Conquer Financial Freedom
(Living a Life of True Wealth)We are having a blast putting down on paper in book format our strategies for conquering financial freedom and living a life of True Wealth. And of course there will be plenty of original Money Viking cartoons! We are also going to make some chapters available on the blog. I believe that together we can educate each other to motivate and practice strong financial habits that maximize happiness and security. That is what the FIRE community is all about and we are honored to add to the dialogue, experience and knowledge base. Here is the working draft preface to our book:
PrefaceA note on True Wealth We live in a strange and exciting time. We have many more material comforts and opportunities compared to past generations. We walk around with super computers in our pockets and experience regular breakthroughs in technology and innovation. But ironically, most people cannot come up with $400 in case of an emergency expense, have little financial security and lack adequate time to care for family or their own health. Debt levels are at an all time high, and for many the American dream will never be anything but a dream. This book is about addressing the shortcomings in our financial education and clearly illustrate strategies to conquer financial freedom. This book is about the tactics and tools required to make things better and live a life of what we call True Wealth. Many of us have a tremendous opportunity, if we are only wise enough to seize it and take action. Before we dive into the specific steps and strategies to build financial wealth, I want to take a moment to define what we call True Wealth. This book is about more than money. Jonathan Swift famously said “A wise person should have money in their head, but not in their heart.” In other words, True Wealth is about strong financial habits, relationships, health and what we can each uniquely contribute. By applying various techniques combined with your own interests and passions, you can engineer a rich life that is specific to you. Many of us can feel something is not right in the world. We live in a world that through technology provides ever increasing abundance and wealth, beyond our ancestors wildest dreams. Yet, many people lack time to go to a child’s soccer game or music recital? A very few are able to keep the majority of wealth creation, while millions and billions of people struggle to pay the bills or eat. Debt for education, medical bills, car loans, etc. have skyrocketed to dangerous levels. And overall happiness and contentment have gone down in recent years. Therefore, one of the questions this book addresses is how we change this in our own lives? How can we each build and enjoy a slice of the American dream? Perhaps we do not need more stuff? Perhaps we need to better manage what we have? Perhaps the time has come to take our destiny into our own hands? That is the heart of our message, learn the system so you can make it work for you and make you stronger. Money and resources are a key element in shaping the world to be a better and more effective place for people. Money is an important human tool. It represents energy, a store of value, effort and serves as an efficient means of exchange. Money is something we engage with every single day and our relationship with it makes a huge impact on the quality of our whole life. Yet most people will never stop to think deeply about their relationship with money as a tool and source of security. Most folks fail to spend a small amount of time educating themselves on how they can make the most out of their money and their time. This book aims to arm those with some tools to make the most of their resources and ultimately make their money work for them. Why are we as a society overall so bad at managing money and harnessing the power of money as a tool? Unfortunately this is because we are raised to be workers and consumers, not owners, investors and shapers of our own destiny. Not many of us have the opportunity to learn the dynamics of money in a way that is truly aligned with our long term best interests. I personally believe this has hit crisis levels in a country where the majority of people have less than $1,000 saved. That is downright shocking and frightening in the country that has created more wealth than all of human history. This book itself is designed like a tool to take control back into your hands. We must fight and be strong “Money Vikings” in order to shape our own financial destiny. No one will do it for us, it is up to us. I for one am not going to wait around and rely on the government or wall street to put me and my family first, they never will. We evolved trading goats, gold and grain, but soon learned it is much more efficient to trade currency or money. But we are human with minds, dreams, goals and consciousness; and therefore life is about way more than money. But for some reason, money itself vexes the best of us. The most brilliant scientists, artists, even business people are often befuddled by their own personal finance. The awesome The Millionaire Next Door books clearly illustrated through research the many high income earning folks who fail to accumulate any substantial wealth. There are literally millions of intelligent doctors and lawyers with pathetic personal finances. A life of True Wealth is about building strong relationships, love, health, experience, value, time and money. In other words, building wealth is a way for us to create security for our families, communities, enable us to add value and make the most of our time. That is the heart of our book. And we systematically compiled the “back to basics” fundamentals that have stood the test of time when it comes to building wealth. This is not a “get rich quick” book promising millions to be made overnight with complicated options trades and real estate. The information in this book is drawn from thousands of people and our own lives in terms of what it takes to reach financial independence and live a life of wealth. Another aspect of True Wealth that I will mention now is remembering how fortunate and blessed many of us are. GRATITUDE (In caps for emphasis) is truly the key to wealth. We are blessed to live in the United States, in the modern world and to have the opportunity to create a life that aligns with our higher values and purpose. It is about way more than a number in an investment account. Our relatives just 50 years ago reported higher levels of life satisfaction and happiness with half the material possessions and wealth. Perhaps it is time we rethink our priorities, develop a mindset of having enough, and building wealth in a constructive manner? We hope this book will inspire you to launch on your journey of True Wealth and thrive as the powerful Money Viking that is inside each of us!
Your Why?Why build wealth? Why do we do what we do? I truly believe a life of True Wealth explores this question. Some of the most miserable people I have met in my life spent all their time thinking about themselves. Hands down this leads to a life devoid of joy. Yes, we must take care of ourselves and enhance our own view and abilities. But there must be more. In many ways we evolved working cooperatively within a small family or tribe, it is the only way we survived to this point. As a parent, I can tell you that hugging your kids and wanting them to experience a good world is an amazing motivator to be the best person you can be. There are so many people in this world that are less fortunate than us at no fault of their own. I guarantee that when you make your why about other people, this will be a strong pillar to a life of True Wealth.
Who are these Money Vikings?We are The Money Vikings,Greg & Jerry. We are a couple of friends. We are normal middle class dudes. We are currently in our 40’s, raising families and building wealth one day at a time on a quest to “Conquer Our Financial Freedom!” and live a life of True Wealth. This is our fun way of saying we are achieving financial independence and enjoying the journey along the way. We are investing and aligning our assets with our higher values. We believe that many people in the middle class can do this with the right knowledge, habits and paradigms. The principles outlined can be applied at all ages to improve your financial situation for the better. This book is very straightforward and takes a person through an evolution of building wealth. No purported “secrets” or gimmicks, just back to basic strategies that most folks in the middle class can deploy to build wealth, live a life of “True Wealth” in the moment, and sleep well at night knowing they are on the path to a secure retirement. These are the concepts that have helped us as we have studied and practiced frugal living and investing for 20 years. We are not financial professionals. We have normal middle class jobs in areas such as real estate and tech. We make solid middle class salaries and practice several side hustles. We are passionate about providing for our families, investing, frugal living and building wealth. We have spent the last 20 years studying wealthy folks, investing and frugal living. We went to college, started working, and have spent years studying investing and wealth building. We have worked in various fields from tech, government, real estate and the arts. We have also interviewed dozens of wealthy folks. We mainly focus on the non-flashy wealthy folks from the solid American middle class. We focus on people with decent middle class jobs, family people, who are building wealth one day, week, month at a time. Oh, and I should add, making a few mistakes along the way like everyone else. Through a series of actions and habits we have been able to build substantial wealth by the time we hit our 40’s. It was not always an easy journey and both of us had our scrapes and cuts along the way. We did not inherit millions or have any kind of substantial leg up beyond being born in America to good families and have the opportunity to better ourselves through education. We take none of these things for granted. We admire Warren Buffett and the late Jack Bogle of Vanguard for their straightforward advice to the middle class on building wealth. In late 2017 we started our blog, moneyvikings.com. Our main motivation for starting the blog was to:
- Learn new things about saving and investing.
- Connect with a community of like-minded folks.
- Have a creative outlet, learn in a fun way and motivate ourselves to do more.
- Produce some small “side hustle” income from our site.