The Secret To Your Success: 10 Years Of Unwavering Commitment

I strongly believe if you do one hard thing for 10 years in a row, you will achieve results far beyond your expectations. Don’t quit before giving your effort a chance to produce amazing results. My belief of working on something for 10 years to achieve mastery first came from going to high school for […]

Warning! Beware Of Revealing Your Financial Independence Plans Too Soon

When I started Financial Samurai in July 2009, I only told my Japanese colleague who sat next to me, nobody else. I didn’t want any colleagues who had influence over my career to know about my personal website. Financial Samurai was my sanctuary to write about what was on my mind during turbulent times. When […]

The Inverted Yield Curve And A Recession Could Be Extremely Positive

With the 2-year yield higher than the 10-year yield, the yield curve has officially inverted as of 3Q2019. History has shown us there’s a high chance of a recession within the next 6-18 months. I’ll peg the probability at 70%. To parry a recession, the only thing the Fed can do is to cut rates […]

The Median Net Worth For The Middle Class, Mass Affluent And Top 1%

Although making a high income is nice, having a high net worth is more important. High incomes come and go. They are also taxed aggressively. In contrast, a properly managed net worth could last forever. One of the best incentives to get rich today is the record-high estate tax limit of $11.4 million per person. […]

Paying The Average Credit Card Interest Rate Will Keep You Poor Forever

The worst type of debt is consumer debt. One reason why consumer debt is so bad is due to people buying things they really don’t need: a fifth pair of designer jeans, another luxury watch, every electronic gadget imaginable, and so forth. But egregiously high credit card interest rates are the main reason why consumer […]

The Best City In The World To Make Money: San Francisco

If you want to get rich you need to go where the highest paying jobs are. The highest paying jobs come from the fastest growing, economically strongest companies. Getting rich, like dating, is a numbers game. If you’re in a room with 80 millionaires and 20 non-millionaires, you’ve got a better chance at meeting a millionaire […]

The Average Wedding Cost Is Way Too High: Go Budget Instead

In the middle of the financial crisis, I decided to propose and get married to my lovely wife. It was the happiest moment of my life. When people ask me to recollect the horrors of the financial crisis, I’ve got to think real hard because I proposed in early 2008, got married at the end […]

What It’s Like Living In An $18 Million Mega-Mansion

Dreaming is the best since it’s fun and free to do. At least once a month, I dream that I can fly. The best is when you know you’re dreaming. That’s when things get really interesting. Daydreaming as a young lad helped me achieve some goals, like getting a job in finance and starting a […]

A Fed Rate Cut Is A Sign We Should All Buckle Down And Be Careful

The Federal Reserve’s decision to cut the federal funds rate on July 31, 2019, the first time in 10 years, signifies several things: 1) The Fed screwed up in December 2018 by hiking rates for the 9th time in three years. Cutting rates just 7.5 months after hiking rates is like getting a divorce within […]

Dad Guilt Epidemic: Ways To Overcome Feeling Like A Bad Parent

Men don’t have a culture of readily sharing our feelings. As children, we are told that “big boys don’t cry” or “suck it up already.” Consequently, we hide our pain and march on through the mundaneness of life like good soldiers. If we suppress our feelings long enough, bad things tend to happen. It’s unfortunate that society […]

What The Last 20 Years Of Inflation Teaches Us About Building Wealth

If you want to build great wealth, you must invest in risk assets over the long term. If you hold most of your net worth in cash, your purchasing power will fall behind due to inflation. Today, $3 million is the new $1 million when people talk about what it’s like to achieve real millionaire status. […]

Financial Samurai 2019 Mid-Year Review: Riding The Tsunami

After writing The Bear Market Checklist, I thought I’d follow my own advice and do a mid-year review. The last thing I want is to get broadsided because things feel so good. So far, this year has been solid on the financial front. I haven’t felt this good since 2007, the year before everything fell […]

A Bear Market Checklist To Thriving In A Downturn

A Bull Market Checklist To Living Your Best Life is a good resource for living it up when times are good. But how hard is it really to live the good life when you’re making money hand over fist? As hard as getting a massage on the beach. The real challenge is living your best […]

It’s Hard To Frugal Your Way To Early Retirement

Surprisingly, I didn’t receive much pushback from my post, The Amount Of Money Needed To Retire Early And Live In Abject Poverty. Almost everyone got the gist, which was to help you question whether the pursuit of early retirement is counterproductive if you have to live like a pauper. Instead, perhaps finding a job you […]

The Only Time You Should Consider Buying A Vacation Property

I’m on record saying that buying a vacation property is a terrible investment. But that’s also because I bought one in 2007, right before the market really took a dive. Perhaps if I had bought my property after it declined by 40%, today I would be one of the biggest proponents of spending money on […]

How To Dress Well On The Cheap For A Black Tie Wedding

The following is a post by Sydney, aka Mrs. Samurai. She’s one of the most frugal people I know, which is one of the reasons why we get along so great. She’d rather go to Target than Prada. That’s the secret to financial independence right there. Whoo hoo! Did you just receive a black tie […]

The Amount Of Money Needed To Retire Early And Live In Abject Poverty

As more people look to retire early (<60), more people are looking for shortcuts in order to get to early retirement quicker. It’s understandable that in this day and age of instant gratification, young folks nowadays aren’t willing to grind it out for decades like previous generations. Instead of building a large enough passive income […]

A Severance Negotiation Success Story For Parents Looking To Leave Work

The #1 thing I recommend for anybody who aspires to retire early is to negotiate a severance. If you are planning on quitting anyway, there is no downside. Every time I hear of someone quitting their job, I’m happy for them. But at the same time, I also liken it to a baby panda dying in the woods. Leaving […]

Real Estate Is A Hedge Against Many Bad Things In Life

In the great debate between real estate versus stocks, I give a slight nod towards real estate. When I was young, I wanted real estate because having it felt like I had arrived. Now that I’m middle-aged, I want real estate so I can provide a stable environment for my family. After taking over 500 […]

The Bull Market Checklist To Living Your Best Life Today

Perhaps I’m confusing some positive things that are going on with my life, but I haven’t felt this good about the current state of the markets since 2007. Sure, everything went to hell the next couple of years and mass carnage ensued. But that’s neither here nor there. As of right now, we are living […]

Solving The Happiness Conundrum In Five Moves Or Less

After a tense 14-12 softball victory, the six of us went to a nearby brewery for some beers and burgers. I ended up sitting next to our centerfielder who told me he used to hate his life. Let’s call him Biff. In high school, Biff was a popular guy. At 6′ 5″ tall, he played […]

Trophy Husbands, Trophy Wives, And Now Trophy Kids Oh My!

We’ve all heard of trophy husbands and trophy wives. But what on earth is a trophy kid? Here’s how one expecting parent explained the term to me at the playground one day. A trophy kid is what’s known as the 4th kid or greater in a family. Because raising kids is so expensive, especially in […]

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 MsFiology.com. 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 KongSavage.com 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 […]