17 Nov IF MONEY IS NOT THE MOTIVATION, WHAT IS? — AN INTERVIEW WITH THE MAD FIENTIST
Brandon always wanted to be wealthy. He just didn’t know why.
“I don’t like fancy cars, and big houses just seem inefficient,” he said. “I just wanted to have money to manage.”
But in 2011, Brandon discovered the concept of financial independence.
“That just blew my mind — it was just like, oh, I can buy my freedom, and my freedom is something that I would love to spend my money on,” he said.
Brandon and his wife Jill had always been prodigious savers. They lived in a cozy home in Vermont with a mortgage of around $890 per month. They rarely ate at restaurants. They kept their thermostat chillingly low.
After Brandon discovered the idea of financial independence, he intensified his already-strong savings habits. He researched tax-savings and travel rewards. He learned about stock-picking before choosing a passively-managed approach. He created a blog and podcast, MadFientist, to motivate himself to keep learning and teaching.
He focused on index fund investing and based his projections on the 4 percent withdrawal rule. He developed multiple benchmarks:
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