Hello there! This is the start of a guest post/interview series by people who are well on their way to financial independence (FI) or have reached it already. I’d kick it off with an interview with Alexis, whose minimum goal is 1 million euros. He reveals his rational and well-thought master plan for reaching FI. I hope you enjoy the series!
Can you introduce yourself?
Hey, my name is Alexis, now service designer studied some engineering, design, and business. I worked mostly in the corporate environment for about 5 years both as employee and contractor.
What does financial independence mean to you?
It all started with the mix of three personal experiences:
- being an employee
- uncovering my new objective to become an entrepreneur
- having to deal with real money donated by my parents when I was 25 years old
So I decided to try and become financially independent before 30. A challenge set to make me learn by doing, I was curious how far I could get.
After acquiring a few years of experience on this theme, my personal definition of FI has become: assembling enough wealth to live well on my own terms without having to do anything else than medium/long-term active investment a few hours per month.
What is your financial goal?
Now, I am 29 years old. My new time horizon is 2020 which is more related to the future economic change than my own age.
With time, it became a bit more complex than just earning money, as part of the plan is to design a space where I can live well and mostly self-sufficiently (energy – food – water). So as soon as the place is ready and I have an income of 2500 euros/month for life it should be fine to thrive.
The minimum number I want to reach is 1 million euros. But I know that I need to have higher goals to keep myself motivated and challenged, so I set the target at 5 millions of assets.
What is your strategy?
- Invest like a 23 years old – Be aggressive but spread your risk as if your life depends on reaching your goal in a few years.
- Optimize your taxes like a 59 years old – Pay as little taxes as possible, create a financial system designed to last as if you already had reached FI.
- Make it fun for yourself – Communicate the lifestyle, not the infrastructure. This keeps you motivated in the long run.
My girlfriend, friends, and family think I am crazy seeing the time and money I am spending on creating a proper infrastructure. For me, the infrastructure is all the knowledge and experience necessary in international taxation, economic history, portfolio, and risk management, trends spotting and forecasting, off-the-grid efficient living etc.
When the infrastructure is done, you’re almost set for life. Actually, I am the one finding them crazy, especially in the western world where most of the healthcare and pensions are unfunded and theoretical Ponzi schemes beaten by real life demography.
My tactics are complementary to each other to decrease risks and increase chances of success:
- Cutting my life’s costs by creating a place where I can go and live very well without spending much. Alternatively, cutting my taxes which are slowing the whole process down.
Approach: Following the 5 flags theory, creating more than consuming, creating your own companies as this world protects businesses more than individuals.
- Increasing my revenue by moving up the ladder from an employee to contractor, at the moment from contractor to business owner and finally later from business owner to a full-time investor.
Approach: When going up this ladder, you should also limit the taxes and try to increase at each step by 10 fold your net revenue.
- Increasing, in parallel, my value on the job market in case my entrepreneurial projects fail, which is highly likely, as everyone should know.
Approach: Additional certifications and necessary experiences, networking, building a portfolio, acquiring high-demand skills etc.
- Investing actively, without losing money. This part is all about the function of money, your asset allocation and what you decide to focus on.
Approach: It is not possible for investors to outperform the market on all investment vehicles so I built my asset allocation, outsourced part of it and decided to focus only on crypto-investments. I am even considering becoming asset manager on crypto-investments as a side-business to make it more serious.
What motivates you to follow the strategy day in day out? How do you stay on course?
Well, honestly it just became a habit to actually do what I preach. Also, I have to say, I have learned so much on the way that I don’t regret the time spent. What is done now is less to do tomorrow, that’s my view on things.
For people who search for “discipline”, my advice is to start by implementing sports training practice for a year. It builds your discipline a lot.
What would you like to dedicate yourself to when you reach financial independence?
Ah, that is a really important point!
For me, the core goal is to have time to give. When you consider your survival solved in the long-term, you see the world differently. I noticed that in some people. Give advice, create companies and invest in ventures that support my perspective on where the world should go.
But I have to admit, first I want to take a few years off, traveling and learning some things intensively in various areas. ( e.g. parkour, kite surfing, consciousness expansion)
What are the obstacles you are struggling with?
I am naturally a very rational person so I have now created a very robust and methodical approach. But I have to say that this creates plenty of stress and anxieties and there is no wealth without health! These two come together.
So recently I decided to test a different approach. I want to enhance my intuition and learn to let go more often by trusting that everything will go well. I had already heard of these concepts linked to the law of attraction, but never truly gave them a chance. I’m excited to try it out and see if this can help me develop a better balance.
What is one thing that I can apply today that will have a positive impact on my finances?
Observe without (too much) bias
A big issue I see in other investors is that they put their emotions into the mix. As a user researcher, I learned to observe with as little bias as possible. I cannot be thankful enough for this skill acquisition. These days I often say:
Watch the world as it is and not as you want it to be.
A good quote on that one is the following:
If you want the truth to stand clear before you, never be for or against. The struggle “for” or “against” is the mind’s worst disease. –Sent-ts’an, c. 700 C.E.
Learn to forecast
My advice is to acquire the main skill that matters to become wealthy: forecasting. It is by knowing where the market is going in advance so that you can outperform passive investing. And we are not talking about days but rather quarters and sometimes years.
In my opinion, this is a skill that should mix your personal – professional expertise with advice from other professionals for the different forecastings needed.
To be successful, I would look at it from three lenses: Society, Technology, and Economy. I would learn from the best forecasters:
- Economy – Society: Martin Armstrong and his theories and models showing how the human herd behavior can be modeled by learning from the economic past, it is all cycles.
- Technology – Business: Simon Wardley and his Wardley maps that show that innovation & business are also evolving in cycles with a possible way to map their evolution.
- Science – Technology: Ray Kurzweil and other aficionados like Peter Diamandis that map the technology’s future with thorough linear and exponential analysis.
Where can we find you online and learn more?
To find me, the best way is to follow this link.
Liked Alexis’s master plan? Check out my personal plan to get to financial independence here: Financial Independence – the exact plan revealed
If you found yourself nodding your head through this post or learned something new, please share it with your friends and followers!
Do you have a well-thought strategy for reaching financial independence? I would be delighted to interview you and feature your story on the blog.