Get Rich Quick versus Get Rich Slowly…

What with the recent GameStop events and Bitcoin reaching almost $60,000 per coin. I thought a good subject to discuss would be my own thoughts on getting rich quick, sometimes very quick. I also wanted to make the post a bit broader to include other methods that are perhaps not exactly get rich quick approaches but could no doubt result in getting to FI quicker than my current get rich slow approach.

I am writing this post as much as anything to also help get down my own thoughts on paper so to speak, in a structured way to help myself work through my own recent FOMO feelings and to as always get much valued opinions from my friends in the FI community. 

My current position & plan (Get Rich Slowly)

First to lay down the foundation here. I myself am in a very fortunate position to have a good opportunity to end up becoming financially independent in my life. I have a shot at reaching close to 1 million in liquid portfolio terms perhaps by my mid 50s and to achieve Base Bare Bones FI at 35.  It will take me another 20 years or so to get to this Full Fat FIRE stage and I am already several years into my FI journey thus far. I feel immense gratitude for even having a shot at this to begin with which I have discussed here before.

To recap, I am taking the following broad approach to achieving FI:

  • Have a decent good professional main income
  • Have a side hustle earning a little extra income per month
  • Own a mortgage free home
  • Have £10,000 in a Cash is King Fund at all times 
  • High savings rate (50%+ Plus)
  • Invest monthly into Vanguard funds with a mixture of stocks/bonds (LifeStrategy)
  • Essentially my strategy is Investing into the continued growth of humanity through being invested in all major companies and governments (Their failure would likely be bad for all of us irrespective of whether you are invested or not)  
  • Using the 4% SWR with plenty of buffer available monthly so I can take less money when large bears appear
  • The insurance policy if the above didn’t work will be having State and Public pensions that would kick in at 68+
  • The additional insurance policy would also be of a likely inheritance at some point

Two friends seeking Get Rich Quick plans

The reason for this post as mentioned has in large part been from the recent huge gains in cryptocurrency and the increased awareness by many of communities online like wallstreetbets. These events in particular have rubbed off on people I know personally. I have two good friends who have been discussing at length with me of their journey towards riches – one of which is a very good friend of mine who has been studying get rich quick schemes in general and who really really wants to become a multi-millionaire at some point in his life. 

The other friend is an ex boss who is obsessed with all things crypto and who is, it seems currently strapped on top of a rocket heading for the moon no less. (Why you would want to go to a cold and desolate land devoid of life is odd to me but still…)

Crypto moon landing ex boss

This ex boss of mine who I consider a good friend has been chronicling the journey of crypto for me for a few years now. I first got to know him just before the crypto bull-run in late 2017. He had always been bullish on crypto before this but during this rise, he insisted that I get into it and ride the money train as he called it then. From memory he tried to encourage me daily to invest when it was around $10,000 and with it going to $20,000 before a collapse I would of indeed made some money if I had sold at the right time however I had a feeling that it would certainly crash and I simply didn’t want to join in on something that firstly, I didn’t really understand, and secondly what appeared to me something that was only rising due to people wanting to make money. I didn’t want to follow the crowd at the time.

Fast forward to when Bitcoin was at $5,000 just over a year ago. My boss almost begged me to invest my money as he assured me Bitcoin would be at $100,000 within a year or 2. He said it was pretty much a guarantee but then occasionally would advise not to go all in but you should put lots on the table he said. I set up an eToro account and created a virtual fund comprised of Bitcoin and Etherium to the value of over half of my money at the time which was £100,000. I did this to show him what might have happened if I listened to him and held (diamond hands 💎💎). I checked this account at various times and saw that it had doubled and then went up to £400,000 sometime last year. I recently checked and saw that the value was now stood at £1.1million.

EToro Virtual Wallet


Original Investment£100,000.00
Increase %1018.6%
Holdings£1,108,012.98

I’ll be honest, I was a little bit annoyed at this no doubt but I found it amusing to be fair. I was expecting to prove to him that it was a bad idea to listen to him at that time but the reality is that its still hindsight to me as at the time when he told me it would go up and I’d make loads of money, just in the same way as if someone would right now say it will go to $500,000 a coin I’m a year from now. It would not be a rational move with my current goals or mindset to invest £100,000 of my hard earned money into something so speculative and volatile as this. That was the case then and is still the case now. It’s the same reason I wouldn’t be frustrated if I didn’t invest £100,000 on Liverpool beating Man City 2-0 when I now know that was the actual result later on.

Also, If you are wondering if he became a millionaire out of this? Well no he didn’t as he was trying to make money from other alt coins instead and was trading Bitcoin rather than buying and holding, he should have listened to his own original advice perhaps 🤔. The fact is, if I had done this. I would have been taking a ridiculously huge risk that goes against my nature and goals and even if I had done it, I would have probably sold when it doubled and not held all the way to the current heights. I can only laugh at this now though, it’s the only way to make the pain more bearable 😄.

Any Get Rich Quick scheme will do friend

The next friend of mine to talk about seems to be obsessed with wealth creation strategies. He has researched heavily into get Rich quick schemes during the last year via YouTube and online via various websites and by reading countless books. He has been very tempted to dabble with cryptocurrency but hasn’t as of yet. He doesn’t really have that much money available or a clear easy route to FI as it currently stands and I think he is representative of many people who are pursuing Get Rich Quick ideas.

He is by no means fully gullible and naive don’t get me wrong, he does indeed question schemes claims but believes he only needs to find one small nugget in an otherwise sea bed full of sand and rocks. He often talks to me about the latest method he is looking at and is even now tempted to try and stock pick the next Amazon or invest in the next meme stock. This stems from him following the GameStop story very closely and wanting to benefit from momentum investing. He certainly has a large dose of FOMO running through his veins at all times lately.

Methods of getting Rich


Whilst being a close witness to my two friends who are seeking getting rich quick and sometimes very quickly. I have also done some of my own thinking on this subject and have detailed some of the ways I or others could look at getting rich quick or quicker and what I personally think of them. For obvious reasons, I have excluded any illegal methods :D.

Get Rich Quick

  • Receive a large inheritance 
  • Play the lottery or similar big win competitions
  • Gamble on betting sites and/or casinos
  • Gamble on speculative investing (Including day trading/options – YOLO – Diamond hands baby! 💎💎)
  • Find an unknown or rare strategy that reliably earns large sums of money

When it comes to the ways above for getting rich quick. I think the speculative risky investments or actions such as sports betting and casinos are simply pretty much all essentially gambling where you are very unlikely to succeed especially in the long term. Also when it comes to stock picking the next Amazon or day trading, I think I know myself very well and that risking my own money and possibly chasing losses might be the undoing of me similar to my very close to dangerous experience with matched betting was that I have talked about before.

As for playing the lottery or entering competitions for me are just so unlikely to result in a big win, I personally wouldn’t waste time with them and as for getting a large and perhaps unexpected inheritance, well there’s not too much you can do to invoke that.

I think the final method about finding some unknown or rare method to making lots of money is certainly possible and no doubt is being done by people out there. I just feel that being able to find these methods and to engage in ones that are not illegal is such a hard thing to do and that along the way you are likely to end up burning through so much cash for little if any reward. If you find any methods though, be sure to hit me up yeh? Oh wait you mean, you want to keep it to yourself so as to not undermine the method? That’s mean, share the wealth man!

Get Rich Quicker

  • Pursue career advancements whether through management or specialisation/contracting
  • Get a side hustle or two
  • Create and run a successful business that can grow
  • Find an unknown or lesser known strategy and or skill that reliably earns modest sums of money
  • Become a highly skilled stock picker like Warren Buffet

I think get rich quicker strategies are when compared with get rich quick methods far more likely to pay off and are more achievable in a probability sense. I think the best way to get rich quicker will be to either further your career as far as you can go or become very specialised in your role that can then earn you far more money than you may currently earn. If you can work on a side hustle to earn extra money then this is also no doubt a more realistic way of earning extra money. These methods will of course require hard work and effort and will not result in overnight riches but can certainly help fast track the journey to FI if you are committed and retool/learn as required.

The other option of running a very successful business is also certainly a credible way of getting rich quicker but this will require substantial effort and a good dose of luck along the way to become a success. This luck of course many people will deny is needed. After all you cannot mention luck in the presence of a self made man!

Similar to the getting rich quick method of finding an unknown or rare strategy to make lots of money, there can be ways to make extra money that are not as well known or understood. These ways certainly exist however and one clear example of matched betting comes to mind. This method albeit time limited for most seemed too good to be true for me and yet turned out to be a good side hustle for a number of years. I think being able to find methods that are not time limited or limited to a finite amount of profit are also very hard to find and require some luck to achieve. People will often get scammed out of their money or simply lose money when carrying out speculative investments and/or methods. Also, If you find that you can reliably make decent money from stock picking like Warren buffet then huge respect to you.

Why I Choose Get Rich Slowly Over Get Rich Quick

I used the words VERSUS instead of OR in this post as of course, I would love to get rich quick or quicker instead of slowly if it was otherwise a like for like comparison. Its very similar to would I like to earn more, such as perhaps an extra £500 at work per month. Well of course I would take that money if there was no negative change to my work life or circumstances as a result. It’s all about the consequences and likelihood of success almost in a cost / benefit analysis sense.

When it comes to the getting Rich quick methods I detailed. I think that almost everyone will need an enormous amount of luck to achieve getting rich quick via those. I feel it’s going to be very hard or unlikely for any reliable quick legal get rich quick method to work. I don’t want to waste my time looking for a needle in a very large haystack where I may well get burnt along the way.

I have however employed some of the get richer quicker strategies as I outlined. I have had a 3 year stint at a matched betting side hustle and have another side hustle I have been doing for nearly 16 years that brings some extra money in monthly. I also am in a decent professional position at work that I am happy with. I know there would be room for making more money where I work through promotions but I just don’t think the extra work pressure/stress and management meeting involvement would be worth the extra few hundred a month I’d get. I also certainly wouldn’t want another side hustle taking more of my time as I value having the free time more. I also don’t think contracting suits me currently either but I will never say never.

I admire those that start a business and I have friends that have done this successfully. I think though that the method is just not a fit for my personality. I don’t want to run or own my own business. Maybe it’s just being lazy but I just don’t want to go through all the hard work and long hours for something that may not actually pan out. That’s just me though, I have nothing against it and for those that want to give it a try, best of luck!

When it comes to ways similar to matched betting for making extra money to help get rich that bit quicker, I will always be interested in finding these. I just don’t spend loads of time hunting for them as I am in no desperate need for extra income if I am honest. I think I am at a happy place income wise. If it’s low effort and low risk though, sign me up! 

Finally, with regard to just general stock picking and speculative investments in start ups or penny stocks or the next GameStop YOLO craze. Do I still get FOMO? Yes there is a twinge for sure. I know other people in the FI crowd have put aside some of their portfolio, perhaps 5 or 10% for fun investments etc that they are then happy (to an extent) to lose. I feel though that for now at least, I will just carry on sticking to my get rich slowly approach along with some get rich quicker enhancements and if It means I miss out on what I consider low chance big gains then so be it, I am also missing out on more likely what would be losses! My previous experience with matched betting also makes me wary of my own vices.

I think to summarise:

  • Getting rich quick for almost everyone will require enormous luck and isn’t usually achievable
  • Getting rich quicker requires hard work and some amount of luck along the way for almost all and is usually achievable 

I would love to know your thoughts on this topic, have any of you managed to strike it rich following any methods listed or not listed here?

TFJ

The Evolution of your FIRE Pursuit

I thought it would be interesting to talk about my own changing attitude towards my FIRE pursuit and that it would also be great to learn about yours as well. After all, That’s one of the main reasons for me creating this blog: to share and to learn during the FI journey.

So first off – don’t worry. I haven’t changed my attitude to be anti FIRE… I don’t believe it can’t be done now, it’s crazy, that it’s best to spend it all now – you could be dead tomorrow etc… I have however as alluded to in other posts changed my focus slightly and the specifics of the goal/target has changed. So firstly, let’s start with what hasn’t changed.

  • I am fully committed towards reaching Financial Independence. For me being Financial independent is simply the ability to no longer NEED to earn an income for all my basic needs in life. This includes having a home, paying all essential bills and also having a small amount of discretionary weekly money for small treats.
  • I still aim for the next few years at least to have a savings rate of above 50% of my post tax salary (Currently sitting at 58%)
  • I still aim to reach a £250,000 FI Fund within the next 3 years (Project 2235)

So what’s changed?

I think if I was to sum it up – the strictness of my original approach and ultimate goals has changed. I will now talk about the specific areas I think best highlight these changes and how the evolution of FIRE is occurring for me personally.

The ERE Approach & Depriving yourself


During my early FIRE years, I courted the Early Retirement Extreme movement as it were. I think this was of course mainly due to me trying to speed up the time it would take for me to FIRE. I wasn’t happy with having to wait what I originally had down as 23 years to FIRE. I cut back on so much when it come to my expenses and took seriously even the ideas of not owning a car, biking to work etc. As I discussed in my post on depriving yourself, I really took a good hard look at whether I was perhaps depriving myself with my strict pursuit of FI.

Firstly, I know the feeling of being deprived and judging whether something is or isn’t depriving yourself is a very personal thing. I would never say something is or isn’t as any universal law as each to their own but for me I certainly felt I was depriving myself of some joy and quality of life with how strict I was being. For example I couldn’t give up the benefits of owning a car. I love being able to just drive to and from friends, go to work that’s far away if the job is enjoyable. It would be a huge sacrifice to me if I didn’t have a car.

I now completely spend money guilt free, even large amounts of money on things that will bring me great value and joy. I recently bought a new 4K 65INCH LG OLED TV with a PS4 Pro. Doing that would have left me so conflicted in the past but I made the decision to buy those after a lengthy period of consideration, research and waiting for the right price. I spend more money now on going out to eat and drink at least once per week as I get a lot of joy out of those activities. I no longer think, I should of perhaps invested the difference etc. I make the decision based on the joy to stuff ratio so to speak. I happily spend money to go on multi day trips around the UK and trips to Amsterdam etc as this brings me great joy also. This for me is a big and healthy change as I already invest so much each month…

With this said, I am still very careful with my money. I still buy 20 lots of Branston baked beans (4xcans) when on offer. I still look for deals all over the place and withhold spending money on so many things that my peers spend on without even thinking. I still track money spent to the penny in my spreadsheets and I never waste my money so to speak.

Escape the Rat Race (FI or FIRE?)

I have written before about what I think makes a job good. I went from having a job I really disliked to a job that I now really enjoy. This really has helped change my attitude towards wanting to stop working entirely. I know that not everyone can find a job they enjoy but it is certainly possible to find one. I can no longer see myself retiring at 35 being able to afford the bare essentials in perpetuity. I think if I can keep my current job and things don’t drastically change which I know is of course possible, I wouldn’t want to stop before turning 40 at least. The benefits of FI on its own would be far enough for me as I already feel at this point that I choose to work and that will only get stronger the closer I get to and ultimately when I reach FI. 

The main reason for not wanting to fully FIRE is that work really doesn’t feel like work to me in my current job and I’ve been here 3 years nearly now so I don’t think it’s the honeymoon period either. There’s always things that are annoying, but the good far outweighs the bad. I also think being so far along the FI journey no doubt has helped hugely with this work sentiment as knowing you don’t have to do a job into your 60s or that you could last decades without working right now really takes away a lot of the negatives.

Cast Iron 4% Rule (The FI Fundamentals)

In my years since learning about the the FI movement and the whole concept of being able to live off your money in almost perpetuity if you take 4% of your pot + inflation going forward for multiple decades. I have sold the idea to a few of my friends very passionately. At least 3 of them as a result now invest monthly as do I and are working towards this goal albeit at differing speeds and levels of commitment. 

Setting aside whether 3.5% or 3% is actually the best bet for the future let’s just consider the belief that if you invest in a mix of bonds and stocks, reach a certain amount and then you can withdraw from that without ever having to work again. How much I believe that this is a sure fire thing (pun not intended) has gone from being around 99% perhaps to 90%. This is important because it has changed the degree to which I am willing to put so much on the line to pull the trigger. I like the analogy I heard the once about playing Russian roulette. I will gladly play Russian roulette knowing that there would be 1 bullet in the gun but 9 chances of FI going as planned as long as the bullet would be a strong rubber bullet that would no doubt hurt me but at least not kill me…

This cautious part of me that doesn’t want to put everything on the line for this goal is one of the reasons I own my own home and still have cash in the bank. A lot of people within the FI movement have suggested to me that I should sell my home, invest the money and rent instead to maximise my investing and reach FI quicker. That I should get rid of most of my Cash is King fund and invest this as well. If I truly believe in FI, then why wouldn’t I has been said? I think my answer is exactly that I do believe in FI through investing but not to such a degree I will risk my home and all my cash and put absolutely everything into it so to speak. I still don’t want all my eggs in one basket. I feel very similar to Mr Money Moustache when talks about having several layers of so called protection in case things didn’t go to plan and that he is a slight wuss by some accounts on that front. I use the 4% rule as a general gage of how long my money will last but that is protected with the additional expectation of Inheritances, private and public Pensions not being included in the totals and additionally no hard wish to never earn money again. 

All of this aside, I still fundamentally believe we are investing in humanity and that this will work in the long run. I am investing huge amounts of money every month, I just don’t want to risk completely wiping myself out if I am wrong that’s all.

Static FI Target & Rushing towards FI

My initial FI target when I first got into the movement was £250,000 so that I could live off £10,000 a year. This is still a target of mine with my recent Project 2235 post. This however it not a static target at which point I will pull the trigger on FI. This is just my short term target to get me to that barebones FI achievement. This will feel great no doubt but will not be the end of the story. When I get to this, I will reassess to see if I will then pull back on my savings rate and spend some money on doing up my house inside or buying a new car, pay for a wedding, or go on a world cruise etc. Who knows… I am no longer religiously sticking to a pull FIRE trigger amount or date.

This leads me onto the most important part of my FI pursuit evolution. I am no longer in such a dam rush to reach full FI and/or FIRE. My most important goal is to enjoy the next 3 years and not solely to get to my 3 year goal of £250,000 as quickly as possible in a way that slightly deprives every day living (Similar to only living for the weekend so to speak). This is still a big goal of mine which I am working very hard to achieve and I will still be investing £1500 a month to help achieve this, Its just that I am no longer as desperate anymore to get to the finish line so fast…

I can’t help but think this change in priority or perhaps more urgency is because I am already living through so many of the benefits of FI right now that I am so far down the path, I think if I was to get to £250,000 tomorrow, it wouldn’t make me that much more happy than I am now, and that feels epic…

Thanks very much for reading my article. I’d love to know if your pursuit of FIRE has changed at all or even if it’s more or less identical at the end to how you envisioned it at the start.

Chris @ TheFIJourney

Tracking Expenses to the Penny

The thought of tracking expenses to the penny always struck me as being way to strict and burdensome. I remember when I read the book ‘Your money or your life’ which talks about doing exactly that as part of its FI strategy that it wasn’t for me and even though I’d like to budget and know fairly accurately what I’m spending that it was a step to far.  I can’t really recall what specifically changed my mind or made me give it ago in May 2015 but since this date I must be honest, I haven’t looked back.

Pre FI Exposure

I have been budgeting probably since 2011 which was pretty much before I had a full time job. I tracked my incomings and regular bills but I never tracked my actual expenses when it come to what I called disposable income (money left after standard bills) or exactly what I spent on food or fuel. I simply recorded the direct debits so I could see if anything increased on a monthly basis. I would know that I roughly spend £100 on fuel for example and £120 for food and that with my regular direct debits/static bills that I would have £200 disposable income left or £50 a week to spend on daily activities/outings and spends through out the month which could include a book or a game etc.

As I knew I would have £50 a week on average, I would loosely spend accordingly. It was easy to know if I was spending more or less as I had no real savings so all I had to do was look in my wallet and at my bank balance and I’d know if I had overspent or not. During this time, I used my credit cards now and then for big purchases but always tried to pay back the balance over a couple of months. The largest balance I ever had was £2200 from the time I went window shopping at Comet and bought a £2000 TV :o.

To the Penny

As I mentioned in the intro, I decided to start tracking all my expenses down to the penny in May 2015 as part of trying everything I could to help move FI closer to being a reality. To be honest and even to my own surprise, I found this rather easy and not burdensome at all. I actually enjoyed doing it! I liked keeping my receipts and working out what category to put things into.

I still use my monthly budget which is simply an evolved version of my older budget spreadsheet that provides me a rough idea of how much I expect to spend in categories such as Food and Fuel which aren’t completely static but now on my expenses spreadsheet I record exactly what I spend for each which allow me to see if my budgets are realistic or not as an average cost per month.

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