Category Archives: Motivation

Blogger Recognition Award

I would like to start by thanking A Journey to FI for nominating me for the Blogger Recognition Award.  The Financial Journeyman is only six months old and this recognition is a big deal to me.  There are many personal finance blogs.  It is easy to get lost in the crowd.  It is an honor to be mentioned among some of the best bloggers in the personal finance space who were also nominated for this award.

The Blogger Recognition Award

The Blogger Recognition Award is an award for bloggers that is given by fellow bloggers.  It is like the (chain letters) from the past.  There are no superstitions, however, if you do not participate in the Blogger Recognition Award.  If you want to join in, nominate other blogs that you enjoy reading and pass it on.  The nice thing about this award is that it both shows recognition and helps other blogs to be discovered.  Fellow bloggers will also appreciate that you noticed their hard work.

Why I started blogging

I have always had the dream of being a personal finance writer.  I never thought that it was possible because I did not have a dual Journalism/Economics degree from an Ivy League University.  I am also not a financial advisor, so I did not feel like I had the industry credibility.

Reaching financial independence has been my goal since my first year of full-time employment.  I started studying about building wealth and investing in 1997.  That was also when I started saving and investing as much as possible while I was working on an assembly line in the day and attending college at night.

Over the years, some friends learned that I was passionate about investing.  Many of them asked for my help.  Some even asked if I would help their relatives.  Along the way, I have helped many people to create a financial plan and to set up their investment accounts.

My friend Tim suggested that I start a blog.  He is an IT guy and said that he would set up my WordPress account for me since I helped him with his investments.  I gave it a few weeks of thought and decided to take him up on the offer.  It just took off from there. There was not a well thought out strategic plan.  I just wrote down a few ideas and started working.

Advice for New Bloggers

Tip #1

Have fun with your blog.  Enjoying your blog is crucial because nobody will read it more than you do.   Be true to yourself.  Write what you are passionate about.  Read more than you write.  Spend as much time possible doing research on what you want to write about.  Don’t compare yourself to others.  There is an audience for every stage of the process.  People are searching for information from others who have experienced a similar situation. Provide them with the content that they are looking for.  Help them, entertain them, become a resource.  You never know, you might even make a friend or two along the way.

Tip #2

Get involved with the online communities that are related to your genre.  Prior to creating my blog, I have read forums and a few blogs.  I never commented or communicated with the authors.  The day that I launched my blog, I created a twitter account to go along with my blog.  I jumped right it.  I started commenting and sharing as much as possible.  It is much better to be part of a pack than to be on an island.  Most bloggers want to help other bloggers succeed.  Make use of what other bloggers can offer.  Before you know it, you will be helping people as well.

My Nominees (not in order)

Actuary on Fire

My Sons Father

Life Zemplified

Optimize Your Life

Route to Retire

Adventure Rich

Our Financial Path

Maximize Your Money


Wall Street Physician

Chronicles of a Father with Cents

Chief Mom Officer

My Strategic Dollar

Rules for paying it forward

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Write a post about being nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award.
  • Give a brief story of how/why you started blogging.
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers
  • Select between 10 -15 bloggers you want to give this award to.
  • Let the people know that you nominated them for this award and provide them with a link to your post.


How I learned about money

I learned about money from my Grandmother.  I was a precocious kid.  As an only child, I spent a great amount of time with adults.  The adults in my life had the tendency to try to have a dialog with me as if I too were an adult.  Friends from school would come over to my house to play quite often, but I remember spending a great amount of time with my Grandmother.

My Grandmother owned her own small business.  She was a seamstress.  She worked for a few different bridal shops.  She also worked for a men’s clothing store.  Most days, she would pick me up after school and take me to her shop.  She would watch me until my Mother would pick me up on her way home from work.

It did not take me long to catch on to the theory of commerce.  Her customers would drop off clothes to be altered.  She would make the alterations with her sewing machine.  The customers would pick up their clothes and pay her.  When I earned good grades, she would take me to KB Toys and buy me Star Wars action figures.  Even though I was only 5 or 6, I understood this process.

There were also times when I would ask her to buy me a toy and she would say that she could not afford it.  She would explain that business was slow and she did not earn much money that week.  She said that she only had money for food, gas for her car, and other needs.  She taught me at a young age that if you want money, you must work to earn it.

That was a complex theory to comprehend at such a young age.  I was only in first grade.  I do not have a psychology degree.   I can, however, see that my frugal ways and entrepreneurial spirit were shaped by her teaching me how the business worked.

The second lesson that she taught me was equally as profound.  She and I would sit together in her shop.  I would do my school work and she would be sewing.  I would spend about one hour per day with her.  We would have conversations.  She would ask what I learned at school that day?  She would tell me about her work and other stories.  She would talk about her life when she was growing up, her church, and money.

Money was her favorite topic.  She once told me that she invested in CDs that had paid out an interest rate of 13%.  She would double her money in 6 years.  She was so excited.  I am now referring to the early 1980’s when inflation and interest rates were sky high.  She explained that she would let the bank borrow $1000 from her and in 6 years they would give her $2000 back.  I found that fascinating.  Now, remember, I did not understand compound interest.  I was not introduced to multiplication yet.

This first blog post is a tribute to my Grandmother.  Looking back, she truly shaped my view of money.  If you want money, you must work for it.  Also, if you have money, you should invest it.

In case you might be interested, my Grandmother is still alive.  My parents take care of her now.  She is 94 and ran her business until she was in her 80s.  She had to finally give it up because her body was breaking down.  Sewing was her passion.  At the end of her career, she was just doing alternations for her neighbors.  I don’t think she even charged them.  She just liked them coming over to talk with her.

Occasionally, my Grandmother will call my wife and ask her to come over for a visit.  She wants to teach her how to use her sewing machine and pass on her legacy.  Maybe she will also share some investing tips with her too.  We have never consistently earned 13% returns on our portfolio.

How did you learn about money?