Life

May 2018 Letter

Another jam packed month full of work, finishing more university subjects (yay!) and collaborations on the How To Money platform. I recently wrote about the importance of financial education on my personal site, which is an issue I am extremely passionate about. On How To Money this month we featured a guest post on diversification and the healthy investing pyramid, and recorded a podcast episode on comparing financial products with Finder.com.au.

If you’re looking for a phenomenal piece of writing, this option article written by American author Jessica Knoll is absolutely spot on. For Jessica, ‘success meant doing something well enough to secure independence’, which is something that particularly resonated with me. Jessica points out that ‘rich’ is still definitely a man’s word, and for a woman to say they want to be ‘rich’, it elicits a much different response from society.

In thinking about education this month, I read an article by Dr. Kevin Currie-Knight about the need to give learners time to fail. Dr. Currie-Knight highlights that the ‘freedom to fail without penalty, and the freedom to take the time one needs — are key to the learning process, but are often missing in school environments. As soon as one puts learning on a standardized time schedule, you preclude the learner from being able to take their time, and this means that failure now comes at a cost’.

Until next month,

Kate

April 2018 Letter

Well, that’s a wrap on another busy and exciting month! I’ve been busy working on my RG146 qualification this month which has been interesting, and it’s definitely been a learning curve. I’ve also been smashing out a few university assignments, so it’s good to see some progress there.

If you’re looking to kick-start your morning routine, one of my favourite podcasters and bloggers has a great episode on starting your day off on the right foot — check it out! While you’re there — make sure you check out his article full of examples of great personal portfolios and websites, if you’re thinking of putting one together.

I’m not sure how I came across this video by Michelle Phan, but I found it deeply moving. She left Youtube a year ago and made this video to share why she made the decision to leave it all behind.

Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy time. Sometimes you have to let go of things to move forward and create your own happiness.

I was also referred to MealPal this month by some colleagues, which is a subscription service where you can skip the queue and get meals for less than $8.00. I think at the moment they are only operating in Sydney and Melbourne CBD in Australia, with over 100 local restaurants offering meals every weekday and the ability to pre-order your meal and skip the queue. I’ve really enjoyed MealPal so far, and it’s definitely saving me money on lunch in Melbourne CBD (which is getting quite pricey).

New on the How To Money Platform

HTM Article: What is a Bond?

HTM Article: Getting Started on How To Money

HTM Podcast Episode 11: Getting Familiar with Bonds

Interesting Reads from Around the Web

The Ultimate Guide to Studying for Tests and Exams — College Info Geek

How to Take Notes in College: The 6 Best Systems — College Info Geek

17 Ideas for the Modern World of Work — altMBA

How to Build a Micro-Niche Site — Bren on the Road

If we Taught Walking in School — Derek Magil

If we Taught Bike Riding Like we Taught Careers — Praxis

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Have a wonderful month!

Kate

Discovering the FIRE Movement in Australia

FIRE stands for Financial Independence, Retire Early (or as some people like to call it, FIOR - Financial Independence, Optional Retirement).

It’s as much of a mindset as it is a way of life or an aspirational goal. Over the last year, I discovered this movement in Australia (which is already quite large in the US), and have dived deep into learning as much as I can.

FIRE is all about increasing your savings rate, consuming less, pursuing happiness and having the financial freedom and flexibility to choose if, how and when you work. FIRE is not necessarily about frugality (although some pursue it that way) and retiring to do nothing all day. The retirement part is optional, but by being financially independent you have more opportunities to direct your life and make decisions out from a position of strength.

When you achieve Financial Independence you gain the ability to live off of your personal finances, without the requirement of a salary to maintain your lifestyle. A common aim of the FIRE movement is to have 25x your annual cost of living invested in a diversified portfolio, with a safe annual withdrawal rate of 4%.

I guess the big attraction of financial independence for me, is the feeling of empowerment and self-sufficiency it can give you. For me, it’s not necessarily about early retirement (although I may choose that), but the ability to make choices from a position of strength and give back to the world.

My discovery of FIRE came from reading through copious amounts of online content and clicking from site to site. To get you started I have listed below some of my favourite FIRE resources from around the web (which I will add to regularly).

Here are some of the best FIRE resources from around the web:

And some more resources that are specifically Australian:

And of course some Podcasts (via iTunes):

And finally some of my favourite financial independence-themed books at the moment:

As I continue on my FIRE journey I plan to share what I learn and discover here, as a record of my discoveries and growth. Please feel free to share your FI questions or stories with me, I’d love to hear from you!

And as I read in the April 2018 edition of Money Magazine Australia - ‘Don’t make your life about money. Money is a means to an end, not an end in itself. Don’t get lost along the way.’

Until next time,

Kate

March 2018 Letter

I’m writing this on the way home from a short Easter weekend trip to New Zealand to visit family. There’s just something about the rolling hills and valleys over there that fills you with peace and happiness - and it gave me a chance to reflect on the busy first quarter of 2018. This month I smashed through two university subjects, saw Ed Sheeran live, published an article about ETFs on How To Money with BetaShares and traveled to NZ to visit family - and next month is going to be just as busy!

One of my favourite Self-Directed Learning advocates is Blake Boles - and I highly recommend his latest post on the Alliance for Self-Directed Education (ASDE), titled Hail the Almighty Diploma. Blake highlights that ‘most formal education is about showing off—a.k.a. “signaling”—not building actual skills. After learning basic reading, writing, and arithmetic, the majority of schooling is functionally useless to the majority of students. You don’t go to school to gain skills, you do it to signal your intelligence, diligence, and conformity to future employers.’

There is a lot of truth in what Blake says in his article, and it always reminds me to truly consider why I’m studying my degree. Yes, it’s definitely a signal to society and opens up more pathways for me, but I’m also doing it to learn more about business and research in a practical way.

New Content on How To Money

Exploring ETFs with BetaShares

Risk, Return and Diversification

HTM Submission Guidelines

What is a Share?

Interesting Reads from Around the Web

5 Ways to Create Value Through a Blog Post - Praxis

Six ways to get fiscally fit without ever breaking a sweat - Money Magazine Australia

303 Life Lessons We All Learn But Keep Forgetting - Niklas Göke

How Students Can Build Their Personal Brand While in University - The Mission

Have a wonderful April!

Kate