Where Am I Now? My Financial Starting Point

I have been deep into improvement of my finances for around a year now, ever since I started working full time after college. During college, I was fortunate enough to not have to worry too much about finances, living off of scholarship refunds and a part time job at the student union. Instead, getting good grades was my #1 focus. Once that dropped off and I was out in the big scary real world, I found that if one doesn’t consciously focus on their personal improvement, you will fall behind your potential.

As I mentioned in my last post, my marathon to 100K represents my journey to financial independence. Currently, I have developed several avenues towards my first 100K. Each of these has a slightly different purpose, and all of them contribute to my goal in one way or another.


Soon after beginning my full-time job, I was introduced to stocks through a friend of mine. They had years of experience in both stocks and options trading, focusing on “to the moon” investments such as AMC and GameStop. He had success with a few of these investments, and thus introduced them to me.

AMC Stock Since Nov ’21 | Source: Google Finance

My very first purchased stock was AMC back in November of last year (see above).

As you can see, this did not go particularly well. Since then, I have leaned more heavily into growth (Apple, Target) and dividend stocks (Coca Cola, Visa). Considering the time I began investing, I have had poor stock performance to date (see overall market trend below). However, I know that in the long run, stocks perform very well. Because of this, I have actually poured a good chunk of my money into stock investments, working hard to average my cost down as far as possible. This way, when the market does eventually recover (even if it is a year from now) my growth will be explosive.

VOO Stock Tracking Overall Market Since Nov ’21 | Source: Google Finance

I will speak more on stocks in future posts, as this is where a lot of my financial knowledge lies.

Rainy Day Savings

As any financial guru will tell you, any investment (save for arguably bonds) are risky, or at the very least, illiquid. Thus, it is very important to have a cash account of ~6 months living expenses saved up. As of now, I am working on building mine up with around 3 months expenses saved to this point. My long term goal would be to instead save up ~6 months income to allow for a greater buffer.

All of the financial experts I have learned from have implored me to automate my savings. This means setting an automatic transfer to your savings, investments, etc. weekly, monthly, or with every paycheck. Most of the time, the most difficult part of saving is deciding to do it. You want to see your bank account increase and feel like you can spend more money. If you automate this saving process, you never have to think about it and make that conscious decision. The idea of making a habit easier for yourself by taking away the need for constant input is an idea spoken about in the book Atomic Habits.


Learning from others is by far the best way to learn anything. Since embarking on my personal finance journey, I have become obsessed with the Investing for Beginners Podast. They focus on value investing, meaning investing in a company based on their underlying intrinsic value, with less of a focus on the stock’s chart and statistics. They hope to purchase stocks of solid companies that will continue to perform in the long run, especially with the addition of a dividend.

Source: Investing for Beginners Podcast

I have tried listening to a few other financial podcasts including Financial Feminist which I just started recently and am really enjoying the additional focus on entrepreneurship, and The Personal Finance Podcast with which I wasn’t as impressed. I felt that the concepts covered here were more generic and surface-level. To be clear, I do not mean to speak negatively on The Personal Finance Podcast. This is simply an opinion from a financial learner.


With a similar experience to podcasting, I have enjoyed reading about finances. Thus far I have read The 4-Hour Work Week, Rich Dad Poor Dad, Atomic Habits (not directly financial, but certainly applicable), and currently Buy This Not That. I have enjoyed all of them, particularly The 4-Hour Work Week. I enjoyed how this book would present a concept of how to accomplish a goal, then actually detail actionable steps.

I certainly subscribe to the idea mentioned in Buy This Not That, which is that the best return you can ever achieve is gaining thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars of success due to lessons taught in a $20 book or a $50 course. Spending money on learning is investing in yourself.

Real Estate (Fundrise)

Since I am so early on my journey to financial independence, purchasing an entire real estate property is likely not the best idea. Sometimes I am cautious to a fault, but I doubt that taking on that kind of financial burden would be a good idea at this point in my life. Especially since we don’t even know where we want to live yet!

I was introduced to Fundrise by Sam Dogen in Buy This Not That. Fundrise can be seen as crowdfunding for real estate. When you invest money in Fundrise, they take your funds and combine them with funds from thousands of other investors to search for, acquire, and manage properties. The returns from Fundrise can come in the form of income from tenants paying rent, or from growth due to asset appreciation. Either way, it provides a fantastic hedge as part of a diversified portfolio (see data below).

Since basic Fundrise funds follow the overall real estate market, it can withstand significant market downturns such as March 2020. In addition, Fundrise points out that instead of falling during high inflation like stocks, real estate actually flourishes due to raised rents, which Fundrise investors can gain in the form of dividends.

I started investing in Fundrise very recently, but absolutely plan to add significantly more money over time, likely investing 50/50 into stocks and real estate. Over this past year of investing, I have seen my stocks tank. As I stated before, I know that in the long run, this will lead to solid returns once the market rebounds.

Fundrise Returns | Source: Fundrise

However, if I had known about Fundrise prior to this (which was unlikely due to a severe lack of knowledge and JUST leaving college), I can clearly see that I would be far better off. I want to start preparing for the future by further diversifying into real estate.

I am in no way sponsored by Fundrise, but if you join using my link, we both get $50 in Fundrise for free.

Eventually, I certainly plan to acquire real estate myself. However, this will have to wait until we more so settle into a location, and I have enough funds to safely follow Sam Dogen’s 30/30/3 rule.


This blog that you are reading right now is my final form of financial education. We all know that speaking and teaching about a topic you are learning can help solidify your understanding as well highlight gaps in knowledge. Just these first two posts have helped me get a better grasp on where I stand in my journey to financial literacy. I know that in the long run combined with reader interaction we can all grow wiser than we ever thought possible.

I must be honest that I also hope to earn an income from this blog, and hopefully turn it into a full-fledged business. Currently of course this is not possible, but this is just the beginning of the journey of this blog. You will see the effort that goes into this baby of mine and what that effort can achieve.

Where to Next?

I feel that it’s important to have a general idea of what direction you want to head in to make the most progress. That silly title at the top of the page has a genuine purpose. It is a tangible milestone to aim towards that can be achieved by 1 million people 1 million & 1 different ways. I feel that having a milestone allows you to grow into your goals over time. Whereas without any goal whatsoever, you never have a north star to base your decisions on.

For my financial journey, I will continue to read every day to constantly expand my knowledge. I also want to deep dive into better understanding Fundrise. As it stands now, I don’t have enough money in there to be able to make granular decisions about my investments. You need $1,000 invested to have that ability. However, I can still learn as much as possible so that when that option is opened up to me, I am ready to jump on it. Finally, with the additional diversification provided by Fundrise, I want to focus a bit more of my stock portfolio (an additional ~15%) on riskier investments. Not “to the moon investments”, but companies that are closer to the incubation stage that can skyrocket from here.

As always (feels weird to say that with only two blog posts but so what) please feel free to reach out so we can continue to grow together. See you next week!

Evan from My Money Marathon

Evan from My Money Marathon

Hey, my name is Evan. I am a personal finance blogger passionate about bringing beginner
investors into the stock market world. Go here to read about my story, from knowing
nothing about investing to being well on my way to financial independence.

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