Go ahead, make my day…

Self portrait

Or maybe Clint Eastwood

Back in 2011 I received this email:

“Apreciado Jim:

Un real . You are over the top for a blog and I am blown away with all of the great stuff that you have on the site.

Are you getting funded properly? I want this to go viral.

You hit the heart of many people Jim. How can you take this Galactic?



Holy smokes, Dave!  Thanks for the exceedingly kind words, and the permission to use your message in this post.

I have been basking in the glow ever since.

Dave is a business pal of mine from a previous life.  He is a senior international executive with a major US based company.  He was born and raised in Colombia and he knows I’ve been trying to learn Spanish.  Hence his intro in the email.

He is a guy for whom I have great respect and coming from him such kind words carry much weight.  I didn’t even know he was reading this stuff.  That got me thinking.

One of the odd things about blogging is it’s like talking to yourself.  I get some nice feedback in the comments occasionally  but sometimes I wonder what, if any, readership it’s getting.  Wordpress allows me to see how many people visit and what articles they click on.   That number has been growing nicely.  Those who choose to comment are a tiny minority.  Of the others, I’m left to wonder if their reaction is like Dave’s or if they read a few lines and thought, “What a bozo!” before moving on.

Hopefully, more of you cast your vote with Dave.  If so you might be interested in some of the answers to his questions:

The good news is that, while the costs have grown with the blog, it is now making enough money from the ads you see here to cover them. But remember, as I say in on the Disclaimer page:

“…most of these (ads) are automatically generated. They do not necessarily reflect my opinion or carry my recommendation. If you want to know what I think about any particular company or product, please use the search function. If I have written about it, you’ll find my unvarnished opinion in one of the posts.”

Converting some of this material into a book is a work in progress. The blog is a nice discipline to keep writing in a way I never would otherwise.  Seems publishing a book has also gotten far easier, as this guy describes:


Finally, to Dave’s point, it would be great to see this blog it go viral!  If you are willing to help….

  • Anytime you see an entry that might appeal to your friends and associates, please send out an email with a link.
  • Encourage them to subscribe.  It’s free!  You, too, and all your family.
  • Please comment on the blog entries and click on the button that sends you emails when other comments are posted.
  • If you have a blog and think something here would be of interest to your readers, by all means please link to it.
Psst.  Pass it on.
So go ahead, make my day!


  1. Panos Regoukos says

    Well, this fisherman who make us admire his thought, is an egoistic and ego centered person, who is useful only to him shelf and totally usefulness for the other people . Because, the purpose of life is not sitting and fishing all the time but contributing to the society. It is different to become a fisherman AFTER doing business, thus giving to society, than being in the first place. At last, what do you propose? To sit and fish all day, without any interest in other people, without the obligation to contribute?

    • Rodent says

      Panos, you seem to have a European attitude. As a long time immigrant in the US from Europe I can tell you that I used to think the same way. What I think now is society should not compel anyone to do anything if it does no harm. If there is societal pressure to do “good” then the act of doing that “good” loses the heart part – it’s not genuine. A financially independent person has a lot of free time which can be put to very direct good.

      • Chrima says

        Europe consists of so many countries with so many diffrent cultures and views. To say that that view is european is just… weird to me as a Swede.

    • Paris Parsa says


      As a person who lived in three different continents and has many European families, I can also feel the European attitude in your comment.

      The thing is, I believe your judgment is very one sided. Not everyone has to follow the same system, you know!
      To me, Jim’s posts and life lessons are much better that all the useless history I have learnt in school. You can not tell that because that history teacher was called a “teacher”, she contributed more to society than Jim ( the writer of this blog) . Life is so diverse and so complicated that many so called “real” jobs are a lot more useless than a profound man that is passing his knowledge forward through this blog.
      This blog has been my guide through life and I deeply appreciate the time the writer invests in writing it. It certainly contributed to making mine and my family’s life better.
      Thank you Jim and I would gladly share your blog and wisdom with people I know and I think, nothing is wrong with monetizing you blog. After all, you spent tons of hours on creating it. you deserve it. Good luck .
      Dr. Paris Parsa.

  2. jlcollinsnh says

    Hello Panos, and welcome.

    while I appreciate your comment I’m not sure I entirely understand it. Unless perhaps you are referring to my last line in this post?:

    “As individuals we only have one obligation to society: To make sure we, and our children, are not a burden to others. The rest is our personal choice.”


    If that is the case, to answer your question, what I propose is that each individual has the right to live his life however he chooses regardless of what others think and that no one and no society has the right to compel him to do otherwise. Even if that choice is to sit and fish all day.

    Societies that choose to compel their people in a certain direction, no matter how noble it may seem, set upon an evil path.

    This is not to suggest that all people should or will choose to sit and fish all day. Humans tend to be more driven than that. But I would suggest that “contributing” is in itself not something we should set on a pedestal:

    “I want you to know that everything I did, I did for my country.”
    Pol Pot

    “I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.”
    Adolf Hitler

  3. vinoexpressions says

    Interesting stories…..enjoy hearing them. I’m currently faced with the prospect of purchasing fractional ownership of property from a friend – basically a month a year – but need to listen to the hard realities of what can happen before plunging in. Love your imagery and stories. Keep it going!

  4. Rodent says

    Great blog! I found you through MMM whom in turn I found via ERE. I especially enjoyed your series on investing and I’ve forwarded it to a couple friends.

  5. Jacque Small (@jacquebig) says

    Hi Jim,

    I like what you have to say and would love to help you go viral. My current focus in life is supporting people to let go of their emotional baggage so they can have better relationships and live into a magical life. Which you are evidently doing — living life on your terms.

    The biggest group of people that I communicate are those going through divorce.

    One of the big challenges of divorce and even retirement is being able to live life on less money. I would love to share your perspective with my readers to give them an idea of how to do it differently. I think it is part of changing our mindset (what you offer) and letting go of the fear of not having enough (what I offer).

    I have just wrtiten a book Divine Divorce (the hard way and it will be a very good book) and I am learning their is an easy way. In the future I will take the easy way. So I encourage you keep writing and take the easy way.


    • jlcollinsnh says

      Welcome Jacque….

      Thanks for stopping by. Good to hear you like what you are reading here. By all means, feel free to share it with your readers.

      I just got back from poking around your blog. Good stuff on an important subject. Money and post-divorce life are certainly closely linked. Thanks for including the link. Great site.

      Congratulations on the book! Cool beans!

      and I’m intrigued with your speaking. that’s something I’ve done in the past related mostly to sales and business topics. It is something I’ve been considering offering again tied to the blog topics. Is it a big part of your business?

      Hugs to you, too!


  6. David ATL says

    Hi Jim, I am yet another that has found you through MMM.

    Last week I started reading my way through your blog this past week. I appreciate the perspective of someone who discovered and executive this path about two decades before me.

    Sorry to nitpick but having returned from a business trip to Bogota yesterday, I could not hold off from making one request: unless your friend Dave is from the capital of South Carolina, please correct the spelling of this great country to “Colombia”. I’m sure Dave will appreciate it, as will anyone you meet in your trips to South America.

    Bien viaje!

  7. Michelle says

    I’m one of those that read but hardly comments. The only reason for this is that I know so little that I could hardly say anything that would be a worthwhile contribution, unlike so many of the folks that do comment. I learn so much from your posts, as well as many of the comments, and you are really making an impact on my life, financially as well as in other areas. Thank you for doing what you do!

  8. Niraj says

    I also stumbled over to your blog from MMM, which I discovered through ERE. Great writing. I am a fellow follower to the principle of Pay yourself First. I retired 2 years ago at a ripe age of 58 when work became too burocratic.

    Keep up the good work.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Welcome Niraj…

      and congrats! It’s nice to be able to step away when you decide the time has come.

      I’m always amazed at people who say they love their job and so needn’t have F-you money. Things changes and our needs and wants evolve.

      Thanks for reading.

      • stan says

        Hi Jim,

        I am new to your website, but very interested in your ideas. I have a very similar perspective and a similar investment strategy. One missing link is info on people who recently “retired” or declared FI in their 40s or 50s such as Niraj above. What is he doing now? How much are his monthly expenses? What is his source of income? What are the pros of taking the leap? What are the cons? (You get the picture.) It would be cool to have a section/tab on your website for these stories/updates. Just a suggestion. Keep up the great info!

        • jlcollinsnh says

          Welcome Stan…

          glad you enjoy it.

          Interesting idea! But as I mentioned in the most recent post I’m off to Ecuador and will be focused on the book when I return. But maybe someday.

          Meanwhile perhaps Niraj will check back in with an update.

    • stan says


      I noticed your post above about retiring at 58. Congrats! One piece of this FI puzzle that is missing for me is hearing from others who have achieved FI and are retired prior to 60 yes old. I am curious about what they do now (more than “whatever I want to”) and how much it is costing them to live, what they are doing for healthcare, and if they are enjoying their new found freedom. (See my post to Jim below.) Since there is not a forum for this info that I know of, I wanted to ask you to see if you will share some info on how you are managing and what you do day-to-day. thanks!

      • Mark A. says

        There is a free app in the Apple App Store called Early-Retirement Forum that links to a whole community of early retirees sharing their experiences. It’s fun reading to do (after JlCollinsnh!).

  9. Danielle says

    another reader that usually does not leave comments…Just to let you know that I enjoy your blog and it has helped me tremendously get on the path of financial independence. From “The importance of FU money’, to the letter to your daughter on Father’s Day–I love your down to earth explanations of all things financial and otherwise.
    I know there are many more people out there that share my situation–we click, but don’t leave messages. We read voraciously and follow your blog and the recommended links.
    Please keep it up, it is appreciated!

  10. Bill G. says

    Hi Jim,

    Been reading youf Blog for a while and find it quite enlightening. Interested in when you plan on posting your 2014 best guess opinions on the market, and economic thoughts on how the economy may do.

    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year wishes to you and to your family.
    Bill G.

  11. bikerMike says


    I recently discovered your blog and have spent the last few weeks catching up with your posts. I’d like to thank you for the motivation you provided us to renew our drive to be FI and the changes you inspired us to make:
    I’ve transfered my ROTH IRA accounts over to Vanguard – something that I’ve thought of in the past but didn’t motivate for a meager improvement of .2% ER.
    I’ve transfered my mothers IRA (I administer for her) saving .55% ER.
    I’ve kicked up our 401k contributions after learning about IRA conversion ladders and SEPP distributions. (Previously I thought that money was off limites until 59.5)
    And most importantly, we’ve taken a step back to evaluate if we were on track with our FI goals. We had been on “cruise” for awhile and although we’ve always lived below our means and saved/invested the extra, our expenses were starting to trend in a bad direction. Hopefully in 6 or 7 years we’ll be making the “difficult” decision of whether we want to continue working or start ticking down the list of adventures that I’ve been keeping in my head.

    At work I nag the new college hires to ensure they are starting 401k contributions within their first few paychecks, which is what someone did for me and I will forever be grateful. I’m excited that I can share your blog with them as well so that they can start their financial education at the same time.

    Happy Holidays,

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Welcome Mike…

      As I said to Bill above, sorry for the delay in responding. We just got back from Guatemala and a wonderful holiday there.

      Glad to hear you’ve found value here and it sounds like you are making some great moves!

      Good on ya for encouraging the youngsters. The power of compounding over time is nothing short of stunning. Starting early makes everything easier and more powerful.

      Thanks for sharing the blog.

      Have a great 2014!

  12. Diane says

    If I were still teaching (at-risk high school students) I would be using your blog in my classroom. Although I was an English teacher, it was clear to me that my (mostly poor) students needed financial education as much, or more than, they needed to read classic literature. In addition, it was easy to teach as they were interested in improving their socioeconomic status. I was talking one day to an administrator and I suggested that if the district decided to provide a financial education to students, that they focus on a teacher with excellent credit rather than just considering a math instructor. I know very few teachers with a sound understanding of personal finance.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thank you, Diane.

      I recently had a comment from a teacher in the UK telling me he is using this blog in his class. His comment, like yours, made my day.

      I agree, being financially educated in our modern world is critically important. As is literature. Fortunately we can have both!

  13. Katie says

    I stumbled across your blog after reading mrmoneymustache. I have really enjoyed your articles on investing. While I am still a year away from having the extra income to put into investments – I am preparing myself by doing as much research as I can ahead of time. I know I will refer back to your site when I actually go to pull the trigger. I just wanted to say thanks for everything that you share and “make your day” 🙂

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Why thank you, Katie…

      and good for you in laying the groundwork!

      Oh, and you can consider my day officially made! 🙂

  14. Teri says

    I just wanted to tell you Jim how much I appreciate everything you have done here.

    Your clear thinking has helped me, my extended family, friends and colleagues so much with many questions. You are seriously kind and brilliant!

    I rarely comment online (not so reticent in person heh heh) but I just had to say thank you so much.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thank you, Teri!

      I very much appreciate you taking the time to tell me. As it happens, your comment arrived at a very dark time and considerably brightened my day.

      Were you the one who passed this blog on to your extended family, friends and colleagues?

      • Teri says


        I have been sending links as conversations arise. Especially to younger ones since you explain things so clearly which will help them for a lifetime.

        I am sorry to hear about that darkness. My thoughts are with you.

  15. pail n says

    Hi Jim,
    I also just wanted to drop u a line saying how much I’ve enjoyed reading ur blog n stock series in particular. Only recently discovered MMM and from him, you. Keep up the good work.

  16. Mitch says


    I was Googling key words to decide whether I should roll over my previous 401 k to my new company. I ended up at your blog. It was a conversation about a FI lawyer asking you for advice. I loved your response and I have been hooked reading all day. Just thought you should know I don’t get side tracked very easily so you have some great stuff here. I’m 43, make about 130k per year, became debt free (other than mortgage) about 4 mo ago. I can’t even contain my excitement on how free I feel. I don’t think people understand, but you do. First post ever on the internet. Keep it up. I love to read this stuff.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Mitch…

      Glad you found your way here, and thanks for the very kind words.

      I don’t recall the conversation with the FI lawyer, but I’m delighted it got you hooked. 😉

  17. Jim Homan says


    I have followed your advice to the letter and I’m now retired. I went to a social security presentation last week and the financial adviser talked about Structured Cash Flow investments (http://structuredcashflows.com/). However, one website advises against them because some have not paid as agreed (http://vernonlitigation.com/structured-cash-flows-does-everyone-win-except-the-investor/).

    What is your opinion on these options? Thank you very much.

    Jim Homan
    Richland, WA

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Jim…

      Congratulations on your retirement.

      I’m not terribly familiar with structured cash flows, but from what I gather they prey upon 1st people who desperately need cash and who are induced to sell their pension or settlement payments for a lump sum of cash and 2nd those who buy them looking for higher interest rates.

      Your second link points out that these are often challenged and the buyer is faced with losing their investment and income stream.

      The sales people pushing them, as in the presentation you attended, are the only ones likely to benefit.

      Not for me. 😉

  18. Cynthia says


    Thank you for so generously and articulately sharing your insights. A little about me… My husband and I are approaching the end of our military careers. I go over 20 years in Feb and become retirement eligible and my husband crossed that threshold several months ago. We are undecided on the exact date(s) of our retirement, but are positioned to fund our current lifestyle with only our military pensions. We also have about $500k in TSP accounts and $250 in Roth IRAs (Vanguard). I have been pretty complacent with these investments because frankly they are not a part of our spend plan. Reading through your material, however, has left me wondering if we are too conservative. Currently, we are at 20% G Fund, 40% C Fund, 15 S, Fund and 24% I Fund. Based on what I’ve read so far I expect you’d recommend 100% C Fund. Not sure I can get my husband on board with that just yet. And a happy husband is worth more that the additional returns. I may work on it, though. Given our very generous, very secure pensions it seems to me that we can afford to be aggressive in our investments.

    Oh, we also have two rental properties. One is paid off and the other loses a small amount in terms of cash flow, but makes it up at tax time. We aren’t prepared to sell, though, since it’s a great location close to the Pentagon – and we may return.

    No question here, really, I just wanted to let you know that your work has really resonated with me and how much I appreciate your efforts. As I think more about how to train my 9 year old daughter in all things financial I expect to be spending more time with your posts about your daughter.

    Thanks, Jim, for putting such top notch and thought-provoking material out for all to see. You’ve made a real difference for me and I wanted you to know.

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