About

Retired On Beach Looking At The Golden Gate BridgeDear Readers,

Welcome to Financial Samurai, a place where you can share your thoughts freely on all things personal finance. While we may not always be aware of it, personal finance is a part of everything we do, coloring nearly every aspect of our lives. Your financial well-being directly impacts your outlook on relationships, recreation, work, politics – everything. That’s why no topic is off limits here, and all opinions are welcome.

So often we get set in our ways of thinking, and that’s not always healthy. Failing to see points of view different from our own robs us of great opportunities to learn and gain new understanding. Let’s have a healthy dialog in the comments section and learn from each other; everyone has something special to offer, so don’t be shy.

Financial Samurai has been highlighted in major publications such as Forbes.com, The Wall Street Journal Online, Business Insider, The Consumerist, The Sydney Herald, and The Los Angeles Times. I’ve also done interviews with AARP, Newstalk Radio 910AM (KKSF San Francisco) and Bloomberg on the subjects of early retirement, mortgage refinancing and structured notes.

Click here to read some of the most popular posts. You’ll find the most commented on posts listed down the right hand side of the page if you’re on a laptop. If you’re on a tablet or phone, you’ll have to scroll all the way towards the bottom.

ABOUT THE WRITER – THE LONG VERSION

After thirteen years of working in Corporate America, money ceased to be a driving factor for me. Instead, living absolutely free became my biggest motivation. I fantasized about what it would be like to just write, spend time with family, and travel, with no financial worries. Three years after starting this site in 2009 I took the leap of faith.

Retiring early from a healthy pay check was not easy, but I knew I couldn’t last many more years in the hard-driving world of finance, hitting the office every day at 5:30am and leaving after 7:30pm. I actually planted the seeds for my early exit at the very beginning of my career. Starting with my first job out of college, I saved over 50% of my after tax income every year. I used my savings to buy rental properties, stocks, bonds, and CDs in order to build passive income streams. By the age of 28 I had reached a seven-figure net worth, but didn’t even realize it until two years later when I finally began actively tracking my own wealth.

Then the 2008 financial crisis hit, knocking me back down to earth. Financial Samurai began as a cathartic way to make sense of all the carnage and ease the pain. By the time I decided to retire in 2012 my passive income portfolio had grown large enough to pay for all living expenses into perpetuity, so I took the plunge. It was now or never!

Financial Samurai’s theme is “achieving financial independence sooner, rather than later.” I believe life speed accelerates simply because the older we get, the less time we have left to really live. Getting our financial lives in order early allows us time to fully live our dreams. This site shares my strategies for achieving financial freedom at any age. I also share my ideas for building wealth through real estate, stocks, peer-to-peer lending, structured notes, bonds, and CDs, along with a fair sprinkling of my adventures in entrepreneurship.

STILL WITH ME? SOME MORE INFO AND PHILOSOPHY

Any time you can combine generating real value with having fun, you’ve hit a grand slam. I write because I enjoy the experience. Readers and your comments are what make running this site a blast. Dialog matters; the more we communicate with others, the more complete we become ourselves.

Sushi (Surprise, Surprise!) is one of my favorite foods, and I can watch college football and basketball all day long. I’m an avid tennis player who would play five days a week if my knees didn’t break down. I believe there is a mental-to-physical connection in everything we do, so I try to balance all the blog work with keeping active and fit. I used to own an $80,000 car; now I own a reliable 13-year old car worth $3,000 named Moose.

I’ve made and lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in real estate and the stock market. As a result, I’ve learned the hard way that rebalancing is important to make sure that my risk exposure is not too great. I now keep track of all my finances using the free online wealth manager from Personal Capital. Personal Capital has been fantastic for helping me monitor my net worth, manage my expenses, and cut down on exorbitant mutual fund fees in my 401K. I highly recommend their 401K Fee Analyzer; it saved me $1,700+ a year in management fees that I had no idea I was paying!

Education is absolutely the key to freedom. When I graduated from The College of William & Mary in 1999, I swore I’d never go back to school again. I started my career in the Equities department at Goldman Sachs and loved every minute of the fast paced, high pressure Wall Street life. Two years later the dotcom meltdown happened and things weren’t so fun any more. Under those sobering circumstances I changed my mind about school and proceeded to earn my MBA from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business in 2006. And I discovered something funny: School actually becomes enjoyable when you focus on the learning and stop worrying about grades.

If all I could ever earn was $65,000 (gross) a year, I’d be content; I really don’t need a whole lot to survive. Without debt it doesn’t take much to live a comfortable life; after all, there are only so many things one can buy, and so many fancy foods one can taste until our taste buds adapt. While all this may be true, however, I still make the argument that $200,000 a year per individual is the ideal income for maximum happiness. Studies show that the poor and rich are equally happy, so why not strive to be rich?

You can read more about my story from my Yakezie Member Post – Financial Samurai. I started the Yakezie Network in December 2009 after being rejected from multiple guest writing, staff writing, and carnival opportunities. It is now the largest personal finance and lifestyle blog network on the web. Sometimes when everybody says “NO,” you’ve just got to blaze your own path!

ABOUT THE WRITER – THE BULLET-POINT VERSION

* If asked to define “happiness” in one word, I would choose the word “progress.” Progress in our relationships with loved ones, progress in our occupations, and progress in our spirituality all create happiness.

* Loved writing in high school and was the teacher’s pet in AP English. Sadly, I never took another writing course again.

* Made very mediocre scores on my SATs, but received an international scholarship and graduated Magna Cum Laude from one of the best public schools in the nation.

* Have lived in seven different countries and been to roughly 40 countries as of March, 2014.

* Used to speak three languages pretty well. Now I only speak Mandarin and English. My Spanish is horrible.

* Overcame severe asthma as a kid and can now play three hours of tennis at a time. Yet, I still can’t run five miles straight without hacking up a lung.

* Was a 16 handicapper in golf for years until I made it a goal to break 10 one year. I’m currently sitting at 9.8.

* Entrepreneurship fascinates me, but I turned down a golden opportunity in China upon graduation to work for a golden opportunity in NYC. Fifteen years after graduation, I’ve now come full circle and am building my online business.

* Series 7 and Series 63 registered.

* Concentration on finance and entrepreneurship in business school at UC Berkeley.

* Can happily function on just six hours of sleep (or less) per day because I’m so excited to wake up and see what happened in the world while I dreamt.

* Get teary eyed every single time I hear the national anthem or watch a happy ending love story. Without fail.

* Every day feels like Christmas when you’re financially independent.

* Have a goal of sustainably making $200,000 a year while just working four hours a day or less.

* Evolving vegetarian; however, still can’t resist a juicy ribe-eye steak. Also have a tendency to order bacon on the side with my veggie sandwich.

* Butter cookies and lemon meringue pie are my greatest weakness.

* Firmly believe we should take care of our parents in their old age, no matter what.

* Fiercely loyal and will always take care of the people who helped out.

* The regrets I will have will be the things I don’t do.

* Wrote a 100-page book entitled, How To Engineer Your Layoff: Make A Small Fortune By Saying Goodbye. The book empowers employees with their legal rights and provides a framework for how to negotiate a healthy severance package. Never quit – get laid off instead.

FINANCIAL SAMURAI SITE STATISTICS:

Financial Samurai Traffic Visitor Figures 2014

* 10,000 – 18,000 page views a day.

* 520,000 – 550,000 page views a month.

* 300,000 – 320,000 unique visitors a month.

* Pagerank: 5

* mozRank: 6

* Domain Authority: 62

* Page Authority: 68

* Alexa Rank: ~20,000

* Reader demographics: Majority are ages 25-45, college educated, top 20% income earners, 30% with net worth of over $500,000.

* Site Age: 5 years

* The Financial Samurai Value Proposition describes why subscribing to and visiting this site is a must for all those who seek financial independence.

CONTACT ME FOR:

* TV, radio, or written interviews. I’m always happy to help a reporter or broadcaster out.

* Advertising opportunities.

* Private career and personal finance consulting sessions.

* Resume and interview review advice.

* Product reviews

* Original guest posts

Email: financialsamurai at gmail dot com (Publicists, please DO NOT add me to your blast lists)

Glad to have you on our journey!

Regards,

Sam Dogen – “Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”

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