The FIRE Insights Survey
Welcome to the sixth FIRE Insights Survey!
The last survey in December was really fun to put together and for Q1, we received our most responses ever!
The goal of the survey is to measure interest/blogger sentiment in various asset classes over time, highlight great content, and source advice/recommendations for our community of readers.
This month, I sourced 350+ of the best Personal Finance Content Creators (Bloggers, Podcasters, Youtubers, etc.) and sent out the survey.
A special thanks to Mr. Chaos from Cutting Through Chaos for helping to edit and test out the survey again this month!
If you are a PF content creator and would like to participate in future FIRE Insights Surveys, please sign up here.
Section 1 – Starter Questions
How are you feeling about the recent stock market volatility?
31.5% are excited that stocks are on Sale, and only 5.6% are feeling Anxious.
But impressively, 59.26% of our survey respondents reported back that they feel “Meh” about the stock market volatility.
Bravo to all of us who answered “Meh.” Perhaps “Relaxed” or “Doesn’t matter” would have been better responses, but I think in all of these cases, the sentiment is the same.
Chrissy @ Eat Sleep Breathe FI says that she has “Mixed feelings—I’ve trained myself not to pay attention. But now that we’re retired, I’m a little more attached to how the markets are doing.”
Meanwhile, LadyFIRE @ Money Savvy Ladies captures the majority when she says “Keep calm and carry on”
Volatility is expected and perfectly normal, especially with everything going on in the world right now.
How many income streams do you have? (via Adam @ Blind Luck Project)
I was interested in seeing the responses back here. I now have two income streams, but a majority of my career, I really only had one.
Overall, this was split fairly evenly, but 5+ income streams was the slight winner with 27.8%. Incredible!
Only 9.3% have only one income stream, though this is expected with this group since a majority of PFers will be monetizing their blog, YouTube channel, Twitter profile, etc.
What do you think is a primary characteristic of a great investor?
This one was a tough one, because the truth is that great investors will likely have many of these traits. But I was curious to see what people would pick if they had to pick one.
Turns out that Consistency was ranked #1, with Patience #2, and Discipline #3.
Well dang, if you take those top 3, you are pretty much describing any of the all-time great investors. And the cool part, is that any of us can be great investors if we can do those three things!
Are you bullish, neutral, or bearish on the economy?
While the majority at 50% remains neutral similar to the last survey in November/December, 33.3% still remain Bullish on the economy even despite recent market volatility. The Bearish crew ticked up ever so slightly from 11.4% to 16.7%.
Overall, you can see the downward trend continue from the fall. Let’s hope that we can reverse this trend by summer…
Section 2 – Features of the Month
What did you think was the best piece of FI/FIRE content of the month (that was not yours)?
- Mr. Chaos @ Cutting Through Chaos called out Damian @ Banker on FIRE’s A Better Way To FIRE – I agree a really great article and very eye opening.
- Jesse @ The Best Interest shares a timely article from Joe @ Behavioural Investment’s Most Investors Should Ignore the Risk of Major Macro Events
- Both Vicky @ Saving Advice and Jess & Corey @ The Fioneers enjoyed Money Flamingo’s Delayed Gratification vs Delayed Happiness – Are you Lying to Yourself?
- Ms. FOGA @ From One Geek to Another shared Mini-Retirement: Taking a Sabbatical before reaching FIRE by Laura @ Women’s Personal Finance
- Linda @ The Cents of Money liked The Four Seasons of Life After Work by Steve @ Slightly Early Retirement
- Piggy @ Bitches Get Ritches sent over Tanja @ Our Next Life’s We Think About Risk All Wrong // How Riding a Bike Almost Ruined Everything
- John Stoj @ Verbatim Financial shared: The Diversification Myth of Alternative Investments: How Illiquidity is Mistaken for Low Correlation from Jon Luskin (I especially enjoyed the volatility portion)
- Impersonal Finances loved Ben @ A Wealth of Common Sense’s Investor Psychology During a Sell-Off
- Sean @ Fight FIRE with FIRE liked Mr. Money Mustache’s Inflation – Should We Be Worried?
- Steve @ The Frugal Expat shared over Be an Owner by Bob @ Tawcan
- Money Flamingo enjoyed Aussie Firebug’s 10 Lessons I’ve Learned from 10 Years Pursuing Financial Independence
- Mark @ My Own Advisor sharing the always great analysis from ERN with Retirement in a High-Inflation Environment – SWR Series Part 51
- Adam @ Blind Luck Project liked David @ Filled with Money’s excellent Anatomy of a Bare Bones Budget
- LadyFIRE @ Money Savvy Ladies enjoyed the always great articles from David @ Raptitude Everything Must Be Paid for Twice
- BuLL @ Budget Life List enjoyed Frogdancer Jones’ @ Burning Desire for FIRE’s Great success is always the sum of many small decisions
- Amy @ Women Who Money shared Retire Before Dad’s With FIRE in My Hands
- And last, but not least, Lawrence @ The Neighborhood Finance Guy shared The “Self-Made” Millionaire Myth and How to Build Generational Wealth ft. Steven Stack:
What is one thing about personal finance that you wish you knew 10 years ago?
We just didn’t know!
- “I wish I would have been more diligent and taken some risk in investing” – Andrea @ Saving Joyfully
- Tom @ Maple Money – “Cryptocurrency and the blockchain will have a real purpose. Buy all the Bitcoin you can now while it’s under $5.00!” – I know right?!
- Alan Donegan gives it to us real – “It is a slow build. Do what you can and then relax and enjoy the journey moither fucker!”
- Joel @ 5am Joel – “I didn’t know what a Roth IRA was 10 years ago. I wish I started earlier with a Roth.”
- “It’s a lot easier to earn an income working for someone else.” – John @ Verbatim Financial
- “Dividend growth investing works” – Dividend Power
- “Consistent steps forward, even small ones, are one of the most powerful vehicles of long-term progress.” – Sam @ Smarter and Harder
- “It’s not as hard as you think.” – Chrissy @ Eat Sleep Breathe FI
- Steve @ The Frugal Expat – “I wish I had known about house hacking. 10 years ago, I had moved into a house in which the owner was house hacking. As the tenant of one of the rooms I helped pay for the mortgage on the house. Eventually, I moved out and found flatmates for my next apartment. Housing was cheap then. I could have bought a place and house hacked. It was not something I realized or even knew about.”
- “That the finance industry is solely focused on generating profits, not on helping individuals.” – Olaf @ Mile High Finance Guy
- “That I could’ve opened a roth IRA in my teens” – Sam & John @ How to FIRE
- “How to pay for college without student loans.” – Joseph @ Hadaway Finance
- Vicky from @ Saving Advice – “Having savings is more important than having stuff.”
- “I wish I knew that everyone’s personal finance journey is different. It’s not the same for everyone.” – Jamila @ Jamila’s Two Cents
- “Start investing now!” – Impersonal Finances
- BuLL @ Budget Life List “Start investing, right now. Don’t wait until you have all the answers, perfect pay, or the dream job, for the love all things compounding, just start.”
- “That it’s always the best time to invest” – Dads and Dollar$
- “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” – Zach @ Pineapple Money
- “The money that you invest in your 20s has a far greater impact than the money you invest in your 30s.” – LadyFIRE
- Littlejimster @ Setting the UK On FIRE “To start investing young! I started 3 years ago at age 37!!”
- Adam @ Wallet Squirrel – “Stop wasting time and save now, you do not get that time back.”
- “Start early and invest often” – Bear Money
- Land Shark – “The importance of starting early”
- “The power of investing when you’re young and how to do it.” – Evelyn @ Better on a Budget
- Lawrence @ The Neighborhood Finance Guy says “I wish I knew about Vanguard ETFs from jump since they’ve always been cheaper.” – Ditto!
- “How simple index investing actually is” Marjolein @ Radical FIRE
- “I wish I’d heard of low cost ETFs and about investing month in, month out” David @ iRetiredYoung
- Adam @ Blind Luck Project “The power of buying the haystack (Indexes) used to pick too many stocks.”
- “How easy and effective index investing truly is.” Sean @ Fight FIRE with FIRE
- “Where were you in my life Jack Bogle?!?!?!” – AR
- Mr. MFI @ Managing FI “Index funds and patience are all that you really need to build wealth.”
What is one profession you would want to be in another life?
Sticking with it
- “None, I’m happy in data & analytics” – Adam @ Wallet Squirrel
- “I’m living the dream, baby! If no one minds, I’ll stick with what I’m doing.” Keith @ The Wealthy Accountant
- “I probably wouldn’t change anything, as I loved being an equity analyst, teacher, blogger, though I may want to do something in the healthcare industry if I can get over my fear of blood.” – Linda @ The Cents of Money
- “I should have stayed on my original course as a radio announcer.” – Gary @ Super Savings Tips
- “This is gonna sound nuts, but I would have loved to be a radio DJ back in the day when radio was much more ubiquitous” – Dads and Dollar$
- “Movie Producer/Write” – Alan @ Alan Donegan
- “Actor” – Evelyn @ Better on a Budget
- “Writer” – Ms. FOGA @ From One Geek to Another
- “Astronaut (that’s a free ticket to space! 🌌🛰)” – BuLL @ Budget Life List
- “Astronaut” – Jim @ Wallet Hacks
- “Comedian and definitely an Astronaut” – AR
- “Professional surfer” – Land Shark
- “Professional Surfer” – Joel @ 5am Joel
- “A Hedge Fund Manager so I can invest clients’ money simply in index funds and beat out the competition.” – Tyler @ Fresh Life Advice
- “Institutional structured finance bond fund manager.” – John @ Verbatim Financial
- “If I could have chosen another profession, it would probably still be in finance, but for the provincial or federal governments here in Canada. The pay would be the same, but the benefits and pension are so much better!” – Tom @ Maple Money
- “Investment Banker” – Dividend Power
- “Financial coach / planner (hopefully later in this life)” Mr. MFI @ Managing FI
- “personal financial advisor” – Mr. Chaos @ Cutting Through Chaos
- “Monk” – Sam @ Government Worker FI
- “Rocket scientist” – LadyFIRE
- “Rockstar!” – Mark @ My Own Advisor
- “Professional poker player!” – Money Flamingo
- “Librarian” – Chrissy @ Eat Sleep Breathe FI
- “Soccer Star” – Chris @ Inspire to FIRE
- “Vet” – David @ FI Physician
- “Chef” – Sam @ Philly Finance
- “Programmer” – Joseph @ Hadaway Financial
- “A dancer” – Jamila @ Jamila’s Two Cents
- “Professional Disc Golfer” – Zach @ Pineapple Money
We Salute You
- “Fighter pilot (I wear glasses so I can’t in this life)” – Vincent @ Fight to FIRE
- “Airline pilot” – Sean @ Fight FIRE with FIRE
- “Pilot – always enjoyed traveling and love planes” – Adam @ Blind Luck Project
- “A Dentist or Doctor so that I can volunteer abroad.” – Lawrence @ The Neighborhood Finance Guy
- “Emergency Medical Technician” – Steve @ Slightly Early Retirement
- “Online tutor” – Littlejimster @ Setting the UK On FIRE
- “MD” – Marjolein @ Radical FIRE
- “Surgeon” – Olaf @ Mile High Finance Guy
- “Therapist” – Vicky @ Saving Advice
- “Teacher” – Jesse @ The Best Interest and Impersonal Finances
- “A scientist.” Piggy @ Bitches Get Riches
- “Engineering.” – Steve @ The Frugal Expat
Who do you secretly admire and why?
- “5AM Joel :)” – Jesse @ The Best Interest
- “My wife. Because she does everything better than me — without even trying very hard.” – Joel @ 5am Joel
- “Fiona @ The Millennial Money Woman. She is going to be a millionaire at 35, she is currently 25. At 25, I was junior in college.” – BuLL @ Budget Life List
- “I don’t have anyone I secretly admire – I’m pretty public about my admiration. :)” – Jess & Corey @ The Fioneers
- “Kristy and Bryce: Millennial Revolution” – Alan Donegan
- “Rick Ferri, he doesn’t care what other people think about him.” – David @ FI Physician
- “I secretly admire my parents because they’ve done more for me than anyone else on this planet. I try to tell them how much I appreciate them so it’s not such a secret.” – Tyler @ Fresh Life Advice
- “John Hope Bryant, an American financial literacy entrepreneur and businessman. Bryant is the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of nonprofit Operation HOPE.” – Lawrence @ The Neighborhood Finance Guy
- “YouTubers who have made a career of their channel, doing what they love (it’s still a bit of an alien concept to me!). Gosh, I sound old!” – David @ iRetiredYoung
- “Jim Collins is doing it right. Ryan Holiday is an incredible writer and admire his work. Planning a trip to visit his bookstore in TX just to shake hands with the man.” – Keith @ The Wealthy Accountant
- “Carl Sagan. His kindness, intelligence, curiosity, ability to teach, and unwaveringly optimistic view of humanity has been truly inspiring for me over the years.” – Sean @ Fight FIRE with FIRE
- “Tim Cook for his operational execution” – Dividend Power
- “Autumn Peltier—she’s a courageous young lady who’s doing important work.” – Chrissy @ Eat Sleep Breathe FI
- “Michael Dinich. The man has created a blog that gets 1.5 million pageviews a month and he continues to create opportunities for himself and other people around him. Through determination he has gone out and made his website sustainable. The cool thing is that he is just a regular guy with no cool story, but he made something and has inspired other people.” – Steve @ The Frugal Expat
- “@Disabledgirlfi because she is awesome, upbeat, and offerings refreshing takes on life.” – Olaf @ Mile High Finance Guy
- “Bill Gates – man was he cutthroat as hell in his early days. I wish I could be like that, but I am far too nice.” – AR
- “Joe Rogan as he made millions being an idiot” – Bear Money
- “Jesse Cramer @ The Best Interest – he left the engineering field to pursue his passion in finance. Tons of respect to him for doing that.” – Mr. MFI @ Managing FI
- “My mom because she is a boss! She has two masters degrees and was able to provide a lot to me and my brother as a child thanks to her being well educated. It makes me want to pursue higher education.” – Jamila @ Jamila’s Two Cents
Section 3 – Investor Sentiment
On a scale of 1-10 how strongly do you feel about the following
1 being the lowest | 10 being the highest
Potential for WWIII
Well, I take it as good news that the majority if us are hanging out on the lefthand side here. Thankfully the world at large seems mostly against what is currently happening in Ukraine right now, and I hope that points to the odds of WWIII going down. Honestly, I am frustrated even writing about this.
As sort of a post-pandemic indicator, this is as good as any. Love seeing the majority hanging out in the far right! We’ll also be traveling internationally this summer…fingers crossed.
This parallels the earlier responses about the stock market volatility. Seeing in this form cements what we saw earlier. The majority still view volatility as normal and “meh” – while some are excited that stocks are on sale (even if that is debatable).
We are all over the place here. Most seem to land in the middle. On one hand I’d love for the market to stay hot, but on the other hand – I’ll never be able to own a vacation home if this keeps up!
Suggestions for next time
Thanks to all who participated! I appreciate your time, and your insights.
If you are a PF creator and would like to participate in the survey next month, please sign up here.
Lastly, let me know what you liked, what I missed, AND what you’d like me to survey next month!