Personal finance can be a daunting topic. I’ve worked in the financial services industry for the better part of a decade. Being a professional in the industry has showed me even more the necessity of a solid understanding of personal finance. Even with my finance heavy background, there are still concepts, ideas, asset classes, investing strategies, and tools that confuse me. 

I started this blog as a way for me to explore these topics, to demystify the personal finance world (especially the complex stuff), and to hold myself accountable for sound financial decision making. My goal is to transparently explain my rationale for choosing investments, my approach to financial markets, my fears, my hopes, and my favorite tools. I will spell out, in plain English, every step I take to make decisions. I’ll also share some of my home-grown tools so that you can take control of your financial future as well. 

Since I work in the finance industry and there may be a conflict of interest in me writing this blog, I have chosen to write it under a pseudonym as Barry Beaker.

My goals in writing this blog

  • Create excellent, well-researched, thought provoking content
  • Foster a community that knows there are no stupid questions and we all start from nothing at some point
  • Use my financial progress and missteps as a helpful guide for readers – both the to-do and the don’t-do will be laid bare in all their cringe-worthy glory
  • To compartmentalize the variety of business/finance initiatives I have going and serve as a way to keep my ideas and progress organized
  • Give a real-time account of how to approach difficult financial decisions from the perspective of a novice – because most of the time, this is my first time doing something too!
  • Make personal finance interesting and accessible to anyone

Why should you listen to me?

  • I’ve worked in financial services for almost a decade, first at a major bank and for the last few years at a large hedge fund
  • I’ve made almost all the beginner mistakes other financial bloggers warn you about. I’ve continued to hone my strategy by considering my past mistakes “market tuition” for the lessons learned
  • I’m lazy – I try to systematize and automate as much as I possibly can. Even a financial blogger and finance professional doesn’t want to spend his free time constantly working on his finances. You can apply the approaches I use to your finances as well and stop constantly worrying about whether your bills are paid and your net worth is tracked
  • I genuinely want to help people. Feeling lost and overwhelmed by the massive (and often conflicting) information online and not being sure where to turn is really hard
  • At the end of the day, no one wants to worry about money. I’ve spent the last several years of my life doing everything I could to stop myself from worrying too. Financial freedom awaits those who put in the work, take the time to learn, and stick to a plan

My financial values

My site isn’t for everyone, so to help you decide whether you should stick around, here are the priorities I will be focusing on

  • Earning financial freedom
  • Building multiple sources of income – both active and passive
  • Starting/acquiring a business
  • Achieving early retirement
  • Practicing sound portfolio management
  • Diligently applying prudent risk management
  • Implementing a well-thought-out asset allocation strategy

Welcome to the Lab! I look forward to sharing ideas, conducting experiments, and proving the hypothesis that anyone can achieve financial freedom.

-Barry Beaker