Be honest – there are many of us who avoid talking about, reading about, or even thinking about money. It’s not our favorite subject and it can cause a lot of stress.
What if it could be simple and something that you could actually wield to your advantage?
That’s exactly what author JL Collins has been teaching about in his recent books, The Simple Path to Wealth and How I Lost Money in Real Estate Before it was Fashionable.
An experienced investor and entrepreneur, his books began out of letters to his daughter, teaching her what has worked for him to build wealth (and what has kicked him in the ass).
Simple Ways to Tackle Your Finances
Collins had long tried to teach his daughter Jessica financial literacy her entire life. Like many parents in the 90s, he utilized allowance, cash envelopes, even set her up with a checking account and savings account. Of course, he went a bit further with mutual funds and endless lectures on the subject.
It was on a visit home from college that she broke his heart and told him that she didn’t want to think about money. She had a life to live.
But it was her comment that opened his eyes that most people were like his daughter. They know that money is important but not the first thing they want to think about (if ever).
His book The Simple Path to Wealth started with nine basics to help his daughter get in control of her own finances without having to get overly complex.
The Nine Basics of Financial Freedom
While you can read more about Collins’s basics in his blog article, he lays them all out in a pretty simple roadmap:
- Avoid fiscally irresponsible people
- Avoid money managers
- Avoid debt
- Save a portion of every dollar you earn
- The greater percentage of your income you save and invest, the better
- Put your extra into a Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSAX)
- Ignore the panic when it happens and buy when others say to sell.
- When you can live off the dividends of your VTSAX, you’re financially free
- The less you need, the more free you are
It all sounds relatively simple, right? Yes, there are some stock recommendations in his path, but that’s the reality of the financial world that we live in.
When you can reduce your own spending and work towards smart investments (and ignore the panics that will happen in the market), you can get to a point that Collins calls F-You money.
Turning His Daughter’s Lectures Into Financial Education
Collins started writing his blog in June 2011, mostly as a way to archive the information for his daughter.
What he didn’t expect was that it would grow into a large international readership and become one of the most highly-respected blogs in the world of Financial Independence.
While Collins worked first to create the annual Chautauqua retreats to discuss Financial Independence, early retirement, and happiness, he quickly grew into a bigger audience with his books.
His financial basics book, The Simple Path to Wealth, has sold over 400,000 copies worldwide and has been published in multiple languages around the world.
In 2021, he published his second book How I Lost Money in Real Estate Before it was Fashionable helps hopeful real estate investors to go into it with their eyes wide open. The book covers all the things that can go wrong and helps investors to make the correct decisions before they even get started.
The Godfather of Financial Independence
If you’ve been looking for new ways to build your wealth, invest, and just get a better handle of your money, then we suggest heading to JL Collins blog to follow along with his journey.
We love the articles he shares on a regular basis that will help you dissect what’s important and what’s unimportant, what you should focus on, and debunking the financial myths that pervade our world.
Even better is that everything he shares is based on simplicity which is perfect if you love finances or loathe it.