Millionaire Interview #3 - Cryptocurrency Millionaire`

How old are you?

I am 25 years old.

What’s your marital status and/or kids?

I have a girlfriend, but I'm not married and don’t have kids (and not thinking about it in the future).

What’s your biggest source of income? How much per year?

My biggest source of income is trading with altcoins and interest/earning from the stock market. Due to privacy reasons, I don't want to go into deeper details, but my income per year is somewhere around 700K per year.

What’s your current net worth?

4.9 Million

How is your net worth divided?

  • 600K is invested into Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (for long term) and Vertcoin (for short-term trading).
  • 600K in my IRA – invested in the stock market
  • 1M is invested in the stock markets. These are all long-term investments – no day trading.
  • I spent 1.8 Million for my 3 Penthouse Suites in Germany, Japan and the US. Since I don’t have much time to travel around the world due to my current schooling, the Suites in Japan and the US have been rented to another people.
  • 350K for my 2 cars (Bentley Continental GT and Nissan Skyline GTR-35).
  • 550K in reserves and cash used for spending.

How and why did you begin saving and investing? Is there something that initially triggered your interest/motivation? How have you continued to learn? 

It might sound ironic, but having rich parents doesn't always mean you know something about money. They always taught me to keep an eye on it and be smart. However, I didn't really care about investing my money until recently. While everyone was going crazy for Bitcoins, I decided to buy 100 Bitcoins just for fun. A friend of mine got me interested, and of course I’m thankful he did.

When I got older, I spent more time learning about the stock market. I didn't really know anything initially, but I was always fascinated in the markets and trading, probably because those "jobs" are connected with risking money and having a good feeling in your gut to make trading decisions.

Have you used a financial advisor? If so, why? If not, why not?

I used my parents as a financial advisor. Mainly because I'm still young and make some bad investing decisions. Instead of "wasting" my money, I invested and saved the money so I won’t have financial problems in the future.

How has your portfolio allocation and investment strategy changed through the years?

I used to invest just for fun, and now I’m more serious about it. For years I spent my money on virtual items and bitcoins. I’m now looking to make more money with good investment decisions.

Do you plan to change your portfolio allocation in the future? If so, how and when?

I will definitely sell my 2 apartments in Japan and the United States; I don't have time to visit those locations and don't want to be responsible for something that is thousand kilometers away. My plan is to buy estate properties in Germany, since the current economic situation is bad and I don't think properties will get much cheaper. I am choosing to keep my money in Bitcoin and the stock markets.

What mistakes have you made along the way?

Telling people about the stuff I do in my spare time and trusting the wrong people. Coming from rich parents has caused problems with several relationships - some people were my friends just because my family and I had money. Today, I only have my girlfriend, my family, and 4-5 close friends. I don't need more in my life and I know I can trust them with everything I do. I’ve lost several friendships over money.

What advice would you give a 30 year-old? What do you wish you would’ve done differently/better?

It doesn't matter if you're 30 or 60 years old, if you enjoy your life and don't need to drive expensive cars or pay lots of bills then just keep doing what you did in the past. I see so many people investing in things they shouldn’t because of their lack of knowledge and wanting to get rich quick. Take the time to learn about investment opportunities.

What I would've done better/differently?

I guess nothing. I'm quite happy about my life.

What are your current plans to grow and maintain your net worth?

I’m planning to continue investing in cryptocurrencies – namely Bitcoin and Vertcoin. I’m also looking into real estate investing in Germany.

Any specific books/products you recommend?

  • “Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future” is probably one the few books that actually inspired me the most.
  • “Zero to One” from Peter Thiel is good if you’re thinking of starting a new company.
  • “Financial Intelligence, Revised Edition: A Manager's Guide to Knowing What the Numbers Really Mean” gives you a good basic knowledge about the "numbers" world out there

Millionaire Interview #2 - From Teacher to Millionaire

1. How old are you?
53 (retired at 52)

2. What’s your marital status and/or kids?
(Re)married, with a 30 year old daughter.

3. What’s your biggest source of income? How much per year?
Currently, the husband’s income is our only salary. He plans to retire within the next two
years. But it’s important to me to note that when we got married, I had the bigger income
for a while. I don’t want people thinking I got to this point just by marrying rich!
My work history was that I went to college, then enlisted in the army. After I got out, I
was a stay at home mom for a while, then I was called back into the reserves and we
lived off that and my ex’s college fund for a while. After we split up, I got a civilian job
with the Department of Defense making almost $30,000 a year, and felt like I’d hit the
jackpot! After a few promotions, I was making $50,000, then switched to a defense
contractor job making $80,000. I left to follow my passion, teaching, and had to restart at
about $30,000 a year, and had maxed out the pay scale at $50,000 when I retired.
My husband stayed with Department of Defense, and his salary has climbed to about
$120,000 with locality pay. Some days I cringe knowing that’s where my salary would
have been if I hadn’t quit that job. I don’t have any regrets, but I am very aware that for
every one year of salary at my old job, I had to work 2 ½ years as a teacher.

4. What’s your current net worth?
$2,290,000.

5. How is your net worth divided?

  • $12,000 Cash (checking account)
  • $226,000 Home Equity
    • $256,000 Home value
    • $30,000 remaining on mortgage
  • $439,000 non-retirement investments
    • $14,000 Vanguard 500 Index Fund
    • $13,000 Vanguard Balanced Index Fund
    • $14,000 Vanguard Large-Cap Index Fund
    • $19,000 Vanguard Dividend Growth Fund
    • $7,000 Vanguard Energy Fund
    • $14,000 Vanguard Long-Term U.S. Treasury Fund
    • $5,000 Vanguard STAR Fund
    • $164,000 Vanguard Prime Portfolio
    • $33,000 Vanguard Wellington Fund
    • $13,000 Vanguard Extended Market Index
    • $13,000 Vanguard Growth Index
    • $12,000 Vanguard Small-Cap Index Fund
    • $22,000 Vanguard Long-Term Investment-Grade Bond Fund
    • $41,000 Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund
    • $26,000 Vanguard Intermediate-Term Investment-Grade Fund
    • $20,000 Vanguard Short-Term Investment-Grade Fund
    • $10,000 Vanguard Short-Term Corporate Bond Index
  • $897,000 Husband’s Retirement Total:
    • Thrift Savings Plan (Federal Government):
      • TSP C Fund $175,000
      • TSP G Fund $196,000
      • TSP S Fund $107,000
      • TSP F Fund $126,000
      • TSP L2050 $260,000 (Ear-marked for long term care)
    • Vanguard Roth IRA:
      • Vanguard 500 Index Fund $8,000
      • Vanguard Mid-Cap Value Index Fund $4,000
      • Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund $12,000
      • Vanguard High Dividend Yield Index $4,000
      • Vanguard Value Index $5,000
  • $718,000 My IRA’s
    • $681,000 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 Fund (IRA)
    • $37,000 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (Roth IRA)

6. How and why did you begin saving and investing? Is there something that initially triggered
your interest/motivation? How have you continued to learn?

I was lucky - I learned both budgeting and DIY skills from my parents at a young age.
When I was in middle school, instead of just buying my clothes outright for me, my
parents gave me a clothing budget of $300 per year, which had to cover new school
clothes, things I outgrew or wore out, winter coats, etc. If I had money left at the end of
the year, I was allowed to roll it into the next year.

My mother was into vegetable gardening and foraging for berries and taught me how to
process and can food. My parents had no sons, but put me to work on projects that a
pre-teen girl would normally not be involved in, like reroofing our barn. Later as a single
mom and homeowner, that gave me the confidence to buy a ladder and tar paper and fix
the leaking roof over my back porch myself.

7. Have you used a financial advisor? If so, why? If not, why not?
I have in the past. When I switched careers, I moved to a job that had no tax deferred
retirement plan. Incredibly, no other employees cared enough to push for one. I went to
the board of directors with an outside financial advisor and with my urging and his
technical knowledge, we got it set up.

8. How has your portfolio allocation and investment strategy changed through the years?
I don’t think it substantially has. All along I’ve been investing in various funds, not
individual stocks, to reduce risk, and I’ve kept it primarily within stocks, not bonds. I am
not one to watch the market and get stressed through its ups and downs. I’m more the
“stay the course” type of investor.

9. Do you plan to change your portfolio allocation in the future? If so, how and when?
No plans to change what I’m doing.

10. What mistakes have you made along the way?
I had a few job changes and kept moving my retirement accounts to the new jobs to
keep everything simple and consolidated for myself. I was afraid of losing track of
accounts at multiple companies. I should have worried less about multiple accounts, and
more about what the fees were at each investment company. I hate to think how many
thousands of dollars my “keep it simple” strategy cost me. An extra line in an excel sheet
costs nothing.

11. What advice would you give a 30 year-old? What do you wish you would’ve done
differently/better?

A. Don’t start a new investment account without finding out what the fees are. Picking one
company over another could cost you tens of thousands of dollars.

B. If there’s a retirement benefit or plan that you wish your company offered, don’t passively
accept it that it isn’t an option for you. Be proactive, find out if you can help them change
or add the benefit - especially if it’s employee funded accounts and their only expense is
just administering it.

C. Take the time to understand what your other company benefits really are. After we got a
403b plan set up at my job, I began maxing it out and wanted a 457 set up as well. The
board didn’t go for it, as it would have been set up really just for my benefit, nobody else
was dumping that much money into their retirement accounts. A few years after that
failed attempt though, our state benefits changed and we had accounts with a small
default deduction from our paychecks toward retirement health care. I called the
company who managed those accounts - and found out it was technically a 457, we
were allowed to contribute far more than what was automatically deducted, and the
money in that account could be used as a normal 457, it didn’t have to be used for
health care! Nobody told us this! I started dumping money to that account as well, and
eventually got my biweekly take home pay down to just under three dollars, with the rest
going to the 403b and 457, and being a two income family we didn’t need my paycheck
to survive. Meanwhile my husband was maxing out his contributions, but he only had a
401k to contribute to, he wasn’t able to double dip in the same way that I was.

12. What are your current plans to grow and maintain your net worth?
We’re planning to live off the interest on our investments until we’re old enough to draw
on pensions and social security, at which point we should have solid income again of
about 80k a year. The big unknown is how much health care costs will increase. We’re
setting aside our own funds for that, but if the costs of insurance and care continue on
their current trajectory, we may be able to live on the pensions and interest until our 80’s
and then have to start tapping into our actual savings.

13. Any specific books/products you recommend?
I liked the Millionaire Next Door. Part of the appeal may have come from the opening
chapter where it’s mentioned that the people who tend to be the best savers are school
teachers and engineers. As a public school teacher married to an engineer, I was
hooked right there.

But beyond that, I think it’s a great book especially for people just starting out as adults.
That’s the ideal age to begin making conscious choices about what we want because it
improves the real quality of our lives vs. what we want for the purpose of impressing
other people. It’s a good read for understanding how a product (a new car, for example)
might make our lives more enjoyable in the short term, but in the long term can reduce
the quality of our lives by increasing chronic stress over debts or whether or not we can
ever afford to retire.

If you'd like to be on the show, or complete a written blog interview, please fill out the form below and share a rough breakout of your net worth and a brief explanation of your story.  

Millionaire Interview #1 - Slow & Steady wins the Race

How old are you? 56

What’s your marital status and/or kids? Married 31 years 4 kids all in their 20’s

What’s your biggest source of income? How much per year? Job in healthcare 350k+

What’s your current net worth? About $4 Million

How is your net worth divided? 

  • House (No Mortgage) - 400K
  • Traditional IRA-$1.6 million
    • 400K - The Growth Fund of America (GFFFX)
    •  400K - The Income Fund of America (AMEFX)
    • 400K - EuroPacific Growth Fund (AEPFX)
    • 400K - Fundamental Investors (FINFX)
  • Roth 401K - 400K
    • 400K - Vanguard 500 Index (VFIAX)
  • Roth IRA - 800K
    • 500K - T Rowe Price Health Sciences (PRHSX)
    • 300K - T Rowe Price Media & Telecomm (PRMTX)
  • Taxable Investments-400k
    • 200K - The Growth Fund of America (GFFFX)
    • 200K - EuroPacific Growth Fund (AEPFX)
  • Real estate-vacant lot - 200K
  • Cash - 200K
  • HSA - 10K Not invested (I end up using this pretty much every year-basically just allows me to pay medical expenses tax free-I wish I could have started this earlier in life and invested it but they didn’t come around until my kids were in high school and we’ve pretty much utilized the cash put into the account each year).

How and why did you begin saving and investing? Is there something that initially triggered your interest/motivation? How have you continued to learn?

My parents didn’t teach me much about money growing up. However, my mom and dad were savers and instilled those principles in us at an early age. They never were invested much though. When my wife and I started making money, we decided to try and figure it out. We read several books, attended seminars and eventually settled on abiding by Dave Ramsey’s baby steps. We really only had our mortgage at the time, but decided to pay it off early. I’ve always maxed out my 401k and initially chose 4 American funds which I have stuck with to today. I rolled the 401k into a traditional IRA a while ago when the opportunity came up and then started a Roth 401k shortly thereafter. Some of the investment options out there today such as Roth 401k and Roth IRA and HSA did not exist when I first started contributing.

Have you used a financial advisor? If so, why? If not, why not?

Yes I have and I constantly debate about this whether or not they provide value for me. I have always more or less picked my own funds and managed my investments but have my traditional IRA parked with a group and with that comes a financial advisor. I also used the advisor to navigate setting up educational accounts for my kids which have all been used now that all of them have graduated college.

How has your portfolio allocation and investing strategy changed through the years?

It has not. I picked my funds when I started working and haven’t changed them since. I’ve added a few since those initial 4 but haven’t changed my strategy. I’m a long term investor. I’ll ride the ups and downs of the market and figure I’ll come out on top.

Do you plan to change your portfolio allocation in the future? If so, how and when?

I would like to acquire a few pieces of real estate in the near future to have some additional cash flow for retirement but have not done so yet.

What mistakes have you made along the way?

I had a whole life insurance policy at one point when I was younger. That was a mistake. I also bought a brand new car twice which was also a mistake.

What advice would you give a 30 year-old? What do you wish you would’ve done differently/better? Invest as much as you can as early as you can. I don’t know if I would have done anything differently give the time period I was in during the 90’s but now I would utilize the Roth IRA and HSA if I were a 30 year old. The tax free growth in a Roth IRA can be amazing. Also, investing HSA money when you are younger and don’t need it can be very beneficial when you are older and need it more.

What are your current plans to grow and maintain your net worth?

Keep investing the way I have been for 25+ years and acquire some real estate.

Any specific books/products you recommend?

  • Dave Ramsey’s total money makeover for mindset shift on consumer debt
  • Rich Dad Poor Dad for mindset shift on making your money work for you

If you'd like to be on the show, or complete a written blog interview, please fill out the form below and share a rough breakout of your net worth and a brief explanation of your story.  

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