“I had a considerable passion to get rich, not because I wanted Ferraris – I wanted the independence. I desperately wanted it.” – Charles T. Munger
Earlier this year I finished the Charlie Munger biography ‘Damn Right: Behind the Scenes with Berkshire Hathaway Billionaire Charlie Munger’ by Janet Lowe. It is one of the best biographies I have read. The depth of access into Munger’s life, past and present, is amazing. I always know that a book is worthwhile when I come away from it sharper than when I started. An excellent choice for any of you readers.
While I took a lot away as an investor, one part stood out more than the rest. That is Charlie’s pursuit for personal independence. Many things in our lives are controlled by a paycheck: where we live, where our kids go to school, what kind of car we drive, where we go on vacation, how long we stay on vacation, etc. Some may read that and disagree. Don’t believe me? Then, let’s reverse engineer our lives. Would you still live in the house your living in if your paycheck was 50% more? What about where you vacation? Your car? Freedom allows one to get a paycheck from owned assets, therefore providing freedom of choice.
What is Freedom for You?
I have always been convicted by financial freedom. For Munger, it is his ethos. Freedom is the idea that one can control their calendar and time. Wake up when one wants. Spend time with people of their choosing. Take lunch when their body is good and hungry, rather than when a boss tells them that they should be hungry. Coach a son’s little league team rather than rush into the next board meeting. Attend a daughter’s dance recital rather than mandatory company happy-hour. Enjoy the freedom to focus on what one is called to do rather than what the living expenses demand one do. Freedom is an infinite number of things. I don’t know what it is for you. The beauty is that once achieved, you get to decide.
Financial freedom starts by making decisions today to build an asset that cash flows, thereby putting your future self in a position to reap the passive rewards of that cash stream. I plan to discuss my strategies in later articles but it starts with painting a picture of freedom. What does that look like for you? Can you see it when you close your eyes? Do you have your first day of freedom planned out? Happy painting!