"I'm on track to retire aged 34 and I don't work in finance"

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You don't have to work in finance to retire young. Nor do you have to leave finance and work for a technology company that's going public. I've never worked for either, and if I wanted I could retire aged 34.

I attended a top university in Europe, but I work in the U.S. I'm in construction. I'm an executive in construction, but I'm in construction nonetheless. - I'm the general manager of the firm I work for. All departments report to me and I report to the CEO.  The CEO takes care of business development, industry engagement and brand.  I take care of operations and investments. 

I started three years ago as an assistant project manager. Four promotions later, my salary increased from $95k to $200k. 

I usually work from 8am to 5pm, but can spend anything from 40 hours to 80 hours a week on the job. 

I started investing six years ago and my annualized returns are 66%. I invest 20% of my income every year and I plan to retire with $3m, or 15 x my current annual spending. When I have $3m I will either switch to safer passive income investing and target an 8-12% yield, or I could continue to target 25% plus annual returns.  At a rate of 25% annual return, even a crash of 60% won't be enough to drop my portfolio below a level where it can't grow again. 

When I began investing, I thought it would take me 20 years to meet my retirement goal. In fact, I'm on track to meet it in just nine.  

I'm telling my story because I want people to realize that you don't have to work in finance to make good money, and that you don't have to work in finance to retire young. I was tempted to apply to banks, but I've stuck with construction, and it's worked well for me.

My advice to anyone wondering how to make 66% returns is this: 

1. Don't day trade.  There are no day trading billionaires.  There are very few millionaires.  It's almost impossible to make long term gains day trading.

2. Use debt, margin, leverage and long term options to magnify your gains.  but use them sparingly and not on speculative investments. At no point should your overall leverage be more than 50% of your portfolio. 

3. Develop a stomach for huge losses.  I lost two thirds of my portfolio between Feb and March 2020. I doubled down on my investments and have made $570k since March.

Good luck.

Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: sbutcher@efinancialcareers.com in the first instance. Whatsapp/Signal/Telegram also available. Bear with us if you leave a comment at the bottom of this article: all our comments are moderated by human beings. Sometimes these humans might be asleep, or away from their desks, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. Eventually it will – unless it’s offensive or libelous (in which case it won’t.)

Photo by Scott Blake on Unsplash

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