1500 Days: Bringing out the Worst in People since 2013!

My buddy Jim wrote a post last Tuesday about trolls. He was inspired by an article about us that went viral and showed up on Yahoo!. Like every other personal finance success story, the trolls came out in force. No bother, seasoned bloggers know not to look at the comments.

While I don’t entertain their vitriol, lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the trolls. I mostly feel sorry for them. One of my goals for the blog is to inspire people to live a better life. However with some people, I’ve only succeeded in inspiring them to reveal the ugliest parts of their personalities. Most of the trolls are probably OK folks, but the anonymous nature of the internet brings out the worst.

New Tagline?

Perhaps I should change the 1500 Days tagline from this:

1500 Days: Think different and escape the rat race.

To this:

1500 Days: Bringing out the worst in people since 2013!

Or this:

1500 Days: One big steaming pile of shit!

Or maybe this:

1500 Days: YOU SUCK!!!

Why the Trolls are Trolls

I’d expect a well adjusted person to respond to a random article on the internet like this:

goodDone

Here is the troll version:

badDone

It is much easier to make excuses than to put in the hard work.

It is much easier to build straw men (“Trust fund babies!” “What inheritance did they get?”) than to acknowledge that the article may be true.

It’s much easier to label me a fraud than to admit your own mistakes or change your direction in life.

Reading carefully is hard, just like drinking from a water bottle.

The easy path is – well, easier. No one accomplishes great things by being normal though.

And then again, maybe I’ve done it all wrong

The first thing I’d point out to any troll is what my life has looked like for the past 17 years. The core of my nest egg was built flipping homes. The Mrs. and I were live-in flippers, meaning that we lived in the home while we worked on it. And it hasn’t always been a fun time.

It’s not great working 40 or 50 hours per week and then coming home to another 30 or 40 hours of swinging hammers and painting. When co-workers ask me if I caught certain TV shows or movies, the answer was always “No.” No big loss as TV is mostly a waste of time, but that isn’t the end of it.

We decided to fix up our current home as well. With two children, this was a mistake. We’ve been working on it since June 2013 and it still isn’t finished. It’s almost there, but not quite done. And it’s caused lots of stress:

  • When the Mrs. and I fight (and it’s not about light bulbs or the thermostat), the core issue almost always goes back to the house. We have a solid relationship, so it saddens me that the house has come between us at times.
  • The house has caused me to spend less time with my children. This is the worst part. About a year ago, I was making my way out the door to work on something when the youngest child said, “Daddy, can we do a puzzle together?” I put down the tool I was holding and joined her. However, it tore me up inside because for a couple seconds, I was trying to come up with excuses.
  • We’ve let other parts of our life devolve into chaos. Our home has been a perpetual mess because we’re too busy. Living in a disordered environment screws with my mind in a bad way.
  • My health is poorer. I haven’t done one ride into the mountains on my bike. Health is absolutely everything and I’ve been neglecting it.

I’m not writing this so you feel sorry for me. Despite my bitching, life is wonderful. However, thinking back on it now, I would have structured my life a little differently if I had a Do Over button. I would have slowed down the pace. The last three years have flown by in a blur.

Regarding the trolls, I don’t think they’d be so nasty if they took time to understand the whole picture. They’ve already won this battle because I’ve given them more time than they ever gave me.

Oh damn, I feel a song coming on. I can’t fight it. Brace yourselves. It’s called, Yo Ho (A Troll’s Life for Me) sung to the tune of the Disney pirate song:

Yo ho, yo ho, a troll’s life for me.
We spew, we spit, we’re nasty and angry jerks.
Drink up me venom, yo ho.
We swear and disparage and we kick you where it hurts!
Drink up me vitriol, yo ho.

Yo ho, yo ho, a troll’s life for me.
We put-down and insult, we slander and shame.
Drink up me venom, yo ho.
We threaten and taunt, you’re gonna feel our flames!
Drink up me vitriol, yo ho.

Enough of that!

If you don’t want to believe me…

And if the trolls don’t like me, there is no shortage of other fascinating people to follow:

What is the common thread with all of these people? They’re all smart folks who worked hard and figured out what they wanted out of life at an early age (none are over 40). They all live extraordinary lives that are worth studying.

Click bait

The Yahoo! story was overwhelming and tiring. While the exposure was nice, these stories always focus on the wrong thing with a click bait title** to suck people in. I understand, Yahoo!*** is a business and needs people to click on the articles to get advertising dollars, however I really dislike the misleading titles.

I hate this, I really do. It was actually almost 2 decades of loads of work.

I hate this, I really do. It was actually almost two decades of loads of work.

No one likes to be fooled. While the author went on to explain the truth in the article, the damage had already been done.

It’s not all bad news though. I’ve received loads of nice comments here on 1500 Days and in email. Some folks told me that they checked out the blog and were inspired to make changes. I have no idea how many lives I actually impact and what the extent of it is, but if my silly words change even one life for the better, it’s all worthwhile.

Find your direction in life and embrace it.

Find your path and embrace it. It doesn’t matter one bit what anyone else thinks..

 

*Yes, someone once emailed me with: UR COCKMASTER! That is a lofty goal and I’m not worthy. I am many things, but I am in no way, shape or form, COCKMASTER!.

**My buddy, the Physician on Fire, cleverly pointed out what goes wrong with click bait headlines (this as a comment on Jim’s post):

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 10.10.36 AM

***Silly Yahoo! titles aside, the real focus should be on life. This blog is about money, but deep down, it’s not about money at all. It’s about how to live:

  • Keep your family and friends close. Be there for them. A good community of people in our lives is probably the biggest determiner of long term contentment.
  • Learn to not give a shit about what anyone else thinks about your choices. If the neighbors look down on you because your car is old, those people aren’t worth your time. I’ve had a big home and a new car. Neither made me any happier than I am today in my more modest life.
  • Find work that fuels your passions. You have to do it for thousands of hours of your life. That’s a lot of hours of misery if you hate your job.

Once you live your life right, the money issues will sort themselves out. You’ll be in a better place. Being rich in life is better than being rich with money.

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93 Responses to 1500 Days: Bringing out the Worst in People since 2013!

  1. This is a nice post and I think you have a good attitude about the whole troll thing. There’s always going to be haters, right? Most of them are probably living paycheck to paycheck in jobs they hate and are taking it out on you because they made bad life choices.

    I only started my blog about a month ago, and the community has been awesome – no haters or trolls yet!

    Keep up the good work, I’ll be following along!

    • 1500 says:

      “no haters or trolls yet!”

      Allow me to be the first! Just kidding! Maybe…

      Really though, this is an awesome community and I hope you enjoy your blogventures!

  2. The Internet really is full of haters. One thing I’ve noticed about trolls (especially people I know IRL on social media) is they generally aren’t creating things. They don’t write, make music, make art, etc. Instead, they spend their time tearing other people down. They don’t try to improve their lives, and feel threatened by those who do.
    Kate @ Cashville Skyline recently posted…Digit Review: How I’ve Effortlessly Saved $837.49My Profile

    • 1500 says:

      This is a great observation: “One thing I’ve noticed about trolls (especially people I know IRL on social media) is they generally aren’t creating things. They don’t write, make music, make art, etc. Instead, they spend their time tearing other people down.”

  3. Trolls always seem upset to learn that it actually takes work to save up and retire early (the horror!). If they took the time to actually read the full process of how people’s achieve what they don(instead of the condensed version they attack) they could actually see that you don’t have to live a horrible life to actually achieve something. Oh well. Someone has to keep working so we can all retire early, right?

  4. Quark says:

    Trolls are an ancient life-form of the interwebs and will always creep out of the caves. So no worries there.

    I massively respect your determination and hard work over the time, especially with three girls in the house – same here, same age distribution 😉 , same not having enough time to take care of all the stuff that needs caring.

  5. Team CF says:

    A well, if these people are to lazy, unmotivated, ill-tempered, impatient, etc. (please circle when applicable) to really focus on the core message that could improve their lives, they don’t deserve it either. Sad story really.

    Our exposure to the blogosphere is limited and have not had trolls come by so far (keeping my finders crossed), actually enjoyed many supporting comments to date. Guess most of yours are too, right?

    And just to be clear, you guys rock! We have been avid readers for many years now and enjoy every minute of it.
    Team CF recently posted…FIRED (MEET)UP?My Profile

    • 1500 says:

      You’ll know you’ve really made it when someone hurls a cruel insult at your mother! Don’t worry, it will happen and it will be glorious!

  6. Mr. PIE says:

    Drinking from the wrong end of the bottle should clearly be a red card offence.
    Trolls, please take note of this rule.
    Mr. PIE recently posted…Baking the Family PIE: Our Story and What Got us FIRE’d UP.My Profile

  7. Mr. SSC says:

    I think it’s as PoF pointed out and I am guilty of the same process he pointed out, instead of leaving nasty comments, i jsut quit reading Yahoo “news” stories. 🙂

    I would be genuinely interested in how someone else pulled off saving $1 mil in 4 years, but that’s why I read these blogs and not Yahoo anymore, hahahaha…

    Anyone anywhere around the PF blogosphere knows that barring a rich uncle inheritance windfall, lottery winnings, or insanely great timing of the market, it is slow boring, hard work to get to a million bucks. Index funds don’t make for sexy click bait, neither do home flippers, although there are plenty of reality shows that would make you think otherwise, and neither does living a modest, comfortable lifestyle while saving the rest.

    At least you got through to a few people and probably more that just didn’t bother contacting you to let you know. Good job!
    Mr. SSC recently posted…Will your retirement have an ikigai?My Profile

  8. Christi says:

    A similar click bait story years ago is the reason I started reading MMM blog which lead me to JL Collins which lead me to 1500 days……. Bottom line is the article will open the eyes of more than one person so feel good about that. Also you can borrow my motto if you would like, 1500 days: Bitches get Stitches!

  9. Paul Jackson says:

    While you’re skipping off into the sunset to live the dream, the trolls will still be sat in their underwear, commenting from the dark recesses of their bedroom.

  10. just a thought says:

    While it could be a lot of work, have you ever considered doing a post/analysis of what your NW would be had you approached FI with the most basic approach? More specifically, using 401k, IRA, taxable accounts filled via W2 job investing only in index funds?

    Alternatively, calculate the hours invested in home remodels to give people a real sense of what your hourly wage was.

    My guess is that you would still be on track to hit your 1500 days goal.

    While I think trolls are ridiculous, some people just don’t have the capacity (mental, physical, time) to get creative with tax strategy, flipping houses, side hustles, lucky stock picks, etc. I do believe their anger is “since I can’t do this, it is bullshit”. Heck, many of my friends are the same way and they make great money.

    FWIW: I have been thinking about this more frequently as I compare various bloggers and how they got where they got. In many cases, they just assume everyone can be like them in terms of intellect, energy and self control. However, this just isn’t the case.

    When I preach on how it can be done, I like to start with the 5/15/50. Where if someone saves 50% of their income and averages a 5% rate of return they can be FI in 15 yrs. If they don’t like any of the three variables, then we can talk about those independently (i.e. 15yrs too long, ok..tweak savings or ROR).

    A little ranty, sorry trying to do a couple things at once and wanted to get my thoughts out before the crazy day starts.

    • 1500 says:

      “While it could be a lot of work, have you ever considered doing a post/analysis of what your NW would be had you approached FI with the most basic approach? More specifically, using 401k, IRA, taxable accounts filled via W2 job investing only in index funds?”

      I have considered this. My net worth would be higher if I had gone the easy route. The reason is we undertook our most expensive flip in 2006. It was a luxury home and sucked up every spare cent for at least 5 years. We broke even on it, but I also put at least 1000 hours of labor into it. If I just stayed in my modest home and socked all the money in index funds, I’d have at least another $300,000 now.

      It’s easy to look back and think of what you would have done. In reality, I have no idea how I would have reacted if I had excess money when the markets cratered in 2008. I didn’t pull anything out, but I went years with small 401k contributions because of that house.

      I also would have been much better off not starting this blog and studying Ruby instead. Not everything is about money though. I like writing, so I won’t give it up.

      “FWIW: I have been thinking about this more frequently as I compare various bloggers and how they got where they got. In many cases, they just assume everyone can be like them in terms of intellect, energy and self control. However, this just isn’t the case.”

      I think about this too, especially work ethic versus intelligence. I think the former is more important. I know plenty of smart folks who are lazy as hell and go nowhere in life. The hard working ones are the ones who are going places. It’s not through brain intensive work like engineering or computers. Instead, they tend to end up in management or real estate.

      Of course, everyone’s circumstances are different. However, I think most folks can find a way if they have the desire. There are so many different ways to do it. Step 1 is the same for everyone though: Turn off the TV.

  11. So many internet tough guys out there hiding behind comments. I’m not sure why major sites even host comments any longer. Your average troll will not take the time to learn more they have to move on to the next event. Let the trolls, troll and well continue enjoying our lives.
    Brian @ Debt Discipline recently posted…Favorite ThingsMy Profile

  12. Whatever, cockmaster.

    Why don’t you quit telling me how to live, and spend more time mastering things, dipwad.
    Done by Forty recently posted…House LustMy Profile

  13. Heidi Engelhardt says:

    Keep doing what you’re doing and know that you are impacting so many people in such a positive way (me included). I have read all of your posts and mentally commented “this guy is right on” – i just don’t normally comment. Thanks for all you do.

  14. I agree with Christi above, that’s how I stumbled into the FIRE blogosphere as well and now just a few years later I’m part of it! Trolls will be trolls, but you are impacting many lives still and the Yahoo article will only help more people see the light. That’s great your story was featured!

  15. “Regarding the trolls, I don’t think they’d be so nasty if they took time to understand the whole picture.” I think this is largely the difference between the trolls and the majority of people pursuing FIRE. If you take the time to understand the whole picture, then you start to see the things that you could improve to live a happier life. The risk there, which I think leads to trolls, is that you do need to actually examine your life and choices to see why other people are able to achieve something you want and you haven’t been able to achieve. This can hurt at first, and people are reluctant to risk that pain.
    Matt @ Optimize Your Life recently posted…Saving Time and Money – Avoiding the Sunk Cost FallacyMy Profile

  16. I have a buddy who aims to troll as much as possible just because he thinks it’s fun. He understands, most of the time, that he is being an idiot, but it doesn’t bother him.

    As you pointed out, most trolls react purely on an emotional level and fail to process what they’ve just read. Deep down, I think the jealousy and disbelief stems from the ultimate realization that they, too, could sacrifice to achieve FI if they were willing to put in the hard work. It’s easier for them to whine and point fingers than get to work.

    You know you’ve arrived in the blogging world when you start to draw out the trolls. Kudos to you!
    FinanceSuperhero recently posted…8 Personal Finance Issues Millennials FaceMy Profile

    • Mrs PoP says:

      Your friend should listen to Lindy West’s segment on a This American Life episode called “If you don’t have anything nice to say, say it in ALL CAPS”. It might do him some good to hear a reformed troll speak about realizing that the subjects of his harassment were in fact real, living, breathing human beings who had done nothing to harm him.

      I don’t know anyone who would be hurt by a little more kindness in their life.
      Mrs PoP recently posted…Update on Medical CostsMy Profile

      • 1500 says:

        I just read that story. Holy shit, that guy was a jerk of immense size. It was nice to see he cleaned up his act.

  17. Sera says:

    look at what is happening to Leslie Jones. A terrible Twitter Neckbeard King initially got people to spam her twitter with racist hatred (think Harambe images) to the point that she had to dump Twitter. Luckily, Neckbeard King was banned from Twitter, but the Neckbeards were upset at this, so they decided to hack her iCloud account and hacke her own website and anonymously continue the racist hatred on her OWN website.

    The internet really brings out the worst, especially in people who have no lives. We live in a free society, but these people actually cross lines, especially when they involve severe hatred and incite violence. I’m sorry you had to deal with this. But at least in the meantime, it got you some new fans!

    Also, I love theonion.com reference you have up there. I can constantly waste time on The Onion…

  18. Anon says:

    Ha yeah I’ve noticed the anonymous blogger->Yahoo Finance->trolls timeline. Sorry you got caught in that web of crap. Enjoyed the intro (through yahoo) and found your story informative and your blog entertaining.
    I learn what I can from these things and try to apply relevant pieces to my own life even if we have different start and end points.
    Best of luck cockmaster, to you and your family.

  19. Mrs PoP says:

    Honestly, you have such a good attitude about all the trolling that it amazes me. I’m quite sure I wouldn’t be able to handle such criticisms with much finesse at all. =P (FWIW, NPR just recently did away with their online comments and the trolls were out in full force the day before criticizing the decision, but reinforcing – to me, at least – that NPR’s decision to close the comments and cut off the trolling was for the best.)

    Although in many cases, I imagine you’re giving some of the trolls far too much credit assuming that they read all the way to the end of the article. Most probably stopped reading at the first mention that you didn’t start from $0 four years ago and immediately ran to the comment section to express their rage, missing the further descriptions of what you did to get to that point in the first place and how you expect your life and spending to go afterwards.
    Mrs PoP recently posted…Update on Medical CostsMy Profile

    • Tara says:

      the NPR thing cracked me up! the funny thing is their target audience is a good mix of men and women, but the comments were like 83% men and more than half of the few comments made in one month came from just 2,500 people in spite of the fact that their targeted audience in one month can be over 30,000,000 people and it’s generally split evenly between men and women. Obviously that means that it’s a handful of people with WAAAY too much time on their hands doing the commenting!

      source: http://www.npr.org/sections/ombudsman/2016/08/17/489516952/npr-website-to-get-rid-of-comments

      • jlcollinsnh says:

        Thanks, Tara…

        …for sharing that.

        Kind of a relief to know, percentage-wise anyway, they are such a small number.

        Still, a shame the other 30 million lose what could have been interesting discussions.

        It does amaze me that even 2500 people not only have this much time, but that they chose to spend it in such a way. It is corrosive in general and especially to themselves.

  20. Ms. Montana says:

    I think people’s comments reveal quite a bit about them as a person. And sometimes almost nothing about the article! I feel sorry for that type of person as well because they are so stuck on being a victim, that the system is “rigged” against them, and all advice isn’t helpful to useful to them because of x, y or z. It’s hard to make progress and positive changes when you only see yourself as a victim.

  21. Yea, Yahoo didn’t do you any favors and many commenters were upset about the clickbait title, and not necessarily your story. Although of course there were plenty of trolls there too as usual. If they admit that what you did was possible then it’s a poor reflection on their own life. Better to insult you, think it’s not possible and go back to living their lives of buying take out, and other stuff they don’t need and watching reality TV.

  22. Tawcan says:

    I recall that Justin’s article on a few major media outlets had a lot of ppl calling BS even though he showed how he achieved his net worth in details. The best comment I saw, which Justin and a few others were joking around, was something along the line like “you married a Mexican, they don’t divorce you.”

    What kind of nonsense is this?

    Like you said, Yahoo is in the business to get clicks. The title is a click bait and when people didn’t get the type of article they expect, they become trolls and make angry comments.

    I’ve long learned not to care about what other people think about me. Life is too short to do that.
    Tawcan recently posted…How a dumb credit card payment mistake cost me $61.03My Profile

  23. I think the trolls are what scare me the most about writing so publicly about our financial (and personal) lives. It totally doesn’t matter, but it can be overwhelming to have the full, anonymous force of the Internet attacking your way of life.

    I think people get angry because they don’t understand how frugality truly works. People hear “paid of thousands in debt” and assume that you have a magic trust fund wand that can wave all your troubles away.

    I think that speaks to the sad state of our personal finance education and understanding.

  24. It’s good that people are sceptical (so am I), but in some of the examples the anonymity of the web brings out the worst in people. It’s also a coping mechanism to deal with their own failures and lack of knowledge about the power of compounding 10-15 years worth of aggressive savings. Maybe, if Yahoo were to be in the business of really informing folks, they should publish not just a one-time “info dump” about one successful couple but also make a series out of it. Show different examples, show some pure numerical examples and how those savings would have added up. Until then you have to live with the trolls!
    earlyretirementnow recently posted…We just saved $42,000 by not switching to BettermentMy Profile

  25. My favorite epiphany from reading “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind” was – how can you become wealthy if you resent the wealthy?

    Unfortunately that is just how most [non-wealthy] people are. They are programmed from a very early age to resent rich (or “new rich”) people and as adults very few of them are able to transform that mindset into one that serves them. Trolls on financial matters are these people. I think you just have to hope that you and your blog could help the few that *want* to change their mindset, rather than focusing on the people who *want* to continue to live their lives with hate and resentment. Live and let live, ya know?

    • 1500 says:

      “how can you become wealthy if you resent the wealthy?”

      That is a really good thought! Love it.

  26. JC says:

    Congrats on the Yahoo Exposure but man that headline was horrible. I went ahead and read through some of the comments and they were pretty funny. I wish yahoo wouldn’t have such click bait titles especially ones that aren’t even close to telling the actual story. The funniest thing about the comments though was that people get hung up on the title instead of the meat of the article which was essentially to live intentionally so you can reach your goals.
    JC recently posted…It’s Quiet…A Little Too QuietMy Profile

    • Totally agree with you JC and I thought the same thing. I guess I would have been so intrigued with the story and what the 1500’s accomplished that I wouldn’t even have remembered what the title even was. And that’s because I would have actually read the story…. And yea, some of the comments were actually pretty funny. It would have been good to have a few beers before reading them.
      Vicki@Make Smarter Decisions recently posted…When DIY Might Not Be the Smartest Decision!My Profile

  27. Kyle says:

    Didn’t find one positive comment on Yahoo. Most people fear the future and the unknown, and they also don’t like to think they’re failures. They assume you’ll fail shortly after you retire because it makes them feel superior. People want to think they’ve been doing things right all along and couldn’t do it much better. A lot of people need to feel that they’re superior in everything, they’re also the WORST people to work with. They come up with excuse after excuse for their habits even if they admit they’re bad habits. People like us are open to new ideas, open to admitting we can be wrong or that we have something to learn. We’ll always reach our goals more frequently and get job opportunities easier and find success because of our openness, but we’re by no way normal. We are the outliers.

    People are often overly defensive. They can take what you’re doing as you’re telling them they’re living life incorrectly, as if there is an actual wrong way to live. They say you’re depriving yourself of the “good life” while we could easily say they’re depriving themselves of security and freedom, not to mention reduced stress and overall happiness. I don’t think you care in general if someone chooses to not save, if you’re like me you just want to teach people and if they still decide to live the same way, then at least they’re better informed on the possibilities they may have not thought about.

    I’ve always loved the phrase “you can’t do that!” to which I reply “I just did.”

    • Kyle says:

      I also believe the vast majority of people are not intentionally mean. They’re dealing with their own problems. I look at it like I look at people with super expensive cars and houses, I assume most are living on the edge of financial ruin because statistically most of them are and it completely stopped me from any feeling of envy or jealousy. Trolls are bitter on the outside while feeling insecure, inadequate and frustrated on the inside. They’re not a picture of strength, they’re showing their weakness by lashing out. It’s a cry for help. If they were strong mentally and felt secure an article like this wouldn’t upset them. I feel more pity than anything to the troll because you know they need help. And the real sad thing as you point out is if they just actually read your blog and similar ones like it, they actually might get control of their lives. But it’s always easier to play victim and do nothing rather than admit you have some control and try to do better.

      • 1500 says:

        Damn, you nailed it. I feel sorry for them too. If they’d just shut their mouthes and open their ears, they’d be a lot better off…

  28. Ms. Liz says:

    Brene Brown mentions a great quote by Theodore Roosevelt. She mentions it because of all the criticism she received after her now famous TED talk. To sum it up, those of us who are putting ourselves out there and are in the arena should pay no attention to those that are not in the arena but are sitting on the sidelines. Here’s the full excerpt from her interview:

    A lot of people refer to it as the “Man in the Arena” quote. And it goes like this: “It is not the critic who counts. It is not the man who sits and points out how the doer of deeds could have done things better and how he falls and stumbles. The credit goes to the man in the arena whose face is marred with dust and blood and sweat. But when he’s in the arena, at best, he wins, and at worst, he loses, but when he fails, when he loses, he does so daring greatly.”

    Unless someone is in the arena, they don’t warrant our attention. The trolls are never willing to step into the arena; cheers to you for stepping in!

    • 1500 says:

      “Unless someone is in the arena, they don’t warrant our attention. The trolls are never willing to step into the arena; cheers to you for stepping in!”

      This is wonderful and so true! No one has any right to cast stones if they haven’t walked in your shoes.

      PS: Do you have a spare bedroom for ski season? 🙂

  29. jlcollinsnh says:

    Good to see you come clean on all this, Mr. 1500.

    A link to this post is now Addendum 2 on the one of mine you so kindly mentioned in your opening line.

  30. Fun post! Now that you are famous and everybody knows you guys have $1.5M now will you be:

    1) Buying all blogging buddies like me steak dinners and drinks during times where there is no company sponsorships? Lunches are generally a good time! I love me a good NY T-bone or dry-aged ribeye. Yum, yum!

    2) Helping out your described “squid” ******? Surely he knows you guys have big bucks now. It would be surprising if she didn’t ask for some!

    It’s good that when one wins, everyone wins!

    Sam
    Financial Samurai recently posted…Follow The Money: A Look At The Best Paying Government JobsMy Profile

    • 1500 says:

      Oh man, I totally would buy you a steak, but I just sold my FinCon ticket. Next time I’m in SF, I’ll buy you ground steak though (In-N-Out Burger). You can even substitute a shake for the drink…

  31. Aw man. This makes me excited to get a big article out there and deal with the troll army. Good on you for keeping your chin up and with a great sense of humor!
    Gwen @ Fiery Millennials recently posted…The Art of Worth ItMy Profile

  32. #1 rule of fight club. Don’t read the comments. 🙂

    I actually enjoy dipping my toes in the water and reading a few comments. They always elicit a smirk, then a full smile, and I go back to doing whatever wonderful things I was doing before tasting the vitriol.
    Justin @ Root of Good recently posted…July 2016 Financial UpdateMy Profile

  33. The way I look at it trolls are great, they are an indirect indicator that people are reading what you write, and that your story/writing is different enough to get noticed. Congratulations on your success cockmaster!

    I would be interested to know how many new readers the article brought to your site, and how many people will be inspired by your story to make a positive change in their life. Isn’t that really why we all blog anyways?

    As someone mentioned above, you are in the ring now. Most just watch and criticize.

    • 1500 says:

      “I would be interested to know how many new readers the article brought to your site, and how many people will be inspired by your story to make a positive change in their life. Isn’t that really why we all blog anyways?”

      I hope so. I think most bloggers’ hearts are in the right place. Sure, some of us want to make a healthy buck too, but if that is the whole focus, it will show through and you’ll probably fail…

  34. SJ says:

    I haven’t read the article or the comments (and I don’t think I will) but if it’s true that there isn’t a single positive comment then there might be something wrong with how the article was written… and as pointed out: it was very likely intentional. On the other hand, I have to say, sometimes you and other FI people annoy me. I will continue, indefinitely, to make it my daily coffee habit to read the blogs and it’s a real treat when one of you update, but you all annoy me nonetheless. 🙂 So what’s the deal? Am I envious? Did I make poor choices? Am I a petty individual? … Maybe a little, I guess.. in our late 20’s we didn’t take every opportunity to optimize when we could have and we’re still not FI.. but my husband’s now in the C-suite of a large multi-national corporation and our monthly compensation is now over $15k (and this is just the base salary!) and yet you all still bother me, so what IS going on? I think it’s this: FI blogs are inherently self-absorbed and self-centered (they’re called PERSONAL finance blogs for a reason, duh!). I think a lot of people get rubbed wrong by this dynamic. Here is Joe Shmoe or Sally Sue not only killing it financially, but writing beautifully written monologues to chronicle it and I think for people, myself included, it makes them feel isolated: FI is individualism at it’s best. Individualism is probably THE fundamental component of American culture, but I think a lot of people are hurting for it. FI blogs reiterate the idea that the individual is solely responsible for their fate.. yet that is and has never been true and some FI bloggers, like Frugalwoods, have had the decency to divulge her privileges.

    • Joy says:

      “FI blogs reiterate the idea that the individual is solely responsible for their fate.. yet that isn’t true and some FI bloggers, like Frugalwoods, have had the decency to divulge her privileges.”

      That statement makes me feel physically ill. Why? Why do you want others to down play their successes? All human beings have a back story. Some have made it big simply because their back story was so painful it compelled them to be successful. Stories like these amaze us and yet their history was the catalyst they needed to be great.

      Many have privilege and, it was their curse.

      If someone has the self discipline not to waste their substance, to work hard with their eye set on a brighter future, why should they have to say anything else?

      I didn’t come from privilege. I don’t feel those that came from privilege owe me anything; Certainly not the down playing of their successes.

      I think it comes from a matter of self worth. Love yourself.
      Don’t read these blogs sizing up yourself against their accomplishments.
      Read them for the nuggets of gold they offer. My financial life has changed greatly for the good since discovering MMM 5 years ago. When I read these blogs all I feel is gratitude. 🙂

      • SJ says:

        “Read them for the nuggets of gold they offer.”.

        Absolutely! Perhaps you missed the part where I talked about my morning coffee ritual of reading the FI blogs 🙂 MMM and Frugalwoods helped me gain confidence and pride in my frugal lifestyle. Great impactful information that everyone can gain from…

        I still think it’s a selective and elite audience.

    • 1500 says:

      Hmmm, I’m not sure I understand why you’re annoyed except the envy part.

      I do think it’s important that people divulge their whole story. If not, they deserve to be run through the ringer. I too think it’s awesome that the Frugalwoods are completely open about their advantages. I’ve been open about my disadvantages: http://www.1500days.com/thursday-rant-gang-fight-childhood-plight-and-living-right/

      In my case, my disadvantages are what caused me to learn about money. An immense case of money insecurity caused me to hoard those dollars.

    • MrsS says:

      🙂 I would probably be the first person to raise my hand up and say I have been privileged most of my life. A lot of people would on the other hand look down on those privileges and count those as either norms or an actual inconvenience. Our country for one is something that a lot of people would be vary of, I count it as a blessing because that is the reason why we are the way we are.

      Individualism can be scary to people, because then they don’t really have an excuse. Is my suffering any less than the other’s? Nope, but either one of us may end up being a millionaire simply by harnessing our strengths and weaknesses best.

      • 1500 says:

        I always like to tell people this: In life, it’s not where your from, but where you take your life. You can’t change the circumstances you were born with, but the future is yours to write as you wish.

  35. Clickbait infuriates me…I never considered how it would feel to be the misrepresented subject of clickbait.

    Other than financial blogs and WSJ, the comments section is generally a cesspool. No matter how worthwhile some comments are, you’re still reading it amid excrement. (ponders irony of leaving a comment regarding worthlessness of comments…)

    • 1500 says:

      Yeah, I almost lost my cookies when I saw that awful title with my face underneath. I’d take it all back if I could…

  36. Congrats on the mention Mr 1500 Days!

    The thing is, why do you care what others thing about you or your story? You have your $1.5 milion, friends, family ( and you are in a relatively good level of health)

    I have found that someone will always disagree me you, for one reason or another. There are always two sides of an argument. They may be wrong, but they will keep their view:

    As Munger says:

    “The human mind is a lot like the human egg, in that the human egg has a shut-off device. One sperm gets in, and it shuts down so that the next one can’t get in. The human mind has a big tendency of the same sort ”

    I get through similar experiences as you, but through my writing about dividend growth investing. There are people who just don’t get what I am writing about, but they have already made up their minds in advance that DGI is crap. So anything I say to them will be just a waste of my time. I tell myself, if I am doing well, why do I care that some anonymous person on the internets considers me a failure?

    This reminds me of this quote from Buffett:

    ““Would you like, publicly, to be considered as the best lover in the world, but privately know that you are the worst? Or, would you rather be considered publicly to be the worst lover in the world, when privately you know that you are the best?””
    Dividend Growth Investor recently posted…How to set up your own perpetual income machineMy Profile

    • 1500 says:

      Great quotes DGI!

      “The thing is, why do you care what others thing about you or your story?”

      I don’t care that much, but at heart, I’d say my top goal is to help people. I share all this crap about myself because I think that I live a pretty great life and would love to help others do the same. I always wonder how I could do a better job.

      For example, I read and reread my posts constantly Often, I’ll update live posts a couple times within hours after I’ve published them.

  37. If I stopped to think about them much, I often think how much it must suck to be them. I don’t envy people whose sole purpose in life appears to be spewing vitriol at anonymous strangers they’ll never meet in real life. And then the really petty side of me laughs because you know what? Whatever hate they spew at us indicates their level of self dissatisfaction. If you’re that big a jerk, you must really not enjoy living with yourself.

    I also dislike headline writers who act like all publicity is good publicity. No thanks, it’s not worth the hassle of moderating. 🙂

    It’s critical to remember that we all have our own battles to fight, there’s always work or hardship to balance the good that we achieve. Nothing happens easily overnight and if it did, it’s such a rarity.
    Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life recently posted…Just a little (link) love: 22 push-up Challenge editionMy Profile

  38. This is the Internet, the place where people have a courage to say something they wouldn’t say in person. Most of these people would like to be on your place, but they can’t don’t want to do anything about it.
    You’ve inspired a lot of people, an I’m one of them.
    Every time when my colleagues tell me about their great vacations, or new stuff they’ve bought, I think about the time I’ve spent with my family and my nest neg 🙂 And by the way, usually, after talking about great vacations and stuff, my colleagues talk about car payments, credit cards and other crap they have in their life.

    Why would I listen to broke people?

    • 1500 says:

      Thanks for the kind comments Russian Guy!

      This is awesome: –>> Why would I listen to broke people?

      Point well taken.

  39. Gradual Millionaire says:

    Oh no! I made the grave mistake of finding the article and reading the comments. You know that feeling when you were a kid and somebody told you that you shouldn’t look at the sun, but you can’t help trying it to see what happens? Yeah, that’s what happened here. Burned my eyes reading the comments, too, I think.

    What a bunch of whiners and excuse-makers! Instead of looking for what bits they can learn from the article and from you guys, they nitpick every aspect to try to prove that it would never work for them. I guess it makes them feel better about not trying to do anything to challenge themselves or strive for a more successful life. These people will never achieve anything meaningful because of their deeply pessimistic outlook on life. Sad, really.

    You guys are awesome and I look forward to reading about your lives and thoughts all the time. Keep doing what you’re doing and don’t let the trolls get you down. I’m honestly surprised Yahoo still allows comments, as most of the major news sources have disabled them for exactly this reason.
    Gradual Millionaire recently posted…Insecurity is an Expensive FlawMy Profile

    • 1500 says:

      Thanks for the kind comments GM. I suspect Yahoo still allows comments because it brings more traffic back to the site.

      And yeah, the comment section is like a car accident. You shouldn’t look, but still do.

  40. People that want a change will do the extra work to investigate. Those are the people you reach. Those are sadly, few and far between. But, if you just reach one, hopefully you will feel like it was worth it.

    Keep up the fantastic work. I too have projects around our house left unfinished. I too have chosen other things, like great, awesome Spartan Race road trips.

    cd :O)

  41. Newcomer to the party says:

    Well my buddy and I are planning a mtn bike ride in the mtns next week. You are welcome to join us if you want 🙂 you aren’t that far away.

  42. MarciaB says:

    I think we need a Top 10 Troll Comments list from these types of articles (the ones that highlight smart capable people who achieve FI). A few of my favorites include someone who said that:

    The GoCurryCracker folks would “…get bored and go back to work.”

    Those two Canadians who opted out of the insane housing market and instead are FI and travelling the world – that they would be “…back in their parent’s basement in no time.”

    And of course our own 1500 Days: “So what’s the point of the story? If you’re both work-a-holics with high paying jobs you can retire early? Great.” and ” Are you efing kidding me, liars? $2500/month WITH two kids is borderline poverty.” and of course we can’t forget the retirement police commenters either – last but not least “…these people are hypocrites because they didn’t retire at all.”

    But wait! There’s more – this one is my total favorite and I’m including it in its entirety as a warning: “I hope they retire soon, then they can hang around together 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They will get sick of looking at each other then start bickering and arguing over small stuff. She will get mad and out of spite, bone the neighbor who is unemployed. The husband will find out about his wife so he thinks it is OK to date and bone some low class strippers then he gets one of the strippers pregnant. The couple divorce, splitting what little is left after the lawyers take a huge chunk. The guy has to pay huge child support payments to the stripper for the next 18 years and the ex-wife forgot to buy medical insurance then finds out she caught an STD from the unemployed neighbor. Yep, they will be happily retired at a young age.”

    • 1500 says:

      Oh my, I don’t read the comments, but these totally crack me up! I love the one about STDs and all of that! The wife and I both work from home now and get along just fine which I think is amazing. I’m a loner and this situation probably wouldn’t work with many people. When we both quit, we’ll still have our own lives which I think is healthy.

      I wonder if this commentor read the post about my neighbors? http://www.1500days.com/a-swinging-banging-side-hustle/

  43. Jeremy says:

    The Yahoo comments section is mostly an opportunity for assholes to argue with other assholes without running the risk of learning something.

    https://priceonomics.com/why-you-should-never-read-the-comments/

    • 1500 says:

      Oh shit, those Venn diagrams are priceless and true.

    • Gradual Millionaire says:

      Just read a comment on the Yahoo article that exemplifies the Priceonomics article perfectly:

      “I didn’t even bother reading it I knew it was bogus, then I read your comment and was glad I skipped the read.”

      Yep.

      • Nate says:

        Hilarious! Most of us read the article and skip the comments…

        There are real people out there who skip the articles to read the comments…

  44. For the record, I vote: 1500 Days: You all suck!

  45. Eric Bowlin says:

    Thats a huge accomplishment, getting a write-up in a publication like Yahoo.

    I think I mentioned something about this in a comment a couple months ago. Their hatred may follow something like this:

    – Person came up with the great idea of retiring young by doing (insert how you accomplished it)
    – Person never got started because they realized it was actually hard
    – Person continues working a job they hate and assumes it’s impossible.
    – Person sees you succeed doing what they thought of a long time ago. Instead of being inspired to go try it, they believe that admitting they were wrong would make them feel like a “loser” or “failure.”
    – To feel better about themselves they instead say you are lying, ‘cheated’, or had it handed to you. They need to justify their perceived failures.

    In my opinion, it’s all problems with self perception. Nobody actually said something bad about them. They just see someone else’s success as their own failure.

    It’s just my best guess. Who really knows what’s going on in the heads of these trolls.
    Eric Bowlin recently posted…Main Stream Financial Publications Get it All WrongMy Profile

  46. AdamT says:

    Lol, cockmaster, brilliant. Reminds me how my missus used to call me “iron cock”.
    She’s Chinese.
    I was so proud, until she told me that iron cock was a Chinese saying which meant stingy bastard, because iron cocks are so mean you can’t even get a feather from them.

    Maybe that’s what he meant!

  47. Chad Carson says:

    Thanks for the mention. I’m not sure I deserve the company of GoCurryCracker and the others, but I appreciate it.

    Man. Trolls. What a racket.

    I played football in college in front of 80,000 people every Saturday, and I remember my freshman year walking off the field during a particularly bad game. Some football-troll was screaming and cussing at our head coach, who happened to be right behind me. He was one of those firebrand, old school dudes and he almost jumped into the stands to wring the little wimps neck. Ha, ha.

    I learned then about haters. It doesn’t make it any easier to be hated on myself, and I’m sure it hurt in your case too.

    It’s human nature to notice the assholes first, but I hope you’re encouraged by all of these comments that show what a huge positive impact your story is having. Being a leader means making yourself vulnerable. The good news is people trust you and many change their approach as a result and improve their lives.

    But that same vulnerability leaves you exposed to these jerks. F-*** ’em.

    Keep up the good work, my friend. And sorry to hear no FinCon in the comment above! Dang!
    Chad Carson recently posted…Friday Fab Five – Free Travel, Walkable Real Estate, Easy Graphic Design, & MoreMy Profile

  48. Good post. I have shared my views on the mainstream commenters on Jim Collins website on his article on naysayers, so I won’t repeat here. For what it’s worth, I have used your story as an example in my recent article about our biases and how to take the right lessons from your story: http://tenfactorialrocks.com/are-you-biased/

    Hope you like it. Keep up the great work.
    Ten Factorial Rocks recently posted…Are You Biased?My Profile

  49. I think truly looking at, and evaluating yourself, is one of the hardest things that anybody can do. It is more difficult when you look at yourself and come up wanting. What your blog, MMM, the Curry Cracker’s, Frugalwoods, etc., all do is provide an alternate view of what life can be, instead of the 8-5 workday for 30 years, hoping you have something saved at the end. When people, myself included, read these, and then look at our lives, a harsh reality might emerge that we either aren’t happy where we are, or feel that we could be doing a lot more with our lives, or to improve our lives.
    The key is how we react to that feeling of wanting. If you look at it as an opportunity, and that the aforementioned blogs provide clues to a path forward, then your reaction might be one of optimism, and excitement at making changes to better your future. If you look at it as never being able to match what these people did, there is no hope, etc., then the defense mechanism is to try to explain away the success, allowing you to suppress that little voice asking if you are doing everything you can. There is where trolls are born.
    While I am much nearer the start of my journey than the end, I definitely appreciate the varied stories that you and others provide. In one sense, they are repeated kicks in the ass to get moving, and make those necessary changes. In another, they are different ways of approaching the task of building your ideal life, and realizing that to get what you want or to where, you have to first take action.
    Please ignore the trolls. Hopefully as you reach the end of 1500 days, you will continue in some new form, as your writing is as you said, about life, more than money.

  50. I admit it Mr. 1500….I’ve been trolling you all along. 😉

    OK, not really, but I sometimes worry that funny comments could be taken as trolling.

    Congrats on the Yahoo mention. You’ve really hit the big time.

    As a fellow FIRE blogger, I’m just amazed at the lift-off you’ve achieve in the span of like 6 months. Amazing.

  51. Andrew says:

    Being new to all of this and already having a small dose of trolls I can say that it sucks when it happens. It makes you think whether or not it’s worth sharing. Then I think of the people I have helped already and how great this community is and I wouldn’t trade it. At the end of the day what people say about us is none of our business it’s more about them and their narrow views.

  52. I like to think of FI as being like an old kung-fu movie. (For younger people, the closest approximation will be Kill Bill 2 when Uma Thurman goes up the mountain to learn karate from Pai Mei.) In a similar way, FI is only for those willing to go up the mountain and endure the abuse. Sure, it hurts at first, but eventually you earn the prize of becoming a FIRE kung-fu master! To everyone else, they do not understand and would never make it.
    MyMoneyDesign recently posted…How I Got Free Flights and a Great Travel Hacking ResourceMy Profile

  53. Pingback: Feeding the Financial Trolls – Reaching Our Balance

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