Top Personal Finance Posts to Help You Achieve Financial Freedom

English: A view of Eagle Beach in Aruba.

Image via Wikipedia

Just for fun, I decided to look at my stats and take a look at what the most popular posts of all-time have been, and what sort of lessons we can draw from them. In this post, I will share with you some of the background behind each post, and what I liked about that post.

These articles are popular thanks to you, dear reader, so thank you for visiting and helping to make this blog a better place. :)

3 Frugal Ideas for a Romantic Valentine’s Day

Going by alphabetical order, this is the first entry, and it is also one of the most popular as well. I really do feel that one can express their love on Valentine’s Day through simple gestures, and they can also express their love on every day by the same simple gestures. Presents are always nice, and sometimes they are very appropriate, but a little bit of imagination can also work wonders. What girl doesn’t love breakfast in bed in the morning and a warm bath with rose-petals at night, followed by a long and deep massage?

3 Unconventional Investment Moves to Make in 2011

Did you ever think of going against the crowd, and investing contrary to popular wisdom? Everyone is down on natural gas? Buy some. Everyone thinks that the US Dollar is going to crash? Buy some. Everyone’s going into silver? Sell some. This was the most popular article of all-time, thanks to the guys at The Daily Crux and Rob Carrick. Thanks again for featuring this article, guys, I really do appreciate it.

7 Wealth Building Strategies

This is a post from way back in the day, in my first month of blogging. There’s a photo there from Aruba, when I was there on vacation, and it also contains some lessons I learned from reading “The Richest Man in Babylon“. Some of my favourite lessons are:

  • Spend less than you earn.
  • Increase your earning potential.
  • Protect yourself from loss.

Becoming a Renaissance Man: Early Retirement Extreme

This is the book and the philosophy that really got me into the idea of getting out of the rat race and achieving early financial freedom. I always wanted and believe in these ideas, but my emphasis lied more toward the wealth-based form of financial independence. This book showed me that we don’t have to wait to build up the wealth, and we can achieve freedom at a younger age than commonly believed possible.

The man behind this book went back to work as an employee, and some people feel that he has betrayed the cause by doing so. I don’t understand that. To me, financial freedom means exactly that — the freedom to decide to work for yourself, or for someone else. Only you can decide which is better for your particular situation, and no decision need be permanent.

Gold as an Investment: Performance over Time

This was my first big analytical post, and perhaps one of my only. It was very interesting to compare the performance of gold over the past couple of decades and to see how it’s done, as well as look at how things fit in the bigger picture. I believe that gold is an important currency and an important asset for people, but that must also be balanced against the importance of investing in other assets.

Have a Lump Sum? Should You Pay Off the Mortgage Faster or Invest It Instead?

This is a trade-off that always comes to mind. If you pay the mortgage off faster, you reduce your debt outstanding and get that much closer to income-based financial independence, but you pay for that security by trading off potentially larger gains from the stock and bond markets. On the other hand, you could find yourself with high mortgage debt and stock investments that move sideways for decades. There is no one-size-fits-all answer here, but it is a question that cannot be ignored.

How to Get Fit, Feel Better, and Get Rid of Your Foggy Head: A Few Simple Steps

A couple of summers ago, I had a recurring problem with “foggy head” syndrome, and I would suffer throughout the day, sometimes getting very dizzy or feeling very unwell. I went through a series of diagnostic tests that ruled out physical brain problems, epileptic seizures, or any problems in the abdomen. Blood tests came out mostly OK, except for high bilirubin which my doctor has since diagnosed as Gilbert’s Syndrome. On the bright side, people with this syndrome get extra protection for the heart so long as the bilirubin does not get too high.

Conventional medicine ruled out the worst, but it otherwise failed to give me a viable solution to my spells of foggy head and dizziness. The only thing that has really worked is to change my diet, by removing most of the crap and by eating a more primal and balanced diet of healthy fats, vegetables, means, and “primal” carbs. I still get the spells, especially when I am feeling a little bit nervous (and I am the type of person that gets anxious over little things, even if I don’t show it), but nothing else has made as big of a difference as this.

Meet Andrew Hallam: The Millionaire Teacher

This is one of my favourite posts, since Andrew Hallam is one of my favourite personal finance writers. He was one of the first big supporters of Invest It Wisely, and I haven’t forgotten how great I felt when I received those first few comments. He also has an unbelievable amount of courage, which he has shown in his fight against bone cancer, and which he continues to show every day in his battle against expensive personal financial advisors and high-cost mutual funds, and in his endless drive to teach the important lessons of personal finance to as many as he can.

The Importance of Opportunity Costs, and Why They Should Not Be Ignored

We spend so much of our lives evaluating the costs and benefits of what lies before our eyes, but we spend less time looking at the unseen, or what kind of costs and benefits we would have if we made different decisions in our lives. I think we should spend more time looking at this, as it will help us to make better decisions. In today’s day and age, these questions are of prime importance:

  • Should I go into a large amount of debt to get a college education?
  • Should I be putting a lot of money into a home?
  • Should I trust my investment decisions to my bank’s financial advisor?

What Do You Need to Get out of the Rat Race and Achieve Financial Freedom?

This is the question that will help you decide just what kind of lifestyle you can reach, and how to get there. What is your rat race number?

There you have it. :) What are your favourite articles (from here or from elsewhere), and why?

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  1. says

    Very interesting. I actually missed some of these so this is a great refresh.

    Interesting about your diet changes and the benefits you have found. I went vegetarian a couple years ago and I noticed huge gains from it. Some of the issues I had went away almost instantly. It always feels good when we make a change that works out for the better doesn’t it.

    I really enjoyed your post about opportunity costs. Very profound. Some things in life are worth the cost!

    • says

      Thank you for the comments, Miss T. I’m not sure how much is also due to the heat and the sun; right now I’m in a sunny place and though my diet hasn’t been as good in one sense (more bread, pasta, stuff like that), I actually feel better. I guess you can’t really just adjust just one variable, but have to take everything together as a system. I’m also getting plenty of fruits which helps. 😉

  2. says

    It’s really interesting that you post that going primal helped your health. When I reviewed the Paleo Budget e-book, I found that a bunch of commenters were in the same boat of primal eating. Odd crossover, yes?

    • says

      Heh, I guess it makes sense! There are a lot of great benefits to primal, and I think you get 80% of the benefits just from not buying microwave dinners or processed foods. It’s not so much that carbs are bad, after all, if you were eating whole wheat bread with vegetables I’d be hard-pressed to say that that was unhealthy, unless you were a diabetic. It’s rather that loads of them mixed with hydrogenated fats, artificial preservatives etc… can be bad.

  3. says

    My apologies for not visiting your blog more often. These are some really interesting titles, and I’m really curious about reading most of these posts.

    Kike you, I also left the office, and currently fighting the rat race through my work-from-home endeavors. Congratulations!

  4. says

    Great refresher. There’s always good content coming from your “flagship” site. While I have read most of these, I do see some that I need to read and some that I have been meaning to revisit. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. says

    This is great collection Kevin. I am going to take time to read each as many were written before I even started blogging.

  6. says

    Kevin, REad several the first time around. I can tell why they are so popular, you’ve written some great stuff. Andrew H.’s book, Millionaire Teacher is a keeper.

  7. says

    Good idea putting together a “greatest hits” list. As I browse through the descriptions, I can see that I’m going to have to go back and read a few of them.