What Sparked my Financial Interest — 10 Year Target Origin Story
We all have an origin story. I am about to hit my first target goal that was 2,000,000 NOK ($235,000). Let me tell you how I got there and what sparked my financial interest.
The Spark of My Financial Interest
Let’s start from the beginning. Looking back I can actually pinpoint what started my interest for money and saving. The happening that made me set targets, saving every month and reading books on finance. It all started in my Confirmation. In Norway we are confirmed either in church or in a Humanist ceremony (and some choose to do neither). This happens when we are 14–15 years old and (to be honest) a big part of this ceremony is to gather the family and receive gifts.
One of the gifts I received was shares in a mutual fund. I do not remember the exact amount, but that is not important. What is important is that each month I received a letter in the mail telling me the value of the shares. I could see how the value of the shares increased over time and that really interested me. In 2008 we had the financial crisis and I saw the value of my funds decline. But I was not yet sure how the buying and selling funds worked, and if I sold what would I do with the money? Time went by and I saw the value once again rise. This was a valuable lesson that is still part of my financial market psychology.
After finishing what I think is the equivalent of the english high school time came to decide what I should do next. When I decided I wanted to study economics my interest for money and riches was in the back of my mind. I also had a fascination for technology, and seeing that both of these lines of education could lead to careers with high salary I chose both. At the university I first studied what was a hybrid between economics and IT management. This thought me basic economics and finance as well as how business could utilize IT in order to be more effective and make more money.
At the time it seemed like just about everyone studied to become expert in either IT or economics. In order to be ahead of the competition I thought that I needed a master degree. Continuing on the same track as before, combining IT and finance I found a masters degree integration of business systems.
Brilliant. I now had the combination of a degree that could generate high income and knowledge of how businesses worked and in what way technology could leverage their performance.
Career and the Important Colleague
After having a BSc and a MTech in the pocket I sought out into the world and landed a decent job. The work is okay, pays above average (though not as much as I would want) and my colleagues have always been very fun to work with. One of my colleagues was a little misplaced at this time. He had studied economics (more than me) and ended up in this job that was heavily focused on IT. Financial markets was his passion (and after finding himself he actually made the move and became economist).
Him and me spend the lunches and time off discussing finance, stocks and living in wealth. This made me interested in the stock market and I started to investing more of my saving into both that and mutual funds. We discussed individual stocks, bought the same ones and got burned at the same time. Before buying and after selling he always explained what he was thinking and what he observed. It is really hard to explain or predict financial behaviour so I did not always buy into all of his advices, but what was important was that he made me interested. I still me him from time to time and we discuss the same topics.
The Rest is History
The financial interest grew over time and I started reading books and watching videos on Youtube. I read about inspiring people, inspiring thoughts and inspiring techniques. I started following people on Twitter and reading blogs. Reading other peoples financial statuses really got me thinking. Seeing a person I do not know reaching a $200,000 milestone don’t make an impression. But looking at persons history and seeing the (s)he started out just like me, that made me think that this was something I could do as well. So I cranked up my savings rate, defined my desired target (that at that time was $ 235,000 by the end of 2020) and started on my journey towards financial freedom.
And here am I today. So close to hitting the target that I created my next one.
And what keeps me motivated? Well, I recommend you read this post.