Oh hey, it’s your yearly update on Nelson’s life. I try to keep these things to a minimum, unless something I’ve done is actually applicable to your life. I know blogs are supposed to be personal and all that, but in reality nobody cares about the minutiae of my life. You come here every day for concrete ideas on how to make money, and maybe stay for some of the unfunny jokes. That’s why I try to keep these updates to a minimum.
But hey, the cat’s out of the bag as of this very second, so I guess it’s time for another one.
When we last visited Nelson’s personal life, I had just sold my house and moved to Calgary. I was excited about life in the big city, and spending more time with the girl who writes Thursday’s blog posts. (That’s Vanessa, for the three of you unaware.) I was even excited for my chip guy career to maybe take the next step being in the city. I had a couple of casual conversations with my boss about moving into middle management. Things were looking up.
And then, they started to unravel a bit. I was only offered a relief driver route in the city, meaning I’d be on a different route every week. Hell, there wasn’t even a guarantee I’d be working in the city. It wasn’t the company’s fault, they just didn’t have anything permanent for me. I would have been the first one called to fill something permanent, but it still wasn’t what I was looking for.
So I quit.
I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to do with myself, so I took some time off and just relaxed. I was sitting on a whole bunch of cash from selling my house, and I have other sources of passive income – rental houses and dividends, along with some private mortgages I still hold. I wasn’t exactly about to starve. I don’t generally disclose much about my financial situation, but I am willing to say my net worth is more than a certain facial hair oriented blogger’s was when he retired, and he was younger than me when he left the workforce. Needless to say, I don’t really worry much about that stuff anymore.
After relaxing for a little while, I applied to be a part-time writer for Motley Fool. That went well, and soon my three articles a week turned into five. And then more. After just a couple of months, we agreed that I’d do enough to keep me busy on pretty much a full time basis.
So that’s what I do now. I write about stocks for a living.
When I was a young man, I really wanted to become a stockbroker. I thought being paid to talk about stocks all day would be pretty much heaven. Of course, we all know that stockbrokers spend 99% of their time convincing people to to buy stocks, not researching them. Once I realized the world of being a broker entailed cold calls and convincing people to give me their money, I quickly shied away from the profession. I’m a terrible salesman. It wouldn’t have been a good fit. I realized this after a terrible interview with Investor’s Group.
I resigned myself to a fate of eventually just managing my money for a living. This would be the way I’d be able to do my dream job, but on my own terms. And then this came along. It’s been pretty cool.
And as an added bonus, I can now work anywhere on the planet with an internet connection. Yes, I’ve become one of those guys. I kinda want to kick my own ass.
Once this became a reality, suddenly Calgary didn’t look like an attractive place to live any longer. The city is nice enough, but it’s so expensive to live here. Housing costs are probably double than my previous town. You have to drive forever to get anywhere. Driving across town takes damn near an hour. There’s nothing wrong with living here, but you can see how, uh, limiting it would seem after getting on with Motley Fool.
I wasn’t about to go anywhere without Vanessa, so we talked a little about it. She was unwilling to go where she couldn’t get a job, which limited things, but only slightly. After a few weeks of applications and interviews when I was sleeping, she found a job teaching English to South Korean businessmen. It allows her to finally use her degree and get a pretty decent salary once you factor in all the perks like free housing and lower Korean taxes.
So yeah. We’re moving to South Korea.
Vanessa’s contract starts in less than 60 days, and I’ll join her there at some point shortly after. I obviously plan to use some of my newfound freedom to explore some of South Korea’s neighbors, so if you’re in Japan and you see a really tall white guy, come over and say hi.
For me, there’s a window of a few years before it’s time to settle down and become domestic. It’s pretty much a now or never situation. I’ve focused my entire life on investing and increasing my net worth. It’s time to do something a little different.
Before any of you fill up the comment section with (perfectly legitimate) criticisms, allow me to say one thing. I realize this is a foolish financial decision. I think it’ll be fun and enlightening for me to experience life in another part of the world, but the fact remains that my net worth would be higher if I didn’t bother. This is the the kind of adventure you only take if you’ve got your financial crap together.
Things won’t change much around here. There might be a few funny anecdotes about weird Asian things, but that’s about it. Your regular talk about investing will continue tomorrow, and I’ll continue to write here on an almost daily basis. And I’m sorry, but I just can’t fit souvenirs for all of you in my bag. Looks like you all get nothing.