The Risk Of Being Unhirable After Retiring Early Is Overblown

In my post about the things I’d do differently if I had a retirement do over, one commenter mentioned something that caught my eye. Although I’ve briefly entertained this notion before, I never believed it to be true. Here’s what he said: This isn’t to put down Sam in any way, but it is way […]

If I Could Retire All Over Again These Are The Things I’d Do Differently

I can’t believe I’ve been writing about early retirement since 2009. The first three years of Financial Samurai was me mainly trying to figure out how to retire early. The subsequent years has been me touching upon various aspects of post-retirement life. For the most part, early retirement has been everything I hoped for. Freedom […]

What Drug & Alcohol Addiction Taught Me About Risk & Reward

The following is a guest post by Deanna from Deanna is the first to kick off the Financial Samurai Underdog Tour where I highlight people who’ve overcome some sort of difficulty to lead a better life. If you’ve got an underdog story to tell, please sign up in the FS Forum and follow the […]

How RealtyMogul Performs Due Diligence On Their Investments

I recently had lunch with Jilliene Helman, Co-Founder and CEO of RealtyMogul. I was impressed with her focus on creating a long-term, sustainable business versus pursuing every real estate deal for growth’s sake. I’m currently in platform due diligence mode as some of my real estate fund investments are starting to pay out. I expect […]

FS20: A New Property Leading Indicator That Gives Buyers Confidence

Given the relative illiquidity of real estate, there is huge room to get your property transaction right or wrong. My hope is for all of you to get maximum value whether you’re buying or selling. There are many variables that determine the current and future value of a property. These include, but are not limited […]

How To Take Advantage Of Rich People So You Can Get Rich Too

I’ll never forget what my contractor told me in the midst of my home remodel. “After I’m done building your bathroom, I’m heading over to Pacific Heights and charging 2X more for a similar-sized bathroom,” he said. “How is that possible when sheetrock, pipes, tiles, and fixtures all cost about the same?” I asked. “Easy. […]

A Bond-Investing Homeowner May Get To Profit Thrice

Bonds don’t get as much love as stocks because they are considered boring. It’s hard to get rich quick off a bond. But it is possible to see a quick windfall if you pick the right high-flying stock. Despite the lack of sexiness in bonds, if you’re serious about achieving financial independence or are already […]

When People Doubt You, Just Keep On Winning

After 10 years of grinding away, one of my friends sold his business for $73 million at age 32. It was a bootstrapped business, so he ended up getting over 80% of the gross proceeds. Can you imagine? Wow. When I asked him what he did with his newfound riches, he said he took a […]

How The FIRE Movement Will Narrow The Gender Pay Gap

It hit me like a well-struck softball taking an odd bounce into a third baseman’s face. The FIRE movement will help narrow the gender pay gap over time. Let me explain my logic on why ardent supporters of equality should embrace the FIRE movement to the fullest. Why The FIRE Movement Will Create Income Equality […]

The Best Life Hack For Americans: Taking Advantage Of Canada

I’m always looking for arbitrage opportunities to help readers make more money and live better lives. My favorite arbitrage opportunity for the next couple of decades is investing in non-coastal city real estate due to lower valuations and higher net rental yields. Technology is accelerating the flow of capital towards attractive real estate opportunities, and […]

It’s Time To Ban The SAT And The College Board

When I was 16, I took the SAT test for the first time. My idea of test preparation was going to the library and flipping through a $20 test prep book. The result? A mediocre 1,040 out of 1,600. My parents were disappointed so they encouraged me to actually buy a test prep book and […]

You Can’t Save Too Much In Your 401(k) For Retirement

One of the reasons why I started the Financial Samurai Forum was to extend the number of wonderful discussions we have on this site. Instead of letting me dictate what we talk about on any particular day, the community gets to decide what it wants, whenever it wants. The FSF is like reaching financial independence […]

Things To Consider Before Selling Your Business (Baby)

One of my luckiest investment decisions was not selling anything during the 2008-2009 financial crisis. I just held on for dear life, continued to max out my 401(k) and squirreled away anything left into an online savings account or CD. In 2012, I got lucky again by receiving zero offers for my SF primary residence. […]

Conquering FOPA: The Fear Of Other People’s Approval

Everybody has some degree of FOPA, or Fear of Other People’s Approval. We’ve become so accustomed to fitting society’s mold that we’ve stopped thinking and acting for ourselves. But I argue that to truly make a difference and to truly live your best life, you’ve got to figure out a way to eliminate most of […]

In Real Estate, Watch Out For The Illusion Of Added Value

I’ve been diligently tracking the high-end Honolulu property market since 2014. During this time, I’ve seen prices for dozens of properties decline between 10% – 25%. The properties that are only down about 5% still haven’t sold years later. As of 1Q2019, luxury home inventory is up 11.6% YoY and the average price/sqft is down […]

Forgoing $1 Million In Lost Income To Be A Stay At Home Parent

One of my beliefs as a stay at home dad is that I wouldn’t trade the time I spent with my son for any amount of money. Given time is way more valuable than money, especially as you get older, this sounds like a logical statement. But perhaps this statement is a bunch of BS. […]

The Average Credit Score In America Is Now Excellent

During my latest mortgage refinance, the loan officer said that he hadn’t worked with a borrower with under an 800 credit score in over two years. I found this statement preposterous because I clearly remember during my previous refinancing that lenders would look for 720 credit scores or higher to provide the best terms. The […]

In Search Of FIRE: Financial Samurai Retirement Portfolio Review

Art by It hit me the other day that I’ve got to get my act together if I plan to retire a second time soon. The first attempt at retirement lasted for just under a year until I started feeling too sheepish telling anyone I was retired at 34. Although my retirement portfolio was […]

A Stealth Wealth Solution For Real Estate Investors With Kids

If you want to raise better adjusted kids, you probably want to practice some level of stealth wealth so that they don’t grow up spoiled and unable to recognize prosperity. A couple readers have pointed out that I was raised rich given I had two parents with stable jobs. Instead of having to walk, I […]

Cashing Out Of Stocks To Buy Real Estate: Analyzing The Temptation

One of the wealth tenets I’ve followed since the first dotcom crash in 2000 is to always convert funny money into real assets. My definition of funny money is an investment that makes an irrational return in excess of fundamentals. There are obviously various levels of irrationality. Some friends and colleagues went from huge stock […]

How To Fail At Getting The Lowest Mortgage Interest Rate Possible

we can give you cash for your atlanta house fast Originally, I was going to entitle this post, How To Get The Best Mortgage Interest Rate Possible. But after a couple weeks of battling, I failed to do such a thing due to a lack of convincing skills, poor timing and good old fashion bait […]

The Definition Of American Prosperity Needs An Adjustment

There’s a common joke here in the SF Bay Area. How do you know someone went to Stanford? They’ll tell you within the first couple of sentences. We Americans have a tremendous desire for status and prestige. When we work hard for something, it’s our second nature to tell everybody about our achievement. You do […]

Annualized Returns By Asset Class From 1999 – 2018

Before I show you the 20-year annualized returns by asset class between 1999 – 2018, I want you to guess the following four things: 1) Of the following asset classes, the S&P 500, a 60/40 stock/bond portfolio, Bonds, a 40/60 stock/bond portfolio, REITs, Gold, Oil, EAFE (Europe, Asia, Far East), national real estate, which performed […]

A Legal Way To Profit From The College Admissions Scandal

A good investor always looks for opportunity no matter the circumstance. If you can identify and invest in a winning long-term trend, your returns could be quite lucrative over time. Some long-term trends that have or will likely make investors a lot of money are: Investing in the next Silicon Valley Investing in the aging […]

The Return On Rent Is Always Negative 100%: Here’s How To Live For Free

There’s a ton of talk about how there’s a housing affordability crisis in various parts of the country. Perhaps the fear of forever being priced out is an underestimated motivating force behind the continued demand for housing despite high prices. I remember when I bought my first 2/2 condo in 2003, I felt a sense […]

How To Get Your Spouse To Go Back To Work After Having A Baby

I realized something quite surprising the other day. Ever since my son was born, I’ve felt increased financial pressure to provide. It didn’t matter how much I had in the bank or how much our net worth had grown since the financial crisis, the pressure to earn more money was a constant. It makes me […]

Paying Off Your Mortgage Is A Bad Move When The Yield Curve Is Inverted

If my quest to refinance my primary home mortgage doesn’t make my views obvious, I believe paying off your mortgage is a bad financial move when the yield curve is inverted. I’m in an interesting position where I have both, paid off properties and mortgaged properties. I also have the ability to pay off my […]

No-Cost Refinance Loan: There’s Really No Such Thing

Even though a no-cost refinance sounds great, there’s really no free lunch. It’s like marrying someone for their money. You might think you’re getting a great deal, but you’ll probably have to put up with your partner’s controlling, narcissistic, and disgusting ways. If you’re not physically attracted to him or her, then that’s a whole […]

Financial Samurai 2018 Year In Review: Almost A Fantastic Year

Although 2018 ended on a down note with the stock market selling off, I feel good about how things unfolded. I’ll take the ratio of three good quarters to one bad quarter any year. Believe it or not, my theme for 2018 was: back to early retirement life. I pushed myself to the point of […]

The Best And Overlooked Financial Samurai Posts Of 2018

As we come to the end of the year, I want to highlight the top posts published in 2018. This year I spent more time than normal  writing cautionary articles partly because I felt the good times were going away. It was important to share my growing concerns about the economy in order to better prepare the FS community. My first […]

Don’t Be Your Worst Enemy: Self-Inflicted Wounds Are Terribly Unnecessary

A self-inflicted wound is so sad. Unlike financial blindspots, where you can plead ignorance for your actions, a self-inflicted wound is a willful and always a harmful action that puts you in a worse off situation than before. As the markets tumble, it’s worth highlighting some self-inflicted wounds that could have prevented this fall. We’ll also learn about other common self-inflicted wounds that […]

The Biggest Benefits Of A Stock Market Meltdown

Today is an exciting day. Today we find out whether Fed Chair and centimillionaire Jerome Powell helps ignite the DIRE Movement by telegraphing aggressive rate hikes in 2019 to stem nonexistent inflation or whether he decides to ease off the gas given the recent meltdown in the stock market. A market-friendly Fed Chair would take […]

Three Things I Learned From My Estate Planning Lawyer Everyone Should Do

My estate planning lawyer said something interesting before I decided to hire her. “People who aren’t rich might need estate planning more than rich people because they might not be able to afford to pay probate fees in the case of an untimely death.” Leave it to the US court system to make the distribution […]