Millionaire by 30 – How I Did It (Part 2)

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Annnnnd we are back peeps!

First off, thank you to all those who read the previous post!

We had millions of views guys! MILLIONS! Give or take a few numbers here and there.

No seriously, thanks all to the wonderful support you have shown me and this blog!

Could not have done it without the encouragement and kind words from the community and each one of you! (Looks around the room).

But today, today we proceed to part 2 of this mini-series.

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Better than some mini-series in my humble opinion… HBO presents TheFrugalSamurai next?

Which is in response to our dear reader Rennie’s comment:

I am most intrigued by this statement in your ‘About Me’ section:
“Recently, I achieved a goal I set early on of $1m in net assets before 30.”
This is really remarkable, and truly newsworthy on its own. But I couldn’t find much further about it in your posts. I think you would have many more interested readers if you made a post which told us how you got there”.

I posted on my early years in part 1, and here in part 2 it’s all about work, work and work.

Work, work.

So I’ve already mentioned that through school, I was nowhere near being the sharpest tool – and it wasn’t much different through my working life to be honest…

My first dollar earnt.

The very first dollar I made was working in our family friend’s laundromat.

I can’t disclose at what age this was, because some countries may label it as child slavery.

My parents of course, called this “character-building”.

And to be fair to them, the only character it built was an aversion to laundromats.

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Look at them… staring at you with their beady little eyes, ARGH.

Then of course, as a teenager, you often find random jobs here and there – packaging boxes, modelling children’s aprons, frying fish, interior decorating, PA to a contract hitman… y’know, a typical teenage career.

My first dollar created.

So apart from wages, my first encounter of creating a dollar, would be when I had a semi-decent go at selling plush and stuffed toys in high school.

I think I would have been either 16 or 17 at the time.

On a sidenote, I distinctly remember feeling ashamed at being a “late bloomer” in business because I had earlier read an article about kids starting up businesses, some as young as 5.

FIVE, bloody hell… it’s a jungle out there.

Anyway, my little hustle did OK – chiefly because I went to a single sex boys school, which was situated right next to a single sex girls school.

This meant there was a steady supply of repeat and new customers.

I felt like a drug dealer.


At the back end of high school and into uni, I mainly helped out with my parent’s business – for a nominal wage of course, that being food and a steady roof.

But you know, you learn a lot working when you’re young.

You realize that in the real world, no one cares about what mark you scored in Extension 1 Mathematics because can you do me a deal if I buy three of these teddy bears?

Or whether you know the chemical composition of this polyethylene (plastic) container because this one is cracked so I want my money back.

I was also heading back quite regularly from uni (it was 3 hours away in Canberra) on weekends and during the holidays to… well, work in the parent’s business.

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“Remember son, if anyone asks what we are doing, we are building pyramids”.

One memory forever scorched (forgive me, but this post has got me nostalgic) would be unloading some goods on a Saturday night. I think it must have been around 8pm and it was just Mum, Dad and I.

As we unloaded, I will always remember seeing the prettiest girl (when you’re 18 years old… every girl is pretty) heading off to what I can only imagine being dinner and a night on the town.

Gosh, you should have seen her guys… the hair, the playful laugh with her male chaperones, the smile as we made eye contact – raw stuff.

But what I will always remember is STILL unloading at around 2 o’clock in the morning (we had some issues) and her returning back… this time, her smile was no longer of merriment, but of sadness… as there I still was, plugging away…

I recall this memory not to highlight that a middle-aged couple and their teenage son cannot unload a truck in 6 hours, but to symbolize that it was at that moment that I decided I would not want my child to go through what I am going through. 

Damnit peeps, they’ll either be the one making a boy’s heart flutter, or be able to chase that girl down.

I think this is a very important moment in my life, because it was when the first concrete thought of FIRE formed and my why – why am I chasing FIRE.

More work.

So when I went back to uni, I decided to focus on something tangible which can help me to FIRE.

Which is when I stumbled into working for an investment manager in their financial planning arm.

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Mind you, I had wanted to work in their stockbroking division, because it seemed more exciting to me.

And how right I was!

For me, it seemed like financial planning in the late 2000’s was all about helping customer’s invest with their superannuation (a self-funded pension schemes similar to 401K’s), and into managed funds (funds which are… managed), whilst clipping a decent commission from this.

Which is fine, if you’re earning the commission.

Unfortunately, my job neither received any commission nor got to choose which investment option the client invested in.

No, my job was to churn out this document labelled “Statemen of Advice” – which was a document stating out the advice given to a customer… and a task I found oh so BORING.

So like any 19 year old who thinks they’re too good for a job – my interest slowly waned.

Which is kinda silly when you’re earning a good $700 or so a week.

And downright stupid when you look back and see it was a great first step into financial services.

Alas the job was not to last, as my waning interest culminated in my waning work ethic, which culiminated in my sacking.

I had fired alright, just not the right type of FIRE.

The only good news I s’pose, was that being a uni student, my expenses were wayyyyy down, so I was able to save a tidy sum by the end of everything, around $15-$20k from memory.

What next?

The eagle-eyed would spot that this was at the tail end of the last decade, and there was a monumental shift in global markets just around the corner (I still remember talking to my friend Warren in 2007 about BNP Paribas freezing their fund redemptions in the kitchen of our uni dormitory after work).

Like anyone hoping to work in banking and financial services straight out of uni, I was definitely caught up in it.

Annnnd you’ll have to come back next time to find out about how it affected me, my first job out of uni, what I did afterwards, oh and of course the investing journey as well! EXCITING STUFF!

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P.S. The financial planning industry in Australia has undergone SIGNIFICANT change through the years, I can’t comment on how it is now, only my own perception of it back in the “good ol’ days”.


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