I am very fortunate, in a get-rich-slow kind of way. And not because I have bags of money under the mattress (or in Amazon stock), but because I live by my favorite money quote of all time:
“Wealth isn’t how much you have, but how little you want”
I spent 28 years in Corporate America, but now I want to focus on writing about finance on a much more personal level (while maybe hanging out in some great coffee places and stalking local alternative rock bands). In fact, I think I’ve successfully managed enough financial decision-making (and consumed enough coffee) to be of some help to you! Let me explain.
After getting my MBA from Columbia Business School in New York, I was recruited into arguably the biggest of big businesses – the U.S. Auto Industry in Detroit, Michigan – where I worked my way up in a variety of Finance jobs, culminating in my becoming CFO of a luxury sports car subsidiary.
But beyond the perks and promotions along the way, there were also countless 15-hour days and the late-night self-doubt in anticipation of another day of “what am I doing with my life?”, especially as corporate politics and the desire to do something more meaningful replaced the thrill of the early days.
Which generated a lot of thought along the way… if the environment was proving to be so unhealthy, and ultimately unsustainable, I’d better have a plan to achieve a sort of personal independence.
Knowing I would one day want to plot an alternative to Big Corporate well before waiting (hoping) for Social Security to kick in, I developed a long-term plan that included several key milestones.
The first was to have $1 million in investments by the time I turned 40. I missed that goal by six months (mainly because the bursting of the tech bubble in 2001 set me back a bit). Once I achieved that mark, I just kept going. The financial crisis in 2008-09 was another (even larger) setback, but by then I was prepared for it. Lesson learned — stay the course
No, I’m not a wealthy golden-parachute guy. My time spent in Big Corporate did not include a gold watch. But I had a bigger goal in mind that was not tied to my job. Even though my income and stature within Big Corporate grew steadily, it was the value of my many years of planning for something more that is the foundation of this blog.
And while I may not know each one of you personally, I can see myself in you. Chipping away, saving and investing, with that nagging feeling of wondering if you’re doing everything “right”, for your family and your future. I’m still learning, and I’m still not done planning — but I feel that if I can make it this far, you can too.
Finally, I have an incredible, supportive wife and three amazing grown children that form the foundation of my life that is paramount to any money topic I can talk about. That’s why I am so looking forward to sprinkling in plenty of “Money and Life” dialogue as well.