About

I like my job!

Without work I would be bored!

What would you do with yourself?

I hear these and many more whenever I mention that I want to build a life free from work. Most never even consider the possibility that they can build a life free from work.

Full time work and consumerism is so deeply ingrained into our culture that even a mention of escape from it is often met with confused looks and disbelief.

My name is Pat.

About
Me, Pat the Shuffler

I live in Sydney Australia. I currently work full time and this blog is about working not for the latest gadget, or my next fancy restaurant meal, but working to buy my freedom.

9 Replies to “About”

  1. Hey Pat,

    I love your open honest approach to this project/life long goal/ethos. If nothing else, people need to open their eyes to the hidden costs of their lifestyles.

    I was wondering if you could do a post about the resources you used to guide you on this journey; I see you’ve read Benjamin grahams The Intelligent Investor. what would you recommend ? Have you read Ramit’s ‘get rich slowly’ ? Are there any Australian specific resources that you like?

    Hamish

    1. The resources are light on for Aussies, but are still available.

      I am working my way through a few things at the moment, the barefoot investor seems to be very highly recommended (though I haven’t read any of it yet), I really want to read Rich dad, Poor Dad next, though I suspect it will just reconfirm everything I already believe. Check out this (https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Investing_in_Australia) as a starting resource on how to invest in Australia. and check out its American counterpart if interested.

      I lurk on the fIAustralia subreddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/fiaustralia/) which is great for asking questions and seeing what everyone else is doing, getting motivation and sanity checks)

      Otherwise I can very very highly recommend the American resource Mr Money Mustache for a total life makeover.

      I am more interested in spending and saving habits, that is where most people are terrible with money, I consider the investing portion to be the very simple part of building wealth for everyday Australians. In general I go by a few rules of thumb, which are stay well clear if any of the following are true of the supposed “investment”

      a: overly complicated,
      b: uses huge amounts of leverage
      c: Promises huge yearly returns (anything greater than 9% should ring alarm bells)
      d: Assumes that you can beat the system or are smarter than the degree qualified pros who have been doing this for decades.
      e: Includes exorbitant fees from professionals that promise you to give you great returns (for comparison a good index fund charges around 0.05%-0.25% pa any vehicles charging much more than this should be scrutinised carefully)

      I do boring, dead simple buy and hold index investing (as described in the bogle heads wiki). Which is exactly what the most successful pros recommend, and which the statistics over the last 3 decades show has been far and away the best strategy.

      Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoy it!

  2. A young Australian money mustache!

    MMM is great but it can be frustratingly american, (buying houses at 400k in the suburbs returning 12%…not a chance in Sydney!)

    Also I like how you are on the accumulation stage makes it easier for a lot people like myself to relate.

    Would like to see an article about the details of how you invest. Im using Vanguard which frustrating has much higher fees then the US or UK but is still one of the cheapest and easiest to use in Aus.

    Anyway keep up the good work.

    Tom

    1. Hey Tom

      I started this website partly because of the frustration of reading only American content. Don’t get me wrong, it is great and most of it is not region specific information but there is some stuff that is region specific. I really do love MMM’s work & ethos and source some inspiration from him. I love making this content as well. When you say Vanguard, do you mean direct through their website or buying ETF’s through a broker?

      Thanks for the feedback 🙂

      1. Direct through their website, it just saves having a broker account etc. The one I buy is this https://www.vanguardinvestments.com.au/retail/ret/investments/product.html#/fundDetail/retail/portId=8145/?overview

        In generally I’m against anyone who says you can beat the market or time the market (hence the passive investment), that said Australia is well overdue for a downturn (26 years since the last recession) , you’ve mentioned the overvalued property market, the mining sector is in a global decline and the other industries seem to be very Australian focused. That’s why I have decided to invest in a global share index unhedged. The other reason I invest in non-Australian specific stock is because I’m not sure if I will stay in Aus, move back to the Uk, or go to the US.

        The fees for this index starts at 90bps per year then go down to 35bps per year when you invest over $100,000. Vanguard is more expensive in Australia than the UK or US but they are always working hard to reduce their fee rate and as they grow you should always see your fee rates ticking down not up. (Tell your friends about Vanguard and we all pay less!)

        The other thing I like about Vanguard is how easy it is pay in to it. On my CBA app I have a bpay set up on for Vanguard International equity, I simply make a transfer or anything over $100 and 2 days later its in my account.

        A great 9 minute podcast about how great passive index funds are can be found here on the bbc: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p054414c

        Pat I know you are big on the disclaimers so I thought I would throw one in myself: I do not work for Vanguard or have any affiliation with them, I’m just a fan. Also the above finance strategy works for me but may not work for you. Do your research, vanguard have several great products, find one which suits your risk profile and life goals.

        Thanks,
        Tom

        1. When investing through their website you miss out on the really cheap ETFs. Vanguard codes on the the ASX are

          VTS: Total US stock market, 0.04% management fee
          VAS: ASX300, 0.14% management fee
          VGS: Global, 0.18% management fee

          You do have to pay brokerage per trade, but I feel like this is far cheaper in the long run than investing in their “managed products”. I am working on a deep analysis of the cost of each strategy over a lifetime, just trying to think of an elegant way to present all the variables. Wanting to move out of Aus eventually may pose some additional complications to each of these strategies though.

          I agree with you that Australia may face some strong headwinds in the next 10 years and hedging your bets is always a good strategy, I need more international exposure which I am working on. Though I also can’t get over the benefits of Franking credits. If you get a chance read my recent post on them This is Frankly Absurd

          1. Good luck with writing that article about ETF’s vs Managed funds. I look forward to reading it.

            I’ll take a look at that other article you mentioned in the mean time.

            A note on franking credits: as someone who works in an international bank in Sydney and have worked in Hedge funds in London. Don’t assume other international investors don’t make use of the franking credits too. As an Australian we don’t have a free ride which others don’t get. Despite the ATOs best efforts.

            Keep shuffling

            Tom

  3. Hey mate. I’m also from Sydney Australia and on my journey to building wealth. Im Enjoying reading your blog.
    Quick question have you thought about the kids question in your 10 year plan?
    How did you get to your original $200k?
    Finally it’s a bit of a personal question but it helps to understand the context of getting to that $1.2m goal, what’s your current salary?

    1. Hey Sasha

      I have thought about kids. I am encouraged by other efficiently run families that tell me they are living on under 40k per year even while paying rent! My solo figure of 40k is enough, however for additional luxuries (mostly travel) my gf and I will save more than this. I wrote about the cost of kids in What is your excuse for not retiring early?

      Enough people have asked that I am now working on a series of posts explaining my journey to this point, it will be a bit long winded but I feel the back story is important.

      I actually believe we should all share our incomes all the time. Keeping our incomes a secret only serves our employers and gives them all the power during salary negotiation. So important to maintaining their power they write it into employment contracts (that you must keep it a secret). For this reason I will be a bit vague, if I ever see you in person we can talk exact numbers.

      I am a high income earner, earning a low six figure salary + a car + what some would call an excessive amount of overtime (My industry does a lot of weekend construction). Counting the car and OT I am earning a middle six figure sum for the year.

      Note that this is a promotion/new job I got recently so the “investment plan” post, and even the “progress tracking” Page are not reflective of this new income.

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