Hello Ladies & Gents!
I already made on that forum a significant number of comments (mostly questions) and I guess it’s high time to introduce myself. My name is Tomasz. I’m a Polish Fi-seeker living in beautiful Zug. I work as a, so called, “DevOps Engineer” in a, so called, “FinTech” startup (we’re developing a pretty cool wealth management app that I’d love to use for my own investments, but I can’t afford it ). Before that I worked for a year on the Genevian-French border for CERN. (So after spending one year in la Suisse romande and on year in der Zentralschweiz, I still can’t speak neither French, nor German - and my English also sucks badly.) Before CERN, I have worked for various IT companies in Warsaw for about 5 years.
My FI obsession started with reading Mr. @_MP’s blog (and from his website, I followed MMM and other FI blogs) end of the last year. I already knew for quite a long time that there are better options than keeping savings in the bank, but just didn’t know how to start. From first readings, I’ve figured out that I need a retirement account and then I’ve learnt that in Switzerland you can actually cash out your account when you’re leaving the country (I still don’t know how long I’ll stay here). I’ve opened 3a account at UBS and starting reading up on UBS investments funds. That research led me to Mustachian Post blog where I’ve discovered that UBS actively-managed funds are ridiculously expensive. I’ve asked them if they have low-cost passive funds and they said “no”. Thus following MP’s advice, I’ve moved my 3a account to LUKB and started investing into Swisscanto passive fund.
In the meantime, I’ve discovered that I have really smart guys in my company. Two the guys responsible for investment strategies in my company are former institutional brokers and finance professors at University of Zurich. They’re also fans of ETFs, so I’ve gained a lot of confidence from them that MP’s strategy makes sense. This really motivated me to open a CT account and start investing. I’ve simplified our company model to group of 4 ETFs (bonds, developed markets stocks, EM stocks, small cap stocks), but under influence of this forum (thanks again @hedgehog!), I’ve decided to move to IB and start investing into VT ETF (today I’m making second transfer to the account and tomorrow I’ll buy VT’s shares).
During my work career (that started on 3rd year of studies), I’ve moved from a savings rate of about -20% (reckless spending and calling my parents and asking for money) to about +50% this month. That’s a quite significant difference. I started saving a bit about 3 years ago, last year I saved about 20%. This year I really started living frugal (no snacks, no dining out, thinking twice before buying anything, planning expenditures, groceries in Lidl + in Germany, etc.). We didn’t really inflate our lifestyles, so we still were able to save, as we lived mostly the same standard during these years. I was lucky that my wife is a natural saver and she liked a lot my metamorphosis (although she gets annoyed when I keep talking about investments, ETFs, brokers, TER and so on). I’m planning now to invest in VT every month half of my salary.
As I already mentioned in another thread, my wife is pregnant and in about three weeks our baby will be delivered in Kantonsspital Zug. We’re planning to save up and invest an amount that would enable us to travel on a round world trip (I’m thinking mostly about South America and Asia to keep it low-cost), a year before our kid will go to school. After that trip we will stick to the plan of achieving FI in about 10-15 years here in Switzerland or back in Poland or in some other place in Europe (we want to be close to our family and friends in Poland).
That’s it. I am really grateful that I discovered that forum and had an opportunity to learn so much from you! Thank you very much and I’m looking forward to meet you all guys on some Swiss FI meetup!