Welcome to Optionist.com. Below is our approach to personal finance.
The Finance Process
Getting your finances under control is management for everyone. I have used a step-by-step process. This simple four step process (described below) can be used regardless of your current financial situation. used to provide the framework for mastering your finances and creating wealth for ourselves and our families.
Honestly review your current financial situation. Do you live within your financial means? How much are you spending compared to what you earn? How much debt do you carry?
Do you have any security? Do you have an emergency fund? Can you support yourself for a period of 6 months? Do you have the necessary insurance to support your loved ones should you die suddenly?
Do you have a financial plan for optimising your finances including a saving plan, and becoming debt free? Are taking actions to move toward financial abundance?
Create goals that you want to achieve and review them often. Understand why you need them. Use them to drive you when the motivation drops, and the journey become harder. Review the goals daily and really know the benefits that you will get from achieving. Chek out our full article on setting goals.
Crate a plan covering each of the points below.
- Spending – Have detailed budget for monthly and annual expense.
- Debt – Get rid of it and don’t take on anymore.
- Income – Grow it; Learn what you need to know to get promoted and/or generate additional income to compliment the day job.
- Investing – Stocks, bonds, property, wine… keep passively growing your net worth, protect it from inflation.
How to Create Your Plan
- First, break the goal down into chunks or sections. Outline the actions the need to be done in each section, and which activities need to be done first.
- Secondly, your plan must include a list of the challenges & obstacles that you need overcome. Following that, list some the ways and actions that you can do to overcome them.
- Ask yourself, “What are the skills that you need to learn and develop”? Who are the people who can help you? Do you know them or how can you learn from them?
- Finally, begin to map a high-level timeline when you need to do some task. Break it down on a monthly and weekly and daily basis.
Goals and plans are necessary. But without action they are no better than daydreams.
The Stages of Financial Freedom
Too many blogs have a one size fits all approach. I have developed “The Stages of Financial Freedom“. These are a guide to help you develop your financial goals and priorities.
Not everyone follows the same path along the stages; some people go directly to stage 2 or 3 after they start working. Others may jump from stage 1 to 3 or even 4.
There are no solid lines between the stages; you may be between stages for a while. Use the stages as a guide when setting your financial goals.
1 THE STRUGGLE
- You struggle every week to cover essentials and have.
- You have little or no savings.
- You have consumer debt that may be growing.
- Your income exceeds the normal monthly expenses.
- You have a small amount of saving / emergency fund.
- You carry consumer debt that is being managed.
- You may have a mortgage, medical and/or student debt that is being repaid.
- You are not taking more consumer debt
- Your income exceeds normal monthly expenses.
- You have saving equivalent to several months of income.
- You can add to your savings and/or invest 10-20% of your income every month.
- You do not and will not carry consumer debt.
- You may have a mortgage, medical and/or student debt that is being repaid faster than required.
- Income significantly exceeds normal monthly expenses.
- You are saving & investing (35% -99% of income).
- You do not carry any debt.. Net worth is at least 3 year of income.
- Income significantly exceeds normal monthly expenses. Investment income covers essential expenses: housing, medical insurance, food, TV, internet etc.
- Investments continue to grow
- Net worth is equivalent to several years of income.
- Income significantly exceeds normal monthly expenses.
- Investment income covers a luxurious lifestyle.
- Investments continue to Grow
- Networth is enough for the rest of your life
Where Does Your Information Come From?
The information used in our articles is taken from multiple sources. I will link to the sources (if I remember). You can review it for yourself.
Because I am a nerd, I like to take information from peer reviewed journals. I use information from several journal portals including Science Direct.
Hopefully, these examples show that I want to use high quality information and advice.
Welcome to Optionist.com, my personal finance blog. It was founded in 2020 by me, RedBeard. I live in Switzerland. I am married and we have two children. For the moment, I choose to remain anonymous simply for privacy. Perhaps that will change in the future.
I started the website for a few reasons:
The Selfish Reasons:
- Firstly, starting a blog and publishing information related to my spending and net worth will keep me accountable to my financial goals.
- Secondly, I want to further improve my finances by creating another income source.
The Other Reason
The internet is fantastic. It has changed the world and created opportunities for the little guy to create wealth. But some people don’t care how they create their wealth. They just swindle people or provide low quality information just to get ad clicks. As a result, there is a lot of bad (and sometimes terrible) financial information. I want to tip the scale in the other direction. I want to provide easy to ready and easy to understand content that can be used to improve your financial situation.
Effective financial education leads to action
Research from the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau shows that good financial education will motivate people to action and improve their overall wellbeing.
Effective financial education can help people to move from their current financial position to what they want to achieve.
While I have a couple of degrees and a couple of masters (like I said, I’m a nerd), none of them are in finance. They are in the sciences. Between this education, my working life, and my natural way of thinking, I have learned to take a structed analytical approach to things. Yep, this has caused me miss opportunities as I have over-analysed.
I have been interested in investing and finance since I was about 19. I began dabbling in the stock market in the late 90s. In 1998 I placed my first trade. I piled almost all my savings into a single company and believed that I was an investing legend… until the dot com bubble popped, I sold those Intel shares in 2002 for about 25% of their peak value. That started me on my journey to learn about growing my income, managing money, investing, and trading.
Since then I have actively invested in individual companies and ETFs, traded stock options, dabbled in commodities futures and purchased property.
My Side Hustles
Increasing income to significantly exceed your expenses is a key tenant of our philosophy. That’s why I have side hustles. Currently I sell on Amazon FBA, self-publish, and now have this website. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I will share my experience of each of these, and some of the past opportunities that I have chased.
Money is important; it is needed to live in modern society. That said, do not become obsessed with making it. Do not forget to enjoy life along the way. Be grateful for what you have, even if you want more.