Since June of 2016, I’ve been on the road experiencing the most amazing feeling life can offer us: absolute freedom. For a complete year, I had the opportunity to live like a millionaire. Not in a sense that I was living a life filled by luxury (far from it, hahaha!), but in a sense that I was doing everything I wanted whenever I wanted. This gave me a taste of what Financial Independence look like. I also decided I want more of it!
To be honest, I wish I would never come back to my previous life. In order to achieve this goal, I will have to set in motions several actions. Financial independence or Financial freedom doesn’t happen overnight. But it’s not a reason to wait 20 years to reach it. Upon my return, I will implement a series of actions to reach FI as soon as possible.
#1 Dividend Portfolio
At the moment, I have roughly $71,000 invested in the stock market in my retirement account. The advantage of this account is that it’s 100% tax sheltered. On the other side, I can’t access this money unless I’m wiling to pay taxes on each withdrawal.
I need a more flexible account to reach FI. I like investing in the stock market as it is the kind of investment that is cash liquid. One must not ignore this big advantage as anybody could run into a bad luck and need cash rapidly. Investing in stocks is a great way to provide this immediate liquidity.
Step to Achieve in 2017: Open a TFSA account
The Tax Free Savings Account is the perfect account for what I intend to do. In a TFSA, the profit (or dividend) generated inside the account is tax sheltered. Even better, withdrawals are not subject to taxes either! By the end of the year, I will open a TFSA account and start investing monthly.
#2 Creating Rental Income
Another great way to generate passive income is part of one of the oldest business model: Real Estate. As I will just come back from a major trip, I don’t have any liquid asset to offer as cash down for a rental property. Therefore, I need to find another way to generate passive income through my own property.
Step to Achieve in 2017: Rent my house on Airbnb
I’ve already rented my house for a full year to complete stranger, I don’t really mind repeating the experience. We have a few modifications to do to our house to make it “Airbnb ready”. Since I intend to go for a few hiking weekends with my family this fall, I hope to rent my house for those weekends. This way, I will not only finance my escapade in the mountains, but I will make a few bucks out of it. Eventually, I will gain more experience and I will be ready to build a business model around this an invest in some Real Estate.
#3 Boosting my Online income
I already benefit from a good online business model that enabled me to travel for a full year without having a steady pay check. However, the way I see it is that my sites could contribute a lot more to my financial situation and this is probably my best shot at FI at a early age. Since there are plenty of things I can do to increase my income, I’ll have to maintain a strong focus.
Step to Achieve in 2017: Improving DSR
Dividend Stocks Rock will celebrate its 4th anniversary in October of this year. Most of our portfolios are beating their benchmark widely and the number of members keeps growing. However, I feel we got to the point we need to improve our services and make it even more practical. I’ve realized we are offering too much information and this is confusing some users. We will never become a Seeking Alpha and this is not our mission. With those improvements, DSR will become highly focused on providing easy to understand and actionable content. In other words, each minute spent on DSR will be useful and meaningful for our users. I can’t wait to share those improvements with you guys!
#4 Diversifying my Online income
I seriously think that DSR alone could become a sizeable business. I’m pretty sure my partner and I could live from this. However, having one product isn’t a good idea. As investors, you can understand that a company can’t rely on a single service. For this reason, I intend to diversify my online income by creating other products.
Step to Achieve in 2017: Set the outline for a new product
We will be launching a new investing product in November 2017. I can already tell you that DSR members will benefit from an awesome deal… as they will get a free access to it ?. However, I also want to create a product that is not related to the stock market. A shift in the stock market or new regulations could jeopardize our business model. This is why I want to use my online experience to sell something else.
Since creating a product requires a lot of time, my goal is to find the right idea in 2017 and establish a clear business plan to put in place for 2018.
When Should I Reach FI?
If I was going to save money aside from one paycheck to another, I think I would reach FI by the age of 60 or 65. If I’m lucky, I might do it at 55. However, I intend to put this plan in motion and reach FI before I turn 40 (I’ll be 36 next September). This is a pretty bold objective and I know it doesn’t make sense for most of you. But I’m not at my first walk in the “you-will-not-make-it-it’s-impossible” park!