JL Collins is a financial blogger and an author, who was the most influential force behind my desire to seek financial independence. Do check out his blog to learn more about his exceptional and life-changing work.
In his book “The Simple Path to Wealth”, he says that if individuals follow the below-listed tips in the next ten years, they will be on their way to financial independence. According to the logic applied by many financial bloggers, financial independence equals 25x your yearly expenses. In practice, it means that the less you spend, the sooner you will become financially independent.
JL Collin’s top tips:
- Avoid debt at all costs.
- Avoid fiscally irresponsible people. You know, the people, who show up in your life and are constantly broke and in need of financial rescue. We all have met them.
- Work your butt off to build your career and reputation for ten years. After that, it will be much easier to change jobs, companies or go solo if you wish to.
- Take your skills and keep on expanding. This is mega important. The world is rapidly changing and staying behind is not an option.
- Don’t get trapped in the expanding lifestyle. It includes buying a new car or a house each time you get a pay rise or buying expensive hi-tech gadgets with your bonus money. It’s not the way to go; if you want to become financially independent, all the extra money you earn need to go towards your savings and investments.
- Save and invest at least 50% of your income. If you save more than 50% of your income, you will become financially independent even sooner.
- Use all the tax advantage plans you are offered. You need to check what is available for you in the location/country you reside in.
- Celebrate market drops, which are gifts in a wealth accumulation phase. This is the time when you should invest even more of your hard earn cash.
- Never think or believe that you can time the market drops.
- When 4% of your assets can cover your expenses, you are financially independent, and you can be living off those assets. However, if you decide to keep working despite being financially independent, invest 100% of your earnings. The growth of your assets will accelerate the 4% withdrawal rate.
- Being financially independent is as much about controlling your needs as about building your assets.
- As long as you are working, low-cost Index funds are what you should be investing in.
- Diversify your portfolio and invest 25% in bonds when you stop working.
- When you are financially independent, this is the time to expand your lifestyle (just make sure it’s within the 4% withdrawal rate).
- Houses aren’t investments but expensive indulgences. Buy only if/when and what you can afford, and as long as the house provides the lifestyle you want.
- Expand your opportunities in life by taking a proactive approach to your career, learning and decision-making process.
I hope that the above list will help you take the first steps on your journey towards financial independence. However, I still strongly recommend reading J.L. Collins’ book “The Simple Path to Wealth.”