Whatever field I have been working or exploring so far, I have found out that the fastest and most exciting way to learn something – besides breaking the wall with your own head of course – is through exploring how the others are doing in that field. So if we all want to learn more about investing and personal finance, let’s see what the other fellows are doing it. I am starting a new section called “Investor Profiles” where I’ll present you fellow investors, bloggers and all kind of people from the “business”.
The Silicon Valley Blogger runs one of my favorite blogs about personal finance – The Digerati Life. She (yes, she) is a software engineer (kind of a mate) in the Silicon Valley and combines topics about money and investing together with some geeky stuff.
Of course, I’ll let her speak now:
The Three Questions Blitz Interview
SI: Is there a tipping point in your financial life? Some event or decision which significantly changed your financial situation?
SVB: Yes. This may sound a bit awkward, but I’m being frank when I say that for me, my financial tipping point was when I married my spouse. I couldn’t ask for a better partner, financial or otherwise. 🙂 We complement each other well, personality-wise, while at the same time, we share the same personal and financial goals, and have similar backgrounds in both family set up and career orientation. So it makes it very easy for us to work together as partners at home or when finance and business are concerned. It’s gestalt. Though we have some occasional arguments about money, our views on our finances are pretty unified and we’ve got our specific roles laid out when we work on our financial matters.
SI: What’s your view on startups? Do you think starting or joining a startup is a good way for ordinary people to build wealth?
SVB: I have a very positive view of startups. I’ve worked in several in fact. I strongly believe that joining a startup is a powerful way to build wealth. Any one startup experience may not pan out for you in a significant way — at least financially — but the professional connections you make can be quite significant, and may help you with your future business or professional endeavors. The skills you build as an employee of a startup are also usually pretty valuable, as you end up learning so much in a short period of time: you’re often given many hats to wear, given the smaller labor force of such companies. If you do end up winning the lottery by way of a startup, then that’s just icing on the cake.
SI Note: Of course I intentionally asked her about startups, as I knew she had an experience with that. My view pretty much matches SVB’s – I believe in startups and startup investing. Joining a startup – or even better starting one – is one of the best ways to develop yourself and and grow personally, professionally and often financially.
SI: Do you prefer to live a simple life and retire early or to work harder and longer but be richer? If you turn back how has this preference changed for you over the time?
Most of us would love to have everything — if we can retire early and still be rich, why not? However, we need to be realistic and face the many tradeoffs that life affords us. Many years ago, if you’d asked me this question, I’d have a different answer: I would have said that my plan is to work as hard as possible for as long as possible for the financial rewards. But over time, and because of age, experience, and the changes, situations, and events both good and bad that have taken place in my life, my priorities have changed significantly and now I will say that I much prefer to retire early and just live simply and happily. In fact, that is what my spouse and I have done (to some degree) in the last few years. We’ve decided to take matters in our own hands and to take charge of our own financial destinies by leaving the corporate world (within two years of each other) to strike it out on our own. We are SO much happier for doing so, and even though we are not as “rich” as we could’ve been if we stayed employed, we have learned to scale back our expenses and to gradually build simpler lives. It is still an ongoing process to live simply and frugally, but we are becoming better at it. Because of these changes, our family life has never been happier and healthier.
SI Note: Boy, I hear myself here. The point of investing and making money in general is not to have expensive cars or boats – at least not for me. To have financial freedom, be your own boss and enjoy your life is much more important. I don’t trade my time for luxury things. Do you?
If you visit The Digerati Life for the first time, pay special attention to the top posts and my two favorites within them – Should You Quit School Because You’re Brilliant? and How To Furnish Your House On Any Budget, Even For Free.