DIY Investing for Financial Independence

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Financial Independence Number: Definition and How to Customize

Financial Independence Number: Definition and How to Customize

The financial independence number is a benchmark to determine retirement preparedness. It’s also known as the FI number.  Financial independence is achieved by: building enough passive income to cover annual expenses, or amassing a lump sum of enough savings and investments to cover living expenses through withdrawals, or a combination of #1 and #2. The financial independence…

ProjectionLab Review: Powerful DIY Financial Planning (+ Video)

ProjectionLab Review: Powerful DIY Financial Planning (+ Video)

ProjectionLab is a powerful financial planning tool that empowers do-it-yourselfers to set and track financial goals and forecast how their wealth will change over a lifetime.   We can use it to experiment with various scenarios and assumptions to help us determine if we have enough to retire or achieve other financial milestones.  This retirement planning calculator is far…

The Pros and Cons of DIY Investing

The Pros and Cons of DIY Investing

I’ve been a self-directed investor for almost thirty years. Self-managing my investments has saved me tens of thousands in fees, though I’ve been susceptible to my own investment biases and mistakes. Overall, I believe the tradeoff favors do-it-yourself (DIY) investing.   This article explores the pros and cons of DIY investing compared to hiring a financial…

The Definition of Financial Success is Not So Obvious

The Definition of Financial Success is Not So Obvious

The Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attraction opened at both Disneyland in Anaheim, CA, and Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL, in 2019. Despite the long-awaited openings, Disney stock analysts were disappointed to see overall theme park attendance down 3% in the fiscal third quarter.  Visitors to the planet Batuu meet face-to-face with the Millennium Falcon…

Throwing ICE on FIRE

Throwing ICE on FIRE

The mainstream financial media’s portrayal of early retirement has always felt disingenuous, leading with “this 30-something retired” or some variation of that hook, then later highlighting that the “early retiree” is working a new job (even though they don’t need to), running a business, or has an employed spouse providing income and health insurance. These…


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