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Old 10-21-2014, 05:46 PM   #81
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Probably because I know a whole lot of people who have had all the same "luck" and advantages that I had and aren't FI.

I also know a few people who have had some of the bad luck you listed and still overcame it to be FI.

And it's not just luck that I was never laid off, nor that I got into a dotcom company with good stock options. I saw signs on the wall that the first mega corp I worked for was heading for trouble, and my skills weren't that well suited to go elsewhere. I figured out what I was lacking and worked on getting more marketable skills, and a year or two later those skills got me a job at a smaller company that took off. Some luck involved there, but I made a good choice and worked hard to put myself in position for that luck.

And you didn't answer my question, would you advise young people that it's mostly luck, or that there are actually useful things they can do to put themselves in much better position to FI?
Certainly getting an education and doing anything and everything possible to put yourself in position to succeed comes first.
That would be my main advice to a young person. I think many young people already understand that some luck is involved in life.

I have a millennial in college right now and he and his classmates are well aware of the challenges they face in this new economy.

He is fully aware that many companies now view employees as temporary and disposable and they just aren't really hiring many new people.

Luck also comes into play with actors,athletes,musicians,artists,etc.

There are people with incredible talent that just didn't get that lucky break.

Being at the right place at the right time. There is some luck involved.

Its all about timing.
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Old 10-21-2014, 05:54 PM   #82
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I like the saying, "Energy is destiny." The doer, not necessarily the thinker, is the person who achieves something. This falls in the "Determination" column.

It also helps to have someone believe in you. I think this falls in the "luck" column.

Finally, a lucky scrunchie helps (in joke from Legally Blonde). Definitely in the "(Lack of) Intelligence" column.
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Old 10-21-2014, 06:06 PM   #83
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It is a lot of things, but above average intelligence is not one of them.
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Old 10-21-2014, 06:10 PM   #84
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You are obviously pretty down on things. I certainly agree that things could definitely be improved but all my suggestions would just have the moderators slapping me again for "political comments."

From your post, my father should have just given up when he lost his steel industry job in the 1950s and then again when Boeing laid him off in the 1960s. I should have stayed on food stamps when I was on them in the 1970s. There's no way I had any hope of finding a new job when the plant I worked at in 1982 shut down and laid 1,100 people off (including me). This should have been my plan when I lost another job during a buyout of my company in 2002. There's no way I could now possibly be making more than I ever did before and have more than enough money to retire.

Most people that have crap happen to them have a choice. You can pick yourself up, dust yourself off and move forward. Alternatively, you can wallow in your despair, complain how life isn't fair (it isn't) and wait for the blue bird of happiness to magically appear.

Opportunities are presented to everyone. When someone is prepared and willing to use these, the people that aren't call them "lucky." I've worked side-by-side with people that were as smart or smarter than me, made as much or more than me and had the same opportunities or better ones put in front of them. Some of these people are really well off and others are living paycheck to paycheck thinking they'll work forever.
I guess I am not really a fan of this "race to the bottom economy".

My portfolio is a fan.

I agree you have to get back on your horse and ride when life throws you off.

The sky isn't falling but there has to be real concern about the shrinking middle-class and the working poor in this country.

The wealth gap is widening at a unhealthy rate. Its a problem.
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Old 10-21-2014, 06:26 PM   #85
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More likely we have to be 'tetched in the head just a particular way.

The math behind all of this is something my 5th grader would readily understand. The harder parts are the ability to work on a long term plan, and the willingness to do something considered strange/bizarre/antisocial/un-Merkin.
Not anymore. Now the hard part is going to be doing the math.

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Old 10-21-2014, 07:06 PM   #86
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That's me. When I first took the test at a corporate HR event, I was maxed out on INTJ. Looking at those traints make it much more likely someone would tend to save and follow their own path.

I do think this has something to do with it. Certain personality types seem predisposed to overspending and others, like INTJ, to FIRE. Being willing to not follow the crowd is a big deal.


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Old 10-22-2014, 11:09 AM   #87
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Certainly getting an education and doing anything and everything possible to put yourself in position to succeed comes first.
That would be my main advice to a young person. I think many young people already understand that some luck is involved in life.

I have a millennial in college right now and he and his classmates are well aware of the challenges they face in this new economy.

He is fully aware that many companies now view employees as temporary and disposable and they just aren't really hiring many new people.

Luck also comes into play with actors,athletes,musicians,artists,etc.

There are people with incredible talent that just didn't get that lucky break.

Being at the right place at the right time. There is some luck involved.

Its all about timing.
Well, you're getting there. You've seemed to back off of saying "luck is a huge factor". I agree some luck is involved.

Then you come back with "It's all about timing."

BS. Timing also play a part, but for many here, it's mostly about day after day LBYM. Skip that Starbucks and keep money in your wallet. Take your bonus that you got from being in the right place at the right time and invest it, rather than buying jet skis or a new Porsche. Take your raise and invest it instead of upping your lifestyle.
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Old 10-22-2014, 11:30 AM   #88
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I do think this has something to do with it. Certain personality types seem predisposed to overspending and others, like INTJ, to FIRE. Being willing to not follow the crowd is a big deal.
INTJ here also, I'd say this theme has some traction.

As to the OP's question; 100% determination. Many of the cited behaviors, such as education and of course LBYM; but also knowing when not to chase after more money, i.e. when 'advancement' might cost more in terms of moving to a higher living expense area, greater risk of being laid off, etc. Being determined means making a plan and sticking to it. Being prepared with contingency plans for economic hardship. Practicing those things, having the self discipline to put them into action, and a strong desire for independence. Determination, no doubt about it.
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Old 10-22-2014, 03:11 PM   #89
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I am the OP of this thread.I thank each poster who responded to my question.I have enjoyed reading others thoughts.That's what this forum is all about IMO,sharing ideas and thoughts.I have come to think maybe FIRE is a combination of things.Does luck play a part?It could.It would not be something one could count on.
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Old 10-22-2014, 03:16 PM   #90
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UP,

Great topic, yes luck may play a part. Sometimes we don't know luck when it comes our way. Many times my bad luck, in hindsight, was very good luck. Funny world.

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Old 10-22-2014, 04:14 PM   #91
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Well, you're getting there. You've seemed to back off of saying "luck is a huge factor". I agree some luck is involved.

Then you come back with "It's all about timing."

BS. Timing also play a part, but for many here, it's mostly about day after day LBYM. Skip that Starbucks and keep money in your wallet. Take your bonus that you got from being in the right place at the right time and invest it, rather than buying jet skis or a new Porsche. Take your raise and invest it instead of upping your lifestyle.
LBYM is obvious. So is paying yourself first.

My point about luck is that I have not been outsourced and I have been able to accumulate wealth slowly over the years. The humble millionaire next door.
My megacorp has benefited from technology and the global economy and things could have gone much differently for me. So for me luck has played a big part in my career. I accept that.

Everybody has a story about a friend or relative who lost their job and pulled themselves up again and got back on track financially and career wise.

But realistically most people(baby boomers) do not. They work for much less money and take several steps backwards. Thats just bad luck. Its The world of shareholder value where workers are only a liability and have no value.

This is just my perspective. You can call luck Karma or "being blessed" or fate or destiny.

Stock options can be lucky. Getting your resume through HR software can be lucky. Networking and stumbling across your job connection is lucky. A poor kid Getting out of the hood and finishing college is lucky.

Luck is a huge factor for some people. Just depends on the situation.

People on here are success stories. So of course LBYM is the major theme.
I wish I had started LBYM when I was much younger.

I will say I personally feel 33% lucky. 33% hard work. 33%determination(EYE ON FIRE CARROT). THATS MY LUCK BREAKDOWN.
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Old 10-22-2014, 04:37 PM   #92
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FIRE is 33% perseverance, 33% serendipity, 33% genetics and 11% math skills.
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Old 10-22-2014, 04:47 PM   #93
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FIRE is 33% perseverance, 33% serendipity, 33% genetics and 11% math skills.
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Old 10-22-2014, 05:23 PM   #94
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FIRE is 33% perseverance, 33% serendipity, 33% genetics and 11% math skills.
Hey, I think you made a math error. If you add those percentages, it only come up to 83. Where's the other 19?
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Old 10-22-2014, 05:31 PM   #95
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I don't care about youse guys' math as long as youse put 110% luck in there.

Luck beats everything, and I mean everything.

If there's a sole thing that can give a guy success, it's luck. Look how many people buy lottery tickets everyday. No need for hard work, savings, LBYM. Nothing. Just luck is what they need.

PS. Why 110%, some asked. Heck, I said luck is everything, but to be sure I threw in an extra 10% as reserve. You have problems with that?
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Old 10-22-2014, 06:13 PM   #96
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For those that think INTJ and an aspie type personality... I have one anectdotal rebuttal to that.

My brother was classic INTJ. He was the smartest of us kids - off the charts smart. But not socialized well - probably because of what I suspect was undiagnosed aspergers. He had trouble moving ahead career wise because he didn't realize arrogance was not attractive to bosses. He was also bad with money. When he died the only reason he didn't have a negative net worth was his death was preceded by 3 months by an inheritance from my mother's side of my parents family trust. Without that - he would have left the world with debt. As it stands, his heirs had to work hard to get about 20k from the estate. He was 49 - young to die - but 20k net worth is not a big legacy for age 49.

So INTJ is not the answer. Aspie type personality probably hinders it (because of professional challenges.) Intelligence alone is not the answer. Nor is luck entirely the answer - he was born and raised into the same LBYM family I was.
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Old 10-22-2014, 06:22 PM   #97
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I don't care about youse guys' math as long as youse put 110% luck in there.

Luck beats everything, and I mean everything.

If there's a sole thing that can give a guy success, it's luck. Look how many people buy lottery tickets everyday. No need for hard work, savings, LBYM. Nothing. Just luck is what they need.

PS. Why 110%, some asked. Heck, I said luck is everything, but to be sure I threw in an extra 10% as reserve. You have problems with that?
I actually have a friend who won powerball a few years ago. His cut was $6 million. He bought the ticket for his office group and he was on local tv with the big fake check.

I guess he used his 10%. But sadly he got into a fight with his brother about buying a gift for their mother. He hasn't spoken to the family for several years. So much for luck. Its a pathetic situation.
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Old 10-22-2014, 06:27 PM   #98
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In repeated previous polls in this forum, many posters were of the INTJ type, and the percentage was significantly higher than that in the general population. It of course is not a deciding or sole factor.

I also had a friend engineer, whom I would think to be of the INTJ type. He was a good engineer, and made very good money, but could not save any, and often contemplated declaring bankruptcy to get out of debts. That's how bad it was.

He invested too, but in penny stocks, hoping to strike it rich quick. If I got 10%/yr return, I was thankful but he wanted 10% a week, a day. He kept doing it, and the more he lost, the more he doubled up to break even. Last I heard, he was still staying afloat, but will be working till he dies. He did not frequent Las Vegas though. I just couldn't figure him out.


PS. I forgot to talk about intelligence. This friend of mine got 4.0 GPA. Straight. For his BS as well as MS.
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Old 10-22-2014, 06:36 PM   #99
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I actually have a friend who won powerball a few years ago. His cut was $6 million. He bought the ticket for his office group and he was on local tv with the big fake check.

I guess he used his 10%. But sadly he got into a fight with his brother about buying a gift for their mother. He hasn't spoken to the family for several years. So much for luck. Its a pathetic situation.
Does this guy still have the money? We keep reading about lottery winners squandering the winning in a matter of a few years. See how if luck gets you the money, now you need more luck to keep it.

And if you use up 110% luck to get the jackpot, check my math but you would now be 10% in the red, as far as luck is concerned.
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Old 10-22-2014, 06:58 PM   #100
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Anyone born in the US without a major disability starts out on 3rd base if you look around the rest of the world. Somehow, people from the poorest of countries manage to become billionaires. These tend to be from the elite of these countries but it's still a major accomplishment. In the US there are lots of people from poor families that become mega rich. Rich people become poor. The old saying of shirt sleeves to shirt sleeves in three generations is very true.

Where else but the US are the "poor" typically overweight, have smart phones and have cable access with a HDTV.
+1

Walt34, thanks for posting that great letter.
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