Hi RIP readers,
This week I didn’t write a new article because I’ve been focusing on a static pages redesign for my blog. The redesign is not completed yet but I’ve already made quite some changes, and I wanted to share them with you 🙂
Before we continue: this is a meta / blogging post. Maybe it’s not very interesting to you (or for you?). If you’re for the money/investing/struggle/journal posts, I warn you that this won’t be a helpful post for you (or to you?). See ya.
Someone noticed that the RIP Homepage changed. It used to show all the post excerpts in reverse chronological order, like many blogs do, but I’ve replaced it with a static page containing links to other sections of the blog.
[Note: A “static page” (which is not very static in WordPress btw) is a page which is supposed to not be a blog entry. It’s not showing up in the feeds and it’s usually presented in one of the menus like an About page, a Start Here page, a Contact page and so on.]
The rationale behind this change is that I wanted to have a way for new readers to find useful information quickly. My blog is an “ongoing inner dialogue”. The complexity of my thoughts is probably only followable by long time readers. I love that, but what about someone who discovers my blog today?
Let’s make an example. Since I quit Hooli I’ve met many new friends, and the dialogue goes like this:
NewFriend: “Wow cool! You quit Hooli! What are you doing now?”
RIP: “I’m relaxing a bit, and spending time with my family 🙂 ”
NF: (a bit worried) “Uh… don’t you plan to go back to work? You know… life in Switzerland is pretty expensive… And aren’t you getting bored without a job?”
RIP: “Well, after 7.5 years at Hooli I don’t have a rush to go back to work. At least not for the money. We try to live frugally, and I saved quite a lot of money 🙂 ” <– famous RIP-Joker grin
NF: “Congrats! Well, yeah, I understand. 7.5 years of Hooli salary, makes sense.”
RIP: “Btw, I don’t get bored at all. Maybe I’ll go back to work someday (someday = in September), but you know what? Today I feel busier than ever! I’m working on my side passions these days, when family duties give me a break. I’m passionate about Personal Finance and Investing 🙂 ” <– a warm smile
NF: “Really?? We need to talk! I know nothing about investing. OMG I would love to know more! I have some money I’d like to invest but I don’t know how… my bank is calling me to buy their funds! Should I buy Fund X of Bank Y? I have no idea!”
RIP: “Calm, relax. First: don’t buy your bank funds. Second, it’s more complicated than that. You should ask yourself what are your goals, your risk aversion, your time frame, your current situation (income, spending, savings, net worth)… I mean, you need to put some effort. Don’t delegate. I’m happy to help you, but I prefer to help with your learning journey instead of giving you cold advices 😉 ” <– RIP knows stuff
NF: “But I don’t have much time, and I don’t really understand finance and math. It’s too complicated!”
RIP: “It’s not that complicated, really. Of course there are many nuances, and if you want to dig deeper it gets as complicated as you want, in the end it’s just human psychology. But the low hanging fruits are really good and really low hanging. You can get 96% of the benefits with 4% of the effort, it’s a Pareto Squared field 🙂 ” <– geeky laugh, aware that the joke won’t be understood
NF: “Pareto what? O_o” <– Told you!
RIP: “Oh, it’s just a nerd joke, never mind. What I mean is that learning the basics of financial literacy is not that hard, and it makes you way less vulnerable. And don’t say you don’t have time. If you put 50 hours of work toward financial literacy I’d bet the lifetime impact would be in the order of several hundreds of thousands CHF at least, given your current profession and 30 years of career ahead of you. It’s like 5-10k per hour. You can’t not have time for that!”
NF: “Uh, I didn’t realized that… anyway, a friend of mine told me to buy Bitcoins. He made 100k in a month a couple of years ago. Did you find something similar? Or maybe I should buy Bitcoin?”
RIP: “No, my plan is not to find the winning lottery ticket. It’s about good financial habits, and a boring, slow journey toward wealth creation. Run away from get-rich-quick promises. And yeah, your friend had a great 2017. How is he doing today? 🙂 ” <– yes, this one was sarcastic 🙂 <– no, this one was not
NF: “I don’t know, I haven’t heard from him since a couple of years”
RIP: “I bet it’s more or less “A couple of years, five months and twenty seven days” (^_^) ” <– yeah, he wouldn’t understand, I know
NF: “How do you… O_o… btw, how can I learn more about investing? Do you have a book to recommend? Something to watch, read, or listen to?”
RIP: “I actually write on a blog about this topic. Well, not only investing, it’s much more. I also link to a lot of relevant external resources. (͡ ° ͜ʖ ͡ °) ” <– this asciimoji thing is getting out of hand
NF: “Awesome! I’d love to read your blog! Can you share it with me?”
RIP: “Yeah, sure. it’s called Retire In Progress. You’ll see that I blog under a pseudonym. I’m extremely transparent with my finances, my investment decisions, my life struggles. So I chose to keep my real identity a bit hidden. Well, not that much as you can see. Mind that it’s a very long form writing style. And… (ㆆ_ㆆ) ” <– yeah, this is when I realize that a new reader on my blog would find little value without further guidance.
I’m perfectly fine with sharing my blog with people I know personally, even if I don’t know them deeply. But I’d love to have a way to send new readers to specific paths according to their needs.
The old homepage contained excerpts of latest posts. I love my most recent posts, of course, they are at the cutting edge of my financial awakening.
But how could a new reader who knows nothing about investing benefit from them?
The reader who makes me the happiest is the reader who discovered my blog by pure chance, by randomly browsing the web, by following a rabbit hole, by being a Mustachian. Those readers devour my posts and write me a long, warm, detailed thank you email! Then we chat, maybe meet, maybe become friends, maybe start a mastermind group. And that’s what I love the most about my blog: the profound connections I’m creating with like minded people!
But I don’t want this blog to become a ghetto of financial nerds. The more I learn about finance and myself, talk about finance with friends, discover financial sharks who steal money from financially vulnerable people, and the more I want to make my blog a go-to place to get your personal finance seatbelt. To provide free personal finance education. Free as in free beer!
Making a static homepage is the first step in that direction. So far it points to other static sections of the blog, and to the Blog Page itself, the one with the articles feed. I’ve an ideal “site map” in mind, with top level pages and many layers below them. More changes are coming, stay tuned.
We can safely say that Retire In Progress is Work In Progress at the moment.
Which is fun because my career is also in a similar undefined “In Progress” state 🙂
Please allow me to show you what I’ve done so far:
The top level pages are five so far:
There are few more to come: one about Switzerland, another one about Monetization for sure, another one for the new project I’m going to announce at the end of this post, and maybe one or two more. I would like to not clutter the main menu too much, which is already hard to manage from mobile.
Side note: this is not a blog for mobile only readers. I don’t want you to scroll my 10k words post while taking a dump or commuting to work (in your living room). Take your time and be in front of a decent monitor at least 24″ wide. I’m optimizing this website for desktop experience. Sorry GenYs or GenZs readers, I’m getting old and grumpy.
Welcome Page is the new Homepage. I moved the “Start Here” page, previously called “FIRE F.A.Q.” and now called “FIRE Dialogue” below the welcome page. I might move pages around a bit in the near future. The idea is that the Welcome Menu should be the entry point for new readers who don’t have enough familiarity with Personal Finance, Investing, FIRE, and so on.
Under the Blog Page (which is the the old homepage, the articles feed) you’ll find a lot of sub pages for blogging categories. I’ll write a page for each interesting aspect of my blog (more or less a page for each block in the Binge Reading page). Each page will have a summary for that category and maybe a way to navigate you thru the most relevant posts for that category. So if you only care about investing, there will be a dedicated page with some context and pointers to relevant articles.
For now, the Blog Menu only contains the old Binge Reading page.
The old “external resources” page sucked a lot. It was unmaintained since years. I wanted to clean it and make it more useful. I actually wanted to add a lot more stuff here, and make this page the entry point for my Learning, Curiosity and Rabbit Holes. So I created a new main External Resources Page (still WIP) which contains pointers to the other pages in the External Resources Section of my blog. This is the section where I’ve put most effort during this week.
I compiled this enormous list of external blogs I follow, books I’ve read, podcasts I listen to, YouTube channels I follow, tools I use. I’ve created a page for each category, and wrote a mini review for (almost) each resource. A lot of work.
Take a look at the Blogs I follow. The list is so huge that I had to pub a table of content on top. I’m not bragging, this is actually the admission of my addiction. (´･_･`) <– same here
Here’s a list of Books that “shaped who I am today”. I wrote this page without the intention to tell a story, but in the end it became a trip through my chronological reading history, character building, and FIRE Epiphany. Read the “mini reviews” in the order they are presented to you, at least the Personal Finance and Personal Growth sections, and you’ll walk my growth path from broke teenager to rich old fart.
The Online Communities page tells you which forum, subreddit, social media or other communities I’m somehow active in. If you’re more into video/audio, then you want to visit my YouTube Channels and Podcasts pages.
Finally, a set of Tools I use, including banks, credit cards, brokerage accounts, personal knowledge management systems and more. Where an affiliate link is present, it’s clearly shown next to the link. And once again, the affiliation is not the reason why the link is there: it’s because I use the product, love it, and I’d recommend it for free anyway.
I’ve got many requests to add new resources to my external resources page in the past. Let me clarify once and for all, even though I know those who need to read this won’t: I don’t accept money to add your link here. This is a list written by my heart. If you want your blog/tool/service to appear here, develop an awesome service that would be of use to me and my readers, and I’ll probably discover it on my own, without you sending me a cold email doomed to be marked as spam 😉
Holy crap how much work, and it’s not done yet.
I plan to add my Learning Projects, and my Learning Journal. And maybe a page like Indeedably’s “I read”, which is the best way I’ve found to track and share what I’ve recently let my curiosity wander on.
Please take a look at the new about pages, and also at the new Press Page, i.e. where RIP has been mentioned / interviewed / hosted as a guest.
The final top level page, for now, is the Italia Page.
I’m putting here information in Italian language about who I am and what I write about on this blog, for Italian readers (which are growing in number).
I’ve also added in the Italia Page the few interviews I did in Italian language, and a couple of relevant posts to the Italian personal finance community. I’ll keep adding here all the relevant content that I’ll produce for my Italian audience.
I’ll also add sub pages soon-ish as well. I’m now digging deeper into Italian Financial Sharks, i.e. financial entities who want to abuse of average Mario’s financial illiteracy, and take all of your money. I think I’ll keep writing in English, but I’ll collect these resources in a Shark Prevention Page under Italia Menu. I might also decide to write reviews of Italian-specific or Italian-first financial tools like MoneyFarm, Fineco ETF Replay, and more.
What’s next? Well, I have to write the many “Category pages” under Blog Menu, the entire Monetization section (a manifesto, and the few ways you can offer me a beer), the Learning section under External Resources Menu, the Switzerland top level page (with Swiss guides), maybe a Now Page…
“First, stop with these asciimoji, please, you’re 43 years old”
“Second, what was the ‘new project’ you were talking about at the beginning of this useless post?”
Oh right! Sure!
I have hard time sending people to the right entry point (not necessary on my blog) where to get the easiest to consume, and the more complete guide to “money, personal finance, FIRE, investing, philosophy, and meaning of life“. I don’t think there’s anything that I’d tell a personal finance beginner “Take this, it’s all you need”.
The closest resource I can think of is the book “Your Money or Your Life“, which is very good for financial awareness and financial integrity. Not good for investing. Or the entire MMM Blog, or my favorite LivingAFi blog, but they’re too FIRE oriented, and not good enough on personal finance for beginners. And too US-centric.
I want to guide the NewFriend we met at the beginning of this post thru a comfortable journey into my overall money (life?) philosophy, without requiring an act of faith or trust. I want to build a Personal Finance guide. Something like Personal Finance from First Principles.
An End to End guide from “I know nothing about money” to “I know how to issue a limit order on my brokerage account to buy shares of a high quality and low cost security that best fits my asset allocation and my risk tolerance for the financial goals I have set”
A guide that covers everything:
from the hows:
- how to build a net worth spreadsheet.
- how to track expenses.
- how improve your earnings.
- how to cut your expenses.
- how to invest.
- how to make personal finance forecasts / your own retirement calculator.
- how to pick an asset to investing in.
- how to judge an investment offer.
- how to actually buy and sell an asset.
To the whys and whats:
- what are your current struggles? what do you want to improve? why?
- what are your goals? why?
- what’s important to you? why?
- why work? why not work? why save?
- what are your passions? what would you do if money weren’t an issue?
I know, it won’t be a small guide. But I want it to be as complete as possible and as lean as possible. It will be a nice challenge.
This idea has been forming in my mind since several months. And I know I need to act now and not let it go away. This is important to me. I’m realizing that I’d love to be remembered for my personal finance education effort. I want to help those who are more vulnerable. Financial Sharks are everywhere, and a lot is at stake: your hard earned money!
The new Italian Financial Shark I’m investigating these days aggressively sells a similar – but I’d bet inferior – product for 1500 EUR, which is the entry level product on his website. He can also sell a Gold upgrade at 80 EUR/month, and a couple of packages for stock picking at 2-3k per year! I’m shocked by his aggressive marketing strategy, the closeness of his approach, his online rudeness and bullying attitude, and the fucking huge price tag he puts on “common knowledge“.
That’s why I’m going to develop a better product, and give it away here for free.
This guide, who hasn’t a name yet (suggestions? Few Ideas: Money End to End, Money Coast to Coast, Personal Finance 101, First Principle Personal Finance, RIP Money Guide…), is going to sit into a static section of this blog. Like the Humble Dollar Money Guide, which is very good, but too US-centric and not introductive and philosophical enough for me 🙂
I will also produce a ebook, I guess. I’d make it available for free for sure, but maybe if I want to put it on Kindle Store I need to charge minimum price. We’ll see.
The goal is to complete Version 1.0 before I’m back to work, on September 1st.
Let’s see if I’ll make it 🙂
Any feedback? Would such a guide be useful? Is there anything similar around that would make my effort wasted? I’m here to have my idea challenged – as always 🙂
“Awesome! I’m looking forward to reading the guide!”
Yeah, I know, it is awesome! I am awesome! (⌐■_■)
“RIP… stop, please”
( ͝° ͜ʖ͡°)=ε/̵͇̿̿/’̿’̿ ̿
Have a nice day!