JLCollinsNH – The Importance of F-You Money

Intro: I’m blinding you with fience! Mad Fientist: Welcome everyone to the Mad
Fientist Financial Independence Podcast, the podcast that gets inside the brains of some
of the most well-known fientists in the field to find out how they were able to achieve
financial independence. I’m really excited to introduce my guest
today. His name is Jim Collins. And as the tagline of his website states,
Jim writes about business, life and money over at Jim has become one of my favorite personal
finance writers. If you’ve read his stuff, you’ll know
what I mean. He’s got an amazing sense of humor and he
uses very interesting and entertaining stories from his own life to reinforce the lessons
that he’s teaching in his article. So I’m thrilled to have him here today. I can’t wait to dive into some of those
stories. Jim Collins, welcome. Thank you for being here. Jim Collins: Thank you, Brandon. It’s my pleasure. Mad Fientist: So for those out there who haven’t
heard Jim’s story – I get excited because it’s a very interesting one – he has been
investing since 1974 and has been financially independent since around 1989. At this point, he said he accumulated his
f-you money. Jim, could you just describe f-you money and
take us through your journey to financial independence? Jim Collins: The term f-you money, which I
noticed has become popular, I came across 25 years ago maybe by reading a novel by James
Clavell. In fact, one of the readers of my blog just
corrected me as to which novel it is and I will take their expertise. They’re telling me it was from Noble House. I thought I remembered it from Taipan. But in any event, both are great novels that
I recommend. The character in one of those novels was a
young woman who was beginning her career and her goal was to accumulate f-you money. If you’re wondering what the F stands for,
you can read the novel because they spell it out. That, to me, that moment embodied what I instinctually
drifted towards that I wanted to have that financial independence. I wanted to have enough money that I could
chart my own course. That to me was more important than anything
else that money could buy and coming across an actual term for it was a cool thing and
it had been a focus for me. Her target by the way was $10 million. I have done it a whole lot less than that
and I know people who have done it on even less, so that shouldn’t be an obstacle. Mad Fientist: Yeah. So would you say that you accumulated everything
you needed to say f-you by 1989? Jim Collins: That’s an interesting question. I would say by 1989 I probably could have
hung it up permanently if I had chosen to and I didn’t choose to. And 1989 is an interesting year because – actually,
I think it was 1990 as I’m thinking about it. I actually quit the job I had and set about
trying to acquire some businesses and that took me away from earning a salary for five
years. Interestingly, in that five-year period, my
net worth actually increased because the investments were faster than my spending. That was a little bit of an eye-opener. It’s important to remember, Brandon that
when I was doing this, the Internet didn’t exist. I didn’t realize that there were a ton of
people who were doing the same thing and were interested in it. I didn’t know anybody. So I was kind of flying blind to a great extent. But the first time I thought I had enough
money – the point, I guess, that I’m trying to make here is that f-you money is a bit
of a moving target. The first time, I figured I had enough to
step away from a job, I had $5000. I was in my 20s and I’d save $5000 from
my first professional job. I always saved 50% of everything I made and
I wanted to go to Europe. I petitioned them for a couple of months off
to do that, a sabbatical, if you will. They said no. And I said, “Okay.” And then I thought about it for a week and
I said, “Okay, I think I’m going to Europe anyway.” I certainly didn’t have enough to retire
for the rest of my life, but it’s as much an attitude as anything else. Mad Fientist: Yeah. And you did go to Europe? Jim Collins: Yeah, it was an interesting thing,
the way it unfolded. I write about this in the blog. I forget which post off the top of my head. I went in, as I say, and asked for a couple
of months off, a sabbatical because I wanted to go all around Europe. I was probably 26 at the time. My boss said no, which was typical at the
time because this was mid ’70s and I didn’t know any different. You go, you ask the boss and he says no and
that’s the end of it. But I went back and I thought about this for
a bit. I liked the job and I didn’t particularly
want to leave, which is why I didn’t walk out and quit, but I wanted to go to Europe. I didn’t realize there was any middle ground. After thinking about it for a week, I decided,
“As much as I like the job, I really want to go Europe.” I do have $5000. I didn’t know the term f-you at the time,
but I do have this sitting here that allows me to go. A week later, I went in and resigned and an
amazing thing happened. He said, “Wait a second. Don’t do anything hasty. Let me talk to the owner.” Lo, and behold, we negotiated extra time off
for me, so I didn’t have to resign. That was an eye-opening experience becausef-you
money not only allows you to step away if you choose to step away, but it also empowers
you and gives you negotiating room that, at least in my case, I never knew existed. Mad Fientist: Yeah, that’s a great point. That’s another benefit of pursuing financial
independence that maybe some people don’t think about. Obviously being able to quit your job and
not work again is a huge benefit. But being empowered while you’re still working
is an amazing side-effect. I’d even take it a step further and say
that pursuing financial independence not only empowers you, but it also allows you to enjoy
your current situation more. For me, I was quite miserable on my job and
the thought of doing it for the next 30 plus years was really depressing. But once I got on this path to financial independence
and realized that within the next five years, without changing anything about my spending
or savings, I could reach financial independence. It just totally changed my outlook on things. I actually realized I didn’t hate my job. It was just the fact that I felt trapped. But now, I could be financially independent
in five years. I didn’t feel trapped anymore, so I started
to actually enjoy my job. Jim Collins: Yeah, your point is well-taken. I did a guest post for Mr. Money Mustache
back in the spring. He was nice enough to ask me to tell my story. A lot of the websites that I read are talking
about – including his – early retirement and what have you. Too many people think of that as well. “Okay, I’m just done and I’m going to
sit on the beach.” For me, it’s never been about retirement. It’s been about having options. It’s been about being able to step away
from a job I didn’t like or step away from a job I didn’t like to do something that
maybe I wanted to do instead for a while. That may or may not include earning money
in some cases. This is not part of my experience, but I know
some people who have stepped from a high paying job to a lower paying job to pursue a passion
they had. A few money smoothens that path. You made an important point too I think. When you start looking around, you realize
that it’s not really that hard to get there. And when I was coming up, again, with no Internet
and really no culture around this, I had no idea that what I was doing was even possible
as they say. I didn’t even have a name for what I was
doing until I stumbled on it in a novel. I certainly didn’t have any coherent strategy
from an investment. I always was a good saver. I pretty easily save 50% of my money. It just didn’t seem to make sense to do
anything else. That was the big tool. In terms of investment strategy, I wandered
around in the dark for decades. I made huge investment mistakes and yet, I
still got there. When I think about some of the commenters
that come to my blog who are in their 20s and just starting and they’re beginning
to do their homework and research and consider this, they’re beginning to commit to paying
themselves instead of just buying stuff, I sit in awe. I’d say, “My goodness, these people are
starting 25, 26, 35, 36. They are going to so surpass anything I accomplished
and so much more quickly.” Mad Fientist: That’s even more impressive
that you didn’t have anybody to look up to and you still did it. You mentioned Mr. Money Mustache. I interviewed him for the last Mad Fientist
Financial Independence Podcast. He was the same. He was just doing what he thought was right. And then by the time he turned 30, he had
enough money to semi-retire. He looked around and saw that none of his
friends and colleagues was anywhere close to what he was. He didn’t understand it. That’s why he started writing about it. So yeah, it’s very impressive that you got
there without having all these amazing people to look up to that are out there now. Jim Collins: Every geezer like me says the
same thing. “Boy, I wish I knew what I know now.” Mad Fientist: You mentioned investments. Obviously, you said that savings is the most
important thing because you said you’ve made numerous investment mistakes over the
years, but you’re still living the financial independent life even after those mistakes. Reading your blog, I saw the Black Monday. You had taken out all of your – you had
sold all your stocks. Is that correct? Jim Collins: Yeah. That was one of my biggest mistakes, yes. Mad Fientist: But then even so, in a few short
years later, you have your f-you money to do what you like. Do you want to just briefly touch on some
of your investment mistakes and then maybe talk a little bit about your recommendations? That’s actually how we got in touch to do
this podcast. I linked to one of your great articles on
Vanguard on index investing, and we started talking. So here we are today. I think your investment approach is spot on. So it would be great to hear you talk a little
bit more about it. Jim Collins: It’s an interesting question
to me because in fact, I have a post in the works that’s going to describe some of those
mistakes. But we were talking a moment ago about how
valuable it is and how lucky people are today that they have access to the Internet and
some of these websites. I would suggest that by virtually reading
this to realize that it’s possible, that financial independence is not some remote
goal that only the 1% can ever reach, that it’s possible for ordinary people making
ordinary salaries. I think probably the biggest strategic mistake
I made – of course I had no idea at the time whether what I was trying to do was possible
or not. But I had made the assumption – this is
probably the biggest strategic mistake I made – that if I was going to get there from
an investing point of view, it meant that you have a swing for the fences. It meant that from your investing point of
view, you had to be willing to hit home runs or able to hit home runs. And of course, to carry the analogy further,
in that process, you are going to strike out. Nothing could be further from the truth. I mean successful investing is not at all
about swinging for the fences. In fact, that’s a recipe for disaster. That’s what the investment community likes
to see you do because they make the money on your trade-ins. They make the money on you buying when you’re
swinging and selling when either you made it or, in more cases than not, when you haven’t. The truth is that it’s a matter of winning
in increments. And Warren Buffett is famous for saying, “Don’t
lose the money. Rule one is don’t lose the money and rule
two is don’t forget rule number one.” And that’s really not to say that Mr. Buffett
doesn’t take risk because risk is inherent in life and it’s certainly inherent in investment. But that’s probably one of the key things. And then secondarily is staying the course. You brought up Black Monday. For those on our audience who might not know
– I forgot the exact date – I want to say that sometime in October of 1987, the
stock market took the single largest dive that it has ever taken. That includes the Great Depression and the
debacle we just lived through these past few years. It all happened on one day. It dropped 500 points at the time when the
dollar was around a thousand. So it was just incredible. Again, I was an inexperienced investor. I didn’t realize that market does these
things on a regular basis. This was exceptional, but dropping in the
stock market is nothing new. That’s a point, by the way, that I make
in part one of my stock series. If you’re a young person, if you are in
your 20s and you’re going to be investing for the next 40 to 50 years, I’ll guarantee
you right now that you are going to see several intense bear markets. And the question of course is what to do. In my opinion, because nobody can successfully
time these things, what you do is you stay the course. Well, that’s not what I did in 1987. I didn’t know any of this. The market plummeted. It scared me, along with everybody else, to
death. I stuck it out for a few months while it continued
to drift lower. And finally my fear overtook me and I sold
everything. It almost literally turned out to be the bottom. It was exactly the wrong strategy. And then over the next couple of years, as
the market always does, it marched its own way back. Of course by the time I bought in, it was
already back. Now, as you point out, it still served me
well. But if I had just avoided that one mistake,
especially compounded over these last couple of decades since ’87, I would be so much
further ahead. Mad Fientist: Right. Jim Collins: This experience by the way served
me very well in the last debacle where it took a little longer, but the market got more
than half. I will confess that I was biting my nails
and beginning to doubt my own philosophy at one point, but I stayed the course. In fact, I pushed some more money onto the
table at various times and as we all know now, the market is fully recovering. Mad Fientist: Yeah, at least you learned your
lesson. It was maybe costly, but I’m sure it served
you well over the next 20 years. Jim Collins: There are two lessons there. You don’t have to swing for the fences and
you got to be tough. You got to be willing to ride out the storms
because I guarantee you, you’ll have them. Mad Fientist: For those out there that haven’t
checked out Jim’s docs here, I highly recommend it. What is it up to, about 10 posts? Jim Collins: I don’t know. I keep coming up with new ideas. I think I’m on number 10 or 11 at this point. Mad Fientist: All of them are excellent, so
I highly recommend it. I’ll link to that series on the show notes
because like I said, that’s all you need to get investing and do it well. Let me shift gears here for a second. You mentioned your frequent career changes
and you also talked about how retirement was never really the point. That’s definitely something that I personally
agree with. I try not to use the word retirement on my
site just because it carries with it images of golfing and crossword puzzles and things
like that. I do enjoy work and I plan to continue work. But for me, I’ve invested all this time
and money and things into college and training and my career. So, I feel like I need to be financially independent
before I maybe think of another job for a quarter of the pay that I’m making now and
something that I’m actually going to enjoy. It seems like you were able to do that. You’ve had a very diverse set of jobs over
your life. Can you just talk a little bit about the ability
to keep changing it up and use your f-you money to switch careers and get a whole new
job? Jim Collins: I’m trying to remember the
source, but I recall reading over recent years that young people coming out of college today
or that have come out of college in the last decade or so are probably going to have five,
six, seven different kinds of work. Back in my parent’s era, there was a tendency
for people to come out of school, they’d get a job, they’d work at that company for
the next 40 years and they’d retire. And then for my generation, there was more
where you came out of college and you picked a field and you probably worked for five or
six different companies in that field and then you retire. My understanding is that your generation is
going to be much more flexible in that and I suppose for some people, that’s exciting. For you, it would be scary. For me, it would be exciting. My career probably didn’t have as much as
variety as you may think. I spent most of it in the publishing business. I stepped away from the publishing business
in ’89 to join a financial firm. And then from there, I stepped away from that
to pursue, successfully, as it turns out, acquiring some businesses of my own. And then this, by the way, is an interesting
point about success and failure of America because I failed on doing that. The price that I paid for failure was that
it morphed into a consulting business. And then one of my consulting clients hired
me to be a magazine publisher again. Mad Fientist: Oh, wow! Jim Collins: How bad is failure in this country? Mad Fientist: Right. Jim Collins: I wish I have been successful
in doing that. Obviously, I invested for several years, but
I can always look back and say I took my shot and I take some satisfaction on that. But that brought me back into the publishing
business. For me, it hasn’t been so much being in
a variety of different fields. It has been having the opportunity to explore
them. In your case (and maybe for some people in
a similar case to you), I would suggest, going back to our earlier points, you have f-you
money far before you have enough to hang it up and never work again. You would have it as soon as it makes you
bold enough to say, “Okay, I’m going to go and try something different.” That something different might not work out,
but that’s okay. Mad Fientist: That’s a great point actually
because it may take you 5 to 10 years to actually become financially independent and be able
to live off of just your investments, but maybe it only takes a year to have all the
f-you money you need to quit your job and start something that you don’t want to quit
in 10 years and something that you actually enjoy. That’s excellent advice as well. You mentioned the financial firm that you
worked for. Just to give a brief description of your investment
strategy…it’s to put most of your money into Vanguard index funds when you’re building
your wealth, put it all into the total stock market index funds. And then, if you want to dial down the risk
in later years, you can branch off into the total bond, index fund and REITs and then
keep some in cash in the money market account or something like that. So very passive investing. As I’ve just showed in my series on unique
risk, it’s a strategy that works. And it has been shown to work and has been
shown to beat actively managed funds. It’s interesting that you worked at a financial
firm. Are there any good stories from that? Obviously, you’ve seen people that devote
their entire lives trying to beat the market, beat the index. As we know, 80% fail at that endeavor. Did you see that firsthand? Jim Collins: I did see it firsthand. That’s a great question. To give you the whole background in answering
it, through the ’80s, I was very much an active investor. I was out there swinging for the fences, trying
to pick the stocks that were going to outperform. Secondarily, I was trying to pick the active
mutual fund managers who were going to outperform. One day in, I want to say ’88, ’89, I
was in an airplane for a little business trip. I sat next to a guy who worked for a financial
firm, the one that I want to go work for, as it turns out. And of course, I had an interest in investments,
I always have and we got to talking. Because I believe in picking individual stocks
in those days, I was always looking for the hot tip (which, by the way, is the recipe
for disaster). So I asked Ron for his best hot tips and he
gave me three stocks and we got to talking. He said, “You ought to come to work for
us.” I said, “Yeah, that would be fun to talk
about.” So the plane lands, we go on our separate
directions and he talked to the guy who owned the firm. Long story short, I wound up going to work
for them. In the shorter time horizon, I went back and
looked at these three stocks and I picked one of them. I still remember it was Lamson & Sessions. Lamson & Sessions made, among other things,
plastic molders and they made plastic junction boxes that at the time we’re rapidly replacing
the heavier and more costly metal junction boxes. So I bought this thing at $6 a share and I
sat back. And over the course of the next three months,
I changed jobs. I went to work for the investment firm and
I watched it triple in three months. It about doubled by the time I took the job
with the investment firm and I thought I had found the Holy Grail. I thought that not only had I found this one
stock – and there is nothing like the rush of having buying a stock and watching it ramp
up promptly for you. It’s a very dangerous and very seductive
thing. Dangerous because the next ones don’t do
that. Mad Fientist: Right. Jim Collins: But I figured I had found the
Holy Grail. I went to work for this firm, thinking this
is a great industry and something that I am inherently interested in. Moreover, I figured I’m going to be rubbing
shoulders with people who really know how to do this. In fact, the company I joined was filled with
exceedingly bright people. And the analysts in that firm – this is
typical, by the way, in investment firms – all focused on one industry and they all focused
on a handful of companies, five, six, seven companies in that industry. They knew their industries and they knew these
companies as well as anybody who knows them. They knew the CEOs of the companies, they
knew the senior management. They went and talked to the customers. They went and talked to suppliers. I mean it’s far more than any individual
working their own job is ever going to be able to accomplish. And they still could pick the stocks. I was stunned at how frequently they would
get the direction of the stock price. And these were guys who were, on a regular
basis, chosen as being analyst of the year by Institutional Investor, which at the time
– I don’t know if it still is – it was a prominent trade magazine for analysts. So this is the cream of the crop. Understanding a company and understanding
its financials and understanding its business is a very, very different thing than being
able to know when the stock of that company is going to move. That sounds very counterintuitive and I’m
not sure I can entirely explain it, but I’ve experienced it. It cost me a lot of money to experience it. At the same time I’m going through all of
this, I had another friend who was taking his MBA from the University of Chicago and
was an analyst for a different company who began telling me about index investing and
Jack Bogle with Vanguard and how active investors, as you pointed out earlier, with disturbing
regularity, underperformed just buying every stock in the index. That seemed so counterintuitive. I resisted that idea for years and at a great
personal expense. I kept thinking you have to be able just to
beat the market. If you just avoided the bad stocks, you will
outperform. Mad Fientist: Right. Exactly! Jim Collins: But what today is a bad stock
is tomorrow’s turnaround story. Mad Fientist: There’s no way of knowing. Jim Collins: Today’s hero is tomorrow’s
collapse. And it is appallingly difficult to figure
out which is which. Now you have a handful of people who evidently
could do it. You look at Warren Buffett. You look at Peter Lynch back in the day or
Michael Price. It’s instructive to say, “Okay. Yes, there are people who can do it,” but
they’re evidently so rare that they are famous. Mad Fientist: Right. If you get a million people to flip a coin
25 times, there are going to be a few them that flip heads 25 times. It may just be statistics. There’s somebody at both far ends of the
bell curves. So maybe they’re just… Jim Collins: That’s a very, very insightful
comment there, Brandon and it indicates to me that you’ve done your own homework. That’s even more counterintuitive to appreciate. But there is a school of thought, with all
due respect to Mr. Buffett and Mr. Lynch, that says their success is no more than random
luck. And then, when you get that many people out
there playing the game, statistically, a couple of them are going to win. That may not be because they have such wonderful
skill. It may simply be the coin toss. Even today, that’s hard for me to accept. But whether or not that’s true, what is
true is that the chances of you or me or anybody listening to our voices being able to do what
Peter Lynch and Warren Buffett have done on their own is vanishingly small. Mad Fientist: Right! Even Warren Buffett, he had missed that. In the same post that I linked to your post,
I linked to a YouTube video with Warren Buffett saying, “Everybody out there, you’re better
off just investing in index funds and staying out of debt. This is a game that not many people win.” Jim Collins: You’re absolutely right. He’s very keen about that. I’m not sure he’s taking anything away
from his own abilities, but he doesn’t have to. He recognizes that what he has accomplished
is not repeatable by the average guy. It’s certainly not repeatable for somebody
who’s trying to do it on the side while working a fulltime job. It’s not even repeatable by the vast majority
of professionals who have enormous resources at their fingertips and live it 24/7. Mad Fientist: Right, exactly. I was lucky I got into index investing just
because I hate fees. I didn’t want to pay any fees for putting
more money in. I didn’t want to pay a lot of management
fees. I just started pumping money into index funds,
thinking that, “Okay, eventually when I have more time, I’ll be able to research
companies and do all the due diligence that’s necessary before you actually pick a certain
company to invest in. So I’ll just do this for now.” But the more and more I read and the more
and more that I see the results of index investing, there’s absolutely no point to even risk
playing that game to beat the index by a few percent and have such a low probability of
doing that. I’d rather save a few percent guaranteed
off of management fees than roll the dice, seeing if I can beat the market by a few percent. Jim Collins: Obviously, I agree. You touched on another incredibly important
aspect to successful investing and that’s fees. One of the reasons that I’m a big proponent
of Vanguard is that Jack Bogle who created the idea of an index fund and launched Vanguard
built it around the idea of keeping fees to the absolute minimum. The reason being, even if you look at a fee
of 1% a year, which seems insignificant, compounded overtime it becomes huge. It’s a drag on your wealth-building efforts. A lot of investors pay not nearly enough attention
to fees. In fact, there is an argument that is made
that one of the reasons that index investing is so successful against active investing
(that is a professional manager’s trying to choose stocks to outperform the index)
could be traced directly to fees because if you are an indexer, there’s very little
cost involved in buying the whole market. If you’re an active manager, there are all
kinds of costs that are involved. And of course, before you can make any money,
you have to make enough to cover those costs. That factor alone gives indexing a tremendous
advantage. Mad Fientist: Exactly! And the reason I linked to your post was because
you described how Vanguard in particular is owned by the investors themselves. So all of the goals are aligned perfectly
with your goals as an investor, which is a very important point. Even index investing is already low fees. But then, you go and take it a step further
to Vanguard and you can pretty much guarantee that you’re going to get the lowest fees
in the industry just because they don’t have to make a profit for their shareholders
because you are the owner as the investor. Jim Collins: That’s great points there. And that is the reason that Vanguard is the
only investment company I recommend doing business with, in fact, to a point where sometimes
I have people coming into my blog that might think, “Oh, this is just a promotional arm
of Vanguard.” By the way, that’s not true. Vanguard is completely unaware of what I’m
doing as far as I know and they are much larger than anything that I am doing. Vanguard does every unique ownership structure
and this, again, goes back to Jack Bogle who founded it. By the way, I think Jack Bogle was the closest
thing to a secular saint in the investment world we can have. He’s done more for people like you and me,
for individual investors, than anybody else to come along the pipe. When he created Vanguard, he was very focused
on index funds as a concept and low fees that you could enjoy from those index funds. But he took it a step further in the way he
structured his company. He said, “This Vanguard is going to be owned
by the funds that operate it.” What that means is that, in fact, you and
I, the people who own shares of the funds own Vanguard through those funds. What’s important about that is every other
investment company and, in fact, the vast majority of companies in general think of
it as three tiers. You have the owners of the company, you have
the company itself and then you have the customers of the company. That company has two masters to serve in that
scenario. It has to serve its customers so they keep
coming back and that they’re getting value from whatever they’re producing. But it also has to charge those customers
enough extra money to pay the owners because the owners are expecting to be paid. Well, Vanguard eliminates that. Now the important thing and one of the questions
that I get on the blog a lot is that not every 401K or 403B plan that people have access
to (in fact, very few of them) utilize Vanguard funds. And there are other good fund companies out
there like T Rowe Price and Fidelity. And due to competition from Vanguard, most
of them have index funds and most of their index funds are also – again, thanks to
our friends at Vanguard, they’ve been forced to price them at very attractive rates. So people have options. I don’t recommend any of those fund companies
if you have the choice though because they’re using their index funds and the whole fees
on their funds as loss leaders to bring you into their family. Their other funds have much more typical fees
and of course they’re hoping to migrate you into those funds. So my attitude is to just stick with a company
that does it as a core value as opposed to other investment companies that do it as a
business strategy. But in 401K, if you’re looking to T Rowe
Price or Fidelity or any number of them and you want the index fund that’s offered by
those companies, you’re probably getting the next one that serves you well and has
low cost. Mad Fientist: Right. That’s great advice. Speaking of advice, as we’re getting to
the end of the podcast here, is there any final advice you’d give to somebody who’s
maybe just out of college, just about to start making more money and maybe start on their
path to financial independence? Is there anything in particular that you would
say to them to give them advice? Jim Collins: The first thing I would say is
know that it can be done and that it’s really not that hard. Know that it’s a goal well worth pursuing. One of the things, especially with young people
who come out of school and maybe they’re lucky enough to get a job they’ve been studying
for and developing potentials for, they get a job and they come out and they really love
it, there might be a tendency to say, “Wow! I really love my job. I’m going to be happy to do this for the
next 40 years.” Well, as much as you love it now, things change. You may change, the job may change. You may get a different boss. Andy Rooney had a great quote. He said, “Never expect too much from your
company even if it’s a good company.” And then the last piece of advice I give,
which is kind of the theme of the blog, is that if you want to be financially independent,
it only takes three things. Avoid debt, live on less than you earn and
invest the surplus. If you those three things, you can’t help
but become rich – and in more than money. Mad Fientist: That’s excellent advice. Jim, I really appreciate you taking the time
to talk with me today. If anybody hasn’t checked out Jim’s site
yet, you could find it at Is there any other ways they can get in touch
with you, Jim or should they just head to the blog? Jim Collins: No, I think the blog is the way
to go. I don’t do any other social media. I’m behind the times in that way. But let me also say it’s been my pleasure,
Brandon. I’ve enjoyed talking to you. Mad Fientist: Likewise, Jim. I’ll hopefully speak to you again soon. Jim Collins: I look forward to it. Mad Fientist: Thank you, everyone for joining
me for another episode of the Mad Fientist Financial Independence Podcast. If you haven’t checked out Jim’s site
yet, head on over to I’ll link to his site as well as some of
the other articles we discussed in the show notes. You can take a look at those as well. Otherwise, thank you again to Jim. Thank you very much for listening.

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Reader Comments

  1. flutingaround

    This was an excellent podcast for the beginner investor like me. I can move forward with confidence now. Thank you so much for your wisdom, Jim.

  2. Andrew E.

    Truth!  Was talking about my 2006 Accord today.  I'd like something newer (used of course), but can't get rid of this car b/c it runs so well and I have zero payments on it.

  3. Zac

    I'm 23, just got out of college debt free, working as a software engineer, and on my way to financial independence.
    This whole concept has completely changed my outlook on life. Thanks so much y'all.

  4. Ai Em

    sure, if you invested in stocks the late 80s you're up 10x. and that is just plain average. but there is no guarantee to that, there have been multiple stretches of 20+ years that would yield no profit.

  5. Francisco D'anconia

    My personal strategy is to value invest in volatile commodities like orange juice and probably bellies. They can't go to zero, and have great fluctuations throughout the years due to seasonality and weather conditions. I think buying the overall market is a wonderful idea too. Slowly building wealth with the right assets is just what makes the most sense to me now.

  6. Jeffrey Richardson

    I was not to impressed with Vanguard in the late 1990's. It's performance has rebounded as always. Buy low and sell high.Some customers still wonder why! Every ten years troughout Wall street's conception, corrections and adjustments will occur .

  7. Samuel DeStefano

    I'm listening to this after being so extremely frustrated with my employer. I'm very impatient tonight and excited about being able to walk in and 'leave' because of my FU Money.

  8. OperTM1274

    Good advice at the end of interview. "Avoid debt, live on less than you earn and invest the difference". I would add own your own home (no mortgage) but JL Collins would disagree.

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