Financial Samurai // Financial Literacy Chronicles, No. 19


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Please welcome Sam from Financial Samurai as our guest for today’s Financial Literacy Chronicles.  This is Day 19 of 30 in the Financial Literacy Month interview series here on Enwealthen.

Please tell me a little bit about yourself and your blog.

Financial Samurai was started in 2009 to help make sense of the financial crisis.

Its main goal is to allow everybody to achieve financial independence sooner, rather than later.

If the amount you’re saving each month doesn’t hurt, you’re not saving enough.

Can you share your most impactful money memory from your childhood?

When I was 12 years old I lived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

I went over to my friend’s “house” one day and realized he didn’t live in a house like mine, but a 400 sqft studio with his mom, dad, and sister. They had bunk beds to make space and ate in the center of the room.

It was very sobering.

That was when I decided I better study hard and make some money to not be poor.

We all receive financial advice from people in our lives.  What’s the most interesting or useful financial advice you’ve received from your community?

My community reminds me everyday about different perspectives and lifestyles all across the country, and the world.

Given I’ve only lived in Washington DC / Northern Virginia, NYC, and SF during my time in America, I’ve only lived in expensive areas with lots of opportunity.

I’m reminded about the different parts of America that are not as expensive or that don’t have gangbuster economies.

I have several personal finance books I regularly give to friends and family.  What are your 3 favorite fundamental personal finance books you often gift to others?

When I was younger, I really enjoyed David Bach’s The Automatic Millionaire and other books by him.

Now, I’m on a mission to encourage everyone to always engineer their layoff in order to get a severance, rather than quit. Hence, I’m gifting my book, How To Engineer Your Layoff: Make A Small Fortune By Saying Goodbye.

What financial literacy education did you receive in school?  If you had a magic wand, what would you change to improve that?

My dad sat down with me as a freshman in high school to teach me about the stock market.

I majored in Economics at The College of William & Mary and got my MBA from Berkeley.

I’m very thankful they taught me the importance of working for my money (worked at McDonald’s and did random temp jobs) and the power of saving.

There are so many blogs on the internet, what are 3 of your favorite blogs that instill financial literacy, either by word or action?

I like Untemplater (interview), Retire by 40 (interview), and Budgets Are Sexy.

I like to keep inspirational quotes around the house to remind me of what’s important.  Do you have a favorite money quote you use to inspire your financial life?

Here’s my quote, “If the amount you’re saving each month doesn’t hurt, you’re not saving enough.”

Thanks for contributing to Financial Literacy Month here on Enwealthen, Sam!

Sam began investing his own money ever since he opened an online brokerage account in 1995. Sam loved investing so much that he decided to make a career out of investing by spending the next 13 years after college working at two of the leading financial service firms in the world. During this time, Sam received his MBA from UC Berkeley with a focus on finance and real estate. He also became Series 7 and Series 63 registered. In 2012, Sam was able to retire at the age of 34 largely due to his investments that now generate roughly $215,000 a year in passive income. He spends time playing tennis, hanging out with family, consulting for leading fintech companies and writing online to help others achieve financial freedom.  You can find Sam at Financial Samurai, on Twitter, and Facebook.

Readers, please share your thoughts on Sam’s experiences, any additional questions you have, and suggestions for who else you’d like to see interviewed in the comments below.  And please do share this with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.  Thanks!



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