I’ve always had a vague interest in numbers and a desire to be “rich” but without necessarily knowing what exactly that would require. In my 20’s I worked hard and played hard (i.e. I worked a lot of long hours, setup a couple of my own companies, and spent any spare money “letting my hair down”).

In my 30’s I woke up a little and started saving, knowing that I needed to do something to retire with as my companies hadn’t made me the millions I had dreamed of. So starting a number of years ago I knew I needed to put money into a pension, so the company I joined, I signed up to their pension scheme, defaulting 10% of my income into it, plus whatever matches they made, and then also setup a £100 direct debit into a couple of funds into an ISA via an IFA (not my current one).

I kept ticking that along, building up a bit of a pot to see me in my old age. About 4 or 5 years ago I increased the amount that went into my ISA and started managing this myself to build up a helpful nest egg outside of my pension, and started tracking how I was doing.

Then about 18 months ago, I found the FIRE community online (to this day I have no idea how I came across it) and since then it has given me a real vigour to keep track of my finances and see where I can keep things sensible. I’ve never really budgeted in my life – I still don’t even now. I do however track all my spending to the last penny. Since tracking my spend, I have noticed a major shift as I start to think about my spending, and so my savings rate has increased, with a target net rate of 40% (my definition will follow). Whilst this doesn’t sound that high compared to most of the FIRE community out there, I do have a lot of other “fixed” costs that I need to take care of which is our choice for where and how we live – but I am happy with that, even if it adds on a few years to retiring, for my own personal reasons.

I should at this point be open – I do use a Financial Advisor / Wealth Manager / Shark / Bottom Dwelling &$%!  (delete as applicable). Doesn’t this go against the whole ethos of FIRE, do it yourself etc? Yes for most, but for me it works. I track his and my performance (including all fees), but so far its working well – he keeps me on the straight and narrow with a view across all assets, helps on the tax planning, manages multiple portfolios in a single wrapper, provides a buffer between myself and my other half when it comes to joint savings etc. so for now it is worth it but it is something I will continue to keep an eye on – the question will be what happens in a major downturn I guess!

11 thoughts on “About”

  1. Hi!

    Good to see you got the blog up and running. Didn’t know you’d started a few companies up – I’d like to hear more about that in future posts if possible?! If not maybe over a pint instead 😉




    1. Hi TFS,

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂 I will see what I can get through – I have a bunch of posts already lined up to build the back story first that need to get out before the end of the tax year, but I am sure I can come up with something at some point, but always happy to do it over a pint – one of the reasons I will never be as young as some for FI 😉



  2. Very interesting, I’m just starting up a FIRE sort of thing as well, also based in London. A key part is moving out of London as soon as possible to escape the unholy property prices! Best of luck

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi BYL,

      Thanks for stopping by!
      London housing costs are the biggest challenge in London – it really is a problem here, but so many people seem to then accept the long commute – my limit is about an hour!
      I look forward to following your journey – and don’t forget to join the FI London Facebook group!


  3. Ciao FIL,
    Just stumbled upon your blog, managed to read all the posts so far thanks to the bank holidays that we have here in Pizzaland (Italy), so you’re on my reading list from now on 🙂 I’ve had a hard time to find blogs from the UK that invest in dividend oriented/FI strategies, so I am happy I found you!

    Ciao ciao



    1. Hi Stal,

      Thanks for dropping by and spending the time to comment! Glad to hear that your bank holiday enabled you to catch up, and hopefully of some interest!

      There are a number of UK blogs, and more are appearing every month which is great showing the movement is gaining traction. Is there much uptake for FI over in Italy?



      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ciao FIL,
    Actually all the blogs that I find are either very old, and not updated, or do not really share considerations on the stocks that they trade/markets that the follow. Most of them do not even publish a PF, which makes it harder to understand the way people trade. Of course this is just perfectly normal, not everyone want to share 100% of what they do! I have checked out a few lists off your links but still no gold mine to be found, it seems so hard for me to find these resources on UK and Europe as a whole… (US and Canada on the contrary are very well covered!). Anyhow, going to your question, FI in Italy is not very popular, first of all a vast majority of people still rely on the classic Financial Advisor pattern. There are some bloggers out there, but not as many as in the US/Eu (ex Italy). Little by little more people are starting to take a look, evaluating “other models” of investment, but it’s still pretty young.
    Ciao ciao



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