SILLY interview 1: with MustachianPost

Hi dear readers, welcome to my new unexpected (by myself), unscheduled and unplanned first episode of my new post series – that may die after just one episode – named SILLY Interviews!

Silly stays for Start Intentional Living your Life, YOLO! And it’s of course an acronym I just made up today to make a catchy and clickbait-ish post title πŸ˜€

This was supposed to be a one-off interview with my dear friend Mr MP (the anonymous blogger behind Mustachian Post blog), but it may become a regular thing if SILLYs show up for interview.

Who’s a SILLY? Someone who’s not living a life forced on them by society, friends, family, pets and so on, but living an intentional life. Intentionality (or Deliberateness) is gradually becoming my favorite keyword, along with Efficiency, Sustainability, Empathy and few others.

Of course all of you my FIRE Seeker friends are SILLY, we all know that. What we don’t know about other SILLYs is what is your unique way to be intentional. Are you fighting hard or it comes easy for you to be your ideal self? What’s your ideal life? Which steps have you already taken and what are missing? And so on.

If you want to be interviewed and appear on my blog, please reach me out πŸ™‚

But mind that: my SILLYness is being lazy. So write yourself some questions on the SILLY topic, give yourself some answers, send me an email with your Q/A, and then I’ll take a look and jump in the discussion, asking more questions and joking/mocking/provoking/making fun of you and myself πŸ™‚

Anyway, welcome to the first episode with Mustachian Post!

Q) MP, what a pleasure to have you here on RIP! Can you please introduce yourself?

Pleasure shared! Don’t know why we didn’t do that funny thing earlier.
So first, compared to you, I’m in my thirties πŸ˜€ I have two MP kids with my beloved MP wife.
We live in the Romandie side of Switzerland, somewhere near Lausanne and Yverdon-les-Bains.

Q) “compared to you, I’m in my thirties“… Ok, thanks for having participated to my first episode in this new series, it’s been a pleasure to… What? My lawyer says I’m contractually forced to keep this sheetty interview going? Contractually what?? I didn’t get a f***ing Rappen! Fire that damn lawyer!! Ok, commercials are ending in 3… 2… 1… I see, so you’re on the wrong side of the Rostigraben! Btw… Mustachian… Post… why “Mustachian?” What does it mean? Do you have mustaches?

Fancy name, right! I knew you loved it and were jealous to not find it before me ^^

You can’t have it all my dear! A salary almost 1.5x mine, and a cool blog name! (kidding, I just love yours actually)

So first, someone called a “Mustachian” for me is a person who wishes to reach financial freedom in order to pursue his own aspirations without having to depend on active work to live.

I even defined some guiding principles of this way of life:

  • Passive income rather than employed for life
  • Frugal rather than spendthrift
  • Minimalist rather than consumerist
  • Efficient rather than lazy
  • Critical thinker rather than conventional
  • Deliberate rather than unintentional
  • Lifelong learner rather than complacent

Q) Awesome! I love your values, they match incredibly with mine! Did I tell you that time when…


Q) What?

I have not finished answering your previous question yet…

Q) Oh, sorry! Please, go ahead πŸ™‚ … This annoying millennials, m**eu***r*, why did I accept this interview… What? The mic is off, right?

Second, why the heck “Mustachian Post” you wonder.

Well, I always had some weird fascination by the font of these “Washington Post” or “The New York Times” newspaper. That must be linked to passion for writing mixed with some old movies I saw when I was young.

I put together Mustachian and Post. And used a fancy font. And here we are.

So here you got the exclusive info of where my blog name came from!

And yeah I do have mustache. Or do I?! Judge by yourself, that’s my face:

Q) Sorry I can’t focus on your beard/mustache, I got captured by the green lingots πŸ˜€ Amazing blog name, btw! Let’s move on… Financial Freedom, I’ve heard about it! What are your plans?

Yeah, you know, this trendy thing that we even see coming in conservative Switzerland πŸ˜€

My plan is to retire by 40 years old. With the current numbers, we’re more leaning towards 45yo but I’m working on course correcting this (big news to be announced on the blog by the end of February β€” exclusively announced below, keep reading!).

Once we are free from working, I will personally focus on writing and enjoying Mother Nature. And we will travel. As we are in love with Canada, we may realize this dream of being 6 months there and 6 months in Switzerland. Or maybe we’ll choose more sun with Spain or Portugal. Or maybe… well, you know, we’ll have options and will have to figure this out. For sure I’ll never run out of blogpost ideas!

Q) Canada and Portugal? I thought we – the RIPs – were the crazy ones πŸ™‚ Where are you in your journey right now? What are your current metrics? Saving rate? Target? Net Worth (if you want to disclose)?

No worries I disclose all of our numbers on the blog.

Right now, I’m at CHF 370’000 of net worth. For the record, we started in 2014 with only 20-30kCHF or so.

Our savings rate for last year was 43%. Finally above the 40% mark (yeah I know, ridiculous compared to Mr. RIP family, but you know, we live with cheap Romandie salaries here :D).

About our target, it will depend if we stay in Switzerland or if we live abroad. Anyway, somewhere between 1.25MCHF and 2MCHF. Once we are in between, we will have enough options to call us FIREd (aka financially independent/early retired).

Q) Cheap! 2MCHF is the pocket money for my daughter πŸ˜€ Btw, congrats for your 40% saving rate, it’s a great achievemAHAHAH – Ok, seriously: I heard you wrote a book… holy crap, why the hell? in which language? Can I has Italian plz? Why didn’t you ask me to write a preface? Γ¨_Γ© (<— angry face)

Don’t make me more efficient than I am! I started to write a book. I’m in the process of it.

It should be released in French and English at least. For sure German will come in the same time or soon afterwards. Italian I still wonder… I mean, have you seen how many of you remain speaking this language in Switzerland… Joke aside, I think my blog will be translated one day into this language too. Then the book as well. Just not yet. Step by step.

About the preface, you’re on my top list! Exclusive news again. I may ask Pete from Mr Money Mustache, but he has no clue about our Swiss fondues and co. So you may be my second choice. I don’t know. Will see :DD

Q) Second in line after Pete A.? I feel heartbroken… Γ©_Γ¨ (<— sad face) What if I change my blog name to Mustachianism in Progress? Anyway, what is your book about?

Well, I always knew two things about our money: 1/ we would own our own home one day, and 2/ be rich in the sense that money would never be a problem again at each end of month (+ have comfy cash stashed). Wishful thinking you know.

When I was around 27, I browsed once again. But this day I went a bit deeper and computed how much we would really need with the mortgage downpayment and all. I realized this day that we had almost nothing in savings compared to the CHF 140’000 needed…

I felt helpless because I didn’t know where to start to save money.

I pictured myself in 10 years, still living in our rented apartment in Yverdon-les-Bains, with some slowly growing CHF 20’000 in bank. Still leaving almost paycheck to paycheck. My dream of being rich and home owner being far from reach. Maybe when I would be 60 or 65 years old.

I had one main problems: knowledge.

I decided to fix it.

First I started to use YNAB, and read The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss (clickbait-title but still some relevant stuff and I respect his work). These two things by ricochet effect led me to discover the Financial Independence movement. Now I knew where to find the real knowledge, that is on the many US-based blogs talking about the exact topic I was searching for years.

I then faced a second problem: I was overwhelmed by a tons of cool articles, but all were full of financial jargon that I had no clue about. Over time (months or even years), I managed to get into it.

But I quickly realized that US-based know-how was not easy to apply in Switzerland, with its own financial rules. Which is why I started my own blog: Financial Independence for the Swiss people. I’m proud of what I documented since 2014. But many new readers still find it hard to have to browse through dozens of articles, and then put them in the right order.

Hence this book I’m writing.

My goal is to write what I wished I’ve found when I was in my twenties, when I was looking to become rich.

It will be a recipe with the A-Z steps to stop working at 40 (or even at 35, I’m still hesitating on the title), the Swiss way. No jargon, no complex financial blablabla, only real stuff that is applicable by anyone in their everyday life.

If your readers (you’re too old yourself anyway!!) wanna get notified as soon as it gets out (around Q4 2019), they can subscribe here (and view a sneak peek of the table of contents).

Q) Yeah, I’m too old for “Early Retirement”. I will probably not even make it to Q4 2019… Thank you for making me sad! But I’m young inside! And very creative πŸ™‚ I have at least 3-4 book ideas but I can’t find time to write them down. Tell me more about your writing process for the book? Do you enjoy it? What about the editing process? The publishing one?

About the writing process, it’s quite simple: 1h focused every single day, in the morning ideally to have the most brain energy. No excuse. Every single day.

Editing and publishing I’m still figuring things out. How? By getting in touch with authors which did it already. Not too big authors though, just ones that are 1 or 2 levels above me (you know, this kind of mentor thingy where you choose accessible but a bit farther than you are).

But the key thing is actually to choose your idea properly. For this I used some startup techniques by first interviewing people on their real problems.

I also plan to run some small-group workshop to test each chapter of the book. Can’t wait as I learn as much as participants usually in this kind of stuff!

Q) Count me in πŸ™‚ Ok, about the book… I took a look at the ToC and I wanted to ask… wait, before anything else, why didn’t you send me a copy so that I can review it èé? Or at least I could have asked better questions if I read the book éè?

In the process. Not done. If only you did read my emails early morning and not late thing at night after Baby RIP got to sleep, you’d remember! πŸ˜€

Q) See? Told you I’m too old for… what were we talking about? Oh yeah, your book. Jokes apart, let’s dig into the chapters! Intro: “Fuck You day“… do you still believe in a single “FU day”? Work work work, cut the finish line and then FU?

Very good question (yeah, you know this but some pat on the back never hurt!)

I’d say between 2014 and 2018, I did believe in single FU day.

Last year, I made quite some life changes to already feel like FI. I mean, have a job that exceed my expectations from life. Take a break to go snowboarding in the middle of the week for instance.

But still, I couldn’t quit my job today if I wanted to. You know, to go travel the world for 6 months or something like this.

So I’d say a mix of leanYOLO + FU day.

Q) YOLO! You’re SILLY bro! Another chapter: Earn, Save, Invest… ESI… I’ve seen that many times. Which of the three you consider to be more important?

Indeed this is pretty common for us, FIRE nerds.

But it’s not for the remaining 95% of the Swiss population which has no clue about all these things. Not to mention 1/3 of Swiss people who don’t even have savings at all. So yes, this book is for people in their 20-30 that need a fast-track education to get rich.

To answer your question: you can’t invest if you don’t save what you earn. Also, you can earn all what you want but if you don’t know how to save, it’s useless. So I would say the critical points I tackle in the book are saving and investing. That’s where I see the most lever effect.

Q) “Work not required after 40 years old”… wanna fight? Γ¨_Γ©

As said above, I may change the title to “after 35”. So yeah, the book isn’t for you πŸ˜€

How I explain this: if you get educated about this very early on, you can start your life by always saving 53% of any income you make.

Based on math, you get retired at 35 years old.


Q) I read in Table of Content a chapter named “Coping with naysayers”… what’s your cookbook for them? Btw, it’s impossible to retire early in Switzerland, trust me πŸ˜‰ Even without kids, you’re doomed!

I just want to give weapons for people who think they can do it. So that they keep their dream alive. Because so many other people will bother them and say so many truths that are only valid for their mediocre lives. Been there done that.

About “Btw, it’s impossible to retire early in Switzerland, trust me πŸ˜‰“: I will probably launch a second project in 2019 about it. I went to an independent financial advisor in order to back up my excel computations. I mean with real math formula based on Swiss rules. And I tell you, it’s possible. Can’t wait you to see the first iteration. I promise you’ll be the first to see it πŸ™‚

Q) Let’s talk about money: earning. What do you do (if can be shared)?

We currently make around CHF 12’350 per month (net, before taxes).

Q) Not bad! What are your top 3 not obvious tricks to increase your earnings in Switzerland?

Find a job where the earnings are indirect. For instance some companies have 2nd pillars arrangements that are making you win a lot more money, indirectly that is.

Another one I can mention: daycare. That’s a trend I see where companies either offer daycare service, or even better, pay for it.

Last, and this one takes more effort but we’re Mustachians, aren’t we? Be an investigator. Analyze your company like a scientific problem. Spot the delta between where it is and where the boss wish it was. And then study all what it needs to be the solution. Guess who will get raises every 6 months afterwards?! (I will detail this strategy in more details in my book because that’s the most effective one on the long run).

Q) “Guess who will get raises“… Me? No the “Moore’s law of RIP salary” doesn’t work anymore! Loved the “be an investigator” answer though. Let’s move on, Spending: what are you proud of when you look at your monthly expenses? Because you track them, don’t you?

Yeah obviously I track them. YNAB all the way if you wanna go from 25kCHF to 370kCHF in 5 years. I’m the living proof it’s possible!

So, the one I’m mostly proud of… there is this Swiss telecom trick we use to pay “only” CHF 110 for internet at home + 2 mobile abos with everything unlimited.

Else, I would mention expenses we don’t have actually: no spendings on clothes since 1-2 years for me, no manly-fancy-car in front of my home (Toyota Prius FTW). No eating out except for the exceptional events. No useless insurance nor fear-based medical over-coverage.

Q) Oh, the tricks for the Swiss… “no above 100 CHF wine for a week, no 5 stars hotel for a month“, so cute! <3 You know I don’t have a car since 2008, right? About your spending, what are you NOT proud of? Where can you improve?

Groceries. Although with a recent article, I start to feel better about it as we will be below CHF 3 per meal per person. That’s a start. Before my achiever mindset tells me that CHF 2 or CHF 1 should be the new normal πŸ˜€

By the way, if you have any Italian cheap-but-tasty meal in this range, please shoot the recipe!

Q) Hahaha you should eat my RIP-Pizza with smuggled ingredients from Italy then πŸ˜€ – About good spending: what’s your splurge? For what do you NOT feel guilty spending money?

Time with family and friends.

We use our car quite often for this. To hike in the nearby mountains. Or to visit relatives abroad.

I’m completely at ease compared to 5 years ago with this now that we get closer to our 40-50% savings rate goal. We have pleasure in spending on things that add true value to our life. And relationships with family and friends are one of these sources of true happiness (I read studies about it from various sources β€” including studying my own life where I can actually feel it).

Q) “true happiness, true value to our life“… aaah, you’re sooo millennial! When you’ll have kids everything is gonna change!

RIP, did you forget to take your pills? I have 2 kids…

Q) What did you say? Sorry, my acoustic implant is low on battery. Let’s move on! Investing: are you a rental guy or an index investing one? Or a mix? or a lifestyle designer? Or a YOLO? Or a leanFIREist? Or whatever else?

Since I started my journey, we went all-in with index investing. Very lean, with a Boglehead-style 3 funds portfolio via one of the cheapest brokers β€” that is Interactive Brokers. Thanks again to you btw: you did show me the way for it some years ago. I’m grateful for this.

So that was the situation until last mid-January 2019.

As we are in exclusive-news-spirit for your blog: we did sign for a rental building!!!!!!!!

Why the heck you may ask? Because we want to course correct this graph that will bring back the FU day from 45yo to 40yo. There is no way I will fail at that objective. And rental investing with its 15-20% yield will help us there!

As you know me with my lengthy detailed series, I will write one dedicated on this topic. So excited!!!

Q) You’re in the Rental business?? Holy crap, that’s a huge switch! Congrats, but also… 15-20%? I feel greed at play here… Listen to an old man, there’s no 15-20% guaranteed yield. More: there’s no expected 15-20% return anywhere in the world! Back to the book: which chapter are you expecting to be most proud of? Which one do you think you’re going to rewrite?

The one chapter I’m the most proud of is the “Investing” one. Because I want to make a 20yo fearless to go invest on the stock market. No jargon. No bullshit. No lengthy theory (just the minimum required to backup my sayings). Only actionable stuff.

The other one (because you didn’t ask for it) is the big 3 savings. When I hear and discuss with people around me, that’s where I see tremendous saving opportunities.

Rewrite? Are you kidding me? If I edit, and then you proofread, I hope we don’t need to rewrite any of this. That will be an art piece, I tell you! πŸ˜€

Q) It will be a masterpiece after the magic (cold?) touch of Mr RIP, 15-20% improvements guaranteed! Who/what inspired you while writing the book?

Myself. That can sound selfish but it isn’t. I can still picture myself in my early twenties, looking for small jobs paying CHF 15 per hour in parallel of my studies, in order to build wealth.

And then, once I got my first job, doing all these mistakes of buying a too expensive first car, signing for a 3a pillar tied to a life insurance. And worst of all, thinking I would become rich like this, by miracle, but doing nothing about it. Wishful thinking…

I write the book for this guy I was back then. Hoping it will shorten his path to wisdom by at least a decade. Making him rich and financially free by 35. Man I would be so happy to see that I achieved that in 15 years!

Q) That’s amazing dear… Marc Pittet? Is that your real name?

Nope! Like Rico Pelli isn’t yours!

Q) A-ha! Now I remember! You were called Marc Pittet on that Tages-Anzeiger article! So you blog anonymously, like me. Well, my anonymity is kind of a joke: I’m more famous at Hooli for my blog than for my engineering skills… What about you? Can you keep your anonymity going? Are you afraid someone can find your identity? What do you do to prevent it?

Yes I do keep my anonymity and so far it has worked quite well. I had to refuse so many Swiss TV and radio interviews to keep under the radar. But that’s very important to me.

I’m afraid about identity recognition mostly because of my kids atm. I don’t want them to be tagged as “son of rich” or so. Also, money gets so emotional for some people that it could hurt some relationships with family and/or friends.

One could say he doesn’t care. I actually do because I don’t wanna impose my belief on others. And I don’t want my money to change how people behave with me (because unfortunately money has this power).

Q) Dear MP, it’s been a pleasure to have you been here as a SILLY guest! I wish you good luck with the book, for which I demand regular updates πŸ™‚

RIP, pleasure is mine!

Thanks for having hosted me here.

See you soon

Q) Oooh, it’s fing over, finally. I couldn’t have pretended I liked that guy a minute more. Jennifer, tell my driver I’m taking the Tesla today, coz the Lamborghini is fing broken. Sarah, which Michelin starred restaurants are we trying today? What? The mic is still on?? Holy crap…Β 

Yes, it’s still on πŸ™‚

Q) Shit…


  1. Haha! Really nice interview! Very funny and silly! I really like the format!

    If you want to do one more like this, count me in! I doubt I can be as silly as that, but I can give it a try πŸ˜‰

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment Spam Blocking by WP-SpamShield