When I first started investing, I had no idea what I was doing.
I had this idea of becoming financially independent, and from reading online, it seemed like investing was the smartest thing for me to do with my money.
While I read many books on the basics of investing, I would attribute most of my knowledge to random strangers on the internet. I spent months reading and asking questions on Reddit and the Bogleheads forum.
Years later when I was moving to Japan, I tried researching what to do with my investments as I was leaving the US as a foreigner, but barely found anything. When I started investing in Japan, I also struggled to find resources that were detailed and not out of date. While I had found many blogs about becoming financially independent and how to invest, almost all of them were US-specific… which is fine and all, but to quote to Mr. and Mrs. W from What Life Could Be:
If we see another article about how to tweak our nonexistent Roth IRAs, We. Will. Scream.
As a result, the first reason I’m starting a blog is to provide a non-American perspective on investing and financial independence. While Ms. Kanto and I live in Japan right now, neither of us is Japanese, and we aren’t sure if we’ll end up retiring here. So that’s why I use the term “non-American perspective” rather than a “Japanese perspective.” 🙂
When I first started reading about FIRE, I came across the 4% rule where if you withdraw 4% of your portfolio each year in retirement, you’re almost certain to never run out of money. Many writers quoted this rule as if it were the gospel, so I just assumed it must be the truth, right? 😧
It wasn’t until I read Big Ern’s research on safe withdrawal rates that I realized I had accepted everything as the truth, without questioning things and doing the math myself.
As a result, writing will force me to be more much critical with everything I read and not just follow the herd.
Meet people similar to me and get suggestions
The plans for FIRE are far from finalized, by sharing them with hopefully a larger audience, I can meet others in similar positions, compare our situations, and help each other out on the journey to financial independence and early retirement.
Share my philosophy and thoughts with Ms. Kanto
I first started reading about FIRE a few years before I met Ms. Kanto.
At that point, I had already been living a frugal lifestyle for a while. I would pour almost my entire paycheque straight into my investments, and I was fairly certain that I wanted to pursue financial independence.
So when we started talking about our future and what we wanted to be doing in the long-term, I wasn’t sure how to articulate in a way that was easy to understand. I somehow managed to not screw it up (from what I can tell at least 😅) but writing will allow me to organize my haphazard ideas and turn them into easy-to-understand blog posts.