Welcome to Reality

We dreamed for years about financial independence. While there were times we did enjoy working, we never did feel like we fit into corporate life. Partly, we did not like the lack of control, the games that were played and the repetition of movements and tasks. But mostly, the problem was that work interfered too much with the other things we wanted to do in life. Imagine that!

Preliminary Solutions
Therefrom, we attempted to reconcile the situation by experimenting with different work options: self-employment, part-time and contract work. None of these worked well. We also thought about whether we could earn enough money to live on by doing the things we really wanted to do. How naive! Like a lot of people out there, we felt trapped like a horse working on the field or a hamster running in the hamster wheel.

Investing as a Hobby
One of our hobbies back from school time was learning about how investments work. At first, there was just the allure of learning something new and of earning some money. But the financial investing field turned out to be quite interesting. However, we wondered if investing held something more: a chance to escape the traditional patterns. But by this time, we realized that most serious financial professionals never see it that way. Solid investing is viewed as a good way to ensure that at age 65 or 67 (in Germany) the retirement will go smoothly, but early retirement or even financial independence is generally considered unattainable.

Cyclicality in Media
After learning the basics about finance we realize that most of the investment advice that is repeated by the media is based on assumptions. Particularly averages about the population as a whole are assumed. We attentively read the endless stream of articles reminding us to live below your means, pay off credit card debt, save and invest. The articles explained to us to accumulate enough net worth in order to replace a large chunk of our preretirement income and to withdraw a small percentage of it each year for financial independence.

Mass Media
Only a small portion of such advice was wrong. Often, the advice was not that much wrong as it was oversimplified. Maybe this is how things are working with the mass media. Writers cannot mass customise the information for each individual and often do not explain the rationale and the assumptions behind the rules of thumb. This is really disillusioning, since this turned out to be the key success factor. If you are able to understand the assumptions in the generic formulas and rules, you are able to customize a down-to-earth financial plan that is working with your real specific situation.

No One-way Roads
If you stumbled to EternalYield and you are hoping to find the magic silver bullet for making your investments work, you have come to the wrong place. In fact, an overarching theme is that there is rarely a robust formula for anything in social life. In spite of all the magazines, newsletters or television shows, we all know there are no “3 easy steps” or “7 surefire things” for your investments. Some get sucked into reading these articles because they wish it were so, even though subconsciously or consciously they know it is not.

Welcome to Reality
The reality is complex. It rarely fits into formulas and rules, especially in the interpersonal and economical sphere. The achievement of anything difficult usually requires a lot of study, work and discipline. Nevertheless, difficult does not mean unattainable. Eventually through perseverance, a workable strategy for early financial independence took shape.

Approach at EternalYield
Note that our investment strategy is no “get rich quick” scheme. First of all, it is not quick. We are planning for decades. Secondly, we will not be rich by the standards of many people. Lastly, it is no “scheme” in the sense of a scam or a contrived trick. There is nothing novel about what we are doing and we have no dispute with the majority of the standard body of knowledge in finance. Rather, we use this knowledge in a practical manner by applying it to our specific situation in order to achieve specific goals.

Key Success Factors
The key to success is critical thinking. Ask preliminary questions. Challenge assumptions. Make sure to understand your world, yourself, and what your investments can and cannot do. Be certain your plan is based on the real world, your life situation, live perception – not on rules of thumb that capture a statistically good outcome for the average person in the world.

Added Value
We decided to set up this blog to organize our thoughts and offer it as a resource to others. But please understand that our plan cannot be your plan. Our life is not your life. Our goals are not your goals. Still, we hope that understanding the thoughts of how we put together our investment plan will perhaps enable you to gain insights into your own actual state of affairs.

Your Journey
We do not have all the answers. All the time we are learning new things and many times we do mistakes. But on the whole, things are working out pretty well so far. It is been a financial journey and we hope you will join us to see how the rest unfolds. Maybe along the way, you will begin your own journey as well.

2 Responses to Welcome to Reality

  1. Slava Hide says:

    Thank you for the well written and thoughtfull article! It is evident that you are very sceptical with regards to fast success. Even many of us didnt achieve it yet I strongly believe it is possible with the right mindset. Success formula: if you think as a rich you become rich )) The thing is, to change the way we think isnt easy which is why it usually isnt easy to get rich fast. However if we manage to change our thinking and start think as rich and succesfull people do we eventually become rich and succesfull as well.

    • EY-Team says:

      Hello Slava, thank you very much for your comment! I emphasize two points here.

      First, indeed, I think it is impossible to get consistently (for years) internal rate of returns (IRR) above 100%/a for public stocks. Not even Warren Buffett can do that. But, for small and medium amounts of money, sometimes individual investing and cost-saving events allow huge IRR, even above. For example, if you buy a camera for 300€ less using vouchers or hold shares of start-ups or derivatives.

      On the other side of that coin, income by work is possible. People do not get rich by investing, rather by working, get paid therefore, saving and investing. If you can save for years 20k€/a of your income or establish a successful start-up and have the right mindset, as you say, wealth will be accumulated. This process can be fast, very fast. This requires good health and a lot of traits like education, motivation or integrity. But, that can be a source of prosperity and fortune in life.

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