ep.001 – 10% net worth in Versace jackets!

Happy FIday! And welcome to our very first podcast. | In this show, we document not just mine but our journey towards financial independence. To interact with the show, please visit happyfiday.com ? let?s learn together and step closer to that FIday feeling?

Well, that was a rather funky, uplifting and motivating intro, and in true FI style a big thank you goes out to the free YouTube Audio Library and artist Otis for providing the backing track – which I sliced and diced with my very own hands. So here we are, on what I believe is New Zealand?s first Financial Independence podcast, but happy to be corrected if I?m wrong. So where this goes nobody knows, well not quite as I do love to plan and in doing so another big thank you to those of you that responded to a bit of market research I carried out on the Kiwi Mustacians Facebook Group.

I wanted this show to be a real-time documentary of a real-life journey to financial independence. To make it interesting and relatable I wanted to banish to traditional taboos around talking about personal finances, so you are going to hear all about mine here ? so you really can put my journey into context. Now, for my first disclaimer, I am not a financial expert, and any information I provide is not intended as financial or investment advice. I have also not reached the goal of financial independence, if you only seek information from those that have reached there FI goal ? there are plenty of really good ones to seek out, like Mr Money Moustache, Choose FI and the Madfientist to name but a few.

So why listen to this podcast? I can sum this up in two words, collaborative learning. I am going to share many of the mistakes and wise choices that I have got me to the point where I am today and more importantly to the point where I know my family will be in a few years? time. You will get insight into my future financial decision making as and when it happens from the real big hitters like mortgages and investments to my philosophy on the small stuff. So you will also witness my future successes and failures, and whether my forecasts met the reality.
So where is the collaboration? Well, its 2019 and we have the technology to make things interactive, despite this being primarily a podcast it is also aligned with a YouTube channel, website and Facebook Group where your comments, questions and topic suggestions are encouraged, the good the bad and the ugly. Many of us will be on different parts of the FI journey ? oh and if you are not currently part of the FI community and wondering what FI actually means, it means Financial Independence and there are many weirder and more wonderful acronyms we will learn along the way. So as I was saying we will all be on different parts of the FI journey so this means we all have a different perspective, a different starting point and different goals ? this is what I am really looking forward to as this is how learning ignites, in the different point of view ? I am really hoping it is going to be a real eye-opener for all of us.

So who am I? and what are these mistakes I have made ? which I am sure you are eager to hear? Well, my name is Dale Jones and I am an FI?oholic ? as you can tell although this is most certainly a Kiwi broadcast, I am not originally from these parts, but the more northern valleys of my native Wales and if you are listening to this post World Cup 2019 ? commiserations to the All Blacks, and what an enormous feat from the country of only 2 million, so proud of you Wales ? yes I know, I may very well have egg on my face as you listen to this ? hopefully not aye. Rugby aside, I have been in New Zealand now for just over 7 years and made my way here in hindsight as a result of a prolonged love-hate relationship with money ? now I am not going to go into my complete financial management history in episode one, but I will provide a quick insight to illustrate what I am talking about. I was born into one of the most financially responsible families you could imagine, my Dad was even a Financial Advisor (one of the really good ones), and he did that for about 30 years. So I was always destined for financial management rebellion. The symptoms of this were clear during the first summer I earned my own money for the very first time, at 16 just about to start 6th form and I have 1,800 pounds sitting in the bank ready to be spent wisely? on designer clothes and underage nightclubbing. These two investment strategies aligned very and culminated one night with me going to the local village night club in my brand new velvet knee-length Versace jacket ? my Dad thought I looked like Bet Lynch from Coronation Street ? needless to say this was not the cool look I was going for and despite it being half price (about 175 pounds from memory) – not my best investment and had absolutely no pay off ? it certainly wasn?t a hit with the ladies I can tell you that right here, right now.

OK, so a lot had changed between now and when I was 16, and there were many twists and turns in-between. We will get to know each other better as time goes on, but in short, now I am 37, happily married to my Kiwi wife Aleisha, proud step-father to Stella and we own a home on the north shore of Auckland. Bought in December 2014 with a sizeable mortgage ? well to be precise the current outstanding balance is $612,043.04, we have $215,000 in savings (not invested, most of it sitting in a bonus saving account), by the end of the year we will pay our mortgage down to $380,000 and have bit left in savings ? reducing our monthly mortgage payment by over half. The CV of the house is currently $1.07 million. Ooooh, taboo-breaking ? and we only just met – are you feeling uncomfortable yet?

So there you go, as promised here are some cold hard factual numbers to whet your appetite, along with a brief story about one of my financial mistakes. Now, there is no direct link between these two, but that is not the point of this episode, and in later episodes, you will learn the philosophies and reasoning that led my family and me to make the choices that we are making today ? rightly or wrongly.

And I say that because I honestly believe there are no absolute right or wrongs when it comes to financial decision making (well apart from the obvious like 10% Net Worth invested in black velvet Versace jackets). Now I say this because financial decision making can?t just be about the cold hard maths, there is a psychological element, this is a big element ? we all get one life and how we choose to live this life is very important and very individual.
Finances are an enabler to great life decisions, but we need to work out what our life plan is before we can finance it. I am still learning this and looking forward to learning with you? till next time? Happy FIday!?

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