JLCollinsNH – The Importance of F-You Money

JLCollinsNH – The Importance of F-You Money

In this session of The Mad Fientist Financial Independence Podcast, I had the pleasure of speaking with Jim Collins from

Jim accumulated enough money to retire over 20 years ago but rather than pack it in and call it quits, he instead used his “F-You” money to work on his terms.

If you are interested in investing in the markets, this is the podcast episode for you. Jim has been investing since the 1970s and in the interview, he shares some of his biggest mistakes, stories from his time working at an investment company, and his recommendations for successful investing.

Jim shows that reaching financial independence early in life is not as difficult as it seems and he describes the tools and techniques he used to get there.

Click here to listen now!


  • The Importance of F-You Money
  • Surviving Black Monday
  • Don’t “Swing for the Fences”
  • Active vs. Passive Investing
  • Why Vanguard?
  • Three Simple Steps to Financial Independence

Show Links

Image: Gigi Ibrahim


Personal Capital - Portfolio Manager


  1. Hey Mr. MF…..

    I had a great time chatting with you. Hope your readers enjoy the conversation.

    Love the illustration you choose!



    • The Mad Fientist

      I thought you’d like that image!

      Thanks again, Jim!

  2. J. Collins has become a guy I’ve followed, both on his blog and his post on MMM.

    It’s great to read his stuff, but after actually listening to Jim, I realize the gravitas that he brings. What an enjoyable interview.

    I must say, listening to Jim, is life changing experience. Jim, if you read this, thank you so much and thank you to the interviewer. Excellent interview.

    • The Mad Fientist

      I’m glad you enjoyed it, Michael!

      Jim was an amazing interviewee and he shared an incredible amount of knowledge so he definitely deserves all the credit for making it a great interview.

      Thank you for stopping by and thanks for the kind comment!

  3. Mike

    Nice interview! Thanks for doing it. Now off to see what else you’ve got here!

    • The Mad Fientist

      Hi Mike, I’m glad you enjoyed the interview!

      I just poked around your site a bit and it looks great so I’m looking forward to exploring more.

      Thanks for stopping by and hopefully I’ll see you around here again soon!

  4. Anu

    This is great, Brandon! I especially found a couple of concepts like ‘stay the course’ investing, and career-jumping that relies on f-you money very appealing.

    I would like to hear a bit more about how the successful implementation of these and other concepts is likely to be hindered by constraints (e.g., family obligations, needing to cope with unexpected life events, etc.) and about ways in which one might plan to factor in such constraints when building a path to financial independence.

    I really like what you’re doing with this site and look forward with great interest to following it more closely! Keep it up!

    • The Mad Fientist

      Thanks, Anu!

      As you suggested, it’s very unlikely that anyone’s path to financial independence will be completely smooth but the good news is, the act of pursuing FI will help you better navigate any obstacles that arise. Someone living paycheck to paycheck would have a much harder time dealing with unexpected life events than someone who is currently saving over 50% of their income. Not only will you have a huge cash cushion in the bank but you will be used to living below your means so you’d be able to better cope with unexpected expenses or a decrease in income.

      Even though there will be some things that come out of the blue, I try to plan for as many expenses that I can so that I don’t feel like my path to FI is always being thrown off course. For instance, we paid cash for our car but we have continued making “car payments” every month into a savings account. So rather than finance a car and pay car payments to the dealership, we paid cash for a used car and we’ve been socking away hundreds of dollars every month into our bank. If an unexpected car problem arises, we can use that money to fix the problem.

      We do the same thing for our house. We make monthly house payments into our savings account so we now have a big chunk of money set aside to fix any unexpected house problems. If no problems come up, we just shift some of that balance to another cause or we lower our monthly payments. Hopefully we never need to use the money and it can all go towards FI but it’s there if we do need it.

      Things are bound to happen and your circumstances and plans will likely change along your journey to FI but even if you have to delay financial independence by a few years due to an unexpected event, you’ll still likely be 30 years ahead of your peers and you’ll be much more capable of dealing with the things you can’t control or plan for.

      • Anu

        Cool :)

        I can think of several ways you guys can put that extra car money to good use while staying on course for FI…first on the list is a trip to PGH!

  5. Anu

    I have lots of follow-up questions for you, not just regarding this notion of seamlessly integrating contingency planning into a FI-seeking life, but also about several other basics of getting started and treading that line between frugality and self deprivation. I think you tread that line admirably well!

    Now that I’ve got a bit more time on my hands, the first thing on my agenda is to learn about this stuff. You’ve been warned!

    • The Mad Fientist

      Definitely don’t hesitate to ask more questions if you have them!


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