When I first started writing about achieving financial independence early in 2009, I never thought the FIRE movement would reach such a huge level of interest a decade later. After all, only misfits decide to aggressively forgo material pleasures, save 50% or more of their incomes, and retire from well-paying jobs in their 30s and 40s.
Back in 2009, the “lifestyle design” movement was all the rage because people were getting blown out of their jobs left and right. Some people went back to graduate school to save face. Others decided to start lifestyle businesses after getting laid off. I figured there was a good chance my head would also roll, which is one reason why I started Financial Samurai that summer.
Thanks to a raging bull market that ensued, life turned out fine and the FIRE movement picked up steam. Today, we are at peak FIRE, perhaps similar to peak crypto reached in December 2017. Unfortunately, when you’re at the peak, there’s usually nowhere to go but down.
Growing Angst Against Financial Independence
You know we’re at peak fire because the mass media has latched onto FIRE like a rabid dog which hasn’t eaten in weeks. Not a day goes by where there isn’t a new story about someone leaving a job early and how they did it.
As an investor, we know that by the time is news is in print, it’s often too late to invest. Rather, it’s likely a more opportune time to sell. Just think about Uber and Lyft finally filing to IPO in 2019.