New in the road of financial liberty

So, I’m a 37 guy, now living in switzerland Vaud, that allways lived end to end in a punk community till beginning of 2022. The community crashed, and I’ve become totally unable to work in my past profession (that was not a good paying one).

So I did what I did when I was 20, meaning turning my hobby into my main job. My hobby being informatic devloppment, I started job hunting in Switzerland (with 0 year of experience, and no real formation, i’m self-taught). A friend whom I’ve shown my dev work helped me being hired in his firm, I’m now an embed dev, earning for the first time of my life a real salary, getting a second pilar, and also maxing this year my third pillar.

I’ve icreased my year earning from about 12k CHF to now a good 78k CHF with this job, which means a little 650% upgrade. I don’t thing a lot of people experimented that :slight_smile:

I’m now learning that being employed is such a cool thing. I was self employed the rest of my life, and I’m enjoying the freedom it gives me. But I also know that I won’t love this for the next 28 years of my active life, so I’m searching a way to not be forced to work, and to generate passive revenue.

Also, cherry on top of the cake, I just inherited a small flat and a bit of cash.

So I’m gonna go in some places like this forum to search for ways to make that wealth work for me, and doing it in a way that allows me in the future to live on passive income. I’ve done some math, and I hope to retire in 5 to 10 years


Welcome to the forum, @sp00t .
as an ex-punk community member (kind of a commune/collective, i assume?) you can probably share some great experiences about such free/alternative living style and “costs” some time. Not immediately, but maybe we can start a thread at one point.
Such “free”/“independent” living forms are certainly one interesting variation of the “I” in FIRE, not for all, but for some.

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Glad to have you here, @sp00t! I’m looking forward to hearing more from your viewpoint.

Asking (actually) for a friend: How did that work? What were your biggest obstacles, and what would you recommend to other aspiring, non-formally educated developers?

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@CryingSofa It’s a little bit tricky to answer, because it’s very specific to me. But the real obstacles were that I had no experience in an software world, and that I had no formation after “maturité”.
My positive point where that I did work as tech director for some shows that toured worldwide, which showed that I can assume a lot of responsibility and that I can actually make shit work. I also had a very big portfolio of tens of thousands of lines of code, and most of them actually were used in real business projects that relied on it to make money. And so the solution was to make a resume that reflected this hardly, and to sell myself.
But it’s not that impossible. Many companies really need people that can solve problems with code, and if you can convince a company that you can do it, they will not care that much of your formation or experience.

And by the way, the other thing was that I had no choice, I had no more income, and my mindset was to accept anything as long as it would provide enough money for food and shelter :slight_smile: . But at the end of this job hunt, I still had a few opening to choose from, and I took the most interesting. But the main goal was to put a foot in the industry, and to add that line in my resume that says “someone hired me and made money out of me, you won’t be the first one to trust me”. Next job hunt will be a lot different.

@rolandinho Yeah, it’s a very interesting variation of the I in fire, but I won’t mark it as real independant. It was more that in this way of life, we did not care about finance because we have been able to totally reduce the cost of life by having solutions for a lot of thing. We actually were between 8 and 15 adults, living out of about 100k CHF a year, and not having to refrain that much. It’s funny to think that in Switzerland you can live with that few. But some of the solutions were “not having to pay for a place to live”, being subsidised for health insurance, not paying taxes because low income, and this is not something a lot of people here could do :wink: . But most of thing were acceptable trade offs because the communal project was fantastic, And I’ll do them again, if I was 25. I could totally see more than a book written about this life. I’ll probably start a thread about this if people are interested, but not too soon.


And btw, as I said, I’m extremly lucky in my journy to fire, as i’m starting by inheriting a small 400k appartment, actually filled with good tenants that won’t leave for some time. And it is debt-free and the flat has been totally renovated in 2021.
Actually it’s bringing me a very secure 13k per year, and right now I feel like I cannot sell it due to family reason.
But I feel like I can have more income, by getting a mortgage to buy a second, a third or a fourth one. But I can also use that mortgage to buy ETF, or other things.

What would you do in that situation ?

I’d craft an investment policy statement (IPS) and follow it.

You seem to have identified your options. If you are interested in real estate investing, snowballing projects, as you state it, might be a way to do it. Your next property could either be for you to live in or another investment property. The way I’d do it is to buy a property that needs some fixing but is habitable, living in there while fixing it, then getting on to the next property and renting or selling the old one.

If landlording hassles aren’t for you, or you think you have enough exposure to real estate already, I’d just invest in other assets. Stocks are an easy go to, bonds (short term or liability matched) could bring in more stability. Gold could act as a diversifier.

An alternative would be to use your available wealth to fund your own venture/business but this doesn’t seem to be the next leg of your journey, you seem to enjoy your new position and can use it to leverage your career, which holds its own kind of excitement and rewards.

Hopefully you’ve already calculated to save 1% of the value of the apartment for possible renovations. Don’t spend all the money you get.
I usually give this advice even if I always wondered how true it is. From my small experience, I’ve always seen landlord raise the rent after renovations. Probably I’m mixing up renovations and fixes, where the latter should be paid by the landlord with that famous 1%.

It’s a flat in a building, so the building already have a big renovation fund. But for right now I’m just deciding that my emergency fund will be the one used for small renovations, like changing an oven or fixing a sink.

Right now my reflexion is about taking a mortgage on it, because that 13k is too few of income (13k/400k = 3.25% yield). I’ll get a Saron one, at 75%, to have some money to invest elsewhere. The idea right now would be to send 150k in ETF world, 100k in an immo fund like CRONOS, and keep the remaining 50k for more risky (like 20k in crypto, 20k in a stock I like, and 10k in a risky stock I believe in). Also, I’ve heard that beginning of the year is a good period to get very good mortgages on MoneyTax.

A question I’m asking myself is opening an AG, to have the income taxed at entreprise level, and to be able to optimize my taxation by passing lots of my expenses to the AG. Basically, I would have 100% of the share, and then lend the money of the mortgage to the structure to buy etf, and if I need the money now, it would repay me as reimbursement (and not as income). I have a few cousin that did something in that range, I’ll ask them more about it. Did anyone here experiment with the idea ?

edit: And also next thing next, I’ll look for some career advices. Winning money by doing nothing is cool, but being well paid when you do things is also pretty enjoyable. But I’m no sure about how to sell myself as a developer with no real speciality (and no formation), when I’m experienced in cloud (typescript/node, gae/firebase), in embed (C, keil) and in various high or low level scripting (python, bash), and when I can thrill in heavy process (iso 60601) or in process-free fast paced environment. I feel like a jack of all trade master of none. But I’m not sure being a highly specialised dev is the only road.

Here is what I’d do:

As a first step, determine your “market value”: Contact 3 personnel / recruiting agencies specialized in IT in your area and tell them that’d you’d be interested in knowing your market value. They will ask for your resume. To find the agencies, look for some job ads, the contact is often an agency. If you’re open to moving, contact some agencies in other cantons as well.

In case you’re earning less than market, I’d try to upgrade to a job requiring the skills that you’re listing and which pays at least market. This should be doable.

In case you’re earning already market, I’d think about strategies how to sell my self for above market positions.