The FIRE movement has been in the news. A lot. You can’t go even a day without seeing a headline about someone who is in their 30s and has enough money to leave work. There is even a movie coming out about FIRE that is debuting in the coworking space that I partially own.
However, FIRE also has its share of skeptics. Many have questioned these magical people on the internet:
Retiring at 30? I call BS!
What about health insurance?
Try doing this with two kids, two car payments, and the iPhone XX!!
Sometimes, it all sounds too good to be true. And maybe it is.
Too Good To Be True?
I have some sad news today. The Rocky Mountain News (RMN) just published a shocking investigative expose on the FIRE movement. With its permission, I’ve republished some of its findings here.
To summarize, the RMN performed an exhaustive investigation into some of the leaders of the FIRE movement including the Mad Fientist, Physician on FIRE, and the leader of the movement, Mr. Money Mustache. Not only did the RMN’s investigative team discover that most of their stories are fairy tales, but these bloggers, at least how you know them, don’t exist. One isn’t even human…
Perhaps the strangest discovery is that the Mad Fientist isn’t real. And by not real, he’s not human. Here is what the RMN discovered:
The Mad Fientist purports to be an American expat living in Scotland. Our investigative team discovered that the Mad Fientist isn’t really a blogger. He isn’t even human. The Mad Fientist is an AI bot created by a Google Engineer. He (is he even a he?) is nothing more than lines of code residing on a server farm outside of Des Moines, Iowa. The engineer, who wished to remain anonymous, had this to say:
I can’t believe no one figured this out until now. There isn’t a human being on earth who understands tax strategies like the Mad Fientist. Of course, he’s a bot!
And if nothing else, I thought his image would give it away. The Mad Fientist is the computer-generated love child of Topher Grace and Arnold Schwarzenegger:
Despite its expertise in advanced financial strategies, I thought that the Mad Fientist bot would be a little more productive. A bot doesn’t have to eat, drink, sleep or think about sex. Yet, it’s only produced 100 posts in 7 years.
According to my calculations, the 100 posts and the Mad Fientist podcast have taken about 30 hours. I have no idea what the bot has been doing with the remaining 61,000+ hours…
Well, I finally did it…triple figures!— Mad Fientist (@madfientist) March 6, 2019
It only took me 7 years but I finally hit 100 published posts (over half of those are podcast episodes but they still count, right?)#qualityoverquantity #oristhatjustwhatlazypeoplesay pic.twitter.com/b8JCVkg9hl
Mr. Money Mustache
The most striking result of the RMN’s investigation is its findings regarding Mr. Money Mustache, the leader of the FIRE movement. Here is an excerpt:
Mr. Money Mustache exploded onto the blogger scene in 2011. He immediately developed a cult following of fans who affectionately refer to him as MMM. After years of speculation about his identity, MMM revealed himself a couple of years ago as Peter Adeney, a Canadian who relocated to the town of Longmont, Colorado.
Red flags went up immediately when the RMN couldn’t find a person in Colorado with the name of Peter Adeney nor a town called Longmont. Both are pure fiction. In a shocking twist, the RMN discovered that Adeney is none other than “Satoshi Nakamoto,” creator of Bitcoin. Nakamoto agreed to be interviewed on the condition that his real name and location not be revealed.
I created Bitcoin as a joke! Imagine my surprise when people took it seriously! For a while, people were paying $20,000 for one. Insane!
For my second act, I decided to tell people that it was possible to retire in their 30s by being frugal and investing in index funds. Again, it’s all complete nonsense! People don’t retire in their 30s. Or 40s. Or 50s.
First Bitcoin, now FIRE. Ha! I even married the two in a post about Bitcoin telling the world that it was stupid.
And rather ominously:
You should see what I’ve got up my sleeve for Act 3…
Who is this guy then?
I hired that guy off of Fiverr. I think he’s an aspiring hand model in New Zealand.
Physician On FIRE
And sadly, the Physician on FIRE is actually the Physician of FRAUD. He isn’t a doctor and has never played one on TV as the Physician on FIRE has often claimed:
Here is an excerpt:
The Physician on FIRE, or POOF as his adoring fans call him, launched his blog just a couple of years ago, but rose to prominence quickly. POOF claims to be an anesthesiologist in Minnesota. His story had some grains of truth, but similar to the others, it’s mostly fiction.
The RMN discovered that POOF is actually Bedpan Bill (his self-proclaimed moniker), an employee of a hospital in Beaver Balls, Texas. When asked to comment on his ruse, Bedpan Bill had this to say:
In between buffing bedpans, I’d hear all the fancy doctors talking about money and investing. I had lots of downtime in the hospital, so I just started taking notes and writing about it on the internet.
In reality, I have no idea of what Dr. Fancy Scrubs is talking about.
401k? Must be a new Ferrari.
Roth Conversion Ladder? Sounds like Home Depot.
FIREy lifestyle? That sounds like a recipe for a sexually transmitted disease. Them doctors live fast, but I want no part of it. I like it when my private parts aren’t scratchy and don’t have bumps. Thank you very much.
The RMN wraps up the article:
Sadly, this group of people has deceived a generation of gullible millennials. They have convinced ignorant young folks that you can quit work when you’re 40 or maybe even in your 30s. The reality is that most of us are going to have to work until the day we die and then some.
I don’t know where to begin. This is shocking and disturbing. Now that I know FIRE is a joke and I’ll soon run out of money, I’m applying for jobs.
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