Dinosaurs were arguably the original financially free creatures to roam the planet! Each creature had its own niche. Since 2020 Lockdown is getting a bit weary now, let’s go back to pre-history to find out which FI dino you are*…
- Fast-track in high-paying city career, multiple passive income streams and throwing a tonne into medium and high risk investments.
- Aim is to FIRE already! Okay by 30 tops. After all, 50 is almost normal retirement age.
- Try telling a beast with 50-60 banana-sized teeth the meaning of the word ‘frugal’!
- Strength: Handsome pay packet and roarsome determination
- Weakness: Intolerant if life gets in the way (e.g. gigantasaura, divorce)
- A common three-pronged approach: frugality, index funds and side hustles
- Consistently plodding along with some concerted effort (y’know, munching through hundreds of pounds of tough vegetation daily)
- Aims to retire much earlier than conventionally, but not as fast as T-Rex
- Strength: A strong appreciation of compound returns
- Weakness: The ‘frill’ [sorry] of a damn good spreadsheet
- This ‘speedy plunderer’ wants to FI as fast as T-Rex! (But without the top city career)
- What s/he lacks in bulk (bucks), makes up in agile and cunning – whether it’s business ventures, the next big stock, being resourceful, or all three
- Likes to get their teeth into a highly diversified portfolio and new opportunities
- Strength: Nimble and adaptive
- Weakness: Some risks likely won’t pay off (e.g. chasing larger dinosaurs than they can chew)
- More cautious with a high planning horizon
- Throwing everything into their Vanguard/Fidelity SIPP/ISA, and trying to pull back on lifestyle inflation – depending what age they caught wind of FIRE
- Aims to retire a decent number of years before conventional retirement
- Strength: Can take advantage of some tasty tree tops without foregoing stability
- Weakness: Too slow moving for some
- A stable protectionist approach being ultra-frugal, maybe supplementing main income with a low-risk side income
- Revels in fixing/upcycling/ebaying/extreme couponing/slow living
- Aims for Barista FIRE, the option not to work or work part-time rather than early retirement
- Strength: Often under-estimated (obviously, with that bony club tail an’ all!)
- Weakness: Cash-heavy, which will erode with inflation
- Meaning ‘roofed lizard’, this one’s all about cash flow for property investment
- Buy-to-lets, HMOs and flips – This dino knows how to make a house look cosy (those bony plates were likely for temperature regulation, definitely not for fighting!)
- Aims for financial freedom asap but will probably continue managing their properties afterwards.
- Strength: Relatively passive income stream once ‘retired’
- Weakness: Not actually that well defended (diversified)
- Flies about collecting ideas, but not really a (FI) dinosaur!
- This eclectic beast likes the idea of the “FI movement” but the FI number looks daunting and they’re not yet sure what the goal would be once financially free
- Strengths: A critical enquiring mind (and pointy head thing)
- Weaknesses: May not have a job yet, or a “self-improvement junkie”
And there you go! Hope you enjoyed the tour.
If none of those sound quite right, maybe you’re a toned down T-Rex (tarbosaurus) or triceratops (protoceratops)? Or perhaps you’re more of a minimalist (microraptor) or relying on geo-arbitrage (utahraptor?) or in normal times, travel (Argentinosaurus?). I know, I’m enjoying this too much.
If there’s anything I’ve learned from our reptilian cousins, it’s that the most important key to success is to pick a niche that fits your personality. 🙂
Oh, and we’ll also all be extinct one day. But you knew that.
*Disclaimer: All to be taken with a pinch of prehistoric salt. I make no guarantee that paleontologists would agree with the FI characteristics I’ve assigned to each creature. Besides, very few of these animals were alive at the same time, being y’know each spaced apart by just a few million years or thereabouts.