This week we have an interview with Mr. and Mrs. Xyz from the blog Our Financial Path. They are planning to retire at the age of 35 which blows my mind, and also makes me feel old and unproductive, even though I’m only 33, but seriously, 35! That’s an amazing goal, it’s great to see others find and develop a FIRE path earlier rather than later.
First of all, what is your story, and why are you sharing it?
Hi, we are Mr. and Mrs. Xyz from Our Financial Path. We are young professionals that saw the opportunity to work hard, play hard, and retire early. We both were reading a lot of forums and blogs about financial independence and we started our own blog last year to share our knowledge, adventure, and journey towards early retirement.
What part of the globe do you reside in?
We live in Canada and just bought a home in the suburbs two years ago. We are both born in Canada and really enjoy the weather, people, and nature. Being outdoorsy people, it was important to live somewhere close to the mountains and lakes so we found the perfect location in between the city and nature. The house we found is 10 minutes away from hiking trails, 10 minutes away from the river where we kayak, and 30 minutes away from the city.
How did you first discover the F.I.R.E. community?
We first found out about financial independence with the random button on Reddit, I was just discovering new sub-Reddits and really got interested in this amazing community. From there, we both read MMM, jlcollinsnh, and all the good stuff out there. Once we started to realize the possibilities, we were just amazed to see how people are able to retire in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. We then made it our goal to retire early.
What is your ultimate goal and why is it important for you?
Our ultimate goal is to reach financial freedom and retire early. Being free from the 9-to-5 is important for us and we want to live our lives at our own pace, our own way. We want to travel the world, be home with our kids (once we have some), and be able to work on all our little side projects as we please.
What does financial independence mean for you?
Financial independence for us means freedom. The freedom to work, or not, on whatever we want. We are planning to leave the workforce once we reach our nest-egg number but still wish to stay active and continue our side-hustles.
How would you qualify your investor profile or investment style?
We are passive investors with a long-term horizon. We believe that the markets are efficient and active investing is not worth the mountain of fees that is attached to it (brokerage fees, commission fees, annual management fees…). Building a proper asset allocation for your risk tolerance and automating your investments is the key to a stress-free, long-term, successful investment strategy.
What are your favorite financial tools for tracking your wealth?
We really like online platforms such as Personal Capital or Mint to track all our accounts. The small day-to-day transactions are all aggregated from credit cards and bank accounts. It helps us stay on top of our budget and travel hacking. In addition, having all your accounts aggregated in one place helps to see the bigger picture. Seeing your investments all together will help you manage your asset allocation and manage your risk.
What are your favorite investment types?
We are now 100% invested in index funds from Vanguard. I used to trade individual stocks but quickly realized that the best investment type for us was low-cost, broadly diversified index funds. We built a portfolio that suits our needs and risk tolerance and we automatically invest a part of each paycheck into it.
What is the worst financial decision you have ever made?
Keeping up with the Jones was definitively a huge mistake. For a short period of time when I first started making Big Boy money, I bought things to impress people I didn’t know with money I didn’t have. Another mistake I made when I first starting investing was to blindly invest in stocks without thorough research. Beating the market by day-trading individual stocks is feasible but it takes a lot of work and a LOT of time. Time that I didn’t spend and used to trade whichever stock was trendy and hot!
What is the best financial decision you have ever made?
Marrying my wife was definitively the best decision I have ever made. Finding a life partner that shares your views and goals is a huge step towards financial independence. We joined forces and it greatly sped up our journey towards financial freedom.
What is the worst financial advice you have been given?
I would say, the worst advice I was ever given was to invest on margin. The way a margin account work is pretty straight forward; it allows you to borrow against the securities you own so that you can invest greater amounts for greater profits… Until it goes down. When the value of your stocks goes down, then you need to cover the amount borrowed. At one point, I was $50,000 on margin. Thankfully, my holdings went up and I made a nice profit but if it had dropped, I would have been forced to take the loss.
Any final thoughts?
It has been a pleasure to share our story with you and we are glad to share it with your readers. If anyone would like to learn more about us, we write over at OurFinancialPath.com.