Almost 2 years ago, I received an unusual email at an address that I rarely check anymore. Author wrote:
I am writing to you today because Major Courses in partnership with Audible is exploring the possibility of creating a high-quality series around financial independence. We think you might be an excellent candidate to teach such a series. I have read many articles on Get Rich Slowly and am always impressed with your writing and the amount of excellent content you create.
At first, I thought this was spam. Before I deleted the message, I checked the sender. sure enough. The sender (and message) was legitimate.
I wrote again:
Thank you to communicate. I get a lot of requests for my time and I usually turn them down. not this. I feel this is a great idea and worth exploring. I am a longtime fan of both the audio and the fantastic courses. I’m not joking.
I’ve included screenshots to prove that I have 72 Fantastic courses and approx 372 Audio books from Audible. These numbers have grown naturally since then.
Discussions ensued, a contract was created, and in December 2019 I began work on creating a five-hour, ten-part course on financial independence and early retirement. I finished this course last April. I recorded it in May. And last month, at long last, How to achieve financial independence and early retirement Make his way into the world!
Fire in 40,000 words
Writing a blog about financial independence and writing a course on financial independence are two different things. Blog is open. It’s personal. It is unofficial. But a project for Audible and The Great courses? Well, this type of project has limitations And It requires a different tone.
You all know I’m working on personal finance a trip. You all know that I am constantly learning about money, and that my understanding and opinions tend to change over time. With this kind of project, I have to present myself as an expert. The information I provide should stand alone in one neat little package.
In this case, I had some very specific parameters.
The course length should be about 40,000 words, and the whole should be divided into ten smaller “classes”. Why 40,000 words? Because 40,000 words take nearly five hours to read out loud. My job was basically to summarize the most important aspects of financial independence in ten half-hour lectures (4,000 words). So, this is what I did.
I also had to decide for whom the course was for. Was this meant for people who already knew about FIRE (Financial Independence and Early Retirement)? I’m not the best person to give deep technical advice (as you well know), so I decided not to. I decided to target people who were curious FI: those who had heard of the concepts but needed a crash course in what FIRE entails.
In the end, I adopted the following scheme:
- the first lecturer – What is financial independence? I begin the course by discussing the difference between financial independence and early retirement. I also spend some time talking about how society programs most people to think about money only one way. But there are other ways to approach personal finance.
- Second lecture – target strength. Naturally, I then dive into my own pet topic: finding purpose. If you’ve read GRS for any length of time, you know exactly what this lecture contains. This is my main message.
- Third lecture – profit power. With philosophy out of the way, I’m eagerly exploring the numbers behind financial independence and retirement. I talk about net worth, savings rate, and more.
- Fourth lecture – spend less. The fourth lecture deals with savings And The power of savings is in the big things, like housing and transportation.
- Fifth lecture – Increase your income. After talking about spending, I’m talking about income. While most of the material in this course is new, this particular lecture sticks closely to my usual approach to earning more. (But with more resources included.)
- reading six – Your fortune is a snowball. Once I’ve explained how the gap between earning and spending creates “profit,” I then share the best ways to cash in on that profit: a debt snowball (if you owe) and a wealth snowball (once your debt is gone).
- Seventh lecture Investing for early retirement. The seventh lecture was, by far, the most difficult to write. How the hell do you press all investment to 4000 words? It can’t be done – but I tried. (Then I sent people to read The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins haha.)
- Eighth lecture What is enough? Next, I explore the factors that affect how much you need to save for retirement, including life expectancy, inflation, withdrawal rates, and more.
- The ninth lecture Obstacles on the path to financial independence. I spend the ninth lecture addressing the problems people face when pursuing financial independence—and offering possible solutions to those problems.
- tenth lecture – Build a rich life. Finally, I explore what happens once you achieve financial independence and/or early retirement. I urge listeners to build a rich life.
Like I said, I did my best to cover the basic concepts of the FIRE movement. I made a deliberate decision to keep the course as non-technical as possible, which probably wasn’t surprising. And when possible, I explored the psychological and philosophical implications of wealth.
Because of the limitations of this project, I couldn’t cover some of the pet topics for the FIRE community: travel hacking (which actually has nothing to do with FIRE anyway), healthcare (which is important!), backdoor Roths, etc. I can’t go into any particular topic. There was no space.
In the end, I’m proud of the course I created. In my opinion – and I know I’m biased – this project is the best introduction to financial independence and early retirement available. I’m not joking.
If you want to share this concept with friends or family, I think this course is a great way to do so.
Introduction to fire
The hardest part of creating this course was recording it. This past early May—while COVID uncertainty still raged—I spent two days in a local recording studio, reading my words out loud. it was hard!
I’m a chatty fellow, but I’ve never actually had to Read for hours on end. It’s more difficult than you might expect. By the end of the second day, I felt like my mouth was full of balls. Plus, I was worried, anxious, and worried that my deliveries were awful. (And in the months since I’ve registered for the course, I’ve had other thoughts about two sentences I’m sorry to include haha.)
So, my biggest fear was that people would hate my “performance” for the things I wrote. To my surprise, that wasn’t the case. Actually, my performance is Top Rated part of the course. Wah?!?
Are you ready for some math? Good, because you will get it.
Your Money: The Lost Evidence It was released on March 01, 2010. In the eleven years since then, the book has garnered 86 reviews on Amazon. How to achieve financial independence and early retirement It was released on February 16, 2021. In the five weeks that followed, the course had 77 ratings on Audible.
But what amuses me is the collapse of these classifications almost identical. take a look:
Consistently, 5% of people don’t like my big projects. Another 5% find it as well meh. And – thank God – 90% of them seem to like them.
Anyway, my Audible course is out! I’m pround of it. I think it’s an excellent introduction to the basic concepts of financial independence and the early retirement movement. I hope it will be useful to many people.
As proud as I am of this course, and as much as I hope it helps people, I would be remiss if I did not note that I first discovered these basic ideas in Boss money statement, which remains available as a free PDF. The audio session is Many More comprehensive and featuring my latest thoughts on each topic, of course, but this free PDF is a good resource for people who can’t (or don’t want to) purchase the course.