The FIRE Insights Blogger Survey
Welcome to the second ever FIRE Insights Blogger Survey!
Last month’s survey was really fun to put together and got a great response from those who participated and others who didn’t.
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.
I sourced 200+ of the best Personal Finance Bloggers, Podcasters, Youtubers, etc. and sent out the survey. 25% responded to the inaugural survey. This month, we again received a 25% response rate.
If you are a blogger and would like to participate in future FIRE Insights Surveys, please sign up here.
Section 1 – Starter Questions
Have you reached FI yet?
I wasn’t sure how this one would go. Do we practice what we preach?
It turns out. Yes. 50% of our respondents have reached FI.
I countent open ended responses as “yes” such as, “Flamingo FI” from Money Flamingo and “We will hit our FI number this month, but we have a different number that represents Financial Freedom” from Dom @ Gen Y Finance Guy.
So even though 50% of our PF community has not yet reached FI, everyone’s journey is different and all have lessons to be gleaned from.
As for the other 50%. Index and chill right?
What is more important? Time, money, or happiness?
The overwhelming majority chose time at 55.3%, with another 36.2% choosing happiness. So which is more important time or happiness?
Well, clearly if you are in control of your time, you are likely in control of your happiness.
Money? Doesn’t matter one bit. Money is simply the tool that buys us more time.
Linda @ The Cents of Money thinks that “A balance of time, money and happiness” is the way to go.
Lastly, Kristy & Bryce @ Millennial Revolution voted for “Health” – And this is true, if we don’t have our health nothing else matters. Period.
Are you bullish, neutral, or bearish on the economy?
This month, respondents are feeling stronger about the economy.
Only 4.3% of bloggers are bearish, down from 10.6% last month.
Meanwhile Bullish grew to 53.2% up from 46.8%.
Neutral was exactly the same as last month.
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)?
- Carolyn @ Tucan Dream highlights A Purple Life’s How Being A Nomad Helps Reinforce What’s Actually Important
- “I choose this post because it’s down to earth, and prioritizes everything I think is important. Too many FI’ers get caught up in the chase of prosperity and the cost of happiness.”
- Steve @ The Frugal Expat loved The Best Interest’s What is Inflation and How Can It Hurt You?
- “This is a great piece about inflation. As we hear in the news about the incoming inflation scares we need to remind ourselves what is it and what can we do to combat it. This article written by Jesse Cramer helps to break down the subject of inflation.”
- Jenny & Chris @ Tic Toc Life sent us a great Youtube video What Are You Doing With Your Life? The Tail End
- “If you enjoy thinking of the “bigger picture” when it comes to life with just a dash of existentialism, check out the Kurzgesagt video.”
- Joel @ Budgets are Sexy selected ERN’s The Emergency Fund: It’s Still Useless!, and personally I loved Stealth Frugality.
- Leif @ Physician on FIRE sent in Clipping Chains’ Six Important Reasons Not to Retire Early
- Jess & Corey @ The Fioneers loved Financial Mechanic’s I Didn’t Save Any Money Last Month
- Adam @ Brewing FIRE recommends Why You Don’t Need To Worry About Inflation (and the 4% Rule)
- David @ Filled with Money enjoyed Steve Ark’s My Big Day at the Casino
- For those of us interested in Crypto:
- Zach & Chelsea @ Pineapple Money liked The Best Interest’s Does “Buying the Dip” Work For Bitcoin?
- Kristy & Bryce @ Millennial Revolution shared JL Collins’ Collins on Crypto
- Adam @ Real World Personal Finance selects Financial Panther’s Screw Getting Picked – Pick Yourself Instead
- Mr. Chaos @ Cutting Through Chaos liked Banker on FIRE’s The Pitfalls Of Experience
- Mr. NMW @ No More Weekdays highlighted Accidental FIRE’s Work From Home Or Quit?
And there were plenty more! Great content all around.
Describe your investment strategy using only emojis (via Joel @ Budgets are Sexy)
This one was a fun one! We had responses from single emojis to strings so complicated that I’m not sure they will fit.
We’ll start with the longer and work our way down:
- 👨🎓 💸 ➡️ 📶 ⏳ 👨💻 💵 ➡️ 📶 ⏳ 🕺 💵 ➡️ 📶 ⌛️ 👴 💰
- Jenny and Chris @ Tic Toc Life
- 😴 😴 🤷♂️ 🤦♂️ 🙄 🏠 🏠 😴 🤷♂️ 🤞 🏝 😀
- David @ iRetiredYoung.net
- 👩🔧 🚵🏻♀️ 🌎 🏘 🏘 📈 🏖
- Emily @ FIREBird Finance
- 🎢 + 🚀
- Barney @ The Escape Artist
- 🕰 📈 🧘♀️ 😎
- Jess and Corey @ The Fioneers
- 👇 🤷♀️ 🥱 🤑
- Melanie @ Partners in FIRE
- 💰 🏃♂️ 🔥
- Zach & Chelsea @ Pineapple Money
- 🐂 🏃♀️ 🤑
- Chrissy @ Eat Sleep Breathe FI
- ⛰️ ⌛ 🤑 🎉
- Adam @ Minafi
- 📈 ↗ 🥱
- Leif @ Physician on FIRE
- 📈 🆙
- Mr. NMW @ No More Weekdays
- ⌚ > 💰
- Mr. Chaos @ Cutting Through Chaos
- And the single emojis. I appreciate the simplicity:
- 🀄️ – Sam @ Financial Samurai
- 🐢 – Impersonal Finances
- 🏠 – Jackie @ Camp FIRE Finance
- 💤 – Steve @ Slight Early Retirement
- 🧘 – Kristy & Bryce @ Millennial Revolution
- 😐 – Jesse @ The Best Interest
- And the close to emojis, but getting back to ’95 vibes:
- (￢‿￢ ) – Mr.FightToFIRE @ Fight to FIRE
- $ ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ $ – Adam @ Brewing Fire
P.S. Emojis really mess up Chrome’s grammar and spell check. And a few didn’t make it through the form for whatever reason, so those were omitted. Be careful out there. Emojis do bite.
If you had to pick just one podcast to recommend to your audience, what would it be?
Did you know that I got my career started in podcasting 16 years ago? You probably didn’t, since I’ve never mentioned it.🤷♂️ I was ahead of my time, but imagine if I had kept up with it all these years? Would I be Tim Ferriss? Probably not, but it’s fun to dream…
And tons of new content to check out too:
- The Tim Ferriss Show – 3 votes
- Animal Spirits – 3 votes
- Freakonomics – 2 votes
- Choose FI – 2 votes
- Rebel Entrepreneur Podcast– 2 Votes
- 1 Vote:
- Mile High FI – Mr. Chaos @ Cutting Through Chaos
- The Solopreneur Hour with Michael O’Neal – Carolyn @ Tucan Dream
- Bigger Pockets Real Estate Podcast – Zach & Chelsea @ Pineapple Money
- How To Money by Matt and Joel – Joel @ Budgets are Sexy
- Stacking Benjamins – Peter @ Bible Money Matters
- Passive Income MD – Leif @ Physician on FIRE
- A Road to Wealth – Steve @ The Frugal Expat
- Afford Anything – Emily @ FIREBird Finance
- FIRE and Chill – Frogdancer Jones @ Burning Desire for FIRE
- Joney Talks – Vincent @ Fight to FIRE
- The Daily – Sam @ Financial Samurai
- FI Garage – Chrissy @ Eat Sleep Breath FI
- Bankless – Barney @ The Escape Artist
If I were 20 again, I would…
A split crowd here. Many with some real changes they would make, or additional risks and/or fun they would pursue:
- “Take more risks” – From both Sam @ Financial Samurai AND One Frugal Girl
- “Start a business. The young 20s are the best time to start a business. Your energy level is much higher, you have few real expenses, and you probably don’t have too many family responsibilities. Additionally, you can make mistakes and fail miserably and still have time to recover.” – Dividend Power
- “I would have more fun ( I was already working after college), travel for a few months before working full time. Then, save more money to invest more, initially in small increments.” – Linda @ The Cents of Money
- “Not go out with the guy I eventually married (and then divorced 10 years and 4 kids later.)” – Frogdancer Jones @ Burning Desire for FIRE
- “Have to finish college and do med school and residency all over again. Hard pass.” – Leif @ Physician on FIRE
- “Not be so hard on myself!” – Jess & Corey @ The Fioneers
- “Think about my real future e.g. career, goals, aspirations not the next party or girl” – Adam @ Real World Personal Finance
And another common thread was simply get started investing sooner:
- “Live in a multi-unit property and learn how to be a landlord.” Adam @ Minafi
- “Start Investing” BuLL @ Budget Life List
- “Get started with real estate investing sooner. I spent too much time “learning” and stuck in analysis paralysis before I took any meaningful action. Being okay with “failing more and often” would have been nice, but things turned out well regardless.” – Michael @ Financially Alert
- “Invest in real estate. There was such a good chance at that time, but I knew less and was more fearful.” Zach & Chelsea @ Pineapple Money
- “MAX OUT 401k, HSA, and Roth IRA from the start before I had any lifestyle creep after college.” – Frugal Fill
- “If I were 20 again, I would “set it and forget it” with automatic retirement saving.” – Kathy @ Baby Boomer Super Saver
- “Buy index funds” – Kristy & Bryce @ Millennial Revolution
- “Start Investing” – Impersonal Finances
- “Open a Roth IRA” – Joel @ Budgets are Sexy
- “Invest as much as humanly possible in index funds.” – Tyler @ Fresh Life Advice
Others. Would. Not. Change. One. Thing.
- “Not do anything different. You have to go through the experiences to learn.” – David @ iRetiredYoung
- “Do what I did when I was 20. I am satisfied with my life.” – Charles @ Financial Freedom is a Journey
- “Still be just as stupid as I was then…” – David @ FI Physician
- “Make all the same major life choices!” – Steve @ Slightly Early Retirement
- “Not change a thing” – AR @ Accidentally Retired
- “Be younger, less experienced and probably as foolish as I was the first time around.” – Keith @ The Wealthy Accountant
So, if you are currently 20, the best advice that we can all offer in summation is: have fun, invest and take more risks.
Section 3 – Blogger Sentiment
How did your parents/family influence your thoughts about money?
I am really quite pleasantly surprised by this one. Our PF Community was positively influenced by their parents/family in regards to money. That is awesome. I thought it might be the other way around.
Clearly no parents/family on average weren’t perfect, but skewed better than not.
How did society influence your thoughts about money?
Society on the other hand. Not a positive influence. I think there is no doubt about this one. Our consumption oriented society has fueled a “Keeping up with the Joneses” mentality. As a whole our society puts psychological pressure to spend more, go into debt, and have nice things to show off.
How have books influenced your thoughts about money?
Books on the other hand have been a major positive influence. Thank goodness for books.
Reading The Little Book of Common Sense Investing, by John Bogle changed the trajectory of my last year. I fired my financial advisor, and took over my financial life. My learnings the past 8 months since reading the book have been profound. So let’s read more about money!
How has blogging influenced your thoughts about money?
I figured this one would be a slam dunk. And it was. Not much to report here, except that if you are thinking about start a blog, you should. I know at least for me, writing has helped me to clarify my thoughts about money. It has helped me to really think through my opinions and strategy much more clearly. I didn’t need a blog to make big financial changes, but it certainly helps.
Suggestions for next time
Thanks to all who participated! I appreciate your time, and your insights.
If you are a blogger 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!
Love seeing the results. Fun to see where I sit among the numbers.
Great survey! It’s fascinating to see the stats on this. And my emoji is based on Kaomoji or Japanese emojis ヽ(*・ω・)ﾉ
I’m curious about the stories of those that voted below 5 for the influence of their parents.
Love em. They bring me back to the mid-90s chat rooms.
And I agree, would love to hear stories, positive and negative for how parents helped influence thoughts about money…
Great idea and a lot of fun to read about the results!
Thanks! And thanks for participating!
A question for next time, for those that have reached FIRE: Does the 4% rule work for you? Many people say it doesn’t work, so let’s have some real life stories…
Love it. If you have FIREd do you follow the 4% rule? How has it worked for you?
I love that there are now past results to compare to, and you can always measure the bullish/bearish question against past surveys. I am probably always going to be bullish in the long term so no change there!
Yes, and I need to give credit where credit is due. That question is directly from Dividend Power. But I think it’ll be pretty powerful to measure over time.
I totally get that time is the most important to so many, especially after a month in which I was so busy that I didn’t get the survey answered in time!
Haha yeah. It’s ok, we look forward to your insights next month!
Whoa, I am quite honestly surprised that time beat out happiness and money. Time is valuable after all!
This is my favorite line out of the entire post:
“Not change a thing” – AR @ Accidentally Retired
Same! And really time is the one thing that you can’t get back. You can always make more money, find paths to happiness, but you cannot get back any time.
And I wouldn’t change a thing – big picture. Sure there were mistakes here and there. But if I didn’t make those, would I be who I am now?