I am a late-twenties male living in Metro Vancouver, Canada. In the last six years that I’ve lived on my own I’ve paid off $15,000 of student loans, quadrupled my home equity, built up a $200,000 stock portfolio, and acquired nearly $400,000 worth of additional investments such as Saskatchewan farmland, private mortgages, and precious metals. As a full-time graphic designer who makes around $25/hour I’m not able to save adequately on my own to purchase all the investments I want. So I rely on credit from the large Canadian banks to fund many of my investments.
In the last few years I’ve made more money on my investment returns than from my salary at work. I often blog about the kinds of investments I buy, why I buy them, and track my progress. I’ve shared my income tax statements from previous years to demonstrate that even an average salary can be used to generate great wealth with the proper planning and leverage. I plan to become financially independent when I’m 35 years old by investing and continuing to outperform the markets. I’m Liquid Independence, and welcome to my freedom 35 blog!
I’m a millennial who believes it’s perfectly okay to stay in debt, enjoy a comfortable standard of living, have a good work/life balance, and still achieve early retirement! My net worth is over $300,000 today not because I’m frugal, but because I take a holistic approach to financial management.
Whenever I invest in something new I usually explain my decision process on this blog, and demonstrate my steps, often with documentations. This keeps me accountable since I can’t make up random numbers. My financial decisions are known to be highly controversial. But even if readers disagree with my personal choices I hope to at least show them a different way to look at the world of personal finance.
I grew up in a typical middle class household. When I was going through school my generous parents contributed $10,000 towards my tuition. I’ve received no other financial aid from them since then. After graduating with an art diploma in 2008 I began working at a local design company for $35,000/year. Still living with my folks at the time I was easily able to save $13,000 within one year, which I immediately used for a down payment to purchase a $230,000 apartment.
As soon as I was living on my own in 2009 I began to discover the importance of money and how it represents power, potential, security, influence, hope, and of course freedom. I vowed to make saving and investing my top priorities so I can retire early, and have unlimited free time. Time and freedom are the epitomes of real wealth. Money is simply a means to attain them. After this realization I decided to embark on a financial journey to freedom 35.
About My Investments:
- In 2009 the apartment I bought was my first major investment. My own research showed home prices would continue to increase despite widespread concerns about a potential real estate bubble. A couple years later my apartment’s value had risen by $40,000 above my purchase price. I made over 300% return on my $13,000 real estate investment in just two years!
- In 2010 and 2011 I invested heavily into the Canadian and U.S. stock markets, even borrowing money to buy high quality companies like major financial institutions, as well as technology giants such as Apple, Google, and Amazon. My 2 to 1 leverage proved to be fruitful as I was able to double the performance of the stock markets during the bounce back years from the great recession.
- In 2012 I ventured into more exotic investments like farmland because I saw an opportunity in an undervalued asset class. I blogged about spending $20,000 of my own money to purchase a $150,000 farm, and secured a long term loan for the remaining balance. Farmland values increased on average by 19% in 2012, and 28% in 2013, which means I’ve made over 200% return on my initial $20,000 investment thanks to the amazing power of leverage!
- In 2013 My U.S. margin account outperformed the S&P 500 index yet again and achieved a whopping 75% annual rate of return. I share all the holdings in my U.S. account under the “Portfolio” menu near the top of the site.
- In 2014 I started to invest in mortgage securities, which I believe are great options for investors who are looking for income rather than growth. I also bought individual bonds as a way to diversify my portfolio. The 1 year return on my financial assets alone in 2014 added $75,000 to my net worth.
- In 2015 my plan is to continue investing in opportunities whenever they present themselves and blog about them.
I typically save about $18,000 a year from my job. But finding lucrative investment opportunities and using other people’s money is how I’m currently growing my net worth by over $100,000 per year.
I don’t have a secret formula to get rich. But here are some guidelines I follow: Purchase undervalued assets. Use leverage to invest, but only if the cost is affordable. Stay in the game. Build up a strong asset column. Investing is more important than paying down low interest debt. Think outside the box. Mimic the behaviours of other financially successful individuals. And don’t be afraid to seize opportunities when other are reluctant to act.
These are my life long goals
-Become financially free
-Donate at least a million dollars to charity
-Become part of the 1% wealthiest people in the country
-Start a company and create jobs for my community
-Qualify and become an accredited investor
-Fly into space