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10 Things Only Personal Finance Nerds Would Understand

Expertise: Landlording & Rental Properties, Personal Development, Real Estate News & Commentary, Business Management, Flipping Houses, Mortgages & Creative Financing, Real Estate Deal Analysis & Advice, Real Estate Wholesaling, Personal Finance, Real Estate Marketing, AskBP, Real Estate Investing Basics
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At one point in high school, I was the captain of both the Math Club and the AV Club.

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I did school plays, enjoyed a game of Magic the Gathering from time to time, spent many days building computers and many nights at “LAN parties” playing Starcraft with my friends.

It’s safe to say I was am a “Nerd.”

And proud of it.

Today, however, I’m a different kind of Nerd. I’m a personal finance nerd.

In other words, I enjoy talking about money and what it can do. I find the entire concept of money fascinating and love to find ways to make it, spend it, invest it, hide it (legally!), multiply it and share it.

A couple weeks ago I went to the Financial Bloggers Conference (FinCon14) in New Orleans and had an amazing time hanging out with hundreds of other "personal finance nerds" just like me. Sure, most of them were not real estate nerds (we are a "special" kind of personal finance nerd), but they loved talking about money and business all the same.

During the conference, one specific thing stood out to me: personal finance nerds are different.  We think a little differently than the rest of the population — for good and for bad. So today I thought I would outline some of the ways we stand out.

As you read through this list, I wonder how many would apply to YOU?  Are you a personal finance nerd?  If so, I hope you’ll do me the favor of sharing this post on your Twitter or Facebook and stand proud with your fellow nerds! In fact, why not just tweet this:

“I’m a personal finance nerd and proud of it!” (Click to Tweet this!)

Okay, let’s get to it. Below, I give you 10 things only personal finance nerds would understand.

10.) I’d Rather Have $2.00 Tomorrow Than $1.00 Today

Personal finance nerds understand the need for sacrifice. While the rest of our friends are busy buying the latest video game system, new shiny car or big house with the 4 car garage, personal finance nerds are patiently waiting. We try to live below our means with the hopes (and assumptions) that someday our sacrifice will pay off, and we’ll be able to have even more.

9.) Millionaires Typically Don’t Drive Lamborghinis and Aston Martins

For those who have read "The Millionaire Next Door," you'll understand this. Millionaires are very different from what the general population thinks they are. Most of the world thinks of the world "Millionaire" and envision those crazy reality TV housewives. However, personal finance nerds know better. We know that the typical millionaire hides among us, driving normal cars, living in normal houses, and living normal lives.

However…

8.) It’s Okay to Splurge on Something Nice…at the Right Time

Personal finance nerds are not frugal for frugal’s sake (well…some of them are!) In fact, most personal finance nerds know when to splurge on something nice — because they can afford it. The difference is timing. Most of the population buys stuff they don’t need, that they can’t afford, to impress people they don’t like. Personal finance nerds save up and plan for the stuff they truly want to enrich their lives.

Related: How Real Estate Empowered Me to Buy a Lamborghini (And What It Means for YOU!)

7.) Forget Nuclear…Compound Interest is the Most Powerful Force in the Universe

Although that quote has been attributed to Einstein, it probably wasn't he who said it. However, the truth is something recognized by personal finance nerds across the world: Compound interest is a powerful thing! If you are unfamiliar with the concept, here's a good way to understand it:

Which would you rather have: $1,000 every day for a month or $.01 doubled every day for a month?

The $1,000 every day for a month would net you $31,000. This is linear growth — it goes up the same every day.

The penny doubled is compound interest, which grows exponentially. Any guess how much you’d have after 31 days?

Boom:  $10,737,418.20. That’s the power of compound interest.

So…which would you rather have now?

Like I said, personal finance nerds get this. That’s why they invest their money — to grow it exponentially!

Savers grow linear, investors grow exponentially. 

6.) High Schools Do Practically Nothing to Prepare Kids for a Financially Sound Future

Look — high school is great for a lot of things. You can learn how to find the acute angle on a triangle, what the Emperor Nero did to people he didn’t like, or how to make a Piñata out of paper mache and a balloon. But when it comes to things that actually matter in life, like “how to build your credit,” “when is the right time to buy a house,” “should you get those store credit cards,” and more — schools fall short. And I think the only ones who see this are personal finance nerds!

5.) Getting Out of Debt Can Actually Be Fun!

I know — if you are not a personal finance nerd, you might think this is crazy. Most of the world probably thinks the process of getting out of debt is a labor. But honestly — getting out of debt can be fun!

For nerds like me — it's a puzzle, a game. Each time I pay off a credit card, student loan, whatever, I'm seriously pumped! I like to sit down with a pencil and paper (or spreadsheet) and try to figure out how long until every debt I have (including mortgages) are paid off. It's exciting stuff!

4.) I’d Rather Read a Great PF Blog Post Than Celebrity Gossip

Look — I’m sure George Clooney’s wedding was awesome. It was plastered all over the news, in every newspaper, in every magazine. But…honestly…I’d rather spend my time reading some great personal finance articles to better my position in life. I know…I’m a nerd.

If this is you — and you are looking for some great personal finance blogs to follow, might I suggest:

These are all awesome sites, so I highly recommend you head over to each one and subscribe to their email lists! Not only do they all have excellent information, they also feature excellent writers who make reading financial posts fun!

3.) Wealth Building Takes Time and Patience

Do people get rich quick in life?

Sure.

But personal finance nerds know: there is no guaranteed way to get rich quick. It takes time, patience and sometimes a bit of luck. However, we also understand that building wealth is totally possible, and it doesn’t take a genius to do so. Simple actions can make dramatic differences over time.

Related: How to Get Rich: 7 Awesome Ways to Build Big Wealth Today

2.) Frugality Can Be Competitive

In most of society, people brag about their cars, their houses, their golf clubs, whatever. Only personal finance nerds brag about how cheap they can be.

It can be a major competition among personal finance nerds to show how good of a deal they just got on something. (You know the type — “I just bought 450 rolls of toilet paper for $.17 using 12 different coupons!”)

The concept of “Travel Hacking” also fits into this, as personal finance bloggers love to share how cheap they are able to travel using credit card reward points.

1.) It’s Not About the Money. It’s About Freedom.

Finally, the number one thing that only personal finance nerds will understand is this: it’s not about the money, it’s about the freedom. Honestly, most of us don’t do this because we want our bank account to have millions of dollars in it.

The point is not the money — it’s the freedom that money can buy.

For me, I couldn’t care less about how much money I have in the bank. What I want is to be able to travel when I want, be with my future kids all the time, spend time with my wife away from work and work on stuff I actually enjoy working on. Money can help with those goals, but the money is not the goal.

And I think most personal finance nerds understand this.

Do you?

*********

Alright, you’ve come to the end! Now it’s your turn: chime in below, and let me know what you think. Do you have any other things you would like to add to the list? OR let me know which number rings most true for you!

Finally, I’d love if you took 10 seconds and shared this post on your Twitter by clicking the button below. Let the world know you are a personal finance nerd and proud of it!

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Brandon Turner is an active real estate investor, entrepreneur, writer, and co-host of the BiggerPockets Podcast. He is a nationally recognized leader in the real estate education space and has tau...
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    Mark Ferguson
    Replied about 6 years ago
    I am a personal finance need. Lol. Great post and I agree with all of it! I think a great distinction you made from many of the PF sites out there is that it is okay to splurge on things you love and plan for. One of my goals was buying the Lambo, but I told myself I wouldn’t donut until my blog could pay for the monthly costs. I thought the Lambo would be great marketing for new clients which it Has, but it also has been great for past clients. They love it and are constantly asking about it. Before I splurged I had invested a lot of money and made a lot of sacrifices.
    Chad Carson
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Monthly costs on a lamborghini? Now that could spark a personal finance nerd debate;) I’ve thought about leasing a nice car short term if I ever wanted one. Sort of like the concept of just renting to go on vacations, not buying a beach house. Get the splurge out of my system, then move on without having to pay the big bucks for the enjoyment. What’s your strategy Mark?
    Chad Carson
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Monthly costs on a lamborghini? Now that could spark a personal finance nerd debate;) I’ve thought about leasing a nice car short term if I ever wanted one. Sort of like the concept of just renting to go on vacations, not buying a beach house. Get the splurge out of my system, then move on without having to pay the big bucks for the enjoyment. What’s your strategy Mark?
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Thanks Mark! Yeah, I thought of you with the Lambo, which is why I included the part about splurging at the right time! You definitely did it right!
    Frankie Woods
    Replied about 6 years ago
    #7 is absolutely gold…literally! This concept is so fascinating to me, and yet so simple. This is way the “start now” comments are so essential. The hardest part is getting into the game. Generally speaking, all of the other factors to investing come second. Of course, holding on to what you make is important too (e.g., not making too many big mistakes)…
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Thanks Frankie! Couldn’t agree more! Reply Report comment
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Thanks Frankie! Couldn’t agree more!
    Danny Simard
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Not only do I agree with these principles, but I feel relieved to see this stuff complied and presented the way it is. Go Wallet Hacking! Also, Brandon, thanks for correctly using the phrase “I couldn’t care less” — it trips me up when I hear “I could care less.” Sharing this! Cheers, Danny
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Wallet Hacking – I like it! Thanks for the comment Danny! Reply Report comment
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Wallet Hacking – I like it! Thanks for the comment Danny! Reply Report comment
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Wallet Hacking – I like it! Thanks for the comment Danny!
    Ben Leybovich
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Haha – nice! Typical of your persona, you are significantly wrong relative to several of the above bullet-points. I guess I know what I am writing about next week… As always, love you to death!
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Hah – you know you are just jealous of my fancy top 10 list!
    Galya
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Like
    Tim
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Great post. I am a PF NERD. My wife is a teacher (because she likes it not because she has to work) and my daughter is going to school to be one also. It is a nobel profession…….. BUT it is only a job and you are so right that school does not teach students to succeed in life financially. It really is sad how people have been duped into “college is the only way to be successful”. How many kids graduate with a degree in Ornamental Horticulture and $100k in student loans and end up working as a bank teller or some other job that did not need a college degree? Both my kids have had “businesses” growing up (I made them earn money for some of the things they wanted but working for it was not an option) and they know that investing and letting money work FOR you is where the real wealth is made. I love your posts, blogs, pod casts and website. Thank You.
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Thanks so much Tim, and I definitely plan to encourage my kids to have businesses as well. I don’t want them thinking money grows on trees! And yeah… I spent $60k on college to get a degree in History that I’ll never use. Thanks for the encouragement!
    Tim
    Replied about 6 years ago
    A follow up on the kids business. When my daughter (now 21) was 8 or 9 she wanted a hamster. We discussed how she would buy all the food, bedding exercise balls, etc. After a kid sized discussion on business she agreed to breed hamsters. The pet store would give her $2 for each hamster or $3 in store credit. After researching she bought a female and I bought the male and she went into the hamster breeding business. It lasted almost 2 years. She then moved on to birds. Get them thinking outside the box early.
    Gary Rowe
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Tim – This grandfather appreciates your sharing this story. Of course, I intend to share Brandon’s post as well. – Gary
    Tim
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Great post. I am a PF NERD. My wife is a teacher (because she likes it not because she has to work) and my daughter is going to school to be one also. It is a nobel profession…….. BUT it is only a job and you are so right that school does not teach students to succeed in life financially. It really is sad how people have been duped into “college is the only way to be successful”. How many kids graduate with a degree in Ornamental Horticulture and $100k in student loans and end up working as a bank teller or some other job that did not need a college degree? Both my kids have had “businesses” growing up (I made them earn money for some of the things they wanted but working for it was not an option) and they know that investing and letting money work FOR you is where the real wealth is made. I love your posts, blogs, pod casts and website. Thank You. Reply Report comment
    Dawn Anastasi
    Replied about 6 years ago
    I totally agree with #6. I especially see this among tenants who talk about wanting to buy a house “someday” and after years of renting with me, they are no closer to their goal than they were on day 1.
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Hey Dawn, thanks for the comment! I wonder if there is a good solution to that problem? Unlikely an easy one! Thanks for the comment!
    Engelo Rumora
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Hi Brandon, Great blog as always. The Millionaire Next Door is a fabulous book. Really opens ones eyes to how frugal most millionaires are. I also remember asking someone that was worth $150million about how he made his fortune. His reply was this “Compound Interest” lol nothing else but those 2 words. Thanks and have a great day.
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Hah love it Engelo! Yep – compound interest. Powerful stuff!
    Lesliea
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Definitely, a personal finance nerd. My favorite real estate investing books are the ones that lay out how the author did financial transactions in precise detail. Not a lot of nebulous how to do it things. Case studies are my favorite. How about #11 – buy assets that generate income?
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Hey Lesliea, I love those kind too! I just got David Krulac’s book and it’s just like that. I highly recommend it!
    Andre C
    Replied about 6 years ago
    I am a personal financial nerd. Good now I have said it and I am out of the closet. LOL Although everyone around me knows I love to talk about it all the time……. I also was waiting for the “Buy Assets” one also. To me that such a fun game to play. To look for assets with great returns and then to use the principal of velocity of money to make the deal happen. As well as see how to optimize the assets that we already have and improve the IRR. I love this site.
    Martin
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Always enjoy your blog, good post Brandon
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Thanks Martin! I appreciate the comment!
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Thanks Martin! I appreciate the comment!
    Melodee Lucido
    Replied about 6 years ago
    I love this post Brandon and how you put it together! I play a game called, “Let’s See How Much Money We CAN’T Spend Today”. I didn’t know there was a term for people like me, PF Nerd 😉 It works for me. Thanks so much!
    Andre C
    Replied about 6 years ago
    I like to see how much we CAN spend and spend it. On Assets. Putting money to work. Reply Report comment
    Andre C
    Replied about 6 years ago
    I like to see how much we CAN spend and spend it. On Assets. Putting money to work.
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Thanks Melodee! Hah, sounds like a fun game… As long as we don’t talk about Starbucks and my addiction to it… 😉
    Ricky
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Great list. I completely agree. Especially #1. While people who live paycheck to paycheck think we are just obsessed with money, they don’t realize that money buys freedom. About #1…I understand completely what you’re saying, except video games for (PF) nerds can be a great way to save money on entertainment over time. Instead of paying recurring subscriptions to Netflix, DirecTV, going to the movies, eating expensive restaurants, etc, I can be perfectly content playing games that give me replay value over and over. I threw restaurants in there because I often don’t really care what I’m eating after playing extensively! Of course, there is the aspect of “wasting your time” so it’s good to limit your play time too.
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Awesome point, Ricky! I actually just bought myself an Xbox360 (I know, i’m 7 years late) for that reason 🙂
    Raven
    Replied about 6 years ago
    This is great! Sometimes I feel like people think I am obsessed with money. Now I know I am not the only one that loves business, money, and financial goals. I paid off our debt, mastered coupons, and keep my family on budget every month and love it! I am that person that bought tp with 12 coupons! Last year I bought 10 packs for 15$ and we still have enough to get through the year! I find great satisfaction in setting goals and reaching them! My next goal is to find a way to make my money work harder for me. Not to buy things, but to buy freedom.
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Hey Raven, yeah I worry a lot that my family and friends only think I care about money. But, what I try to explain, is that I’m focused on money so I don’t have to care about money. Not sure that is every understood though! And nice work on the TP 🙂
    Trevis Kelley
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Hi Brandon, What a wonderful post! I have been a closeted PF Nerd for a long time. It wasn’t until I discovered the Mr. Money Mustache blog that I realized that there were others out there! I love the part about sitting down to figure out how long it will take to be out of debt. I usually want to work out how long it will take to get to a specific amount of money as well! #1 is what it is all about. It took me a long time to get my wife to realize this. Once she did, she backed me all of the way. To me, there is probably nothing better than the freedom to not have to worry about money. I don’t know, because I am not there yet. However, reading all the different people who are out there doing it, it sure seems nice. Hopefully, I will be able to say for sure soon!
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Thanks Trevis! Ah, Mr Money Mustache. What a great site and great guy 🙂
    Trevis Kelley
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Hi Brandon, What a wonderful post! I have been a closeted PF Nerd for a long time. It wasn’t until I discovered the Mr. Money Mustache blog that I realized that there were others out there! I love the part about sitting down to figure out how long it will take to be out of debt. I usually want to work out how long it will take to get to a specific amount of money as well! #1 is what it is all about. It took me a long time to get my wife to realize this. Once she did, she backed me all of the way. To me, there is probably nothing better than the freedom to not have to worry about money. I don’t know, because I am not there yet. However, reading all the different people who are out there doing it, it sure seems nice. Hopefully, I will be able to say for sure soon!
    Cameron
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Great post Brandon! I wasn’t a nerd in school but I have become a personal finance nerd as an adult. No blog yet though. This was a great first read in a while, as I’ve been absent and focusing on getting my ducks in a row.
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Hey Cameron, thanks for the comment and for reading!
    Cameron
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Great post Brandon! I wasn’t a nerd in school but I have become a personal finance nerd as an adult. No blog yet though. This was a great first read in a while, as I’ve been absent and focusing on getting my ducks in a row.
    Jerry Kaidor
    Replied about 6 years ago
    This resonates. Through all my youth I resolutely lived below my means. As a software engineer, I made good money, and Oh Those Stock Options! My coworkers bought new cars. Nice cars. Lexuses. Mercedes. I changed oil, did brake jobs, and kept my old clunkers running. I *never* *ever* took out a loan to buy a car, or other toy. If I didn’t have the cash, I didn’t buy it. I socked away three to five K in the bank, every month, month after month. When my stock options matured, I paid off my house. By the time that gravy train pulled into the station, and I got laid off, I already had IIRC 60 apartments. Boss said he picked me because “I was the rich guy” and it would hurt me less. I guess he was right. A neighbor of mine rents out his house for $3500/month. It simply boggles my mind that people can afford to pay that kind of rent, and yet do not save for a house of their own.
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Blows my mind also Jerry! Congrats on your success thus far – I’d love to hear more of your story sometime!
    Jerry Kaidor
    Replied about 6 years ago
    This resonates. Through all my youth I resolutely lived below my means. As a software engineer, I made good money, and Oh Those Stock Options! My coworkers bought new cars. Nice cars. Lexuses. Mercedes. I changed oil, did brake jobs, and kept my old clunkers running. I *never* *ever* took out a loan to buy a car, or other toy. If I didn’t have the cash, I didn’t buy it. I socked away three to five K in the bank, every month, month after month. When my stock options matured, I paid off my house. By the time that gravy train pulled into the station, and I got laid off, I already had IIRC 60 apartments. Boss said he picked me because “I was the rich guy” and it would hurt me less. I guess he was right. A neighbor of mine rents out his house for $3500/month. It simply boggles my mind that people can afford to pay that kind of rent, and yet do not save for a house of their own. Reply Report comment
    Jon Kepler
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Point #9, “Millionaires Typically Don’t Drive Lamborghinis and Aston Martins”, is technically true. However, that’s missing the point. Most millionaires don’t drive these cars because the net worth of the average millionaire is only $1.6 million (Google it). People with $10 million+ have a much easier time paying for Lamborghinis and Aston Martins. The next time someone tries to tell you that millionaires are frugal, remember that most of them live that way because they have no choice. $1.6 million doesn’t leave you with very many options.
    Ricky
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Good point. Millionaires can’t afford to dump $100k in an asset that produces nothing. That is 10% of their net worth. It’s not going to hurt someone with $5-10million to do that though.
    Shaun
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Of course we can go round and round on this, but you can make the point that one reason that people have that kind of net worth is they don’t do things like spend a large percentage of their new worth on something like a car. I’ll guess that is NOT the case for an average American. The average American adult has a net worth of $301K. I’ll guess a pretty high percentage have recently or will in the near future buy a car that costs at least close to $30K. Now that is average. If you look at Median, so not skewed by the high end, it is only about $45K. I’d guess the percentage of people buying cars at 50-100+% of their net worth is scary.
    Shaun
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Of course we can go round and round on this, but you can make the point that one reason that people have that kind of net worth is they don’t do things like spend a large percentage of their new worth on something like a car. I’ll guess that is NOT the case for an average American. The average American adult has a net worth of $301K. I’ll guess a pretty high percentage have recently or will in the near future buy a car that costs at least close to $30K. Now that is average. If you look at Median, so not skewed by the high end, it is only about $45K. I’d guess the percentage of people buying cars at 50-100+% of their net worth is scary.
    Shaun
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Of course we can go round and round on this, but you can make the point that one reason that people have that kind of net worth is they don’t do things like spend a large percentage of their new worth on something like a car. I’ll guess that is NOT the case for an average American. The average American adult has a net worth of $301K. I’ll guess a pretty high percentage have recently or will in the near future buy a car that costs at least close to $30K. Now that is average. If you look at Median, so not skewed by the high end, it is only about $45K. I’d guess the percentage of people buying cars at 50-100+% of their net worth is scary.
    Chad Carson
    Replied about 6 years ago
    “remember that most of them live that way because they have no choice. $1.6 million doesn’t leave you with very many options” Wow, $1.6 million net worth gives me few options? No choice but to be frugal? I’d say $1.6 million in the bank gives you plenty of options for the stuff that actually matters. $1.6 million invested passively at 6% can make about $100,000 per year. Sure that won’t buy you lamborghinis but if you can’t be happy at $100,000 per year you won’t be happy with a $10 million net worth either. I’d say it’s more likely that the 1.6 million people just realized what makes them happy (free time, travel, pursuing other goals) and they don’t have to keep chasing numbers (and fancy cars) to feed their egos.
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Yeah I gotta side with Chad on this one. 1.6 million still leaves a LOT of options 😉 lol
    Danae
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Great list Brandon. #1 is our motivation. Have you read Lifeonaire? It is a great book that makes you think differently about your life goals and how close to them you might actually be. Love reading your blogs. Glad to see so many other Personal Finance Nerds standing proud.
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Hey Danae, I have not yet but it’s on my list! I need to move it up that list 🙂
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Hey Danae, I have not yet but it’s on my list! I need to move it up that list 🙂
    Bill Seib
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Great article, Brandon. Regarding the lack of financial education in public schools, you should be interested to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel—in Texas, at least. Texas has implemented a comprehensive Financial Literacy curriculum from kindergarten through twelfth grade as part of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) program, their (better) version of the “Common Core.” You can find detailed information on the program and what is taught at each grade level at the smartertexas.org web site. Under “Resources,” go to Language Arts and Personal Finance. Keep up the good work!
    Andre C
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Bill, Sorry but I do not think the Texas financial educations stuff if very good at all. More of the same stuff. At least from my paradigm. For instance on page 51 of the 12 grade material it teaches kids about how to “buy” stocks. I saw nothing about how to sell the stocks to the market. The idea that “the people” can compete with the likes of Chase, JP, Morgan and others is kinda crazy. These kids will be taught to get good grades, go to college, get a degree, get a job with benefits and a 401k and invest in stocks. And these kids will be slaves for the rest of their lives. The education system is rigged. Texas is doing really nothing new. The kids are still being taught how to be good slaves and work on the plantation. Nothing about how to be Financially Free.
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Interesting! It will be great to see how that plays out in their futures!
    James
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Great post Brandon. Not anything new but always good to take a step back and rethink about all the points you made. Point #1 is the goal pretty much, everything else filters through from that depending on one’s persona, goals, etc. I’ve never really admitted it but I’m really a PF nerd.
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Hah thanks James! Glad you are admitting it 😉
    Cody Bacon
    Replied about 6 years ago
    7 is great and very eye opening! 1 is really what it’s all about though. Thanks Brandon!
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Thanks so much Cody!
    Shaylene
    Replied about 6 years ago
    😀 I can FINALLY accept how great it is to be a Personal Finance Nerd and not be alone! I am so glad to be among like company. See you all at the Millionaire’s Club meeting someday!
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Seeya there Shaylene! 😉
    Maite
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Hello Brandon, Awesome post. Each time I get on bigger pockets my financial knowledge expends. This is what I learn from this post: be wise on how you utilize your money, educate yourself on how to grow it through bigger pockets, and have a clear vision of what you are trying to achieve. As we say in french “Bravo” Brandon.
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Thanks so much Maite! That is our goal on BP – so it means a lot to hear you say it! Thanks 🙂
    Brian O'Connor
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Very good article, Brandon. I also enjoy personal finance quite a bit and I’m glad to see you share these concepts with others. Compound interest is a very important concept to understand, so I’m always happy to see it get more attention. I completely agree with you on #1, financial freedom is the ultimate goal. Or at least the freedom to choose W-2 type jobs based on your personal interest and not on the paycheck. The only item that I would add is that there is a time value to money. Money in the future is not as valuable as it is now. An easy way to illustrate this is to look at the price of a soda or burger over the last few decades. Check out an old movie/TV show or find an old Sears catalog. The prices will make you laugh and give you a feeling of nostalgia. Therefore, since there is a time value to money, that’s why leaving money under a mattress or in a low interest savings account over the long term (let’s say 10 years or more) means you will lose buying power over time due to inflation. (That stinks, right?) So, our long term savings needs to be put into growth vehicles that, hopefully, outpace inflation without taking unnecessary risk; such as mutual funds, real estate, or your Uncle Tony’s restaurant or genius invention. (Kidding about Uncle Tony, of course.) Recently, I taught my brother personal finance by email, about 10 lessons in all. Roughly one lesson per week. Several of your items were on my “syllabus” in one way or the other. Although we don’t always get along, I love my brother and it’s the least that I could do. Let’s just hope that for once he listens to me! Keep up the good work, Brandon (and Josh). I enjoy the podcast, website, and blog quite a bit.
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    That’s great Brian! That’s really cool about the PF emails to your brother. Rock on! (And … are you saying I shouldn’t invest with Uncle Tony?) 🙂
    Rachael Collins
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Hey Brandon, I have been a PF nerd forever but didn’t know what to call myself until now! Excellent! Thanks for this great top ten- I am teaching my kids all of this (with some resistance from them) and hope they will use it wisely as they watch it work for us as they get older. As usual fantastic info!
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Rachael! That’s great you are teaching your kids. If only more parents did!
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Rachael! That’s great you are teaching your kids. If only more parents did!
    Emmanuel Odum
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Hi there, It truly is about the many wonderful freedom the money brings and not necessarily the money itself. I clearly remember the day such enlightenment came to me, was a super duper day. Great piece there chief. …with love from all the way in Accra, Ghana – West Africa. Biggerpockets.com ROCKS!!!!!
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Ghana eh? Wow! That’s awesome! Rock on 🙂
    Jennifer Kurtz
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Wow this is me all day! I love bragging about how well my 10 year old Malibu runs and about how I don’t remember what its like to have a car payment. Frugality is so liberating because ai haven’t wasted money on things that will waste my time and simultaneously make me feel guilty if I don’t use (like if I had the Cadillac package of satellite TV, or some other mind numbing activity to waste time AND money on!) I take pride in not being dragged down NY THINGS. I laugh at people who don’t have two dimes to rub together in an emergency but somehow manage to pull enough funds together for the new iPhone that will be obsolete in 6 months. Like Dawn said, that “someday” for home buyers will never happen because of this. I do agree that this is a shame that our education system doesn’t teach personal finance. This is something that usually only becomes so ingrained in us either by parents or out of realized necessity. I like to contribute to the world by educating others on the basics of budgeting and investing whenever possible. They are fundamentals that allow us to have control over our lives, so empower others when you’re in a position to! 🙂
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Thanks so much Jennifer! As you said ” I like to contribute to the world by educating others on the basics of budgeting and investing whenever possible.” I love it!
    Michelle
    Replied about 6 years ago
    I agree with the earlier comment about public education not doing a good job even if they do try to teach financial literacy. I spent much time undoing the work of the schools. My kids were taught in junior high that real estate was a bad investment and that you could never get the returns offered by the stock market. One of my daughters showed her teacher the facts, including the fact that her parents had more than tripled the returns of the stock market over the same time period by investing in real estate. His reply? Well, you don’t want to fix toilets, anyway. All three of my kids were forced to buy a bus pass during their mock financial session since they were not “allowed” to pay cash for a car. I am proud of them for refusing to finance a car. Shows I have taught them well. Two of my kids have graduated from college (debt free) and are driving their paid-for cars to their jobs and have purchased their own foreclosure house to live in and fix up. My advice: Don’t rely on the schools. Teach your own kids to be financial nerds. Great article!
    Galya
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Wow, Michele, thanks for the reply. Very informative since I need to teach my kids how to start thinking like myself. Any other tips you have to offer.
    Michelle
    Replied about 6 years ago
    If you invest, even little kids can learn from helping you work. For example, when my kids ranged from 4-10 years old, they had already observed and commented that people who got evicted spent a lot of money on cigarettes and carry-out food. (Their job was to pick up the trash left behind in apartments while their parents removed larger items like furniture and did repairs.) By age 10, they had learned which items were accepted at our local pawnshop for cash and they would keep money they found on the floor and items that they could sell at the pawnshop and divide the windfall among themselves at the end of the job. By age 12, they were allowed to participate in activities requiring tools. It is a gradual process where you have lots of time to discuss how the decisions that people make affect their lives. Nothing better than seeing it for themselves. When the kids were teenagers, they told me that they were grateful to be starting school in the fall since it was air-conditioned and less physical labor. They were excellent students and appreciated their education more than many of their peers.
    Galya
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Michelle, Thanks for the great tips.
    Galya
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Michelle, Thanks for the great tips.
    Rachael
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Galya, Involving your kids is absolutely the best way to help them learn. When you engage in tasks regarding finances, have your kids with you if you can. Meetings with bankers, realtors, and discussions about money in your household help them get comfortable with the ideas surrounding finances. Mine are 13 and 17 and they resist a bit, but less so than when I started roping them in. I would have loved to have been conscious of doing this when they were younger, but better late than never! I look forward to seeing them benefit from it when they are on their own.
    Galya
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Thank you for the reply. This is exactly what I try to do, even though they are a bit too young, I think, to get it (6 and 7). I take them to meetings, hardware stores and stuff like that. My problem is the family and the school. The family and the school are great ( everybody got a good job, very good school in very good district and such, nice cars and nice houses). But everyone else teaches them one path: school – good grades – job – 401K (get a good job and spend money on nice house and nice car) and my voice is one against 200 others.
    Chad Lautt
    Replied about 3 years ago
    Michelle, I admire how you have shaped your children’s understanding and use of money. We hope to do the same but more so next year being my daughter is only three. She is already helping point out to us issues (like broken windows and holes in walls) when we view investment properties and to announce “Property Manager” out loud before entering rental. 🙂 I can’t help but wonder if us (generally self taught) “PFNerds” are just hard wired that way in thinking and enjoy it or if it can actually be learned and applied??? I guess our daughter will be my test subject. lol
    Al Mastro
    Replied about 6 years ago
    #1 is the motto of my life. I am glad I learned this one in my early 20’s.
    Al Mastro
    Replied about 6 years ago
    #1 is the motto of my life. I am glad I learned this one in my early 20’s.
    Al Mastro
    Replied about 6 years ago
    #1 is the motto of my life. I am glad I learned this one in my early 20’s. Reply Report comment
    Krista
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Oh my word number 5. It’s probably the nerdiest thing I do, constantly assessing how much time any one loan will take to pay off, how much faster if we put X much more toward it. Now that we’re debt free that energy has been transferred to investments which is a little less obvious but still easy to obsess over.
    Mel
    Replied about 6 years ago
    #6 is awesome! I was actually interviewing someone yesterday for a YouTube video that we picked to be a sort of “off the streets” mentality but my co-host and I were super impressed at how pissed off he was that personal finance was never taught in school.
    Mel
    Replied about 6 years ago
    #6 is awesome! I was actually interviewing someone yesterday for a YouTube video that we picked to be a sort of “off the streets” mentality but my co-host and I were super impressed at how pissed off he was that personal finance was never taught in school.
    Galya
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Great article Brandon, my fav, I think. I like that on this site I can feel normal, and not like some weird creature with 3 heads ashamed to tell anyone how much does our family spend weekly/monthly/yearly and what my spending goals are. Or a person that enjoys seeing everything in huge tables, so it’s easier to track every penny. And I like the name too – PFN – cool. BTW, I was and still am a nerd.
    Jeromie
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Thanks for the travel mention! And what you call competitive frugality in #2, I like to call bargain bragging… Our latest? $20k trip for less than $1k! If only I could find real estate bargains like that…
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Anytime Jeromie! And I can’t wait to hear more about the 20k trip for 1k! We’ll need to link up next time I’m back in MN!
    Chad Carson
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Brandon, Love the article – content and format! Count me in for the financial nerd club. Is that officially your Seth Godin tribe now?:) Lol on #4. I guess my celebrities are investors and financial bloggers, because I didn’t even know Clooney was getting married. And #1 – no doubt. Freedom is the ultimate currency. Thanks for writing.
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Thanks so much, Chad! You didn’t watch the Clooney play by play on TV? WHAT? 🙂 Welcome to the club, sir! Glad to be in your tribe!
    Gianni
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Great article Brandon, as usual always providing great insight and actionable items. Number 1 is definitely on-point. IT should not be about the money…it’s about it can do to help you achieve freedom and do what you really care about
    Gianni
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Great article Brandon, as usual always providing great insight and actionable items. Number 1 is definitely on-point. IT should not be about the money…it’s about it can do to help you achieve freedom and do what you really care about Reply Report comment
    Nancy Rose
    Replied about 6 years ago
    I agree with you. Thank you very much for the information you provide also. For those of us proud of such shares. Thanks Brandon.
    Aaron Brown Rental Property Investor from Independence, MO
    Replied almost 6 years ago
    …Wow! I am a NERD! I can fully relate to everything on this list! Especially #1. What can I say, I am my father’s son! I credit him for teaching me these principles-delayed gratification, the power compounding interest, a penny saved is a penny earned, etc I’m in the process of reading through “the richest man in Babylon” for the 2nd time. Haven’t read the Millionaire next door yet, but it just came in the mail! Great concepts! I would add to this list personally for me: 1.1- The more money you make, the more you can give back in tithes and offerings. The more I have, the more I can give and be a blessing to others! –Part of what drives me!
    Todd Campbell Investor from Austell, Georgia
    Replied almost 6 years ago
    @Brandon Turner Absolutely Brandon! 100%! This is my motivation and my reason for pursuing real estate investing. I want my TIME and my FREEDOM back!! Spot on my man!!
    Jeff Hensel Lender from San Diego, CA
    Replied over 5 years ago
    As a self-proclaimed personal finance nerd, I approve of this article!
    Jaquetta Turner Real Estate Agent from Winston Salem, North Carolina
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Thanks for the post. In regard to #4, I love Wisebread.com. So much valuable information about saving money, making money, etc. Personal finance nerd signing in…lol
    John Horner Flipper/Rehabber from Columbus, OH
    Replied about 5 years ago
    #1 is perfect!
    John Thedford Hard Money Lender, Broker Associate, Investor from Naples, Florida
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Thanks for the excellent article Brandon!
    Thomas A. from Eagle River, Alaska
    Replied about 5 years ago
    I loved the article. I didn’t collect my stash from real estate, but I’m on a path to learn how to use it for the future when I quit my job of 27 years. The freedom allowed having enough money is the key element, it isn’t the cars and house. Good luck to all and happy investing.
    Mark Spidell from Glenwood Springs, Colorado
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Being a personal finance nerd can be lonely. It is nice to find others on BP. There is a big difference between being thrifty and being cheap. I find that many struggle with it, including myself from time to time. We must always be reminded of the old adage of pound foolish and penny wise. @Steve Gregory we should not save a few dollars sweating when then the opportunity cost of that time could yield must better long term results!
    Kayla Lyon from Oceanside, CA
    Replied over 4 years ago
    I love everything about this! Every time I read a good book or article on personal finance I tell my family to read it and learn about it and put it into practice to get out of the rat race… I think they think I’m crazy. Hopefully one day they see the light and figure it out!
    Hugues Armand-Delille Professional from Berlin, Berlin
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    Great post Brandon! thanks. I love the “Savers grow linear, investors grow exponentially.”
    Nancy Bachety Rental Property Investor from Sag Harbor, NY
    Replied about 3 years ago
    Did you attend this weekend’s fincon 17 too?
    Bas Land from Utrecht, Utrecht
    Replied about 3 years ago
    I am a personal finance nerd as well, and even clicked the link to tweet this quote! Awesome article Brandon.
    Chad Lautt
    Replied about 3 years ago
    From one Minnesotan to another your list was spot on…thanks bud for the fun read and reflection…makes me smile! 🙂
    Christopher Smith Real Estate Agent from Gulfport, MS
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    I know I’m late to this party but amazing article! I love how friends and family assume I only care about money when I talk about investing, RE, savings, etc…. I keep trying to explain I don’t care about money at all, I care about the power and freedom it provides me and my family… none of them understand that concept