Is the Fast Follow Investor blog written for me? Let me answer that...

Every blog or website should feature an “About You” page.

When writing for an audience, experts instruct us to niche down. “Write for a very small audience, one that you understand deeply.” A narrow and deep niche helps us provide worthy advice.

Don’t try to be everything to everyone. It’s the rule behind the wonderful 1000 true fans model for creators. The recipe:

  1. Discover yourself and your passion.
  2. Share that passion.
  3. Then, rely on the power of the internet: your tribe will find you.

Niche. Tribe. There are many names: target market, micro-niche, intended reader, marketing persona, target audience, and avatar. I’m sure there are more.

My Intended Reader

Simply put, I write for me. I write for me as someone who is 5 years from finding financial freedom. But, I also write for my younger self…on lessons I wish I had known earlier. I also write for my future self…helping me visualize what I want my life to become.

You may not be a 47-year-old, married, father of one who is a management consultant by day and lover of great biographies by night. (P.S. I recommend Ben Franklin, Charlie Munger, and Ed Thorpe). Still, I hope you find my ramblings helpful as you pursue your well-intentioned life.

Now you know who I’m writing for. But, why do I do it? Why do I share personal experiences about wealth building, investing, and living a meaningful life? There are three reasons.

  1. Writing what I learned (or am learning) clarifies my thinking and reinforces lessons.
  2. I hope my son learns from my experiences early and gets a jump on living his best life.
  3. After I die, I wish for future generations to know me and my beliefs. I wish not to be long forgotten.

Defining Traits

Here is a list of my typical reader’s traits and experiences. If you identify with a majority, this blog is for you.

Who you are:

  • You know more about money and investing than the average person.
  • You know debt is bad, and so you don’t have any. That is, except for your home or other real estate.
  • And, you use credit cards but only for cash back and points.
  • You have the right insurance on your life, your earnings (long-term disability), and your property. You have added liability coverage (umbrella).
  • You know high fees are bad and watch for that in your mutual and exchange-traded funds.
  • You know indexing is good.
  • You know commissioned investments are bad.
  • An insurance salesman has burned you early in life. Whole-life, anyone?
  • You work with a financial advisor, but on a fee-only or assets-under-management arrangement.
  • You’re not a professional investor nor do you want to be. You don’t follow macro-trends, interest rate moves, or credit spreads.
  • You know the market moves irrationally, and that you cannot predict it in the short-term.
  • You know that the stock market eventually goes up. At least, it has for the past 40 years!
  • You don’t pay for investment newsletters.
  • Vanguard is your friend. You respect John Bogle.
  • You find Warren Buffett interesting but don’t know who Edward Thorpe is.
  • You work hard and may find yourself in a corporate job…
  • But you dream of working for yourself…
  • And of retiring early, the ultimate form of independence. You’ve dabbled in the F.I.R.E movement.
  • You watch your living expenses but splurge every so often.
  • You max out your 401k. You invested in a Roth IRA until your salary got too high, and now you wonder if it makes sense to fund a traditional IRA.
  • You work hard with your head down. Retirement seems pretty far away (though it doesn’t have to be).
  • When you did take a moment to think about retirement, you discovered Required Minimum Distributions. :-(
  • You were taught “if it’s too good to be true, it likely is” and so are wary of get-rich-quick schemes. But it still would be nice to win the lottery…

Who you want to be:

  • You want to work in a job you enjoy.
  • You want less stress.
  • You want to travel more.
  • You don’t necessarily seek high pay, but most definitely do seek more wealth.
  • You desire financial freedom sooner than most, so you can enjoy life…perhaps doing something different.
  • To get there faster, you seek out new ways to improve on the great foundation that you’ve already built: retirement plan(s), low-cost mutual funds, emergency cash reserve, and possibly even a rental property.
  • You want to provide the best possible life for yourself and your family.

Is This You?

Do you find yourself in any of these situations?

  1. You are unhappy in your current job. Or, you find yourself using financial calculators to estimate how much you need to retire. Whatever the case, you want to speed up financial independence (a.k.a. retire early).
  2. You’ve taken the plunge. You’re retired. It’s more nerve-racking than you anticipated. Without your full-time job, you no longer add to your savings each month. The thought of a stock market drop of 35% freaks you out.
  3. You have recently come into an inheritance. Congratulations! But, you’re worried about investing it into a frothy, even bubbly stock market. Should you dollar cost average? What if the 2020s turn into a lost decade?
  4. Your problem is not financial, but psychological. You no longer have the fortitude to stick with an investing approach. Perhaps, like me, you experienced an investment loss of your own doing (or had a near miss). Your emotions took hold in a way you didn’t expect.

Tell me, did any of these resonate with you?

If yes, you, my friend, are my intended reader.

Welcome one and all!

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Brian Herriot, Fast Follow Investor @brianh