Welcome to Freedom 35 Blog
Howdy. I’m a married guy in my mid 30s living in Vancouver, Canada. I’m a full-time graphic designer who has a lot of debt, but enjoys a comfortable standard of living. I recently became financially independent in 2020. The secret is to work smart, not hard.
Building wealth is all about understanding capital markets and controlling risk. Instead of being a workaholic I let my money do the heavy lifting for me. Between the start of my career in 2008 to 2020 I have earned a cumulative net income of $680,000 according to my tax returns. But my net worth is over $1 million today. 🙂 My name is Liquid, and welcome to my little corner of the internet!
How I got started
I moved out from my parent’s basement when I was 21 years old. Since then I’ve paid off $15,000 of student loans, quadrupled my home equity, built up a $500,000 stock portfolio, and acquired over $1,000,000 worth of additional investments such as real estate, private mortgages, green energy bonds, Bitcoin, and precious metals.
Obviously I couldn’t have bought all those assets with my own money, which is where leverage comes in! Over the years I’ve relied on cheap credit to pay for most of my investments.
Whenever I make a new purchase I usually explain my decision process on this blog, and document my steps. This keeps me accountable and transparent.
My financial plan
My primary mandate was to become financially free before my 35th birthday. I have achieved that goal a couple of years early. So now my goal is to have a $10 million net worth. I plan to do this by studying and implementing what other wealthy individuals have successfully practiced for generations. 🙂 I just have to think like the rich, and act like the rich.
These tactics may include but are not limited to, controlled leveraging, value investing, taking advantage of market corrections, working a part-time job, swing trading, dividend investing, alternative investing, multiple income sources, hedging, starting a business, options trading, etc.
I grew up in a typical middle class household. My generous parents contributed $10,000 towards my tuition.
I made $35,000 a year right out of college in 2008. Still living with my folks at the time I was easily able to save $13,000 within one year. I used this money as a down payment to purchase an apartment for $230,000 in 2009.
As soon as I was living on my own I began to discover the importance of financial literacy and how money 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 more 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 and started this blog in 2010 to track my progress. 🙂
My financial activities can often to be a bit controversial. In finance, a one size fits all strategy doesn’t exist. But we learn by broadening our minds. So 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. 😀
My Investment Strategies:
I don’t have a secret formula to get rich through investing. But here are some guidelines I follow that has earned me a 20% annualized rate of return on my investments:
- Learn how to value assets. And purchase undervalued ones.
- Use leverage to invest, but only if the cost is affordable.
- Stay in the game. Do not sell your winning investments too early.
- Build up a strong asset column. Make your money work for you.
- Investing is more important than paying down low interest debt.
- Think outside the box. And don’t be afraid to seize opportunities when others are reluctant to act.
- Continue learning. Shadow other successful individuals. Do as they do.
- Focus on markets or industries that you have an edge in.
- Always keep an eye out for asymmetric bets where the odds are in your favour.
- Good strategies create wealth. Great strategies create even more wealth. Strive to be great.
- Do the math for yourself instead of relying on what others say. Everyone’s situation is different.
Despite being an investor for over a decade I’m still constantly learning new way to build wealth. I share all my stock holdings publicly under the “Portfolio” menu at the top of this blog. Here’s a summary of my finances from previous years.
- 2009 – I purchased a home with a 6% down payment. A couple years later my apartment’s value had risen by $40,000 above my purchase price. So my equity jumped 200% in just two years!
- 2010/2011 – Borrowed money to buy high quality companies such as Enbridge, Apple, and Amazon.
- 2012 – Ventured into more exotic investments like farmland because I believed it to be an undervalued asset class. Farmland values increased by 28% in 2013.
- 2013 – My U.S. margin account outperformed the S&P 500 index yet again and returned 75% for the year.
- 2014 – I started to invest in mortgage securities, which are better at generating income rather than growth.
- 2015 – I expanded my investments in all financial asset categories and started to buy high yield bonds.
- 2016 – Focus on dividend growth stocks. My portfolio now generates $12,000 a year of passive income.
- 2017 – Passive income from stocks and bonds have grown to $18,000 a year.
- 2018/2019 Continuing to invest in opportunities whenever they present themselves and blog about them.
- 2020 – Bought $100,000 of new stocks during market correction. Became a millionaire and financially free.
- 2021 – Annual passive income is $30,000. Continuing to look for value and optimistic about the future.
I choose to blog anonymously so I can be transparent and honest about my financial details without the risk of attracting attention to my real life. Below is a pie chart showing my current asset allocation. Fixed Income category includes bonds, and mortgages such as MICs. The “Alternatives” category includes cash, bitcoin, and precious metals such as silver, and gold bullion.
About my income
My salary has grown over the years from $35,000 in 2008 to roughly $70,000 today. Here’s a letter of employment I recently obtained to help me qualify for a mortgage on a rental property. It’s redacted for privacy reasons.
These are some of my life long goals.
Become financially free.
- Donate at least a million dollars to charity.
- Start a company and create jobs for my community.
Qualify and become an accredited investor.
- Fly into space
The first step to success is believing that it’s possible.