Put yourself out there

Putting yourself out there is about moving past your insecurities. It’s about getting comfortable with the uncomfortable.

I’m uncomfortable writing blogs.

I’m uncomfortable posting on social media.

I’m very uncomfortable speaking into a microphone in my tiny office and doing the new DUFFMONEY podcast.

But fuck it! I’m obsessed with Financial independence (FI) and am going to find a way to get there – it’s not an if it’s a when!

What is DUFFMONEY all about?

It’s about raising financial awareness.

Personally, I want my FI as soon as possible. I want it yesterday. And I want the same for anyone reading or listening to DUFFMONEY.

My relationship with money in the past, has brought anxiety and stress. How can I afford this or that? When can I get a job at home and not have to work weekends? How do I afford the bills and how will I secure the next job … blah blah blah …

I have seen this poor relationship time and time again with people I know socially or through work. And I’m here to tell you that your relationship with money can be improved.

DUFFMONEY focuses on money mindset, lessons learned, investing fundamentals.

If you are like me, you don’t want to work into your late 50s or even into your 60s. By setting some goals, this can be avoided. Then you can put your financial plan in-place and start heading towards FI.

Fuck the means to an end job and fuck having to do it until your late 50s or 60s! I refuse to accept this scenario! And I want the same for you!

What does FI even mean?

FI will have a different meaning for everyone. We are all different after all.

For me, it’s about working on my terms. I don’t want to retire but I do want to choose my own hours.

I want to spend every night in my own bed (well apart from holidays and weekends away). I want to be there for my wife and kids for every occasion. I want to wake up and do Brasilian Jiu Jitsu, take the kids to school, have breakfast with my wife and then go to work. I want to spend 6 weeks in Spain with my little family and soak up a different culture and learn a new language.

In fact they are not just wants, they are all musts! I must wake up and be happy everyday not just on a weekend.

How will I get FI?

Again, we are all different. We will all have different financial plans and strategies.

As I am writing this blog, I am 38. I will be FI at the age of 45. If not sooner. In fact, when I get some momentum with DUFF PROPETIES I’ll get there much sooner.

See below for my battle plan:

  • DUFF PROPERTIES
  • Index investing
  • Crypto assets – this is an addition and my main focus will be ETH (Ethereum)

For more on my battle plan and how I’m going to get my FI, you can read a copy of my new book – FI Money: Learn the hard way, teach the easy way.

If you want an incentive to focus on your FI, have a good think about the state pension you will receive later in life – State pension.

Book of the week: Change your mindset, change your life, Garrain Jones. This book is for anyone who has ever been knocked down and found a way to get back up again – personally, I love a comeback story. A really good read and a book that I will be re-reading.

For a hard copy visit the excellent Imagined Things Bookshop: https://imaginedthings.co.uk/

The DUFFMONEY personal finance podcast

In 2019, I started writing the DUFFMONEY blog. This was to document getting some early financial independence (FI). It was also to try and help other people achieve some early FI.

My plan at this point (mid-2019) was to get some early FI within 10 years. The weekly blog was helping me to get some much-needed financial literacy. It was also helping a few of my colleagues who seemed interested in getting a financial plan in-place.

This was enough for me. I wasn’t bothered about how many people were reading the blog. I just wanted it to help at least some people improve their personal finances. Improve their personal finances and get a financial plan in-place.

DUFFMONEY is all about raising financial awareness. It’s about starting with mindset and improving your relationship with money. Then you can get some financial literacy and can start heading towards financial independence.

The DUFFMONEY personal finance podcast is again about raising financial awareness.

The introvert doing a podcast

Being shy and a little introverted, can be difficult to overcome. It was uncomfortable for me starting the DUFFMONEY blog 2 years ago. It was uncomfortable for me putting DUFFMONEY material on social media. And it’s even more uncomfortable doing the DUFFMONEY personal finance podcast.

Being comfortable at being uncomfortable is something I have been reading about in personal development books over the last 2 years.

I am gradually learning to take myself less seriously!

See below for the podcast description you will read if you subscribe:

DUFFMONEY personal finance is a podcast for anyone looking to learn about money. And for anyone looking for plan B and some financial independence. Basically, you refuse to work until your 70 ish.

DUFFMONEY covers money mindset, lessons learned, investing fundamentals and property investing.

The aim is to help you to understand your relationship with money, learn to avoid common mistakes, get some financial literacy and head towards financial independence.

Hosted by Peter Duffy, we get stuck into single shares, index investing, crypto assets, property investing and much more …

Week 1 there were 5 podcasts released Monday-Friday (31st May to 4th June). After that, there will be 1 per week. Each episode will be 10-15 minutes long and will hopefully help you get some earlier than expected FI.

Why listen?

When it comes to personal finance here is a little list of my credentials:

  • 19 years of experience as a landlord / property investor
  • Currently building up my property portfolio in DUFF PROPERTIES
  • Over 10 years investing experience
  • Tried and failed with single shares
  • Currently investing in index funds via Vanguard – been doing so for 2 years
  • Been investing in crypto assets for 4 years
  • DUFFMONEY blog written for the last 2 years
  • Self-published author – FI Money: Learn the hard way, teach the easy way (New book)

If you read my book, or blog you will know that I have made several mistakes in the past. But you will also know that I have now got my financial house in order.

Most importantly, you will know that I care about you and your financial future. Money can have a negative effect on people if they have no financial literacy and don’t understand their relationship with money.

I was negative for over 10 years and it brought anxiety and stress. If this is you, I feel your pain! And know from experience that you can move past it and improve your relationship with money. You can start heading in the right financial direction. With some goals written down, you can head towards some early FI.

Personally, I am obsessed with FI and I want the same for you. Fi to me is about freedom. It’s about spending time with family and spending time doing what you love. My dream is to wake up on a Monday and be excited to start work. That is working on DUFF PROPERTIES and other businesses I have planned. Not dreading the means to an end!!!

What to do

Obviously, I want you to tune in and listen to the DUFFMONEY personal finance podcast (New podcast). Not only that, I obviously want you to leave a 5* review and tell all your mates …

In all seriousness, if you do listen to the podcast, please leave an honest review.

As I say, DUFFMONEY is about raising financial awareness. My wife asked me why I was doing the podcast the other day …

When I said it is to raise financial awareness it sounded a bit out there and a bit weird. Another way of saying it is that it is part of me getting some early FI. The blog, the book and now the podcast are all documenting how I am working towards FI. And I want to help other people achieve the same.

I have had anxiety over money, and I have seen it time and time again at work and with people I know and love. Fuck worrying and fuck anxiety. Get your head into money and see if you can get some early FI.

Book of the week: Rich Dad Poor Dad, by Robert Kiyoaski. I’ve recommended this book before but I am more than happy to recommend again. If this book (or similar books) were part of the school syllabus it would be a game changer to many peoples lives. It helps you to understand your money from a concept point of view and how beneficial it is to be an investor or be in business.

For a hard copy visit the excellent Imagined Things Bookshop: https://imaginedthings.co.uk/

Calm down and ignore the noise

It is very easy to be an emotional investor. Trust me this is not good for your mental health. It will lead to anxiety and stress.

Disclaimer – I am not a mental health professional. And I am not giving out any advice. This blog is for information only from my experience.

As I have mentioned previously, single shares are not for me. This led me to index investing – index funds.

My strategy with investing is long-term buy and hold. This is very apparent if you read the DUFFMONEY blog or listen to the DUFFMONEY podcast – DUFFMONEY podcast.

But I do believe in investing in crypto assets. Or at least getting familiar with crypto assets. Things are moving fast and it is my belief that it is important to learn about digital assets.

This comes with a little warning. It is easy to get excited with your crypto assets. If you get to a point where you are checking your crypto every 5 minutes, it’s time to change. Have a little word with yourself and try and ignore the noise.

Aligning crypto with my long-term investment goals

Just to be transparent, I’ve been getting too excited and too emotional over my crypto assets recently. But eventually, I learn my lessons and have managed to cash out on the gains of one of my crypto tokens – Crypto cash out.

What I did with the £5k from my cash out, is to put it into DUFF PROPERTIES. This aligns with my long-term goal of building a successful property business.

The perfect scenario for me is to take 50% out of a particular token and then forget about it. Then I’m not checking on it every 5 mins and getting stressed out. I can ignore the noise. Ignore what’s going on in the crypto world.

The majority of profits made will go towards DUFF PROPERTIES. Crypto wise, my long-term goal is to buy and hold Ethereum (ETH).

What this means is that crypto has slightly altered my long-term investment goals. They were long-term buy and hold with property and index investing. Now, they are long-term buy and hold with property, index investing and ETH.

Depending on who you talk to in the Crypto world, ETH has the potential to overtake Bitcoin (BTC) as a store of value – Goldman Sachs on ETH.

DUFFMONEY’s understanding of ETH

Blockchain is a secure and shared database that stores transactions. The data is stored in sections known as blocks and these blocks create a chain of data.

Blockchains are a thousand times faster than transactions made on stock markets. Like GOOGLE, the ETH blockchain technology is about big data. The more storage and processing on offer, the better. And blockchain has laid the foundation for a completely new way of protecting individual data and conducting online business.

Unlike BTC, ETH is not just about digital currency. ETH offers more applications and this could be a reason why some are suggesting it might overtake BTC.

For example, ETH can be used to create a binding contract between 2 or more parties. It can also be used to transfer digital goods like music or video.

In the past, I have been guilty of investing without doing the necessary research. This isn’t the case with ETH and I believe it is a good long-term investment.

A way of understanding crypto assets is to read the white paper:

In general, there are three types of applications on top of Ethereum. The first category is financial applications, providing users with more powerful ways of managing and entering into contracts using their money. This includes sub-currencies, financial derivatives, hedging contracts, savings wallets, wills, and ultimately even some classes of full-scale employment contracts. The second category is semi-financial applications, where money is involved but there is also a heavy non-monetary side to what is being done; a perfect example is self-enforcing bounties for solutions to computational problems. Finally, there are applications such as online voting and decentralized governance that are not financial at all.

The above is taken from the Ethereum website within the white paper. Being aware of the applications helps you to understand the crypto asset in question.

See below for additional applications:

  • Savings wallets
  • Crop insurance
  • Decentralised data feed
  • Smart multisignature escrow
  • Cloud computing
  • Peer-to-peer gambling
  • Prediction markets

What to do

From my experience, getting some much-needed financial literacy can benefit you and your investments. It will help you to make educated investment decisions and decide on your long-term strategy. We all want to make quick money, but normally this doesn’t happen.

Don’t just steam in and expect to be a crypto millionaire and get stressed out when it doesn’t happen. Stick to the plan (Stick to your own game) and ignore the noise. It helps you to avoid stress. The stress that comes when you check on your investments every 5 minutes.

Personally, I do want to become financially independent. But I don’t want to be stressed out in the process. And from my experience, the way to do this is to get a financial plan in-place. With some discipline, it’s then time to take a long-term view of your investments.

Book of the week: Ethereum, by Henning Diedrich. You will learn all about blockchains, digital currencies and smart contracts. Focusing on Ethereum, this book explains how blockchains might just revolutionise society and commerce.

For a hard copy visit the excellent Imagined Things Bookshop: https://imaginedthings.co.uk/

 

DUFFMONEY and index investing

Index investing suits DUFFMONEY as it is passive and stress free. It is very much set and forget (Set and forget).  This proven method will help you to build your wealth and give you financial freedom. This is not easy. It takes dedication and discipline.

DISCLAIMER – I am not a financial expert and am not offering expert advice. This is just a way of investing that suits me.

Up until 2018 I had no financial plan in-place. I was heading for no retirement or a very poor retirement. It’s easy to live for today and forget about what happens tomorrow or a few years down the line. DUFFMONEY is about living for today and planning for the future. After all, life is about balance.

Vangaurd Index funds

Before going any further, I would recommend you do your own research. I t is very important to get some financial literacy and to understand your relationship with money.

Index Investing – made famous by John Bogle (founder of Vanguard). This is where you track the stock market. You have a small slice of several companies within your fund.

After reading a couple of books on money, I stumbled across John Bogle and his excellent book, The Little Book of Common Sense Investing.

With this book, I learned how to avoid heavy costs charged by some fund managers. This isn’t the case with Vanguard as the costs are very low. Vanguard was founded in the USA by John Bogle and offers low-cost index-tracking funds. The book also gave me the knowledge to understand index investing.

Index-tracking is a way of tracking the entire stock market. If you invest in the US in the S+P 500 (basically 500 of the biggest US companies) you are aiming to match the performance of the entire market. If the S+P 500 return’s 7% in a given year, your fund should return 7%. Your Vangaurd fund manager will have picked several of the top performing companies within the S+P 500 – again a small slice of several companies.

DUFFMONEY’s experience of index investing

My Life Strategy 80 20 fund is made up of 80% shares and 20% bonds. This is fairly high risk but I intend to invest for a long time so am happy to ride the inevitable ups and downs. To determine your risk tolerance, speak to a financial advisor.

Or do what I done and do a bit of self-education. Read the books, listen to the podcasts and watch the YouTube videos. All the information you need can be accessed for free online – you just have to be driven enough. Put the graft in now and you will thank yourself when your having a few beers on the beach in Benidorm. Or is that just me?

Let us have a look at how my LS 80 20 fund has performed over the last 12 months. See below for a summary:

  • LS 8020 May 2020 to May 2021
  • Current fund value – £23,800
  • Rate of return – 20.93%
  • Current contribution – £900 pcm

That 20.93% rate of return is much better than the less than 1% I would have achieved in a high st bank. But I’m under no illusion that this will be maintained. It’s possible but very unlikely.

What would happen if this return was maintained for the next 12 years? Well, I would be a very happy 50-year-old!

If the 20.93% was maintained for 12 years, I would have £857,779 in the vanguard pot. That is IF the interest was 20.93% every year and IF I invested £900 pcm. Two very big Ifs if I’m being honest.

I know this is VERY hypothetical, but I want to demonstrate compound interest. In the above example, the total deposit is £153,400. The interest earned is £704,379 and this demonstrates the power of compound interest.

Let us be a little more realistic. In reality, I will more than likely earn 7% per year over the next 12 years. If you read DUFFMONEY regularly, you will know that I am convinced that 7-8% is achievable if you have a diversified fund and track the markets. This is from reading books like How to own the world, by Andrew Craig.

With a return of 7% every year (on average), and after investing £900 pcm, I would end up with a pot of £257,220. This is with deposits of £153,400 and interest earned is £103,820. Although on a lesser scale, this still demonstrates the power of compound interest.

What to do

First of all, try to understand your relationship with money. You can see how I done it at DUFFMONEY with some much needed Money Mindset.

Then get some financial literacy and you can do that with books or podcasts. Basically, anyway you can that will absorb enough information. Then you can go and make educated investing decisions.

Finally look into index investing. It’s not get rich quick which most people prefer but I believe it will add to your long-term wealth. My 20% return might just grab your attention. But the more you look into it you know that it will be more than likely 7-8%. This is depending on which fund you decide to go with.

Good luck! My sincere hope is that you can learn from DUFFMONEY and it pushes you to go out and do your own research. And you go out and get some financial literacy that will help you put a financial plan in-place.   

Book of the week: How to Own the World, by Andrew Craig. This book will help you to decide where to put your money. It is designed for the UK investor and is well worth a read.

For a hard copy visit the excellent Imagined Things Bookshop: https://imaginedthings.co.uk/