These are my thoughts on things to avoid on the FIRE journey:
- Don’t invest in individual stocks. If you do make that mistake, try to keep it to around 5% of your investments. Get a broad US index, throw some international index in there if you must. Some bonds are OK too, depends on age. Don’t invest in any get-rich-quick scheme. Your friend made moolah in some MLM, crypto, or some fantastical real estate deal? Tell them how awesome they are, smile, and forget that bullshit. Slow and steady accumulation has FAR better odds of success than trying to hit home-runs. Also, don’t make money off of disadvantaging someone else…unless you are an asshole it won’t sit right with you.
- Don’t look at the markets too often, check accounts once a week just to make sure you weren’t hacked. Forget the silly peregrinations of the stock market. Don’t look at the news often. Some subreddits are OK.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone is dealing with their own shit and these comparisons only serve to make you either feel worse, or to make sacrifices that don’t enhance your happiness or well being. Your only competition is you from yesterday, and the only pill that helps with your mental well-being is progress (apart from an actual mental condition in which case please take your prescribed pills!).
- Don’t let money idle in a sub-1% checking/savings account. Get a high-yield savings account to sock extra monies
- Don’t ignore your health. Doesn’t mean you have to be adonis or aphrodite, just that you take care of yourself a bit more.
- Don’t ignore nature. It makes a difference to be outdoors and connect with things that are not man-made.
- Don’t have toxic people in your life, including family. It is OK to cut them out!
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s not easy to adult, and you are doing just fine. You’re doing great!
- Don’t ignore your career. Not all of us inherit or get lucky with some investment – most still earn their FIRE the old-fashioned way, earning and saving. Yes, work sucks – suck it up and try to contribute in ways you enjoy and fuck the office politics and bullshit. If you are truly miserable, start looking around and make a change. No such thing as “loyalty” to your employer (or vice versa) these days, look after yourself and better yourself.
- Don’t get lost in FIRE. Get a plan, set it and then forget it for weeks. Just check in every month or so.