Start Here

Thanks to some awesome mentions and features in the last several days, FinanciaLibre’s enjoyed “booming statistics.”

Thousands of new visitors, 2x thousands of eyeballs, lots of stickiness and other dot-com-y metrics have, by some venture capital valuation models, probably rendered FinanciaLibre a ten-figure unicorn. My internal models suggest that’s the rough value, anyway. Which I mention just in case any VCs with a burning need to unload barrels of cash happen to be reading this.

Like so much economic manna from heaven, the love has rained down from my blogging bro-thesiologist Physician on FIRE, from fellow 35-year old retiree Steve at ThinkSaveRetire, and from Rockstar Finance, which is evidently a website of some kind.

And it’s all made wily FL very merry in this holiday season. You see, for as much fun as I may have flogging my keyboard like a rented mule, it just wouldn’t be the same without being able to share it all with you, dear readers.

Which means it’s all good. Well, pretty much all good. Like 99.9%. But there’s a nagging 0.1% outstanding, and this post is being sent in as remediation.

Along with all the satisfied customers served recently, at least one customer found a band-aid in the burrito. Old FL received a very nice e-mail from an adoring fan advising that I need to install a “Start Here” page or similar feature on the site to assist with newbie navigation.

Now, that’s not a bad idea, and it’s maybe something I’ll look into doing soon. But it’ll require some thought and planning and maybe even effort, which sounds a lot like work. So I thought I’d just do this instead: What follows is a listing of some FL articles I’d consider particularly useful. They’re ordered loosely by topic, and an annotation alongside each link gives a preview of what’s to be found in the full post.

Naturally, for those interested in learning more about yours truly and/or about why I do this whole FL blog thing, the “About” and “FL-osophy” pages are probably good places to visit.

So, to the thoughtful reader who took the care to e-mail me (thank you!), and to any other readers out there with a similar frustration, I hope this is helpful. (And while I’m thanking peeps, many thanks and welcome to the loads of new email subscribers who’ve joined the party the last week or so. For readers who haven’t yet taken the plunge, you can subscribe via the “Get Libre” box in the righthand panel of this page. You won’t get spam or other weird crap. Just straight-up goodness.)

Start Here


Avoid The 4% Rule To Stay A Millionaire In Retirement: This is as good a place as any to really get going. The “traditional” 4% Rule is hardly bulletproof and could bankrupt you before you die. So you should avoid it. Here’s what to do instead. (Additional 4% Rule articles that might also be useful if this topic is of particular interest are here (The 4% Rule, Inflation, and Building Wealth In Retirement) and here (A (Slightly) Happier 4% Rule). Bro blogger ERN also has done some amazing work on these topics here.)

The Portfolio Allocation For Early Retirement: This article serves as a natural extension of the 4% Rule discussion. Portfolio allocation is at least as important as withdrawal percentages when thinking about safe withdrawal rates, retirement, and wealth. And this article suggests some portfolio allocation ranges for those approaching FIRE by linking allocation selection with wealth level.

Never Invest In This Kind Of Stock: In connection with portfolio allocation, it’s critical to ensure you don’t have lethal risk factors lurking in your portfolio. This article discusses one very serious risk issue and what to do about it.

Are Stocks Expensive…Or Cheap?: Speaking of risk, here’s a little exercise in scenario planning that looks at U.S. equities. This article’s a few months old, but the essential arguments remain intact. If you’re worried about valuations, this is a useful read.

The Blunt Truth About Dow 20,000: And, if you’re concerned about valuations, you probably should and should not be concerned with Dow 20k. Here’s why, man.

A 15-Year Mortgage Costs $409,112 More Than You Think: Just as important a consideration in portfolio allocation as the percentage of stocks, etc. held is what’s done with leveraging, opportunity cost and cash flow. This article pulls together real estate considerations, financing, and opportunity cost into one place and begins a series of posts relating to mortgage selection.

How Much Of Your Portfolio Should Be in P2P Loans For Maximum Returns: P2P loans offer some healthy yields and important diversification benefits. Here’s how much you should invest in P2Ps like loans offered by Prosper and Lending Club to get the most out of these.

How To Snag Profit & A Free VW TDI: On the topic of getting nice yields, here’s a post about how I took advantage of an arbitrage situation to get a free car and a 30%+ return on investment…plus some sweet, low-cost leverage. You might still be able to swing a similar deal.

Dieselgate, Dividends & Special Situations: This article continues the discussion of LibreWagen and touches on the types of events that often signify profitable investment opportunities.

How To Be Happier With Money You Already Have: Here’s a behavioral economics look at how much cash you ought to have in your portfolio. The perspective here differs (slightly) from the traditional economics argument for zero cash.

Personality Test: How To Spend Money For Maximum Happiness: There’s more behavioral economics stuff in this post, where you can take a personality test that will help you spend money for the best hedonic payoff, according to recent behavioral economics/behavioral finance research.

Hedonic Editing Can Save Your Life: Here’s How: Related to the “Personality Test” post, this article extends the behavioral economics discussion to incorporate the findings of Prospect Theory and Richard Thaler’s work on hedonic editing, including four key strategies for being happier.

Think About Money Less To Get More Money: Try as we might, we can’t help but be human. Here’s what to do to make sure we used our humanness to our advantage.

Monetizing Your “Genuine Intelligence”: On the topic of humanness, this post dissects artificial intelligence and what it means for getting ahead these days.

Do This To Win Your Next Negotiation: This post relates to the humanness topic and details some techniques for doing better in negotiations.

A Quiet Secret For Getting What You Want: Hate public speaking? Most people do. But here’s a trick that works great on stage and in everyday life to get people to do what you’d like.

How To Get Better At Everything: In this post, which relates to that whole humanness thing again, some tips for improving social skills the easy way are covered.

Raise Your IQ 23% & Be 10% Happier By Doing This: Yep, you can be smarter and happier by doing this simple thing. It only takes a few minutes, anyone can do it, and it’s at least as fun as hanging out with David Carradine.


Ok. That’s 18 FL articles that, collectively, seem like a good place to start.

Cheers, Luchadores. Now get started!


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