Welcome to my podcast with the ‘godfather’ of personal finance, and the author of the bestselling book – ‘The Simple Path to Wealth’, JL Collins!
“There are many things money can buy, but the most valuable of all is freedom. Freedom to do what you want and to work for whom you respect.”JL Collins
Introduction – JL Collins
Today I’m chatting to one of my all-time favourite authors and an idol in the FIRE community – JL Collins. JL is the author of the bestselling personal finance book, ‘The Simple Path to Wealth’ and his online blog – jlcollinsnh.com features his stock series.
JL has been investing for nearly 50 years, has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to investing and money, he has had diverse career roles, and travelled the world extensively. He is a loving husband and father and his blog posts actually started off as letters to his daughter, with lessons on how to achieve the simple path to wealth.
I love to think of JL Collins as the godfather figure of personal finance and I’m very excited to share my interview with him on the podcast today!
Episode 45: Interview with JL Collins
- Check out JL Collins blog HERE
- JL’s media page – link to all interviews JL has done – HERE
- JL’s Talks at Google Interview on Youtube – HERE
- JL’s Stock Series – HERE
- JL’s new book ‘Pathfinders’ and link to pre-order – HERE
- JL’s Guided Meditation for When the Stock Market is Dropping on YouTube – HERE
- JL’s article ‘Time Machine and the Future Returns for Stocks’ – HERE
- You can find JL Collins on Twitter HERE
- You can follow JL Collins on Facebook HERE
Episode 45: JL Collins
Podcast with JL Collins
Captain Fi: [00:00:00] Ladies and gentlemen, this is your Captain speaking. Welcome aboard the Financial Independence Podcast,
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.
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Welcome to the Fire Podcast. Today I’m chatting to one of my all time favorite authors, and I think it’s fair to say, idols in the fire community. And that’s JL Collins, the godfather of personal finance. JL is best known as the author of the bestselling personal finance book, the Simple Path to Wealth, and his online blog, jl collins nh.com featuring his stock series.
JL has been investing for nearly 50 years now. He really has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to investing and money. Throw in the fact that he’s also had a career spanning over 25 vastly different roles. Everything from busboy to tree lopper to investment officer, executive, and the fact that J has also extensively traveled the world.
There really isn’t much he hasn’t [00:03:00] seen, and you can begin to understand his experience and understanding of the world, how it works, and money, his advice. Take the simple path. There aren’t any shortcuts. Try to save at least half of your income and invest into a diversified index fund. Keep some money in the bank for an emergency and later add a bond fund to smooth out the volatility of your returns for retirement.
In 2018, JR was featured in a talks at Google interview on Money and Personal finance, which has had millions of views from all over the world and is still ranked as the number one financial talk. It’s a brilliant overview of his journey and investing philosophy, and I’ll leave a link in the show notes.
Personally, JL is also a loving husband and a father, and has written beautifully about how he’s teaching his daughter to invest with his nine basics on the simple path to [00:04:00] wealth. I love to think of JL as the Godfather figure of phi and hearing his confidence stance and his gruff authoritative voice coupled with his experience has been very reassuring to me on what can only be described as an inherently uncertain topic.
I actually credit much of my early financial education to him and his fantastic blog, which ultimately helped me to reach financial independence last year. Jl, thank you for everything you’ve done for the community and everything you’ve done for educating me and thanks for your time coming on the pod.
How you bloody going mate?
JL Collins: Well, captain I’m honored to be here and I appreciate the invitation. Have to say, when you were talking about my travels. You said there isn’t much I haven’t seen. Well, one of the things I haven’t seen is Australia. I have never managed to make it to your country slash continent.
The loss is mine, but hopefully I’ll make it there. One day, my daughter on the other hand has been to Australia, [00:05:00] and she has nothing but positive things to say about it. So, at least part of the family’s been
Captain Fi: there. Look, it’s a great place to visit, mate.
I’m just gonna throw out the invitation anytime you want to come down. If you want to tour guide and go for a bit of a fly. If we can organize a private plane for you, mate. Nothing fancy, by the way. I’m just talking about Cessna here. Dude, you gotta come down.
I guess Sydney gets a lot of the press as one of the biggest cities in Australia, but I’m actually in little old Adelaide, which is much smaller neck of the woods. Much, much quieter but still a beautiful place. Lots of restaurants, lots of wineries. Yeah, we get teased a little bit by, you know, Sydney and Melbourne as being a very boring town.
I think it’s a well kept secret down here in Adelaide,
JL Collins: At this point in my life I actually prefer smaller cities and. A little bit off the beaten path. And so, I appreciate the invitation. Be kind of, nice to come down and uh, do a walkabout and if there’s a Cessna involved.
That sounds like fun.
Captain Fi: [00:06:00] And another place that’s really cool that should definitely be on your list is Darwin. Best to go in the dry season. So that’s our winter, which is around now actually. , you can swim with a crocodile, obviously it’s, I mean, you are separated with a very thick sheet of glass.
JL Collins: With a crocodile sounds like a really bad idea.
Captain Fi: Well, I’m actually going cage diving soon with sharks. In Port Lincoln. It was something that I really wanted to do when I drove over to Perth for work, which is right on the other side of the country.
It’s kind of like going from New York to California. And I didn’t do it because. I was, on my journey to fire and it seemed like an unnecessary expense. I think it was about $500 at the time, and it’s something that I always regret doing. So we are literally, my partner and I are going to drive all the way there six hours just so that we can go cage diving with a great white shark.
And I don’t know how we got onto this conversation topic, Jr.
JL Collins: When you’re talking to other travelers, [00:07:00] the conversation tends to drift into traveling. So, yeah I always tell people, because people invite us to come visit on a pretty routine basis, and I, so, you know, have to be careful because we’re the kind of people who actually might show up.
Captain Fi: Oh, I can feel an awesome holiday for JL coming up. So, look, mate for people that haven’t read your blog and read your story, which by the way shame on you if you don’t know who the Godfather is. Can you tell us a bit more about yourself your family, hobbies, that kind of thing?
JL Collins: Sure. So first of all, no shame. I love the idea that there are new people to reach. And uh, our pod podcast conversation here reaches some of those folks. I’m all for it. It’s kind of hard to start from ground zero, your introduction. Did a wonderful job. You know, investing was never my profession, but it was always my avocation, always my hobby.
And I started, I made my first investment in 1975, which dates me as the ancient guy that I am. And I [00:08:00] first started out as a lot of people I think as a stock picker, and then by extension as someone who picked actively managed mutual funds that were run by stock pickers. And 1975 coincidentally was the year that Jack Bogle created Vanguard and the first retail index fund an s and p 500 index fund.
Wood that I had known that at the time, because had I known that and been wise enough to invest in it and just hold it all these years, I would be much further ahead than I am. But I didn’t know about that and I didn’t learn about it for another 10 years. I finally, in around 1985, a friend, an old college buddy of mine actually who was an investment analyst at that point, introduced me to the idea of index investing.
But even then, I couldn’t accept it. It was another 10, 15 years of mulling it over [00:09:00] before I finally saw the wisdom and advantage in doing that. It’s an interesting point in the sense that I think sometimes people think, you know, oh, it’s indexing is good and stock making is bad and doesn’t work.
And the truth is stock picking works it just doesn’t work as well as indexing and it takes a lot more effort. So, you know, , I was getting reasonably good results as a stock picker. And of course that makes it hard to change. So when I talk to people who are reluctant to embrace indexing now, and I hear their arguments, it’s my own voice in their head.
Captain Fi: It’s funny how we change. Yeah. Like I certainly tried to do some stock picking as well. I definitely wasn’t as successful as U J L. In fact, I used a tipping newsletter service which was just fraught with danger. But I chalk that up as a valuable lesson. And [00:10:00] yes, I followed the simple path.
Now you’ve had a variety of careers. As we mentioned in the intro, you were a busboy then you’re a tree lopper then you’re an executive and an investment officer. So you’ve really done a lot. You’ve also written three books. So Jay what drives you to try so many new things and branch out, if you don’t mind My tree lopping
JL Collins: pun.
No, not at all. I actually, it’s interesting. I don’t think of myself as having, I have had a lot of jobs, but for instance, the busboy and working in the grocery store, and those were all things I did as a kid. I mean, I was Abu Busboy when I was 13, and I did that between the ages of 13 and 16.
And when you turned 16 in the United States, you could get a job at the grocery store. And that paid. At the time I was making a dollar 30 an hour as a busboy, and the grocery store, as I recall, paid $2 and [00:11:00] 40 cents an hour. So on my 16th birthday I was there applying for that job. And then that tree lopper is, it’s an interesting term.
I hadn’t heard it, but I put myself through college taking Diane diseased elm trees in, in those days Dutch elm disease was ravishing the elm tree population , in and around Chicago where I lived. And I don’t know if you have elm trees in, in Australia, but they’re just huge, beautiful trees.
And we would be taking them down when they were mostly alive. You couldn’t tell that they were infected with the beetle that caused the disease. And the reason that they were doing that is they were trying to halt the spread of the beetle by, removing the trees that had been infected right away.
But in my professional career after I got outta college, I was mostly in the magazine publishing business in business to business magazines. And I did a stint as an investment officer for a investment research [00:12:00] company for a while. But that was kind of my career.
When I. Finally left the last of those kinds of jobs in 2011, that’s when I launched the blog. And very coincidentally, that was not the plan, I was looking for a place to archive this investment information for my daughter. And I had no idea when I launched the blog what it was going to involved to, I had no idea I was gonna write a book, let alone you mentioned, I’ve just finished the third book.
, but that just worked out incredibly well for me. So the last 10, 12 years have probably been the most fun professionally I’ve had working and writing in the FI community.
Captain Fi: It’s bloody awesome. Now, I was gonna mention, so you started the Simple Path to Wealth. Well, over a decade ago now, so 2011, it’s grown into what I reckon is one of the Internet’s most valuable resources on financial independence and passive wealth building. And your stock series is up to X X X V I, [00:13:00] which now I was never good at Roman.
Numerous in school, but Google tells me that’s 36 articles and you don’t wanna know what suggested number two on the Google rankings for that. But 36 articles covering everything from education and the very beginnings all the way through to estate planning. I was gonna ask you what motivated you to share your story, but it sounds like you wanted to create this learning resource for your daughter and it became this awesome sort of passion project for you to work on in semi-retirement.
I mean, is that fairly safe to say? Yeah,
JL Collins: And again, there was nothing strategic about this. It’s, I didn’t have some master plan in mind. I had, I started to write letters to my daughter about this financial stuff, so they’d be available to her if and when she had an interest. And a friend of mine said, Hey, this is pretty interesting stuff.
Why don’t you put it on a blog and share it with your friends and family? And I had absolutely no interest [00:14:00] in starting a blog. I barely knew what a blog was, but I thought that’s a really good way to archive the information so it doesn’t get lost. Right. As if you write these letters out and, you know, they’re sitting in a drawer somewhere, who knows.
And then as I started to put this stuff on the blog, I started paying attention to Mr. Money Mustache, who we were talking about a little bit earlier before we started recording, I think. coincidentally he had started his blog the same time I did, and I was impressed with his work and started commenting on some of his stuff.
And we got to know each other that way. And then I became aware of some other people that were doing good work in the space. And then I, some of these articles I started writing. One of my other friends the mad scientist who does great work in this fi space said, you know, you really ought to take these investment articles and call it a stock series and put it on a unique section of [00:15:00] the blog.
So it’s easy for people to find. And I knew so little about blogging. I was like, oh, well, you know, I mean, people can find it, , why do I need to do it? But he prevailed upon me and I only had mine the first five posts when I started the stock series. I thought that was my intent.
And then with the feedback I’d get from readers, I, you know, they would express interest in other related subjects or expanding different topics. And I’d think, wow that, yeah, that’s pretty interesting. I should write about that. So then there’d be a sixth, both and a seventh, and then eighth. And you’re telling me, I don’t even realize that there were 36 of ’em now, but I guess we’re up to 36.
And of course there are other posts on the blog besides the stock series, some of which arguably probably should have been part of the stock series. But there you go.
Captain Fi: Well, this is an awesome resource for anyone that wants to learn a little bit more, maybe brush up on their investing and financial knowledge. [00:16:00] I mean, obviously a very strong US based flavor to the simple past to wealth and the stock series. But I think it’s just as applicable to any market.
I mean, you just have to obviously check the terminology. So wherever you live and you just need to basically substitute the relevant product. You know, for example, , in Australia we don’t have a 401k or a Roth ira. We use superannuation. But there also are the sort of deferred tax, retirement resources you can use.
So anyway, look, I’d highly recommend everyone jump online, J or Collins blog j collins nh.com and have a look at the stock series. You can navigate to it. As Jelle mentioned, he’s got a link in the header menu on the top left of the blog. And that takes you straight there.
Now, jl I’m gonna try and pronounce this. So in 2013 you started the qua, is that correct?
JL Collins: Perfect. I mean, a little background. We exchanged emails and you said you didn’t know how to pronounce this [00:17:00] word, and I, I gave you the sort of laid out, the written, the pronunciation. You nailed it, Chautauqua.
Captain Fi: Hey, now look, I don’t think I can claim full credit.
I might have heard it on a documentary because it’s actually become quite popular. And so there’s been a number of fire documentaries and there’s been quite a few like Netflix series and I think they mentioned the Chitwa. So it’s basically a fire meetup. Can you explain, well, first of all, what a chitwa is? What do you do at a Chitwa and how can somebody get involved in a fight Chitwa.
JL Collins: I’ll start with the bad news first. In that last year was the last of the chautauquas. So I did the first one in 2013. And for a variety of reasons you know, I, most of which are related to my bandwidth.
Last year in Columbia was the last of them. But Chautauqua is a native American [00:18:00] word, and it basically means a gathering together to exchange ideas and stories. And when I heard that word, I, it was just perfect for what I envisioned. And I had started out, you know, in, in 2012 actually looking around for places that I might go and talk about this stuff.
And at the time, there just wasn’t anything. And so I had to create it. And I found a woman in in Ecuador as I was traveling in Ecuador in 20 11. And went back in 2012. And she handled all the logistics and, you know, found the places and the concept was to take a small group of people and go to some cool place with cool people and have cool conversations, all of which, based on my definition of what a cool place, cool people and cool conversations are.
And so I put it together in 2012. When I put it out there, I had [00:19:00] no idea if anybody would sign up. we kept it very small because it’s a week long. And I wanted people have a chance to really get to know each other. We had four speakers, including myself, including money Mustache at the time in the first one.
And so intentionally we kept it very small, you know, under 30 people. And it took about three weeks, but it filled up. And then every year after that, it filled up more quickly to the point where in the more recent years, it would fill up in a matter of hours. There was just far more demand than a availability.
And part of it is it, you know, it was a terrible business structure. I didn’t create it as a business. It is a business. It was a business. I didn’t create it to be one. I just created to have fun. But it was terrible in the sense that you couldn’t scale it because the only, you know, if you scaled it by having more attendees, well then you kinda lose the magic of the small group.
And the only other way to scale it would be [00:20:00] to do more weeks, which we did some of, I think one year we did as many as three of them. But, you know, it’s, there’s a lot of behind the scenes work that went on to pulling these things together. And we just didn’t have the bandwidth to wanna do that.
So, it became a very limited event that had a huge demand and people just had life-changing experiences. So I feel very bad that it’s not gonna continue because I know there are a lot of people out there that didn’t get the experience and wanted it. And also from a selfish point of view, I.
I have met and become friends with some of the coolest people I’ve ever known by virtue of meeting them at Chautauqua.
Captain Fi: Wow. That’s a really , interesting story, and I’m disappointed that it did shut down, but it sounds like that it was for a good reason. And I do know there’s been a few. Similar sort of things popping up. I’ve heard of, campfire camp Mustache and actually closer to home here in Australia.
I recently had a chat to this [00:21:00] brilliant woman, Amy Minkley who has started Phi Freedom Retreats, which is similar to the American campfire camp, mustache thingss, but she actually runs it in Bali, in Indonesia, which is very close to Australia. Yeah. It’s a beautiful place and actually I’m pretty sure she’s got one coming up later this year.
Which I’m really interested to hear about how it runs
JL Collins: People loved chitwa. I have been to a Camp Fi, which is a different kind of experience. It’s shorter in terms of time and much larger in terms of the number of people.
So it’s kind of a different dynamic but a lot of fun nonetheless. You know, if you’re pursuing financial independence in your day-today, life you are probably a bit of a unicorn. And the opportunity to go to an event like Chautauqua or Camp Fi or the one you described in Bali is appealing on a lot of levels I think.
But I remember at the very first Chautauqua about midway through the week, I could tell people were having a great time. So I made it a point of walking [00:22:00] around and asking people individually what it was that they liked so much, you know, what was the best part about Chautauqua? And of course I was hoping they’d say, oh, jl, it was your talk.
Not one person said that they all had exactly the same answer or a variation of it. And that answer was, you know, in my day-to-day life, there’s nobody to talk to. Nobody understands what I’m doing. I’m walking this path completely alone. And I came here and everybody gets it, you know, as diverse as the group was.
And it was an incredibly diverse group from all over the world. All different ages, all different nationalities, races, religions, I mean, all, you know, any measure of diversity you can think of was represented. They all had this one thing in common. They all were working towards this financial independence goal, or some of them had reached it, and they said the fact that I’m surrounded by people who get it and I can have conversations with those people that, you know, [00:23:00] don’t involve trying to explain something that they have no appreciation for a point of reference is just, it’s magic.
So I imagine that’s kind of the dynamic in a lot of these events and it’s very powerful.
Captain Fi: I can’t remember exactly where I read it was either Vicky Robbins or maybe it was Mr. Money Mustache who said this was that unplanned social interactions are one of the keys to happiness in your community. And so it sounds like at the Chatauqua, people were really able to connect with each other on a personal level, build these friendships and have these, ongoing unplanned social interactions in the context of their fire journey.
Which really does make it a lot less lonely. Cuz I, I certainly know in my previous job I was considered a bit odd when it came to money. No one really understood what my motivations were and why I was doing this. Tended to be a bit of a consumerist environment or, you know, smoke ’em if you got ’em kind of, attitude towards money.
And so yeah, I think geez, I would’ve [00:24:00] loved to have gone to a chitwa.
JL Collins: Some of the best friends that, that I have in the world have come outta Chitwa and my experience is not unique.
I mean, every should talk, one I’ve talked to goes away having made deep friendships, not with everybody. With a handful of people. There have been a lot of friendships that have come out of it. There have been some companies partnerships that have come out of it. There have been some personal relationships that have come out of it.
Marriages, there’s been at least one baby conceived during Chatauqua that I’m aware of. So, there is a lot of personal connection going on and, you know, it’s the kind of connection that doesn’t go away at the end of the week that it lasts for a lifetime.
Captain Fi: That’s brilliant. No, I am, I’m totally set. I’m gonna get involved in in some of these meetups. And I know that it’s probably not going to be the same as, but hey, it’s, it’s gotta be the best that we have. It’s gotta be better than just hi. Hiding behind a keyboard [00:25:00] sometimes I get a bit nervous when I go out and do these meetups.
I’ve been doing just you know, we go out for a meal and a couple of drinks every time when I’m traveling to a capital city visiting, you know, friends or for work I’ve been running these, well, not running, just basically putting a post up to say, Hey, if anyone wants to grab a beer and a pizza, come to this pub or this cafe.
And it’s actually been really good. It been a little bit nervous for me to get out there and, you know, after blogging semi anonymously online for so long to be able to actually like, you know, go out there in the flesh. But also, I’ve met some really cool people. But yeah, it sounds like the chatauqua really just takes it to the next level.
JL Collins: Unfortunately there is no next Chautauqua. But if there’s an opportunity to go to a different event, in the FI community, I would recommend it. , if I think for the people who’ve done it, they would probably agree.
And for the people who haven’t, they’d probably enjoy it. And, people in this community are, in my experience are wonderful human beings and incredibly generous with their time and incredibly welcoming [00:26:00] over the years, by the way, we had a number of Australians join us.
So, there are people roaming around your country that have been to a Chautauqua.
Captain Fi: I’m gonna have to try and track one down. Now. Jl one of the funniest things that you’ve done online was the recut of the gambler. Now that is to brilliant. I think it, it’s great because it’s funny, but it also emphasizes the importance of fu money and it puts across a really good message and it’s, you know, it’s this great little shareable video.
And you know, it’s funny you were saying earlier, we had some technical difficulties when we were setting up the call and you were saying, ah, you know, the Godfather doesn’t do technology, but here we have a brilliant video that’s gone viral online. So I reckon, you know a bit about tech but look, the whole point of the gambler was your take on fu money.
So can you tell us a little bit about your take on FU money,
JL Collins: When I saw that movie, the Gambler[00:27:00] there, there is a scene in there where John Goodman, I forget the character’s names, but John Goodman is talking to Mark Wahlberg about setting aside money.
Wahlberg is looking for a loan because he is lost and he is gambled away his money and. And Goodman asked him, if he’s been up and he says he is been up two and a half million dollars. And Goodman says, you know, how much did you keep? And he said, nothing. And Goodman launches into this thing about if you got up two and a half million dollars, here’s what you do.
When I heard that scene, and it’s not quite my philosophy but it’s fairly close. When I heard that scene, I thought, I wanna do a version of that. That reflects my philosophy. But the problem I had is I don’t know anything about making videos. But a year later I met Chautauqua and two of the people attending Chautauqua were a couple who were videographers.
And they lived less than an [00:28:00] hour away from where I was living in the US at the time. And so I mentioned that I wanted to do this. They thought it was a great idea. They came up to New Hampshire where I was living and and they’re the ones who videoed it. And I get a lot of praise for it, cuz it is, it’s a very cool 97 seconds.
But the truth is, I wrote the script and and of course I’m performing it. But what we filmed was a hot mess. And the fact that it flows nicely and well, is entirely due to their skillful editing. Cuz you watch it and it looks like I, I do this in one smooth take.
And let me assure you, nothing could be further from the truth. I mean, it was take after take I think to get that 97 seconds, they filmed about four hours. And so now, whenever I watch award shows and, these actors get their awards and all their praise and everything.
In the back of my mind I’m thinking, you know, I’m [00:29:00] sure they did a good job, but I’m sure whoever edited their work deserves a lot of the credit for how good they look on screen.
Captain Fi: Hey, look, I’m never gonna complain about editing a podcast ever again. So look, when it comes down to it, what is f u money and why is it so important
JL Collins: when I first started investing in 1975. I knew I wanted to have enough money that I had a, a buffer from negative things that the world can throw at you. My dad had been a successful business guy and we were living a pretty comfortable life but he was a cigarette smoker and emphysema caught up with him basically.
And cigarettes kill you slowly. And so has the disease progressed. He lost his ability to work. And anyway, we went from comfortable circumstances to very uncomfortable circumstances. And I learned that it was an insecure world. And my dad was not a [00:30:00] saver and investor. So I was determined that I was not gonna be totally reliant on my ability to earn money.
I had no concept of financial independence that never heard the term. In fact, I didn’t hear that term until after I started my blog in 2011, had never heard the term fire, which I think that acronym is fairly recent, like 20 15, 20 16, something like that. But in the seventies, I did read a book called noble House by James Clavell.
It’s Part of a trilogy that begins with taan that’s actually said in your part of the world Hong Kong and that area. And there is a character in Noble House and her goal is to have a few money. And f you money in the novel is described as enough money that you can say f you to anybody at any time, and you can do whatever you choose to do.
And that put a label , on what I was trying to achieve. I [00:31:00] didn’t have a name for it until then, but that crystallized that, oh yeah, that’s what I want. And the rest of it all came later. And a few money is important to answer your question because it, it insulates you from the slings and arrows of life.
And it, it gives you power. It gives you power to make bolder decisions. But you know, it shifts the dynamic between you and any potential employers. It allows you to work only for people you choose to work for and for whom you respect. And you’re not having to work to pay the rent and living paycheck to paycheck.
Captain Fi: It’s bloody important. I think everybody needs fu money. It’s interesting, in the sort of the fire movement, the lexicon how it’s evolved is interesting and people talk about, you know, having an emergency fund. So, building a couple of thousand dollars in an emergency fund and then growing that to be three to six years of your [00:32:00] income as cash.
And then, growing that further and there’s this terminology shift that goes from, an emergency fund or a small cash savings to, , once you have got your six plus months of of cash emergency fund, it now it starts to become fu money because it really does start to give you that that power and that control and freedom in your life.
You don’t necessarily have to have reached fi yet and completely have passive income covering your cost of living.
JL Collins: It’s a journey.
It’s a progression. And so the moment you start saving and investing, the moment you take a portion of whatever you’re earning and pay yourself, so to speak, and begin to buy your freedom by virtue of saving and investing. The moment you do that, you become a little bit stronger. And then as you do it over time you become steadily stronger and stronger.
And at one point you wind up having six months worth of income [00:33:00] that you could live on if you had to. And then the next thing you know, you’ve had a year’s worth of money and it as it grows. And suddenly one day you wake up and holy cow, I have enough money that money is earning enough to pay all of my yearly bills and I don’t ever have to work again.
Or at least not for money. You might well want to work again, but , it’s become optional and the kind of work you do becomes optional.
Captain Fi: It really does shift the dynamic around planning your life. And, you know, as Ja was someone who did reach financial independence a while ago it sounds like you’ve been quite busy working on your passion projects. You know, you were running the chatauqua, you’ve been blogging, you’ve written three books. Is it fair to say that Fu money allowed you to pursue your life’s passions
JL Collins: that’s an interesting question in my situation because all the things you described that you talk with a blog, the books, all of that’s [00:34:00] been since 2011. And in 2011 is when I quit my last corporate job.
Again, this was very coincidental. I had no master plan that I was gonna be creating a widely read blog that I was gonna write books and create chau quiz.
That it just kind of all evolved organically. And I actually achieved financial independence in 1989, so decades earlier. But I didn’t realize that I had achieved it at the time I always wanted to have that fu money because while I loved working, I didn’t want to have to work all the time.
When I work, I worked very intently. I tend to burn myself out and then I need to take a sabbatical for a while, and that’s what fu money represented to me. So it was never about early retirement for me. I never had that concept in my head. And in 1989, I quit a job and I was without a job for five years.
And my wife [00:35:00] also quit her job and that period of time and our daughter was born and we were living off our investments. And about two or three years into that five year period, I was doing my annual review of our investments and our spending and all that. And we were living the same life.
We’d been living before, you know, the same house. And we’re spending the same amount of money. And I’m looking at the numbers and all of a sudden and this is about 91, 92 maybe. All of a sudden I noticed something really remarkable. And that’s, we paid all of our bills all year and at the end of the year we had more money than we started with.
And I thought, that’s interesting. And then I went back and I looked at the year before and while I had noticed it, it was true the year before. And then I went back and as I say it was first true in 1989. And this is kind of embarrassing to admit, but I knew something remarkable had happened, but I never connected the dots cuz I’d never heard the concept, [00:36:00] oh, this means I never have to work again.
I just thought, wow, that’s really interesting and pretty cool. And then I put my notes away and went on with my life and when I got tired of the sabbatical, I went back to work. So .
Captain Fi: Oh, that’s awesome. So, so jl for anyone who wants to know, j has been five for as long as I’ve been alive, so 90 one’s a great vintage there. But yeah, 1989. Wow.
JL Collins: you know, for, Mr. Money mustache back in, I wanna say 2012, in the early years After we got to know each other a little bit, , he asked me if I’d write a guest post and the title of that guest post is It’s Never Been About Retirement, because at that point, , there was all this early retirement stuff which is great, I have no problem with that.
Money Mustache retired famously at, I think the age of 30. But in all candor, that was not my path. That was just never on my radar. And I, and sometimes I wonder had I been aware of it as a concept, [00:37:00] cuz again, you know, I wasn’t aware of any of these concepts that we all kind of take for granted.
Now, I wonder, had I been aware of it as a concept, would I have retired in the early nineties? And I don’t know the answer to that question. I don’t have any regrets. I always liked my career. As I say, I didn’t like to do it all the time. So I like to be able to step away from it, but a few money gave me that option.
Captain Fi: So looking back you’ve been investing for nearly 50 years now 40, 48 years. Can you talk to us through some of your, you mentioned that way back at the start a little bit about your investing journey, but this is just , a very popular question. I’ve been asked many times recently to ask you would you be able to talk through some of your biggest successes, but also through a couple of your biggest mistakes that you’ve learned from
JL Collins: Well, , I think overall , the successes were, I guess they outweighed the mistakes because, I did wind up financially independent, although a big part of that in [00:38:00] all candor was, I always saved 50% of my income. And if you do that, then you know, you have room to make the kinda mistakes that I make.
, one of the things that made it hard for me to switch to indexing is stock picking is really intoxicating. And when you find a company and you do your due diligence and you think, wow, I think this is a good one. And you buy it and it works.
There are a few things that are more intoxicating than that. So it’s kind of, I joke that it’s the disease, it’s an addiction. And I think I owned individuals. I started index investing probably around 2000 by the year, 2099, 2000. But I was still fooling around with individual stocks, probably as late as 20 12, 20 13 before I finally gave up the disease.
But the biggest mistake and so probably most entertaining story is when I worked [00:39:00] for the investment research firm which was filled with very bright people who lived and breathed stock picking in investing analysts analysis. I mean, that was their life, right?
And when I joined that firm, I thought, wow I’m going to be in the inner circle and I’m gonna have access to what the secret sauce is. And what I learned is that there is no secret sauce. At one point, one of our investment officers who covered Arizona came back and he had found this very small penny stock company called Mariah International.
And Mariah was a gold mining. Company, and they had developed a technology to separate gold from cider cone. So evidently everybody knew that there was gold in cinder cone, but it was in very tiny amounts and it wasn’t economical to, to extract it. And [00:40:00] Mariah evidently had figured out a way to, to do that economically.
And so his name was Jimmy. And Jimmy came back and he was telling the rest of us this story. And then of course, this is a bunch of very skeptical professional investors and they started looking at it. And, we knew that company as well as a company could be known. Our team members knew all, it was a small company.
They knew everybody who worked at it, who started it, the technology that was behind it, all this stuff. Then you start looking and it’s selling, the stock’s selling for pennies. And you start looking and you say, well, okay, they have leases on x number of tons of cinder cone. Each ton of cider cone has somewhere between half an ounce to two ounces of gold in it.
There are x number of shares outstanding. And so if you own a share, you own your portion of the gold is, you know, out of this many tons. So it’s this [00:41:00] many ounces of gold. Even if you look at the modest half ounce estimate, you know, the lower thing. And, , suddenly you’re picking up shares for 25, 50, 70 5 cents that based on the price of gold , might be worth $50 a share.
Well, that’s pretty intoxicating stuff.
You start having fantasies, right? You start saying, well, if I have $10,000 worth of this stuff at 50 cents a share on average, and, and it’s comes worth $50 a share.
Well, do the math. So long story short, which I realize it’s too late for that. I wound up accumulating $50,000 worth of this stuff. And had it worked, I would be a very wealthy man. Of course, had it worked, I would’ve thought that I was, you know, smarter than God and I would’ve frittered it away on investments that didn’t work.
But but this one didn’t work. And, you know, it was a [00:42:00] valuable lesson because again, it was easy to lose money on stocks if you don’t do a thorough enough analysis and due diligence. But nobody could fault the level of due diligence that, that we collectively did on this particular company. And we still got our ass handed to us.
So there you go. That was 50 to $50,000 that I, I think when I finally unloaded it for, I don’t know, a ola share or something was less than a thousand dollars.
Captain Fi: Yeah.
Bugger. Yeah. Look I haven’t had I guess a lesson that profound to put it in nice words. I had a similar experience with a company called Farm Pride, which I don’t know how they’re doing. I’ve stopped tracking them, but they were basically an egg producer here in Australia, and I thought, ah, yes, I’ll, I had a hot tip through my tipping newsletter that they would be a great lesson.
Sorry, it’d be a great stock. And yeah, I ended up sort of 50% down by the time I exited, and so the egg was well and truly [00:43:00] on my face by the end of that. And it wasn’t just farm fraud, actually, it happened for a couple of different shares. Some of them went up.
But in, in the end, I definitely underperformed the index. And so, yeah, I I follow the simple path now. You know, like you say, there is no shortcut, there is no secret source. It’s just a lot of hard work and, you know, if you can save over 50% of your income, that does insulate you from some mistakes.
But definitely the simple path is the indexing.
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Now jl I had a few more reader submission questions for you.
JL Collins: way.
Captain Fi: Okay. Awesome. And now look, I will admit some of them are covered in your book, but I still did want to cover them. So first up, did you prioritize investing first, paying down your mortgage first, or a combination of both
JL Collins: oh, interesting questions. The first thing to [00:46:00] think about in that is I never bought the most house I could afford. I only bought houses that I could very easily afford. I, I bought them from what I call position of strength.
So it was something that I could easily afford. So the mortgage was very manageable. And it allowed me to maintain the savings rate that I wanted to have to build my fu money.
So that was point number one. So I never had huge mortgages for the most part, I just let the mortgages run their course. In New Hampshire this would’ve been in the the early two thousands. I had a mortgage and I, on the house that we had there that we bought in 2000, and I wanna say around, I don’t know, maybe 2010, I decided to pay it off.
And I knew that was not the best financial decision. In the sense that the money would’ve been better served to remain in the index fund, it would’ve grown more. [00:47:00] And I knew that at the time. And then of course, as things unfolded, that proved to be the case. But I just have such an abhorrence of debt that I just emotionally wanted to be done with that debt.
So it’s not something I would’ve advised somebody else to do from a purely numbers point of view. But I just, yeah, I just want to be, at that point in my life, I thought, , I don’t want to have any more debt period of any kind. I’ve never had any debt other than mortgages.
I’ve never had a car loan, for instance. But I just decided I don’t even wanna have mortgage debt anymore. So I just blew it out.
Captain Fi: very sensible. And , a lot of people work themself up to tizzy regarding oh, optimizing do I, and another question was have you looked at debt recycling? But obviously the answer to that is no. Your goal was to just get rid of this damn mortgage.
A house people consider them. As an asset, as an investment. It’s almost become a bit of a bloody religion here in Australia. I mean, housing prices are going through the roof. [00:48:00] Unaffordability is a big issue. But it’s also tied to, of our top businesses in the stock market.
A lot of them are the big banks. So mortgages and banking is a huge industry here in Australia. So I can totally see why paying down your mortgage just gets rid of that. I, I don’t know if you could call it an emotional bandwidth, but it, it definitely simplifies your life once it’s gone
JL Collins: yeah, well, I would agree with that. I think from a purely financial point of view, what I tell people is, if your mortgage is 3% or less, then that’s really cheap money, and I would keep it.
If it’s 6% or more, then of course paying down your mortgage is a guaranteed return and it guaranteed six, seven, 8%, whatever it is, that’s nothing to sneeze at. If it’s somewhere between that three and 6%, then I think it’s much more of a, whatever your personal preference is.
Captain Fi: Yeah. And I think that’s a really good guide. You mentioned those sort of brackets. Cuz the next question [00:49:00] was does a high interest rate slash inflation or potential recession looming such as now we’re starting to see, you know, there was record inflation after the pandemic and central banks really jacking up interest rates to try and curb spending, try and get that inflation under control.
And it’s looking like maybe we’re gonna have a recession. Does that change your investing plan at all
JL Collins: Not at all. I mean, when I started investing, it was in the US here, it was a very high inflationary period of time in the 1970s into the year, early eighties. And the truth is that, inflation in the short term can sometimes drag the market down. But long term owning stocks is a pretty good inflation hedge.
And when you think about it, it makes perfect sense because when you own stocks, and I think people get confused about this a little bit if you’re investing in stocks, and by investing I mean that if you’re looking at the long term, if you’re [00:50:00] not looking at the long term, you’re trading and speculating, which is not what my approach is about at all.
But if you are an investor and you buy an index fund basically you own a piece of every company in that index fund and in a very real sense, and those companies if in an inflationary environment will be able to raise their prices, the value of their assets will inflate along with the other things that are inflating.
And so owning stock, especially broad-based stock and index fund, is a pretty good long-term inflation hedge. So it’s not a bad place to be in a, in an inflationary environment. So, no high inflation doesn’t change my my approach. Now, if you get into something like hyperinflation you know, in places like Germany in the 1920s or Zimbabwe or you know, where, or Venezuela where it, it just gets completely out of control [00:51:00] because the government mismanages the economy to an extraordinary degree.
Well, in those environments, nothing protects you. There’s almost nothing you can do other than maybe storing gold. And of course there are also all kinds of risks with that.
Captain Fi: Yeah, I’ve heard that doomsday scenario, people often mention, hey, for these index funds not to work, right? You have to have something crazy, like a crazy inflationary spiral outta control or zombie apocalypse. for every single company in the world or in the country to fail, you’re probably gonna have bigger issues than your investments in that case
JL Collins: There’s no investment that is, gonna save you at that point. And by the way I know people who believe that, things are about to collapse but even gold at that point, you know, if society really collapses, then anybody who cares about your goal is just gonna take it away from you.
So, , you’re better off owning guns and bunkers.
Captain Fi: Yeah dried fruit and tins of [00:52:00] spam AR 15
JL Collins: you kind of have to decide, is the world gonna collapse economically? Well, , there’s not a zero chance that won’t happen, it’s a small chance. And so when, if you’re an investor, it seems to me that you have to think of saying, do I wanna organize my portfolio to account for something that has a 1% or less probability of happening?
Or do I wanna organize my portfolio for what’s most likely to happen? And for my part, I choose to organize my portfolio on what is most likely to happen, which is that, you know, solid companies and countries rather, and economies like the United States and Australia are going to continue into the future.
And by the way, stocks don’t have to have a golden period of time to go up. I have a post that a friend of mine reminded me of just the other day [00:53:00] that I wrote in 2015. Called the stock market or the time machine and the future value of stocks. And I wrote it in 2015, which was, I’d been investing for 40 years at that point from 1975 to 2015.
And the conceit of that post is imagine that you’re sitting around and campfire in 1975, and you start talking about whether or not you wanna invest in stocks for the next 40 years. And of course, in 1975 in the United States, we were in the middle of a high inflation period of time.
The stock market had just had a terrible year in 74. And there was a lot of gloom and doom, stagflation. The economy was bad, inflation was high. And in the post, I say, well, you know, I’m just back from 2015 in my time machine, and I can tell you what happened in the coming 40 years.
And then I go through all of the terrible things that happened in that 40 years [00:54:00] with the. , and again, this is a US-centric thing, so forgive me, but the stagflation of the Time Business Week magazine, calling for the death of equities. You know, the recession that was triggered when Volcker raised interest rates black Monday in 1987, the tech crash in 2000.
The attack on nine 11, which was the worst attack on US soil since Pearl Harbor. You know, the Afghan and Iraq wars, which were incredibly long drawn out, expensive debacle and the collapse in oh 8 0 9, which was the worst since the Great Depression and all these, I mean, it’s just the litany of things that happened that 40 years is pretty appalling.
And then of course, in my campfire, people are like, well, you know, glad you told us. There’s no way I’m investing in stocks knowing that’s what’s coming. And the truth is, over that 40 year period the s and p 500, the 500 largest companies in the United States [00:55:00] combined, that index rose just under 12% a year, which is an incredible return.
So yeah, the stock market climbs the wall of worry as the saying goes.
Captain Fi: Yeah, it’s that really does put things into perspective. It’s an awesome article and I’m gonna put a link to it in the show notes. , it reminds me of a saying that pessimists sound smart, but optimists make money. So I think it definitely puts things into perspective in answering that question at the moment with the current inflation interest rate and recession risks
JL Collins: A great saying. And the other thing is that if the pessimists ever turn out to be right in a major way, nobody will be making money, including the pessimists. So, the pessimists only lose because most of the time things turn out right. There’s more money to be made being an optimist.
Captain Fi: Absolutely. Now, you you mentioned just then about the s and p 500, which is the top 500 American companies by market cap. And you talk about this in [00:56:00] your book and on your blog as your main investment vehicle through the VT S A x index Fund. Now it’s interesting, I actually hold VTS myself, which is American Index Funds across Domiciled Fund for me to get American exposure.
And now the USA makes up a huge portion of the global economy. And I guess this is your reasoning for predominantly investing in US based shares. But one of the readers has asked Jay, would you ever consider global diversification as well as just the American s and p? Would you consider investing , in a global markets fund
JL Collins: v T S A X, which is Vanguard’s total stock market index fund is about 80% the s and p 500, and then the other 20% are, are the rest of the US publicly traded companies. So a little bit different than just an s and p 500 index fund, which is exactly what it sounds like. So just that little bit of clarification. The truth is when [00:57:00] I talk to international audiences or audiences that are international, from my perspective as I’m doing at the moment my advice is a little different.
Then my advice for Americans. So as you correctly point out for Americans I suggest for my daughter, for instance, V T S A X, which means you’re invested in every publicly traded company in the United States. And I think that’s a sound bet, but I also think the United States is the only country in the world that is large enough to economically where that is a sound decision.
I think for anybody else living anywhere else in the world you need to think in, in broader terms. Now, you could invest just in US companies, but I don’t know. I think if I were in Australian, I would feel a little awkward investing in completely in another country. So for folks like yourselves, I recommend a world fund.
Vanguard [00:58:00] has a good one, and I forget the call letters of it offhand, but it invests literally all over the world, proportionately to the size that their, the economies recommend. I even tell my daughter that probably not in my lifetime, but at some point in her lifetime, The US share of the world economy will have shrunk to the point where she’s probably gonna wanna make that change as well.
It doesn’t mean that I’m predicting something terrible is gonna happen to the us but if you think about the end of World War ii the United States was really the only advanced economy that wasn’t in ashes. So the world economy in those days was almost a hundred percent the United States. And then fortunately the rest of the world, Asia, Europe began to rebuild with some help from the us which was very self enlightened help on our part cuz a rebuilding the rest of the world was [00:59:00] good for the United States.
But as that happened, as those other economies came back, they got a bigger and bigger piece of the pie. And that might sound bad for the us but the pie itself was getting bigger and bigger. So when we sit here today, the US percentage of that pie is much smaller than it was at the end of World War II when they had almost a hundred percent.
But it is much bigger overall because it’s a much bigger pie. I think that trend’s gonna continue. I think the US is gonna continue to do well, but I think more and more countries across the world are. Gonna continue to prosper and expand their share of that pie. And that will grow the entire pie.
And I think that’s a great thing for the us. I think it’s a great thing for the world, but it does mean at some point the US will be like every other country where you probably don’t wanna focus just there. I think right now it’s a safe bet. It’s certainly been the better bet over the [01:00:00] last 10, 15 years cuz the US market outperformed the rest of the world.
But I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday, an American guy who’s already in the world fund and he said he said, you know, I’m looking at these other markets and at their PEs and I’m, I think I’m buying that at low bargain rates. And , I said, bill, you might be right and 10 years from now you and I have a cup of coffee and one of us will have done better than the other and it might well be you.
I don’t know. What I do know is both of us, if we stay invested 10 years from now, will be wealthier than we are today with both approaches
Captain Fi: Beautiful. I love that summary. I don’t also purport to be an expert when it comes to investing. But I do globally invest. So I use as mentioned vts, which is a cross listing of VT I, which I think is actually similar to VTS A X.
JL Collins: I think VT I is the, the TF version of vts A
Captain Fi: oh, there you go. Hey, I reckon then I, must [01:01:00] have done some research in that a while ago when I started. But I love that with index investing, you can just do your research figure out what’s right for you, and then you can kind of walk away. But it’s my biggest investment.
So I have over 50% of my asset allocation into in American shares. But I also have quite a higher portion in Australian shares, about 25%. And this came up as a reader question because in Australia we have like quite strong dividends. We have a franking credit refund scheme which can make investing in Australian shares quite tax effective.
And we have a pretty famous investor here Peter Thornhill. And it’s funny because sometimes people actually refer to either, you know, a Bogle head style in investing or a Thornhill style of investing. And he’s really keen on Australian industrials. Because of the quite high dividends they pay in the franking credits and very smart man you know, earns over half a million a year in dividend income.
And one of his [01:02:00] reasons for investing in purely Australian shares and industrials and why he didn’t invest in US shares is he said that the amount of large Australian companies, which deal internationally gave him quite enough global exposure. And so in that Australian companies, you know, exporting iron ore and coal and various other resources all over the world and also, you know, big companies like csl that do a lot of international trade which is, I know I’m going off on a tangent here, but I recently started doing it in plasma again and it turned out that CSL is actually a huge player in that industry and.
It’s a big industry in America. They make a lot of money by buying plasma and turning it into pharmaceuticals. And I had absolutely no idea. And that’s, I think at 1.1 of the largest Australian companies on the ASX is csl. And so it just goes to show that you might be thinking you’re investing in just one market, but actually a lot of those [01:03:00] companies have truly global reach.
Which I think maybe speaks a little bit to your choice, investing in V T S A X in that, a lot of those companies, I assume are, are global based companies as well
JL Collins: absolutely. And you raised a good point. You said you might be going down 10. But it’s certainly a tangent that I’m gonna guess is of keen interest to your listers. And , there, I, I don’t know anything about the Australian market, so I can’t speak to that, but it sounds like there are some governmental policies that favor Australian shares and I think if you’re an investor, you wanna take that into account and you wanna take advantage of that.
I do know that some countries like Canada, I’m a little more familiar with the economy of Canada, cuz of course it’s our immediate neighbor. The Canadian economy is focused . in the few industries, right? So it’s a good sized economy, but it’s focused on a [01:04:00] limited number of industries.
And so if you’re just investing in Canada, you are also just investing in those industries, which enhances your risk profile. When it comes to diversification, it’s interesting to note cuz I sometimes have people say to me, well, you’re only in one fund, you know, shouldn’t you be more diversified?
And my answer to that is, well, in this one fund, I own about 3,600 companies across all industries. That’s pretty diversified. When I was young and just starting investing and you didn’t have these kinds of tools available stock picking was the only game. As I was first learning about this in the late sixties and early seventies, a diversified portfolio.
Well, the recommendation was, pick six to eight industries pick two companies within each of those industries. And you’re talking about, , 12 to 16 [01:05:00] companies and invest in those. And now you are diversified. And you don’t want to do any more than that because you can’t adequately track and follow more than 16 companies, which of course is true.
But the point here is that in the old days, everybody would’ve agreed, or the vast majority of investors would’ve agreed that 12 to 16 companies across six to eight industries was sound diversification. So it sounds like the gentleman that you’re referring to probably is more diversified even than that and is probably not a bad approach.
Captain Fi: Yeah, and I look, just while we’ve been talking, I’ve pulled up so one of the, a very popular Australian based ETFs index funds is Vanguard’s v a s or Australian shares, and it’s, I think the s and p 300 of the Australian market or the ASX 300. And yeah, so 10%, the top 10% is B [01:06:00] H P, which is mining.
So one of the biggest mining companies in the world. And then. Number two, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, number three C S L, which is that pharmaceutical company I mentioned before. And then it’s N a B, national Australia Bank, Westpac Banking Corp. A n Z Banking Corp. So 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 in the top six shares by market cap.
Four of them are banks, one’s mining, one’s pharmaceuticals. And then as you go down, there’s Macquarie Investments Woodside Energy Group, which is a crude oil gas producer west Farmers, which is our, , our shopping center or diversified retails and Telstra Group, which is telecommunications.
So Wow. It really, it does speak to your point of diversification in that, well, you might buy VAs thinking, well, I’ll be super diversified buying this index fund, but it really looks like the majority of your exposure there goes to mining and banks or, you know, most of it’s in banks.[01:07:00] So yeah, so having some of that international exposure probably does provide a bit more protection for Australian investors.
JL Collins: yeah, it does sound like Australia is somewhat like Canada in the sense that there are a couple of dominant industries, may, may be mining and banking. One thing you have to be cautious about though, is when you look at an index like that, and you look at the top 10 companies at least in the United States and the United States, covers virtually every group, every investment or every Category of the economy.
You know, right now, I think if you looked at the s and p 500, the top 10 would be heavily weighted towards technology. And I have, you know, I have had people actually criticize my index approach saying, you were just buying a technology fund. And at the moment there’s some truth to that. But what they’re missing is the fact that if you go back a couple of [01:08:00] decades, those top 10 companies were not the same. I can remember a time when the top 10 companies were all energy companies, and I can remember another time when they were all financial companies.
And that doesn’t mean that’s all that the US had in those days, but it does mean that market sectors come in and out of favor. And right now technology is riding high and, you know, as far as I can tell, it’s gonna continue to ride high for a while. But if that wheel turns and energy becomes high, or financials or industrials or whatever it is, , then the beauty of owning the index, at least in the US economy is that I will then o own whatever sector is ascendant at that point.
So I’m not sure when you say that mining and banking dominate. Top 10 in Australia at the moment, you know what other sectors you have that might dominate in the future. I, it kind of tells me that you don’t [01:09:00] have a lot in the way of technology cuz I think worldwide technology is just rocket and rolling.
So, it’s, it sounds like that’s a sector that is, a little bit missing from the Australian economy
Captain Fi: and it’s, that’s a cr such a critical part, isn’t it, of index investing is the, the self cleansing nature. I think I read somebody you refer to as the self cleansing nature and it just sort of stuck in the
JL Collins: Well that, that’s actually my, my, I’m gonna take credit for that cuz I coined that term and I’m very proud of it because yeah, that’s exactly the beauty of indexing is it, self cleanses cuz companies have life cycles and sectors, , rise and fall depending on what’s going on in the world.
And when you own a broad-based index fund, you don’t have to worry about that. You’ll always own what’s on the rise
Captain Fi: There you go. There it’s come full circle. That’s right.
So it’s important to realize that, when I was talking about VS and the top holdings, [01:10:00] and when JL was mentioning about, you know, tech being dominant in the American Index at the moment, it’s different to owning a parcel of individual shares in those companies. Because if you own those individual shares in those companies, then yep, that’s what you’ve got.
Whereas with the index fund, as they change, as the market cap changes, they may very well drop out of the index. And we saw recently companies like I believe Tesla as it was gaining market cap it was entered into the s and p 500, I believe. I’m not sure if it’s still in there or how it’s tracking, but I remember there was a lot of press about it at the time.
, at the time it was quite, I wouldn’t say hyped, but it was receiving a lot of press attention. And so if you’re an index investor, you don’t really have to chase the latest and greatest amazing tool because by definition, as JL mentioned, the index is self cleansing and you’re going to [01:11:00] get whatever’s on the rise.
You are also going to lose. Whatever’s on the way down before you, you really get to that point. As he mentioned with the gold stock, you are never really going to ride an investment down to zero because once it, it drops out of the you know, whichever index you’re tracking, whether that be the top 500 or the top 2000 it simply gets replaced by the next best company
JL Collins: that’s. A great point. The other, to carry that point a little bit further is, let’s even suppose , that you did hold it till it went to zero, and you’re right, it’s gonna fall off the index before it gets to zero. But even if it fell to zero, what that means is that your losers could only lose a hundred percent. And that sounds pretty terrible, but your winners gain a hundred percent or 200%, or 500 or 10,000 or 50000%. So in that sense, it’s kind of a rig [01:12:00] game , when you have a situation where your losers can only lose a hundred percent, but your winners can run to the sky.
Captain Fi: I think I’ve heard that referred to as an asymmetric risk profile before. Sure. And I must admit, I’m a bit of a newbie when it comes to investing terminology. But when I hear asymmetric risk profile, one of the things that springs to mind is crypto. I know you might’ve just sighed when you heard me say that.
Look, my experience with crypto hasn’t been fantastic. I recently just added it to my my share site portfolio tracking to find that I’ve had a nice annualized loss of, of 22% per annum since I’ve been invested in it. But it is come up a lot and I’ve had a lot of reader questions. They wanted to know your views on alternative investments such as Bitcoin and other crypto
JL Collins: Alternative investments covers a lot of range, but, if we focus , on crypto , I don’t invest in [01:13:00] crypto and there a couple of reasons for that. It’s kind of the same reason that I don’t invest in gold because in a sense, gold and crypto are not investments. What I mean by that is that when you buy an ounce of gold or you buy a piece of a Bitcoin the only way you’re gonna make money, at least at the moment, is if somebody in the future is willing to buy that from you for more than you paid for it.
That to me is a speculation. And I’m not a speculator. Now I have friends who invest in Bitcoin and they make the case that this is the future and et cetera, et cetera. And they may be right. I have other friends who make the opposite case and I don’t know which way that’s gonna fall. What I do know with crypto is that one of the things that we’ve learned in the last year is that it doesn’t protect you from downturns.
It’s way too volatile to be used as a [01:14:00] currency. Places of tried, but the volatility just makes that almost impossible. It’s kind of like trying to deal in a currency that is rapidly inflating. If you have a currency that doesn’t have a reasonably stable value, it doesn’t really function well as a currency and crypto, whether it turns out to be a winner or loser, is very volatile, doesn’t have a stable value.
So all it is at the moment is a speculation. If I buy it, is somebody in the future gonna pay more money for it, then then I paid for it. That’s the same kind of thing as investing in art. Or antique cars or gold or silver or whatever. And that to me is a speculation. And everybody who invests in all of those things, presumably has reasons that they think that this particular antique car is gonna go up in value or this particular painting or this particular [01:15:00] cryptocurrency.
And that’s just not a game I can know enough to win.
Captain Fi: Yeah, well said. And I think there’s been a, there’s been quite a few famous investors Warren Buffett being one of them has said very similar things. They only invest in things they understand. I certainly jumped on the hype. I was pretty against I thought I’d never do it. And in the end, the FOMO got me up. It was only a very small investment, but yeah, lo lost a couple of thousand dollars, but huddling for the long term, we’ll see what happens. Worst case it go, goes to zero. But yeah, I, I definitely wouldn’t recommend anyone go out and buy some
JL Collins: Well, if it works out for you when I come to Australia, you’re buying the beer
Captain Fi: hey, my shout absolutely, mate. Absolutely. Now look with, I guess we’ll talk about more conventional investments and , you mentioned keep some cash in the bank, right? That was a famous line in the gambler cut. Now, I mean that was with respect to sort of emergency funds and FU money.
And then later to consider adding a bond fund, which in America used the V B T L [01:16:00] X to, to smooth the ride. And now I, I’m not a hundred percent, but I believe your asset allocation, was it something like 75 stock to 25 bond.
JL Collins: It’s about 80 20
Captain Fi: 80 20 Roger. Now, would you be able to touch briefly on how you came to that asset allocation figure? And how people might be able to come up with a, a ratio for themselves and also working out how big of an emergency fund you would suggest people look at, whether that’s that three to six month figure or higher
JL Collins: yeah. So let’s separate those questions and I’ll remember the emergency fund question because I’ll probably forget it. By the time I’m done talking about the asset allocation question. So asset allocation, I don’t know how useful it is to explain why I have the asset allocation that I have, but I think the way to think, because it’s a very personal choice, but I think the way to think about it is to understand that stocks[01:17:00] are.
An amazingly powerful builder of wealth over time. In fact, they’re the most powerful builder of wealth over time of any asset class. So if you invest as I said earlier when we were talking about, in V T S A X, just the US or investing in the world fund, as my buddy Bill is doing 10 years from now we’ll both be wealthier, and almost doesn’t matter who will win that, cuz it’s gonna work out for both of us.
So then you’d say, well, why would you do anything else? Well, the problem with stocks is it’s a very volatile ride. , stocks are very volatile. So I can say with great confidence that 10 years from now I’ll be wealthier by virtue of owning stocks than I am today. If I go out 20 years, it’s as close to a certainty as anything in life gets.
But I can also say for certainty that there are gonna be many times when my portfolio is gonna be down 10, 20, maybe even 40 or [01:18:00] 50% before it recovers to go on to those And that can be difficult to deal with. Now it can also be an advantage if you’re working and you have cashflow coming in and you are investing on a regular basis because you’re saving a portion of your income.
Then those drops in the stock market work in your favor. As long as you stay the course and keep investing that money, you are getting more shares for the dollars that you are putting in. That’s a good thing. I’ve said to people who are building their wealth the best thing that could happen to you is a major market crash where everything’s on sale.
But at some point when you’re living on the portfolio and you’re living on it, cuz you don’t have that income from your labor, you might want something else to smooth the ride and take advantage of those drops. And I think that’s the role that bonds play. So if you look at your bond portion of your portfolio and your stock port portion of your portfolio and you go out 10 [01:19:00] years, your bond portion is going to be an a drag on your performance, but you will have a much smoother ride for that 10 years.
So when it comes to deciding what your personal allocation ought to be, it’s a matter of what do you value most? Do you value maximum return at the end of that 10 year period or 20 year period or would that. That wild volatile ride just keep you from sleeping at night and you maybe you value more tranquility and a lower return at the end of that period of time.
The answer to that question is the answer to what percent you want in stocks, what percent you want in bonds? The more you have in stocks, the better your long-term return. The rougher the ride more you have in bonds, the smoother the ride, the lower the long-term return. The only caveat I’d hang on that [01:20:00] is that if you were planning to withdraw based on what’s commonly become known as the 4% rule, which was verified in in a bit of research called the Trinity Study, it’s important to recognize that doesn’t work if you have less than 50% stocks.
Though my personal recommendation would be, I would never recommend someone have less than 50% in stocks. So never less than a 50 50 balance. But other than that, I think it’s a matter of whether you value return or tranquility.
Captain Fi: I think that’s a really good way of putting it. I’d never really considered thinking about it in those terms of tranquility, but you making it sound very peaceful, almost wanna go out and get a bond fund. I personally don’t actually have any bonds at the moment. I was definitely in camp, accumulate camp risky.
But now that I’m on the other side of fire and I’m semi-retired I think, , it’s something I need to do some more reading into. And I did read a [01:21:00] couple of awesome articles about the efficient frontier, which I’ll link in the show notes, which pretty much describe exactly what J’s talking about now, I guess just getting back to the emergency fund question now, how big of an emergency fund you keep, does that relate to the bond percentage at all?
Or is that sort of a completely separate concept
JL Collins: I don’t have an emergency fund at all, and the reason I don’t have an emergency fund is, is because , I’m in a position in my life and I have a level of wealth where I just don’t need it. There is nothing that is going to happen that I can’t cover routinely. I don’t have to have a separate fund for that. So the irony is the poorer you are and the more you are living paycheck to paycheck. The greater an emergency fund you need. And the other part [01:22:00] of that is do you own a house? If you own a house, you’re gonna need a bigger emergency fund, because things in houses break and those things can be expensive.
Replacing the refrigerator or the furnace or the roof or whatever it is, can be a very ugly surprise. If you are renting then you don’t have that kind of potential ugly surprise. Your expense for your lodging expense is fixed and predictable. So, you know, how big should your emergency fund be?
Well, you own a house, then how old is your house? If you own a brand new house, that’s a different than if you own a, an older house that is gonna be more inclined to need ongoing repairs. So the whole emergency fund , the other thing is how secure is your job? , do you feel very secure
or, are you kind of living on the edge, because of the kind of job you have or, What’s [01:23:00] going on with it specifically. So all of those things I think, factor into determining what a, an emergency fund would be. So I kind of, cringe a little bit when people say, oh, it should be three months or six months or three years or whatever, the random number is that there’s so many personal variables.
It seems to me that go into choosing that. Does that make any sense
Captain Fi: Absolutely. I mean, like we say so often in personal finance the reason it’s called personal finance is cuz it’s so personal. So it’s really hard to slap a one size fits all bandaid. On the question
JL Collins: The irony is, if you own an older house and maybe an older car and. And you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you’re vulnerable and you probably wanna start working on a pretty good sized emergency fund. If you’re fairly far down the simple path to wealth, then you’re getting near being fi you’re probably in a really [01:24:00] strong financial situation and , suddenly having to put on a new roof is something you’re gonna be able to take in stride
Captain Fi: What I personally do I, , as most people know I publish all of my financials on the blog. And, sitting at around net investment position of around two, 2 million Australian. And I keep about $50,000 in cash in a mortgage offset account. And that’s what I consider my emergency fund. And that’s, to cover I guess things like, as you mentioned repairs. I, I drive an older car. I currently rent, but I’m, I’m hoping to, to buy a hobby farm soon. And so as soon as I get that set up j I’m gonna come to you and try and license the chita to have a bit of a meetup , on the farm.
JL Collins: That’s, a cool idea
Captain Fi: Yeah. Oh you’ve got the cogs turning. I’m really keen on doing something like that in the future. But yeah, so I just keep a fairly small cash position. And in terms of investments I’m pretty much close to, I guess 98% stock and probably 2% cash. I’m actually, I’m [01:25:00] not too sure on the maths,
Alright, so that’s pretty much all of the user questions. So I’m just gonna finish up. I had a few more questions that I had. So one of the things that you produce again, similar to the gambler Recart, was the guided meditation for when the stock market is dropping.
It’s brilliant. I actually thought it was a joke initially but when I had to listen to it during the recent correction, , it was actually really calming. It’s almost hypnotic. It’s really nice Listening to your voice, j Now you’ve invested through, some of the market’s, most serious crashes, and you’ve talked about that in your time machine article.
I guess what have you learned from those investing downturns and how has that shaped how you invest going forward
JL Collins: The biggest thing that I think people need to understand is that market drops are a perfectly natural part of the process, and they are to be expected, and the market frequently has what’s called a correction, which is about a 10% drop on a pretty [01:26:00] regular basis goes into a bear market. And here in the US we were in one last year that’s defined as being down about 20%. And then much more rarely, but on a fairly regular basis, it’ll crash, it’ll go down 30, 40, even 50%. And when that happens, the media goes nuts. And there’s, as Warren Buffet is famously said, you want to sell when people are greedy and buy when people are fearful.
You basically, I think people need to understand that all of those things, whether it’s a 10% correction or a 50% crash, they are perfectly natural parts of the process. I can absolutely guarantee they will happen in the future. If you’re young enough listening to this, you’ll go through corrections, bear markets and crashes, and none of it long term matters.
You need to absolutely stay the course. Worst thing you can do is cut and [01:27:00] run, panic and sell. In fact, if you’re gonna do that, then don’t follow my advice because my advice will leave you bleeding at the side of the road if you don’t stay the course through the downturns. But if you do stay the course through the downturns, the market, and especially if you keep investing in those downturns and take advantage of those lower prices for your shares you will do extraordinarily well over time.
So yeah, that’s I think the key thing that people need to absorb. And, , it’s easy to understand that in intellectually, and it’s easy to sit here in the good times and say, oh yeah, of course, if the market plunged, it’d be no problem. having been through market corrections, I can tell you it is, even for the most serious investor, it’s tough.
I mean, it’s an unpleasant experience. And, even knowing that it’s gonna turn around at some point , it preys on your mind. So the best thing to do is [01:28:00] tie yourself to the mast as I put it and just say, , selling is not an option. It’s just not an option.
It’s not something that, that I’m gonna do and stick to it.
Captain Fi: Having a, yeah, having a solid plan. Yeah. That’s awesome, man. That’s brilliant. Now look, maybe a slightly different question here. I was gonna ask, what does early retirement look like for you?
You’ve been five for over 30 years and retired in 20 20 11, 20 12 timeframe.
I know you’ve been doing a lot of traveling, and so I guess I wanted to ask, well, firstly, what does your day-to-day life look like now? And secondly, how has traveling shaped your view of wealth
JL Collins: First of all, to be clear, , I am not early retired. , it’s never been about early retirement for me. And, , arguably , I’m still not retired. Now, the kind of work I do, which is giving interviews like this one and writing on the blog and writing books.
So, it’s very enjoyable for me.[01:29:00]
And that’s, ideally what work should be. So I’m in the enviable position of not having to work for money, but I love working. I, would rather work on my own terms and on the things that interests me than to do anything else. So what does my day-to-day life look like?
It kind of depends on the day. Most of the time we are nomadic most of the time we’re, we travel as the lifestyle. We do have a cottage on the shores of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin. And that’s where we are at the moment. And this is where we spend summers. So we’re here about three or four months out of the year most years.
And the other seven or eight months, we’re just out roaming around. Sometimes we’re doing that internationally. Last couple of years we’ve been doing it around the United States. And so, yeah it’s kind of always different.
Captain Fi: That’s bloody awesome. I think for a lot of people that’s the goal. They want to be out of trouble.
You’ve obviously You’ve done a lot and you have traveled [01:30:00] throughout your career. Is there any sort of travel experiences that you’ve had that have really made you I wanna say reconsider, but have influenced your definition of wealth
JL Collins: I’ve never thought about it candidly captain in those terms. In terms of redefining my definition of wealth. We have, over the years, we’ve traveled in some undeveloped countries and, it exposes you to levels of poverty that growing up in the United States and living in the United States, I, we had not been exposed to before. And that’s a an eye-opening experience. You realize that, in a country like the United States, and I’m gonna guess Australia, that for the most part, what we think of as poverty is not the same as the kind of poverty you see in parts of Africa or India.
So yeah, maybe that kind of thing
Captain Fi: I’ve had the, I guess the fortune that my career as a pilot sort of took me all [01:31:00] over the world and I was able to spend some time as a child growing up visiting family in Indonesia. And it certainly gave me a bit of a perspective , on wealth as well. And just how, I guess, fortunate we are that we can even pursue fire now.
Gl I’ve gotta ask you these next questions, which everyone hates ’em. They’re, they’re annoying questions. But I, I love asking them anyway because it, it really helps us to build a resource for education. And we found that by sort of, emulating what really successful people do reading what they read, listen what they listen to, what they listen to.
We can really set ourself up for success. So I’d be really interested to know what personally, what is your favorite book? Or maybe you have a couple
JL Collins: these are irritating questions and it’s, if I, if I talk about financial books or blogs or whatever, then I’m never gonna do justice to all the great books out there because I will forget I will omit blogs and books that [01:32:00] deserve to be mentioned, , and that’s a shame. But if we step into the broader world I think just. I’m an avid reader, so I it’s very hard for me to pick my favorite fiction book. Cold Mountain is one of them. The American is one of them. But for nonfiction books I have an interest in human evolution and where we came from and why were the crazy creatures that we’ve come to be.
And Yuval Ari’s book Sapiens, I think might be my all time favorite nonfiction book. It’s a discussion of exactly those things, how we evolved into the crazy creatures we are and why we believe the things that we believe. And it’s an amazing insight and it’s gotten rave reviews.
The one critical review that I remember seeing was something along the lines that, you know, all this author is done is collected, all of the the other work about human evolution and just put it [01:33:00] together in one book.
And that’s pretty accurate. But I, to me, that’s the brilliance of the book. And this critic went on to say, if if you know anything about this subject, there’s nothing new here. And I’m pretty well read on the subjects. And so I do know something about it. And I suppose that was true, that there was nothing really new.
But Harri did such a brilliant job of pulling all of this in information together between the covers of one book in a coherent fashion that even though I maybe I didn’t learn anything that I hadn’t come across before, it was just just extraordinarily well, well presented. And so, then his follow-up book is homo Dayus.
And that is it is not quite as good as Sapiens, but it’s it’s a great book and it’s his take on where we are. Sapiens is his take on where we’ve been. And Homo Dayus is his take on where we’re going. And very interesting speculations in there. So, those would be my recommendations
Captain Fi: [01:34:00] awesome. I have to look those up as soon as we get off the call. Of course. One of my favorite personal finance books is, of course, your book, the Simple Path to Wealth. Now, that’s not your only book, though, is it? J would you be able to touch briefly on your other two books that you’ve written?
How I Lost Money in the Stock Market and your latest book, Pathfinders
JL Collins: The second book was actually real estate is title. It’s a long, cumbersome title, but was kind of fun for me to do. So. The title is how I Lost Money in Real Estate Before it was Fashionable. It’s a very short little book, and it talks about the very first piece of real estate I ever bought, which was a condo in Chicago.
And it turned out to be a complete disaster. And I made virtually every real estate kind of mistake that you could possibly make with this one condo.
And it’s a the subtitle of it is a cautionary tale. So I think it’s pretty amusing read. I found a wonderful illustrator to [01:35:00] illustrate it. And you know, and her illustrations might be the the best part of the book, but it’s very short. I had a lot of fun doing it and , it hasn’t sold particularly well for whatever reason, but I like it.
And then the third book is coming out October 31st of this year. It’s available for pre-order and , I’ll send you a link if you wanna put it in the show notes. If anybody’s inclined to buy it, you do me a solid if you pre-order it, because evidently that encourages bookstores to carry it.
But that’s called Pathfinders. And Pathfinders is well, how I lost Money in real Estate was a different subject path. Pathfinders is the follow up to the simple path to Wealth, and it’s a collection of about a hundred stories from people around the world in all different stages of their lives when walking their path towards financial independence.
Some of them having arrived already, some still on the journey and how they read The Simple Path to Wealth and [01:36:00] took lessons from that very US-centric book was written for my daughter at the beginning of her journey and applied it to their unique situation. Wherever they were in the world and wherever on the journey they happen to be personally.
And I’ve always found those stories as they, because they’ve come to me ever since. The Simple Path to Wealth came out in 2016. I’ve always found those stories fascinating. It’s always been amazed me how people took the basic principles in the simple path to wealth and for instance, adopted them to the investment environment in Australia and maybe when they were 40 years old and had already done other kinds of investing.
Those, that’s incredible to me. And it’s very gratifying to hear those stories and I think it’s inspirational for anybody on the path or thinking about getting on the path to see how other people from an incredibly [01:37:00] diverse levels of background have done it. One of the things that it proves is not true is this idea that you already have to have a high paying job and be successful in everything to become financially independent.
Cuz as you’ll read in Pathfinders , there are a lot of stories from people who start. Very humble beginnings in poverty and achieve it. And it’s fine. Very few people will ever walk this path. Very few people, as we talked about earlier, where anybody who’s interested in this is almost by definition a unicorn.
And that’s fine. But if you choose not to pursue financial independence, it’s not because there is some circumstance in your life that makes you unable to pursue it. At least if you’re able, if you have the technology to listen to this podcast, there’s nothing in your life that prevents you from becoming wealthy.
[01:38:00] Now you can choose not to become wealthy by virtue of wanting to spend your money on other things than your investment. But let’s be clear, that’s your choice. And it’s fine with me. I don’t have the responsibility for, or I would never presume to, to dictate to someone how they ought to live their life or spend their money.
But I would like them to know that this is an option
you will see that a lot of people who started with a lot less. chose it successfully October 31st is when it comes out. And I will, I’ll send you the link and if you wanna put it in show notes, that’d be great
Captain Fi: I’m really looking forward to having a read of that jl And as soon as we get off , the call, I’m gonna be jumping on. If you can send me a link, I’ll, I’d love to do a pre-order. If that’s gonna come out later this year, I reckon we can do a bit of a giveaway for the social media.
I think people would love to read that book
now I’m not sure if you are much into podcasts. I know you mentioned that you had recorded with the Mad Scientist.
And he of [01:39:00] course runs the Mad Scientist Financial Independence podcast, which is bloody awesome. Lot of really good people interviewed a lot of awesome lessons learned and to be honest, one of the inspirations for why I wanted to get into podcasting. So I mean, do you have any favorite podcasts or what kind of things do you enjoy listening to
JL Collins: well see again, , I will certainly omit great podcasts, but I, the mad scientist I’ve been , on his a couple of times, I think he does a great job. He’s a a brilliant guy and his blog is well , worth reading too. Just very insightful on this kinda stuff.
Choose Fi is a great one. Earnin Invest is a great one. I have on my blog a a page where I list all of the interviews I’ve done and I’ve done a lot of them.
And so if somebody’s interested in listening to me more, you can go on there and find some great podcasts that way. But yeah, there’s some people like yourself who are doing some great podcast work and I enjoy listening [01:40:00] to them
Captain Fi: oh, thanks very much. I appreciate you putting me in the league as some of the other people there. I definitely see myself as a more of a humble beginner. I think our technical difficulties at the start of the episode was testament to that. But no, I really appreciate it and , I’ll be putting a link in the show notes to, to jail’s media page.
this is almost the last question, I guess the pen ultimate again, a question that people hate. And I know you’ve, we’ve basically covered this multiple times throughout this episode, but just so it’s absolutely clear for people who are listening today, jl, what are your top pieces of advice for someone pursuing financial independence ,
JL Collins: the basic formula is avoid dead. Live on less than you earn and invest the the difference. And the more you, you choose to save and invest, the sooner you’ll reach financial independence. It’s kinda like when we were talking about asset allocation. You know, the more stocks you have, the greater the [01:41:00] performance.
So the higher your savings rate, especially if you’re going into low cost, broad-based index funds like we’ve discussed, the sooner you’ll be financially independent and it’s not an on off switch. So the moment you start every time you add to your investments, you’re a little bit stronger than you were the day before. So I think that’s kind of the core formula
Captain Fi: it’s beautiful, isn’t it? It really is the simple path to wealth
JL Collins: it really is simple. Yeah
Captain Fi: So jl this is the last question.
One of the reasons that you started The Simple Path to Wealth is that, You had written some letters to your daughter to teach her about the lessons you’d learned in investing in finance, and that morphed into your blog and your book, which has helped hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people around the world to improve their finances.
How about your daughter? How have your teachings influenced her financial outcomes
JL Collins: my [01:42:00] friend Kristi Shen, who is a blogger over at Millennial Revolution and wrote the book like a Millionaire has a great saying , and I’m probably not gonna get it exactly right, but she says basically if you understand money, Life is incredibly easy. If you don’t understand money, life is incredibly hard. And because I want my daughter to have the best possible life. I wanted her to understand money. And the result of that was I pushed it too hard and too soon and I managed to turn her off to all things financial. And that’s what made me turn to writing this stuff down in initially in letters against the the day that maybe she’d be willing to hear it.
Cuz I had turned her off to it so soundly. And then of course, those letters became the blog and the archiving and all the stuff we’ve discussed. , so, Jessica is well into her adulthood. I’m happy to say that she [01:43:00] has read the Simple Path to Wealth. My wife used to tell me that , she is listening to you more than you realize when she was a kid.
And as in most things, my wife turned out to be correct. And so Jessica is, yes, she’s firmly on the path and doing very well, and so Dad can heave a sigh of relief
Captain Fi: oh, that’s fantastic. Bloody brilliant, jl. Mate, thank you so much for your time today. It’s been an absolute blast recording with you., , I just can’t believe I’ve actually sat down and had this awesome conversation with you. Yeah, definitely , big right of passage for me.
So once again, mate, thank you so much , and , I really look forward to to catching up if you ever make it down to Australia. I absolutely love to take you and show you around. And conversely, I’ll, I’m also planning a, hopefully a trip over to the US scene, so love to be able to come and visit , your neck of the woods.
Before we finish up, mate, is there anything you’d like to mention today that we might have missed or that’s coming up for [01:44:00] you
JL Collins: I think you covered everything very well. , you’re a great interviewer. I’m honored that you had asked me to be on the program. , I’ve also had a blast. And it’s just been a lot of fun and I, I hope that your listeners enjoy listening to our conversation. As much as I’ve enjoyed having it with you
Captain Fi: bloody awesome mate. If people want to find out a bit more about you or read your book, whereabouts, can they find out more about you , or contact you
JL Collins: easiest thing to do is to go to the blog, which is jl collins nh dot com. And once you’re at the blog, of course you’ll be at the blog in the stocks series. You’ll see a picture of the simple path to wealth.
that you can click on. That’ll take you to Amazon if you’re interested in ordering it.
And then from there, if you are interested in following me on Facebook or Twitter, , you’ll find the links for those things. So that’s the core source to go to
Captain Fi: awesome. Look, I’ll make sure to put links in the show notes. So, if anyone listening to this episode today wants to have a read [01:45:00] of the transcript or read up on any of the topics that we’ve mentioned I’ll have links to J’S website jl collins nh.com links to his social media and also about his other podcast appearances and the books that he’s written.
Again, thanks so much for your time, mate. It’s been an absolute blast
JL Collins: pleasure’s been entirely mine. Thanks, captain
Captain Fi: cheers.
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 [01:46:00] of 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.