Well, this week the majority of this site’s writing is coming to you from an actual professional, and not just my usual amateur ramblings.
In case you missed it, Business Insider ran a feature story on me! The article includes plenty of juicy details I’ve never discussed on this site, including my yearly salary and rough budget, so check it out!
How cool (and slightly terrifying) that this little blog was featured on one of the 100 biggest websites on the internet??
Special props to Business Insider’s journalist, Tanza Loudenback, who I thought did an awesome job presenting the Financial Independence concepts fairly. A lot of mainstream media outlets present financial independence as this wacky, naïve cult filled with crazies destined for a cat food diet by age 65, thanks to their misguided early retirement plans.
I mean, she even explained the Roth IRA conversion ladder! Its omission usually turns the comments section into a mess of “Gotcha!” comments about how all early retirees are doomed to early withdrawal penalties.
“Gotcha!” Comments Anyway…
Unlike the group of awesome Money Wizards we have in this corner of the internet, plenty of angry Doomsday Preppers over there emerged from their bunkers to flood the article’s comments section.
I believe the term, “haters gonna hate,” applies here.
To be fair, I found most of the comments pretty entertaining for how bizarre they were, and I did pick out some interesting lessons in the midst of it all.
Lesson 1: Most People Don’t Read Before Chugging the Haterade
Most readers still assumed I’d be sent to the poor house by early withdrawal penalties, despite the author’s pretty detailed explanation of the Roth IRA conversion ladder.
I’ve also been informed that I live in a dump of an apartment, apparently live with my parents, and somehow became a millionaire between the end of the article and the start of the comments section. Go me!
All joking aside, there’s a more serious trend of comments I saw popping up again and again that’s worth highlighting, because it’s the most wealth robbing attitude you can have…
Lesson 2: You Can’t Get Rich Living in Fear
“Aha!” many commenters said. “What if the market crashes, you’ll be poor!”
This is a pervasive mentality among the world’s non-investors. The idea being that the end of the world is just around the corner, that the problems facing our country today are far more dangerous than any period in history, and it’s just a matter of time before the sky falls and takes out all our investments with it.
Here’s the problem: people have been predicting the collapse of the market every day for the past 100 years. In the meantime, the market has trudged on through The Great Depression, two World Wars, the Dot Com Crash, and even the Hostess Bankruptcy.
Some people during those past 100 years have chosen to live in fear, and they’ve been poor because of it. Meanwhile, millions of people spanning generation after generation have been born, started careers, invested their money, and become rich.
There’s a risk to everything in life. We can choose to let these risks consume us, or we can accept the risk.
We could never leave the house for fear of a car crash, or we can get up, live life, and hope for the best. Chances are, things will work themselves out. 🙂
The great irony of it all? Far and away, the riskiest investment you can make is to do nothing. Doing nothing is the only investment guaranteed to lose half it’s value every 24 years.
Lesson 3: The Real Takeaway
The most important lesson, though? Saving $150,000 is far less impressive to Business Insider commenters than my $10 internet bill.
(I split it with my girlfriend. CenturyLink – $20 per month. 10 mbps!)
If you haven’t checked out the Business Insider piece, take a look, and definitely share the story in whatever social media channel you like best. You guys and gals are awesome!