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Sam Dogen once again writing another self-pity article
Old 04-30-2020, 06:21 PM   #1
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Sam Dogen once again writing another self-pity article

Many have seen the articles Sam Dogen (Financial Samurai) has written over the past couple years. FIRE'd in San Francisco, has $200,000 passive income (article below actually shows $91k just for 2020 Q1), and couldn't make it work. Now he's back with another article after being whacked for $600,000 during the market downturn over the past month:

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/30/42-y...etirement.html

I love this one:
Quote:
After taxes, we basically spent about $65,000 (in 2020 Q1), which is $25,000 more than we normally do. (The main reason our expenses increased was because we had to hire a doula — a non-medical maternity coach who works alongside obstetricians and midwives — to shepherd my wife through labor.)

We’re still figuring how to significantly cut our expenses for the coming months.
Give me a break!!! "Had" to hire a $25k coach? The guy needs to try stand up comedy. He still doesn't get it, yet continually makes himself out to be some kind of financial whiz.

It is simply incredible that CNBC, Forbes, MarketWatch - they are all paying for this same article over and over and over again. Every time I see the next iteration I just shake my head. He's making a business out of self pity and what not to do.
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Old 04-30-2020, 06:27 PM   #2
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I used to enjoy his blog posts, but I did wonder sometimes....but the last few posts and op eds have made it crystal clear. And a "a non-medical maternity coach"....gimme a freakin' break, dude.

Oh and this little gem, "But something unexpected happened in 2019: My wife became pregnant with a second child." Unexpected, eh? You know...the mystery of child bearing was figured out a very, VERY long time ago.

Edit: I think he needs to stop calling himself the "Financial Samurai" and instead refer to himself as, "Financial Yellow Belt...Barely"
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Old 04-30-2020, 06:32 PM   #3
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At $40,000 expenses per quarter, that's still $13,333 per month. That's a pretty generous monthly expense budget. At least where I live. Of course, then you read the stories about couples making $500,000 a year and can't save anything.
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Old 04-30-2020, 06:32 PM   #4
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Oh and this little gem, "But something unexpected happened in 2019: My wife became pregnant with a second child." Unexpected, eh? You know...the mystery of child bearing was figured out a very, VERY long time ago.
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Old 04-30-2020, 06:52 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by njhowie View Post
Many have seen the articles Sam Dogen (Financial Samurai) has written over the past couple years. FIRE'd in San Francisco, has $200,000 passive income (article below actually shows $91k just for 2020 Q1), and couldn't make it work. Now he's back with another article after being whacked for $600,000 during the market downturn over the past month:
Some of his numbers seem nonsensical.

"When the S&P 500 took a massive dip in March, we experienced a 30% drop in our stock portfolio ... and lost more than $600,000.

Even though we have a pretty conservative portfolio (with about 20% of our net worth in equities), losing hundreds of thousands of dollars on our existing equity exposure was still very painful."

So, he must have had ~$2,000,000 invested in the stock market, for a 30% drop to cause a $600K loss.

But, he also says 20% of his net worth is in equities. So, his net worth would've been $10 million dollars??

I realize his net worth probably includes real estate, etc. but I thought he couldn't afford to stay retired.

The numbers don't seem to add up.
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Old 04-30-2020, 07:04 PM   #6
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I don't begrudge him the doula - essentially a modern day midwife. They can be very helpful for a pregnancy, especially in stressful times.

But I do begrudge him publicly complaining about it. If you're ok with it, you shut up. If you're not, take it up with your wife. Not a grievance to air on a blog imo.

Aside from that, I haven't ever seen anything that adds up from this guy. He's not retired, he's a full time whining blogger.
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Old 04-30-2020, 07:07 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by RetiredAt55.5 View Post
Some of his numbers seem nonsensical.

"When the S&P 500 took a massive dip in March, we experienced a 30% drop in our stock portfolio ... and lost more than $600,000.

Even though we have a pretty conservative portfolio (with about 20% of our net worth in equities), losing hundreds of thousands of dollars on our existing equity exposure was still very painful."

So, he must have had ~$2,000,000 invested in the stock market, for a 30% drop to cause a $600K loss.

But, he also says 20% of his net worth is in equities. So, his net worth would've been $10 million dollars??

I realize his net worth probably includes real estate, etc. but I thought he couldn't afford to stay retired.

The numbers don't seem to add up.
Not only that, has he sold these equities? A pet peeve of mine is when people say, "I have made/lost XXX $$$ in the market" but haven't sold anything. Nothing matters until you sell.
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Old 04-30-2020, 07:58 PM   #8
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This is the big benefit of being truthful - you don't have to keep track of what exactly you said before so you can make your story consistent. His is not.
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Old 04-30-2020, 09:18 PM   #9
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HAD to have a doula, eh? I hadn't even heard of a doula before a few years ago. I had two children without one, so I'm thinking that his wife WANTED a doula, but probably didn't NEED to have one. Can't imagine why he can't make ends meet...
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Old 05-01-2020, 04:38 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by RetiredAt55.5 View Post
Some of his numbers seem nonsensical.

"When the S&P 500 took a massive dip in March, we experienced a 30% drop in our stock portfolio ... and lost more than $600,000.

Even though we have a pretty conservative portfolio (with about 20% of our net worth in equities), losing hundreds of thousands of dollars on our existing equity exposure was still very painful."

So, he must have had ~$2,000,000 invested in the stock market, for a 30% drop to cause a $600K loss.

But, he also says 20% of his net worth is in equities. So, his net worth would've been $10 million dollars??

I realize his net worth probably includes real estate, etc. but I thought he couldn't afford to stay retired.

The numbers don't seem to add up.
Beat me to it. Same conclusion. Does not add up.
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Old 05-01-2020, 05:19 AM   #11
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I stopped reading this blog. It's all clickbait.
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Old 05-01-2020, 07:53 AM   #12
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That used to be a decent blog/site. Lately though, Sam seems like a jackass.
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Old 05-01-2020, 08:12 AM   #13
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Yep. Read the same article and thought his numbers were total bullsh*t. They did not add up. He has lost all credibility.
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Old 05-01-2020, 08:27 AM   #14
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Oh and this little gem, "But something unexpected happened in 2019: My wife became pregnant with a second child." Unexpected, eh? You know...the mystery of child bearing was figured out a very, VERY long time ago.
Well, no birth control is 100% effective, so I'll give them a break on that one.

But this one:
Quote:
We quickly realized that our expenses were going to increase with another child, especially in an expensive city like San Francisco, where the median cost of child care for preschool-aged kids is $1,526 per month. (Married couples in California spend more on infant child care than anywhere else in the U.S.)
The cost of child care is irrelevant if one parent doesn't work, and according to him, neither one of them is working right now. An infant's expenses (especially for a second child when you already have all the paraphernalia from the first one) are a drop in the bucket in a budget the size of theirs.
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Old 05-01-2020, 08:33 AM   #15
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I don't begrudge him the doula - essentially a modern day midwife. They can be very helpful for a pregnancy, especially in stressful times.

But I do begrudge him publicly complaining about it. If you're ok with it, you shut up. If you're not, take it up with your wife. Not a grievance to air on a blog imo.

Aside from that, I haven't ever seen anything that adds up from this guy. He's not retired, he's a full time whining blogger.
Well, yeah, but 1) a doula may be covered by health insurance, so I wonder if either he didn't try or doesn't have HI, and 2) that's about 10x the UPPER end of what doulas usually cost. Even for the Bay Area, where costs and wages are some of the highest in the nation, he shouldn't have had to pay more than $3-5K on the upper end.

That alone tells me that he has no idea how to LBYM or even just comparison shop.
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Old 05-01-2020, 08:53 AM   #16
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Well, yeah, but 1) a doula may be covered by health insurance, so I wonder if either he didn't try or doesn't have HI, and 2) that's about 10x the UPPER end of what doulas usually cost. Even for the Bay Area, where costs and wages are some of the highest in the nation, he shouldn't have had to pay more than $3-5K on the upper end.

That alone tells me that he has no idea how to LBYM or even just comparison shop.
He said a "night doula", which is an in-home caregiver who stays with the family at night for a few weeks after the birth. I don't think that would be covered by health insurance like a birth doula would, and since the job lasts much longer, it probably does pay a lot more. I also don't know how much of a necessity it is, but there might have been maternal complications or other reasons why they needed the extra help.
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Old 05-01-2020, 09:11 AM   #17
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He said a "night doula", which is an in-home caregiver who stays with the family at night for a few weeks after the birth. I don't think that would be covered by health insurance like a birth doula would, and since the job lasts much longer, it probably does pay a lot more. I also don't know how much of a necessity it is, but there might have been maternal complications or other reasons why they needed the extra help.
Thank you for being arsed to read the article. I appreciate you taking that bullet for me.

Yes, if this was a much longer caregiver gig, the cost makes more sense, and you're spot on, there certainly could have been a need for that, and that probably wouldn't be covered. Although my sympathy is very limited, as I'm sure there are plenty of people of average means or below who have higher-risk complications, and could benefit from something like that if they could afford it. But at least it doesn't reflect quite as poorly on his financial acumen as I originally thought.
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Old 05-01-2020, 07:58 PM   #18
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Well, yeah, but 1) a doula may be covered by health insurance, so I wonder if either he didn't try or doesn't have HI, and 2) that's about 10x the UPPER end of what doulas usually cost. Even for the Bay Area, where costs and wages are some of the highest in the nation, he shouldn't have had to pay more than $3-5K on the upper end.

That alone tells me that he has no idea how to LBYM or even just comparison shop.
I read one of his articles that said he went for one of the health-sharing ministries instead of traditional health insurance. Although, is that I think about it, I saw a more recent article of his where he was complaining about the giant health insurance premiums he pays for a family of four, even though “none of them are fat” or something like that. So another discrepancy.

His recent blog posts really bug me. What a charlatan. He has been writing all this stuff about the wonders of FIRE and getting who-knows-how-many other people to read his blog and follow him down the FIRE path (including many misguided thirtysomething and fortysomething souls who have never seen a market downturn), then within just a few months he throws in the towel, says he’s going back to work, says FIRE is a pipe dream for nearly everybody and starts the DIRE acronym. Seriously?

If he wants to or needs to go back to work, ok. But that’s quite a turnaround in mindset in just a couple months. And he probably has helped lead others off a cliff with what clearly must have been only partial truths if he is in such bad shape after just a couple of months that he is already abandoning FIRE and running for the hills.

Just my opinion but he really bothers me now.
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