man·i·fes·to | \ˌma-nə-ˈfes-(ˌ)tō\ : a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer
Why did I start this blog?
I believe I have something valuable to share. After reading Financial Samurai’s posts recommending readers to start their own websites, I realized by starting a blog sharing my journey to financial independence, I can help many people to embark on the same journey to pursue this dream. I am not going to make money and become rich through this blog, as it violates the immigration law for me to earn any income from any source besides my current employer as long as I reside in the US; and even if I can, it’s going to take some serious amount of time and effort to generate decent income. Despite that, I
love helping cannot forgive myself not to help others when I have the knowledge to do so. A lot of recent graduates around my age do not save or budget, have no long term retirement plan, and live paycheck to paycheck. Many foreign students and professionals are oblivious of many investment options they have in this country and park most of their money in checking or savings accounts. I want to help change that by sharing my thoughts, my opinions, and my life so that more people, especially millennials, would take hold of their personal finances.
I want to challenge myself. The most daunting aspect of this challenge for me is writing. You see, ever since I was in China, I had been a Math and Science kind of kid, and my worst subjects had been Chinese Literature and Writing. (I’m not pulling the Chinese stereotype card, as everybody back in China was obviously… Chinese, so I’m comparing myself relative to only the Chinese.) And then in college, I was the kid who wrote only three pages of papers for the first draft, and then tried to find creative ways to repeat sentences redundantly over and over again (get it?) so that I can meet the length requirement. It still boggles my mind how some students can write several pages over the requirement in one breath, and complain that they have to shorten their papers. In a nutshell, I never liked writing. So hopefully through this challenge sharing what I’m passionate about on this blog, I might learn to enjoy something that I didn’t before. At least I feel a little bit more comfortable writing in English: since it’s my second language, I feel like people would judge me less if I just totally suck at it.
I will set myself as an example for young millennials by inspiring & guiding them to embark on a journey to and ultimately achieve financial independence.
Some other beliefs and values I go by, and you can probably find these themes throughout my (future) posts:
Spend Conservatively, Save Aggressively, Invest Diligently. – In essence, spend (a lot) less than you earn, invest the surplus and automate the process so that your life is easier.
Money cannot buy happiness, but it makes happiness easier to attain. – Once you have money, you don’t have to stress and worry about it anymore. You can enjoy life more and won’t get pissed at a parking ticket again.
Money cannot buy freedom.
An inch of time is an inch of gold, but you cannot buy an inch of time with an inch of gold. – Chinese Proverb
The emperor is rich, but he cannot buy one extra year. – Chinese Proverb
The above three are talking about the same thing. I guess this blog is not about money after all, it’s about what kind of life and purpose you want to live out in your financial freedom.
It’s better to be an underdog and overachieve than to be a fan favorite and under deliver. – Be humble, and have a dark horse mentality. I constantly struggle with this: Asian parents always compare their kids even since we are little like it’s a life-long competition, and I am more than once tempted to find opportunities to talk about what college I went to or what kind of job I do in conversations. Outward appearance brings delusions to the prideful, and when it comes to finances, the consequences can be disastrous. When I drove through the poorer neighborhood in the city, I was surprised by how many muscle cars, Mustangs and Challengers, are on the street, while the most popular cars driven by American millionaires are Toyotas, Hondas, and Fords. I am a big sports fan, and everybody loves underdog stories. My favorite underdog story: Chelsea (my favorite soccer team) winning the 2012 Champions League by upsetting Barcelona with one less player in the semi-final, and edging out Bayern Munich in the penalty shootout after getting bombarded the whole game during the final. (The videos in the links still give me chills)