My Talk at Google, Playing with FIRE and other Chautauqua connections

Playing with FIRE

Scott Rieckens
Emmy® Award Nominated Filmmaker, Executive Producer of Playing With FIRE

Back in late February when I flew out to Portland, OR to film my small part in the upcoming documentary “Playing with FIRE” Producer Scott Rieckens picked me up and whisked me off to dinner. Joining us were his lovely wife and Co-Producer Taylor, Director Travis Shakespeare and JD Roth of Get Rich Slowly and his lovely girlfriend Kim.

Travis Shakespeare
Emmy® Award Winning Filmmaker, director of Playing With FIRE

Taylor Rieckens
Co-Producer of Playing With FIRE

JD & me


Deep into a fine meal and better conversation, looking around the table, it occurred to me that these people, my friends, my connection to this film, are all Chautauqua alums.

JD Roth was a speaker at the very first Chautauqua in 2013. Travis came as an attendee a couple of years later. Scott and Taylor were attendees in Ecuador just last year.

But the connections don’t stop there.

The Millennial Revolution
Power Couple

Kristy and Bryce are both part of this film and she was a Chautauqua speaker last year both in Ecuador and in the UK. She will be again for both weeks this year in Greece.

Millennial Revolution talks Playing with FIRE

Mr. 1500 Days

Mr. 1500 Days is also in the film. He was a Chautauqua attendee a couple of years back and will be a speaker this year in Greece.

My pal Paula

As is Paula Pant of Afford Anything. Chautauqua speaker in Ecuador.

Team ChooseFI

So too, Jonathan and Brad of ChooseFI. Co-Speakers in Greece this year.

ChooseFI interviews Scott on Playing with FIRE

Mad Fientist

No FI documentary would be complete without a Mad Fientist. Chautauqua Ecuador speaker 4 years running.

Mr. Money Mustache

And, of course, Mr. Money Mustache himself. In the film and a speaker at the very first Chautauqua, and back for four consecutive years after that.

The connections are so stunning, you’d be forgiven for suspecting I handled the film’s casting. Not so. Indeed I had no idea who else would be in it until shortly before my own filming, and there are several cast members who have not (yet?) been attendees or speakers at a Chautauqua.

My “Talk at Google”

People who attend Chautauqua rave mostly about the other great Chautauquans they get to meet and hang out with, and these meetings often lead to lasting friendships and unexpected opportunities. Me, too, as you can tell from the Playing with FIRE story above.

One of the keys to this dynamic is that we intentionally limit to number of attendees to ~25 and no more than 30 at the outside. My personal goal is to have at least one personal conversation with every single attendee.

Last year in Ecuador, on the last full day, fortunately for me, a woman named Rachel came up and said: “The week is almost over and we haven’t had a chance to talk. Can we sit together at dinner?”

We did and had a blast together. I often think of how close I came to missing the opportunity to know this remarkable woman.

Other than a great time over dinner and a lot of laughter, I had no expectations. But Rachel works for Google and a couple of months later she invited me to give a “Talk at Google”. Plus lunch and a tour followed by drinks at a local dive and dinner at a Chicago neighborhood joint? Sign me up! Jane and Jessica included too.

It was great fun, and the results are OK too I’m told. You be the judge:

…and a few others

All of us who have been, have had these experiences; indeed the fact that Alan and Katie** now run Chautauqua in Europe is a great example.

Alan & Katie

They came to Ecuador as attendees in 2016. They run the amazing and life changing PopUp Business School in the UK.

By the end of the week we were friends. As Alan was about to board the bus to the airport for the trip home, I pulled him aside.

“I want to put a bug in your ear,” I said. “You don’t have to answer now. Think about it a week or two and then let me know. What would you and Katie think about pulling together a Chautauqua UK?”

Without pause, he said “We’re going to do it!” Without another word, he turned around and got on the bus

That was in October 2016. August 2017 =


Lysh and Kevin joined us in 2016 and went on the write The Ballad of Chautauqua which they preformed live for me during a visit to their HorseShoe Lounge in southern Ohio:

 Lysh also has a side hustle, RusticLudlow, crafting burned wood plaques. She gifted me with the one below that is a line from the ballad. It now sits under that window by the front door to greet all who visit Kibanda.

Ever since I saw John Goodman do his F-You Money speech in the movie The Gambler, I wanted to do a version of my own. Problem was, I didn’t know any film makers who could make it happen. Not until Joan and Brian showed up at Chautauqua ’15…

 (not work or kid friendly)

Directed, filmed and edited by:

Joan @ Meister’s Balogna

Brian @ Inner Parakeet


Of course, the connections extend beyond those met at Chautauqua to those they know.

During a visit, my pal Mr. 1500 gave me a copy of Scott Trench’s fine book:

Turns out his wife, Mindy, and Scott both work for Bigger Pockets and one of the things they do there is to host the Bigger Pockets Podcast. Those connections led to the…

Bigger Pockets Podcast: JL Collins edition

…and Mindy will be joining us for Chautauqua Greece.


When I was first crafting the concept of Chautauqua my goals were simple: Travel to an exotic place, hang out with interesting people, talk about cool stuff. Alan has since added, and eat too much great food.

I never dreamed it would bring into my life so many lasting friendships and opportunities.

My intention with this post has been to share with you some of those. I hope you enjoy them. But if this post has also inspired you to add Chautauqua to your plans, for this year at least, I apologize.

Both weeks for Greece sold out have long been sold out. However, please feel free to put yourself on the:

Millennial RevolutionChautauqua: Come Join the Family   (This is a brilliant post with all the details!)

1500 Days to FreedomMeet some awesome people… (Another brilliant post, this one with dinosaurs!)

ChooseFI — Oh, the Places we will go   Chautauqua in the words of the speakers who will be in Greece. There is nothing quite like hearing the voices behind the words.

Also, be sure to listen to this incredible episode with Travis Shakespeare.  Travis is a master story teller and, among other things, he shares three:

  • How the FI movement fits into the cultural fabric of America and its traditions of rugged individuals charting their own course.
  • The coming Playing with FIRE documentary
  • How he decided to come to Chautauqua and what it has meant to him. One of the best insights I’ve heard or read yet.

Mad FientistMoney Talks panel discussion at Chautauqua UK  Attendees discussing FI and also a great inside look at the Chautauqua experience.

JL CollinsGreece 2018 Mount Olympus 


**Alan recently introduced me to my new favorite expression:

Throwing my toys out of my pram

The moment I heard it, I knew instantly what it meant. It is just so damn descriptive. As in…


Every now and again I get a comment on an old post. It is always nice to see those getting some attention and it is fun, for me anyway, to re-read them. Maybe you too. Here’s one:

Case Study #10: Should Josiah buy his parents a house?


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Important Resources

  • Talent Stacker is a resource that I learned about through my work with Jonathan and Brad at ChooseFI, and first heard about Salesforce as a career option in an episode where they featured Bradley Rice on the Podcast. In that episode, Bradley shared how he reached FI quickly thanks to his huge paychecks and discipline in keeping his expenses low. Jonathan teamed up with Bradley to build Talent Stacker, and they have helped more than 1,000 students from all walks of life complete the program and land jobs like clockwork, earning double or even triple their old salaries using a Salesforce certification to break into a no-code tech career.
  • Credit Cards are like chain saws. Incredibly useful. Incredibly dangerous. Resolve to pay in full each month and never carry a balance. Do that and they can be great tools. Here are some of the very best for travel hacking, cash back and small business rewards.
  • Empower is a free tool to manage and evaluate your investments. With great visuals you can track your net worth, asset allocation, and portfolio performance, including costs. At a glance you'll see what's working and what you might want to change. Here's my full review.
  • Betterment is my recommendation for hands-off investors who prefer a DIFM (Do It For Me) approach. It is also a great tool for reaching short-term savings goals. Here is my Betterment Review
  • NewRetirement offers cool tools to help guide you in answering the question: Do I have enough money to retire? And getting started is free. Sign up and you will be offered two paths into their retirement planner. I was also on their podcast and you can check that out here:Video version, Podcast version.
  • Tuft & Needle (T&N) helps me sleep at night. They are a very cool company with a great product. Here’s my review of what we are currently sleeping on: Our Walnut Frame and Mint Mattress.


  1. wendy says

    Nice post Jim – good to see the ripple effects of Chautauqua continuing to spread through the space time continuum… hopefully the Googlers got a lot out of that talk and are banking some of those high incomes.

    I greatly enjoyed last October’s Chautauqua and have met up with some of the folks since then – it’s been great to have those friendships. It’s kept me focused on working towards FI, consolidated my messy finances (thanks Jim), prompted a weight lifting regimen (thanks Pete), goaded me into training to run a 5k (thanks WoWs), introduced me to Mr. Dinosaur 1500 Days himself and JD as well, and resulted in the consumption of many fine beers… all in all, a fine result!
    No a bad ‘payback’ on a vacation in Ecuador!

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thanks Wendy!

      Great to hear from you and your brief recap of your Chautauqua experience. Glad it “paid!”

      Rachel & Josh were concerned about how the turnout would be for my talk. They kept saying they only expected maybe 20 people in the auditorium, but that it would be broadcasted to all the Google offices around the world and recorded for future listening.

      Turns out, the auditorium was full and at last count, it has had 115K views making it the 2nd highest Talk YTD.

      Guess for all the benefits Google provides, the people who work there still want to be FI 🙂

  2. Accidental FIRE says

    I can’t wait for that documentary Jim (hopefully you clean up your language 😉 and also for the location of the next Chautauqua. It’s definitely high up on my bucket list!

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Me, too AF!

      And don’t worry. My Playing with FIRE language is more Talk at Google than FU$$ 😉

      Not sure yet where Chautauqua 2019 will be, but Portugal is the leading contender just now. 🙂

  3. Cubert says

    Always wonderful to read the latest from you, JL. I have a soft spot for the original “Reservoir Dogs” of the early retirement movement. Especially that modern day lumberjack from Longmont (and yeah, you too, Carl!)

    It’s interesting how much people can bond over money and the collectively shared values of the FI community. More and more, there is a cult-like following emerging. Maybe this isn’t a surprise, considering how easily the super-wealthy have co-mingled since the dawn of time.

    At any rate, I look forward to joining my first Chautauqua, Camp Mustache, and maybe even FinCon some day. Just got to get across the finish line next year. And then, my next challenge is to find the time beyond commitments to family and friends who were there long before the big mustachian makeover. Retirement can’t come soon enough!

    • jlcollinsnh says

      You are very kind, Cubert…

      …and congratulation on your progress!

      “original Reservoir Dogs”

      I rather like that 🙂

      Mr. Money Mustache and I started within a month of each other in the Spring of 2011. He’s just been far more successful than I.

      Jacob of ERE was already around and was in fact the first blog other than my own I read. He lead me to MMM.

      JD Roth had, of course, been writing Get Rich Slowly for years and in fact sold it just as I was starting. As you may know, he just bought it back again last fall.

      I came across the Mad Fientist and Go Curry Cracker both in early 2012 and pretty close I believe to when they launched.

      I’m sure I’ve missed someone, but off the top of my head those would be my dogs! 🙂

  4. Paul says

    I’ll be the first to officially judge your “Talk at Google” video by saying fantastic! Thanks for doing it. It has actually become my go to resource that I share with people after being asked a question about investing. It’s nice having a video like that to share instead of an article or book. Don’t get me wrong, articles and books are great, but videos are a little easier deal with for those individuals who just aren’t as interested in personal finances and investing. As shocking as that always is to me, I have learned from talking to others about FI, and investing, that a lot of people still don’t want to think about it 24/7 and just want some help. Your “Talk at Google” video has provided that “help” and has even spurred some to dig a little deeper. Thanks!

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thanks Paul!

      Glad you like it. If you check out the You Tube comments you’ll see not every one does. 😉

      I agree, it is nice to have this video. People absorb information differently. With this video, the blog and the print, audio and kindle versions of my book I am slowly getting the bases covered.

      Thanks for passing it on!

  5. Ashley says

    I’m looking forward to the documentary! And someday attending a Chatauqua event. Thanks for helping get my husband and me on the path that we are following. No normal life of 8-5ing for us.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Ashley…

      Having seen them in action, and based on their previous work, this documentary is in very capable hands. I think it is gonna be awesome and I also can’t wait to see it!

      Great to hear you are on the path and, when the time comes, look forward to seeing you at a Chautauqua!

  6. arnott says

    I am new to investing, though I am 41. After waking up from my slumber I have been reading your blog and the links you have posted. Also reading John Bogle. Your blog has been very informative.

    Trying to invest the money sleeping in my bank. I put some in VTSAX in brokerage with Vanguard, should I change it to VTI for tax benefits ? Or they are both the same ?

  7. Travis says

    Jim I don’t think it’s any coincidence at all that all these Chautauqua alums have connected to do good work & spread the good word! My week in Ecuador was life-changing on so many levels and a huge part of why I wanted to make a film about FIRE and all it’s incredible adherents. In fact–I’ve told this story often–the primary reason I decided to go to Ecuador was because there was a “day of community service” on the calendar. That made me realize that this movement was up so something much bigger than “just getting rich and drinking pina coladas” (although I’ve seen some of us do that on occasion too!). I will be forever grateful that you made Ecuador possible and I hope the service I’m giving back in the form of a movie will, like you, will inspire many others to consider the possibilities. Thank you good sir!!

    • jlcollinsnh says

      You are too kind, my friend…

      …and I (and the FI community) will be forever grateful you and Scott got together to create this documentary.

      “doing good, getting rich and drinking pina coladas”

      Sounds like an anthem! Or the start of a Jimmy Buffet song. 🙂

      Maybe we can get Lish and Kevin, of “The Ballad of Chautauqua” fame, to write and record it.

  8. Marla says

    Hi Jim – Just a note to say hi and thanks for all you do! The first Chautauqua was a life changer for me, leading to lasting friendships and many, many formal and informal real life meet-ups. This life of FI is remarkable and I wouldn’t be living it without you! And, thanks for listening to (and commenting on) my ramblings with Brandon! Hope to see you again soon!

    • jlcollinsnh says


      It was such a treat listening to you and Brandon on his podcast. Nice to see a non-blogger with a great story get the air time. Here it is for other readers interested:

      Thanks for the very kind words. I’m so glad Chautauqua was part of your journey.

      Looking forward to our paths crossing!

  9. Randy says

    I am a 68-year-old retired hospital and academic medicine development executive; have purchased your books; and enjoy your postings. I retired financially secure four years ago. As read articles about the FIRE generation, I am encouraged by their commitment to frugality and savings. However, at times I sense there is a subtle theme that appears in their writings that “they” have figured out the secret to a better life through financial independence and early retirement; and that those who haven’t are destined for debt filled lives of work mediocrity. Really? Financial independence can be achieved by anyone that has determination and discipline – even if they choose a meaningful life career. Choosing to work to a traditional retirement age can be extremely rewarding while achieving financial independence at the same time. In my career I am thankful for the life-careers of physicians, surgeons, and medical researchers whose life careers advanced medicine; I am thankful for the emergency room nurses and docs that save lives daily; I am thankful for those business leaders and entrepreneurs whose life work built companies that provide jobs and advance economic growth. I built my life work at bringing high net worth individuals and medicine together to fund critical medical research, provide scholarships to medical students, to build new cancer treatment facilities and other needed diagnostic and treatment modalities, and in my final position build a new $500 million medical center in a community with an exceedingly high level of poverty and medically underserved. I loved my career and retired financially secure. So what will the FIRE generation do in their early retirements? Travel? Build more wealth? Blog? I hope to read from them that their achievement of FIRE leads them to consider and promote their freedom to be involved in volunteer service and philanthropy or something that works toward improving quality of life for others. Leave this world a better place for the next generation. I fear that for some FIRE generation, their obsession with wealth building and early retirement may be a bit insular. Again, I commend the FI part of the FIRE movement; which is a means to an end. But what is the end? What is the RE component of FIRE? To have enough money to do nothing and grow more wealth at age 35 or 40? Use the FIRE concept to make your life have some sense of greater purpose. I would like to see everyone learn and achieve FI but if everyone also chose the RE component our society obviously would fail to advance. If you are a young person who is able to achieve FIRE, I commend you; but use that independence to make your life count for something beyond yourself. Just the rambling thoughts an old Vietnam vet who used the GI bill to get educated and as a result have a rewarding career and achieve financial independence at yes same time. Peace.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Randy…

      Thanks for checking in. Nice to see another geezer around here, I turn 68 myself later this year. 😉

      Like you, and as I describe elsewhere on this blog, I enjoyed my career and continued in it long after I reached FI. Many do. Reaching FI doesn’t mean you have to stop working. It just means you have options.

      Since starting this blog in 2011, I have met lots of young whippersnappers in their 50s, 40s, 30s and even 20s who have reached FI and quit their jobs. But I have yet to meet one who hasn’t gone on to new, creative, productive, useful and often profitable things.

      If you have the drive, grit, ambition, discipline and intelligence it takes to reach FI, it is unlikely you are going to shut down and vegetate just because you can.

      Indeed, the freedom FI provides allows for even greater opportunities to make their lives, the lives of those around them and the world better.

      Having had the chance to meet and become friends with so many, and speaking just for myself, I rest easy knowing the world is passing into better and caring hands. 🙂

      • Randy says

        JL – Thanks for your comment and reassuring thoughts regarding the younger members of the FIRE movement. You certainly would be in a position to know. I am impressed with their drive and determination. The feelings you are left with regarding this group are the same feelings I had in encountering young medical students preparing to become the next generation of physicians, surgeons, and medical researchers. Keep writing! Love your books and your columns.

        • jlcollinsnh says

          “…in encountering young medical students preparing to become the next generation of physicians, surgeons, and medical researchers.”

          I hadn’t thought of that connection, but it makes sense. 🙂

          Thanks for your very kind words!

  10. Roberto says

    great talk, despite being well aware of your ideas, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. Listening to you talk about advisors I was reminded of a sentence out of Warren Buffett letter to shareholders from this year: “Performance comes, performance goes. Fees never falter” :-). If you have time to spare, I have a question: I obviously privilege VTSAX but I did a bit of my own stock picking with BRK (unfortunately I have to stick to B, but that’s just for now, I am only 60). They are involved in so many businesses that they feel a bit like an index. Am I grossly mistaken? The only risk I see is a temporary drop if Buffett and Munger were to move to another existential plane, but then again they know things we don’t and they might outlive us all…

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thanks Roberto!

      I don’t follow BRK, but I know it has soundly outperformed the index for decades. This is an incredible performance, all the more so in that the chances of outperforming the index over decades is less than 1%.

      Clearly, Buffett and Munger have the magic and anyone smart or lucky enough to have invested with them over the years has been very richly rewarded.

      But, because this outperformance is so incredibly rare, I doubt it will continue after they are gone. I wouldn’t expect a dramatic drop as presumably the new manager(s) won’t make any sudden changes. But over time they will have to and they, regardless of how well chosen and talented they are sure to be, are very unlikely to keep this ball on top.

      My guess would be a slow slide to mediocrity. We saw this play out when Peter Lynch left the Magellan Fund and when Michael Price sold his Mutual Shares Funds to Franklin Templeton.

      I thank my lucky stars on that last one that I didn’t listen when they kept insisting that Michael’s departure wouldn’t matter as it was the team he’d built that deserved the credit and they’s still be in place.

      But my guess is also that most shareholders of BRK will continue to hold it, especially in taxable accounts. I gotta believe there are tens of thousands of accounts out there sitting on enormous pending capital gains taxes.

      Hey, maybe this is the solution to our national debt! 🙂

      • Roberto says

        I wish I had a huge tax problem 🙂 but thanks for the opinion and the info on Magellan/Mutual Shares, I will keep it in mind when the day comes

  11. FIRECracker says

    Yeah, we look real “powerful” in that picture 😛

    All those Chautauqua connections to the film just proves that everything Chautauqua (and the Godfather of FI) touches, turns into gold! No wonder I can’t stop shouting about the magic that is Chautauqua from the rooftops.

    Why isn’t it October yet?

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Maybe, but a click on your names takes the reader to an even better picture. 😉

      Yeah, we have this pesky summer to get thru. 🙂

  12. Vicki@MakeSmarterDecisions says

    Reading about the Chautauqua coming up makes us sad we didn’t pull the trigger! Alan and Katie were staying with us in Florida when there were only a few tickets left. But we are in the middle of selling an apartment complex and aging parents need our help right now. We’ll get there some year though! We had the pleasure of meeting Alan at PopUp in Longmont and we met Katie at FinCon. We also met Carl & Mindy (and of course Pete – in Longmont) and Paula, JD, and Brandon at FinCon too. The connections we’ve made since getting involved (and not just reading blogs) have been life changing. If any readers are thinking about it, get out and meet some of these great folks. We are so glad we did! (And Jim, you’re one of the few we’ve missed so far!)

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Vicki…

      Sorry you are not coming this year, but look forward to the time you do.

      And I agree with your advice to those who are interested, get out and meet those people who interest you. From my Manifesto:

      “Keep a mental list of people you’d like to have a cup of coffee with. Invite them.”

      Looking forward to whenever and wherever our paths cross 🙂

  13. Joe says

    Hi Jim,
    So glad to hear you are doing so well. Miss seeing you in NH. Discovering the concepts of FIRE years ago confirmed my beliefs in money and life. Too bad many don’t believe it.
    Peg is retiring in 3 weeks, I’m hanging in a bit longer. Many possibilities when you allow yourself freedom.
    Best wishes!

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hey Joe…

      Great to hear from you! Times are I miss NH!

      It has been an eventful few months for sure. Remind me to tell you about my quicksand experience yesterday. (Mmm, there might be a post in that one :))

      You are right. Many, probably most, will never believe the power of FI. But, as I’ve said here before: I just write about what I want my daughter to know about money; what’s worked for me and what’s kicked me in the ass. 😉

      Please give Peg our love and congratulations!

      As for you, well I guess you need someplace to go so you’ve an excuse to drive that sports car. 🙂

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thanks Jack!

      I look forward to see you at one, but you’ll probably have to sleep on a bed. 😉

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thank you, Mr. Tako… are very kind. 🙂

      It has indeed been quite a journey since 2011, and by far the brightest part has been the stars I’ve met along the way and am now privileged to have as friends.

  14. Kevin says

    What a great lineup of cool, informative, down to earth people! I am proud to call a few of them my friends. It has been interesting to see who keeps in touch, and what everyone is doing after their Chautauqua experience. This summer, Lysh and I will be seeing 3 different attendees from our time in Ecuador. There is definitely a lot of ‘GOOD’ that comes out of these events. The connections made, ideas spurred, friendships solidified, conversations had, businesses started, etc. is mind-boggling. You have had quite a ‘butterfly effect’ on the world by conceiving the Chautauqua’s. To many more years….

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Yeah, yeah, yeah.

      But the real question is are you going to take up the new song challenge in the comment exchange with Travis above??? 🙂

      • Kevin says

        As you know….song is completed. Working on the recording process. I did finally hear back from the recording studio and am setting up a meeting soon. Sorry for the delay, but my technological skills are about on par with a dog trying to learn a card trick. I have to lean on the professionals.

      • jlcollinsnh says

        That is very cool, Kevin…

        …I look forward to hearing it! 🙂

        I can absolutely understand the need to rely on professionals. My book would not exist but for the efforts of my editor, cover designer, interior designer, illustrator and proofreaders. 😉

  15. Noonan says

    Congratulations on making such a clear and persuasive presentation at GoogleTalks! And BTW, I can’t help but notice the youtube video has received more than 119,000 views . 🙂

    Keep spreading the good word!

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thank you, Mr. Moose!

      The folks at Google tell me it is the second most popular “talk” YTD.

      And, yes, there have been more than two. 🙂

  16. Frank says

    Hi Jim,

    I really enjoyed your video interview with google. Very insightful. I have two quick questions. I know you would prefer vanguard but would you say Charles Schwab’s total stock market index would be just as good as Vangauds total stock market index? Or an exceptable investment since I’m with Schwab? Also if your brokerage account is over 500k would you want two separate brokerage accounts with different companys?

    Thanks Jim. I’m looking forward to the documentary.

  17. Kristen says

    I know the article is mostly about Chautauqua, but thanks for including the link to the article about buying parents a house. Just this weekend, we started thinking about putting an addition on the house for my MIL, but then we started questioning both the math and the emotional side of things. I read the case study, and it was extremely helpful. Thanks for including the more emotional side of that coin as well as the financial.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      No problem, Kristen…

      …Glad you enjoyed the “bonus” link to that older post at the end. Adding it was a bit of an experiment. Good to know it worked for at least one person! 🙂

  18. Steven in Chi says

    With the recent addition to my family and my historic lack of love of Greek food, I had to miss this year. However, I’ll be there next year regardless of where ya’ll have it! 🙂 Looking forward to it.

  19. Daniel says

    Mr. Collins – I have thoroughly enjoyed your blog and stock series, and looking forward to the new documentary. Your wisdom has changed my financial life…I’m now 100% VTSAX :), and just wanted to thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience over the decades with all of us!! Looking forward to more of your posts in the future!

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thank you, Daniel…

      I very much appreciate the kind words and that you took time to share them! 🙂

  20. Melissa "Yi" Yuan-Innes says

    Hi JL,
    This may be my first comment, even though I’ve ‘known’ you for years through MMM’s highlighting of your stock series.

    What an *amazing* FU video at the end! Content, delivery, lighting, filming, the actor who was reacting to you…the whole package! I can’t believe no one has raved about it here yet. You all did a phenomenal job. Kudos.

    Impressive Playing with FIRE cast, too. 🙂 One day I may make it to Chautauqua. I’m a massive Millennial Rev fan.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thank you Melissa…

      ..for checking in and for your very kind words. Much appreciated!

      Brian and Joan, who shot and edited that FU$$ video, deserve the credit for making me look good. 🙂

      I’m also a massive Millennial Rev fan and they are every bit as helpful and fun in person as you would expect reading their blog.

      Hope to see you at a future Chautauqua. Be sure to get your name on the mailing list!

  21. Alfie Mannino says

    Hi Jim,

    I’ve been reading your book and blog for a few years now and I would like to thank you for delivering such concise, understandable and often times amusing information to the masses. Your expertise and knowledge is a real gift to humanity. I do have a question and I’m hoping you might find the time to answer it or point me to an existing article. I feel like Dorothy in front of the hologram of the Wizard of Oz right about now. If you please…

    I’m considering a new job. With my current employer, I have a 403b with Vanguard invested completely in VTSAX. If I take the new job, should I roll over my old 403b to my new employer’s account (they also offer Vanguard!) or just let it ride and start the new one? If I roll it over, am I then purchasing the index fund at the current price, reducing my number of shares and then my future gains? Or, would it be better to roll it into an IRA? I would greatly appreciate your thoughts.

    I can bring you the broomstick if necessary.


    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Alfie…

      “…a real gift to humanity.” You made my day! 🙂

      As I say in this post…

      ..ordinarily I suggest rolling a 403b into your IRA once you leave an employer. More control and usually better options.

      But in your case you might have the “institutional shares” version of VTSAX with an ultra low ER and that would be worth hanging on to:

      I wouldn’t roll it into the new employer’s program unless, again, they offer the “institutional shares” version.

      If you decided to roll it, either to an IRA or the new 403b, you don’t need to worry. You will be in exactly the same financial position as before.

      I’ll be waiting for the broomstick delivery.

      (Oddly, as it happens, I just watched the Wizard of OZ again a couple of weeks ago.) 🙂

      • Alfie says

        Thanks Jim! After some research, it seems the institutional shares are not available to me nor do I have anywhere near the 7 digit minimum to purchase them. And, since Vanguard recently began charging a $5 monthly fee for their 403b plans (a major upset for me), I’ll definitely roll into an IRA.

        I’m honored you took the time to reply! I can’t deliver the broomstick, but perhaps you can ask the previous commentator for hers! Yikes!

      • jlcollinsnh says

        My pleasure, Alfie.

        The “institutional shares” versions are almost exclusively for 403b-type plans.

        BTW, if you don’t mind my saying so, you seem to be a perfectly lovely fellow. 😉

  22. Louisa says

    Is the only thing you can say about women is that they are “lovely”? Is there nothing else interesting? Spare me a dinner with you, please. I don’t want to be labeled “lovely.”

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Why, no, it is not.

      Just yesterday I referred to my pal Kristy as an “evil genius.”

      But when someone is engaging, kind, interesting, fun and enjoyable company they can be considered, in my opinion, to be lovely people. Both Kim and Taylor are all those things and more.

      So is Kristy, when she’s not doing her whole evil genius thing. 😉

      You needn’t worry. I will happily spare you a dinner with me, and I promise not to refer to you as “lovely.”

      But I sincerely hope you have people in your life who do.

      • Kim Edwards says

        Wow, some people live very unhappy existences….fault finders just seem to look for the negative. I’ll break bread with you any time 🙂

          • Louisa says

            “Lovely” is an empty adjective, usually used to describe women and their physical appearance. I am a regular reader of JH’s blog and a fan of his. I accept his statement that he meant it in a positive way, but I still think it’s a poor use of language and easily misconstrued. Call me negative all you want, but I will continue to speak up when I feel women are being stereotyped, even if the writer didn’t mean it that way. Thanks for helping me clarify my thinking.

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