Since this is a personal finance blog, I want some financial accountability. My friend, Seonwoo Lee, who I met at CampFI Mid-Atlantic, wrote about the importance of having an Investment Policy Statement (IPS). I loved it so much that I decided to embrace it!
You can read my IPS which is now up my home screen! I will talk a bit more about this later, but first, why did I start this I blog? Stay with me as this all leads back to having an IPS
There are a plethora of reasons I decided to start this journey as a Personal Finance (PF) blogger, most of which are altruistic.
Since I have such a dramatic testimony of overcoming a great many things, I believe by sharing it, I can help others realize how they can also find freedom. At least that is my desire.
My heart breaks when I see people who don’t realize their full potential because of obstacles in their path. Due to my specific experiences, I have the heart to help people who want to overcome addiction/alcoholism. But my desire to help can be transposed to helping people climb any mountain. Let’s face it, we all have crosses to bear.
When we as humans go through something terrible and get to the other side, we have a very special gift and that gift is to use our experience to help others find the same victory.
After God delivered me out of the wreckage of addiction, I eventually became ready to face my money problems. My experience with recovery, while initially appeared to be only from addiction, has turned out to be a complete transformation spiritually, habitually, emotionally, physically, relationally and financially.
Let’s Talk About the Hard Stuff
Being new on this blogging journey, I’m still playing around with how to set up my site and the additional extensions/platforms to utilize. Ultimately, I want to create a space for people to come together and talk about their challenges and I want this space to be without judgment.
When I first got sober and unearthed the lies and false pretenses I had been operating under, I found it rather refreshing to be honest. The thing that kept me sane was talking about it. By shining a light on the darkness, it loses power.
For now, feel free to start this conversation in the comments but if it’s of a more private nature, contact me. Stay tuned for a place/forum where this conversation can flow freely.
What’s Money Got To Do With It?
A lot! This is a personal finance blog where I intertwine my story of redemption because frankly, it’s quite miraculous that I even get to be on the journey towards FI (Financial Independence). Dave Ramsey has a saying, “live like no one else so later you can live like no one else.” I’ve also heard him add two simple words to make that statement even more profound, “live like no one else so later you can live and give like no one else.”
Money may not buy happiness but it certainly provides freedom and freedom provides the ability to serve others. To me giving can occur a couple of different ways:
- Giving money
- Giving of time
Both of the above involve having resources and this is my reason for my wanting to achieve FI.
I’ve learned time and time again that accountability, for me, is a key to success. It has helped me in the following areas of my life:
- My Christian walk
For the most part, I am an extremely disciplined, hard worker but if left to my own devices, I have been known to procrastinate at times. If I set goals and tell no one, I can slack on them. If I set goals and tell people, I’m accountable to those goals.
I have some friends who helped keep me accountable during my debt pay off phase. They would ask me really tough questions and challenge me. That is what a good accountability partner does.
There is a particular fitness instructor at my gym who is a rockstar. She pushes us to our limits and I am humbled every time I take one of her classes. Any time I start to slack off, she’ll say something encouraging like, “come on, keep going” or “don’t quit now” or “what are you saying to yourself right now? It better be something positive.” Instantly I get back in. She keeps me accountable.
The same thing can be done with our finances. Now that I am out of debt and have the following things going:
- A turnkey budget
- A high savings rate
- Automatic investments
One might say it’s just smooth sailing from here on out. But is it? I’ve never been an investor during a market crash and while I’ve read books like The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins which remind me to stay the course during a crash. Will I? Can I? And better yet, will I be bold enough to buy more investments at this sale price? I sure hope so and so I’m doing something about it.
Investment Policy Statement
Thanks again, Seonwoo for the awesome idea to set up an IPS! I want to make sure I don’t panic during a downturn in the market so I set up my own personal Investment Policy Statement. This blog will be keeping me accountable along with you fine folks.
Initially, when I wrote about my 2018 investment strategy in The Why of My FI article, I had an asset allocation of 80% equities/20% bonds. I think a lot about risk and decided that while I’m in the wealth accumulation phase, I’m losing out on growth by having 20% invested in bonds. There is certainly a time to include bonds and I believe that to be nearer my wealth preservation phase.
The next thing I think a lot about is diversification. Right now, I’m heavily invested in the paper asset class and am working towards adding investments in the real estate and business asset classes.
All of this is laid out in my IPS and now I feel accountable to my own strategy. Maybe no one will read it, but I know it’s out there for all to read and for some reason, that keeps me accountable.
So there you have it! In my altruism, I’m gaining accountability towards my goals so I think it’s a win/win for all involved.
Let’s get this conversation started. What are your investment strategies? Where do you need help in being accountable? Would you find a forum where you can be totally honest helpful?