I am a big fan of the reddit thread FIRE - Financial Independence, Retire Early. It is an incredibly positive thread with none of the negativity or craziness I see on other message boards.
Just to be clear, before anyone gets the wrong idea, the phrase "Retire Early" does not mean that we will quit our jobs, stay at home, and watch Judge Judy all day. It instead means that we will have enough money where we can do anything we want. Some people really love their jobs and will continue to work, some may move into a different industry, some may decide to travel, some may decide to take time off to figure out the next step they want to take in their life, etc.
I have been very aggressive about finding an industry I love and I hope I will be one of those people who likes my job so much I decide to stay in it even after reaching financial independence.
I read Reddit FIRE everyday and this particular thread stood out to me - "Who has been your biggest influence for FI?"
My answer is: From my work with startups before business school. While I learned a tremendous amount during my time in this space, the most important thing I learned was that working at a startup is not the best financial decision, and that you are MUCH better off working for a large, stable company that pays you a steady paycheck and won't go out of business in six months, offers you great benefits (401K matching, health insurance, etc), and looks good on your resume.
Although startups sound sexy and cool, the reality of the situation is that you will get paid far below market rate, your equity will most likely not be worth anything, and if you decide to move into the corporate world, you will have a much harder time doing so because recruiters won't have heard of the startup and will thus not take you seriously.
Thankfully, I had the financial safety net offered by my parents the entire time. I don't want to think about what might have happened if that hadn't been there.
That experience made me incredibly aggressive about saving and investing. I now prefer the "slow and steady" approach to money management. Everyone has their own approach and even though it took me a few years and several falls on my face to develop mine, I am very happy with it.
What is this?
An anthropological look at how people think about money. Created and edited by Star Li.