Aussie Firebug

Financial Independence Retire Early

Podcast – Glen James – My Millennial Money

Podcast – Glen James – My Millennial Money



Today I’m speaking to Glen James, a multiple award-winning financial advisor who is the creator and host of the very popular podcast, My Millennial Money.

Glen’s a self-proclaimed ‘spender’ but was able to develop a process and system to manage his own money at an early age that ultimately lead him to financial success. He then went into helping others achieve their financial goals starting and selling multiple businesses along the way. Glen highlights some really interesting points about the FIRE movement as well as the importance of giving back as you build your wealth. 

Some of the topics in today’s pod include:

  • Glen’s relationship with Money and the systems and processes he has built (00:04:44)
  • Super asset allocations (00:14:01)
  • Glen’s investing philosophy (00:15:40)
  • Why the FIRE movement needs to ditch the RE (00:21:32)
  • Being charitable whilst building wealth (00:32:25)
  • My Millennial Money Podcast (00:39:27)

Show Notes



Heads up grammar Nazis, the following transcription is half human half machine and not 100% perfect so expect a few typos and errors…


Aussie Firebug: Welcome to the Aussie Firebug podcast, the financial independence podcast for Australia. Hey guys. Welcome back to another episode of the Ozzie Firebag podcast. The financial independence podcast for Australians, where I interview clever people who’ve already reached or on their way to financial independence.

Today, I’m speaking to Glen James, a multi award-winning financial advisor. Who is the creator and host of the very popular podcast? My millennial money in today’s episode, we cover a whole bunch of things. We go over Glen’s relationship with money and the systems and processes that he has built. Glenn super asset allocation.

Glen’s investing philosophy, why the fire movement needs to ditch the Ari, the retire early part of the acronym. Very interesting conversation that line. And lastly, we go into a bit about how Glenn has actually been a ghost writer and has written lyrics for a chaat topping song, all that and more in the pod, but first a word from our sponsor.

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Hey guys. Welcome back to another episode of the  podcast. Today. I’m chatting to Glen James, a multi award-winning financial advisor, who is the creator and host of the very popular podcast. My millennial money. Welcome to the show. Hey

Glen: Matt. Thanks for having me. And it’s a great to be on the podcast. I’m a big fan of the Facebook group.

I love getting in there and being encouraged myself.

Aussie Firebug: Yeah. It’s a pleasure having you mate. And, uh, I do actually have, I have a question about the Facebook group coming up, but we’ll get into that a little bit later. Now slightly new. Why we start things off this year? Just a random icebreaker question for you.

So, Glenn, if you had to delete all but three apps from your smartphone, which ones would you, I

Glen: would keep internet movie database. Cause I love just like when I watch shows and movies, you know, seeing who’s in it and all that stuff, I would keep AFR because I use that a fair bit and probably Spotify.

Only because that will cover music and podcasts because I listen to podcasts through the Apple one. So if I had to only have three apps, they would be the three I would have, I guess. Interesting.

Aussie Firebug: Yeah. You’re not a Joe Rogan listener.

Glen: I am. That’s the only podcast I listened to on Spotify.

Aussie Firebug: I was going to say he’s exclusive now.

Isn’t it a lot on the social medias mate. You know what I mean? Well, I

Glen: am, but I’m currently having a break. From instar. And I don’t know when this episode is going up, but I did a February fast from Instagram and Facebook on my phone. And I only use Facebook at a computer now for my, my millennial money Facebook group.

Aussie Firebug: Do you know, on the exact same? I’m actually off my personal profile is off Facebook now deleted it. And I deleted my instant a while ago because I found I was just scrolling through like NBA plays, fades, and I was hardly even interacting with people I knew in real life. And I was like eight hours of like just celebrities and stuff and like sports people.

And I was like, this, isn’t how they show me. So I just got rid of it and I haven’t haven’t missed, well,

Glen: for me, it was like, you know, you wake up in the morning and the first thing you do pick up your phone and you’re scrolling and it’s like, I’m scrolling for half an hour on Instagram and Facebook. It’s like, I could have been exercising for that half an hour that I’m in bed.

So it’s been really good in terms of my personal productivity to ditch Instagram and Facebook, the apps from my

Aussie Firebug: phone. Yes. I agree. And I don’t know if you watched that documentary last year, so yeah, they mine all your data. It was like the. Uh,

Glen: yeah, I did watch it. I forget. Yeah. Yeah.

Aussie Firebug: It was like, it was Facebook and Google and everything.

And that all is that really, you know, all, I work in data professionally and I sorta know that they’re doing that stuff, but when it’s, when you have a documentary like that, well put together, it’s just at the front of your mind. And you’re like, yeah, I, I spend way too much time on it.

Glen: That was the same.

It’s yeah. If you’ve got an app on your phone, they’re not there to, um, particularly if it’s an, a free app, they’re not there to. Oh, they’re there to sell you ads and to get your data

Aussie Firebug: precisely. Now, before we chat about my millennial money and everything you’re doing in the podcast scene, which is very inspiring, I must say, as a fellow podcaster, I firstly want to chat a bit about yourself, mate, and your relationship with money.

Where did your passion for investing and personal finance come from? Was this something that you had as a kid or was it discovered later on in life?

Glen: Yeah, I think from an early teen, I was always interested in personal finance. And even like, I used to watch the show money on channel nine and Paul Clithrow was on there.

And before Kashi was on sunrise, he used to do stuff on channel seven and I was just always interested in personal finance. And I remember I went to a. I was like 14 or 15 years old. And I went to a community college lesson or day about investing in shares on a Saturday. And it was like all these retirees there.

And then there’s this like 14 year old kid. They’re just wanting to learn about shares and investing. So it’s just always been a passion of mine. And then as you grow older and you work out what you want to do for a career, I fell into financial advice and. Yeah. It’s just the amount of people that I would help in a real and tangible way.

That was just amazing for me to be doing what I love doing. And that’s just helping people and doing personal finance and yeah. So I don’t know if there’s a, um, a right answer to that, but it was just always an interest of mine.

Aussie Firebug: Yeah. Right. Were your parents investors, Glen?

Glen: No. No, no. I mean they, a working class family, not.

A trade or not a uni qualified and they purchased an investment property, but that was pretty much the extent of their investing other than superannuation. And I’m actually in the process of helping mum and dad with their money while we’re going to go to a financial advisor to hopefully get them to retire.

And it’s a real good case study about living on less than you earn for the longterm, not having consumer debt for the longterm. And just seeing how much your mass in a tax-free shelter being superannuation, they’re going to have a very, very comfortable retirement and they didn’t do anything sexy. Like they didn’t get on to gold when it was, you know, humming along or whatever, you know, our equivalent Bitcoin or anything crazy like that.

So, yeah, I just watching them not being in credit card debt, not having car loans. That’s certainly

Aussie Firebug: helped. Yeah. Just the fundamentals. Right. And everyone thinks that you do need that. That secret that the millionaires have that you don’t have, but actually given enough time. Yeah. You can accumulate a, um, a crazy amount of wealth.

It’s just sorta being smart about it. Isn’t it? Totally. Now I’ve read that you were a self-proclaimed spender. And it was something that you needed to address early in life. This is interesting because nearly all the guests that come on to this podcast have been saving an absurd amount of money their whole life.

But it’s definitely not the norm for the majority of Australians. Can you talk a bit about your personal struggle of being a spender early on in life and what are the most common mistakes that you have seen in this area with your experience as a financial planner?

Glen: Yeah. And I’ll, I’ll just say I’m actually now a retired financial advisor, so I need to say that loud and clear.

I’m not. Uh, I’m no longer on the register of financial advisors as an active advisor. Yeah. When I first left school, I got a job, like as much as mum and dad didn’t, you know, didn’t really tell me that much about money or in investments or anything like that. They didn’t really show us how to manage money on a week by week basis.

And I certainly believe most people have a proclivity to be a spender or saver by nature. And yeah, sure. There might be 5% of people that land somewhere in the middle, but I was certainly a spender and I’m a very generous person. And I think I, I did pick that up from my mum and every cent that I got. It just grew legs and whether it was buying fun staff or just not having a system or a plan in place and it walking out the door, uh, I was very good at spending and I was really crap at saving.

And over the years I’ve now become, I I’m still not a great saver, but I’m an even better and great. Investor. And I had to change my philosophy about what saving is and whatnot. So at 24, I kind of developed my own spending plan, which I’ve kind of worked on and built on over the years. And now that forms the basis of the Glen James spending plan, which is an online course that lots of my listeners jump on.

And it’s not the system. It’s a system. And my hope for anyone who might not have a money system in place is to use that foundation. Of quarantining your money, setting different amounts of money aside each week and build on that. So I believe once I had a really good system starting to fall into place, it actually allowed me to save and invest more money than, you know, not having system and just one bank account.

Like many people still have. And you just go to and fro from your savings, you know, back out to car red, Joe, and then, you know, you might build up savings again, and then you pull it back out and it’s just this round and round and round. So. Yeah, I think that’s the main thing. That’s kind of what helped me be a reformed spender.

And like it’s still there and I have little checks and balances in my life. So I’ve got a rule in my own life that if there is an item that is over 1% of my net take home income on a yearly basis. So if someone out there listening earns 80 grand and they take home 60 grand, that $600 for them. Net annual.

If I go to buy an item item and it’s over that 1%, I’ve got to sleep on it. So I’ve had to put my own checks and balances in place. I don’t have more than a certain amount in my account. That’s on my phone. Uh, at any time I don’t have the majority of my savings and mortgage and offset accounts and whatnot on my phone.

That’s with another bank separated. So it’s just basically keeping the alcohol away from the alcoholic. And it’s not as if I can’t ever drink, quote unquote, but I’m only having a glass of week and there’s systems and processes in

Aussie Firebug: place. Yeah. And that’s, um, almost segwaying into the next question I was going to ask, because I do like your philosophy of creating those good financial habits.

I’ve read, um, a Novi you’ve come across the atomic habits by James clear, which is an extremely popular health and wellness book. And it really. Oh, you got it. You got it right behind you. There you go. For, for people who are listening, obviously. Um, I don’t have any video in, in the podcast or on the YouTube, but I can see Glen’s got the book behind him where he’s sitting.

Yeah. That’s, that’s a really popular health and wellness book and I love it because it goes into the power of like sending something up and not doing something for a set amount of time, but rather building into a realistic, sustainable habit that you can do for a long period, if not forever. And I was going to ask you what are the best habits that you’ve had, but I guess you’ve already.

Answered it with those separating, you know, money into the pots and everything. Is there anything else you want to add in that, for that? Yeah,

Glen: I think an overarching habit in my life is not getting distracted by new investment platforms and new investment products. And just to really keep my investing simple.

Aussie Firebug: Yeah. And that’s hard to do for these new investors, isn’t it? That are coming onto the scene. In 2021, like I’m not too sure. Are you an eighties baby as well? Yes. Yes. Same. I am as well, 89. It is harder than ever to not be distracted into if you’re fresh out of uni or you’re just on your full-time job and you’re trying to figure it out.

How to invest your money, like is a lot to, there’s a lot of stuff out there at the moment. It’s, it’s a bit overwhelming

Glen: for me just at the start of this year. If there’s any more millennial money listeners listening, I share with my audience, you know, I’m pretty candid and open like you are. I don’t share my net worth because that’s none of anyone’s business as far as I’m concerned.

But I shared the fact that I hadn’t been drawing a salary from the podcast because we’re in investment mode and I employ three people and. Two contractors and all that, but it started this year. I started drawing a salary and all that, you know, there’s a 9.5 super element to that. But what I started as a habit probably five years ago was to put a monthly amount into my super every month regardless.

And just letting that money build in a tax-free environment. And sure. If you’re saving to buy your first home or you’re saving to buy an investment property, or you’re just wanting to. Pump an equity portfolio outside of super, super might not be for you. But for me, a lot of people used to say, Oh, you’re so young.

Why are you capping out your super every year of 25 grand? I’m like, well, number one, if I’ve got access to it, I might spend it. And number two, I like building wealth for the long-term in a tax-free environment. So if so for me, it was a win-win and sure. I was probably in a fortunate enough position to have quote unquote left over money.

Yeah. To invest outside of

Aussie Firebug: super speaking of super can I ask who you’re with? I’m actually with the Sunsuper. Okay. And is there a, I’m not too sure. I’m not familiar with sun super’s investment options, but are you in like the most aggressive option that they have?

Glen: Cause I, you know, with mixed portfolios, a lot of the time, you know, an 80, 20 or 70 30, you’ll just get a smoother return than a hundred percent.

And I’m with their socially conscious balanced fund, which I think is a 70, 30 in its own. Right. And then I haven’t opened it for a while, but I think there’s 30% in the international shares indexed fund unhedged yup.

Aussie Firebug: Is ethical investing something that’s important to you? Oh,

Glen: I like to think so. I mean, if I’m investing in an like IVF, for example, I’ve got no control over that.

So I, I really liked the Sunsuper ethical, balanced fund. They were a sponsor of my millennial money. Uh, last year. They’re not anymore. But I, I think their products stands up in its own. Right? Uh, they’re very transparent. You can go on their website and actually see everything they hold in that investment option, which I think transparency is so good and it’s needed.

But yeah, if I had the choice, I’m more ethical than not. But the problem is there’s 50 shades of green and what’s ethical to one person isn’t ethical to the other person. Yes, I did an episode the other day talking about, say, after paying zip pay shares, I believe that’s not an ethical investment in my lens because I don’t believe after paying zippay.

Are actually good for the consumer and small business. Long-term

Aussie Firebug: what is your overall investing philosophy?

Glen: Uh, it is to shovel money into investments for the long-term first and foremost in a tax effective manner. So I, I also have investment property, but my philosophy is tax effective. Number one, it is a simple number two.

Number three, it’s not held in my personal name if I can keep it that way. So I’m assuming. Yeah. So I’ve got a, a discretionary family trust that holds a self-worth account, but basically what I do, I care about my super first. So that’s kind of set and forget, and I’m probably will end up getting self-managed Superfund later in this, uh, in this year.

Aussie Firebug: Can I ask why. I’m just curious to be honest, cause I I’m I’ve looked into it, but I didn’t,  different. And I guess the, um, people in the fire community, there’s always a raging debate about super, you know, building up your snowball outside and inside. And there’s so many things that go onto it. And you know, usually the, the younger you are that you start and if you’re realistically on track too, Retiring your thirties or forties, you know, it’s, there’s less of an argument to start putting it away.

Glen: Yeah. So I think I’ll answer the self-managed super fund thing second, but firstly, I cap out my super 25 grand. Then I’ve got an investment bond that I’ve I think I’ve got just Vanguard diversified high growth in there. And I put no money in that each month. And then I’ve also got my investment account, which is a model portfolio with a financial advisor through BT Panorama.

And then I’ve also got an investment account with self-worth through the family. Trust that. Has just some small kind of, of interest holdings for me, but my investment philosophy, it is, uh, generally indexed. It is generally less than I don’t hold more than 10% of my total allocation indirect stock. I’ve only held two direct shares and it’s just out of interest more than anything, like a bit of a satellite.

Yeah. But yeah, satellites so smaller. It’s like, yeah, like two direct shares. It’s not a huge amount of money. So yeah, for me, Again, I’m acknowledged and I’m fortunate enough to have a decent income. It is starting with super tax effective. Long-term cap that out, then move down to my investment bond, which might be more for it’s kind of my second super, if you will, like, cause I can obviously attack that after the 10 years.

As my first super if needed and then thirdly in my truck. Right.

Aussie Firebug: And you’ve also got investment properties. Is that right? Yes. Yep. Yep. And the interesting one there for me just listening to that is the investment bond, because I I’ve got an investment bond set up for my nephew. And the reason I set it up was because I thought the estate planning workflow was excellent.

It was, I think the easiest way to invest for. You know, your nieces and nephews out there that all I could

Glen: say. Yeah. One H for my two nephews and niece as well. Yes.

Aussie Firebug: But from the research that I didn’t have, I have since read since investing eight foot foot, my circumstances, it wouldn’t make sense from a tax point of view.

And I’m curious, what made you go with the investment bond? Is there something. Because you are such a high income earner that it’s

Glen: beneficial ones that are really good for high-income owners. And for me, it was just another layer of I’ve got to lock that away for at least 10 years. So, I mean, I don’t have, I don’t put that much into it, but it’s just there and it’s just ticking along.

So yeah, I dunno. I don’t want it too confusing. And I don’t know, like I don’t, the only things I own directly is my own personal home and investment properties. But technically in terms of estate planning, there is a bit of a mortgage against those. Anyway. So that’s also good estate planning as well, you know, for possible asset protection.

Uh, but yeah, the super thing, you know, generally speaking, I would, and I do tell people there’s only a couple of instances where you would have a self managed, super fund and all of these, I believe underpin this you’ve really got to have over 200 K in your super to make it the phase beneficial ish. So number one, you want to buy direct property.

With your super, so that could be commercial property or residential property. Number two, you’ve got a significant amount of wealth. So when you do the numbers, it’s actually cheaper rather than paying a membership fee with a platform or number three, you’ve got a, a complex estate plan might have a blended family or something like that.

So yeah, self managed super fund. It’s not, it’s not for everybody. And. Sure. If you want to buy a property in your super fund, obviously got to have a self managed fund, but you really just need, I think, over 150 200 grand to make it worthwhile. Yep.

Aussie Firebug: And are you going to be looking after the regulatory requirements or are you going to be paying someone

Glen: to do that?

Yeah, I’ll get an accountant and auditor

Aussie Firebug: to do that. Yep. How am I curious? How much roughly is that per

Glen: year an audit for 1200 bucks or less? I would imagine accounting fees might be a grant. And that’s what I mean, like if you’ve spent two and a half grand a year on fees and you had a hundred grand in there, that’s 2.5% just to rock up.

Yup. So it’s a good point. That’s why you really want to have over that one 5,200 to make the fees. And then on top of that, like if you invested in a, an index fund or a actively managed fund or whatever, there’s going to be your investment fee to that

Aussie Firebug: as well. Yeah. Right? Yeah. So you got to crunch the numbers, you got to figure it out.

It’s worth it for you. I did look into it one once upon a time, but I think I just thought it’s, it’s a little bit too complicated for me. And plus we, we plan to reach financial independence and Sada super. So I just didn’t really. Give it much thought, but it could have merit for some people where

Glen: I’m saying.

So this is the thing, right? Most people who I’ve met and I’ve met a lot of people in the States that have achieved fire. Okay. And they’re young and they’re 40 years old. For example, they’re still generating an income. So my thought is, you know, point, if you achieve fire and you’re living off money outside super, there’s still probably a discussion to any income that you do generate to invest back into super.

So I think a lot of people. And if I’m crapping on about super it’s because the tax savings over the years, it’s so crazy, but you’ve got to get to age 60 before you can access it. And I guess I’m saying most people that I know who have achieved fire still end up doing stuff and they make an income.

Yeah. It’s

Aussie Firebug: everyone on earth that has

Glen: said, then it goes back to me. Well, I don’t really believe in fire, quote, unquote, I believe in what I call lute. L O T just life on your own terms. Yeah. This

Aussie Firebug: segues very nicely Glen into my next question, because it wasn’t too long ago. I think last year. That there was a bit of chatter in the Aussie fire discussion group on Facebook, which you are a part of.

And it was talking about one of your podcast episodes that caused a bit of a stir. You know, if you can remember this one and please correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe you were being eight. A tiny bit critical of the fire movement back then

Glen: that wasn’t my podcast. It

Aussie Firebug: was someone else’s will, you know, I thought that I

Glen: swear there was while I was in the thread, it was, um, uh, Phil’s podcast.

Aussie Firebug: Yeah. I know. I actually went on Phil’s podcast after that, but actually, yeah,

Glen: maybe, maybe I did say something and some people were, yeah, no, no, you right. And I went and had a listen to it and I’m like, no, I was pretty balanced. Like. I mean, I don’t know, but anyway,

Aussie Firebug: well, I was gonna ask you, Glenn, why do you hate the fire?

Um, I’m just joking. Um, but is there any pet peeves that you have about the fire movement that you don’t think is spoken about it?

Glen: Yeah, the fire movement. One, I don’t hate the fire movement. Like I’m in the groups. I want to invest in do all that stuff. Like the next person, like if I’m in your group, it’s not Glen James as the host of my millennial money.

It’s Glen James, as a guy who wants to be encouraged with his money, you know what I mean? The fire movement and actually had Paula pant on my podcast recently. Who’s pretty big in the U S money scene. Yeah. I love

Aussie Firebug: that episode, by the way.

Glen: I’m like the fire movement has to ditch the RA because most people.

Retire from the workforce, not from generating an income. I

Aussie Firebug: spoken about this actually on my last episode that I just released the bug Friday episode. And we’re recording this at the moment on the 1st of March in case it gets released a little bit later on, but I agree with you that the word retire doesn’t represent what.

99.9% of people that who are in the fire community want to do, but I think it is it’s here to stay and the acronym is, is stuck. And I actually think that if it wasn’t for the word retire and I’ve spoken a little bit about this. If there was another word

Glen: honeypot.

Aussie Firebug: Yeah. You know where I’m going with? Yeah, it would not that I don’t think yeah.

Movement would be a 10th as big as it is at the moment. If it wasn’t for the word retire and I can speak to myself when I first read Mr. Money mustache, and it was, he retired. He didn’t. Live life on his own terms. He didn’t do this or that he retired at 30 and it was legitimate. And all these really smart people like, yeah, the math checks out like these go, I actually did this.

And then once you dig a bit further, he reached financial independence, but then he started to carpentry business, which is what his passion was. And this ties back to what you were saying that I, and I completely agree. I’ve not met one single person. That has been on the fly journey, reached the financial independence, and hasn’t gone on to flip a buck, but the key differences, and I guess this is to me, the five movement and the retire early part to me is retiring from the rat race and retiring from a job that you predominantly do for money.

And then you go into a career. Of doing something that you love or your passion, and more often than not 99 times out of a hundred, it’s going to make some sort of income. So I feel like I, um, I think we’re on the same page that the word retire, it’s almost morphing into another meaning in the fire.

Glen: Yeah.

I retired from the workforce when I was 25. And it was actually the 10th of March. I started my own business and I have not felt like I’ve worked a day since.

Aussie Firebug: Yeah. We’ll all that’s to me, everyone’s got their own interpretation of what fire means to them, but, you know, I would say you’re well and truly in the fire movement.


Glen: Like I, and I think this whole thing, Matt is we’ve got to get to the point. Where we don’t have a direct trade for our time for a dollar. And that’s everything I’m doing with my millennial money into it, because my millennial money is a small business. Right. But employees, people, we sell online courses.

I do like webinars. I do the odd paid type of stuff that different brands want me to do. I don’t want to use the I word because I’m not in that vibe, but, um, but I basically no longer trade. My time for money.

Aussie Firebug: I completely I’m on the same page as you mate with, uh, not trading your time for money. I think that if you do, if you’re fortunate to be on this journey and you do reach financial independence, or even if you close, because you don’t even have to reach the, the angle.

And this is what I’m finding this year with me, we are towards the later stage of the journey. But, you know, we spoke a little bit about what we were doing before we started recording. And I’ve recently started my own business. In something that I really liked doing. And then there was a, there was an opportunity when I come back to Australia to go back to a job that I used to do that paid, you know, pretty good money where I’m from.

And it was a safer job. It was something that I was comfortable with and, or, you know, all that jazz, but I wasn’t passionate about it. And the thought of doing it, I did make me feel a bit like I don’t want to go back to doing that sort of operational admin type of work, even though there’s a part of that, that I like to eat.

I want to start my own thing and I’m sure, and I’m sure you can, um, echo might send them in here as well, that there’s always going to be parts of your job, even if it is a passion that is going to suck and you, you don’t want to do, but when you’re doing something because you want to do it, not because you’re forced to do it, there’s a world of difference between the two.

Glen: Absolutely. And you know, I just think whatever you do, like if you want to retire at 40, go for it. Do it like you might be of that, you know, Headspace that I can literally sit around and do hobbies and not generate an income. Lucky if that is you, I would go for it. But my personality is, I’m a builder and I want to build stuff.

Like I built my first business and sold it like, cause I was done. So you’ve got to play to your own personality and that’s why for me. As much as I love fire, I’ll never be able to amass wealth and just stop working because I’d get bored. So that’s why I live a more of a balanced life. Okay. I have a good life.

I’ve got lots of nice things. If you call me frugal, you’re getting mixed up with the wrong person. I liked the finer things in life, but the income’s there and the money’s there and it’s been working fine for me. And probably if I. Realistically had to sell everything and could not ever work ever again.

I could probably still have a bloody okay. Income. Yeah.

Aussie Firebug: I think everyone that is part of the fire community would agree with me. When I say work is it’s a staple of a human. I don’t think you can be a happy person if you’re not doing meaningful work. But I guess that is the key distinction between being able to choose something that you want to do.

And brings you meaning if you want to create, or even if you, even, if you are one of those people, the 1% I spoke about that do reach financial independence and never flip a bark. Never have any other income from working ever again, extremely rare, but I’m sure there are people out there that okay.

Glen: Yeah. I know of somebody who does that,

Aussie Firebug: but yeah.

And, um, I’m guessing that they volunteer a lot of their time. They might have a veggie garden, they grow a lot of their own food, something like that. There are definitely some people that that appeals to, but I think meaningful work is where it’s at. Cause I’m a bit like yourself as well. I like to create things and I like to challenge myself and I like to, you know, stress my limits.

I don’t think you can grow as a person unless you’re in like the, you know, if you’re in the comfort zone too much, it, you know, it gets to me so meaningful work is the key differentiator for me. I

Glen: think two other things that I don’t love about the fire community, Fremont and like. I am in the fire community.

I get all these shade and it’s like, no, because I just call out stuff that I don’t like. And I don’t care what anyone  their own money, it’s their money. But maybe two other things is just the dogma. You know, it’s the bad side of the cult is annoying. And then secondly, within that, This race to the bottom, where we need the cheapest investment fee or the cheapest brokerage, or we need this.

And the reason I say that is the most you’ll get out of your money, particularly when you’re starting, is not getting, you know, a one basis point cheaper, bloody investment. It’s going to be the transfer of your human capital into wealth. Lighten. If you’ve got less than a hundred grand in your investment portfolio, it’s seriously, you’ve got to get a bigger shovel and earn more money or do something to build that up.

Like you’re not going to get there from investment returns. It’s going to be a transfer of your human capital. Can you expand

Aussie Firebug: on that, Glen? Because I could not agree with you anymore. You’re talking about investing in yourself. If I’m

Glen: following correctly. Totally. The best thing that you can do. Is get out there, become like invest in yourself.

Get more trained on what you’re doing. Learn more, try and get a pay rise. Start your own thing and shovel money into your investments. Shovel more money. I don’t think side hustles are good. I would only do a side hustle for three reasons. Number one, you’re paying off debt in the short term. Number two, you’ve got a short term goal or number three.

You want to use it as a stepping stone? To a new career or something. So you do it on the side to start with, I think it can be dangerous if you are side hustling, just for general revenue to put money back into your bank account, to pay for groceries. Maybe you might want a side hustle to just put the money into your investment account, but I would caution you that, um, around personal burnout.

And that’s why I think short term, side hustle and, you know, 1520 years ago, we used to call it a second job. That’s what it is. It’s a second job. So, so yeah, that’s, that’s what I would caution with the side hustle. And just the fire thing is probably a third. One is sometimes people are generous at all to charitable organizations and I believe we are so blessed to live where we are in the income that we’ve got.

I certainly would rather slow my wealth amassing down. To be able to give to other organizations and help others along the way. Because if you start just amassing wealth for yourself, I believe it can be dangerous and you can start to have money and wealth as this idol in your life. And that’s dangerous as well.

So on the human capital thing, or did I expand on it?

Aussie Firebug: I don’t know. He did. And just before we move on to that, the, I agree with most of the points, the only one I’ll push back on is the fire community, I think is one of, if not the best communities that I know of that give back and do charitable donations.

And also as some of the most socially conscious environmentally conscious. Communities financial communities out there that I’ve ever seen. I’m honestly not just saying that because this is a community near and dear to my heart, but you, if

Glen: you, yeah, totally. But I just see so many, like, and it might just be these financial influencers that are popping up and they share their income spread and their expenses, um, thing.

It’s rare in those scenarios that I actually see charitable giving, but also you don’t have to give to charity. I just think you’ll be a better person to be

Aussie Firebug: generous. Absolutely. I think it’s a, yeah know, I’m all about that. And I, I post my, you know, what I spend money on and how much we make and everything too.

Who do you give to? Uh, I, I usually donate to, um, when my friends are doing Movember’s or something, or like they do a charitable, like a run for, you know, a family member that has had cancer or something had a group of friends two years ago, do base camp at Mount Everest because I had a friend that, um, lost his mom and everything like that.

So I just, every time I say it on Facebook, I’ll usually Chuck them a 50 or a hundred dollars. Hmm. I, it’s probably something that I, as we continue this journey, I need to look at what organizations doing great work and something that, you know, I can really get involved with. But at the moment it’s usually just friends and family.

Yeah. And

Glen: that’s kind of, I’m talking about like systematic, monthly giving. Not sporadic as like a core foundation in your financial life. That’s kind of where I’m getting at because I, I had Peter singer on my podcast resell last 12 months and you can save a life for $2 in Africa. From mosquito net. So, I mean, it’s a fascinating episode to listen to, but he really, and he’s got a book called the life you can save, and I would encourage anyone to read that and it just changes your mindset.

And so for me, absolutely, I’ll flick $50 to Movember and all that. But in my financial life, I have systematic, automated, monthly

Aussie Firebug: giving. What, what some of the charities that you are, you don’t donate to

Glen: two eight 21, which is a charity that they, their focus is to stop a human trafficking. And there I advertise them on our podcast.

At the end of every episode, I also give to the life, you can save all charities fund. And what they do, they’ve kind of reviewed all the charities and it’s like Beth bang for buck. So like the against malaria foundation. And, uh, there’s a heap of charities. I would keep to that as well. I also have a sponsored child and I give to the sponsored child or the sponsor company’s main emergency fund or whatever it is.

So, yeah, I, but that’s just, again, that’s just me. And I would personally knowing my personality. Would rather slow down my wealth amassing or whatever you call it to be generous because I’ve got everything that I need. And for me, it’s a big part of my life and yeah, you’ll never be worse off from being generous.


Aussie Firebug: absolutely. And I think there’s a lot that can be done as well with where we spend our money. Yeah, how we vote for companies going forward. And I I’ve always said this, like I’m a passive index ETF sort of go out, invest, uh, and you know, it comes up in the Facebook group every now and then about ethical investing and that whole debate.

And I won’t go into it in detail now, but I really believe if you’re voting for a company, if you spend your money somewhere, that is worth so much more than if you happen to. Swap our initiative of a company that is, you know, potentially doing unethical things in someone’s mind. It’s I think that they’re not even comparable

Glen: is full of conflicts and you know, I’m a hypocrite, you’re a hypocrite.

Everyone who opens their mouth ever is a hypocrite just because of human nature. But I think it is just going back to being intentional with your life and your money. And I had Qatar airways approach. You know, my agents the other day, and they wanted to do an advertising campaign on my podcast. And I pretty much said, get stuffed you violate human rights.

I don’t want 1 cent of your money. Yeah. I was just like, no, I don’t want your money. You violate human basic human rights. So I think it’s just that being active. And I’ll always encourage people to be generous with their money, uh, be conscious with their spending. I will pay I’ll happily pay more for Australia made if I’m at the supermarket.

I mean, it’s a luxury that I can do that. And you’ve just got to be active and intentional. Yeah,

Aussie Firebug: absolutely. Like the thing that grinds my gears is how much waste there is. And like, I know we’re a bit, we’re like the freak optimize optimizers in the fire community, but there’s so many things. That, uh, uh, wasteful and unnecessary in this, um, you know, 21st century consumer lifestyle that most people live that you don’t even have to change a lot.

You just have to be like a little bit more conscious about where your money’s going and, and maybe just yet find, find happiness in, in the simple things in life. And you can save so much environmental impact and. And also with, with, you know, you talk about Qatar with a human rights issue with them. Like the clothing industry is a, is a great example with like the supply chain.

And if you go back far enough with everything that can go on in som brands, uh, supply chain. So just little things like that. I think, you know, there’s a plethora of things that you could. Uh, we can try to be out of about all the socially conscious and environmentally conscious actions that you can do.

Glen: I think just in bookend, in that generosity thing, I just want people to understand that.

Yeah, my view of it’s not everybody in the fire community and, you know, because I’m in the fire community and I’m not one of these people, but. Like I have seen stuff where people will share their spreadsheet or share this stuff, and there’s just been no allocation to generosity. Yeah. And I, yeah, I I’m sure that they are socially conscious investors.

And that was like with the Sunsuper fund, I actually had. The guy who heads up that portfolio on my podcast last year, and I’d already invested in the fund and I got to sit down and interview him and I just thought, yeah, well, you know, I might pay a little bit more for the screening, but it’s, it’s a good little thing.

So fair enough,

Aussie Firebug: mate. Let’s talk about M M three, where did the idea of starting a financial podcast for millennials come from? I had a

Glen: podcast that I started in 2016 called sort your money out. And it kind of, it didn’t really go anywhere. It was my first podcast to kind of suck. Yeah. And I was mainly just interviewing people.

And at the time I thought, Oh, everyone’s just got an interview podcast. So I, I went to the States in 2017 to fin con and got really encouraged. And at the time, even when I started my podcast in 2016, I don’t know if there was any Australian. Personal finance podcasts by Australians. I don’t think there was that there may have been, but I just thought, Oh, there’s a real opportunity here to do personal finance for Aussies buying Ozzy.

So then that was kind of the front of my mind. And then in the background I’d been in my financial planning business, like nine years built that up. That was going really well. And what I sell now is the Glen James spending plan, which is the budgeting tool and framework. You know, I’d have people coming to my office and like, Oh, we need to.

We need financial advice. I’m like, no, you don’t, you just need a budget. You need to get out of debt. Like that was the basic thing. And I’m like, well, you can pay a couple of grand and I can help you one-on-one or you can pay 70 bucks and do it self taught. So I was kind of already doing that. And then I used to do local seminars in my community and used to be called like sort your money out and you’d come along and I would sell tickets and you might get 30, 40 people come along and I’ll just teach them basic.

Fundamentals about personal finance and then kind of, so all that was happening and I was getting sick of doing one-on-one financial advice, and I just wanted to help more people. And also like friends of friends would approach me and they’re like, Oh, Glenn, can you help us with our money? And I was actually, cause I’m a bit of an introvert.

I was getting sick of sitting down with someone and then just pouring out for like an hour. Right. And that’s why I don’t do many public speaking things and media stuff because I actually don’t drains me a lot. So, yeah, I just like, okay, well, I, I need to do something different. I think there’s an opportunity for podcasts.

And then I went to fin con in the States, a big money conference for financial bloggers and podcasts, and YouTube is who do personal finance content. And then I called, uh, a colleague of mine, John pigeon. I’m like, Hey, we need to start a podcast. Like, and my whole thing was, I need to do more content. So then we started a weekly podcast and went for a year straight and then reviewed.

And there was a clear trend of going up. So after that year, I pretty much, by the time sold my financial planning business. And then just went totally in, on the podcast stuff and awesome

Aussie Firebug: stuff. And what can someone expect when they download an episode of my millennial money? What’s a show about,

Glen: we just cover every topic.

Cause with personal finance, I like to set the scene that I’m not your guru. I’m not above any of this stuff. We basically just. Chat about any topics like investing in shares, paying off debt. Someone might have hex payment. We’ve just done an episode on being an ex-pat and you know what you need to do with your money when you go overseas and you residency.

And I want it to be a weekly encouragement. I’ve just completed episodes with Pat Flynn in America. Who’s like huge in the States, you know, with passive income. That was an awesome podcast. So I just want to be that weekly encouragement. So like, if you’re listening to the. Oh, fire bug. You’re clearly dialed in with your money and you want to be intentional with your money, right?

It’s like my listeners, you clearly want to be dialed in and intention with your money, but then you go to a barbecue or you go out to the Powerball cafe with your other friends. They’re not really dialed in. They’re like, Oh, why don’t you just buy that lunch? And you’re like, well, no, I ate at home and I’m just having a coffee out.

Cause I want to save money. I wanted my millennial money to be that community where no, we get you and we’re on your side and it’s the weekly encouragement. Yeah, so we have a lot of fun. We’ve also got a dedicated property podcast. My cohost John pigeon hosts that with Emily Wallace. So it’s a weekly thing about property.

I do one called my millennial business, which I just talk about small business stuff. Cause I love small business. I do an express one, which is like under 10 minutes called my millennial money express,

Aussie Firebug: know the ones you branch in adding to on the, uh, on the chat of elicits all it’s all the modern millennial ones.

You build an imply

Glen: mate. Yeah, we’ve got my millennial, Korea and shell, and em, they’re like dialed in and, you know, they’re top of their game in terms of Korea, like shells in HR for a company with a few hundred employees, Emily’s a recruiter and we’ve just launched the start of this. She, my millennial health.

So it’s all about just living your best life when it comes to your health. And we’ve got two dietitians who run that and they’re in like the elite. Sports area, but it’s not just all about diet. They’ve done episodes on sleeve, gut, health, psychology, mental health, all that stuff. So lots going on. We’ve got gen ed money, which is for under 20 fours.

And I’m actually working on, I’ve just registered the trademarks for my millennial news, which I hope it to be a weekly money news rep. So what’s happened in the news this week and what it means to you. And I’m just trying to find a journalist for that at the moment.

Aussie Firebug: Now I’ll put a link in the show notes to your website, mate.

But if anyone out there wants to find your content, your podcasts and everything, what is the best spot to

Glen: listen to this podcast? Yeah. Excellent. And that’s the whole thing it’s like, I’m not creating a podcast. I’m creating an online business.

Aussie Firebug: I love that, but that I

Glen: love, like, I love encouraging people and I love talking about personal finances.


Aussie Firebug: no, I’m all about that. Uh, to crazy world. We live in that you can generate money. From the internet. Like it’s an insane bit of technology.

Glen: It’s like, I just, Matt can’t stress enough to, I am not above this stuff. I’m just facilitating conversation. Sure. I’ve done well financially myself, but it doesn’t mean I’m the guru.

Like it’s just, I get encouraged to listening to some of your episodes. I appreciate

Aussie Firebug: that, mate. They do, you know what you had to go. And he’s in that one of the most important steps, like how many people probably. And it happened to me as well. When I first started making this podcast, you’re like this, this is crap.

And, you know, sometimes if I listened to an early episode, I’m like, yeah, the recording quality. Wasn’t the best, but it’s amazing what can happen if you put yourself out there and actually just have it

Glen: go totally. You’ve just got to do it. And like before I started my online business, like I, you know, I had the first podcast and that sucked and I’ve taken that down and I wanted to do an online business.

And then in 2012 and 2011, I started creating apps for kids. And probably spent 25, 30 grand trying to do that and it didn’t work. So I like to just, I think, got to give it a shake. The worst thing that happened is you spend a bit of money, but what do you do? Right. I’d rather seriously with the mind millennial podcast stuff I’ve said to the team.

I’m like, I’m throwing everything I’ve got at this. And if I have to go down with the ship, I will, but I’m not going to go down with the ship and think, Oh, I should have just tried this. Like, we are trying everything. And some things we do suck, like I’ll tell you one thing that we did that sucked and it probably cost us a lot of listeners last year in September, I did what we called super September.

So every episode for two, like the two episodes a week in September, it was on superannuation in my mind. Yeah. That’s awesome. But not everyone loves super. So if we do super September, again, it will be super September this month, check your super, and then we just, you know what I mean? So it won’t be these deep dive episodes on super.

Yeah. So, I mean, you still learn stuff and yeah, we’re having a lot of fun. And do

Aussie Firebug: you know what this is? Like the power that money can grant people. Is to be in a position to have a go, not everyone is built. I know I’m not, I’m more of a conservative type operator. And I don’t think I would ever have tried to start my own business.

Like I’m going into now without a decent amount behind me and that I can fall back on and be like, look, even if it makes no money and I have to find a new job in 12, 24 months time, we’ve still got the portfolio. Still pumping out those dividends, it’s worse in a financially secure position. And that is like what financial freedom is all about.

And you don’t even have to reach full financial freedom to get some of that. Um, uh, the confidence to go out and do something like that. And then there’s other people that have a go at the start when they got hardly any money and it can sometimes work out everyone’s different, but. I love that about financial independence, that it can grant those opportunities.


Glen: I would encourage anyone to have a go at anything. And if you’re a on smack sung, if you’re a diesel mechanic and you’re listening and you’re like, well, what can I do? I’m like, seriously, get a camera, do content while you’re fixing your trucks or whatever. Like YouTube is where it’s like, there is some, but you’ve just got to start small.

Like when we first started, I think the first episode we did got 200 listens and it’s a slight. Oh, God, like if we had an episode with 200 listens, now I’d give up, but you don’t start at the slight mountain. You start at the bottom. Yeah.

Aussie Firebug: Yeah. People always see what you’ve built, but they don’t see how many years of perfecting your craft that took, they might enter the podcast game and be like, Oh, well, you know, if I’m not doing this and this it’s not worth it, but it’s like, hold on.

These people that got to that level. They didn’t start at that level. They didn’t start as good as interviewers as they are now. It took them many episodes, many, you know, trying and failing and trying different things to get it to work and that’s with anything in life.

Glen: Yeah. So I think it’s a great time to be alive.

Just being encouraged that if you, even if you’re doing a job at the moment that you don’t like it doesn’t have to be forever. You might’ve started a uni degree and you’re a year into it and you don’t like it. Hey, just, I didn’t interview before yours this afternoon, Matt and I interviewed Emma, a friend of mine she’s early forties and she’s just finished her psychology degree where she’s like, no, I wanted to do it later in life.

And I did. I had the kids and all that, and now she’s getting her life back. So it doesn’t have to be this linear thing. There’s no rules in life. And I always say to my listeners, if you don’t get someone pregnant, unplanned, if you don’t get pregnant, unplanned, if you ended up in jail or on drugs, those four things you’re can have a good shot at doing anything.

And it all comes back to living

Aussie Firebug: intentionally Colonel Sanders from KFC started that in his sixties. Just throwing it out there. KFC the fast food chain. He kicked it off in his

Glen: sixties. Yeah. Yes. Yeah. There you go. Yeah. Like you can do

Aussie Firebug: whatever you want. He started this, this brand. Any sixties, man. Oh, I love

Glen: that finger licking.

Good. You have the Kern

Aussie Firebug: Glenn. I can’t let you go. I’ve got two questions for you before I let you go, mate. Yeah, they are probing questions. You may or may not be able to answer it, but I’ll have to ask. I have read. That you’ve written ghost lyrics for a chart topping artist confirm or deny. Confirm. Can you tell me what the song was called or what the genre is or did it crack the billboards?

Top 200.

Glen: It was number of the song was number one in New Zealand when they released it. I dunno what it was in Australia. I was in a studio in Nashville with some friends and this. Okay. So this is talk about like living your life on your own terms and not being a slave to the rat race. Like my friends though, amuse those in a band, they were going to the States for like a six week tour and I dropped them at the airport and like, I will be in Nashville in like three weeks.

Why don’t you come over? I’m like, ah, so I looked, I was at the airport, they check in while they’re checking in and I had all these guitars, I looked at my diary. I’m like, Oh, I could probably move that here. I’ll meet you in Nashville in two weeks, and then just went up to Nashville and ended a bit of the tool with them total spontaneous.

And then, you know, you end up in a studio and I met a guy there who won a Grammy, and I wrote some lyrics and my friend who was a songwriter, he put them in a song that he was writing for this band in New Zealand. And yeah, I said, don’t even worry about. Putting my name on it. I’ll give that to you. So he still gets royalty checks from it, actually.

Aussie Firebug: And what was it like hearing that line for the first

Glen: time? No, it’s really weird. It was really weird. Like, um, think that, you know, they toured and did this song and all that, so

Aussie Firebug: yeah. Well, I’m going to leave it out to the people on the internet to try to hunt down that song. Um, so. And the second question I had for you is I believe that you spoke on an award winning money show to an audience of over 12 million people.

What was the show and how nervous were you?

Glen: Yeah, I just went on the Dave Ramsey show when I was in Nashville. Oh, what was that like? Yeah, it was pretty cool. Had a good chat with him and, uh, cause he’s huge

Aussie Firebug: over there. Isn’t it? He’s a U S. He’s

Glen: the financial biggest podcast in the world.

Aussie Firebug: They go, Holy moly.

What year was this?

Glen: I think I was in, that was in 2018. I think they’ve got close to 20 million listens now on his radio show. So yeah, he’s the third biggest revenue producer podcast in the world and probably top three or four radio hosts in America. And actually last year at the start of 2020, he was in Australia and I got him on my millennial money.


Aussie Firebug: hunt that down and I’ll put that show in, uh, in the show

Glen: notes. And that was like an oddly listen to the Dave Ramsey show for years. And then he didn’t do any other podcasts in Australia cause he was on a holiday and I knew somebody who was kind of connected in and all that stuff. And uh, we hooked it up and I went down to Sydney and we did an episode with Dave Ramsey and that was so that was a career kind of highlight for me to have the, like probably the biggest money dude in America and the, probably the third biggest podcast in the world.

On my show here. That’s

Aussie Firebug: insane. That’s that’s unbelievable, man. Well, Glenn we’ve reached the end of the podcast, mate. It was an absolute pleasure having you on that. Really enjoyed this pod. Thank you so much for making

Glen: the time. My pleasure. We’ll have to have you over on a M three at some stage. I would love to join you right when I’m in Melbourne next driving into town and we’ll just do it for you.

Aussie Firebug: Yeah. It’s always better face to face.

Glen: Isn’t that? Totally. Yeah. Cause I’ve got a Melbourne trip organized soon and I always take my gear and so yeah, you can go for a drive.

Aussie Firebug: Do you know what? I might actually be coming to Sydney? In a few weeks. Oh yeah. Let me know. Maybe I’ll I’ll I’ll I’ll definitely let you know if it eventuates, but we’ll sort it out.

All right. Yeah. I love it. All

Glen: right. Thanks Pat. And thanks for all your listeners for having a listen. No worries.

Aussie Firebug: See ya. Bye. Well, there you have it guys. That was Glen James from my millennial money. Shout out to Glenn. Thank you so much for coming on the podcast and making the time. If you guys enjoyed that podcast and want me to make more best thing you can do is leave me a review on iTunes.

And if you’re not an Apple user, you can feel free to Chuck us a like on Facebook. That’s it for today, guys, enjoy the rest of your day and I’ll see you on the next episode. Thanks guys for listening to another episode of the Ozzy Firebird podcast for links to all of the resources, plus an entire transcript of this episode, head over to Ozzy

Make sure you never miss out on another episode by subscribing now on iTunes or SoundCloud. Nothing in this episode, you’ll be taken as financial advice. You should always do your own research when making any financial decisions.


Podcast – Lacey Filipich – Money School

Podcast – Lacey Filipich – Money School



Today I’m chatting to Lacey Filipich, author of ‘Money School’ which is an Australian book about becoming financially independent and reclaiming your life.

Lacey resume is very impressive, she’s an engineer, author and successful entrepreneur starting multiple companies who reached financial independence in her early 30s.

Some of the topics in today’s pod include:
➡Lacey’s upbringing and her road to financial independence (0:02:12)
➡Burning out at work (0:10:48)
➡Lacey’s investment strategies and current asset allocations (0:22:40)
➡The Money School Book (0:56:42)
➡How you can use Options with a FIRE strategy (1:05:34)
➡Bank bail in-laws and what it could mean for people holding large amounts of cash (1:14:51)

Show Notes



Heads up grammar Nazis, the following transcription is half human half machine and not 100% perfect so expect a few typos and errors…


Coming Soon

FEB21 Net Worth $894,842 (+$4,080)

FEB21 Net Worth $894,842 (+$4,080)

God damn did I need a month like February!

It’s been pretty hectic since we got back into Victoria in late Jan. Just from a life admin and reunion point of view. So many people to see and catch up with, trying to figure out our living situation, Mrs. FB preparing to head back to her teaching position, unpacking our boxes from the storage shed… 🤪

It’s such a privilege to not have to stress about jumping into another job straight away. Mrs. FB miraculously kept her teaching gig for the two years we were away, but she only had a week and a half to sort out everything before jumping back into full-time work. I, on the other hand, have been enjoying a time rich, low stress, slower pace unemployed lifestyle since we got back 🙊.

It’s not like I haven’t been keeping busy, far from it actually. But you forget some of the little pleasures in life when you’re too caught up in your job sometimes (aka me last year whilst contracting). The autonomy of planning my day around my needs and wants (rather than my bosses) is a freedom that I plan to have from here onwards. I still wake up early, but I usually go for a leisurely stroll and throw a podcast or audiobook on these days. When the suns beaming, there’s no better way to start my day! I find myself jumping onto the computer around 9-10 to start some work, whether that be wedding stuff, new business venture work (update soon), house hunting, AFB content or just life admin. I can head to the gym after lunch when there’s no one there and can get stuck into anything else that’s important later on in the day when it suits me. Working from home and being able to do everything on a computer that’s connected to the internet has really changed the game.

I’m back into a great routine with eating healthy Monday-Friday, consistent gym sessions and have started to roll again at my local Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gym.

My sleep quality since being back home is 10 times better compared to those last few months in London during the lockdown 👎. The stress of that job plus not being able to exercise or go outside for two weeks destroyed my physical and mental health last year in November. Man, I shudder just thinking about that situation 😣 and what a privilege it is to be in the position we’re now in.

So yeah, February was rad 🤙

And there’s plenty of stuff in the pipeline that I can’t wait to share with you guys.

Oh, and there were two achievements to celebrate last month.

Firstly, we have exceeded our goal of 1,056 submissions for the 2021 Aussie FIRE Survey! This now means that there are enough submissions for the dataset to have a 95% (industry standard) confidence level with a 3% margin of error of the community 👏.

I’m working with another reader on something really special for displaying the results. Can’t wait to share it.

And lastly, the Aussie FIRE discussion group clicked over 10,000 members sometime during the last month.

Not bad considering the group is only 15 months old!

I’m always telling people to ask FIRE related questions in that group because there are just so many smart people from all stages of life that can provide a different perspective on a bunch of stuff. It’s a bit of a treasure cove in there actually. The only issue is that a lot of the really good stuff gets lost. I’ve been thinking about creating something else that deals with that specific problem but there’s just so many other projects I have on this year that I might have to chuck her on the back burner.


Net Worth Update

It’s a miracle that we finished February in the black considering I haven’t been working and I’ve spent a fair amount on setting up my home office. Mrs. FB is really holding down the fort these days in an otherwise pretty boring month net worth wise.

Haven’t cracked the $900K mark just yet. Maybe in March? We’ll see.



So a lot of data has come out since my January update that confirmed my suspicion of an insanely heated property market (countrywide apparently).

We’ve been looking and looking and when we finally do find a house that’s within our budget and in the right location, it’s legitimately sold within 24-48 hours. And usually for more than what the seller wanted for it. I’m not even kidding. There was one house that an agent rang us about (hadn’t hit yet) on the Friday for $450K that we liked, so we offered $445K that night. The agent rang us the next day to say there was a cash offer for $460K… FFS.

But we really liked it, and what’s an extra $20K over a 25-year loan anyway? So we considered throwing in $465K later that day only to hear from the agent that there was a bidding war going on and it was now over $470K… I mean… wow… they only wanted $450K but ok. Can’t really compete with that, especially since it was a cash offer.

I’ve already come to terms that we will be overpaying. And 2020 prices are long gone now. We have the money and are willing to pay these prices, we literally just can’t secure a place atm lol.

Having said all that, we may have found something very recently that’s looking the goods… I don’t want to jinx anything so I’ll just leave it at that. But if it all works out, I’ll of course let you guys know all about it 🙂

Also, I’m really close to listing one of our investment properties. Just working out a deal with the tenant atm to see if they would be willing to break their lease early for a cash incentive. The markets just too good atm to not try and offload at least one property.

Property 1 was sold in August 2018

The current value of our properties is a rough guesstimation based on similar surrounding properties. I only really update these when we get an official bank valuation


The above graph is created by Sharesight

A bit of a nothing month for Feb.

We haven’t bought any shares since November as we wanted to concentrate on building the house deposit so not too much to add here.




Ask Firebug Fridays 26

Ask Firebug Fridays 26

Nothing written below is financial advice. The below questions and answers are for general information only and should not be taken as constituting professional advice. You should always do your own research when making any financial decisions.

Question (05:39)

Hi Mr Bug, I’ve been listening to your podcast for the last month or two and am really enjoying it so far. I’m trying to find an answer to something and can’t find it online, sorry in advance if you’ve already addressed this, I haven’t listened to them all yet.

Do you know how an ETF that tracks the top 200 or 300 companies in the market decides what percentages they invest in each company? I looked into Betashares A200 and was expecting half a per cent invested in each company, instead, the top two companies get over 7% and then each company after that gets less and less all the way down to less than .1 of a per cent

Thank you 🙂


Firebug’s Answer

Hi Jared,

There are companies that provide Index data that ETF providers use. Betashares offers the A200 ETF as a financial product the public can buy on the ASX, but behind the scenes, they pay another company to provide the index data that determines which companies are in the ETF and their appropriate weightings.

A200 for example follows an index called ‘Solactive Australia 200 Index’ from the company Solactive AG.

You can go to Betashares website and look at the indexing methodology that explains exactly how it’s constructed.

Below is an extract from the index methodology PDF document.

On Selection Days, Solactive defines the Index Universe as outlined in Section 4.

Solactive Australia 200 Index

  • All companies in the Index Universe outlined in chapter 4 are ranked according to Free Float Market Capitalization. The 200 largest companies are added to the Solactive Australia 200 Index, subject to the buffer rules below: – a company that is currently included in the Index is only excluded if the Float Market Capitalization of the company is lower than the Float Market Capitalization of the company ranked 225 at any Selection Day
  • A company that is currently not included in the Index is only included if the Float Market Capitalization of the company is higher than the Float Market Capitalization of the company ranked 175 at any Selection Day.

If the application of the buffer rule results in less than 200 companies entering the Index, additional companies will be added from the Index Universe according to the highest Free Float Market Capitalization. If more than 200 companies end up in the Index, companies with the lowest Free Float Market Capitalization will be removed until a total of 200 Index constituents is reached.

Or to put the above in plain English, companies within the index are weighted by market capitalisation (market cap)

Market cap = The value of all outstanding shares.

Here are the top 20 companies on the ASX by market cap.

As you can see, the ASX is top-heavy which results in the top 20 companies making up over 50 per cent of the ASX in terms of market cap.

The companies that land in the 150-200 range are so small by comparison that their weightings are very small as you discovered.

And in the nutshell, that’s how it works 🙂


Question (18:38)

Have you thought about when you get to your FI number if you would have any anxiety over leaving you’re paid job?

I feel it will be the hardest part for me, I will struggle with the “what if something goes wrong” “what if I haven’t done my numbers right” kind of anxiety.


Firebug’s Answer

Hi Hayden,

This is a great question.

In some regards, I sort of left normal employment back in 2018. I’ve been contracting in London and travelling the globe for the last two years and have recently started my own consulting company here in Oz (update coming up on this). So I’m in a unique position of not having to “quit” my main job per se. We haven’t reached full financial independence yet but it’s amazing what sort of freedom can be achieved towards the middle/tail end of the journey. We’re already reaping a lot of benefits from the seeds we planted all those years ago.

But I understand that not everyone is in this position. In fact, most will probably need to pull the plug at some point and leave their secure 9-5 type of job to make the leap of faith into early retirement.

Here’s the deal.

Anything you do in life is a risk!

But realistically speaking, what’s the worst thing that could happen when you quit your job and enter early retirement? Financially, a major crash in the markets is probably the number 1 most likely risk that can and might occur for most Firebugs. This will means some adjustments will need to be made but it’s really not as bad as a lot of people make it out to be. I mean… anyone who reaches FIRE usually possesses such attributes as:

  • Resiliency
  • Determination
  • Delayed gratification
  • An analytical approach
  • Obsession with optimisation

These are the qualities of someone who is more than capable of adapting to adversity and making adjustments.

And let’s bring up another point that’s almost always disregarded when FIRE is brought up by mainstream financial commentators and advisors.

FIRE does not mean you can’t make money in retirement!

In fact, I’ve yet to meet someone who has reached financial independence that hasn’t gone onto a passion project that doesn’t flip a buck.

Even our lord and saviour, Mr Money Mustache pursued a love of his in retirement which was carpentry. This made him money. Was he still retired in a FIRE context? Yes!

What about our very own early retired badass Dave from Strong Money Australia? Retired at 28 but still earns a bit of money from the blog and I believe his partner works part-time for the social aspect (please correct me if I’m wrong mate).

Most people in our community know that the word “retire” probably doesn’t describe what most of us are trying to achieve here but the FIRE acronym is here to stay.

My point is that it’s not an all or nothing approach. Once you build up a big enough portfolio to generate enough passive income using the 4% rule that covers your lifestyles, IMO, in most circumstances, you’re good to go. It’s taking that leap of faith that’s the hard part. But every single person I’ve ever spoken to that’s reached FIRE has always told me that they wished they did it earlier. So take that as you will.


Question (33:07)

Hi Aussie Firebug,

I was wondering if you could shed some light on what new investors should know about tax.

I’m recently out of uni and have always had very straightforward tax returns, however over the last few months I’ve invested a couple of thousand dollars into shares and ETFs. I’m thinking about what that might mean for my tax return next year, and would love to hear your advice on what I should look out for.

Could you please provide a bit of information on how you got your head around tax as a newbie investor, eg. did you use an accountant or go by general information available online, and if so, what do you think are some of the most important things to be aware of?

Any advice would be much appreciated!


Firebug’s Answer

G’day Beth,

Firstly, congrats on finishing Uni 👏, and it makes me smile that you’re already thinking about your financial future by investing your hard-earned dollars into the market at such a young age.

The easiest way that I know of to complete a tax return in Australia is to get some help from a company called Sharesight (affiliate link). I’ve been using them for over 5 years and their services are free if you have under 10 holdings.

You can generate an income report and there is a section below it that shows you exactly where to plug your numbers into an Australian tax return form.

Here is mine for example:

Just be sure that the numbers in Sharesight are correct, always double-check with your ETF provider.

You don’t need Sharesight to do this but they make it very easier. You can always just use your ETF providers data and calculate the numbers yourself but I haven’t done it that way before.

Another thing to note is that if you sell shares, you’ll need to generate another report called “Capital Gains Report” which does a similar thing but for capital gains and not dividends.

I personally use an accountant atm because our situation is a bit more complicated (we invest through a trust) but the older I get, the more I value simplicity which is one of the reasons that investing in shares is so appealing to me. Once you know how to do your tax returns as a passive index investor, that’s about the only admin you’ll ever need to know for the rest of your life.

The same cannot be said about most other asset classes (looking at you real estate 👀).


Podcast – Aussie HIFIRE

Podcast – Aussie HIFIRE



Today I invited one of my favourite Aussie FIRE bloggers on the pod, and that’s none other than Aussie HIFIRE. HIFIRE works in finance and is looking to create a higher than average income stream to fund his retirement.

Some of the topics we cover:

  • Who is Aussie HIFIRE? (00:04:30)
  • What is HIFIRE and how does it differ from regular FIRE? (00:05:10)
  • What does AHF want to do during retirement? (00:11:53)
  • The role that bonds play in a portfolio (00:18:53)
  • How Aussie HIFIRE approaches FIRE and kids (00:29:42)
  • Income insurance during the accumulation phase (00:44:10)

Show Notes



Heads up grammar Nazis, the following transcription is half human half machine and not 100% perfect so expect a few typos and errors…


Aussie Firebug: Welcome to the Ozzy Firebug podcast. The financial independence podcast for Australia. Hey guys. Welcome back to the Ozzie Firebug podcast. The financial independence podcast for Aussies, where I interview clever people who’ve already reached or on their way to financial independence. Before we get into the pod today, I’ve got to let you guys know that the annual Australian fire survey is currently open and will be left open for probably another two to three weeks.

I’m a huge data nerd. And I think one of the greatest strengths of this community is that we are willing to share and talk about what is normally considered to Boosie subjects. If we assume that there are a hundred thousand people pursuing fire in Australia, Probably a lot less if I’m being honest, but let’s just go with the a hundred thousand.

We need to have 1056 submissions for this dataset to provide a 95% confidence level, which is the industry standard with a 3% margin of error of the community. So 1056 is the target for this year. The full analysis and data set will be published on Ozzy Of course. So a big thank you to everyone who has already participated, and if you haven’t participated, but want to fill in this survey, head over to Ali forward slash survey.

Now onto the pod for today, we have one of my favorite Ali five bloggers on the podcast, and that’s none other than Aussie high fire himself. Some of the topics that we cover are who is Aussie high fire, and what’s the all about. What is high fire and how does it different from regular fire? The role that bonds can play in a portfolio and income insurance during the accumulation phase.

Hey guys, welcome back to another episode of the Ozzie Firebug podcast. Today. I’m chatting with one of my favorite Aussie bloggers and that is none other then Ozzy high fire. Welcome to the show, mate. Good to be here. Thanks for having me. Now I’ll be reading your stuff for many years now, and I actually think I’ve had it on my to-do list to get you on the pod for roundabout to two or so years.

But because I take forever to actually do any Ozzy Firebag related stuff, it has taken a pandemic and being locked down in London in order for me to catch up with my emails and to get you on the show. But I’m glad you’re on now. Speaking of London, actually, you used to live here once upon a time.

Isn’t that 

Aussie HIFIRE: right? Yeah. So I lived there for about, I don’t know, 10 years or so. Back when I was year, probably about the same sort of age as you, I suppose.  Yeah, I had ideas there working in finance, lots and lots of travel really enjoyable. 

Aussie Firebug: It’s a fun thing to do. Isn’t it? If you don’t mind me asking were about when you lived in London, did you did you live.

Aussie HIFIRE: Yeah. So mostly around the olive dogs East London sort of area. So I spent a lot of my time working in finance over there. I always liked to live fairly close to work. So it kind of made sense to deliver around that sort of area. Amen. 

Aussie Firebug: Clap, clapping myself. And I understand how, how common that is for most Aussies to come to Clapton.

And I was actually in. Well, when I had Peter Thornhill on the other month or so he was, he was living in Claremont many, many decades ago, which, which I found funny. And I was almost going to be like, I wonder evils. He high fire lived in Clapham as well. But yeah, I love dogs. That’s yeah, it’s easier said I actually don’t know too many people out in the East.

I don’t think. Well, you said you lived here at what? Nine or so years ago. I don’t know how, how many ex-pats lived in the ACE, but pretty much everyone that I know is either South or. Like on the North of the river, but not so much East. Yeah. I haven’t really traveled around the East too much. I’m sure it’s enjoyable though, but yeah, it’s definitely closer to the finance sector, which was good for you.

Yeah, definitely. Definitely. For those out there who don’t know who you are, can you give an overview of who you are and where you’re from? 

Aussie HIFIRE: So I’m originally from Queensland spent 25 odd years ago living up there and then Dad of two, obviously very happily married and spent most of my life working in finance and still working in Naria finance at the moment.

So yeah, I keep pretty busy. 

Aussie Firebug: Yeah. And you are Aussie high fire, which is an interesting name. Now I know what Hi-Fi means, but for those out there listening, what is high fire and what does it mean to you and how does it differentiate itself from the standard. Fire acronym that we see in this space and in this community.

Aussie HIFIRE: So high fire is stands for the high income financial independence retire early. So I think probably the, you know, the big sort of differences that you have, the various sort of fires you have, you know, regular fire, you have lean fire where, you know, you’re living on not a whole lot keeping your expenses to an absolute minimum, regular fire where, you know, you’re probably not doing a huge amount of.

Not necessarily the luxury sort of stuff, but you’re not necessarily going out a lot. You’re not going on big trips or anything like that. Hi fire. I know it’s some times called fat fire or more regularly called backfire. It just, it’s not a healthy sort of sound. I think, you know, you, you, you associate fat generally with you know, not necessarily desirable sort of things.

So I thought, okay, well, let’s, let’s have something which is a little bit more. Desirable, which sounds a bit better. 

Aussie Firebug: You changing the Wi-Fi, you changing the image of the fat fire. 

Aussie HIFIRE: Exactly. Exactly. So, yeah, I just thought, you know, for me, what I want is not to retire and not be able to go out and do this things that I like.

So a big part of that for me, is travel and travel is, you know, as you well know, it can be pretty expensive. Like it doesn’t have to be hugely expensive, but if you want to do a two month long trip, we’ll. You’re not doing that for 500 bucks or something like that. It’s, it’s going to cost you a fair amount of money.

And if you don’t want to stay in, it, doesn’t have to be the nicest hotels. You know, you don’t need to be staying in the Marriott or the Hilton or something like that. But if you want to stay in a, in something better than a backpackers, will, you know, that’s going to cost you more money. All those sort of things basically add up.

So for me, it’s, it’s a case of going, okay, well, if I’m going to. Want to retire and I’m going to spend the next 30 or 40 years of my life traveling around. I’m going to need more money to do that. And that’s, that’s where high fire comes in. 

Aussie Firebug: Yeah. So traditionally we see most of the bloggers out there. I would say you see anywhere between like at the very low end of the scale.

I’ve seen a few people looking to aim on retiring on like 35, even $30,000 a year, which is that’s really pushing the limits of how, how frugal you can be and still live a really great life. And I understand everyone’s different and also circumstances are different. So what would Hi-Fi in your circumstances?

What’s sort of the angle and what is a high fire retirement income to you? Yeah. 

Aussie HIFIRE: So for me, I think it’s hard to break all the different sort of brackets down because it’s different for everyone depending on, you know, are they, are they single? Are they married? Do they have kids? So for me, I sort of think, you know, if you’re going for a lane sort of fires, pretty much anyone under say about $40,000 for a single person, maybe a bit more for it, for a married couple or, you know, whatever sort of couple For regular sort of far, I’d say, you know, the 40 up to 60, 70 sort of range and then high fire to me is pretty much anything above that.

So, you know, I’m aiming for around about $80,000 a year for my family. So for my wife and I and the kids are at least part of that when I retired. 

Aussie Firebug: And is that factory in a house paid 


Aussie HIFIRE: We’ve already got pied off house. So, so it’s $80,000 on top of that. You know, if you’re renting there’s another 20,000 bucks a year that you’ve got to come up with pretty 

Aussie Firebug: much.

Absolutely. Because that’s a key distinction. It’s hard to compare numbers without knowing the full picture of someone like someone could say we’re aiming to retire on $40,000 a year versus someone that has a house paid off. That wants to retire on like 50,000. It’s a, it’s a huge difference between factoring in the house paid off and you’re not paying any living expenses like maintenance around the house rates, whatever for someone that’s renting and you’re going to have to cover those rental costs for the foreseeable future.

And then you’re going to have your spending on top of that. So it is a key distinction there. And I would say definitely, you know, 80,000 with a house paid off. That that is definitely what I would consider high fire myself. Because if you think about it, there, there’s plenty of families out there that are only have one income to support the family and who don’t even make $80,000 a year and potentially don’t even have a house paid off.

So. Yeah, I, I would, I would definitely put that in, in the high flyer category. So when did you, when did you discover find w what’s the story behind you stumbling across fly? And when did you say this? I like this concept and this is what I’m going to be aiming for. I 

Aussie HIFIRE: think probably like I’ve always thought about, you know, retiring early.

And then maybe in the early 2010 to mid 2010. And started seeing a few blogs out there. I think the first one that I saw was the frugal woods. And then maybe Mr. Money mustache. And I thought, okay, well, that sounds pretty cool, but I want a bit more money than that. You know, I don’t want to be sitting around and, and penny pinching the whole time and you know, just a porridge for breakfast every morning and all that sort of stuff I want to have, you know, I want to be traveling.

I want to be not necessarily, you know, eating out all the time or anything like that, but I want there to be more to it than I just sit at home most of the time. And then I think I started looking at, okay, well, what’s. What’s the same look like in Australia. And at the time I’m pretty sure you were the only one blogging was you were certainly the first one who I discovered.

So in some small part you’ve, you’ve been an inspiration for me in terms of all this. And then the more I looked into it. You know, there was, there was other sort of bloggers out there. You know, Pat life-long shovel and David Strong money and the FII explore and, you know, there’s certainly a lot more out there now.

But I think for me, it was just, you know, it’s always something I’ve been interested in that really sort of switched on probably about five to seven years ago. And then started reading a lot more about it at that sort of time. And then. As well as that are sort of, you looked at the U S scene and there’s so many different bloggers out there and there’s all the, here’s the mathematical breakdown of it.

And I think when I looked at the Aussie sea and there was probably less of the data driven sort of stuff, like, you know, what are the numbers look like? Does this, you know, w we all talk about the 4% rule and that’s great. It’s all based off us data and you’re going okay, well, If that’s where it is going to be based off.

That’s great though. I don’t live in the U S you know, I want to run the numbers myself. So some of, some of the first sort of stuff, which I put out there was about. Okay, well, would it actually work in Australia? 

Aussie Firebug: It’s awesome to hear that, you know, you read my blog so, so many years ago and it had some sort of inspiration on you.

That’s awesome for me to hear that. Was there like a burning desire for something that fire would enable you, like maybe more time with your kids or something like that, that, you know, when, when you started riding and when you started pursuing fire, that was a major region or reason, or was it just sort of you like what everyone was doing in the community and.

You thought this is like, that’s achievable for me and I’m going to pursue 

Aussie HIFIRE: it both. So, you know, some of it is just, you know, these are what other people are doing and you’re always going to, to some extent base what your goals are, what other people are doing. Like if nobody else is talking about, you know, doing it from this sort of perspective, will maybe you’re not going to think about it from that perspective either.

And you know, it might just be okay, what’d you can only do this. If you you know, Part of a couple, you know, no kids, both high income, all that sort of stuff. And if you, if that’s all that you see in the scene, well, that’s probably you’re going to go, okay, well, yeah, it’s easy for those guys, but you know, it’s, it’s impossible for other sort of people.

So that was part of it. And then, you know, but obviously my own goals were, you know, more time with the kids, as you say, lot more travel. Yeah. Just, just not having to work. I think, you know, having more time to not just with the kids, but more time for yourself as well, because some of the time when you have kids, it’s, you know, you’re spending all the time on the kids than at work and there’s, it’s sometimes it feels like there’s not necessarily a whole lot of time for yourself either.

Whereas if you’re going know, okay, well the kids are at school and I can just, you know, if I want, I can go out for a run, you know, just things like that. Whereas, you know, on the weekends, you’re going okay, well, you know, The priority has to be the kids that are, it should be the kids to my mind until you spending as much time with them as possible.

And it’s harder to, to do your own sort of stuff. So, yeah. You know, being able to travel, but also just being able to spend time with the kids, but having your own time as well, I think was a big part of it 

Aussie Firebug: too. Yeah, absolutely. I can. You know, coming from someone, we are in a, a dink couple, my cell phone, Mrs.

Firebug or she’s actually not working at the moment, but she usually is working. So w we’re both usually working full time without any kids. And I can definitely say even now without kids, how much of my time is eaten up by work and I’ve got Ozzy Firebug, which I do on the side and everything like that.

But I found that very on very early in my career that. There was hardly any time for myself. And I couldn’t even imagine how leave you threw kids into that situation, where there would be not a lot of time, but just a decent amount of time to dedicate. To not only looking after yourself and spending time on things that are important to you, but also just having that creativity time to make things that you just would never, ever do.

Like, I don’t know. My mom, she, she, during the lockdown and started to draw again and create, I don’t know if she’s painting at the moment, but. Little things like that. You never ever get to explore if you’re working full time. I believe with kids because when I first started working, full-time I just, my mind, my time was getting sucked from all over the place with sporting commitments as well.

And yeah, I feel like I realized that very early on in the piece that I need to, I need to get some, my time back ASAP and I don’t want to do this for the next 30 or 40 years. So let’s talk about what you actually will be doing in retirement. And when you achieve the financial independence, is there any, anything specific that you look forward to when you get to retirement?

Aussie HIFIRE: Just learning how to do new things and spending more time doing the things that I want. So, you know, I’ve. Lived in Australia for a fair sort of chunk of time. And as you’d know, when you go overseas, everybody goes are, you know, do you surf? Yeah. And when you say no, I’m like what? That’s something that all you guys done.


Aussie Firebug: like, you’re not, you’re not, yeah. It kills me as well because it’s such a cool thing to do. And it is, I would love to learn how to serve properly and actually go on holidays to be, you know, go on surfing destination holidays. I go to Bali or somewhere where they’ve got some, some surf to actually take advantage of it.

So yeah, I’m totally with you on that. 

Aussie HIFIRE: Yeah. And then just things like, you know, I want to get out and I want to go for. I live near some great sort of trials and I’m into trail running, but realistically you get to do it, you know, once or twice a month sort of thing. If you could just go out and hit the trails, you know, a couple of times a week, geez, that would be brilliant.

Things like that. And then, you know, travel, I want to be able to do, you know, we were lucky enough. When we left Hong Kong that we had a lot of spare time and we did a two month road trip around the U S and it was. Absolutely fantastic. Like there’s just so much to see it’s such an amazing place. But it’s kind of you know, if you don’t have that time or if you don’t, if you’re not setting yourself up for fire, it’s a once in a lifetime time trip.

And I don’t want that to be the once in a lifetime trip. I want to be there once a year. So, but I think I think you last year, did you mind sort of going around Europe? I want to be able to do that. 

Aussie Firebug: Yeah, pretty regularly. Would you say, because the things that you’re saying so far, like surfing and like trail running doesn’t really cost any money or doesn’t cost a lot of money.

So it, would it be, I have to say that that the traveling is really the, the big luxury in your mind that you’re not willing to give up in pursuit of fire. And you want to actually build that into fire. Hence the high fire. Would that be fair to say. 

Aussie HIFIRE: Yeah, I think it’s probably more of a, when I retire, I want to be able to do it.

So along the way, yes, there is going to be, you know, a reasonable sort of amount of travel. It’s not as I’m going to give it up entirely, but I think when I get to retirement, it’s going to be, you know, here’s a, here’s a two months long trip, whereas while I’m still working well, I’ve got kids, who’ve got to be in school and things like that.

It’s, it’s a two-week long 

Aussie Firebug: trip. Fair enough. Now let’s Let’s pivot now and talk about how you are going to achieve financial independence. So if I may ask, what do you currently invest in? What is your portfolio portfolio look like? 

Aussie HIFIRE: Yeah, it’s a feral mix out there. It’s basically roughly speaking, actually.

I’ve got it here in front of me. If I actually want to look at the numbers on it at the moment, excluding the house. It’s about 80% in shares. It’s about 15%. Contain bonds cash, all that sort of stuff. And then the rest of the 10 property alternatives, like infrastructure, stuff like that. So it’s basically mostly in, you know, chairs.

And then within that to about 40% in Ozzy shares and roughly 60% in international shares, right. 

Aussie Firebug: And with the property exposure, are you just using Rhett’s to get that property exposure? Yeah. So that’s all in rates. Yep. Right, right. Cool. And I’m interested because you wrote a great article about bonds and bonds are a very interesting topic in the fire community, because if you look at the Ozzie five bloggers and even I think the U S fire bloggers are more, there’s more of.

There’s more us five bloggers that incorporate bonds into their portfolio. But most of the Ozzy five bloggers that I follow in that I’ve seen are sort of a hundred percent equities and they don’t really have bonds in their portfolio, myself included. So can you explain the role of bonds in your portfolio and why you have them in there?

Aussie HIFIRE: Yeah, sure. So bonds are pretty much in there as a diversifier. They’re there to when their share market goes down, either hold their value or ideally go up in value. And it’s just a bit of a cushion really. I don’t expect that they’re ever going to necessarily give me a huge returns, particularly given where rates are at the moment, but it’s also, well, these aren’t going to disappear.

If something goes wrong, you know, you’re not going to see the shoes sort of falls in bond values or not the type of bonds, which I own anyway, that you might inequities. You’re not going to have those shoes sort of swings. So, you know, you, you talked before about the importance of, of behavior and the psychology of fire.

A lot of people just can’t handle it. You know, here’s a 40% swing in the value of your portfolio. It’s just going to be now I’m out of this. This was insane. What was I doing? Everything’s gone to cash stuff. This for a joke. If you’ve got some bonds in there, then you can certainly reduce how much you afford.

You’re going to have. Now the flip side of that is you’re probably not going to see it run up as much or run up as quickly, but you’re probably going to see a smoother return out of it. And you sort of mentioned, you know, most of the Aussie bloggers who you follow don’t necessarily have bonds in there.

That’s probably also a function of age as well. So the older you get, generally speaking, the more likely you are to have more secure or you want more security in there. When you’re younger, you can just go, right. Well, everything’s air curries, you know, I’ve got a long career left. Well, you’ve got a long time working.

Yeah. Do you want to, hopefully you don’t have a long career. 

Aussie Firebug: Hopefully not 

Aussie HIFIRE: one sort of thing, but, but you know what I mean? In the U S community. I think you’ve got a lot more people who are potentially a little bit older and then it’s also just a much bigger investment class in the us then. Pretty much everywhere, really, to be honest.

In Australia, the bond market is just, it’s an afterthought at best. Asia, similar Europe, it’s bigger, but it’s nowhere near as important as what it is in the U S so a typical us investment portfolio will be 60, 40, basically 60% in equities, 40% in bonds. Whereas you come to Australia and you look at your default super and it’s supposed to be 70, 30.

In theory, in reality, most of them anywhere between 80 to 20 or a hundred zero sort of percentage wise, but. There’s just not the exposure to it in Australia. Like people, people haven’t heard of them in a lot of cases, it’s like, Oh, okay. What’s that? Whereas shares, everybody’s heard of shares. So Australia has got, and I think this is in part because, you know, we had to Telstra flight, there was a CSL float.

There’s a CommBank float, all the sort of retail ones that people got into and they sort of. It’s not necessarily that they understand shares, but they’re comfortable with them. And so when you talk about bonds and it’s like, okay, well, all you get is, you know, a coupon it’s never going to go up, usually in value.

If the company triples, then you still get the same old interest payments and Tucker. What I want that for. 

Aussie Firebug: And, and for those out there listening, because I really haven’t spoken about bonds ever on this podcast or in my blog for those, I, I know how they work, but maybe it’d be handy to just explain what, what are bonds and how do they work briefly?

Aussie HIFIRE: Yeah, sure. So bonds are pretty much you’re lending money to either a government or a corporation. And in return they say, right, well, we’re going to give you a specific rate of interest. We’ll give you this coupon payment on it. And in five years time, we’ll give you back however much money you put in there’s there’s exceptions to all those sorts of rules, but that’s basically the way it works, but because interest rates change because the value of, you know, the, the likelihood of the company.

Paying able to pay back its bonds. All those sorts of things can change. The price of the bond itself will fluctuate in value. So, you know, when interest rates go down, as they have been, the bond actually becomes more valuable. When interest rates go up, the bond becomes less valuable due to a variety of factors.

Aussie Firebug: Yeah. Do you buy and sell bonds on the ASX or is there another market for that? 

Aussie HIFIRE: I’d just buy them through an ETF. So there’s about there’s a whole bunch of different bond ETFs, which you can buy buy on the exchange. So Vanguard’s got on my shares. I’ve got Peter shares. I’ve got them. It means 

Aussie Firebug: that a basket of bonds from different companies and different government organizations.


Aussie HIFIRE: Yep. So it’s pretty much the same as, or is it it’s an equivalent for bonds? Yeah. When you buy, you know, a vis or an 8,200 or Isaiah or whatever the case may be, in fact, they’ll actually probably be more bonds in there and they will be shares for, for most of the indexes. Yup. 

Aussie Firebug: So the key difference, I think from my limited understanding is when you buy shares, you’re buying ownership or part ownership of that company.

But the bonds is really just you’re lending money to either a company or a government entity. And they’re saying, you know, w w we’re taking 10 grand off. Yeah. And we’re going to pay you a fixed interest rate of whatever it is. Three and a half percent. I I’m not too sure what, what the rates are these days, but there’s some sort of rate and then they will pay you that rate.

And then once it reaches maturity at the end of like the five-year deal or something, then they give you, they give you your capital back to you. Is that sort of how, how it works? Did I get it right? Yep. All right. Cool. That’s 

Aussie HIFIRE: that’s pretty much exactly. So, yeah, 

Aussie Firebug: so it was a lot. Yeah, it’s risky. And it it’s that defensive asset in your portfolio, because like you said, people get to a point in their life.

And this won’t happen to me, you know, I’m not sure I’m still what I want. I like to consider very young in the investment game and everything like that. I’ve got to many decades of compounding to go, but I think you do get to a point where it’s not so much about making more money. You’ve already got that F-you money.

You’ve got the financial independence. It’s more about preserving that capital and preserving your wealth. And you’re not really, you can’t really be asked to. Fight tooth and nail for that, you know, five basis points, extra return or that 20 basis points, extra return. You’re more concerned about, is it safe?

Is it there? Can I rely on it? And I’ve, I’ve seen as it being a few stories about, you know, wealthy individuals not investing optimally, we, and this is back to the numbers and psychology debate, but they’re more just. Preserving their wealth and keeping it in really defensive asset classes, because that’s just, that helps them sleep at night.

And that’s how they feel comfortable investing, which is I find is really interesting as well. 

Aussie HIFIRE: Yeah. I think that’s, you’ve hit the nail on the head there. I mean, when you get to, you know, if your money or whatever you want to call it, you basically going okay. Well, do you really want to keep on letting it ride?

You know, do you want to say, okay, well, I’ve got, I don’t know, call it 2 million bucks invested and that’s enough. Maybe. So, you know, any x-ray you make or whatever the case may be, maybe you just go, okay, well, let’s put it into safer sort of stuff now. So, you know, if we have another big crash. Okay, well it’s still going to be all right.

Aussie Firebug: There’s a point of diminishing returns. Definitely. Like I think there’s my life. I could never see a difference between if we had, let’s say I’m just going to go like super, super high fire, just because, you know, I never know what we were aspiring to have kids one day, so I never know how much that’s gonna cost and everything, but let’s say we had 5 million invested in the markets.

I don’t really think my life would change at all between 5 million and 50 million. Like my lifestyle changes. Wouldn’t be different because I know, I know the important things in my life and it potentially, I like to think my spending habits wouldn’t change. And that’s probably been a little bit optimistic because I think as you do get more wealthier, there is a little bit of lifestyle creep and you can’t, it’s hard to avoid that, but even crazy luxuries for me is still relatively conservative for most people.

So yeah, the difference between five mil and 50 mil. Isn’t that much of a difference in my eyes. Like it’s a huge difference in terms of money, but the lifestyle that those two sums would grant me would be, would be very similar. Like I’d have to have a, I’d have to have a major mindset shift for, for those two songs to sort of create two different lines.


Aussie HIFIRE: I can see what you’re going for there. I mean, Yeah, I guess it depends on, is it a case of you won the lotto and you’ve got 5 million versus 50 million, because if you win a lot on, you’ve got five 50 million. Well, you’re just going to go ahead and spend it, you know, like, I’m not saying you’re going to blow it a lot of it, but you’re going to go, okay.

Well here’s what my lifestyle is now. Whereas if it’s a case of, okay, well you’ve got 5 million. You want to get to 50 million. There’s going to be a lot more sacrifice along the way. True. That makes sense. It’s a lot longer 

Aussie Firebug: and it might not be worth it. That’s a good point. I think it, it depends really.

Yeah. Good point. Like if you were gifted that extra money, well, then you’ve got it. Like, cause I always look it up, look at it. And I think a lot of people look at it like. And am I willing to sacrifice so much of my youth and my life to get to a net worth of like, let’s say $10 million, which is like, most people will never get to that.

But if I work my ass off and I, you know, get to the CEO position or whatever it is, I could potentially get there. But then at what cost and that isn’t when I look at the numbers, it’s not worth me spending all my time and energy purely just so I can be wealthy. I’ve got to live a great life. During my working careers and during my thirties, forties and fifties.

So yeah. Yeah, I get what you’re saying. That’s a good point. Now, speaking of living a great life and just all the differences in the fire bloggers out there, I really pole polarizing topic recently has been children and the road to fire. Now you currently have two kids. How has that changed your mindset?

And is there anything that people need to, or people that are. On the journey to fire, which is me and Mrs. Firebug at the moment. Is there anything you would say to people that want to have kids in the future and also want to pursue their fire dream? 

Aussie HIFIRE: I think the first message has got to be look it’s doable.

It’s absolutely doable to have kids and still pursue fire, but it is, you know, th th the message is pretty clear on it. It’s going to be harder, right. Because kids are an additional cost. And I, and I know you, you know, one of the. The recent podcast, which you had with Dave and Pat, you know, there’s a, there’s a bit of talk about, you know, how much does it really cost to have kids?

Aussie Firebug: I think I know

on, on Facebook, not a shit storm, but it was a massive topic on the Facebook group. It had like over 250 comments because someone brought up the fact that, that I think, I think Pat said on that podcast summit, like You can even make money by having kids because the government incentives that they pay you money to have kids or something like that.

And I think, yeah, a few parents, your parents in the, in the group disagreed heavily with him. But yeah, I’m interested to hear what you kind of say. 

Aussie HIFIRE: I mean, the thing is like, it probably is actually possible to do that. It’s just that if you’re doing that well, you’re not going to be pursuing fire because, well, you’re not earning anything almost certainly because the government’s paying all the expenses.

But yeah, it’s, you’re not going to get far if you’re doing that sort of stuff. I can tell you that right now. I think the biggest cost, cause, you know, we always spend a lot of time or, you know, one of the first things that always comes up when you, when people talk about it and I’m planning up post on all this, but you know, people talk about, Oh, you know, the prayer it’s in the car seats and you know, it costs you this much.

And you know, I can’t believe people spend. It was 


Aussie Firebug: me. That was definitely me.

Aussie HIFIRE: But the thing is like, it’s a one-off cost. Like, let, let’s say you spend, we spend, I’ll be honest here. We spend a grand on our prem. And it is an awesome prayer marking too. We’ve got it’s called a baby’s in yo-yo and it falls up to like the size of a desktop computer, I guess like a tower. So to case you can take it on prem.

It’s sorry. You can take it on. Applying fits really easily in the car. Solid as hell. You know, I love this thing. I go running with it. It’s that good? But it’s only a grant. And you spending at once, like, it doesn’t really make that much difference to you. And it’s the same sort of thing with the car seats.

It’s like, yeah, they’re expensive. Everybody buys them new because you know, you don’t know if something’s happened to the other car seat. If they’ve, once they’ve been in a crash, then they’re useless. So you go, okay, well it’s 200 bucks. It’s 300 bucks. It’s five. A hundred bucks. If you want to get one, that’s going to go for longer, but it doesn’t really make much difference.

The big things, which makes a difference in terms of the cost of kids are number one. What’s, who’s looking after the kids is somebody giving up their job. Are they going part time? Cause if they are well, you know, if you’re giving up. Good job entirely. Even if you’re working minimum wage here in August, that’s roughly $40,000 a year.

If $40,000 a year, isn’t going to put a hole in, you know, when you’re going to hit firewall, I want to know what the other person didn’t come in is because that’s pretty amazing. So I think that’s one of the big things there and if you’re not doing that, so that’s what we do. My wife is is a stay at home mum.

And I can tell you it’s harder work than what I do. By a long way. But yeah, if she was working, if we didn’t have, have kids, well, you wouldn’t have the ongoing cost for a start, but then on top of that as well, you know, you’d have that extra money, which is coming in. So you might be talking about, you know, even if you’re talking know minimum wage sort of job.

Okay, well, you’ve lost $35,000 after tax there. And then you’ve got ongoing costs of. You know, I’m writing the numbers at the moment. As I said, I think it’s around about $4,000, $5,000 for each of our kids, roughly speaking per year and they’re young. So yeah. No, it’s mostly just food things. Like we’ve got swimming, lessons, clothes, all that sort of stuff.

And it’s not a huge one, but it all adds up. Right. So yes, Joe told me a $40,000 swing between those things. Well, that that’s, that’s pretty huge. That’s that’s going to delay when you’re hitting it by a long way. If you’re saying said, okay, well, You’re going part time. Well, okay. Yeah. Then you’re doing childcare or after-school care or whatever it is, all those sort of things add up as well.

No matter which way you do it, like it’s going to cost you a fair amount just in that cost, which you’re not necessarily seeing to some extent 

Aussie Firebug: yeah. That, that, that opportunity loss that doesn’t actually show in the expense column, but is costing you a lot of money without you knowing it. Yep. Yep.

Aussie HIFIRE: Exactly. So know it’s a lot easier if you’re both working full time, you don’t have any extra costs. I don’t think at the age that our kids are out at the moment, I can’t really speak for what it’s like as they get older. I think it gets a hell of a lot more expensive just in the food bill, apart from anything else.

Then, you know, it’s. It’s going to add up pretty quick, you know, is that, that, that amount of money that you’re missing out on is just huge. 

Aussie Firebug: Yeah, that’s, that’s sort of cost it’s fair point. And I think, well, a major reason, you know, we’re on this journey and I’ve spoken about this many times is to have the time to spend with kids when, when we do have them, which isn’t too far away, hopefully touch wood.

And. I think the power of fire and the power of having a passive income, especially when you’re in your thirties, is that ability to have that secondary income or have that how that income, that isn’t reliant on someone working. So, you know, we invest through a trust and the plan will be when Mrs.

Firebug finishes work and. W she’s gives birth and I was on maternity leave and all that good stuff. A lot of, pretty much all the income from the portfolio portfolio will flow into, into her. And that will be a huge tax advantage because she will be under the, what is it, 18 and a half thousand dollars a tax-free threshold.

And any extra money will be taxed at a really low rate that comes in from the portfolio. Now I understand that not everyone will be in that situation, but I think it is. A great thing to aim for, if you want to have kids and you do want to fire to have that portfolio build up to a, to a certain level that you can take advantage of stuff like that when someone isn’t working.

And it was really interesting to read the comments on that post, that how expensive kids are in the fire group, the Facebook group. And I am interested because we have spoken a lot about. All the expensive things that can happen and all the costs that are associated with kids. But do you find like, is there surely there’s areas of having kids where you see other parents spend ridiculous amounts of money and.

There’s there’s some low hanging fruits that can save you thousands of dollars a year, that people that are free will, can take advantage of and not sort of just succumb to the norm and spend all this money on their kids. Like, is there examples of that? And I’d love to hear them. If there are. 

Aussie HIFIRE: I think a lot of it is just probably the stuff which you’re doing already.

Like, you know, if you’re being smart with your shopping and your, you know, you’re shopping the specials at Coles and Woolies and Aldi and all that sort of stuff where you’re saving a lot of money there. When it comes to clothes, like I know that there’s a lot of people out there who don’t like secondhand clothes.

I don’t like to get them from charity shops and stuff like that. Yeah, look, it’s personal preference, whatever sort of suits. We tend to buy a lot of our stuff out of season. So, you know, we wait until, okay, summer’s over. Everything goes on sale at target, came out, whatever it is. And you’re buying stuff for a couple of bucks that, you know, if you bought it in six months time, it’d be pretty much exactly the same or near enough to it.

It costs you a hell of a lot more, you know, it could be 20 bucks, it could be 30 bucks. So to start, so just buying stuff. No two seasons ahead effectively. So that’s something which really sort of factors into it. I’ve been to some bios day parties, which are better than any birthday party I’ve ever had.

I’ll tell you that there’s there’s the cake and you look at the cake and you go, well, I bet you that cost, you know, 50 bucks, a hundred bucks, and then you look it up online. Cause I was looking at cakes for some work stuff. It’s like 250 bucks. I’m just like jewel drop. Yeah. I mean, I think we baked ours from a packet mix or something like that, but nobody is flying dried.

I mean, nobody. Okay. Don’t get me wrong. This cake looked awesome. And I’ve seen a few cakes like this and great. Okay. It didn’t look quite so flesh. So what delighted the parents delighted didn’t didn’t matter, you know, birthday parties, one of those things where you just see people spending. What I would call the ridiculous sort of amount of money in, and we’re just sitting there going okay.

As costs like a hundred bucks for food for everyone, you know, she lost 

Aussie Firebug: that. The thing, like that’s the thing that I find, I find that the people that spend a whole bunch of money on their kids, is it really for the kids or is it too. Make yourself look like the best parent at the party or something like that.

Like honestly, they get it. They, there comes an age where like cool brands and clothes and stuff sort of matters for like a social status. And that’s a whole nother debate about children, you know, getting teased because they’re were in like, not the best brands or something like that. That’s a whole nother debate, but when they’re really young, like, do they really care if they’re dressed in.

A secondhand shirt or, you know, a brand new nice shirt for a kid that costs like 20 bucks or something like that. I dunno. Like, it just seems crazy to me. And it’s almost, that’s 

Aussie HIFIRE: where you’re pointing it. That’s a pocket. Oh, I 

Aussie Firebug: don’t know. I deal with kids’ clothes. Kids’ clothes were cheaper, but obviously not, but yeah, I feel like it’s a, it’s a bit of a pissing contest between the parents at a lot of these events and even just with.

A lot of these purchases and it’s going to be really interesting for me when we have kids to see that firsthand, because we’re not in that circle when we haven’t, we’re not in that stage of life yet, but we’re very close. I actually want to get someone on the podcast specifically talking about this, so that is coming up.

Cause I know it’s such an interesting topic and a lot of people want to hear about it, but yeah, it’s, it’s very, it’s very interesting and. I it’s hard for me to know, like the specific numbers for children, because we haven’t had them. And I, I love to dig in to the specifics of how much everything costs and from what area they’re in and stuff like that.

But I feel like that’s another podcast, but it needs coming up. Very pole polarizing topic amongst the community. That’s for sure though. Now tell us about, you’ve got, you’ve got a blog, Ozzie Hi-Fi dot com. Tell us a bit about that. How did that start? And what’s it all about? 

Aussie HIFIRE: So the blog is sort of, it pretty much tells my story and then it pretty much just comes up, whatever, whatever sort of hits my mind at any sort of given time.

I mean, for a while there, I had a series on sequencing risk and just talking about you know, It has it all work out because, you know, whenever you see all these compound interest calculators and things like that, it always just says, you know, you have a smoother return at 7% per year and whatever it is everything goes along and then 11.13, nine years, then you’ll hit your fine number.

And. The reality is it doesn’t sort of work like that. You know, markets don’t give you smooth returns. They give you really lumpy sorta one. So, you know, I did a whole sort of series on that. And then, you know, after that, it’s, it’s pretty much whatever sort of works for me. So a lot of it, as, as we talked about is data driven.

So. Yeah, I think one of the, one of my posts, which you very kindly re blogged or retweeted or whatever the terminology is, was on imputation credits back when seems like a lifetime ago, I think it was probably about a year ago now really when label was proposing to change that. So, you know, I wanted to look at what the numbers are.

Around that. And then yeah, just, just wanting those sort of vein. Another one I had was, you know, what’s the difference between, you know, you see it on Reddit all the time on, on the FIS Australia, sub Reddit, people are talking about, Oh, you know, I should, should I have 8,200 or should I have vests?

Or should I have iOS ed? Or, you know, w which of these, these low cost funds should I have? And yeah. Yeah. When I crunch the numbers on it doesn’t matter. I could really, any of them is fine. They’re all coming out with almost exactly the same result. Once you get down to, you know, we’re talking about a couple of basis.

This point’s different. It’s irrelevant. Really isn’t and people are spending huge amounts of time talking about, and you’re just going, I just got sick of it. And I was actually talking to that other fire blogger because I was working on a post and it’s just like, I had a 4,000 word monstrosity and I didn’t feel like I’d actually said any.

Yeah. And you just go and nobody’s going to read this. Like, I can’t even read it myself at this point in time. He said, well, why don’t you break it into two? And I thought, yeah, I guess, I guess that could work. Eh, and it sort of  out of that is, okay, well, what are the main sort of points? And one was about, you know, cutting costs on, on your living costs and the other one was cutting costs in your investment.

And, you know, we sort of came to, okay, well, He’s the big one that everyone’s always talking about. What’s it look like in terms of that? And the post just sort of blew up it’s by far my most popular post out 

Aussie Firebug: there. Yeah. It’s a really great post. I’ll put that in the show notes as well. It’s it’s the 8,200 verse VAs and what’s my weapon debate.

It’s a brilliant post I’ll. I’ll put it in the show notes for people that want to read cause it’s really good. 

Aussie HIFIRE: Yeah. And then sometimes I’ll just talk about, you know, whatever sort of is on my mind. Reviews of what I’m up to, you know, how things are going in terms of my saving all that sort of stuff.

And I mean, as you, as you said earlier in the show, look, a lot of this is behavioral as well. You know, for me, the numbers side of it is the easy part and the investment side is easy part. I’ve been doing this for 20 odd years in terms of investment, like I’ve been in the market for I’ve owned shares for nearly 30 years now.

I think the, you know, I worked in, in this on the institutional side where you’re talking to hedge funds, you’re talking to asset managers, all those sort of guys, and I feel like I’ve career really, really good sort of grasp on it. Most people don’t Unfortunately, because you know, I’d look, it’s not what they do.

This is what I did for a living. I don’t know anything about, you know, God, if you handed me a ranch, I don’t know what sort of damage I do, but you don’t want to be doing that. That’s for sure. So I just took, you know, for me, that sort of part of things is easy. For a lot of people it’s not, but. I think a lot of it, as well as just talking about the behavioral sort of side of, okay, well, what are the things which are important?

What are the things which aren’t important? What is it that’s going to help you, you know, stay the course. And so some of the posts might be about, you know, the importance of diversification, because if your, you know, if you’re going to, as we talked about earlier that you see the, the value of your investment fall by 40%.

Well, Some people just, aren’t going to be able to handle that. And there’s just, there’s nothing wrong with that. I mean, Jesus, it’s, it’s not necessarily even. It’s very understandable. Okay. Well, you know, something just fell by 40%. What’s to say that can’t go to zero necessarily, you know, your primal fear takes over at that point.

But then also I’ll talk about, you know, these are the things which I think are important that not necessarily everybody is talking about. So emergency funds, you know, is probably, to me, probably one of the first things which people should be looking at, it should be instead of RK. Well, I’ve managed to save up $10,000.

What do I do with it? It’s like, well, you need to put that into your emergency fund. First of all, because if something goes wrong, well, what do you do? It is staffed pretty much. And then, you know, personal insurance, cause again, the same sort of thing, you know, if you can’t work again for most of us know, particularly for you, you’ve got another, well, you don’t have, hopefully you don’t have another 20 or 30 years, but if you were the average sort of person out there, you’re going, okay, well, I need to have this income coming in, you know, and if I’m not protected, then what am I going to do?

And everyone goes, Oh, well, you know, I’m in the fire. It’s not a big deal. And it’s like, yeah, but you’re starting. Like, it’s not a big deal when you get to the end. Yeah. You know, if you box in the bank and it’s going to provide that, you know, 70,000, 80,000 bucks worth of income, whatever it is, great, happy days you’re set.

But if you all, you’ve got $20,000 saved up and all of a sudden you can’t work again for whatever reason, then what are you going to do? Like, you’re just going to leave off settling for the rest of your life because you can’t work. Like it’s not, it’s not your fault necessarily that you can’t work, but what, what’s your plan?


Aussie Firebug: It’s about protecting probably your most important asset, which is the ability to have a. Income and compare it comparable to the returns of your portfolio, especially when you’re starting out. It’s your income is everything, you know, it’s, it’s the one that’s driving the whole ship or pairing the whole ship.

And it’s not until you get to the very end that you can really switch, switch pilots and change to the portfolio. And I have to admit that’s something that I. Probably have neglected during my journey, which is seriously looking at income protection and stuff like that during the journey. Cause we don’t have anything whatever’s in our super is sort of everything that we have and we don’t invest in any sort of insurances other than house, house insurance and car insurance outside of what’s in super.

But it’s very. Very interesting topic and something that probably isn’t talked enough about in the fire community. Yeah. 

Aussie HIFIRE: It’s just one of those things where everybody, you know, there are either I don’t need it and you go, well, yeah, you kind of do or . Yeah, exactly. Well, it’s like any insurance, right?

Like. The crazy thing to me is, you know, everybody goes, Oh, you know, as he current short. Oh yeah, of course it is. You know, this is your house in short. Okay. Yeah, of course it is, you know. Okay. How much is your house worth? 500,000 bucks. Okay. And how much is your future income worth? I dunno, I will. You earn a hundred thousand bucks a year?

You’re going to be working 40 years. It’s worth 4 million bucks. 

Aussie Firebug: Isn’t that funny? When you say it, when you say it like that, it sounds like it makes a lot of sense, but it’s just. I dunno what it is. There’s some sort of psychological thing about not like maybe it will never happen to me. Like, I don’t know the statistics about how often you, how, how many people crashed their car in their lifetime versus how many people will potentially have a major.

Accident that will impact their income. Severely I’d love to see the numbers like speaking to data-driven because I’m like, I’m going to be like that 

Aussie HIFIRE: myself. When I looked at it, like one of the insurance companies was basically saying you’ve got a one in three chance of being out of work due to illness, injury, whatever it is for more than three months.

During your working life. And then I was looking at something else and it was something along the lines of roughly 20% of the population is actually disabled. 

Aussie Firebug: Really? 

Aussie HIFIRE: Yeah. A lot of those are going to be old people, right. It like it, sorry, not the working age population, the whole population. So a lot of that’s going to be in that, but if you go, okay, well, Well, that’s three quarters of it.

It’s still 5% of the rest of the population yourself. 

Aussie Firebug: Way more than I thought 

Aussie HIFIRE: so. And, and you just don’t see it, right? Because you know, when you’re at work, you would, everybody else is obviously capable of working. So it’s, self-selecting to a large extent, the ones who, who can’t work anymore, when you’re not seeing them at work, you’re not seeing them at 40, you know, you’re not seeing them at.

No, they’re probably not necessarily going out off a whole lot. And I just become invisible and you don’t see them because, well, they’re not there. 

Aussie Firebug: Mm. Yeah. It’s not, not at the forefront of your mind. Is it? Whereas like you might say, you know, car accidents happen every day, it’s on the news. It’s in the papers.

No, it’s rarely. Yeah. And even when people see someone losing their income, it’s, it’s sort of that. You know, invincible attitude when you’re young, it’s never gonna happen to me sort of thing. Yeah. 

Aussie HIFIRE: And there’s a great Ozzy, you know, she’ll be right, mate sort of had a tutor as well, which doesn’t really help, whereas that guys.

So now it’s interesting because you see this huge difference between, you know, because when I was writing the blog, I sort of looked at, you know, what’s it look like for the U S versus Australia and it’s just night and day. Like, it really is, you know, lots of countries are just so much, you know, it’s just.

Here’s one of the things that you do. Whereas in Australia it’s like, no, why would I need to add, or, you know, it’s in my super and you’re going okay, well what’s, how much is it? I don’t know. Well, how it enough then? Yeah, yeah, 

Aussie Firebug: yeah, yeah, absolutely. It is. It’s an interesting topic, probably a whole whole nother debate.

A bit about that and you know, what’s right. What’s wrong. And how much, you know, a lot of people do say it’s in their super, but you know, how, how good is it? What sort of coverage is it? Stuff like that it’s probably worth something. You know, to look up I encourage anyone listening to check it out, what they’re covered for and to see if they’re happy enough with that coverage wrap, wrapping things up, mate.

Cause we really coming on to an hour. Now what’s one piece of advice that you’d give to any Ozzie out there that is pursuing high fire. 

Aussie HIFIRE: Just one, you just got a little it to the middle one here. 

Aussie Firebug: You can say me, you want but I usually say one because. Well, I was gonna say usually there’s, there’s a, a really important thing to have, but, you know, surprise me if you’ve 

Aussie HIFIRE: got multiple.

I think that protect yourself on that we’ve just talked about is probably one of the more important ones. Like that’s huge, just making sure that, you know, if something goes wrong, you’re going to be a ride. It is a massive sort of thing on top of that, I guess, just knowing what you’re actually spending your money on.

If you don’t know what you’re spending your money on and like, it’s great. If okay. If you’re going okay, I’m saving 50 grand a year, no problems, you know, then, okay. You don’t need to worry about it for most people when they actually do the real sort of numbers, when they, you know, Download the bank statement or, you know, they use whatever sort of app it is that, that does all this stuff.

I think most of the banks will now tell you, you know, this is what you’re spending the money on. And all of a sudden, there’s this eye-opener of Holy hell. I’m spending 10,000 bucks a year on eating out or something like that. I think somebody was telling me that had Brendan for Vola that the IFL player, X IFL player, he ordered something like a thousand different Uber eats meals over the course of the year.

And you get on individually individual meals. Like, I don’t need that many meals over the course 

Aussie Firebug: of a year. I’m pretty sure Molly. That’s like more than that, that’s like, Oh, it could be 

Aussie HIFIRE: numbers there, but it was yeah. 

Aussie Firebug: Three meals a day or just under or something like that. And 

Aussie HIFIRE: you get away. People are obviously like, it’s not to that sort of extent for, you know, everybody goes higher.

We just, we don’t add how much, you know, once a week sort of thing. And you go. Well, hold on. Yeah, you ate out for lunch every day and then you ate out three times. It’s not once a week. There’s always something like that. It might be, you know, the people just don’t think about you do this every single day or.

You know, you do it a bunch of times a week, but you think you’d do it a lot less, or you just don’t sort of look at what those numbers add up to. It’s like the classic example is always the, you know, the cup of coffee and you go, okay, well you have this cup of coffee and you don’t have the course, you it’s a thousand bucks or whatever.

A cup of coffee doesn’t really make that much difference. But you know, there’s always some sort of expense out there or, you know, buying clothes or shoes or sporting equipment or computer games or whatever it is. There’s always know what you’re spending. It’s probably the big thing there. It’s very 

Aussie Firebug: important.

Yeah, no, the, you never know your financial independence number, unless you can accurately gauge how much you spend to maintain your current lifestyle. So that’s always, yeah. Huge, hugely important. Couldn’t agree anymore. Well, mate, it was an absolute pleasure having you on the pod. Thank you so much for making the time and Yeah, I really enjoyed it.


Aussie HIFIRE: for having me. 

Aussie Firebug: Well, there you go guys. Aussie high fire himself talking about the high fire lifestyle. I’d be interested to know what you guys think. Does the high fire lifestyle appeal to you? Maybe you’re the opposite. Maybe you want to pursue lean fire or barista fire, regardless. I think it’s an interesting topic and I hope you guys enjoyed that one as much as I did making it.

As always Eve gloss like these podcasts, one of the best things you can do to help me out is give me a review on iTunes. I checked the other day and we’re up to over 300 reviews, which is awesome. I appreciate all of them so much and it helps to bump up the podcasts in the algorithms are much appreciated.

That’s it for today? Hope you guys enjoyed it. I’ll see you on the next episode. Thanks guys for listening to another episode of the Ozzy Firebag podcast for links to all of the resources, plus an entire transcript of this episode, head over to Aussie Make sure you never miss out on another episode by subscribing now on iTunes or SoundCloud.

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