Podcast | Jeremy Schneider – Personal Finance Club

Today I chat to Jeremy Schneider from Personal Finance Club. Jeremy chats to us about building his successful businesses, about how PFC started and how anyone can become financially independent!

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Introduction – Jeremy Schneider

Today I welcome on board Jeremy Schneider from Personal Finance Club! Jeremy joins us from sunny California and chats to us about building his successful business Rent Links, where he was always famously the lowest paid employee, and which he worked bloody hard to build over a 10 year period! He went on to build several other successful businesses and has always maintained simplicity when it comes to money and investing – living by and spreading the message to live below your means and invest early and often.

Personal Finance Club started as a hobby Instagram site and quickly grew to half a million followers and many more on YouTube as well. PFC posts great quality, engaging, no bullshit content that cuts straight to the core of personal finance and the FIRE movement and so I’m excited to share my interview with Jeremy here on the pod to talk about PFC, Jeremy’s business success, his personal financial independence journey and how he spends his money these days! Jump on board!

jeremy schneider


Episode 46: Jeremy Schneider – Personal Finance Club

Show Notes

“The world of money and investing is confusing. There’s a multi-trillion dollar financial services industry ready to take advantage of you. But financial literacy can help you navigate this world of money. Personal Finance Club is here to give simple, unbiased information on how to win with money and become a multi-millionaire!”

Jeremy Schneider


Episode 46: Jeremy Schneider – Personal Finance Club

Jeremy Schneider – Personal Finance Club

Captain Fi: [00:00:00] Ladies and gentlemen, this is your Captain speaking. Welcome aboard the Financial Independence Podcast.

Gday and welcome to another episode of Captain Fire, the Financial Independence Podcast, where I open the cockpit to some of the best and brightest in personal finance, as well as those who have reached or are on their way to financial independence. Before we get started, remember nothing said here is financial advice, and you should always do your own independent research before making any financial choices.

With that being said, I hope you enjoy the episode and learn something new.[00:01:00]

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Welcome aboard another episode of the Captain Fire Financial Independence Podcast. Today we’re gonna fly across multiple time zones again and we’re welcome aboard by Jeremy Schneider from Personal Finance Club in sunny, San Diego, California. Jeremy reached financial independence in 2014 after his multi-million dollar sellout of his San Diego based property tech startup rent links, which he worked bloody hard for 10 years to build, and he was famously always the lowest paid employee, and I suspect the hardest working two after the sale.

He even went on to work for the new owners for a couple of years before deciding that corporate life wasn’t for him. And it was time to fire. By that stage, his investments were already earning twice what his wage was. Anyway. Since then, Jeremy has gone [00:03:00] on to start several other successful companies, including Personal Finance Club and online financial education platform.

Personal Finance Club started out as a hobby Instagram site where he just posted what he’d learned about finance and investing during the lockdowns after the sale of his business, and now it’s grown into a huge online business with over half a million followers on Instagram alone and many more on YouTube.

TikTok and his website and the company now turns over a million dollars in sales. I actually really love personal Finance Club as Jeremy and his team are always posting great quality, original, engaging, no bullshit content that really cuts straight to the core of personal finance and the fire movement.

It’s great in that it helps to educate, encourage the use of common sense, simplicity and critical [00:04:00] thinking when it comes to finance. Jeremy’s rules are really simple. One, live below your means and two, invest early and often. Jeremy, it’s great to have you on the show this morning. How you going?

Hey, captain

Jeremy: Fire. What an intro. I’m doing great. Thank you for having me


Captain Fi: Pleasure is all mine. So just getting started, would you be able to tell the listeners a bit about yourself? So where you’re from, family situation, hobbies, that kind of thing?


Jeremy: That’s a big question, but I grew up in Michigan from the United States. I grew up in Michigan until I was 29 and then moved to San Diego, California where I currently live. I’ve never been married, no kids, but I hope to do those things one of these days. And yeah, I like playing beach volleyball, which is part of the reason

I like San Diego and also Australia’s not a bad place for that. I played some beach volleyball in Melbourne a few years ago. Oh, Jeremy,

Captain Fi: you sound like the package deal there, mate. Millionaire running company, single beach volleyball. I reckon there might be a few eligible bachelorettes listening on the podcast [00:05:00] from Australia.

You gotta watch out, mate. Next time you visit down under, you might get swamped. All

Jeremy: right, I’ll take it. Love that accent. Or maybe I’m the one that has an accent. I don’t know.

Captain Fi: So look, Jeremy why are you so passionate about personal finance? Why did you start pfc?

Jeremy: I think I just really like the topic.

I think some people like, jet skiing or skydiving are much more cool things. I just really get excited about helping people learn about money and investing. I think it can really change lives. This is, years into this hobby of mine, I still talk to people and kind of give them the basics about how to get their money in order and put their money to work for them to, change their future.

And it still pumps me up. And so I just think it’s a really needed piece of education in our lives that , doesn’t really get talked about much and isn’t generally in schools.

Captain Fi: Yeah. And awesome to see was it your nephew who just turned 18? You cut him a fat check to put into his retirement account?

Jeremy: Yeah , my oldest nephew just turned 18 and on his birthday gave him a thousand bucks to put into his retirement account and kind of did the math for him. I said, Hey, if you just leave this [00:06:00] alone when you’re traditional retirement age, it’ll be $88,000. And my mom actually did the same, so he put 2000 bucks in there.

And so , without investing another dollar, he’ll have, theoretically 160,000 bucks or so at retirement. But more importantly, I think it’s like planting the seeds of. Why money is a tool that can work for you and grow over time, not something just to be spent immediately and, be tracing your tail your whole

Captain Fi: career.

That’s awesome. That’s such a beautiful thing that you’ve done. And, $188,000, like actually there’s some data that came out here in Australia the retirement investment vehicle we have is called superannuation. It’s similar to an IRA or a Roth. But the scary thing is most people actually have less than that.

People that are retiring at the moment have less than that so that’s super powerful that you can help set up that lifelong habit. I remember my nephew, I was trying to teach him a little bit about business and we did some beekeeping so we were like harvesting the honey and the honeycomb and selling it.

So the money did get spent. So I’m yet to crack that nut [00:07:00] about teaching him about investing, but I think it’s super important. Bloody awesome that you did that. So look back to you may, , if I remember correctly we had both actually scored scholarships for our tertiary education.

And I know that was a huge benefit to my fi journey because a lot of people, in the United States and in Australia the cost of education is quite high. So , they graduate and they sort of have to work to get back to being broke.

So scholarships can be super important. Could you touch briefly on your university days and what you studied?

Jeremy: Yeah, I agree. It is crazy, at least in the US we’re saddled with student loans and yeah, the day you graduate, you minus 40,000 or 50 or $80,000 and then you spend the first maybe 10 years of your career, like you said, just clawing out to zero and mitigating that debt has this massive magnification impact on your future wealth.

 One. Kind of analysis I did said if you could save $20,000 of student debt in college, you’d actually have like [00:08:00] $300,000 more at retirement just because you get to start that, exponential compound growth sooner when you pay off your debt. And start investing. So for me, I was very fortunate for a few reasons.

When I had parents who basically helped save money for my college. I went to a public university in the us which isn’t cheap, but it’s not as expensive as it could be. And then I also ran track and I ended up getting a track scholarship. I also worked every summer and sometimes during the school year in addition to like, being a varsity athlete.

Then I would put myself through grad school teaching, which would provide free tuition. And I studied computer science. I interned at Microsoft for two summers in college. And then when I graduated I turned down a full-time offer from Microsoft and instead decided to start my own company.

Captain Fi: Awesome.

So that leads me perfectly into the next question is, can you tell us a bit about Rent lx? Which was that company that you

Jeremy: started?

I never saw myself [00:09:00] as an entrepreneur or a founder. I thought that I was more of a tech guy who just would do a better job, like in a specific computer programming role, essentially. But it just happened that when I was graduating, I didn’t wanna work for Microsoft. I didn’t wanna leave my college town yet, and so I just felt like I had to start a company.

So I did. And it took a few years before it became what it eventually was of me trying to just like build websites for people or do consulting for people or anything I could do just to make money. But after basically selling some websites to some local landlords in Michigan I basically created a product for landlords, which is a advertising service called Rent Links, where landlords can post their properties to my website and then we would automatically.

Syndicate them to like 50 different apartment search websites. And so when a renter happens to go to any of those different apartment search websites, they’ll see, our customers properties and just like an easier way for landlords to

Captain Fi: advertise. Wow that’s really interesting cuz I mean, there’s [00:10:00] some huge websites in the property niche, like in Australia all homes and realestate.com and like these are.

Billion dollar websites. They’re huge businesses. So yeah, I can see how there’s an opportunity there to improve, the process of matching up tenants and properties. Cuz, as a landlord, I haven’t found those websites to be particularly helpful for me. But certainly as a tenant, cuz I rent I found that they’re pretty useful for for searching for properties.

But definitely, there’s an area for an improvement there. So, That’s a awesome man. So it was 10 years you spent building this thing, so that’s a long grind, right? It’s not like this overnight success

Jeremy: story. Yeah.

One of my favorite sayings is that overnight success takes about a decade. And I think when. People hear my story, they’re like, oh, you just sold an internet company. That’s why you’re rich. And they’re kind of brushing over the, I think it was more like 12 years of grinding, where the first few years I was literally living on credit cards.

I was, not making enough money to even pay [00:11:00] for the most basic of groceries and rent. And only through the persistence of not giving up. Whether that was dumb or not, I don’t know. But not giving up for those 12 years. Did I eventually have that big windfall?

Captain Fi: It’s definitely paid off.

I mean, and when you compare that to, I guess a quote unquote more traditional journey to fire, if people want to I talk about the savings rate, for a 50% savings rate leading to around a 17 year career. So if you had, that 60% savings rate, which is not really unreasonable, so you know, 65, 70%, you’re really starting to get around to that.

You know that 12 year mark, which is similar to what you spent building rent links. Now, I know you, you posted publicly about the sale and how much you made, but if you think about it, like you, after taxes and everything you sort of walked away with around, is it two and a half to , 3 million.

And so when you amortized that over the time that you were working on it, it’s less than 200 k salary, which when you look at some people working in the [00:12:00] tech industry, like they’re able to almost achieve. Double that. So yeah, I agree. I don’t think it’s very fair to sort of brush off your success in saying, you sold an internet company.

Well, actually no. You’ve worked originally hard for over a decade. And actually you could have also achieved a similar outcome as an employee. It’s just obviously a lot less certain than what


Jeremy: did.

Yeah, when I’ve kind of done the back of Akin Math and what if I took that Microsoft job and just lived very frugally and aggressively invested, like you just described. I think I would’ve been slightly better off still with selling my company. But, it would’ve been close. And, there was another path out there of my life where I could have, retired early.

I think in reality though, what probably would’ve happened is I just would’ve had a lot more lifestyle creep if I was working for Microsoft and making a big salary. Cuz for sure, like you said, it kind of comes out to about 200,000 per year. But what most people do is they start spending, 180 per year or more, and then, 12 years later, they don’t have.

Two or 3 million bucks, they have, few hundred thousand bucks in the steal to work the rest of their [00:13:00] career

Captain Fi: Mr. Money Mustache Has an awesome presentation that he gives about that. I think he calls it was it the treadmill to still Brooksville or something?

He just talks about the lifestyle creep and how yeah, these people get their, like, sea level executive jobs and they’re still broke. And look, I saw a lot of that in in my previous employment in the aviation industry. People on high salaries and they were still taking loans to go on holidays.

They were still buying cars on credit. And I know you never know somebody’s financial situation, not judging. But it just seemed like insane to me that someone could be earning so much money and still have such a low net wealth. this leads me to my next question, right?

Which is speaking about pay and salary. You sort of famously were always the lowest paid employee, and I throw out there that I suspect, you’ve got quite a strong work ethic, so you were probably also the hardest working employee or the longest working. Can you talk a little bit about why you chose this strategy and how this was reflected in your leadership style?

Jeremy: I think part of it was just like [00:14:00] naivety. I didn’t really know how to raise money in terms of venture capital or investment, and I wasn’t super interested in doing that either. I just didn’t like the idea of owing someone money. I guess that kind of like speaks to my debt free roots. And so to grow the company I didn’t have the benefit of like someone giving me millions of dollars and then paying myself a fat salary just to be the boss of this company that makes no money. We had to like actually make money the old fashioned way by selling a product or service. And then to grow the company we had to spend less than we made at the business so I could use the funds to hire.

And it just turned out that, the most expensive kind of people to hire in a tech company are programmers. And that’s what I did. And so I basically funded the company by paying myself very little. $36,000 a year was my max take home pay and hiring kind of around me salespeople and support people as the sole programmer for the first, I think five or six years before we had enough money to start hiring other programmers.

So it was mostly just because I [00:15:00] didn’t know how or didn’t want to raise money. And also maybe there’s something about just being, I don’t know, The kind of leader that doesn’t feel like he needs to put himself above people. It feels stupid to say out loud, but I never felt like I needed to pay myself more money to establish dominance or something

Captain Fi: it’s awesome and I, it’s good that you can compensate and motivate your employees. So is that bootstrapping? You say you bootstrapped rent links you had nothing and you sort of reinvested your time and proceeds , to grow the capital.

Jeremy: Yeah, absolutely. Was bootstrapped, I mean, the only sort of loan that I ever took was credit card debt personally to pay for my groceries. And, the first year of my business, our top line revenue was about $14,000, which wasn’t, after expenses. Maybe I could take home 10,000 of that or something.

That wasn’t enough to even. Buy groceries. And so I racked up about $10,000 of credit card debt that year. Then the second year, that $10,000 grew to $12,000, which is actually good cause I only needed $2,000 more. And I was kind of bouncing around between 0% [00:16:00] APR credit cards at the time.

And then by the third year we had enough money and I had brought on a partner at that time, which is my mom, and we had about, maybe $30,000 in the bank account. So we had actually started making money and I cut a check to both of us for $12,000 each.

Captain Fi: It’s really interesting hearing you talk openly about having an and running up a balance cuz I guess, in the fire community, which I guess I’m probably more part of the fire community the dogma is certainly, oh thou shall never run up a balance, but it just goes to show how dedicated you are in building this company.

But it, I think it also goes to show like the stakes that are involved in entrepreneurship and how, it’s not this like glossy dream. Everyone’s going to start a business and make money and they should quit their job. It’s actually a pretty scary grind. To think that you couldn’t afford to buy groceries and had to resort to a credit card.

I think that goes to show just how extreme, how dedicated you were , to growing the

Jeremy: company.

Yeah, it’s weird being now 42 and established and [00:17:00] thinking back to like my 22 year old mentality. But, I think in my mind , I was kinda like jumping out of a plane without a parachute, but, or maybe I did have a parachute. I don’t know, I don’t know exactly what this metaphor is.

Maybe, you’re captain five, so maybe you can give me the aviation metaphor but like my rip cord I was gonna pull was, all right, if this doesn’t work and I’m about to hit the ground I’m gonna just go crawl back to Microsoft. And, $10,000 was an insane amount of money to me.

At the time, I’d never seen that much money that I had now, $10,000 in credit card debt. But that job offer I turned down was good for $74,000 a year. And, I turned this down in 2002, so this is like, tech jobs. Now I pay a lot more. By the time 74,000 was pretty solid and I was living on like 20,000.

And so I was like, all right. If I’m about to hit the ground and I can’t afford, or I’m, going to get, I don’t know, foreclosed on or something I can just go crawl back to Microsoft, get a job, hang about that much money and, probably six months or less pay off that $10,000. And so that was, for sure.

I think there’s, risk and grind of being an [00:18:00] entrepreneur, but I also think I was coming at it from like a. Perspective privilege too. Like I was fortunate to, not have kids and not have any college debt or anything. And basically a pretty good backup plan,

Captain Fi: And that comes back to , you set up a solid foundation with your education as well. And that sort of enabled you to have that. So, that’s probably something that again, isn’t touched on a lot when people talk about entrepreneurship and starting a business is, you really do need those backup plans.

And , I’ve found that since personally reaching fire it’s granted me a lot more opportunities to now make more money. So it’s a, it’s sort of one of those cruel realities of life, isn’t it? That it’s hard to break out of that poverty cycle. But once you start building wealth, it just becomes easier.

Jeremy: Yeah, that’s totally true. And yeah, it is cruel because it’s kinda like the people who are most in need of a break kind of often don’t get it. But it is kind of an aspect of life is, like you said I was in a fortunate position at 22, but I also, spent five and a half years getting two [00:19:00] solid college degrees and hustling to get internships.

And I was also very lucky I had parents that supported me. They weren’t financially paying for me after I moved , outta my house at 17, but that’s not true. They were helping me pay for college, but after I graduated college, they weren’t paying for me. But I set myself up pretty well, and I agree with you now that I have retired, when I quit my job at 36 and was retired, I had about $3 million of net worth.

And now after not really having a real job for years my net worth is now about $4.5 million. And and so it’s kind of crazy. And in fact like this year, the market’s done fine this year, but I was looking at my returns and like, I’m up, I’ll a few percent of my portfolio this year, but that includes, I just bought a Tesla in cash and I’m still up, so it’s kind of crazy.

 I’m spending money like I’ve never spent before

Captain Fi: You used some Money. Mustache I hear he’s just bought a Tesla as well.

Jeremy: I actually know him. I have his phone number in my phone. I wouldn’t say that we’re friends. But you know, we’ve definitely like texted and hung out at a few conferences and stuff.

Captain Fi: Fire blogger and podcaster in Australia [00:20:00] Aussie Firebug he’s awesome. So he is definitely worth having a look at his site. And he’s like on the fence. He really wants to get a Tesla now. And so every time he posts about it, I’m like, Mr.

Money mustache. I just bought a Tesla. I think you should buy a Tesla. Cause I’m trying to like living vicariously through all these other people. Right. I mean, I would love one as well, but I don’t really drive too much. So, yeah, I’m still happy with my old station wagon.

Jeremy: Neither do I. Yeah. There’s literally no, there’s no way to like rationalize the money I spent on it. It’s just, I just wanted one for years and they’re so cool. It’s like driving a spaceship.

Captain Fi: You bloody well should enjoy it.

And actually that’s something I, I didn’t wanna talk about, and I’ll ask a question a little bit later. It’s actually about the spending aspect because I focused so much. I mean, I grew up poor and so, and I’ve always a saver. And, I managed to flick the switch and became an investor.

But I am, I still really have a hard time spending. And so that’s something that I’m working really hard on. So I do wanna touch on that a little bit later. [00:21:00] But, I just wanna keep this train rolling. So rent links. So after you, you sold rent links and you got that check. You reached financial independence, you paid off everything.

How did you feel and what did you

Jeremy: do?

Well I didn’t have any debt at that point, so after I paid off my credit card debt in my early twenties, I did. I didn’t borrow money for a car once in my twenties, but then paid that off pretty quickly. And so I had no debt, but I was, living in San Diego making $36,000 a year, kind of just above the poverty line.

And then there was only one day where I clicked, I actually have a video of it, I posted online, but I clicked a refresh on my bank account. And my life savings up until that point was about a hundred thousand dollars because I was paying myself 36,000, living on about 30,000 a year and then investing 6,000 per year.

And that’s 6,000 times, 12 years plus the growth of the market was about a hundred grand. But then I clicked refresh and this wire came through. That was for over $2 million. And so just like in a moment, I went from being, kind of broke to being kind of [00:22:00] rich. And it was weird, it, it was definitely like a fun minute, but I think the reality of that wealth has taken years to sink in.

I couldn’t say that I grew up poor. We were middle class or maybe even upper middle class, but I definitely grew up frugal. And then in college, I was just living pretty frugally. Then after college, I was living really frugally. And so, , any dollar I spent, I would use with extreme care.

And there’s so many habits like that die so hard. Even things like today, so many things in the world I had written off as. Something I could never do because it’s too expensive. It’s, it is just like a, it’s a luxury afforded only to the wealthy. And something as simple as like getting a shirt tailored.

Like I I’m six four and a 200 pounds and just kind of like skinny and long. And so it’s really hard to find shirts that fit me. And so literally this year, at 42 years old, I was just, I’m just kind of bummed, like, man, I’ll never have shirts that fit me. And then it dawned on me, I’m like, what does it cost to tailor a shirt, like 20 bucks?

And back in my [00:23:00] twenties I had just, Mentally written that off for my whole life. Cuz I was like, you can’t waste 20 bucks. 20 bucks is more than you should be spending on a shirt, much less altering a shirt. But now 20 bucks is like nothing you wouldn’t even notice if went missing from my bank account.

And so, when you say how did you feel like the answer is kind of like it’s still sinking in a little bit because I had spent so many years living so frugally and what did I do? I went to work, it was kind of weird you imagine selling a company and I’d imagined like, alright, getting on a plane, flying first class to Fiji, just living life.

But in reality, this very nice company just gave me $5 million and my share for tax was about $2 million, but like gave us $5 million for this company and they wanted, to integrate it into their business and start improving it. And start using it. And so I was now an employee of like a big company and I had to just go to work

Captain Fi: When did you know, so [00:24:00] you mentioned you’ve working there for about two years. When did you know it was enough?

Jeremy: Yeah. The company I bought. Stars kind of was all carrot and no stick with me. They wanted me to work there, but they didn’t want me to work there if I didn’t wanna work there. And so, it was kind of like a progression where early on things were going really well. I was like really being valuable, helping integrate this company and grow the team and things like that.

After a couple years, I just think I wasn’t the best person for the job anymore cuz I was just kinda like a middle manager and not really cut out for that. And I think there’s other people at the company who would’ve done better than me at that role. And I also was noticing in my bank account that even though at that point now the new company was paying me like a pretty nice salary of about 150,000 bucks per year.

But my investments were growing faster than that. I had about $3 million in investments at that point, and with a 10% return, like the average of the market, that would be $300,000 in investment growth. And so I was like, wow, like just leaving my investments, sitting there doing nothing in index fund, I [00:25:00] gonna kick off about a hundred thousand dollars a year.

Whereas actually going to work every day for an entire year is only gonna pay one 50. Yeah. That’s freaking awesome,

Captain Fi: I’ve actually, I’ve heard. A, this similar story play out with number of people that actually sold their business.

And a really good example that I studied was Al Albo who sold his car website. He had a a website that basically reviewed and looked at different types of cars and became huge. It was making a lot of money and he sold it out. It was 60, $67 million.

He sold it to Channel nine, which is a big media company in Australia. And again, after about two years, he just became so sick of the, he called it multi-level management. And he felt really hamstrung, like he couldn’t actually do what he wanted. So he. Kind of walked away. He kind of got himself fired, which was really funny.

But yeah, I think that sounds like it’s a pretty normal progression, especially for someone who’s like you, who’s naturally a leader who wants to be making decisions, who wants to be in [00:26:00] charge. When you sort of get hamstrung into that employee mindset, there’s there’s gonna always be an expiry day on it.

So, and look rent links wasn’t your only company. No. So you have had a couple of awesome ones. Like what’s that charge which is still making you healthy income and also your house flipping venture, , which you have said wasn’t as successful. Can you talk a bit about your other business ventures and and how they turned up?

Jeremy: Yeah, despite, as a young adult, not seeing myself as start a company kind of guy, I started I think six now, or we’re starting our sixth right now. And not that it’s a numbers game, I’d rather start $1 billion company than like six little ones, but it just kind of happened, and so rent links, we talked about another one while I was, in, in those 12 years I was growing rent links. I was at the gym one day and I had just like saw some cryptic charge on my credit card. And I was like, what is that? Sometimes you look when you see your credit card statement, The charge it says, doesn’t like actually match up to what you bought.[00:27:00]

And I was like, what is that thing? And I Googled it and like nothing came up. And I even like posted my blog. I had like a little personal blog. I was like, I think I eventually figured out, I was like, oh, when this cryptic thing shows up, what did they actually mean Is it’s like you’re paying your water bill or something like that.

Cuz it just didn’t say water bill on there. And then I was like, you know what, I should make a website that just lists all the different credit card charges and then lists what they actually are. So when people Google them instead of like my personal blog showing up for just that one charge, it shows up for any charge.

And my buddy and I at the time, we had this little ongoing competition to try to start and finish a company in 24 hours. And it’s a really nice, I know it’s absurd, but it really is a nice box or a boundary on the scope of what you can do. And so it’s like, all right, it has to be exceedingly simple business model technology.

But you know, we were both programmers, so like if we can just kinda like go to town and build in 24 hours, and so we did, it’s like a simple website where it just basically has a bunch of pages. And I think we built that in 2011 or something like that. [00:28:00] So it’s been about 12 years and it’s basically been paying my rent ever since.

Like last month I made about $7,800 and I’m splitting with my buddy. But you know, every year we, it just collects money from ads and then every year we just drain the bank account and split it in half. And it’s like, basically now it’s even paying more than I rent. You have 8,000 bucks a month is like 4,000 bucks for me.

Captain Fi: I’ve got a small portfolio. I’ve been selling a few so I can focus on the bigger ones. Obviously I love blogging about personal finance as well. And so blogging and podcasting on Captain Fire is my passion project, and I love doing that.

But yeah, I’ve actually got a couple of dozen little content sites that I’ve just sort of outsourced most of the stuff and I’ve, pay writers to post stuff. But yeah they tick on like, they’re definitely not making eight grand a month, like a WhatsApp charge, but hopefully down the track maybe they’ll be doing something like that.

It’s sort of, it does blow my mind what’s possible online.

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And so what about your property business? Can you tell us a bit about the house flipping

Jeremy: venture.

Yeah. I was a renter in my entire life until I was 38 years old. And before that, when I was in my mid thirties, after I sold the company my buddy really wanted to get into real estate, different buddy, but he’s like, let’s buy a house and remodel it.

And so I was like, [00:31:00] all right, sounds like a, an adventure. And so, strangely, like the neighbor across the street from me was selling their house and we put in an offer and bought it and gutted the whole thing and remodeled it and sold it and made a pretty good profit. I think we made like $50,000 profit on that, which sounds like a lot of money.

And it is, of course, but you know, we. We’re in Southern California, so I think we paid about $500,000 for the property. Held it for several months. We’re splitting that money two ways at $50,000, two ways between me and my buddy and had to pay taxes and stuff. And so at the end of the day, you, even though that was like a really good deal for us, we weren’t making that much money in terms of like a living, it was making about what you’d make working at a burger place or something.

Then we flipped three more houses, every few months we were trying to buy one. And then the pandemic hit and, it just kind of changed everything. We ended up selling our last one and just decided not to keep doing it. And so, it was all right. I feel like you see all these TV shows that are like house living TV shows, which I had never really watched, [00:32:00] but I know of their existence.

I know that they make it seem really romantic, but the reality is it’s just like a lot of money to get started. A lot of work. Risk because if it doesn’t sell or the market changes, you can lose a lot of money. And it’s just not super profitable. It’s not like we were making millions of dollars a year.

Captain Fi: We just built a couple of duplexes and we had a good return in the end, , but actually when we looked at the numbers objectively, we would’ve made similar profits just buying and holding real estate in a city environment.

So for the stress and effort and risk of the development and the build Probably wasn’t worth it. I mean, you definitely can make money doing it, but it was a lot of stress. So, yeah, I’ve had a similar realization to you. So this of course leads us to your current fashion.

We’ve been talking for a while. I know. But this is the Meat Personal Finance Club. All right. So it’s been one of my favorites on social media and you’re expanding it now with financial literacy courses. So can you tell us a bit about Personal Finance Club, how you started it and your mission?

Yeah, [00:33:00]

Jeremy: the kind of the starting stories after I quit my job when I was 36, I did nothing for a year. I actually went to Australia for five weeks, strangely. And I also like coached speech volleyball in Italy for two months and played video games and just kinda did what I thought you were supposed to do when you retired and just basically was on vacation.

But you know, as the year went on, I found myself lacking. Wasn’t really that happy. It just felt like an empty existence and I wanted to, I missed, like, building something and working towards something. And I was addicted to this video game at the time, StarCraft two. I would play it for like hours every day.

And I went on a vacation over in New Year’s 2019, and I didn’t play for like 10 days. And when I got back, I just uninstalled it. I was like, all right, the addiction was temporarily suspended because I had gone through the withdrawal symptoms on this 10 day trip. And so I literally uninstalled the game so I wouldn’t play again.

And then I was like, all right, I wanna do something more productive with my time that feels better, like I’m actually building [00:34:00] something or working towards something. And personal finance was my passion. I just loved helping people. With money and with my friends over the last several years I had helped my like friends locally in San Diego set up their investment accounts and pay off their debt and figure out their money situation.

And we were jokingly call it personal finance club. Like I’d go into my friend’s house and we’d be like, drink beers. And they would be like, Hey, come over for personal finance club. And and so that’s where the name comes from, just cuz we would jokingly call it like a club cuz we were just like all hanging out while we were like opening up investment accounts and stuff.

And so then, yeah, that month in January, 2019, I registered personal finance club.com and started the Instagram account and never had any, Plan to make it a business. I just wanted to, I don’t know, like have it be a hobby, a passion project, but I did wanna try to like grow, and so I thought that was fun.

And so I set a goal of getting 50,000 followers on Instagram in the first year. Just a number, like a huge number I made up in my head that I had no [00:35:00] reason to think was possible. And I think it took me like 53 weeks to get to 50, 50,000, I think like in January of 2020, yeah. That’s pretty impressive.

Gross. I got 50,000 followers.

Yeah. I don’t know, I sometimes people get millions of followers in a few weeks it feels like, but certainly a lot of people do worse. But I dunno, I think that, I think our benefit or my benefit at the time was just that we weren’t, we had no agenda other than creating good content.

I think a lot of channels or a lot of accounts that don’t do well are trying to like, sell something too soon or trying to push some agenda or something. And we were just trying to make fun content that, like connected with people and I think it, like struck a chord. And that’s kinda what our mission is just basically helping people with money without an ulterior motive.

I think there’s like this financial services industry, whether it’s insurance or investing or whatever it is, where everyone’s kind of, all the industry is just looking to take money from individuals and so it’s really hard to know where to turn to get [00:36:00] authentic. Financial advice without getting taken advantage of.

And that’s kind of where we wanna step in

Captain Fi: know the tagline that you finish every post on live below your means and to invest early and often, like, finance doesn’t have to be super complicated, then it’s not really like, simplicity is, I think one of the key tenets of even the fire movement.

I mean, how it doesn’t really get more simple than living below your means and investing in a total index fund. Like yeah, there’s, I think for some people there’s definitely like professionals and paying for professional advice is definitely useful for some.

But the majority of people can get away with self-education. Now you obviously, you never planned to go as far as you did, but so now you are offering training courses in education and , they’re pretty cheap. Can you talk about what made you branch into, I guess, education rather than just short videos and

Jeremy: posts?

Yeah. It was the summer of 2020 in the middle of the pandemic. And now that I had this, I think I was up to like 80,000 followers or something at that point [00:37:00] I was getting the same questions over and over. I was giving these little bite-sized informational infographics or videos, but then people would say, Hey, like, walk me through it.

How do I invest? Or how do I set up an ira, which is our investment account in the us or what’s an index fund or whatever. And so there’s this huge kind of brain dump in my head that I wanted to provide. And so I decided to make a video course that was just gonna be like, all right, A through Z. This is a stock, this is a bond, this is a mutual fund, this is an index fund.

Kind of just walked straight through all the best practices of investing, how it all works. And my initial instinct was just to give it away for free. Like all of our content was free. But then I was like, you know what? I, people don’t really value free if you just give it for free. No one’s gonna take it.

And if I charged something, I could maybe cover my expenses, cuz I was running the website and going to some conferences and stuff. And so I had a few thousand bucks in expenses. And so I was like, yeah, if I maybe charge 50 bucks for these courses or for this course, this one course that I made maybe I could cover my expenses.

And so, and I actually read a [00:38:00] little book on how to launch a course. And then in the first week of selling it an early bird sale, made over a hundred thousand dollars. And I was like, oh, I think I might have started a business by mistake

Captain Fi: helping people with something like this.

Yeah, man, , I noticed as well you’re actually pledging 20% of your revenue to charity. And so you’ve actually donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to charities I wanted to ask what’s your stance on charity and giving? And I know you’ve posted about this but what is a donor advised

Jeremy: fund?

Yeah. So, as part of our mission to basically be giving this like altruistic, unbiased, Information, we want to be an engine for good. I’m very fortunate to be able to come at this project from a position of not needing money. I can live indefinitely on my current investments and so we don’t have to , sell a crappy product or push a specific, agenda to make money.

And just to further that, cause I was like, all right, since we are now charging money, I think we should donate part of it to be an engine for good. And for [00:39:00] several years we were donating 20% of revenue, like you just mentioned, but we actually recently switched it to, now we donate 25% of profit.

The reason is because at some point as the business grows, if you’re donating 20% of your top line, you’re gonna become unprofitable, which is what happened to us. Cuz we were donating too much money and it was not based on how much money we had to donate, it’s based on how much we sold. And so now we’re doing 25% of the sales, which hopefully will turn out to be even more money one day, but will allow us to grow profitably along the way.

And I can now I have two full-time employees and I can, afford to pay them and stuff. And so yeah that’s why we do it. And yeah, we’ve donated I think $270,000 so far or something, which is crazy because I think that might be like more than I’ve spent my entire life almost. It’s kind of weird to think that I’ve given away more money than I’ve ever spent on myself.

That’s not fully true. I’m sure I’ve spent more than, I like multiply all the years together, but it’s definitely still a very big amount of money to me. And you guess about donor advised funds that is normally when you donate, you just write a check or pay with a credit card directly to a [00:40:00] charity.

A donor advised fund is a way to basically, Log your donation today, but instead of going directly to a charity, it goes into an investment account that can grow indefinitely to be distributed to a charity at some later point. And so it offers the benefit of basically being able to get the tax right off for the donation today and the additional benefit of being able to grow for the future.

And so instead of just. Giving every dollar away Today, we’re basically now using a donor advised fund to give much of our dollars away to charities today, but also much of our dollars that’s growing

Captain Fi: $270,000 is a huge amount of money, and I’m sure you’re gonna be changing a lot of lives.

Giving money is something that I openly, I’ve struggled with during my financial journey, and it’s only sort of been recently that I’ve started to pledge regular amounts of money. My partner’s family they run a hospital in the Philippines as well as the school.

So, my partner and I, we’ve started up a fund to contribute towards medical missions and also [00:41:00] towards scholarships for the school. And one of the things that I would love to set up is a donor advised fund where the pro proceeds from it get awarded in terms of like a scholarship.

 One of the things that I didn’t want to happen is, you donate this money, and then it goes away. It would be awesome to set up a lasting source of income for a course that you really care about. Yeah I think that’s bloody awesome man.

This is probably a weird one, but , how did you learn about money and investing you obviously were quite sensible with your money and regardless of selling rent links, you were trending upwards, you were consistently spending less than you earn and investing the difference.

Where did you actually learn these core money

Jeremy: lessons from?

Yeah. It’s a combination. I think there’s for sure just an experience aspect. I was fortunate to have parents who basically helped me learn about money when I was child, a teenager. And I started investing when I was I think 17. And so I kind of like my nephew had that relatively early experience about how it works.

And then when I [00:42:00] sold my company, I went from being, nearly broke to being a multimillionaire with the click of a button. And I had, heard those horror stories about garbage men who in the lottery, and then spent all their money and become garbage men again. And I was like I should probably be.

Thoughtful about this so I don’t lose all this money that I’ve spent 12 years, building this company to, to get. And so I started reading kind of all the books I could on investing in personal finance. And you read, two or three of these books and you’re like, oh, all these books say the exact same thing.

It’s not something that you hear much in pop culture. You hear about fancy cars and day trading and crypto and insurance scams and MLMs and like all this noise competing for your attention. But in reality it’s like pretty simple. It’s like spend less than you make, invest the difference and buy and hold index funds.

And, any derivation from that investing strategy is generally is just like mathematically not sound. It’s just [00:43:00] speculation or going to get you riddled with fees or whatever. And it’s weird because there’s no salesmen. For index funds. You know about them and I know about them because we live in this world.

But for a typical consumer who’s just walking through their normal day-to-day life, they’re not getting bombarded with this message because there’s no profit to be made from this message cuz they’re so low fee. But if you do educate yourself, if you read the books, they all say it cuz they’re just writing books.

They have no agenda generally. I mean some books do, of course. But yeah, like it’s just a combination of those things. And then, I felt, I, like I understood it and so when I sold my company I got 2 million bucks and on that day I literally went to my investment account and clicked buy on 2 million of index funds.

And there they’ve sat since then, obviously there’s been like some little ins and outs as I’ve made more money or bought Teslas or whatever.

Captain Fi: So, when it comes to finance, personal finance, the investing stuff’s actually really [00:44:00] straightforward, isn’t it, Jeremy? you don’t need a rocket science degree to invest. You just, you find a low fee index fund and you frequently invest into it.

Jeremy: That’s it. The more I do this, and the longer I do this, the stronger I believe the simpler you make your investment strategy, the more wealthy you’ll be. And you can describe, to someone who doesn’t know what an index fund is, it sounds very abstract. And if you’ve never done it sounds complex.

But, and I could explain it. In five or 10 minutes or something. But basically it’s just like you go to a website, you find the right investment, that’s an index fund. You click buy, you put your money and you leave it. And an index fund is essentially a list of all the stocks. So you’re buying the companies of the world.

And yeah, the simple you make it, the more money you make, right? Because people, underperforming, like doing worse than the stock market does. Almost always comes down to complexity. Like you’re changing strategies or you’re jumping in and outta the market, or you’re getting involved in high fee products or making human errors [00:45:00] along the way.

And even in my own example, when I bought that 2 million bucks worth of index funds back in 2015, I chose seven individual ETFs, which is a small number. It’s not like I was buying 50 or a thousand different investments. I bought seven. But you know, last year I wondered how it would’ve stacked up to buying one thing.

There’s one type of, I’m not sure they have ’em in Australia, but there’s, in the US they have these things called a target date index fund, where it’s basically just based on your age and then it just invests very simply based on your age in one thing. And so I did a backward looking portfolio test.

My very cleverly selected seven ETFs versus the one stupid most basic investment you can get. And the one simple one outperformed not by a lot, cuz they’re very similar, but I’m like, man, what, for all that extra work I did to being clever, I actually made less money. And I think that’s kind of true in investing.

And so, you said it, how do I invest? I buy and Holden index funds and, People ask me like how my investments [00:46:00] deal. I’m like, I don’t know. Like, I don’t generally look at ’em very much, but they do. However the market’s doing and over years they’re gonna go up.

Captain Fi: I’ve actually, I’ve a bit of a sin to confess here to the father of personal finance club. I actually tried stock picking. So I had a, a stock subscription service, and I was actually buying individual shares. when I switched over to index fund investing I had a look at the performance of my, Buyers and sales and it underperformed the market a hundred percent.

I think, I was down a couple of percent, we got about seven to 8% would’ve had about 12% had I just bought a basic index fund. And I’d also tried buying listed investment companies, which are a thing in Australia. I’m not sure how popular they are overseas, but it’s basically like an old school version of an ETF or an index fund, but like a low cost version of a managed fund.

 I had some of those and again, I. I performed the basic ETF index funds. So I, I actually just have all of my money invested in index funds as well. I use three, so it’s a total World Index fund, an Australian Index Fund and an [00:47:00] American Market Index Fund. And yeah they’re great.

But again, had I had my time again, I’d probably just go for the all in one fund. There’s a couple of really good options these days and, I’m not gonna give anyone specific financial advice, but it’s definitely worth having a look at keeping it simple.

Jeremy: Yeah, I love that. I mean,, yours is extremely simple. There’s no reason to change it, but you’re right and it’s okay. Everyone’s got stories about picking stocks or whatever, and I kind of have a 90 10 rule, which is if you want to get into. Whatever the hot thing of the moment is crypto or stock picking, or day trading or options or futures or whatever.

Take 10% of your portfolio and put it into a different account or whatever, and then use that. But with 90% just leave an index funds because almost everybody has the same story that we do, which is like once you take a real honest look at it, years later. You would’ve been better off, just stick with an index fund.

And so with the 10%, you can at least get yourself your little lotto ticket there. If you’re as smart as you think you are about stock [00:48:00] picking your day trading or whatever it is, 10% should be plenty to make you perfectly wealthy.

Captain Fi: The most important part of personal finance is how much you spend, right. Your cost of living. Now you’ve been a pretty frugal, pretty sensible guy. And I know you’ve mentioned a couple of numbers earlier today, but you know, I’d love to ask, what is your cost of living like Jeremy, and how do you spend your money?

Jeremy: I think it’s about 50 or $60,000 per year. So yeah, I spend maybe 5,000 bucks a month. My home is paid for. I bought my house in cash but I do have probably about 12 or 1300 bucks a month. Still housing expenses. We have property tax and I have an HOA fee and utilities and stuff like that.

And then, the rest is food travel various spending stuff. I’m, it’s not a crazy amount of money, I’m not spending hundreds of thousand dollars a year, but I definitely feel like I spend whatever I want. I generally, if I wanna buy something these days, I just buy it.

And it’s still such a stark contrast to how I used to spend money, which is like, you don’t [00:49:00] spend a penny unless you have to. Now that when I just kind of spend this like disposable income freely it feels like I’m spending a ton yet still, it doesn’t really impact my net worth much.

Like, when I look back at the last few years, it’s like, oh, still is growing, still doing fine. So that’s basically how I spend my money. I’m just still generally frugal. Guy. I bought a first class plane ticket the other day and honestly it just wasn’t really worth it. It wasn’t really to my taste.

It kind of felt douchey sitting up in the front.

But in, in the small coach seats, it’s really uncomfortable. Like, I can’t use a laptop, I can’t work, I can’t, just sit, have to sit there. And so I tried flying first class, which was better for the leg room, but still felt kinda douche.

And I’ve kind of landed personally on just always paying to choose an exit row seat. Which makes like a massive difference for me. And like, I’m long not wide, so I don’t really need the wider first class seats. I just need the leg room. And then sitting in an row, I can just sit there with my laptop and work and it’s great.

So yeah, that’s kind of where my frugality has landed at the moment,

Captain Fi: this is something I’m [00:50:00] actually like talking to a therapist about because, it’s sort of negatively impacts my life, whilst I’m certainly, I’d love a four 5 million index fund portfolio and, one day hopefully I’ll get there. But at the moment I guess , I still do have enough to cover my cost of living.

And I’m really enjoying building a business. I. I do find it hard to spend money. So like, have you done any work when it comes to spending and how did you actually, build up the confidence to actually go out and buy

Jeremy: that Tesla?

That’s a good question. It’s funny. I feel like we’re kind of the same there, which is, spending has never felt great to me because I think I had so many years of frugality and, I, like I said, you described your upbringing as poor and mine wasn’t, but I still, my, my parents, my father especially , wouldn’t let us spend money.

I was like a starving teenager and I wanted to upgrade the size of my meal at a fast food restaurant for like 50 cents and he wouldn’t let me. And so this was like the kind of things that were burrowed into my brain. And I [00:51:00] don’t know I mean, it’s probably worthy of therapy. I think my answer is just has time.

I think that I do look at the numbers and I do the math and I realize, they say the 4% rule is kind of like a relatively conservative estimate of what you can spend of your portfolio per year. And, 4% of 4 million is 160,000 bucks a year, which is, what is that, like, $12,000 a month or something, which is crazy.

 I could more than double my spending every single month. I mean, just, that would be like first class tickets everywhere, like it’s so much more than I currently send. And still that’s like the conservative number.

Captain Fi: Now look one of the things that I loved that you posted about was about, how to get free cars forever. And you’ve posted about this a lot. You’ve always driven sensible cars, so you’ve opted for a good quality secondhand car.

You’ve generally paid cash for, you’ve paid the loan off. And obviously recently now you’ve got a Tesla. But can you explain like, why is that such a sensible option for building wealth and why is it [00:52:00] dangerous to go out and finance a brand new

Jeremy: car?

Yeah, Cars are basically, other than housing the most expensive thing that we ever buy. And it’s really been normalized to spend an outrageous amount of money on cars and spend an outrageous amount of money that we don’t have by borrowing money. And, there’s good ways to make money spend less than you make and invest.

There’s good ways to lose money too, which is buy something you can’t afford, borrow money to do it, pay interest on that money, and have the thing that you can’t afford, plummeted value. And cars do all of those things, right? It’s like this, it’s like this perfect cocktail of losing money, yet you don’t blink at a five or $600 per month car payment.

And five or 600 bucks a month invested is easily many millions of dollars of money over the course of a career. And so whenever someone has like an average car payment, which these days, at least in the US is five or 600 bucks. Every month it goes by, they’re foregoing their million dollars of wealth, and It’s just like a really obvious example of how you can make a relatively simple change [00:53:00] and it’s just kind of like this pop culture spending mentality that is borrowed into so many people’s brains, which is, I need the new thing I need a brand new, I need the best thing.

But you know, as soon as you drive that car off the lot, the first time it rains, it’s got dirt on it, and it looks just like any other stupid car on the road. And it gets you from point A to point B and. All the other rationalizations that people make for why they need a new car are just BS in my opinion.

Like, they’re like, oh my clients, no one, your clients don’t care if you have a new car. You’re like, if you just clean the french fries off the floor, I think your clients would be more impressed. Or oh, I need a new car for safety. I was like, yeah, I’m sure the car is built. Three years ago I was so much like, when I was born in 1980, we sat facing backwards in the back seat with no seat belts.

I’m sure a 2019 car, futuristic side, airbags, collision ion, it’s perfectly safe, and if you wanna be safe, just stop texting and driving. So people are still like disingenuous with this stuff. If they just like kept their car clean and didn’t text and drive, they’d be safer and have a nicer car than having to have a $600 car payment.

And [00:54:00] so, yeah, I think, I think you got me on a little bit of a rant here, but and obviously I’m maybe what’s the word, hypocrite cuz. I just bought a Tesla, but you know, I didn’t, I paid in cash. People asked me if I got a loan. I’m like, of course I’m gonna borrow money to buy something at Plummets and Valley.

That makes no sense. And I also think buying in Cash forces you to look clearly at the cost of things. I think people like to live this fiction that oh it’s few hundred bucks a month or whatever. But if it was literally the $40,000 after they give up front, they’re like, oh my gosh, that’s so much money.

If you see that drain from your bank account, it really hurts. And so I think , paying in cash makes you look that in the face instead of just kind of getting bled to death slowly over the course of your career. And frankly would result in maybe not buying a $40,000 car, maybe buying a $20,000 car.

And by the way, you can buy amazing, like, I sold my old car for 17,000 bucks, which was a, a six year old Mazda suv. Looks perfect. Runs perfect. It’s gonna run for another 150,000 miles with no problems. And it’s [00:55:00] 17 grand instead, 40 grand.

Captain Fi: A really smart financial advisor here in Australia runs Life Sherpa. And and he says it’s so important to separate the purchasing decision from the financing decision because you really can muddy the waters. When it comes to, what’s your motivation for actually buying something?

A good mate of mine he recently dropped like 80 grand on a Mustang brand new Mustang, right? How’s that for an American muscle card, Jerry? So, US culture , in Australia. And yeah he went and picked it up and he came straight over and picked me up. Nice.

And look, it was a beautiful car, don’t get me wrong. But shit, I wouldn’t pay 80 grand for it. I think I bought my car 10 years ago. Paid 20 grand for it. Had about 15 K miles about, it’s about 20 something thousand kilometers and it’s been awesome. It’s been an awesome car to drive.

It’s super safe. And yeah, like I said, most of the time it sits in a garage anyway, but the amount of money that I’ve saved from driving that good quality secondhand car, and I’ve been able to stash that straight into my [00:56:00] investments. But look, for you when we’re talking about the Tesla, like that is less than 1% of your net worth when you think about it.

it’s not really this life-changing decision, is it? It becomes more about being able to enjoy your money and spend on, conveniences that you’ve worked really hard for. So, yeah, I would definitely say it’s a good buy for you. And at your stage

I just wanna finish up with a couple of questions that I like to ask everyone,

So we kind of touched on this a bit before when you mentioned what your life was like post-fire. Yeah. How you sort of, you did some traveling, you did some gaming. And look, mate, I’ve done some gaming as well. I’ve been playing a bit too much fortnight lately. So I think I probably should uninstall that, get rid of the Nintendo.

But Nate what is life for you now post fire? How do you achieve balance between looking after your health, looking after your spirituality, your mental health and also your relationships and your business? How do you bring those things all together and achieve

Jeremy: balance?

Yeah. I don’t know if you find [00:57:00] out, please tell me. I think it’s one of those things that you just spend your life. Working on I wouldn’t sit here and claim to know how to, have the appropriate balance. I think, I mean, I think I did learn a lesson, which is when I, became financially independent and had my existential crisis, that I didn’t want to just be on vacation my whole life.

I wanted to be building something that was pretty important. And I still now basically always prioritize relationships and experiences over work generally. If someone asks me to hang out I don’t ever wanna say I have to work. And that’s for sure a luxury that I’ve gotten from financial independence that you don’t get to have if you’re, working hourly and supporting kids or something.

But. Still, I probably work 40 plus hours a week, the rest of the hours, so I think there’s some balance there. It’s just a matter of like when those hours happen and prioritization. Yeah, and I don’t know, I think there’s even a balance with spending, like you said, where[00:58:00] , the Tesla’s less than 1% of my net worth, you could blink and look at my bank account before and after I bought it and you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

And I think I have to just become okay with that sort of thing

Captain Fi: this week, I had a friend ask me to catch up and I said, oh, can’t, sorry mate. I’m busy blogging and podcasting. And I love doing this, but I think I need to maybe prioritize some relationships and experiences a bit more as well myself.

 I think next time I get that text message, I’m just gonna close the laptop and head on off. But setting those boundaries so that we can focus on, those things in our life that we really want. The relationships and the experiences, cuz at the end of the day, like, you look back and, things are just things, but and work, yeah, it’s work, but you know, your experiences are really stuff that sticks with you. Yeah, I’m fortunate that I’ve able to experience a lot of cool stuff in my career and travel a lot.

And I’ve got a really bunch of lovely people in my life that I’m super grateful for. So yeah, I think that’s the thing we look back on. No, no one ever says at the end of their career, oh, I wish I worked more. They always say, I wish I worked. Don’t [00:59:00] they? Yeah. So look mate thanks so much for your time today.

I really appreciate it, mate. Now I’ve gotta throw you the last couple of questions, which Right. They’re a bit cruel. People hate ’em but I always ask them, right? First of all what’s your favorite book? do you have any top raids that you can recommend?

Jeremy: Yeah, I think people don’t like these types of questions cuz just human brains aren’t organized. Enlists, it’s like a challenge that I do sometimes with my friends is see if they can list the 50 states in the US and, as an Australian that might be hard, but in the US like we all know the 50 states, like it’s, you’ve been learning that since you’re in second grade yet it’s really hard to list them out in order just because if someone says, Is California state, everyone’s gonna know the answer is yes, but when you just say list all 50 in a row, you just end up forgetting some of them cuz you’re not organized that way.

So I think that these list questions are a little hard, but here’s my top three favorite books. I’m gonna give just the money ones. I like The Millionaire Next Door. I think it’s classic. I think that it talks about basically why getting rid of the [01:00:00] illusions of wealth. I think people think that spending is wealth, fancy watches, fancy cars, fancy, trips, fancy clubs or whatever.

But most millionaires live very frugally. I mean, I guess other than my car now. Like I wear jeans and t-shirts and you don’t know walking down the street that I’m like, I’m not flashing money or anything. Second one is the Simple Path to Wealth. This is by j Collins and basically just kind of hammers home the point that investing simply is optimal.

Spend less than you make, invest a difference in index funds. He like lists specific index funds. I guess maybe the third I’d say is the little book of Common Sense investing by Jack Bogle, who’s the founder of Vanguard, who basically popularized index fund

Captain Fi: JL Collins, he’s been one of my favorite authors. I like to call him the godfather of personal finance. He’s just got that like real graph authoritative, like confident aura to him.

Have you seen his remake of the gambler? Is so funny. And the guided meditation when the stock market’s dropping that, [01:01:00] that came in handy during

Jeremy: Covid. Yeah, no, I love

Captain Fi: that. Yeah. All right, mate second question that everyone hates. , what are your top tips for reaching financial independence?

And I have a guess it’s gonna be the PFC rules, but what else can you give

Jeremy: us, mate?

Yeah, no I have to cheat and use the two rules, because I say these two rules at the end of the very post, because humans just love to make things more complex than need to be. And the role I personally play in someone else’s life out there is minuscule, a tiny fraction of a percent.

And so when I’m given my fraction for percent of their attention for the day, I have to just say the two things that are most important, which is rule number one, live below your means spend. Let some money you make, and rule number two is invest early and often. And if you do those two things, even if you do them not very well, you’re gonna be in great shape.

But if you get caught up in pyramid schemes or insurance scams, or day trading, or crypto or futures, or blah, blah, blah, and you just get it all overly complex, then. You could stay broke your whole life., I [01:02:00] hear so many, it’s always like your uncle or father-in-law at a holiday or something who’s like, oh, the market’s gonna crash.

You gotta be investing in gold. He’s like, got all these like ideas or whatever, and but then you think about his financial situation and he’s been broke for 50 years and if he was just living below his means and investing along the way, very simply, he would be a multimillionaire instead of having conspiracy theories about macroeconomic trends.

And so I’m kind of those, my first two, and I’d say the third one is invest in index funds.

Captain Fi: Is there anything else you’d like to bring up?

Jeremy: The thing that I always like to bring up, cuz I see it all the time, is these insurance scams that are currently being pushed on social media everywhere else. I’m not sure if how big is it is Australia, but it’s really bad, at least from what I see, which is people basically insurance salesmen representing their product as a superior investment when the reality is dramatically to the contrary.

And like I said, there’s no salesman for index funds. And so for an average consumer who is just kind of. Assessing information as it comes to them. [01:03:00] They’ve been pushing this product over and over, and they think, oh, maybe it’s good. No, it’s not good. They’re just trying to sell you what makes them money.

So be very wary if the only person, and this is more broad than, and then insurance too, but be very wary of any product. We’re the only person. Pushing for it as a person selling it.

Captain Fi: Something that I was taught about food and I can’t remember where I picked this up.

Might’ve been Michael Pollan’s in Defense of Food, or it might’ve been Dr. Campbell was the China study and he said, Like when you go shopping for food look for the food that doesn’t advertise itself to you. So shop on the fringes of the shop. So you know, the produce the, the fresh fruit and vegetables, that kind of stuff.

That’s the food that you should be eating. The crap that’s getting advertised to you. Like the high fructose corn syrup infused chocolate cereals that’s the stuff you don’t wanna be eating. And so I can see a huge parallel there between like investments and insurance products.

It’s like, if this stuff’s getting heavily marketed to you you should [01:04:00] really think twice about whether it’s in your interests or not to actually purchase it.

Jeremy: Yeah, no, I love that. I love that parallel. I actually see a ton of parallels between. Health and fitness and investing, if you wanna get in shape, there’s all the stuff that’s getting marketed to you, but you know what’s worked for millennia, like eating healthy and exercising and it’s not easy, it’s not easy to get out and exercise every day, but it is simple and it is what works.

And yeah, just the things that are being pushed at you, whether they’re fitness things or money things, it’s not the things that you really need to be doing. You need to be like doing the things that we know, work, spending less than you make, investing, eating well, exercising, and we all want shortcuts.

But shortcuts are just gonna leave you further back in the long run.

Captain Fi: Perfect mate. Perfect. Hey, look, where can people get in touch with you and where can they learn more about personal finance club?

Jeremy: Yeah. I mean, if you Google Personal Finance Club, you’ll find our website. Instagram is where most of our content gets put. Personal Finance Club, we’re on TikTok, YouTube. Pretty easy dude to find on the internet.[01:05:00]

Captain Fi: Hey, you know how it all works. Well, look guys, if you ever want to learn more about pfc, jump onto the show notes, I’m gonna have links to all of Jeremy’s, social media accounts and to his website and blog. A hundred percent recommend you go and check it out,

jeremy’s an awesome guy, really genuine and has a brilliant mission to help people. Jeremy, again, thanks so much for your time, mate. It’s been an absolute pleasure.

Jeremy: Thanks for having me. It’s been awesome.

Captain Fi: Thanks for listening to another episode of the Captain Fire Financial Independence Podcast. To read the transcripts or check out the show notes, head over to www.captainfire.com for all the details. If you have a question for the captain, make sure to get in touch. You might even make it on the airwaves.

You can reach me online through the Captain Fire contact. Or get in touch through the socials. I’m Mac Yon, Facebook and Instagram, as well as a number of [01:06:00] online finance and investing forums. And finally, remember the information presented on the show and the links provided are for general information purposes only.

They should not be taken as constituting professional financial advice. You should always do your own research when making any financial decisions and make sure it’s appropriate for your personal circumstance.

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