I've been delaying this post for a while partly because I didn't want to recognize the formal end of my 10-year journey writing on Financial Samurai. I was also waiting for some divine inspiration to figure out what's next.
From 2018 – 2019, several potential acquirers contacted me about selling Financial Samurai. I thanked them for their interest and told them I needed to first fulfill my 10-year goal.
In July, 2019 after achieving my 10-year goal, they all contacted me again. This time, I told them I first needed to write my 10-year recap post in order to make the achievement official.
Now that that post has been written, I know I'll soon be contacted again and forced to make a decision. Financial Samurai has been a part of my life for so long that it'll be tough to let it go. As I don't want to be tempted by money, I'm trying to keep the offers at bay for as long as possible.
With Financial Samurai I have autonomy, fun, a sense of purpose, measurable results, and the ability to help people achieve their financial goals. As a stay at home dad, I can't think of anything intellectually better to do while my boy is sleeping.
Financial Samurai has been a dream come true. Ironically, nothing kills a dream quite like achieving it.
What's Next For Financial Samurai
As I love to write with opinion and personality, one of the things I've felt bad about for many years was trying to monetize this site with review posts, sponsored posts, and other sorts of business partnerships. Every day I'm bombarded with requests. I just mainly wanted to have fun and share some helpful financial insights.
As a result, for the last 10 years, my writing formula has essentially been 90% fun / 10% business. I've drastically forsaken revenue for fun because I was already financially secure when I left my job in 2012.
What I've come to realize over the past couple of years is that all the largest personal finance sites in America have a writing formula closer to 10% fun / 90% business. Completely opposite!
These large sites hire staff writers to write about the latest products. They report straight facts with no opinions. It's a great strategy to keep altercations and judgemental comments to a minimum. Further, the founder(s) seldom share anything personal about their lives. Even though this style might sound boring, it is a winning formula in business.
Stubborn To Change My Ways
Until I published The Secret To Your Success: 10 Years Of Unwavering Consistency, I'd been too stubborn to acknowledge this fact. I spent triple the amount of time I normally do on that post in order to help readers get to their own 10-year goals as well.
I was expecting the post to do quite well and for many readers to at least give me a virtual high-five for reaching my goal. Instead, I only got 15 comments on the first day compared to 30 comments on average. Nine were congratulatory while the rest shared their own thoughts and asked me what they should do about their individual situations.
That is when it hit me. Nobody really cares! OK, I'm being a little melodramatic. A few of you do care, as evidenced by subsequent comments and e-mails. But still, there's no denying the response was underwhelming.
It's logical to care mostly about yourself. Everybody is too busy leading their own lives. I totally get it. As a SAHD, I often feel like I'm suffocating for time and energy.
I also realized that 3,200 word posts are hard to digest. More effort does not necessarily lead to better results. Therefore, I need to keep very lengthy posts to a minimum, like once every 10 years.
Given the situation, selling this site seems like a fantastic solution.
The Bright Side Of Not Caring
By cashing in, I could finally fully relax in early retirement. No longer would I need to respond to endless requests for financial help. No longer would I be judged for trying to be a good parent. I could also spend my money how I wished without scrutiny. By selling, I could simplify life further, just like when I sold one of my SF rental properties in 2017.
Then I realized something while reminiscing about the last 10 years in the hot tub after a long tennis match. Since so few people care about the personal aspect of my writing, instead of selling, why not better monetize Financial Samurai with joy!
After 10 years of giving and having lots of fun, it's time for me to be more selfish. Selling the site just as my son is going to preschool would be illogical since I'll have more free time.
I started Financial Samurai in 2009, a year after getting married. We both had decent-paying jobs and didn't feel the need to monetize this site.
However, when our son was born in 2017, my feelings about monetization started to evolve. No matter how much money you have, I think every new parent feels a visceral need to make more money to provide for their family. It is part of our DNA to ensure the survival of our species.
Time To Make More Money Online
This old saying is true, “Have children and the money will come.”
Holding my boy for the first time gave me tremendous motivation to do better. Because of him, I started a regular podcast. Not only did I keep up my 3X a week posting schedule, but I also added a weekly newsletter.
With the need to provide for my family plus the realization that personal writing isn't what the majority of readers truly want, I'm going to change my writing formula from 90% fun / 10% business to 70% fun / 30% business over the next year. I know the winning formula for business is 10% fun / 90% business, but I want to take things slow.
A 70/30 split means a little more product review posts, a little more sponsored posts, and new writers. I may try and create more FS-branded products too like my one-of-a-kind, severance negotiation book. But I doubt it for the first year because I dislike selling anything.
I plan to highlight more financial products that either can help you save money, potentially make you money, or help simplify your financial life. My goal is to review the best products that can meet the demands of all types of readers in different financial situations.
Still Going To Keep My Writing Style
The great thing about this new initiative is that it does not take away from my usual style of writing. It enhances the website with more content and greater synergies.
My library of 2,000+ posts will always be there. My regular weekly newsletter will continue to contain my personal views. Plus, there's plenty of banter to go around in the FS Forum.
The end result will be me not having to put so much time into writing personal posts that few really care about. Readers will have more variety. Further, I'll generate more revenue to take care of my family. A triple win!
The alternative is to sell and let the new owner turn this site into 90% business. After all, an acquirer would want to generate the highest return on its investment. I'm assuming you'd rather me keep the site. But do let me know otherwise.
Taking Things One Year At A Time
Because I've completed my 10-year goal of running Financial Samurai, I have nothing left to prove. As a result, I won't be making another 10-year operating goal for this site.
Instead, I'm going to take things one year at a time. If things are going well, I'll either continue with the 70/30 formula or tweak the formula again. I doubt existing readers will notice much change because the formula has already been changed to 80/20 since the beginning of summer.
Ideally, I'd love to keep Financial Samurai going for another 20 years as an insurance policy for my son in case he has a rough time in school and in the workforce as I did. He could join Financial Samurai in any one of the following fields: marketing, writing, podcasting, video producing, finance, operations, and product development.
But I've also got to be realistic. 20 years is a damn long time. I don't think I can last that long without adding at least one full-time person. Further, I'd be a fool to pass up an amazing offer.
Excited For Entrepreneurship
For over a year now, I've been struggling with the decision to go back to work full-time once my boy goes to preschool. Being a stay-at-home dad for 29 months has been extremely hard given my desire to also keep Financial Samurai running at a high level. But thanks to the underwhelming response to my 10-year anniversary post, I realize I've got the perfect solution.
Instead of going back to work full-time once preschool starts, I'm going to utilize my new free-time to monetize this site better for at least one year. This way, I'll still be able to drive my boy to school in the morning and pick him up by 12:30 pm during his initial transition period. If and when he's up for going all day, I'll easily be able to pick him up by 5 pm. If I had a full-time job, this flexible schedule would be impossible.
I want both my wife and me to continue being stay-at-home parents until our son makes it clear he no longer needs us full-time. In 2022, he'll attend kindergarten and I'll be more amenable to joining the workforce full-time.
More Money Brings More Security And Purpose
I know making more money won't make me happier. But the challenge of growing revenue will be an exciting one. To feel secure financially means so much more now that I've got dependents.
For now, our financial target is to earn enough investment income to live a middle-class lifestyle in San Francisco. We're simple people without a lot of wants except to own 100% of our time.
I used to think $300,000 a year would be enough after rigorously crunching the numbers. However, based on the latest housing data from 2Q2019, the minimum qualifying income to purchase the median-priced house is now $343,400! Dayum.
Perhaps housing and other costs will dip by ~10 – 15% in a recession. But over the long term, I expect costs to continue rising at its historical ~5% annual clip. Inflation is truly a killer if you're on the wrong side of it.
We also don't want to move until our son's elementary school situation becomes clear. We expect a lot of rejections since we don't have status and refuse to bribe our son's way into school. But we do have the flexibility to go wherever our boy is accepted between Honolulu & San Francisco. We can also homeschool if we get rejected everywhere.
The Goal Of Making More Is A Fun Struggle
As of now, we have a daunting ~$100,000 retirement income gap if we want to earn the minimum qualifying income in SF to be considered average. With the 10-year bond yield at ~1.5%, we've got to amass another $6,667,000 in after-tax capital to earn a risk-free $100,000 gross return. If we shoot for a 4% return, we'd still need to amass $2,500,000 in after-tax capital.
Therefore, my goal over the next several years is clear: accumulate an additional $2,500,000 to $6,667,000 in capital. Once we reach at least $2,500,000 in additional wealth, I'll then seriously revisit what's next for Financial Samurai.
I know we don't need to live off $343,400 a year in investment income since we already own our primary residence and are relatively frugal. I also realize the goal seems a little ridiculous. In fact, I decided to go into decumulation mode in 2022 once I turned 45. i don’t want to die with too much.
However, instead of denying the truth in the data, I'm going to embrace it. Why not dream BIG?! It takes the same amount of energy to dream small. If we work hard enough, we all deserve to live a middle-class lifestyle no matter where we choose to live.
Evolution Is The Way Of Life
It's going to be fun trying to evolve Financial Samurai into a site with its continued unique voice and a generous number of revenue-generating product offerings. For too long, I've been treating Financial Samurai like a hobby. It's time to focus more on being an entrepreneur. Even if I fail at my new goal, at least I'll be content knowing I gave it my best shot.
For those who finished reading this post, cheers for making it to the very end. And for those who didn't read this post or don't really care, thank you for helping me figure out the ideal solution and giving me this new financial goal to shoot for!
Entrepreneurship Update 2022
It’s been two years focusing more on business. Overall, I ended up making a lot more money. It feels good to have more money to take care of my now two children. However, I was NOT happier with more money as I reflected in my 2021 year in review.
I spent so much time trying to optimize old posts and work with new sponsors that managing FS started feeling too much like work. I’m sure the uncertainty of the pandemic made me less happy too. For 2022+, I plan to take things down a notch again. I’m burned out.
But first, let me successfully market my new Wall Street Journal bestseller, Buy This, Not That: How To Spend Your Way To Wealth And Freedom. I spent two years writing and editing it with Penguin Random House.
Entrepreneurship Update 2023
2022 was actually another great year for online entrepreneurship. It was down from a record-high in 2021, but 2022 was still way beyond what we forecasted years ago.
In 2023, I'm extremely happy to take things down again. The pandemic and raising two children have kicked my butt. I just want to get fit, play pickleball, and write my next bestselling book.
It feels great to let go of the pursuit of always making maximum money. Having an exclusive partnership with Fundrise and signing a two-book deal also helps. In 2023, I feel like I did in 2012, where I felt tremendous relief about leaving the rate race.
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Readers, what are some products out there you'd like Financial Samurai to review? Any particular genres you'd like me to focus on going forward? What is your why for doing what you're doing? What type of negatives have you turned into a positive to thoroughly change your life for the better?
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297 thoughts on “Up Next For Financial Samurai: Less Retirement, More Entrepreneurship”
Sam, to me your conundrum is simple. You should not stop doing something in order to leave it, you should stop doing it when there’s something else more important to you and this thing is getting in the way. You didn’t quit your banking job and then look around at what to do next; you built this alternative track to the point where you wanted to do it full-time, and then you made that decision. Perhaps not an easy decision, but a natural one. If you pocket an 8-figure sum and retire to your hot-tub, then the infinite time that stretches ahead gives ample opportunity to ruminate and regret, like your friend who sold his gig in 2010. But if you have a new thing that you prefer, and it’s demanding more of your time and you want to give it more – then, the decision to sell comes naturally. You’re driving ^to^ the exciting new thing, not voluntarily driving ^away^ from your biggest achievement. And you don’t have time for regret either, you’re far too busy building the big new thing.
True. I can simply reduce my output as well. No need to publish 3X a week and 1 newsletter a week indefinitely.
I’ve also got a big book coming on this summer that I’m looking forward to market. That is something new and it will be a big challenge to make it a bestseller for sure. But it’ll be fun trying! I hope I can get your support.
Thankfully, our investments I’ve done well since I first wrote this post two years ago. So everything now feels like gravy.
Time to enjoy life more and decumulate!
Really love your post. Came across last Saturday while searching for inspiration on finance blogs and yours ranked the first. Just started my own site called financeandtoast.com and likewise, trying to write it in my style and not just for the “viewership”. Told myself that viewership will come once the style is defined. Would love for you to continue maintaining this site so that viewers like me can enjoy!
I find it interesting that many, including yourself find that once a child goes to kindergarten, there will be more free time and one can devote into career once again. I used to think the same. Now that our daughter is 6, I found it even more important/ interesting to spend more time with her. Now that she is able to reason and have more language skill, this is the time to teach, play, interact more than ever. Having working fulltime through the exhausted years of my daughter and my sons infancy/toddlerhood, dealing w theirs or my own sickness for months in a row, I am seriously considering to be a stay at home mom now that my kids are older, totally opposite of what most would do.
That is an interesting perspective. It’s hard for me to spend time with my son when he is at school. I could do more volunteer work at preschool though, if that’s what you’re suggesting.
I would say it’s definitely harder to be a full-time parent than to have a full-time job. But if you also have to do all the parenting yourself after a full-time job, that can be rough.
I just discovered your website a few months ago and have appreciated your common sense in analyzing exactly what your financial needs are, clearly identifying how to obtain your goals and share the how to. As I also write a blog, I understand the challenge when there is none or limited response from your audience. Additionally it is challenging to build your audience since social media has changed its algorithms. Thank you for being real, and in whatever form please continue. Monetization is not a bad thing, it is a value for your time spent.
I love reading your posts. I’ve read your posts in the past but your site came back into the limelight recently when I was reading about financial freedom or FIRE. I’ve been binge reading your articles and love them.
Your post above inspired me to say something. I haven’t commented before but just wanted to let you know I’ve been admiring your site behind the curtains. I am pretty intrigued with your layout, articles and organization of your site. I read one article that mentioned that you used WordPress. I actually live in San Francisco too and can relate with a lot of your posts. I had a child end of 2015 and feel the need for an increase in savings because the prior calculations went out the window with the thought of preschool and potentially private education costs. I’m in real estate and lately I’ve been compelled to share knowledge about real estate topics and other personal experiences through facebook. I haven’t had the courage to provide as much personal experience to provide insight into what you are doing (my investment path). I admire you for that. I’d love to continue hearing about your personal experience and perhaps one day we will meet over coffee/snack or food to chat and exchange stories on my financial strategy. We may be able to learn from each other.
Looking forward to the new content layout. I always liked the product reviews.
Like you I have a toddler born in early 2017 and sometimes have to save your post and read them in my free time, whenever that is lol. But seriously I’ve been a devoted reader for the last 6 years and have learned so much about finances because of your site. I tell everyone I know about it, you helped me buy my first home, max out on my 401k , open up an Acorns and Stockpile account, the list can go on. I’ve been to a lot of sites out there and they can never compete. Keep going please and don’t sell at least not your voice because it’s what I love most, the authenticity and originality.
Congrats on your little one! And hang in there! Oh boy has it been a tough journey, parenthood.
Thank you for reading all these years and sharing the article I write. I hope you have been able to really build your wealth during this time period And get a great command on your finances!
We are lucky!
Sam, you might not have gotten many comments on that one article, but taken as a whole, I’d say that your ability to write engaging *and* informative articles that entice people to comment is on a completely different level than 99.99% of writers out there.
It’s easy to put words on a page, hard to write words that get people to act.
Congrats on building something great, and best of luck monetizing it in the way that works best for you and your family.
Thanks JT! Haven’t heard from you in a while.
But I do remember you smacking one of my article to bits around 8 years ago because it was so poorly written with lots of grammatical errors!
Hope all is well with you. What are you up to nowadays anyway?
At the onset of the blog post , you wonder if Sam D is actually going to sell FS. As well, I was a bit puzzled by Sam D’s disappointment that so few commented on the ten (10) year recap post.
FS is a person that left a finance world job with a super cool income, to jump into a blog of his own making with no guarantee it will actually work long term! That takes large pelotas that clank all day long. Who cares if a bunch of people don’t comment! Ten years gone (Zepp) – Why on earth would Sam D contemplate selling because of a small number of comments?
On top of that, 1.5 million and growing monthly page views, control over your work hours and content, living the dream!
By the comments FS has made he developed a passive income of around $243,000 from investments combined with a blog income of $350,000 to $500,000 yearly. By my math that is a total income of approximately $600,000 to $750,000 a year generated by your own cojones without an assclown in sight telling you what to do! It’s like an hourly rate of $600.00. In your pajamas! From home! Before coaching tennis! Or after margaritas! Are you insane man!
My interpretation at the time – no way on earth is Sam D selling. At best a company purchases at around 4x the income generated – $2,000,000. Whomever buys has to keep Sam D on as a consultant or resident Jedi Master. If you don’t keep Sam D, you lose the very thing that makes the blog worthwhile – Sam D. If you keep Sam D, he doesn’t have total control over the content or have ultimate decision making authority. The logic does not work. Does not compute.
Alas, it was a crazy Ivan! Congratulations to Sam D and family on the vaunted Financial Samurai juggernaut. There was never any doubt you would sell. May you enjoy many decades of fruitful labor and continued success in your pajamas while coaching tennis and drinking margaritas. One day your kid(s) will take over and continue the tradition of help, education and snappy posts you established.
PS will you ever have FS beer koozies? Asking for a friend.
Sam – I’ve been reading your posts for years, yet rarely respond. I like your viewpoints, opinions, and ideas. Some of your personal investments are not things that I would do, but we come from different backgrounds and influences. As others have said, you present a perspective that is one-of-a-kind, and worth consideration. I’m wondering if I will like this column/page as much if you sell and/or monetize it as you describe. We’ll see. Keep on writing.
You know we love you and respect your decision making as it is always well planned, well though out and informed! Good luck and we wish you and the family only the best. I like your ideas and actually I can tell a few articles were different during the summer, but it was not distracting at all. We will always continue reading as long as you keep writing. Thank you for sharing!!!
Thanks for your writing. I have read for years but am not a commenter. I appreciate your perspective, regular content, and diverse topics. Many of my favourite bloggers retire then stop posting so please keep at it!
I have been reading for 7-8 years now and have been blogging for 5-6 years on 2 different sites. I feel the blog is dying a slow death to social media and just shut my last blog monkeyfreeme.com down to focus on Instagram posts. I get lots more interaction, comments, and they are shorter, more digestible posts that free up my time. I can also, post throughout the day if ideas pop in my head. I know it’s not the same as a blog, but I don’t do this for a living, so I feel I have more freedom to have fun and try new things. I just like to write.
I wouldn’t think too much about us readers, but do what is best for you and the kiddo. Also, if you moved out of your expensive area and got rid of the paying for preschool and moved to a good school district you can relax monetarily speaking.
Ugh. I guess all good things do come to an end. I love your blog because you write from a non white male immigrant perspective and that is so unique! You more than any other writer are willing to delve into topics that women and minorities would easily relate to. Your lack of white man privilege is what sent me to your site time and time again. I just hope the success of your blog will inspire others like you to lend their voice to the personal finance blogosphere. I wouldn’t feel apologetic about moving on. You’ve earned it. Even pioneers need to take a break. Good luck!
Thanks Astrid. I appreciate you pointing out the diversity of topics I write about. Thanks for the reminder to continue diversifying the topics. Growing up overseas and attending international schools for 13 years, then spend the next 13 years in the international equities business had a profound impact.
You write we all deserve a middle-class life style. You are wrong. We deserve nothing. We must earn it. Stand on a street corner and see what you deserve. Charles
Thanks for your uplifting comment!
Sounds exciting! Hope to see you continue writing for years to come!
I don’t ever post but am compelled to after this article. I can’t begin to describe how you have inspired and comforted me through the past 5 years. I retired after 30 years in the Navy as an engineer. I come from a completely different place than your experiences and have little in common with you other than your strong sense of family. After doing the job I had always aspired to in the Navy, I was forced to retire and do something different. That was 5 five years ago, when I found your blog and it greatly helped me get my act together and start on a path of financial independence. I don’t miss an article and I even read every comment thoroughly. I don’t always agree, but all the information I have garnered has help shape my future outlook for the positive. Here are some of the benefits your blog has been responsible for:
– You helped me to decide what my future life purpose was to be and what I should do with the rest of my life.
– You gave me the confidence to handle my portfolio myself and avoid the sharks (OK, Bob Brinker helped with this too!)
– You gave me solid benchmarks to shoot for. All of your tables helped me realize how far behind the power curve I was as a money saver.
– And finally, your wisdom has given me a great topic to share with my children and their spouses and eventually my grandchildren as they begin to understand.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for all you have done for me and God Bless You. It matters not what your future decision is regarding the sight, sure I would miss it, but I would still be the better for what you have shared with me. I am truly better for having known you.
Wonderful to hear Steve! That makes me so happy that Financial Samurai has helped you on your path to financial freedom.
I hope nobody always agrees with what I say. It’s impossible because that’s the beauty of the market and choice. The more perspectives we have, the better.
Long time reader, first time comment. Just wanna let you know that I really appropriate you writing these great articles, I’ve learned a lot. :)
“Financial Samurai” without the Sam is just “Financial urai” and I doubt anyone will care about that.
You have something the world needs – please keep sharing it.
Thanks. That’s why I have to change this and make the site more diverse with different perspectives. To remove myself from the site is a strategically smart move for business so the site can live on without me.
But the reality is, most of the traffic comes from new users and from the search engines. So I’m less important than you think.
Sam, you are moving your target again eh? You are so relentless and nothing can stop you from doing what you want to achieve. I just want to say I appreciate your posts and you are an inspiration to me. I hope you will keep this site for years to come!
The graph on the CA home prices makes me feel for all you people living out there. It seems as if Cali residents have more of a homeowners burden than anywhere else in the country.
We care more than you know! It is very sad to see you go but I am happy we will have the year still. I’ve learned a lot on this blog
(first time commenting)
Don´t do it!!!!
I think the lack of comments on your 10 year article relates more to our failures rather than your success. We are a society of instant gratification. We want likes and hearts instantly. For the majority of us waiting 10 years for success is unrelatable. Hell, half us don’t even put that much effort in our marriages let alone side hustles.
Your success and achievements are amazing. You’ve accomplished more than 99 percent of your peers. Thank you for all of the great content. If you do sell I hope you put the wood to the buyers!!
Best of luck, Bill
Hi Bill – Maybe. I definitely hear you on the instant gratification part. But there are all sorts of short-term instant gratifications on the way to longer term goals that should be enjoyed.
I would think that as we naturally get older, relating to 10 years becomes easier and easier b/c we’ve experienced more things in 10-year+ increments.
Even though I’ve carved my own path to financial independence, I’ve appreciated having the Fianancial Samurai as my virtual co-pilot. It has continually reassured me that what I’m doing isn’t crazy. I frequently refer my working wife to one of your articles to make my point. I’ve often thought how nice it would be to swap tales with you in person in SF.
I’m not a blogger, but I’ve written a few posts and understand the excruciating pain of producing something meaningful and perhaps under-appreciated. Many people don’t have the time to read or write comments or don’t want to be redundant. Perhaps you could add a “Like” button to measure the appreciation for a post.
We have a lot in common. I applaud your willingness to place your life and thoughts under public scrutiny with the goal of helping others. While like-minded, I don’t care to be in the public eye this way.
My wife and I share your drive to provide for the kids—it’s biological; I’ve learned to increasingly resist that drive. My kids are now in 5th and 6th grade. This is perhaps where your and my goals have become most divergent. Partially through your posts, I’ve decided the goal should not be to make more money. Comparing yourself to the average SF home owner is also not helpful. Only you can say what is enough but I guarantee you that is a state of mind and not driven by analytics and comparables. I’ve also decided that more money (even if it’s in the pursuit of financial security) will not yield better children. My wife and I spend a lot of time and effort on our kids, and I’m beginning to think even that is detrimental.
You and I grew up with comparatively limited parental involvement and money, yet we turned out fine. The hyper financial security we seek to provide for our children may ultimately hurt them more than it helps. The results may include sense of entitlement to lack of independence to lack of motivation. Nobody sets out to raise kids who are out of touch with the world, but through the bubbles parents create, I see it happening everywhere.
I’m almost always home, but I actually pretend to work more than I do just so my kids understand that being at their disposal 24/7 is not normal. How am I going to convey that working 70 hours per week was once “normal” for me if they don’t even think I work 40? They have no sense of the struggles of a “normal” working parent because my wife also works from home. Unless I plan to send them checks for the rest of their lives, at some point they will need to work a 40+ Hour job, possibly at an office, and certainly with a boss. That will be a rude awakening if I’m not vigilant about shaping their perceptions.
I’ve more to share, but comments can get too long just like articles.
Having a “Like” button is a no-brainer. Let me see if there’s a new comment system without losing all my old comments for the past 10 years. That would be a real bummer as that has happened before!
Thank you for understanding about the pain it came sometimes be to write a long post where nobody seems to care. The good thing about writing online is that you can get instant feedback and adapt.
Are we really so different though? I just want to make more money so I can ensure that I can be around my kids as much as possible until they don’t want to be with me. I like a challenge. And trying to mass another $100K in investment income is a large challenge at this stage in my life. It keeps me hungry. Remember, the alternative is to sell FS and get instant gratification to earn an extra $100K in investment income.
By continuing to operate FS, I hope to one day show my boy my work ethic. Let’s see if I can hold on!
I have never taken so much as one minute to thank you for your content, advise and wisdom.
THANK YOU! You are making a difference!
I am a loyal reader however I do admit that I skim over the content.
I began reading your blog on the worst day of my professional life: 14 days after starting my first job in 2011. I was in car sales, hadn’t sold a car up to that point, and frankly wanted to give up. Were it not for loads of student debt and an upcoming marriage, I might have just moved back in with my parents.
I ran across your website, and initially was intrigued at the concepts relating to financial independence. I put into practice your advice on paying off debt and investing in real estate in middle America. I set target goals for myself based on your “average net worth for the above average individual” posts. I have an amazing dad, but he didn’t pass on advice like this. You did, and for that I am eternally grateful. I have paid off debts, climbed into the top 1% of income and top 5% of Net Worth for my age, and see a finish line in site.
Your advice is what set a goal for my professional life, and what caused me to go back into work with renewed vigor. I ended up selling more cars in the 16 days remaining in that month (May, 2011) than any other sales person had sold in an entire month. My career has moved out of cars and into plastics, but the mindset never changed. More importantly, I developed a confidence in my abilities, and deeply ingrained sense of self worth. More importantly than that: you helped me see that more important than money or career are family and benevolence.
This is my first post in nearly a decade. Please know that regardless of which direction you take your own life, you have positively impacted mine to an incredible degree.
Wonderful to hear Jordan! So great you have come a long way.
That confidence you speak of is huge. With confidence, so many more things are possible. When you get to the top 1% in net worth for your age, let me know! We’ll do a virtual celebration :)
Sam – never commented but have always enjoyed and benefited from your site. I found FS when I was making a decision whether or not to leave a huge firm and go with a startup 4 years ago. Due to your advice, I was able to aggressively save, work at that startup, and then start my own company. Your insight was invaluable to me and I can’t begin to thank you enough for starting this site.
I am long time reader of your site; i just wanted to take the time and tell you how much help you have been to my financial education. I really do hope the site does not change too much, but completly understand and agree with yout reasoning.
Best of Luck
Hey Sam — long time reader here as well and I’ve also never commented.
I’ve truly enjoyed reading your blog. I started reading in my first year of college and happened to follow a very similar route as you so your content has always spoken volumes to me. I’m now in my second year of investment banking in the bay area and I’ve gotta say your site has given me a much more mature and long-term view on where I should take my career. Just because folks aren’t commenting, doesn’t mean they aren’t taking everything in! I refresh your site 2-3 times a day and trudge through waiting for new content — I’m sure most of us do.
Thanks for everything and best of luck on the future — it’s very impressive what you’ve accomplished. Hoping the site doesn’t change too much but do trust you’ll find a way to make it work out for the better.
GL in banking! If you can survive 10 years in banking while also saving aggressively, I’m sure you will be able to reach FI. Still one of the best industry to make a good amount of money. Hang in there!
Just wanted to repost this here.
I was wrong. You were right! A few months ago, you were considering selling FS in order to spend more time with your family. I thought it was a good idea because expanding FS was going to move you to a new level, requiring staff, commitments, contracts and new “bosses”.
But I see now that you have improved FS, but balanced your life. You seem more content than ever; like all men, you need an outlet for your creativity and drive.
By helping others, you receive more energy to love and serve your wife and son. You are also providing an example to your son of being a successful person, man, husband and father.
I think that the quality of FS has improved and it has become even more helpful.
I am a retired 72-year old grandma in Canada (with family in California). I have been troubled by the excessive drive and consumerism of Californians, with a resultant lack of peace and joy. When I see how someone like you (who will or already does reside in Hawaii) has been able to be successful financially without sacrificing his family or life in the midst of unhealthy lifestyle environments (California and NY), I am happy for you and your family. Your example will help many others to see what is truly of value in life.
You are doing what you are born to do. And doing a wonderful job of it.
I enjoy your newsletter. It is refreshing, optimistic and helpful, as well as having financial insights that most financial newsletters lack, probably because you do not seem to have bias about the various factors affecting the economy.
So glad that you decided to keep FS. You and your letter are unique. Nobody else could do what you are doing as well as you do it.
Sam, I truly enjoy your posts. You are transparent and honest. I read 7-8 FIRE blogs on a regular basis and yours and Root of Good are my favorites. While Root of Good is on the extreme frugality end of the spectrum you are on the higher income end of the spectrum. I enjoy both perspectives. As long as you keep writing I will keep reading.
I think the cities are too expensive to retire to. When we do finally stop working full time, we will not be living in our high cost of living area. We live in the suburbs of NYC, and we do not plan to stay here once our son graduates. He’s 5 so there is a long time yet, still, that is a factor in our math. I’m curious if Sam is still thinking about moving to lower those costs. Granted, he has the ability and net worth to get that income up to the number he needs, but there is something else to consider. A lower cost city can save you a ton of money thus, for the same annual spending, you can live better. So many people do that, and well, we will too.
We’re planning on relocating to Hawaii within several years. The median home price in Honolulu is about 45% cheaper than it is in San Francisco. Stay tuned for another post.
Leaving a place like San Francisco to make your dollar go farther and makes a lot of sense. It’s just hard at the moment since I have a lot of things to unwind and my son’s school.
Hey, can you route those sponsored guest post requests over to me? The incredibly rare Sponsored Post is how I make most of my money. I post about two or three of those a year nowadays, but get so many freeloaders and snake oil salesmen that I’ve spent about as much time denying people access to my blog a single I do not getting replies to my followup emails.
I can definitely attest that too much of a “personal touch” can be a hindrance to making money. And while, yes, the income is my primary motivation for writing, where would the fun in that be? I’d have no motivation to actually write so much as I’d have the desire regurgitate keywords and affiliate links. And what is that other than a second job?
I think a 70/30 split is good for you, Sam. But don’t be like other personal finance blogs. I’m probably not in a position to criticize other blogs due to the financially unsuccessful nature of mine, but I find many other financial blogs almost unreadable. They suck. They really do, I’m sorry. How many times can you read about 5 ways to save money by cooking at home or clipping coupons, all in a voice that sounds like your mother trying desperately to sound young and hip? Keep writing with your own voice and incorporate that into your various review/sales articles?
I’d say maybe think about what topics you want to write about. Some of your topics felt like reposts over time. Maybe they were. I could swear I haven’t gone two weeks without a “Average whatever balance you should have at any age” article that read like the last three before it. Don’t get rid of those topics, mind you, just mix them up a bit. I know it’s a bit hard when you’re writing articles 3 times a week for a decade, but maybe stepping back a bit and thinking about what mix of topics will keep things fresh might help you increase engagement, both from your readers and even from yourself.
And don’t worry about selling and providing resources to help your readers. I do, especially now for career change products since my readership has been greatly interested in my transition from retail banking to AML. These things help your readers and provide as much value as your content, which you provide for free. Suggesting they pay for a product that you genuinely feel could help them–which would also help you after pumping out tons of valuable content for free–isn’t opportunistic or unethical. After giving multiple readers free, in-depth career advice on my blog, I don’t have any issues suggesting a resume writing service (especially one that I’ve tested myself and managed to score a discount for my readers) that earns me a commission.
Anyhoo, still enjoying your blog, Sam. Hope it continues to work for you financially, mentally, and emotionally.
One other thing to keep in mind when you revisit the decision to sell: You’ve said multiple times that one of your current goals for Financial Samurai was to have an archive of content–both written and audio–for your son in case something ever happened to you. If you were to sell, the new owners can just delete everything in an instant. They don’t care about providing your son with a sort of posthumous communication with his father. Just something to keep in mind.
ARB–Angry Retail Banker
Sam – You have provided invaluable advice to so many people! I visit your site at least once a day to read something. I also listen to your podcasts while I drive to work. I don’t comment very often, but I gain so much from your expertise!
I hope that you’ll continue to post new content as your posts are uniquely insightful! Also, you genuinely want to help people, which you do every day.
I truly hope that you’ll one-day consider one of the following —
(1) Running for political office, including President (I am being completely serious.); or
(2) Becoming the next Oprah – you could help so many people with your combination of emotional intelligence, compassion, and belief that others can improve.
I know you don’t want to sacrifice your privacy, and so I suspect that you may not consider these right now. But I hope you’ll at least keep them in the back of your head.
Thanks for listening to my podcast! That’s a project I plan to build over the next several years. Building something new and watching it grow is always fun.
You flatter me with your suggestions. It’s not for me, but thank you.
Sorry, Sorry, Sorry. Been reading your blog for a couple of years and assumed you had more feedback than you would know what to do with. I really enjoy your unique perspective and I left California 30 years ago when I graduated from college so reading your blog is sort of like reading my alternative universe if I had taken a job in the bay area. Most of the financial stuff is interesting because its so different from Ohio – makes me realize we barely live in the same country and don’t really have the same currency or problems. Your work is appreciated !
No need to be sorry at all! It was just that one post where I was like, “where is everybody?“
Ohio is one place I haven’t been to. But a lot of people love it and I hope you do as well.
Have been reading your weekly posts for about 18 months. Commenting is not my thing which as you point out, leaves one to wonder “who’s out there?”. You and your wife have developed a plan that works for you and after putting in the requisite 10 years writing FS leaving it now would probably be difficult. Income generation tastefully done should not be an issue with your readers.
I am wondering if you factored in a pending recession to the decision. I’d imagine it would:
-Give you a LOT of new ideas/content/topics to write about. Things have been so good for so long…I’m wondering how your content would adapt if people were panicking/struggling.
-Possibly increase your traffic? If people are more interested in PF because the economy is bad? What do you think?
-Lower your sites valuation temporarily (stuff just gets less expensive during a recession).
Deciding to not sell today probably means you’ll want to hold for at least 3-5 years to get through and out of a recession.
Can you just keep everything the same but post a sponsored post once a week? Label it/make it clear to the readers what it is, and they can decide to “skip” it if they want? Or are you approaching it differently where you write thoughtful posts about products and are paid to do so? Can you really be “honest” if it is a paid post? Curious what you’re thinking about from the revenue perspective.
On a person note – I’ve been reading for years and am turning 30 soon. Did incredibly well saving + investing but am getting married soon and everything just completely changed. I lost all control of my finances and just started spending $ like it’s nothing. I’m hoping to get back on the train I’ve been on for so many years and is hoping this is just a phase!
Yes, I’ve definitely considered the possibility of a recession slowing things down for 2-3 years. I don’t see things getting bad for three years.. more like 1-2 years as lending standards have been super high since the last recession and companies and banks have very strong balance sheets now. With interest rates plummeting, it should provide some boost to the economy.
I’ll definitely make all sponsored posts very clear.
You would think traffic would surge in a recession as fear increases and people want to know what’s going on. But I don’t know for sure what will happen since I literally started FS at the bottom and things have just been going straight up.
Timing wise, starting in 2009 and selling in 2019 could be one of the best trades ever. Alas, it’s nice to have something to do every day.
Hope you get back on that saving and investing train!
This is an interesting development and perspective, I’ll share my thoughts. The thing that got me to your site was a podcast interview you did some time back, when I checked out your site and found what was, and still may be, my favorite post of yours, regarding Best Passive Income sources. The reason being this is unique content and a peek inside someone’s mind who has been successful and shared their passive income sources, which are hard to come by in most finance blogs.
The other post I really like is the one on Investing in the Heartland of America. The voting maps were eye opening to me and the point was well supported about investing in middle America real estate. These two posts shared unique and actionable perspectives and are highly differentiated versus other common finance blogs, while some of the other posts it sounds like you expected to have more success (10 Years, etc.), struck me as less unique or poignant or actionable. There are others writing about grit (Duckworth), mastery (Newport) and other related topics you touch on, but discussing particular investment strategies where you have expertise, and specifically passive income and alternative investments, in an unbiased way are the strengths of your blog from my standpoint, and why I read it each week. Please write more on these topics, which are specific, unique and actionable, and thanks for all your hard work this last decade.
All this said, your personal needs are your own (WRT the 10/90 split you are conveying here), though I hope you continue to maintain a site where you share your nuggets of financial wisdom in a personal and unbiased way. Congratulations again on hitting 10 yrs.
The Simple Dollar seems to have managed a good balance of business, posts from the founder with personal content, and other contributors.
I think it could be a good model. It would be great I think if you could find some like-minded contributors who are at different stages of the FI journey in different locations.
I agree. Trent sold to Cut Media in 2011, so that was ages ago and during much worse times than now. They’ve kept the founder on and have grown the site with lots of writers. It’s a frugality focused blog, boring for my taste, but should be doing quite well. Literally no comments on many of its posts, and probably just they way they like it to spend less time interacting.
Operating margins must be lower given the infrastructure behind the site.
Do you like the site? If so, what are the things you like about it? thx
I’ve been reading your site for about a year. I’m also an Asian guy, about the same age, married, have a son around the same age as yours, worked in finance, etc., except I’m in nyc not sf.
Your address exactly the things I think about – how much should we be saving? how do our spending habits compare to others in our income bracket? should we buy that vacation house? Private school? For me, there’s really no other site, or media for that matter, that addresses the things that I care about financially, in such a targeted way.
Thank you and keep writing please!
Very cool Jason. Sounds like we are quite similar as I started in finance in NYC for 2 years myself.
Thanks and good luck!
Like so many others, I didn’t comment on your 10 year post, but I loved it! I also enjoy reading posts about scenarios that are clearly out of my range, but yet still interesting. I think your 70/30 split makes sense, but don’t give up on the personal sharing. It’s really what builds loyalty.
Looking forward to the next 10 years!!
Great post, good luck
My son turned me onto your site and I’ve done same for countless others looking for a witty perspective (opinionated!) on solid financial info. Love your posts and I’m on the other side of your famial situation with our youngest at 26. Where it appears your head is at is a never-ending, soul-seraching, life-meaning, gut-wrenching, self-worthing process that keeps us going. Hey, maybe not always fun but once you get your head around it, you do what you do with it knowing what you know and other times, don’t know. It keeps things real and as readers/listeners, we get the continued benefit! For a good read, check out Gary John Bishops “Stop doing that Sh*t”. Yeah, yeah, I know it’s a self-helper type but none the less, it touches on a lot of what you’re saying and has some great anecdotal points as well. Glad we’re still going to be getting the 70% Sam. …and no, I don’t usually respond to post but wanted you to know there are likely many of us out there of same mind. Look forward to the continuing and slightly modified FS.
Hi Sam- I’ve been reading your posts for a while now. It’s wonderful. So, thank you for continuing to make it better and richer. I dont think the quality of this site would stay as good if someone were to take over (unless they keep you to run the site still). 70/30 sounds ok to me. It will just as great. Don’t leave out the life stuff. It’s equally insightful to read.
I too live in the bay area with two children. Can relate to many things you wrote about. Really wish I had discovered your blog sooner. Not only you give sound advice on the finance-related front, but also the life stuff. Had I found your blog sooner, I may have better luck with my money and may have not chosen to hire help with the kids when they were younger. I just couldn’t do it being a FT mom physically. It’s incredibly touching to hear you often talk about how much you want to spend with your little guy while you still can before he leaves home (and that’s in ~15 more years). Not only you give such importance to the role as a parent, but also you actually act on it. Your desire/awareness of wanting to be there for him from the smallest little milestones to something major is just incredible. Most parents want the same at the start – to be a great parent – but things often get in the way despite all the good intentions. Our personalities do not always align with our intentions.
Anyway, I just love reading your articles here. Too many great ones to read, too little time. Thank you so much.
So, do you actually give financial advice? What’s the best way to ask you for it? Say, if I were to throw one at you now, will you respond? Here is my question for you. I hope you will give me some good pointers. Thank you, Sam.
What would you advice I do with my one million dollars in cash I recently received from a divorce settlement? It’s not a whole lot but it is something I have to manage wisely in order to grow it and not the opposite. I know it can disappear quickly living in this very expensive area.
I do own a home in a nice area down here in the peninsula with 50% equity, although I have high-interest mortgage 5.5% (~$5.5k a month) due to lack of better qualification (been a stay-at-home mom for the last 16 years). I get child support money and a rental income from the one-bedroom unit I have on the property. My income basically takes care of the monthly mortgage payment. I know I have to just earn enough interest to cover our living expenses (mine, and two kids half time).
What would you do with the 1 mil cash to maximize earnings if you were in my situation? And what are the do’s and don’ts in order to avoid pitfalls? I’m entrepreneurial; however, starting a business hasn’t been easy. I also was hoping to gain employment so I can at least refinance my home, but it’s tough when you were out for 16 yrs. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you, Sam.
All the best,
I look forward to reading all your posts and newsletters each week. Besides your amazing personal finance tips and advice, what keeps me coming back to your site is your personal writing style. I love how you blend so much of your personal goals and life details with finance topics. As a reader, I can relate to you on certain topics such as kids, preschools, Bay Area real estate, etc…
Whether you eventually decide to keep for another 20 years or sell, I’m sure your readers will be supportive! Keep on fighting!
I’m addicted to this site. You have inspired me in so many ways, most recently to move from a HCOL place (NYC) to a LCOL place (Austin). I am a voracious reader of the site and recommend it all the time. Please never sell or quit!
My take is that I believe that some of the readers are ordinary commoner who earn a decent/average remuneration. Some of your posts reason around the millions of dollars in term of the income and expenses. This makes this group of readers feel that the posts do not seem to apply to their circumstances. Having highlighted such comments, I am one of such readers who yearns for ordinary and simple retirement. Minimalism is the preferred way of approach as per my perspective. Your posts have been great to some extent. I will say that the posts are to each of own preference of the readers.
My two cents of views.
Agree, which is why I need to broaden the topics and have more guest writers. But not about the topic of trying to last for 10 years. That is applicable to everyone. Thanks for your feedback!
I can relate to WTK, but to get around the “Some of your posts reason around the millions of dollars in term of the income and expenses”, I just divide all your numbers by 10 and apply them to the “middle of the country” lifestyle. Your numbers may be large, but your advice can serve anyone living anywhere.
Sam – another committed reader who typically does not comment, however it is important that you receive more additional feedback at this juncture. I appreciate your perspective and style – you balance delivering meaningful content with methodological logic and clarity for real people. This strategic business evolution seems like another thoughtful shift in your business model. I appreciate that you are trying to stay true to your original design, while understanding all businesses need to adjust to a continually changing environment. Good Luck in this next phase and thanks for continuing.
My sense is that you’re more appreciated than you think, and have made a difference. Not all fans post comments on a regular basis. (can’t remember where I read this, but I think two comments per post is the base rate across ALL blog posts)
If you still have doubts, then watch (or re-watch) this old Twilight Zone episode on Netflix: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0734634/.
In short, I think you’ve made a difference.
Love the Twilight Zone. Will check it out.
I don’t expect readers to comment on a regular basis at all. It takes a lot of work. It was just a surprise on the crickets after that one post after so much effort and the topic. But it was just the catalyst I needed to make a change, and I’m grateful.
Our expectations in our head are often different from reality, which is why we need to continuously change and make improvements. Inertia can be very bad!
I’ve never commented before but would like to thank you for the last ~10 years of amazing content. Would be happy to click on a few ads in return for your future content. Have also recommended your severance book to others. I started reading FS during the Great Recession following the completion of my post-doc fellowship and wedding. Between my wife and I, we started with a negative $300k networth (due to student loans, no assets, and car loans) and I used to cringe at your lofty net worth goals by age. However, we diligently saved, invested, and saved more of our dual incomes due to your advice to grow our net worth by $2.8 million. We are currently 38 years old. You have really helped us execute on a plan and set ourselves up for a great financial road ahead. Also just recently took advantage of geographic arbitrage by moving from a high income tax state to one with zero state income tax. Although I haven’t agreed with all of your posts, so many have been unbelievably actionable for me and the others have provided a balance of alternative perspectives.
Thx for your introspective post, glad youre keeping the site. Being a fellow early retiree I always could relate to the mental games your head plays on you when your taking a road less traveled. I think the new formula sounds great!
BTW, when kids go off to school it will allow you and your wife to have more quality time. It’s not always all about the kids, you know:)
I’ve been reading your blog since I graduated from college in 2014. You’re content has been entertaining and very helpful over the years. I love reading all your emails and posts (and re-read some even) every Sunday. It has become a weekly routine. I just wanted to let you know your work has made a big impact on my life in helping me set high financial goals. I like all the research you provide along with the great examples that show me financial freedom is possible as long as you keep working hard.
Thanks for all your hard work!
I’ve started reading your articles no more than two years now and it has been the best financial site I have ever come across. I don’t actually read any blogs or things of that sort except for FS. Your personal touches, your content, everything I have read of FS has been easy to read, easy to comprehend, and completely relevant! I had almost zero knowledge of the financial world and being a young one already 3 years into a good career and not knowing about savings accounts or just smart financial decisions in general, FS has basically become my money bible. Personally I hope you always continue on FS but also as someone who has a lot of catching up to do, I can say you have A LOT of great content to leave as is.
MUCH appreciation for what you do and why you do it.
Thank you Sam! I have learned a lot from you financially and I enjoy your musings on life, family, people and their motivations. I am little older than you and I have a 14 month old son. We live in NYC and I make a modest six-figure salary. My wife works hard at a business that she started a few years ago. I did not realize the importance of focusing on making and managing my money (and time) effectively until I got married; so I still have much to learn. I am sure that I am one of many who, up until now, was silently grateful for the content you share!
As many people have stated in the comments, I have felt very attached to this blog since i discovered it some months ago. Your point of view and the way you approach life is tremendously clever and inspiring.
I have never been a “commenter” although I follow several blogs. This will probably the only time I’m doing it, just to let you know that I, and many more people, care a lot, even though we do so hiding in the shadows. Your work is amazing and I feel so thankful for it.
Greetings from overseas in Barcelona (Spain). Hope you keep on enjoying life, providing for your family and teaching and inspiring others. The world is a better place by having you in it.
I am a regular reader of your blog over the past 5 years and always recommend your blog to my physician colleagues whenever they have questions regarding finances . I also do read WCI however yours is more informative and more detailed in comparison to WCI. In addition, you hardly recycle old information unlike the other blogs . My finances have improved tremendously from reading your blog and WCI . Your writing style is easy to comprehend for a non finance guy like me . Keep up the good work !!
Sam, I was getting nervous while reading the first half of your post. I have only recently discovered your blog and REALLY enjoy it and find it extremely educational and useful. My wife and I are in are 50’s and are different than many I that we have 3 kids to still help get through college. The first one starts next year. We need all the “good” help we can get to get them through and retire decently. Chris
Long time reader first time commenter. Just wanted to say that please don’t confuse lack of comments with people not caring – your work is very valuable and I really enjoy your style of writing that blends personal experience with the cold hard numbers, this makes understanding some of the more complicated principles very accessible!
I’m glad that you plan to keep running the site and that you will be making more income from it as I would definitely miss it if the style changed.
In my mind you really are a trusted virtual personal finance advisor/teacher.
Andy (Writing from Ireland)
I just want to pile on and tell you how much I have benefitted from and enjoyed your work over the years! I agree that those of us who have not commented have been diligent students if not active participants.
I admire your desire to be a present father, and only hope that whatever you do with the site, you remain the primary decision maker. We can rest assured the content, paid or free, will be excellent.
Good luck and thank you for all of your help!
Hi Sam – Long term reader of your blog. I’ve enjoyed your blog a lot and I take learnings from your blog and apply it to my own self and share with my wife and friends. In fact, your site is quite popular at my work place too;). Anyway, I wanted to say that we really appreciate the time and effort you put into your writing and you impact a lot of lives in different ways.
I live in San Jose and lot of your personal experiences resonate directly with me, especially your writings on real estate. You have been an inspiration for all of us and I hope you continue writing more great stuff. I really hope the changes you are proposing makes your blog even better. Thanks.
thanks for the really valuable information over the years sam! I appreciate it
Sam, you’ve created a site that high achievers come to and read. Don’t ever say that our lack of comments mean we don’t digest your comments.
I work 60-90 hour weeks regularly but have always read your articles 3x a week. That doesn’t mean I have time to comment constantly but I have been reading your articles since high school for around a decade when I looked for articles on above average net worth. Now here I am at 26 and a millionaire with my gf. I won’t give you all the credit but your articles have positively influenced me as well as many others im sure. So thanks for the insight it’s been fun when I work in an office with people who have no interest in finance. And ultimately I’ve always tried to follow your path and compete against your timelines. It’s been nice. I wish I had more time to comment but we aren’t all fully retired like you ;)! Hope you stick around so I can continue to enjoy this site.
Coming out of lurking for the past few years to let you know I’ve really enjoyed this blog and have been going back to the 10 year post and re-reading. I had a sigh of relief that you didn’t sell. I appreciate the mindset of abundance here (growing income) versus other blogs that seem to have a focus on scarcity (live like a pauper). I’m a newlywed living in Brooklyn with my husband and we use your posts to talk about money topics with each other.
Congrats on your marriage! I love NYC. Best city in America for 6 months of the year. I’d be at the US Open in Flushing every day for the next two weeks.
Cool you guys discuss some of the topics I write about. If you guys have kids, I am sure you guys will love the family finance topics.
Thank you! Yes, your post on the two income trap had us going for a few days. We’re not living on one income yet but aiming to get there. No children as yet but already talking about the savings plan for their education.
Sam, thank you so much for your time over the years investing in writing this blog. As a native San Franciscan (and someone interested in personal finance) I have really enjoyed your local perspective. I don’t often comment but please know that your words have helped me improve my work ethic and mindset. Thank you! Best of luck, and I hope your son gets into Lowell in the future. I loved it there! :)
Hi Annie – Always nice to hear from others living in our great and expensive city.
Lowell would be nice. Not too far away from where we live either. Could be good! Hard to pass up free.
Bro as a fellow NorCal late bloomer who has only been with your site less than a year, I’m going to miss your refreshing points of views! You worked hard and many of us here appreciate your work. In the end, you do what’s best for you and your family. Congratulations, will miss this site
I love your blog and read it frequently.
Although I shall never FIRE being 78, I enjoy your perceptions. I am frequently encouraged to live life. Although retired, I am a local substitute teacher and so keep busy. You, through your posts, encourage me to keep going.
I especially enjoy your delight for your son and determination to be an important part of his life. And your recognition for the sheer hard work that goes into raising a child. I had 3 children and this is the only time (in 56 years) that I have felt validated by an outsider.
Yours is one of two financial blogs (ESI is the other) that I read, enjoy and take in.
From my perspective, you have to do what is best for you and your family. But you will always have the delight of impacting so many lives in such a positive manner.
Thank you so much.
Jo – I’d love to hear about your life experiences in future posts! I know I’ve been talking a lot about family since 2007 and some are annoyed with it, but family is my why. I appreciate you enjoying the topics around family.
Sam, thanks for publishing the most informative and relevant financial blog on the internet. Excellent content, humor and family focus make your posts interesting and fun. FS is one of very few blogs I’d willingly pay to read. Selfishly I hope you merely further monetize the site and FS brand instead of selling it. However, do what is right for you and your family.
No need to ever pay Matt. Sharing my work with others is payment enough!
I definitely want to implement more humor in my future work. Tomorrow’s newsletter should bring some chuckles. :)
Ultimately you have to do you so to speak.
I rarely comment and honestly don’t read all that consistently, but the community here is far better than most in terms of both *useful* writing and also interesting comments. So many of the other sites are focused on the lowest common denominator of humanity, not what can be achieved if you really put your shoulder into it. 80/hr per week over the last 9 months addressed shored up my finances far better than any budgeting exercise I have ever done. That wasn’t solely to your writing, or even the comments though I did realize from them I could have been doing better… with everywhere else talking about the average I appreciate this little slice of above average humanity, and the fact that exists at all is directly a result of what you have built here Sam.
Thank you Geoff. The reality is that you need to “focus on the lowest common denominator of humanity” to win over humanity.
I forgot who that politician was.. the rich guy from Utah where he went on stage and bet $10,000 with his opponent on something. Oh yeah, Mitt Romney. That was his death knell. Nobody could relate, so they wrote him off. He needed to have bet $1 instead!
Hello Sam,I write you from Romania,Europe.All I want to say is that I wish you and your family good luck and that I hope that life will be good with you.Why am I sad to write you?
Donno why you’re sad to write to me Diana. Lots of great things to look forward to.
I’ve never been to Romania. Would love to go one day. I’ll let you know if I do!
You should do 50 percent. You’ll be a lot more motivated to keep going w the higher income
For the same reason you spent 3x the amount of time on the post, I personally think that the content from your 10 year post was too good to be absorbed in a single reading. I have it saved off to go back through it and have it saved for long term future reference. That is, to me, why you got fewer comments. I’ve been reading you for the past year or so and you stand out for multiple reasons:
– Frequency of posts (look at MMM…maybe once every month or 2 and is any of what he writes now that new?)
– Originality of content (you have both quantity and quality)
– Self-disclosure (I personally like how much you share about your life…it’s different than mine, so I get to learn…there are also aspects that overlap mine but you provide a different, thought-provoking perspective)
– Creative writing (you have a unique voice, for the FIRE movement but you also bring in other topics that allow for broader perspective)
– You’re a minority who balances both the perspective of someone who is not operating on an even playing field but also of someone who has become very successful in spite of that
I could say more but this is a good start…so thank you
Hi Michael, I appreciate the specific bullet points.
The one thing about spending so much time writing is that it can get exhausting. When there were crickets after the 10-year post was published, it sure felt tempting to sell. But then I got this wave of love and support from folks like you, I’m having a change of heart.
Running a website is all about endurance. I got to figure out a way to take a break. And one of the best ways is to hire someone part-time.
As someone who creates content and uses comments as a feedback loop to help me both assess if I am creating/presenting the right content and to know if what I am doing is meaningful to those I am creating it for, I completely get this. Pouring yourself into a post (or in my case a presentation) is very vulnerable. You’re putting yourself out there and you’re completely exposed. It’s almost worse for people to say nothing at all than to come at you with criticism and critique. Did all those hours of toil even matter? Do I matter? Am I just wasting my time?
Creativity, new(ish) thoughts, old thoughts in new ways — all are very mentally taxing. I would tell you that you have probably influenced 100x what you think you have because most people will not say anything. For example, something you talked about a while back completely revolutionized my life and thought process about life and career — and I have gone on to influence the 100s of people who work under me with the concept that you shared (Ikigai)
For me, you stand out from the crowded field of financial bloggers. Do you need to publish at the same pace? Could you offload 1 post / week to another writer or a group of writers who compete for a full-time job with you? Yes, but anyone you choose is going to need to have unique voice as well — not just saying the same things as everyone else.
Oh man, that’s how I feel Michael. It’s often tough to put so much into something, think it’s going to do great, and then just flop. Every single creative person or entrepreneur has felt this way before. It is probably the #1 reason WHY people don’t share as much or take on new things: blowback or crickets.
I writer needs to be read. And artist needs to have her artwork seen.
But it’s important to keep on going, no matter what. Learn from the feedback and evolve.
I need to learn to take it easy more, I really do. And to post less is one way to do so. But every morning I wake up FULL of ideas… endless ideas and things I want to do that it’s hard for my fingers to keep up.
I always tell myself to maximize the opportunity while it’s there b/c I know my mind will one day fade away.
I wonder if you could take one or two people who’s writing you respect who have similar mindsets/outlooks on life to what you portray here who could take some of your ideas and use them to write one of your weekly posts. You could guide them so that it still represented your thoughts but it would be in their own voice/personality. It might be some extra work up front but could pay off with you getting to work less in the long run.
One of the things I have disagreed with in the FIRE movement is that there is great dignity in work (or there can be) and you miss out on that when looking to retire early. I love FI and I am well on my way there but I also LOVE my job (it has taken me many many years of toil to get to that point) but I am not looking to quit anytime soon (I’m 41) though I could get my hours down to 45-50 and that would be good for me and for my family. I think you love FI and you also love what you’ve gotten to do with this blog (and its honestly something you SHOULD be very proud of) and your ideas are not going to stop coming…so…balance.
As a loyal reader, I support whatever decision you will make with the blog. Best luck.
Hi Sam –
Before you make a decision, please get in touch with us at The Soapbox Financial Network, a Motley Fool company!
We’re looking to acquire fantastic sites and then allow the creators to be exactly as involved as they want to be.
Some bloggers are exhausted, done, and have a list of other projects to work on, or are ready to unplug. Great, we can make that work with freelance writers. We’d prefer to sign the writer to a contract so we can maintain the site’s voice and feel, with them writing on the schedule that makes them happy. And others will dive in wholeheartedly, helping us find new deals (there’s a bonus for that), providing advice for other blogs in the network’s community, and writing for us as a freelancer in addition. It’s up to the blogger.
We have all sorts of expertise and experience doing the things that you might not want to do anymore — site ops, SEO, ad sales, whatever. We can do the stuff you don’t want to do.
And unlike some of the folks who have reached out to you in the past, we’re not going to come in, slap ads everywhere, and milk as much out of it as possible before traffic dwindles to nothing. We’re long-term, buy-and-hold investors at the Fool, and that goes doubly for us at Soapbox. If we acquire a site that then goes downhill for users, we’ve failed.
All that said, we wish you luck with whatever comes next. If what I’ve said sounds interesting, shoot me (Roger) an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I was reading until you said “Motley Fool.” Given that they have degenerated into clickbait of the style so many commenters here have already called out (I’m looking at YOU, Len Penzo!), I can only sincerely hope that Sam takes a pass on your offer.
“Motley Fool” is really early in my comment. You missed all the good stuff!
Soapbox is a separate business unit, so I don’t want to go too deep into a debate about the Fool’s marketing, but the short answer is that we provide really good investing advice (check our track record) delivered in a way that’s designed to be fun and accessible … but nobody wakes up and thinks, “I want to buy an investing newsletter today.” We need to get people’s attention to get them thinking about what we offer.
I agree we do some marketing that I’m not proud of — I’m among our loudest internal complainers when something goes against what we stand for as a company — but we’re working hard to make sure readers can get something valuable out of our marketing even if they don’t make a purchase. That’s much truer to our purpose of making the world smarter, happier, and richer.
Hi Roger, sounds like an attractive arrangement. How can one say “no,” unless it’s a disagreement on price. It’s smart of you guys to buy sites and build them up for the long term. It’s quite impressive how long the Motley Fool has been around. Congrats!
I discovered your blog six years ago and read your latest musings every week. Thank you for sharing your personal journey and for committing to it for ten years! You have helped so many people become better educated about personal finance. Thinking back over the years, I realize that your blog has played a key role in my becoming obsessed with personal finance and financial freedom (my husband will attest to this). I’m especially interested in helping other women become savvy about personal finance.
It pained me to read that you didn’t think people cared. We care. We appreciate what you do. Even though I’ve faithfully read your blog for six years, this is the first time I’ve commented. I will comment more often and am so glad you’ve decided not to sell FS! Please keep on writing and be well.
Wonderful to hear Elizabeth. Having a constant dialogue with one’s significant other is huge. Glad to have you as a reader!
Very happy for you and your family
I have been reading your blog for years and got my husband to read as well. We use personal capital because of your site. Same with my friends at work and sisters..
You are the only financial blog I follow religiously..
Two reasons I never posted
– I hardly post on blogs
– Most comments seem to be by guys. Same with most financial sites that are discuss topics with depth.
As such I just read the post and the comments and apply the principles
Thank you for a 10 yr run that has been so helpful to countless people..
Thanks for your feedback Annie. I hope more women feel free to comment and share their perspective. FS is a place for learning and there is no question that shouldn’t be asked. I will endeavor to be more welcoming to women and to get more female writers.
My last guest post was from a woman, but it was kind of a more rare topic: https://www.financialsamurai.com/what-drug-alcohol-addiction-taught-me-about-risk-reward/
Never feel shy to ask a question or share your thoughts!
Thank you for creating and maintaining Financial Samurai. I have been reading it about 4 years or from the time I first stumbled upon it. I like your analytical thought process. I have handled my own investments, primarily “buy and hold” for the past 35 years with a lot of real estate mixed in for the first 20 years, so I don’t implement all your principles, but enough of them resonate with me to make reading your blog worthwhile. I also appreciate the absence of BS and the absence of trying to push worthless stuff down our throats. I think I can tolerate a 30% BS ratio on content and will be able to ignore it. I do wish to observe that another strong point of your product is that you do go into depth and detail. Most of the commercial sites have headlines or lead in paragraphs that grab your attention but they are superficial and bland once you start really reading them. It is a shame I didn’t take the time to comment before now but better late than never. Keep up, at least so far as is reasonable for you, the good work. JoeCanino, Kingston, NY
Hi Joe, nice to hear from you. I hope the 30% of the business focus isn’t all BS, as the goal is to try and find products to help save and make money, and simplify life. But if the 30% does become all BS to you or other readers, then ignoring it works too, since everything is free to read on FS whoo hoo!
I am with Joe. I like your writings, family aspect too and the analysis you do. Specially the level of detail and rational you use. I hope your focus won’t be diluted, you have built a brand and trust level with a community of similar experiences. Please don’t go too broad and make your message less relevant. As the saying goes don’t spread the cheese too much you may not taste it – ok I made the up but make the point
Wonderful to read your material and great to have someone who got his start in NoVa!
Hi Sam. I’ve followed you and the site now since 2013. You and I have also spoken a few times. I’m a very big fan and have very much appreciated all of the insight you’ve shared over the years. I think you’ve made a very, very wise decision here to better balance personal investment with necessary ROI! You enjoy it and so holding on but finding better balance makes perfect sense.
All the best,
Thanks Brian for reading for so long! Hope the economy continues to chug along and not fall apart! Let’s see what the ROI ends up as.
Hi Sam! I got to know about FS through a good friend about a year ago. Since then, I keep following FS and truly enjoyed reading your site. Sometimes I do revisit over and over again to learn and remind me esp on achieving financial independence. I have never posted a comment before but I really appreciate everything you shared. Please stay and continue sharing your experience , wisdom…. Sam Thank you so much. Please Keep sharing. I always look forward to hear from you more and more. Stay cool, stay happy
Very cool. Please tell your good friend thanks for me! Cheers
“Ironically, nothing kills a dream quite like achieving it.”
I think I’ve read ever post on the site. This is the best line you’ve ever written. Selfishly I hope you keep doing what you’ve been doing, but our lives and circumstances change over time. Our goals and dreams should change with them. Best of luck with the journey, wherever the road ends up taking you and your family.
I can’t take credit for making up that line Joshua. I read it somewhere and it is a saying. But I like the line all the same. Thx!
Sam, I just discovered your blog about 2 months ago and can’t wait to read it each week. IMO, you skated over something very important in this post when you said, “We can also homeschool if we get rejected everywhere.” As often as you mention your son, it is clear he is a great joy to you. Since you have put yourself in a position to spend so much time with him, I encourage you to look into homeschooling or a hybrid school program as a primary option for his education rather than an “if all else fails” option. Your passion, knowledge, and creativity will be put to excellent use and your son will get an incredible education with amazing flexibility for travel. It’s worked well for our family. Thank you.
Welcome to FS! I think the homeschooling option is a no brainer. It just takes effort from parents, which is why not as many parents do it given work.
Homeschooling is like working from home. So much more efficient!
You’re the best Sam!!!
You and your family deserve every penny you earn!!!
Thanks for all you do!!!
May much happiness come your families way!!!
Cheers Steve. To you and your family to!
Ya got me in a panic there. I have enjoyed your posts and share them with friends all the time.
Thanks for keeping at it!
I didn’t have much to comment on for that other post mostly because it was like “That’s awesome, I’m happy for you. Thanks for years of reading and helping me plan my financial future.” Then carried on.
I’ve gotten to the point where this is the only financial blog I read. Everyone else just seems to keep re-hashing the same stuff over and over. You can only learn what an RRSP / 401K is so many times.
What you’re doing works. Thus if you feel you want to try something new, I’m sure you’ll be fine. I’m just happy you’ll continue to write, since that’s what I’ve been coming back for for so long.
Honored Devin. Will try to bring more topics to FS and approach things in an insightful way.
Sam, there are very few blogs which I read regularly and your blog is one of them. In fact, while most of PF is focused on frugality; you describe how expensive living in a HCOL area can be. Part of the reason why I decided to share my own journey. Hoping you continue writing with your true and authentic voice instead of selling the site.
Thanks. Will have to check out your site more.
The thing with frugality is that i’s easy to understand and can appeal to a winder audience. So I probably should write more about saving money. Gotta mix things up!
For me, the most valuable posts have been ones that tell a story. The ones in particular that show how a high income does not necessarily mean you have all the money in the world. So, someone who makes $200K or $500K in a HCOL city really has a lot less to play with than it seems at first. In other words, everyone should budget and be aware of lifestyle creep. The knowledge is common, but the stories really make them stick.
I hope you will write similar from Hawaii, which is different in so many ways from San Francisco. I think we can all continue to learn from you.
I’m retired and I try to focus on 4 things and I think you need them all to be happy. They are family, health, spirituality, and financial independence.. when I start getting a little crazy I focus on those 4 things. Having money really helps but without the others maybe hard to be happy. Happiness is my goal now.
A good reminder and an excellent goal. Happiness is my #1 goal as well.
Check out: https://www.financialsamurai.com/solving-happiness-things-that-will-make-you-happier-and-wealthier/
Hey Sam! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your site over the last few years and I have to say you are wise beyond your years! I have never posted a comment before but I still have appreciated all of your insight. Your common sense approach you have to everything finances to investing to living life as a SAHD is truly a breath of fresh air. I look forward to your posts every week and I hope this next year of more entrepreneurship goes well for you. BTW I would absolutely love to sport some swag if you ever decide to sell some!
Thanks J Dawg! The FS Shop is open for business 24/7. I just forgot I had a store until several readers reminded me. This is the problem when you get old and don’t do the work yourself!
Thanks for the insight into your blog history and plans for the future. You say when your son doesn’t need you full- time … I would suggest he will always need you whatever time you have! Whether it’s coming home for lunch (lunchrooms aren’t always conducive to eating), homework help, drives to after school activities, or just decompressing about his day. Just my experience with kids currently ages 10-19.
I hope so Kari! Thanks for your Twitter advice too.
I promise for as long as I live, I will be there to help him and explain to him things. I will also always be encouraging.
I won’t know what I’ll do with a full day when the time comes for him to go to school. But I’m excited to find out!
Congrats Sam! You have certainly helped, mentored and inspired many of us over the years. For me, your site is the only one I read and look forward to on a regular basis. This is the first time I have ever responded to you or any site . Thank you for sharing your time, talent and expertise. While it has been fun as you say, you have poured your heart into teaching many of us how to think about acquiring wealth. And thanks to you, I have been able to do that. Glad to hear you will be taking more time for yourself and family – always the right thing to do. Also happy to hear you will still have a hand in sharing your wisdom at FS.
Good Luck with your new direction – we will be waiting to hear from you-
Thanks BBM! There’s definitely other cool sites to check out as well like Retire By 40, Get Rich Slowly, and a bunch of others that have a nice personal touch to them.
I once heard that three things make you happy: something to do, someone to love and something to look forward to. I think the decision to keep FS in a slightly changed format is the right one for you.
And I hope you feel some validation from the comments from your readers. They may not have commented before, but they sure are now.
You have been an inspiration to me and my family. My son, with our help, recently purchased a home in SF. At some point he will start a family there. Your journey is always interesting, and has been a great guide for me and my extended family.
I love that phrase Barry. Will print it out as a reminder!
Hope your son enjoys SF as much as I have!
Thanks Sam I am a regular reader and have been for about two years. During this time I have never made a single comment. I don’t comment on any websites but that does not mean I don’t enjoy the content. Your website is one of only two websites I read regularly apart from news. I appreciate hearing about you raising your son just as I enjoy all of the financial topics. Like you I am FI and now have a young family of my own. I wish you the best in whatever you choose to do! Now to show my support I am going to go and buy some of your super cool shirts! Best of luck. Even though I do not comment I will be following and interested to hear how your life progresses.
Wonderful to hear! I know hearing about family life is not the cup of tea of several readers, as they’ve told me. But family is #1 for me, so it is only natural that family topics come up.
GL with your journey too. Maybe I’ll hear from you in 2021! :)
Thank you. I have not been leaving comments, but I read your every article and enjoy knowing you and hearing from you. You are like a friend.
Thanks Alice. My goal is to definitely continue the podcast as well. So I’m glad you’ve found it helpful.
I have been reading FS for about a year and thoroughly enjoy your insight and perspective. I seldom provide comment on anything, so I feel a bit guilty for just now telling you how much I have enjoyed FS.
Whatever direction you choose to move towards next is, of course, completely up to you and your family. Just know that I wish you the best and know that I appreciate the months I have gotten to know you through FS.
Thanks for reaching out Mark! Don’t feel guilty. Glad you share your thoughts. Hopefully there will be a lot to ponder in the future.
Good job from someone who reads your site every week. It is both informative and interesting. Keep going and
Know that your personal posting makes the diff from all those other financial sites.
Will do Rich. I think the style on here makes a difference, but I have to recognize the plain vanilla style is what readers love to see the most. So I’m gonna give it a go!
I enjoy your site and post. My apologies for never responding but I never respond to any blogs or sites, I just enjoy the content. Good luck in your new endeavor. I would love to read how you’re going to earn the $2.5M so I can try and do the same thing. A step by step process would be great and I’ll try to comment on the steps.
No apology necessary Jack. I’m actually trying to unapologetically not respond to readers! But I’m having a hard time so far. But I am getting better.
Sam, I thought the 10 year post was great. I didn’t comment on it because I ran off to start figuring out what to spend 10 years on and have quoted you to my GF multiple times because she is running a food blog that she is struggling to monetize. Wish you the best, but the internet losing you is probably the worst thing that can happen to personal finance / financial analysis for the next 10 years.
Hah! Thanks Eric. I’m assuming she knows Pinch Of Yum? Man, those two are killing it with their traffic and monetization. She should definitely do a deep dive on them.
Congrats on your 10th year and thank you for all your time and effort.
Keep up the good work and good luck on whatever you decide to do, it will
not be the same under new ownership.
Thanks Dick! There is generally a 1-2 year transition with new management to ensure a smooth transition. Could be good.
Sam, your site has been a favorite of mine for a couple years now. You do a good job of tackling complex topics, researching them well and giving a dialog around them that is interesting and often insightful. As someone who until recently lived in the Bay Area, I found it especially insightful and relevant. Good luck with the decision on how to evolve or sell the site. I think your stated direction makes sense to me and if you can show that it is possible to maintain “good enough” content and meaningfully boost revenue for the site, it will likely be worth that much more to a possible buyer down the road if you choose to go that way. I have never commented here before, and likely will not again, but did want to pass on my gratitude for what you have created and shared with all of us here.
Thanks for coming out of the woodwork to comment! I have noticed good enough is good enough. Spending so much effort on a post often doesn’t payoff. There’s an ultimate balance, which I plan on pursuing to maximize my time.
Look on the bright side. I’ve worked in healthcare for 35 years and received 1 bonus for a couple hundred dollars in that time. Our annual Christmas gift is a certificate for $15 in vegetables. My co-worker got scolded by our boss because a patient complained about how he took the tape off an IV. You’ve been able escape the daily drudgery of the corporate world. Many would love to be able to do likewise. Most of the time, in my field, the only feedback you receive is when it’s negative. You’ve found the City of Gold with FS.
Thanks for putting things into perspective Scott. Hopefully you are coming close to kicking your boss in the ass and escaping the grind?
City of Gold… I like that. Hope it doesn’t melt in the next volcanic eruption!
I can’t stop laughing at your reaction to your 10-year post. I didn’t notice the length, as a good article finds its own length and it was well written. I didn’t comment because there was nothing to add, besides suggesting finding a way to celebrate. I’ve read almost everything on this site, I believe, and the vast majority of it is useful for most people.
So in the spirit of the way people praise the military these days, “we thank you for your service.” And what you do is a public service no less deserving of praise than being in the military. Perhaps someone could be inspired by you to start a blog about FI for military people, if it hasn’t already happened.
Good to hear! It was damn long….. attention spans tail off after about 1,500 words.
Thank you for your thank you.
I am not a trained or degreed psychologist but reading this post I infer your inner child wants to sell it. He’s screaming! However, you are very emotionally attached FS since it’s your baby. This happens to all entrepreneurs. It’s never easy to let go of something you’ve created from an embryo. In the end, the decision is yours. Sometimes at the poker table, it’s time to cash out your winnings and call it a day.
I recently had a property that was my family’s lakehouse for the past 8 years. Great memories. However, we were using it less and less as my kids got older (teens). It was not an easy decision but I sold it. What I perceived it to be worth and what the realtor was vastly different. I was way too low per his professional opinion. I trusted him. BOOM. Sold in 4 days for cash for a lot more than I expected. Emotional decision but very glad after it was done as those proceeds are doing new and amazing things for my business.
If you sell FS, you could start a new venture with the proceeds. Something fresh and challenging. Change is good.
That’s great you got MORE than expected. Usually, sellers overvalue their properties due to the emotional attachment.
Selling in 2019 would definitely be better than selling in 2018, b/c FS got a 50% boost in organic traffic thanks to Google’s August 2018 update. Further, we are 10 years into a bull market. Selling this year or next could be one of the best “trades” ever.
Alas, it’s hard to sell your baby. And I’m still having a lot of fun running the site. When the fun stops, I’m done.
Second comment I’ve made on your site but to be honest, I read your articles every day. I found this site last year. And sometimes I read them 2 or 3 times to understand the content better. Your 10 year post, I’ve read quite a few times. Mostly as encouragement and of course knowledge. Personal finance doesn’t come easy to me. I lost everything I had when I was younger due to being really naive with finances. Honestly its taken years to recover. I really like your writing style and your honesty. You break things down well so I can understand them and you keep the topics entertaining. Thank you for all your posts. You’ve helped me a lot.
Keep fighting Karun! I wish you the best with your journey. Do not invest in anything you don’t understand and are not willing to lose a great deal on.
I am an Entrepreneur and a near daily reader from Honolulu. I too started a business in the midst of the “Great recession”. I also did the “Stay at home dad” thing for two years with my son.
I have followed your posts talking about moving here and financial independence and watching you learn and grow as a parent and a person. It takes a lot to put that much of yourself out there on the internet. I read the older articles on how much you should spend on a car to realizing that the safety and comfort of a nicer newer car to protect your children was more important than the money saved. From the public school comments on giving them a million dollars after graduation to wanting the best for your child by looking at Punahou.
I have, in effect, watched you grow as a person, much in the way I have as a parent, and made a lot of similar decisions.
I used to read “AnandTech” , also “Toms Hardware” and “The Simple Wallet” and a handful of others. All Sold out, all declined from a content perspective. I noticed that you opened this article in reference to the last article you published on leaving FS. You discussed walking away from the site and you thought that no one cared because of the lack of comments. I can assure you that this isn’t the case. This is my first response in all the years I have been reading your material. I’m sorry for that. I try to keep my digital footprint as small as possible. I don’t have the courage you do or the stomach for it I suppose. Either way, my point is that your writing and candid nature will be missed and maybe it wasn’t so much that it was unnoticed but the reaction was one of sorrow. Sadness does not breed instant reaction like fear or anger, it causes a recoil. Maybe your readers were simply recoiling from the news. I for one would be sorry to see you go.
As a small business owner myself I can see a massive difference in the quality of my operation when I am involved vs when I am not. For me, I have to stay involved to take care of my customers. If you’re looking towards the future you may want to contact any of the proprietors of the sites from my previous paragraph and ask them for their insights. After all they have “been there” and “done that”
If you do decide to move to Hawaii or have any questions regarding the schools here or entrepreneurship or what have you feel free to reach out and I will be as candid as you have been with the world at large.
Good luck in your future endeavors!
Aloha! It would be great to catch up over a beer next time I’m in Honolulu. We had an impromptu gathering at Surfing Pig in August.
I have much to learn about parenting and business, and would love to hear your perspectives.
I think you will always find value in having a controlled version of your own brand. I see no problem taking the training wheels off your own bike as it were, phase two should be awesome.
Make sure your diversified view points don’t suck and they are creative and realistic thinkers too.
Hi, I’ve been an avid reader of yours for 5 years, but never have commented here. I’ve always enjoyed your writing, especially when it went against what every other blogger said and what I personally thought. It’s always nice to hear a well thought out counter argument.
I think the idea of holding off on selling the site is a good one, but I also think you should allow yourself to play around with what you want to write about in what format and how often you want to post.
From a selfish perspective I want everything to stay as it is, but change is inevitable and most often a positive
I have just one request: Don’t turn the site into a credit card recommendation site!
Felix – I’m gonna do credit card recommendations all day long! j/k. Maybe just several here and there. How many do you really need right?
Hey Sam: You know this business; prolly your Top 10-20 posts gather 90%+ of page hits (and/or revenue generators). Just because the remaining 1480 posts (guessing a number 3 posts week * 52 weeks * 10 years) didn’t generate enough enthusiasm doesn’t mean – those are waste of time. You know this :-)
Again – in this ‘such a low’ return environment, like you made-a-case in one of your popular articles, that Asset prices fetch higher values. With drop in interest rates, if your revenue now fetched better asset value upon sale, betcha – you should snatch one which could catapult your NW into 8 figures. Why not! Ofcourse your Baby is going to miss you a bit, but luckily, we all know you going to have one more (or a dozen if you so decide to) non-compete Babies (or sites) down the line ! Luckily, You can produce/have as many WebBabies as you want – hard to do that for a human-Babies :-)
We wish you the best course of action., we still love you (and generational content). You sure achieved your goal of passing your life (and financial) lessons and passage to your kid down the line. You might want to stash a copy of this content (for your/your-kids private reference) – if the new owner decides to put some business optimization (cleanup) on the site content :-)
You will do great! May be that beach-side house in Hawaii waiting and the private-school may open up slot for your kid! Mahalo
Thanks man. That’s the thing. I can always just start another site. It’ll be nice and small and freeing b/c nobody will read it. I can write purely for the love of writing. That would be nice. Why not? Nothing is stopping me other than a no-compete.
Speaking of beach side house, I will write about one I saw that just sold for a BARGAIN this week.
Don’t sell it. In another 10 years your site will be worth at least three times as much as long as you continue doing what you are doing now. At the 10 year mark you finally mastered this trade and since you figured it out another decade will be easier and will bring higher earnings. I worked with many small and medium size businesses and I can tell that after 10 years great things are only about to begin.
Sam, this is my first comment here, but I am writing you now to thank you. I am truly grateful for all the work you have done, and the tremendous value you have brought to us all. Reading your site has helped me massively – I found your site when I was starting to deliberately work towards my own FI in my early 20’s after graduating college. I started to build momentum, and then my parents’ financial situation started to deteriorate fast. After my father’s injury on a construction site, my parents had made some financial missteps that almost cleared them out. They are hard-working minorities with no college degrees, much less any financial education. I now had to jump in and make the mortgage payments while looking for answers to fix all this. I found FS, and after 2 years of work, we were able to turn their finances around. A few years later, my father was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s (my brother, a minor in the house, was 14). My father was the primary income producer. This situation typically bankrupts most families, but with your guidance on FS, we have been able to navigate this scenario without absolute tragedy up to this point. Reading FS has enabled me to be an FI warrior in the face of the obligation of taking on many more dependents than I could ever have expected in such a short period of time. Your insights have guided me to make some of the most massive financial decisions effectively for myself, my wife, the prospective family we are committed to having, as well as the financial decisions I have had to make for my parents/brother. FS has been literally a finance education lifeline for me, don’t think we would have made it this far if it wasn’t for the information here. You have inspired me to continue to press on. Thank you again.
You are a brave man, a good son, a good brother and good husband. Thank you for taking on the financial difficulties head on and doing the best you can for your family.
Wishing you and your family the best!
“For too long, I’ve been treating Financial Samurai like a hobby.”
My impression was you treated Financial Samurai as an avenue to sell your book and a platform to launch your personal brand which has gotten you featured in the WSJ, SF Chronicle, Bloomberg, etc.
“My goal [is to] accumulate an additional $2,500,000 to $6,667,000 in capital. Once we reach at least $2,500,000 in additional wealth, I’ll then seriously revisit what’s next for Financial Samurai.”
Does that mean Financial Samurai is expected to be a significant source of the “additional $2,500,000 to $6,667,000 in capital?”
Good luck. The only thing I would say is that you may change the nature & character of the blog to the point where your current readers lose interest. I have seen it happen to other blogs.
Good feedback! I didn’t realize your impression of FS was to predominantly sell my severance negotiation book as I started FS 3 years before the first edition was published in 2012.
But since this is the perception, I might as well take advantage and do way more promoting of the book. As of now, the articles related to severance negotiation and career is less than 5% of my articles. I can pump that up by 5X – 10X to earn more. Good idea as I’m not doing enough.
I’ve turned down multiple TV interview opportunities For the largest stations to self promote. Trust me when I say I can do 10 times more for business related reasons, but I haven’t. But now I slowly will and I think it’ll be fun.
Please keep the feedback coming.
Thinking about it some more, isn’t your situation a case of early retirement failure? You thought you had enough money for early retirement. After having a child, you reassessed your situation and decided you needed more money. One of the criticisms of FIRE is “It all changes when you have kids” which seems to describe your situation.
Your whole brand is “be amazed by the guy who retired early to live in SF, have a family & coach high school tennis.” Now, you are going to monetize your blog & be more entrepreneurial which sounds a lot like going back to work. Not necessarily the corporate grind but your focus on hard dollar goals sounds like you don’t think you have enough money which de facto means your initial early retirement planning was insufficient to cover the range of outcomes.
Absolutely. I am an early retirement failure. The title of this article is a good indicator. I don’t think the formula that got me here is going to get me to where I want to go if I don’t pivot.
Like all good things, they must come to an end. I did have a pretty good run for seven years. And I am very proud to have been able to raise my son with my wife full-time until he goes to preschool. That was really my ultimate goal, to be a full-time dad while growing this site until he turns 29 months old.
But I love the idea of running with being labeled an “early retirement failure.” I think a lot of readers on Financial Samurai and in other publications would like to read about this failure. What do you think about this new approach to branding for the next couple of years?
Also, could you share something about yourself? Do you have family, were you also a stay at home dad, did you run a business etc.?
Thank you for your continued interest. And please keep the criticism coming as you help give me many new ideas.
Very infrequent commenter here. I just wanted to say thanks for your writing. Lots of people have already mentioned not commenting because they’ve got nothing to add. It’s usually the same for me. Sometimes your content goes way over my head/I have no interest in it, so yeah, hardly ever anything to contribute. But I still read most of your articles. Your 401k balance by age is more like a guideline than a rule to me, but I still look it up every few months just to refresh it in my mind. Sometimes your articles have no relevance to me (took me 3+ years just to save up to 100K net worth this year) and I wonder how nice it would be just to have $1M in the brokerage account. I’d be so grateful. Sometimes it seems like $1M is chump change here, and it puts me off. But I keep in mind that I am not your target audience. Lots of people reading are, though, and I choose to keep reading because there are always nuggets of wisdom for me to squirrel away for my own. So, thank you for the effort you do put into the site, and sorry for not congratulating you on your massive successes; I imagine how you and I each would like “recognition” for such things is very different. To each his/her own. It didn’t occur to me that not commenting would be seen any particular way.
Best of luck with whatever path you follow. I wish you and your family many years of joy and abundance. :) <3
Thanks Jamie. I will endeavor to make things clearer and easier to understand. Because the readers don’t understand what I’m talking about, I’m not doing a good enough job getting my point across.
Also, your comment is exactly why I want to broaden the topics here and I just talk about my situation. I truly mean this when I say I want to help folks think about their finances who are dead various stages of their lives.
Because I write about everything from experience, I cannot fake a different situation . Therefore it is incumbent on me to find new writers with new perspectives.
Thanks for reading and sharing!
I discovered this site about 6m ago and even though I consider myself a relatively sophisticated investor (and I don’t always agree with you!) I learn so much from reading your posts and want to thank you for the time you put into them.
I wanted to add my voice to the chorus (perhaps a silent majority?) of readers who would love to see you do more sponsored posts of the products you truly believe in– whether they are financial products, ways to save money, free up time, etc. You’ve demonstrated that you have integrity and good judgment and for many of us young execs still working our way towards FI, having a trusted friend to point us towards good products is extremely valuable.
I’d also encourage you to think about cobbling together a e-book that is mostly regurgitating prior blog posts about how to get to FI.
Thanks! That is the plan. I feel a good sense of calm and happiness sharing my plans for going forward. Glad you approve!
Long time reader but first time commenting. Just wanted to say that even though we may not always engage with comments, there’s lots of us who take your articles to heart and are impacted by your writing. Regardless of what you do with the site I just wanted to know I appreciate your blog greatly and have really learned a lot from it.
Best site on the FI blogosphere!
I never comment but have read all your posts. You keep it real and help others.
You have all the right to monetize or do whatever you choose in order to provide for your family and give you purpose.
Whatever you choose, if you write, I will read it…
Love it. I have a bunch of ideas on how to monetize this. You know how to get ahold of me.
I think you should sell. I agree with prior commenters that your heart is not in it anymore compared to your earlier posts. Moreover, the personal finance blog space has really fragmented given low barriers to entry and each new many personal finance blog has developed their own flavor / appeal to specific niches – e.g. women, physicians, survivalists, etc. – means it will only be harder for you going forward. So there will never be a better time to sell!
You can use the proceeds to build a real estate empire spanning Asia, Hawaii, Cali, etc. to provide your son a future employment option that would potentially eliminate his headache of managing painful employees (depending on how much he wants to self-manage properties, automate, further scale, bring in new investors, etc.). Sounds like a win win!!!
That being said, I also do not comment given the rabid, irrational nature of some of the commenters here but I definitely care about you, your family and journey and read your 10 year anniversary! Congratulations! Keep it up bro!
Gotcha! Thanks for the honest feedback. One of the big surprises I experienced was a ramp up in traffic after the FIRE movement started really getting popular over the past couple of years.
I know Financial Samurai is not often mentioned as an early retirement or FIRE blog because I’m not constantly putting myself out there or writing about FIRE. But the side has benefit tremendously from search traffic because I’ve written about financial independence since 2009.
One of the best things about blogging is that it is a permission-less activity. And the search engines simply a reward sites that have the most helpful content. In other words, I don’t need to join a clique or need to be extra social with other bloggers to get ahead. Besides, I just want to spend my free time exercising and taking care of my family. I’ve always been somewhat of a black sheep.
Given your advice, when the interested parties start emailing me again, I’ll do my best to negotiate an even higher price to the point where I just can’t say no!
By the way, if you can recommend other sites that have really great personal finance content that do it better, please let me know. I love reading great content and learning how other people do it.
I am fairly new to the site, I’d say I found you late spring/early summer. I’ve read every post since then including many of your previous ones. I will say however, that a lot of time I will let your posts sit in my email for awhile when I get really busy and eventually get around to binge reading them. I go in cycles with reading in general but since finding your site I have found myself consistently looking forward to reading some FS, so thank you! I will say, should the day come when you decide to sell I will be quite sad! I have learned a lot and it makes me excited to know I am now more ready than before to keep plowing ahead toward my goals. I am also pretty excited to keep learning and absorbing more.
I have not got around to reading the 10yr post yet but I will offer a pre-congratulations here! I am not even 10 years out of college yet! But again, feel quite fortunate to have stumbled across FS when I did. I will try to make it a point to comment more when I feel I have something valuable or insightful to add.
Thanks for not selling yet!
– a very appreciative reader
I would think long and hard before selling, but if I were you, I would just sell and live your life and focus on some other stuff. Before you do, I would talk to JD at Get Rich Slowly… you don’t want to have to buy the site back later on (and work on fixing whatever they do it). Then again, you’re way more FI than him, so, I don’t know.
Actually, buying back the site for “pennies on the dollar“ as JD mentioned somewhere would be amazing. He got his big bucks, took a break, and was able to buy back his son for cheap.
If I knew I could buy back Financial Samurai for 1/10 the price in three years, I would. It’s really hard to sell your children because the most likely scenario is that you’ll never see then again. JD hit the jackpot!
Thanks for all the content, Sam! You bring a different perspective that has helped me change my outlook. Congrats on the goals and do what is right for you and your family! Good luck!
Please continue to write on the blog – I’ve been following it for years now and it’s been a tremendously positive impact on my financial life. Thank you!
Sam, when I first started reading this post I thought you were going to tell us that you were selling out & packing up shop. I was glad to get to the end & find out this was not the case.
Keep up the good work, I really enjoy reading your blog.
Congratulations on reaching your 10 year goal! I enjoy your posts and look forward to the new format.
I love your personal style of writing! It makes it easier for me, a person who doesn’t work as a finance professional, understand what’s possible with my finances. The terms and concepts alone are easier to digest when you add in your examples. I’ve researched many of the things you discussed as options for myself that I hadn’t known about until you mentioned it like Fundrise and crowd sourcing real estate. I can’t give you advice on what to do with Financial Samuria, at the same time as a reader if it feels more like product plugs I will check out more. I actually did notice the change you mentioned about the style and I definitely stopped opening so much BC the titles seemed to change angle IMO. Any who, this blog is great for me understanding more than just the basics of finance. I understand some complexities I had not realized before along with examples on how to do it too (the examples are great IMO).
Ok … so now I REALLY feel guilty.
For some time I’ve been meaning to send an IRL thank you card to the FS business address (is it stalking to have googled that address with street view???). But the idea of perhaps being thought of as a crazy stalker fanatic held me back. Well, that, and I’m particularly lazy after six years of the retired life!
I wanted to send an actual physical card via snail mail to thank you for all your hard work on the site over all these years, your wife for all the behind the scenes effort she puts in, your Dad for his wonderful editing work, your Mom for successfully coping with all your childhood “adventures” shall we say, your sister for her creative graphics, and your son just because. I was contemplating including a one dollar bill in symbol of financial gratitude and everyone’s hard work, but that just seemed like another very crazy, stalker fan idea and so woefully insufficient. So in the end, I did nothing. Sorry about that.
So glad you achieved your 10 year goal. So glad you’ve decided not to sell for now. So glad you will be taking things one year at a time. Find your joy.
Don’t feel guilty! And that’s not a crazy idea at all. That’s actually one of the best ideas ever, to send a thank you card in the snail mail.
One of my very successful friends told me that he sends people FedExes whenever he needs to get someone’s attention. Who can resist not opening a Fed ex envelope right?
In fact, if you send me a note, I’ll probably frame it or keep it forever in my “thank you” file. These notes of thanks are so valuable to me.
When I was a manager and our high school tennis coach, I tried my best to give colleagues and students encouragement. When people feel encouraged, they feel appreciated. And when people are appreciated, they do better work because they are happier.
I haven’t checked my business address all week since we’ve been gone. But I’m excited to see what’s in the inbox today!
Thanks for reading!
The title worried me but totally understand the change in direction. Hopefully it doesn’t change the value we as readers get out of your blog, and I’m fairly confident you can do it. Financial Samurai is one of the few financial blogs that I find take a somewhat contrarian view and subsequently give it’s readers a bit of a kick in the teeth to quit the victim mentality. You’re a legend my man, hope to catch up to your lifestyle one day but for now I’ll settle for following your successes as you coach us all along!
When I saw the email and read the statement, “I appreciate all the support over the years. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end” I was thinking “oh no, he decided to sell FS! I have been a regular reader and I am very happy that you are going to continue with FS. I love the background and numbers that you put into each article. That was what brought me to FS originally, and it is why I have kept following each post.
As a consistent reader, my advice is you should sell. Your heart simply isn’t in it anymore and that is coming through clearly in your writing. I was late to the FI movement, so I went back over a year ago and read much of your older posts first and then worked my way up to today. You used to love this site. You genuinely enjoyed helping people. Since your son was born, this site clearly just doesn’t bring you the same joy. I am your core audience and I’ve noticed myself checking your site less and less and focusing more and more on other blogs. This blog was edgy and covered topics that were taboo. Lately it is just whining. I say that with all due respect and not to troll you or discourage you. Your advice has helped me considerably in my FI journey, and I will forever be grateful. I think giving you honest feedback is the best thing I can do to repay the favor.
I would either sell and move on or take an epic six month sabbatical and let someone else take over for awhile. Find someone who is the polar opposite from you, but still very smart and edgy. Let that person essentially rewrite every awesome post you’ve ever done, but from a new and fresh prospective. It will easily be six months of fantastic content and it will give you the break you need. I would look for a person that just fundamentally disagrees with you on everything. When you come back, refreshed and energized, spend the next six months explaining why that person is wrong and you are right. A good and honest two-sided debate is what is missing in all of our news and blogs these days. It is just an echo chamber. Either someone agrees with you completely and reenforces all your believes-or they disagree to such an extreme you dismiss them immediately.
In a perfect world for me, you would hire a smart, strong, and independent woman who approaches FI from a totally different prospective. That voice is missing in most of the popular FI blogs.
Best of luck in all of your endeavors.
Thank you! Great advice. I’m definitely going to keep my options open.
The great thing about increasing the Business side of the equation is that you don’t need heart or personality to write these posts. They can be written by anybody. It’s the Fun side of the equation that requires all that heart and soul. Therefore, I think it will help that I’m increasing the Business percent weighting.
Family is always going to come first. The key is to figure out how to balance work, family, and creative endeavors.
I think it will be a bit harder than you may be anticipating to break into the business side more. I imagine many folks think what you do is simple. You just write what you think and hit post. But, we both know writing is much harder than that. It is about connecting with your reader. That is rarely done well when you are not being authentic. You have the skillset to do pure business side posts, but so do many others. The challenge will be converting the hordes of well wishers above to reading those types of posts on your website. Not saying it can’t be done, but you will see some drop off I think from folks that are not getting what they expected and wanted when they clicked on your site.
I’ve read dozens and dozens of blogs at this point on FI. I research for a living so it is not in my nature to be anything less than thorough. In my humble opinion, if you are looking for a model to emulate a more business oriented FI site, the WCI is one of the very best around. I’m sure you are familiar with it, but it might benefit you to do a deep dive into that site. He offers little in the way of personality, but his writing comes through as extremely credible and honest. Not fake over the top honesty. His writing and podcasts “feel” like the advice you get from the perfect older brother–the one they portray in the movies. In my business, it is always best to start with a sample of really good work and then build on that and make it your own. A blueprint so to speak. Blank canvases are for amateurs in my view.
Again, your blog is great, but you know that already. You have the clicks and financial success from it to know that. Your post is a subtle way of asking for help on what comes next I believe. I’m trying to do my part. Just some honest thoughts.
Good suggestion. Yes, I know of WCI, and that could be the ultimate: reveal nothing personal, and just focus on finances to keep altercations and judgy comments to a minimum. I think he even bought partial ownership in a bunch of sites to create his own network. So far, I just didn’t have enough desire to do all this. But things are slowly changing.
I’m sure it’s gonna be hard for me to figure out how to better monetize Financial Samurai. After all, I’ve been so focused on the fun side of things for so long.
But the challenge is going to be the fun of it all. I have a lot to learn, and I’m looking forward to learning a lot.
Do you have a business or online business background? If so, I’m happy to listen to all the advice you can give me!
Motivation/desire is the exact issue I face as well. When you said “nothing kills a dream quite like achieving it,” it stopped me in my tracks this morning. I’ve been trying to find a non-arrogant and unoffensive way to convey that point for quite awhile.
My background and expertise is in diligence in a very specific area that I would rather not mention online. I used to work for some of the biggest tech companies in the world on strategy (which encompassed many aspects as you might imagine). I’ve been involved in billion dollar worldwide deals that had a tremendous affect on the tech industry. I’ve also worked with a fair number of tech startups. I don’t have relevant experience on how to monetize a blog, but I’ve helped many clients go from nothing to millions in the bank and I know how to monetize assets (certain very specific ones at least).
I was hoping, however, that my comments would be worth reading precisely because I’m not an expert in your field. I’m a customer. I’m a representative of your target audience. A high net worth individual with the time and desire to read financial blogs. I can afford and potentially need the products you would likely advertise. As I mentioned, I’ve also read dozens of the “best” financial blogs and monitor at least a dozen weekly. Oddly it is what I do to relax.
I think your blog has a niche-which I’m sure you agree we all need to be successful. Luck, desire, and hard work will only take you so far in my view. You need an “edge” — you need to be an expert. My take on your blog is that (among other things) it has been so successful because you talk about taboo financial topics that business websites just don’t tackle. The WCI isn’t going to tell you how much you should have in your 401k at what age. I think he would be worried about being offensive-and discouraging his readers from even trying in the first place. You tackled it head on and did so unapologetically. But, the way you tackled it didn’t appear snotty to me at all. It was genuine and real. It was what you thought based on your experience, extensive research, and a significant amount of time thinking about it. It wasn’t how to do a backdoor Roth ira step by step with screenshots. Both are very valuable, but your product is simply different.
Honest truth, if you do a post on how to do a backdoor Roth ira with screenshots I won’t read it. I won’t read your review of a personal finance product either. I’m not sure you would be “better” than anyone else at that type of writing (maybe worse). I think WCI is better than others at that mundane stuff and it is hard to explain why. You, however, are better at tackling the more messy parts. You call it the “fun” parts, but I disagree with the characterization. It is the messy parts–and it is a lot harder than what WCI does–and I think it is taking its toll a bit. There is an element of confrontation. You must feel a knot in your stomach every time you hit post knowing the blowback you are going to get. The WCI might get a snippy response about some hyper technical point that is easy to brush off. Importantly though, I’ve read just about every word WCI has ever written, and never commented. It is “uninspiring” information. But, extremely well delivered.
Let me put it another way: I’m the guy you hire when you are trying to figure out what to pay for FS. Not the accounting part, or the number of clicks part, … there are other folks for that … I’m the guy who figures out where the liability is. What isn’t shown in the numbers. What is the X factor on the risk side. That’s my background and expertise and where my comments are coming from. They aren’t meant to be mean, obnoxious, or attention getting … I was simply inspired by your post….and that, in my humble opinion, is the X factor. I’ve commented about a half dozen or a dozen times at most on a website in my life and they have all been on FS. The issues you have raised in the past are important and simply never discussed.
That’s an interesting hobby, reading PF sites to relax.
I plan on putting my wife to work and writing about a woman’s perspective on FI.
I also need to work on writing mundane posts that nobody will ever comment on. That is probably the gold mine b/c I don’t have to think about any blowback, and Google loves the mundane information only posts. As you said, you’ve read everything WCI has written despite it being mundane. Jackpot!
One thing regular readers/commenters don’t realize is that they are actually the least profitable reader. It is the new reader that finds FS on search who takes the greatest action.
I’ve learned one interesting insight about business I’ll write about in the future.
I beg to differ , as a physician and a regular reader of the WCI, I like the site but the content pales considerably in comparison to yours . Your writing is way more financially sophisticated and detailed than his site which isn’t surprising since he is a physician and you are a finance guy . Again , do not copy the format of WCI. I like the site but financial samurai has way better financial content than WCI
I think the point is being missed here a bit. Unless I’m misunderstanding, Sam is saying he is “changing” FS. I understand advocating for Sam to not change. My point is that if Sam is going to change, he should emulate someone who has a proven track record at the “new” type of content. I’m not sure anyone can speak as to how well Sam will do at dry boring step-by-step type content since that is not what the site is currently offering. It appears clear to me that Sam is doing this whether folks like it or not. :) I also offered a suggestion for not changing the content on the blog (e.g., having a different voice tackle some of the great content of the past).
I think Sam really wants to make a change. He made the point this morning that “[i]t would be a mistake to stay stuck in time for another 18 years.” You and Andy are telling him to do exactly that because that is your preference. That is your right of course. My view is if I truly value the contribution that Sam has made (which I do), I will offer honest opinions and suggestions that may be helpful for what he wants, not what I want. Even if Sam were to look at my suggestions and say they are stupid, it would force him to formulate in his mind “why” they are stupid. That process is valuable to a creative mind like Sam’s.
The situation reminds me a bit of when John Stewart quit. If you listened to what he said near the end it was that his audience was selfish and only cared about what they wanted. “Dance monkey dance!” is how Stewart jokingly referred to it. When he said he wasn’t getting to spend enough time with his family because of the show, folks responded with “I want you to keep going.” Of course you do. It is essentially free entertainment. Personally, I felt for Stewart and was relieved when he quit, even though I think we are missing an important voice now. It was clearly what was in his best interest–not mine. Sam’s speech in this post sounds exactly like Stewart’s to me. That’s why my first reaction was you should sell. Followed by ways to step back.
With that said, I respect everyone’s voice. I just want to clarify where I was coming from. I wasn’t advocating that Sam become WCI. If anything, I was advocating Sam quit because I think that is what he wants to do. He is just afraid of what he would be giving up. That’s where the “middle ground” of bringing in a new voice (while maintaining ownership) might make sense. Of course, what do I know?–I don’t have a blog and didn’t put in 10 years to get to where Sam is.
Just wondering, but are you aware the FS is about 2.5X bigger than WCI in terms of traffic size? If not, that’s actually a real testament to Sam’s personal writing style and ability to keep humble and low key.
Just here to echo what all the above have said. We appreciate your writing and I hope you continue. Your life is one I model my own future off of so I look forward to each post. You have been a huge inspiration since day 1.
Not many of us you have helped may comment and that may be annoying I get that. You cultivate a certain demographic that appreciates your knowledge silently maybe?
Just know we are out here just nodding our heads along with everything you say. You have a loyal base and I would definitely wear some Financial Samurai Swag if you wanna monetize a store!
Thanks Y! And feel free to challenge me whenever you feel that I’m wrong or missing something. I learned the most when readers put up my blind spot. Good luck on your journey!
Sam – I stumbled onto your site 6 years ago when I was 23, a year into an entry level job at my Fortune 1000 company & so pumped to discover I had accrued a whooping $4,500 in my 401k! Surely I was killing it, right?! I googled 401k targets to see how I stacked up & immediately got hit with a Financial Samurai sword blow to the ego with your 401k & net worth targets by age. I had to know more so I plowed through your content weekly & started making changes to my actions & my mindset. I was humbled, educated, entertained or motivated by nearly every post.
Since then, I still read/listen to 95% of your content & you have been a primary influence in my financial planning, career motivation & ownership of my pursuit of FU money. More than anything, I’ve appreciated how unique your content is to the other financial sites & talking heads out there. FS is personal, it’s couched in real-life experience, it’s not pretentious & it’s almost always altruistic. I’ve shared emails & comments with you & if I met you on the street, I’m confident I would fan-boy out, thanking you profusely/asking for you to autograph my most recent pay-stub or a Financial Samurai t-shirt for me.
I can’t imagine this site going away or completely changing as it is saved as one of my three start-up pages in Google Chrome, along with Facebook & Gmail. I rarely comment anymore but I am so grateful for what this site offers & represents. Looks like I’m not alone in that regard based on your comment section here. Thank you, FS!
Hey! Where can I purchase one of those Financial Samurai t-shirts???
Oh man, I totally forgot I had a Financial Samurai Store! LOL.
It was a project my wife, my sister, and I worked on this summer as a To Do List.
It’s funny, b/c of how rare the items are… maybe I can get rich by severely limiting each print to like 50 worldwide and then never bring them back again. If each shirt sells for $100,000 20 years later, I could get rich! :)
Seriously though, I do love rare items that folks can’t easily buy. Gotta think about this.
In my made-up street encounter with Sam, I guess I assumed he would be carrying around Financial Samurai t-shirts & would be so blown away by my appreciation/fandom that he would say “Here you go!”. Probably more as a means of escape lol thank you for the link though, Sam! Those shirts are sick.
Love it! And I’m really glad you didn’t get offended by my guide, but took action to motivate yourself to save and invest more. Surely, over the past 6 years, your investments have returned a handsome some.
I love folks who keep an open mind. Keep up the good work!
Please continue to write. I don’t post much but I check your site every week looking for personal finance tidbits that I may not find anywhere else.
Just read through all the comments as well Sam. So happy you are deciding to continue for now. Let us know how we as readers can help and support you. Thank you so so so much!
This is my first time commenting on this blog and I’ve made 3 comments already on this post will continue to do so to show my support.
Thanks for the support Claudia! Don’t feel you need to comment all the time. It’s all good! Perhaps just on important issues that you really care about or big milestones. I don’t want to waste too much of your time! Cheers
Congratulations on 10 years. Your blog has greatly impacted my financial life and I owe a great deal of my investment success to you. I have a weekly calendar reminder to read every post published. Cheers to another great year.
I love your site…your unique writing voice…your volume of content production…your directness blended with humor. So glad you aren’t selling and will continue to be be the voice behind the website. As a long time reader who has only commented a few times…apologies for the lack of comments…we faithful readers we must do better!
According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs –
1. Self Actualization
You are straddling between the level 3 and 4. For the last 10 years the Financial Independence opportunity has given you the freedom to explore your inner potential – a financial nerd!
Financial Independence is the detachment from other people money – their money can no longer enslave you.
Yet, your biological wiring is lurking beneath and it is threatened to pull you back down to level 4 and possibly 5.
Financial Freedom is the freedom from money itself – money have very little or no role in your passion. Academically, psychologists termed passion as “flow”.
There is nothing wrong with making more money, but setting a financial number beyond the Financial Independence target is the sign the vicious financial cycle will repeat itself down the road.
Most of the loyal readers on your site are intellectual in compare to the general population. Most of them do not comment on your post, not because they do not care. Don’t you ever notice a group of intellectuals are less noisy than gathering in an opened market?
They either agree or disagree with you in totality. In cases of disagreement, they are less emotional than the general population, thus, they do not expressed they feeling. Unfortunately, you need their involvements for the monetary translation.
You are a financial nerd and you have found a financial niche that is not quite matching up with your financial target.
Here is the question for you to contemplate!
Which one you do you have more control in making the change – you, the niche or the financial target?
Please keep the site as I truly enjoy reading and learning from it.
Sam. Congrats on your success. Thank you for writing such insightful financial information and opinions throughout the years and providing us a glimpse into your personal life. I am guilty of not interacting as much on the reply section but have been known to click on your ads and liked your FB posts on occasion.
Keep up the fantastic work and I look forward to seeing the transformation of Financial Samurai.
Hmmm … now why did I never think to look up FS on Facebook?
Oh, it’s because I never publicize my Facebook page. I’m bad at publicizing things in general. There’s just too much going on, so I just focus on FS. Besides, the conversation here and in the FS Forum is much more interactive anyway!
Thanks for all you do! I don’t comment much manly because all of your content is so complete so not much or anything needs to be added. Your blog is the first site I check every Monday and Friday. I have definitely learned a lot and appreciate your ability to come up with fresh content on a regular basis.
Sam, just started reading your site this past year and you have amazing content. Your hard-work, research and vulnerability doesn’t go unnoticed. I will be clicking into your links for the almost last post and podcast to show my support. I want you to know I always read and then share your newsletter with my boyfriend and family members. We read and take in the knowledge that you share. I don’t always comment but it doesn’t mean I don’t care. I am extremely thankful for your time, efforts, and the personal information that you share on these posts. I’ve never written a public blog before so I dont understand the time and energy it takes to manage the whole site for 10-years on your own, but I am forever grateful and appreciative for the information and platform you have created and shared for readers like me.
Trust me, most satisfied readers don’t comment. Just like most satisfied customers don’t leave reviews. I never leave comments or reviews just to keep my digital footprint to a minimum. But because I value your site THAT much, I wanted to give you a boost in your comment section. Your site is valuable source of information for me, and I truly enjoy reading about your personal life because it gives your opinions a more well rounded picture. The content of your site is completely orthogonal to the rest of the FI blogs; yours is full of original content and perspective. Please don’t sell your site quite yet. We still need you!
A good decision. Allows you maximum flexibility and also to stay at home. Much better than going back to the office. Look forward to future posts.
Longtime reader, Sam. Always enjoy starting my day with some FS. I feel compelled to post for the first time thanks to all your whining about the lack of response on your 10-year post.
FS is a great site, and I believe most of its appeal comes from how fun and personal it is. I dont expect to get that same experience from MSN personal finance or even Nerdwallet or some of these other sites, despite how profitable they must be. Your site is unique and refreshing.
Of course, there’s a downside to being personal as there is to being more fun rather than business-oriented. That is I’m not going to like everything you say. Frankly, there are a few things you do that irritate me:
1) whining about readership response
2) being overly sarcastic and smug at times (e.g. when you got in that pissing match about the amount of privilege you enjoyed growing up)
3) pontificating about whether you should rejoin the workforce (we get it- you’re in a comfortable spot and it’s a life fulfillment decision for you more than a financial one)
Anyway, these are just my opinions as a lurking reader that has never commented before. Hope you dont take offense because that would just be silly. Overall, your stuff is a huge net positive for me. Keep it up.
Great feedback! It is true. I whine too much and don’t take enough action. What are some tips you have that will help me whine less and do more? Please share some examples from your end to.
I try not to take myself too seriously, but I know that can rub people the wrong way. Hence, one of my reasons to increase the Business percentage! No opinions, just facts.
I’m glad you mentioned NerdWallet. They pump out credit card review posts after credit card review posts and readers love it. We started at the same time, but they are about 12X greater than FS! Yes, they have 400 people producing content and stuff, but still. I need to do better.
I’m reading a book called, “The Courage To Be Disliked” right now on my family break. It’s an enjoyable read that is helpful for people who want to do more.
It’s interesting how you think Sam is “whining,“ when I see it as being authentic and turning a potential negative into a positive.
I find his content refreshing. And I would say there is more or something you’re dissatisfied with because of your feedback.
I have been following this site for a few years. I am really glad to hear you are not selling it. If you need to make more money, go for it, gotta take care of your own first.
Another rare commenter here. I get that’s its hard to feel like you are reaching people without the feedback, but I am willing to wager that you don’t fully understand how many people refer your articles without you ever knowing. I found you about two years ago, and whenever I am in a financial discussion with friends and family, I google *topic financial samurai*. And they have started doing it too. You have enough material produced now that you are a financial reference resources by yourself. Thank you, and Keep it up!
That is music to my ears regarding Googling “Topic + Financial Samurai”! If that ever gets to be the norm, that would be incredible.
Thanks for sharing my work with your family and friends.
I do that too. Anytime I want to research a finance topic, I google “ financial samurai xxxx “ . You don’t realize how much you have helped me
+1 to the sentiments here, as another long time listener. Congrats on the milestone, I’m sure you can keep your voice and monetize, it’s all part of the deal that we implicitly accept.
Wow. I thought Atlas was shrugging.
Your contrarian, unguarded voice is valued. I read your content because it is unique and makes me think differently.
I am in awe of your analytical thinking, financial knowledge, and ability to organize and articulate it all.
Sam. Long time reader. I appreciate your site and work. By far the best Financial site on the net. Whatever you do I hope you continue with your work in some capacity. Very few of us in life find our calling where talent intersects with passion and financial gain. I think you have achieved the holy grail! Best of luck!
Interesting post. I think its great to get your take on various products but I thought you did already do lots of product review posts ? They just don’t show in your normal blog feed. For example you have lots of posts about Fundrise each targeting different keywords about fund
No, no, no. Say it isn’t so…I’m going to echo the rest and say that not posting does not reflect low interest. Your email/posts are one of the few that I look forward to receiving on a weekly basis. In this new world of income inequality, your perspective and insights are so enlightening and provides inspiration to do better in life for my family.
This site has brought a lot of value to me, I just never comment because I don’t feel I have anything to add to the conversation. I remember one Sunday when I woke up early and found myself reading an article, then another, then another, and soon enough I’d blown through 10 without realizing it. Since then, I keep up weekly and read everything. Your posts on net worth targets and your posts on having a superior work ethic were particularly motivating to me. Thanks for putting the effort into your posts, thanks for having a clean layout and reader experience, and thanks for keeping value-creation as your top priority.
Just know that we won’t judge you for cashing in a bit, do your thing.
I certainly think it makes sense for you to work on better monetizing your site and dropping your active posting hours. For non-bloggers I think it’s difficult to understand how much time goes into writing each post, posting 3 quality posts a week is like having a full time job, just with flexible hours. I’m coming up on 6 years of blogging and with working full time and having 4 kids trying to keep up with even 1 post a week was really difficult for me, I post one every other week these days. What you’ve done for the last 10 years is nothing short of amazing, a ton of hard work and dedication.
I think your idea of having another writer on the site and having more monetized articles is a preferred idea to selling. A while back J$ at Budgets Are Sexy sold a portion of his site, I wonder if something like that could be an option for you? Sell 50% to 75%, still be a writer for a post a week or every other week, and participate in the income growth while getting a large cash out for selling some, but not all of your stake. Congrats on reaching your long term goal!
John, actually, I think you blogging for 6 years while working a full-time job and raising 4 kids is TRULY AMAZING. Give yourself a good pat on the back and buy yourself a nice brewski tonight! Or a least get your wife a full-body massage.
If I had 3 more kids, I think I’d be six feet underground by now.
Did J sell a portion of his site to someone? Had no idea. It’s a good idea to take some off the table, bring in a motivated partner that wants the site to succeed, and allow me to spend more time with family.
I have a feeling that once my boy goes to preschool part-time, I will feel like I’m on some kind of magical vacation. And then I might get bored if I don’t fill it with something intellectual.
My knees and lower back get very sore after a two-hour tennis match now.. and I can no longer play every day or even every other day regularly. Gotta harvest the mind now.
I share your pain, Sam. Serial overuse/age-related injuries are driving me batty— I get over one only to have a new one pop up! But you’re too young for this crap, my friend. Spend some of that dough on a good masseuse/PT and spend more time in the hot tub!
Keep doing what you are doing!! I try to spend a minimum hour a day reading online, and the content out there is getting worse by the day. Your site is refreshing, and always make me think. Please don’t sell! I do recommend hiring a full time person to make life easier. They could write one article a week, and help generate more revenue while still being your site.
Congrats on reaching your ten year goal. Thank you for all the thought provoking posts. I am not big on commenting, but I read and re-read your posts and even read some of them with my teenagers since there is zero financial education offered in most schools. It shows them that a path to financial independence still exists for those that make astute decisions. So glad you are not yet selling.
What about a hybrid approach?
Could you better monetize FS, which would allow a higher sale value and then build a new business at 90 / 10?
Would any buyout require you to continue to write?
Would it have a non-compete? For how long?
Well now you’ve inspired me to comment for the first time. I’ve been reading since I heard you on the AoM podcast. I actually don’t mind the added sponsorship, reviews, etc. It would give me a better feeling that I see products that you’re willing to backup (example: policygenius).
I also rarely comment but always read your posts. I am glad to see you are going to continue with the site. It has been my favorite site and has been super useful as I realized my FIRE dream.
We love you Sam! I’m sure you’ve had so many things swirling around in your mind as you 10 year mark was approaching and reached. It is truly remarkable what you’ve been able to accomplish and we love your style of writing, knowledge, humor and the unmatchable quality of your writing. It’s awesome to be entertained and learn new things at the same time. Your plans sounds great and we’re excited to support you!
I’m glad you’re not leaving. However I do find your information beyond my reach. You speak to the wealthy. You act like gaining another 2.2 million for retirement is an attainable god for normal working people. So not always sure I should follow you as it makes me
Feel financially worse.
I just want to join the chorus and say that, just because I don’t comment doesn’t mean I’ve not read your posts or that I don’t care about what you’re saying. I’ve been here a long time and I too don’t read many blogs. Yours is different and your skill, writing style and outlook is unique, healthy, and optimistic (while not being a one-dimensional perma bull). You do you, Sam, but know that silence is not a sign that you’re not thought provoking or appreciated. We love you, brother.
You may have heard this already since this post has generated more comments than I’ve seen. I have been reading many of your posts over the last few years and absolutely love what you stand for. Please monetize your efforts and increase the value of Financial Samurai!
When you are willing to put money into advertising on social media and other means it can help you grow exponentially. The best part is your message can positively impact more families, more quickly. You have truly inspired me and I will be with you along the way!
I enjoy the personal side! I even took my family on vacation at the place you reccomended. The thing I do not like is the thinly veiled ads. They are everywhere these days on sites and blogs. I would rather have more fun and paid ads.
Your silent majority is standing up to be noticed today. I’ve learned and benefited from your writings, and greatly appreciate what you do. More importantly, I encourage you to continue to make F.S. what you want it to be in order to satisfy your own goals.
Wishing you much joy in life.
I rarely comment but want to thank you for this site! This has become my go-to FI blog. Most of the others just provide fluff, once you get past the initial idea of FI. Yours is the best one that provides ongoing useful tips and tricks. I was afraid you were going to sell, so I’m glad you are keeping the site!! It wouldn’t be the same without you.
Whew – I was about to throw on my Financial Samurai t-shirt, sit in a dark room with a pint of chocolate ice cream, and wollow in sadness over what looked like your plans to sell. I’m glad to see you’re going to stick with it, Sam.
I’ve read this blog faithfully for as long as I can remember – probably over 6-7 years now – and would genuinely miss your authentic voice. It was your voice and passion that inspired me to start my own blog 3.5 years ago.
As a blogger and parent to a young boy, I can completely understand the temptation to take a buyout offer. It’s been a little challenging at times to reject the offers that have come in for my site, though they’re surely not the pie-in-the-sky-money I imagine you’ve been offered.
What stopped me from selling and will likely continue to hold me back from seriously considering it is the spectre of unfinished business. I sense in your recent posts a similar feeling. Even with thousands of posts, you have a lot more to give and share with the world.
I’m looking forward to seeing how you pivot into further monetization while remaining true to your brand and voice, Sam.
Thanks for all you do and for showing me the possibilities of building your own platform and using it to help the world and build a business.
Haha, hilarious! Thanks for making me laugh. Did you really buy a t-shirt? I totally forgot I had a FS Store until the comments in the post. This is what I’m talking about regarding focusing more on entrepreneurship. I’ve been a total space cadet all these years and not focused enough on the business aspect of this site.
Great job starting your site and being a great father!
Yes, unfinished business is something that keeps me going indeed. That business is lasting long enough to see if my boy wants nothing to do with learning about business.
Some ideas for research and articles:
1. Using E commerce online realtors and tips for doing so. It is outrageous that old style realtors at 6% commission still exist. How can we use technology to democratize that industry and break the stranglehold?
2. Same thing for insurance. Have FS develop a practical, cool method to calxulate life insurance needs and how to execute.
3. Estimating Fun $ needs for retirement.
4. Staying mentally sharp with $ as one ages
5. How to avoid having spoiled brat children that expect too much from parents when they are adults.
6. The FS viewpoint on Social Security future
7. Best ways to transfer e-business or any business for that matter to children or others.
Seems like you should get paid for your work. Glad to hear you’re hanging on to the site and from the income reports I see from much lesser known bloggers (…assuming they’re real…), I’d think $343k is a very manageable figure for you. Write 10 reviews of student loan refinancing services or credit cards and you’re set.
As a long time reader I am very happy to read this post. I started it out with a sense of “oh no!” but was very much relieved when I finished!
After thousands of posts over 10 years I think you have more than earned the right to monetize this site in any way you see fit, and as a loyal follower I will continue to support you in those endeavors.
Thank you for always publishing relevant, personal, and trustworthy content. You may not receive the feedback you hope for, but I can promise you there are more readers of your site who feel the same as I do than you may ever realize.
Thank you for being such a trusted source of information for me and my family.
Oh and please know NONE of us will blame or judge you if you end up selling! We will miss you, but I will be happy knowing you funded your Hawaii dreams off the sale!
I also love reading your posts but rarely comment. I’m happy with your decision though I know the reader’s happiness had no weight in you making it. I wish you only the best and I’ve always loved your thoughtful approach to things.
Oh, actually, my reader’s wishes and happiness have a HUGE weighting in my choice. Perhaps a 50% weighting. I feel guilty just selling this site out of the blue due to the readers. Although, I could always just start another site.
Over the years, I’ve seen a number of sites turn to trash after being sold because it lost its style, was neglected, or was overly monetized. I don’t want the focus to be about money, even though this is a PF site. I want to focus more about life.
I’ll write more about this topic in the future as I think business is fascinating.
Thanks for reading and sharing!
Lots of people don’t comment. I started commenting in the past two years on sites because I had realized how much I enjoyed comments on my own things. Most people like nice comments.
I always chuckle reading your net-worth goals as they far exceed my own. The chuckling is my viewpoint that I won’t be trying to keep up with you since I just can’t, and that’s ok. I completely see your logic in doing them but dang….you are a serious dude!
I think this is the perfect solution to your dilemma. Why go back to work full-time if you don’t have to? Focusing a bit more on monetization will solve that problem. You can also see if it will increase your income. 70/30 sounds good to me. I’ll continue to visit and see what I can learn. Good luck!
I’ve been reading your site for over a year and remain a big fan. Your opinionated writing style is part of the attraction for me – and I am sure the same applies to others. More focus on monetization is always good but please keep up the authenticity!
Whew! Man, you scared me at the beginning of the post, which I assume was in part your goal. I think it’s safe to say that NONE of your readers want you to sell, Sam, and I’m sure the vast majority of us are deeply appreciative of the time, effort, and personality you put into your posts — even if we’re sometimes too lazy to write interesting or supportive comments!
For me personally, your writing has been a huge inspiration in terms of showing how one can find a blogging niche one cares about and genuinely help people improve their lives through persistence, creativity, and dedication. Thank you very much for that. I will continue to read and enjoy your posts regardless of how many ads you put up — and comment too whenever I have something worthwhile to add to the interesting conversations you start.
Thanks for not selling and for keeping it real,
Hey man I’m just curious after all the work you put into the website over the last 10 years, how much is financial samurai worth to some of the companies that approached you with offers? And how much do you personally think it’s worth?
If I sell the site, I can take my family to McDonald’s and upgrade from the $1 menu and buy a $4 Filet O’ Fish plus a drink, guilt-free.
It’s a pretty meaningful change, which is why it’s been so agonizing. It is so ironic that the site has grown partly due to my lack of temptation for money.
I’m pretty sure you can get the Filet O’ Fish and the drink without selling! ;)
Ha! I’d wager that’s exactly why it’s grown, Sam. The web is full of garbage; authentic voices are scarcer than hen’s teeth. Your writing style is really engaging, plus you back it up with knowledge based on real world experience.
Aside from that, you offer such a refreshing antidote to the victim mentality that has become so prevalent everywhere these days. That’s the chord FS struck with me from the beginning. Granted, a number of personal finance websites promote taking control of one’s financial life and “owning” it; but you take it a step further, daring to point out where that attitude needs to be nurtured across the culture— not just in in personal finance alone.
No matter where you go from here, you can always be proud of FS. I’ll be sorry to see it go a bit more “commercial”, but you have every right to tack that way. I have to laugh though; your goal for increasing your monthly income is greater than most people’s base salaries! You operate on a whole ‘nother level, my friend. Bravo!
Appreciate the support! And we should grab lunch again one day (my treat) next time I’m down in the valley.
Dream big because dreaming big takes the same effort as dreaming small. Whoo hoo!
Now if I could still naturally always get the “me” and “I” write in my passages. Now that would be a true miracle!
e.g. I want both my wife and me to continue being stay-at-home parents until our son makes it clear he no longer needs us full-time.
Why isn’t “me” in the sentence an “I”?!
Thanks Sam for the heart you out into each and every post. I am happy to hear you will be continuing to own/run the site and deserve to make the most out of your efforts by monetizing it more.
For the thousands of us that don’t reply regularly, I can say that reading your posts are some of the non-family related highlights of my week.
Keep it up and thank you!
Long time reader first time comment-er. Thanks for your writing, I love your style and your incites. Glad to hear you will still be at the helm. I look forward to seeing what comes next.
First and foremost, thank you for the value and insight you provide to myself and many other readers! And thanks for not selling…..for now.
I’ve had a lot of takeaways and improved my financial planning techniques with your posts. I’ve agreed to 90% of them and disagreed with 10%, but that’s ok. :-)
To answer your questions, since I’m still young, any products related to investment growth strategies would be helpful.
Your other questions would require a long response to appropriately address them. But in short, I can say my why for doing what I do is simply to provide happiness to me and my family. In my little experience in life, the ability to change negatives (finances, health, social, etc.) into positives is a mind-shifting game. Once you shift your mind and prespective a lot can happen.
Awesome mentality. I’m of the same boat of when something less than ideal happens, the best solution is to just make the best out of the situation and pivot. No point in being down or negative when things don’t meet our expectations because without disappointments, it leaves little room to improve.
One thing I’d like to say as a regular reader is that I read your ’10 year’ post. I also enjoyed reading it. However I didn’t comment on it because I didn’t have anything to add.
I think a lot of the other people were on the same boat. Sometimes a post will generate intense discussion because of current events. Or when it’s relatable (like being a stay at home dad, being close to retirement, parenting). Or when readers have expertise on the topic at hand, etc. However most people don’t have goals that stretch beyond one year. Sure most may have arbitrary and vague goals, but ask anyone where they want to be in 10 years and you’ll usually get a made up response. Perhaps that’s why that 10 year post didn’t generate more comments even though you spent 3x more on it writing and editing it.
Anyway, whatever you decide to do Sam GL. I hope you’ll be able to strike that perfect balance (90/10, 80/20, 70/30) and continue running this site because although there are thousands and thousands of websites, articles, blogs that talk about finance, real estate, and parenting – it’s your unique financial situation, career background, and insightful perspective that separates it from the rest. Cheers!
insightful feedback to Sam’s post. I haven’t had a chance to catch the 10 year post but as a longtime fine id concur with you, sometimes we dont have anything to add. However, still a fan and will still continue to read and support
Thanks Jeff! Just know I always love hearing from readers like you about your own personal journey, difficulties, and triumphs. I should make this more clear, b/c I care! If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t spend the time to write these posts and respond to comments.
Whatever you decide to do with financial samurai I wish you the best. I enjoy reading your posts and it is truly an accomplishment to maintain your 3x week schedule for 10 years. Congratulations and thank you for your hard work.
Agreed with the above…FS and a couple others are my regular readers…look forward to metamorphosis but not complete new ownership
Keep up the awesome work and thank you for all insights you provide to us! Question…do you guys plan on having more kids?
I’m laughing a bit as I read this, as I literally JUST discovered your website three days ago (it was featured on a fairly new “best of” list I stumbled across) and was excited to have found a “real person”-type financial blog versus the exact “business only” blog you outlined here. Ah, well! Family and personal goals are much more important than catering to strangers on the internet. Great writing, and thank you for the past effort you’ve put into this. Good luck on the slow-yet-steady transition!
Three days ago?! What took you so long? It’s all good. I don’t plan on going anywhere for a while. Whoo hoo!
You visiting recently is like stumbling upon a fund show on TV with 10 seasons. There’s a lot to go through. Can you imagine if you just discovered Lost or Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad? So fun!
Welcome to my site. Thanks.
Thank you, Sam, for writing this and all your posts. I don’t always comment (but have at times when I thought I might add something relevant to the discussion). I so hope you keep the site a while longer, as long as it is the right thing for you and your family. You are like a teacher or professor– you touch more lives than you know, and in ways you may never know. Thank you.
I did read the entire post!! Thank you for all of your writing and good ideas over the years. What do you think of using something like Patreon so people can financially support what u are providing to them. Even though I don’t really like the music from Amanda Palmer she has used a patreon system to give her the freedom to produce the content she wants. Her fans give her tremendous support. Personally I find it ironic the way so many new FIRE bloggers have tons of ads on their site yet they stress being frugal.
Anyway I am sure you can develop a way to be compensated for what u do without selling out so to speak.
Hi Bernie – Patreon is a good idea for creators. I just don’t like to ask for money, even if whatever I write for free does provide value to some. My family has enough to live the life we want for now. But as our boy gets older, if we are blessed with another, and if a recession comes, money will obviously get tighter.
I’m trying my best to forecast the future. And the future does seem more financially difficult. However, it makes me proud to make it on my own without any donations.
Thanks for the suggestion!
Long time reader, first time commenter. Glad to hear you’re planning to run the site for at least another year. It is truly a unique perspective. The line that all you want is to “own 100% of your time” really resonates with me, and I’m sure many other people. This is the ultimate pursuit. I have no problem with you doing more affiliate marketing, just don’t recommend junk products!
I definitely share your feelings when you put a lot of effort into a blog post that you think should do well and the response is lukewarm at best (although given the difference in blog popularity a bad day for you most likely would be a banner day for me).
I personally love receiving comments over pageviews any day because it gives you a chance to interact with someone who shares similar views (or if they disagree a chance to see an issue from another viewpoint).
As far as selling the site, I totally would understand if that is what eventually happened because you have to look out for yourself first. It would obviously be a blow to the readers (unless you stay on as a writer). If this new 70/30 formula keeps you owning the site longer then it is a win for everyone.
Yeah, working harder and writing longer posts definitely doesn’t necessarily correlate to more traffic or responses. I just had so much to think about it and add to when reviewing the past 10 years, I couldn’t help but write a long one.
I think the sweet spot is between 800 to 1500 words. Even this post right now is about 2100 words and a little too long. But oh well, it’s a big decision.
I never comment anywhere on the internet. However, I always read your blog. Agree with previous commenter, 70% is better than you selling.
I am not a blog reader. FS is the only one I read on a regular basis. I have done so for 3-4 years. Just because I don’t comment, doesn’t mean I don’t get a lot out of it. I am in the RE industry. Your perspective is always unique, helpful and thoughtful. Good luck to you. For your readers, 70% is better than you selling. Thanks