It's summer and our eBay sales have been slow. This comes every year and it's never fun for sales to hit a wall. But these days what we do is use this slow time for sourcing, experimenting, listing, and relaxing. People will always start buying again so we are loading out store up.
But let's talk about the future. We interviewed our friend, JL Collins, a couple months ago about investing for retirement. As self-employed business owners with no safety net, it's always in the back of of mind about what our future will be like when we're older.
He actually just published a book called The Simple Path To Wealth where he clearly lays out all his years of experience and wisdom into an easy to read 'investment instruction manual' with some fun stories thrown in. We got to read an advanced copy and highly recommend it.
Our blog is about how to own your time. To do this, you need money so we looked around and saw that scavenging was a fun way to earn a living. What Jim provides is the next step. What happens when you actually have more money than you spend each month?
I'll give you the spoiler to the book. Jim’s single best recommendation is to put your money in Vanguard’s VTSAX is a total stock market index fund. That’s really it. Start now and let your money make money and keep making money. But Jim’s book is really so much more. It’s all about how to think about money, our time, our short existence on this earth, and how much time we want to think about money.
I love what Jim says in his introduction: “Here’s an important truth: Complex investments exist only to profit those who create and sell them. Further, not only are they more costly to the investor, they are less effective.” This is the same approach we’ve had on Scavenger Life. Keep it simple. List it and Forget it. Wealth comes by taking things in tiny steps, day by day, and letting success build up over time.
It comes down to holding only a single Vanguard fund over your entire lifetime. This means betting on the entire US economy will be good over a long period of time. If you think the zombie apocalypse is coming, then definitely invest in guns, walls and food. But throughout the ups and down of this country, we are still a strong nation. And as Jim says, “The market always recovers. Always. And, if someday it really doesn’t, no investment will be safe and none of this financial stuff will matter anyway.”
Blogs about financial independence and smart retirement has been bubbling up in small online communities for about ten years now. But now it's becoming mainstream. Just watch this segment from John Oliver's "Last Week Tonight" where he does a great job illustrating the advice that Jim's book lays out (Thanks Brian for the tip!). You can skip directly to minute 18:00 for the quick advice on how to invest:
So please check out The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins if you're freaking out about the future and need something to read this weekend.