“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” – Warren Buffett

The short version: Wealth From Thirty shares my journey of value investing and growing wealth in Australia. I’m not a financial adviser or investment expert, but have an passion for personal finance and investing. I hope to have the option of soft-retiring within the next 15 years.

I’m 32, completing a combined PhD and Masters degree in a non-finance field and have just started my own business. I’ll be adding to this blog in my spare time – or when I’d rather procrastinate. You can read a little about my investment journey before starting this blog, here.

Thanks for visiting 🙂

More complete version:  I was inspired by Tanja over at Our Next Life to share with you not just how I think FIRE can be achieved, but how I’m actually doing it and how it’s working. Not saying one thing and sheepishly doing another. Or making believe I’m following my own guide when I’m not!

How I got to where I am: As a teenager I planned to retire with everyone else, at age 65 (or 67, or 70, who can know!). I wanted to join the air force and become a fighter pilot – because, well, I’m an 80’s baby and Top Gun. My grand scheme involved 15 or so years in the RAAF and an exit to Qantas or some other commercial airline with a fat pay-cheque for another 15 + years. I worked at qualifying for the air force pilots course from age 14 and signed up just after my 21st birthday. A year later I was living in Tamworth, NSW and on course earning something like $42,000 p.a. – my first real job! Evidently, I wasn’t quite cut out to for fighter jets and I ended up returning to Uni to finish my degree.

By the time I’d graduated, I was 24. In between all this, I started reading investment books like Security Analysis and The Intelligent Investor. I went to a seminar on investing by an Aussie fund manager, Roger Montgomery and this got me pretty interested in value investing. Before this, I had only invested in managed funds.

During the year after my undergrad Uni I worked as a researcher earning $40/hr and saved to around $10k. I used this to move inter-state in 2012 and start a Masters degree when I was 26.  I had a scholarship that covered living expenses and worked at the University doing some tutoring. It was decent pay but I was basically treading water the whole time – I lived off about $23,000 p.a. in a share house with 5 other guys. I also started a PhD when I was half way through my Masters (Mmm, yeah). A PhD comes with a decent scholarship and teaching opportunities, but it’s hard to earn more than $35,000 p.a. in total. I kept learning about investing and started blogging about personal finance and investing 2015. I read a FIRE blogs like Mr Money Mustache, Budgets are Sexy and Mr Tako Escapes. These inspired to take control of my financial future.

It wasn’t until the end of 2016 that I had completed enough of both degrees to work full time. I chose to start my own business – and was fortunate enough to have supportive family and mentors help me with this. It’s a long-term approach because as I’m building the business I earn less than the typical graduate in my field. Running your own business in my area if it works well, can earn up to two times the typical salary. I’m no where near that figure yet but am on track to earn the close to a decent starting salary. I’ve only been running my business a year – that’s reasonable enough progress!

I’m also teaching myself how to invest but if it turns out I’m average (which would be the expectation) I’ll hang up my baggie green and with delight, be an index investor. I’m giving myself 5 years to out perform the market. We’ll see how I go!

The plan: My goal is to have the option of retirement around age 47. That’s 15 years away. I currently have $60,000 invested ($40k in Super; $20k directly shares) and by adding an average of $30,000 p.a. for the next 15 years, I’ll have created a $1 million fund to fuel early retirement (assuming an 8% p.a. return). I fully expect to keep working, maybe a few days a week or 6 months a year – I love my job! The extra time to do things I enjoy, like be with family/friends, travel, writing, exercising, investing or learning Japanese will be delightful.
I also know things could change, if a partner and kids enter the equation then maybe soft-retirement at 47 isn’t quite achievable. Then again, who knows! Through my blog, I hope to chronicle my adventure to early retirement and keep involved with the great community. If it helps inspire or inform others along the way – even better!
Thanks very much for stopping by – feel free to leave a comment on any post to get in touch!

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