Welcome to Starting From Zero.
I’m a 21 year old investor and writer blogging about my journey to financial independence. I started investing in individual stocks in January 2013 and started Starting From Zero in February 2014 after being inspired by some of the many great personal finance blogs out there that chronicled their individual journey’s to financial independence and retirement. I wanted to share my journey to hopefully inspire others and also to track my progress towards my ultimate goal of financial independence by age 40.
So, a little about myself. I grew up on the east coast, one of two kids to middle class parents in a small town. My parents instilled financial discipline in me at a young age, always encouraging me and my brother to save birthday/gift money and eventually earnings from summer jobs. After graduating high school in 2011 I joined the Air Force where I currently work today. When not writing here, I enjoy hanging out with friends, working out, reading personal finance blogs/stock investing research, and biking.
As I set about learning to invest, I really had no clue what I was doing or what my goals really were. I knew I needed to save for retirement and the basics of what an IRA was but as far as what type of mutual funds or stocks, I didn’t really know. After experimenting with some individual stocks, I eventually happened onto the Dividend Growth Investing community at SeekingAlpha.com. I immediately knew that this was the right investing strategy for me and began researching stocks in my spare time.
Towards the end of fall of last year, despite getting a solid investment plan set up, investing in both a Roth IRA, a taxable brokerage account, and the Thrift Savings Plan (a 401k plan for federal employees), I still wasn’t in the best shape financially. I finally realized that in order to build enough meaningful wealth in order to retire early, not only would I need to invest smartly, I would also need to plan my expenses better. I started reading personal finance blogs such as Mr. Money Mustache, Johnny Moneyseed, and Dividend Mantra and implemented many of the frugal principles taught there into my own life.
I hope you enjoy reading about my journey to financial independence here at the Starting From Zero Blog.