdays/etc.
  • Jonathan’s spending habits for presents for his friends and family
  • How essential the concept of progress is in the pursuit of FI and the pursuit of happiness
  • Voicemail from Scott Rieckens on how he’s starting a documentary about the FI community
  • How we can grow the FI movement through this documentary and by spreading the word
  • We’re going to have Scott on the podcast and he’s going to tell us about his Kickstarter campaign for the documentary
  • Question from Bonnie about tax implications in early retirement
  • Response from Keith from the Wealthy Accountant
  • Follow up from Brad on action he took to sell his comic book collection
  • Email from David how he wants to hire Jonathan’s wife Dani to do an audio book version of the book he intends to publish
  • Frugal wins of the week from our community
  • Can you share items with your neighbors and save money?
  • Itunes reviews and book giveaway

Links from the show:

031 | Travel Rewards What Comes After Chase | Travel to Disney World for Free

Free Disney Vacations & Disney Credit Card

Learn how to Travel to Disney for Free. If you focus on these Disney Credit Cards you can put together the family vacation of a lifetime and save upwards of $4000 on travel.   This episode highlights which cards to work on after  you've finished with the Chase credit cards plus whether you should focus on one trip or a general strategy.


In Today’s Podcast we cover:

  • Part 2 of the travel rewards podcast series on where to go when you’re done with the Chase credit card options
  • Does it make sense to go after cards for a particular trip like Walt Disney World or should you focus on Chase cards while you are under the “5/24 rule?”
  • Brad and his wife Laura are both trying to get back under 5/24 and waiting to open up cards
  • If you are doing this with a spouse you can realistically open 10 Chase credit cards (5 each)
  • What cards would you get from other banks such as American Express, Citibank, Barclaycard and Capital One?
  • American Express has a one bonus per card per lifetime rule
  • Amex has a transferable points program called Membership Rewards that is a quality program (similar to Chase Ultimate Rewards)
  • The transfer partners we like from Chase
  • Why we like “fixed value” cards such as Arrival Plus and Venture
  • To branch out beyond Chase cards or not?

Travel to Disney for Free?

  • If you’re a member of the FI community it would be hard to ignore the Chase cards to focus on a specific trip like Disney. In fact it is relatively easy to Travel to Disney for nearly Free and depending on your travel goals you can delay it until you finish the Chase cards
  • For people not aware of travel rewards, a “quick win” like booking the Disney Dolphin hotel is a great way to get huge value from your points

Is there a Disney Credit Card?

  • Buying Disney tickets from Disney does not count as “travel” for credit cards, so you need to use Undercover Tourist (or aRes Travel for Disneyland)
  • Orlando International Airport is a huge hub for Southwest, which is our favorite airline rewards program
  • Southwest does not limit award ticket availability – it is just based on cash price
  • You have a lot of flexibility with Southwest Airlines miles
  • Flexibility will help you succeed with travel rewards

Links from the show:

What if I have a specific question about Travel Rewards?

If you have a specific question about travel rewards, join our Private Facebook Group

Ask a question

030R | The Side Hustle “Unpacked” | Friday Roundup

030R - Unpacking the Side Hustle

In today's podcast we have the biggest announcement in the history of ChooseFI thanks to Alan from PopUp Business School, so be sure to listen and get your responses in ASAP.

In Today’s Podcast we cover:

  • The Friday Roundup after Episode 30 with Alan Donegan of PopUp Business School
  • Brad’s thoughts on not doing what everyone else is doing: July 4th, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, etc.
  • Jonathan’s wife loved the episode with Alan and she is going to use these skills on a side hustle herself
  • You don’t need a lot of money to start a business – the big takeaway from the episode for Brad
  • Bartering skills and maximizing unused resources were two takeaways for Jonathan’s wife
  • Mutual benefit from establishing relationships even when you can’t see where the value might come from
  • Sell your value first and then create the product or service
  • You won’t know if your product or service is legitimate until you actually make people buy. That’s the only real feedback
  • Feedback from Luis on the ChooseFI private Facebook group on his wife’s side hustle
  • How Brad’s business history set him up for success, as he failed and learned along the way
  • How to find low-cost ways to attempt new businesses
  • The different mental approach when using a side hustle as a means to get to FI
  • Brad’s personal approach to his side hustles and what would happen if they ‘went away’
  • Huge announcement of a competition: Alan will work with one winner one-on-one for 12-24 months to help them build their own side hustle business
  • Submit your voicemail submission on our website and tell us why we should select you
  • How this will impact the entire ChooseFI community
  • We’ll bring in our other in-house experts on this project as well
  • Small world stories of meeting other members of the FI community
  • Email from Evan from Bellingar Estates Winery in Oregon
  • What to think about mentally in good times and bad in the financial markets
  • Itunes reviews of the week and giveaway

Links from the show:

Books Mentioned in the Show:

030 | The Side Hustle | The Unspoken Lever of FI

030.The Side Hustle

The most commonly glossed over topic in the FI community | We Bring Alan Donegan on to talk about how a Side Hustle can be a powerful lever to help you reach FI

In Today’s Podcast we cover:

  • How Alan Donegan of PopUp Business School has turned starting businesses on its head similar to how FI has turned personal finance on its head and caused us to think differently
  • How starting a business is truly one of the ‘pillars of Financial Independence’
  • Brad and Jonathan started up their own business with ChooseFI based on similar principles to what Alan is teaching
  • You need to know what you’re running to in FI and not just what you’re running from with your old job
  • Alan’s FI journey and his goal to get to FI by the age of 40
  • How Alan was nearly scared off from starting a business by the course he took through the British government with Business Link
  • Started up PopUp Business School with his business partner Simon
  • Why Alan believes you don’t need any startup capital, business plans, etc. to start a business
  • Story of a popup café/restaurant in London and how this person didn’t spend a dollar to get started
  • The value of networking and genuine human connection
  • What stops you from starting a business? Money is the biggest issue.  Confidence and scared that it will fail are two others and knowing what to do on a day-to-day basis
  • The value of learning with no risk
  • 5 ways to start a business with no risk
  • #1: What can you get for free?
  • Actionable steps: Search on Google “where can I get X for free”
  • #2: What can you borrow?
  • Story of minivan rental business and how they borrowed the minivan and saved 99% of the original business plan amount
  • The only way to truly test your business and get an honest response is if you ask for a sale and see if they buy
  • #5: Sell Your Value Before You Create It: Sell the idea first, get the money, then produce the content/product
  • Story of Dennis selling lasagna and collecting the money first in order to purchase the ingredients
  • #3: Could you barter instead of using money?
  • In order to feel comfortable asking for things, focus on relationships and giving value. We all have skills that others would value
  • #4: Sell stuff you already have
  • Another option is to sell someone else’s stuff and split the profits!
  • Brad’s idea for an online consignment store
  • How passion and helping others motivates you to work on your business
  • How Alan’s business is helping those who most need the support and how people pay $0 to attend PopUp Business School
  • Hot Seat Questions
  • Favorite life hack: Geographic Arbitrage

Links from the show:

Books Mentioned in the Show: