I recently did an interview for a FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) site called Firedave.com Today Dave answers the same question set he sent to me.
Who are you, and how did you discover fire?
I am Fire Dave and had already been working a lot of the concepts and basics unknowingly with my wife for some time before I heard about the Financial Independence and Early Retirement movement during a conversation where the term was dropped. I already had a burning desire to learn and develop sills and ideas and as I started a deep dive into the FIRE concepts we quickly saw a hard but clear route to FI that we could follow over time and adjust the plan as needed when life events came up! My wife and I were both onboard so we got to work.
I also realised at the time that FIRE was not mainstream although Financial Independence and wealth creation has been around for a very long time so I knew all the answers already existed I just needed to follow the breadcrumbs and look to people who have achieved this before me. The idea of reverse engineering our goals and expediating the time sounded like a great plan and gave me a daily purpose and overall direction which is one of the driving forces I needed to work on this daily and keep going when the smaller details did not go to plan!
I know that the majority of people do not embrace FIRE and we would be going against the regular grain and that was ok with me too, I figured if it did not work out in a few years we would surely be in a better position overall.
I am surrounded by a fantastic community and network of people in my life and I regularly hang out in the Limerick Whatsapp group where some of these great people can be found!
My personal goal is “To Inspire others through my own inspiration”.
What is the backbone of your fire strategy?
Property from day one made the most sense for us for a few reasons. Firstly we could leverage to borrow with property and most financial institutions worldwide support this by loaning against real estate which speaks volumes. Property also cash flows immediately which was a big factor as we we did not need to wait for a pension draw down date or pay a lot of money into building a massive dividend based income portfolio before we started getting paid. When we looked at the number of properties we would need to FIRE and our estimated yearly expenses it all started to make sense.
I felt with property better able to directly influence my investments than putting money into a pension or ETF for example. The tax write off is another advantage and the capital appreciation of property over time is another growth factor when playing the long game. I felt better investing in property which is a tangible asset that I understood and when I looked back over history it has been around for a long time and is not going anywhere fast. I enjoy looking at deals and coming from a sales background I am used to speaking with people and dealing with tenants, auctioneers, solicitors and accountants comes quite naturally to me so it suited us better than other asset classes. I was also building a stock portfolio in the early days mostly to gain understanding of the stock market but I cashed it in to focus on one asset class and try to be good at one thing. In terms of diversification I think we will just continue to buy property as long as we can and since we are still young we can scale this up as far as we can go, ultimately leaving the portfolio to our son.
What do you plan to do once you reach Financial Independence (FI)?
Initially the goal was to replace our worked income with passive income and we all have the idea of sitting on a beach drinking cocktails. As we have gone down this journey I realised that I get a lot of benefits mentally from doing work and overcoming challenges and working on my own terms has meant I often work more than before. I will continue to run FireDave.com which I set up to draw ideas, strategies and tips from people worldwide in interview format to inspire and motivate others to find their own path. I also run regular Live FIRE events bringing the best people together to share their knowledge and stories. I also run Dolphin Utilities which is an energy supplier switching company that I run to help people change utilities provider for zero fee. I will of course continue to manage my property portfolio and look for new deals and opportunities in the market place whilst developing myself personally daily. I have placed a special interest on health and vitality and mindset expansion. It would be wrong not to say that the driving force behind everything I do is to be the best husband to my wife and father to my son so they will be proud of me!
Fun Fact about you?
I jumped out of a plane and sky dived solo when I was in the UK and found the experience spectacular.
What are some books, podcasts or YouTube channels you recommend?
Life/Philosophy – Jordan B Peterson
Sales/Property Billionaire – Grant Cardone
Mindfulness – Eckhart Tolle
School of Greatness – Lewis Howes
Business – Dan Lok
Playing With FIRE – Documentary
Health – The Blue Zones
Thanks for the great interview Dave. Property sure is the best asset class you can buy, if you can leverage all the better. Good luck on your journey.
Ben has a BEng (Hons) in Computer Science and 20 years of experience in online marketing, specialising in SEO, lead generation and affiliate marketing. After spending over a decade as an igaming affiliate, he has decided to concentrate on GA4 training and SEO Audits.