Where’s the FIRE?
A lot has been written lately about the “FIRE” movement, which stands for Financial Independence Retire Early. In simplest terms, adherents to this system live as cheaply as they can until they have saved enough money to retire early.
It’s an attractive concept, but most of the “real life” FIRE stories don’t hold up under scrutiny. That young lady who quit her day job at age 28 after accumulating more than $2 million in savings? She worked for an investment company in New York City, not exactly the type of job that pays minimum wage.
Another couple retired in their 30s so they could spend the rest of their days living in a remote area growing their own vegetables and listening to music. I’m not sure what appeals to me less — the idea of collecting dew from tarps covering their mobile home every morning for drinking water, or eating vegetables irrigated with recycled urine from that drinking water.
The fundamental tenets of the FIRE lifestyle are naively straightforward. If you want to retire early, all you have to do is follow this simple formula:
- make more money
- pay less income tax
- spend less
- save more
- earn a higher return on your money
Gee, why didn’t I think of that?
Wake Up and Smell the Coffee
Actually, I did think of that. A long time ago, as a matter of fact. I started out as a stockbroker in 1983 and have been advising investors ever since. Believe me, I know how badly most people would love to quit their jobs and never work again. Problem is, I don’t know many people who try to make less money or pay more taxes.
However, I do know lots of people who spend too much so they have less money to save. And with so much money going into index funds, it seems most people have given up entirely on the idea of beating the market. If you really want to retire early, that’s where you should be focusing most of your attention.
If you genuinely believe that forgoing a $3 cup of coffee every day will help you retire early, imagine what earning an extra couple of percentage points on your savings every year would do. Let’s say you have $50,000 in retirement savings. Earning an extra 2% would add $1,000 to your nest egg, about the same amount as never buying a daily cup of coffee again.
However, the next year you continue to earn an extra 2% on that higher amount, and so on. After a few years, no amount of coffee deprivation can offset your increased savings. Even then, you may be able to move up your retirement date by a few years depending how soon you get started.
The Answer: Game-Changing Returns
The mathematical reality of early retirement is this: If you want to accelerate your retirement in a meaningful way, for most people the only way to do it is to earn outsized returns on your money.
Due to the nature of my work, I have met people who bought stock in Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) and Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX) when nobody else even knew what they were.
Of course, those folks are few and far between. When Apple went public nearly 40 years ago, almost nobody knew what a PC was, much less envisioned how smartphones would change the world. But pretty much everyone knew who Apple was 10 years ago. Since then, it has returned nearly 1,500% to its shareholders.
As for Netflix? Try more than a 7,000% gain since 2009. At the same time, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) gained 385%. That means while index investors are patting themselves on the back for turning $10,000 into nearly $40,000 over the past decade, shareholders of Netflix are sitting on roughly $700,000 from the same initial investment as shown below.
That’s the kind of game-changing investment return that really will allow you to retire early without having to resort to draconian measures.
One analyst who knows how to spot game-changing investments is Genia Turanova, chief investment strategist of the trading service Fast-Track Millionaire.
Genia isn’t content with accepting 10% a year gains from blue chips. That’s no way to retire early. Instead, she looks for the emerging “disruptors” that are on the verge of changing the status quo… and crushing the stock market.
Genia has found an under-the-radar biotech that’s poised to hit the stratosphere. This Swiss-based company is using a proprietary gene-editing tool that could end a wide variety of diseases that have stubbornly resisted treatment.
The time to invest is now, before the rest of the Wall Street herd catches on. Click here for the details.