Duffmoney started as a weekly blog in 2019. It’s me documenting my journey towards FI. It’s also my chance to put content out to help other people with their journey towards FI.

This week’s post is going to focus on the podcast I recently done with Jason Graystone. After years of questionable investing decisions, I am the expert on how not to invest. Jason is an expert on how to invest and he has serious credibility. He has been FI for over 10 years and with his excellent podcast Always Free, and training material, he helps other people achieve FI.

Tune into the duffmoney podcast to hear our conversation about FI. One of the things I am trying to do with duffmoney is to encourage novice investors or people thinking about investing, to start to think about FI. I am confident getting a legit guest on the podcast like Jason, will help me nudge listeners towards FI.

How long does it take?

I can’t personally tell you how long it takes to get to FI. I set myself a target to be FI within 10 years at the back end of 2018. This means I have just over 6 years to hit my target of being FI by the time I’m 45. It’s going to be tough, but I am confident I can do it.

My main issue is my negative decade between 2008 and 2018. And trying to get away from negative habits! The financial crisis of 2008 contributed to me being negative about money, negative about my properties, negative about investing and negative in general. After getting into personal development, at the start of 2019, things have improved.

For Jason, it took him 8 years to become FI once he made it a goal. He became FI at the age of 29. This was 3 years after he started speculating with Forex trading.

How am I going to get FI?

My investing strategy is long-term buy and hold with property, index investing and crypto investing. If I continue what I’m doing, I’m confident I will hit my target of FI by the time I’m 45.

But can I speed things up? At the start of 2021, my intention was to buy more 3 properties per year and push hard towards 20 rental properties. This would get me my FI. But the property market has gone crazy over the last 12 months, and I’ve had to pivot. I need to get creative and find a way to increase my portfolio without paying for overpriced rentals.

This has led me to consider alternative options like trading the markets with Forex trading. Am I ready? After this podcast, it’s VERY clear I am not ready to trade the markets.

TWO MAIN POINTS from the podcast

  1. If you become emotional about any investment you’ve already lost
  2. You have to earn your right to risk

If I’m being honest, I fail on both these 2 points. I am an emotional investor, and I haven’t earned my right to risk.

Being too emotional with your investments

What I can tell you is that I have pushed hard towards FI over the last few years. I have read a book per week for the last 3 years (books on property, business, personal development etc), I’ve added a few properties to my portfolio, I’ve been investing in index funds for 3 years (stock market), I’ve been investing into crypto for the last few years blah blah blah …

Personal development has led to more self-awareness. I’ve been investing for 20 years now since buying my first rental property as a 19-year-old. One of the things I realised in 2019 when I got into personal development was that I’ve always been an emotional investor.

Like getting too emotional back in 2009 when I realised that my properties were £50k in negative equity. Or when I got into single shares in 2010 and checked on my single shares every 5 minutes. From my experience, this leads to anxiety and poor results. It didn’t attract the money I was looking for. I was always after quick easy money.

One of the things I learned from this podcast is the importance of being neutral when it comes to money. When you look into it, money is an exchange of value, a unit of measure and a store of wealth. It isn’t good or bad it is just something we need to exchange value for goods and services.

During my negative period (2008 – 2018) I was far too emotional and too negative about money. And since the start of 2019, I have still been too emotional, and I guess you could say too positive about money.

Now I’ve read about the importance of being neutral in books. But it is different being told something from someone with serious credibility. The message has sunk in, and I know what I need to do.

When it comes to crypto, I’ve been far too emotional. Checking the price of my alt coins on coinmarket cap far too often. It is early for crypto, and it’s very volatile. I believe in BTC and other crypto assets but investing in this new technology is not for the faint hearted. And if you make the mistake of checking coinmarket cap constantly it will increase cortisol levels (your main stress hormone), meaning you have become emotional.

This was discussed in the podcast, and it reiterated to me I need to stop checking the crypto charts as often as I do. Maybe once a month or every few months. This will help me to invest in crypto like I invest in property and index funds.

Earning the right to risk

This is something I need to work on. I’m heading in the right direction. But my bad habits from my negative decade have been difficult to move away from.

As I said, I’m the expert on how not to invest. I have learned the hard way what not to do. Like investing without any research. Or checking on my single shares too much. Since 2019 I’ve done my research. I can’t stress the importance of this enough. DYOR!

For 6 months at the start of 2019, I done a lot of research on index investing. By mid 2019, I started investing in index funds via Vanguard. And I’ve been doing this for the last few years.

The hard part when it comes to index investing is the initial research. It’s about understanding your risk tolerance and understanding what companies your fund manager will be including in your index fund. After 6 months of research, I went with a Vanguard Life Strategy fund.

With my research behind me, I was confident I could achieve an average interest of 7-8% over 15 or even 20 years. I was aware of the benefits of compound interest, and I was happy to get stuck into some dollar cost averaging. And I was also aware of the importance of only checking your fund maybe once or twice a year. This was down to experience and the books I was reading in early 2019.

In terms of index investing, I’ve invested with skill over the last few years. I done my research. I have stuck to dollar cost averaging. And I have only checked my fund once per year. This sounds like I’ve earned the right to risk, right?

Wrong…

2021 was a year I got into crypto in a big way. I believe in blockchain technology, and I believe in BTC and other alt coins. Crypto is early and it’s volatile but I still believe in it based on the technology and the fact the current financial system is broken.

But…

In 2021, all of my old bad habits have come back to haunt me. I checked on the crypto charts far too much and became too emotional. I also put too much money into this risky asset class. Must try harder! With this in mind, I haven’t quite earned the right to risk and will be giving forex trading a wide berth for now.

Let me know what you think of the podcast. I’ve taken a lot away from it and will be looking to finally learn my lessons when it comes to investing. I’ll be working on being more neutral when it comes to money and investing. And I will be working hard to earn the right to risk.

Despite not being quite ready, I will be reviewing my progress at the end of 2022. If I have managed to remain neutral and remove the emotions out of my investing, I will reassess whether or not I have earned the right to risk. I will reconsider forex trading and look to accelerate towards FI.

For more on my negative decade, read my 1st book – FI Money: Learn the hard way, teach the easy way. This will help you avoid some of my mistakes and help you with personal finance and investing.

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