Lacking Ambition – Three Months After Financial Independence

Lacking Ambition – Three Months After Financial Independence

Mike from was kind enough to stop by for an episode of the Mad Fientist Financial Independence Podcast!

After working for just over three years, Mike was able to amass enough savings to purchase, with cash, three single-family houses. By living in one of the houses and renting out the other two, he now has enough rental income to completely cover his living expenses.

During the interview, Mike discusses how he was able to buy three properties, each for under $25,000, in a region that is typically considered to be an expensive market (New England). In addition to real estate investing, I also talk to him about his time living in a tent in the New Mexico desert, discuss how he too was able to obtain a Free Ivy League Degree while working full time, and find out what life is like three months after achieving financial independence.

Click here to listen now!

Show Links

Image: Zach Dischner


Personal Capital - Portfolio Manager


  1. arebelspy

    Awesome. LackingAmbition is one of my favorite blogs; looking forward to listening to this!

    • The Mad Fientist

      Lacking Ambition is one of my favorite blogs as well so I was really pumped to get the chance to speak with Mike. Hopefully you enjoy the interview as much as I did!

  2. Just finished listening and what a treat.

    Mike is a very interesting guy on a unique path: From living in the desert, to his Ivy league law degree to real estate mogul. Yikes!

    As you referenced in the interview, and as I commented on his blog, it’s nice to finally see some ambition lacking going on!

    • The Mad Fientist

      Glad you enjoyed it, Jim. I hope you liked your numerous mentions throughout the show ;)

      As far as ambition lacking…you’ll have to read the post Mike posted today before you get too excited

  3. Great episode. This ranks right up there with your MMM and JLCOLLINSNH interviews.

    Lacking Ambition is one of my favorites as well. I wish he would post more often. I also am intrigued by his return on investment numbers. It’s inspiring.

    Keep at it. These podcasts are awesome!

    • The Mad Fientist

      Glad to hear you enjoyed it, Kraig!

      I actually like the fact that Mike doesn’t post very often because then I don’t feel as bad going a few weeks in between my posts! It’s also always a nice surprise when one does pop up in my RSS reader.

      Thanks a lot for the positive feedback and thanks for stopping by!

  4. chris

    Hi Mad!!

    Another great podcast!! Thank you so much for doing those! I love those things. It looks like another great blog up there with Early Retirement Extreme, JLcollinsh, Sparten Student, and MMM!! Thanks for bringing it to my attention!


    • The Mad Fientist

      My pleasure, Chris! I’m very happy to be the one to introduce you to Lacking Ambition. You’re definitely going to enjoy Mike’s writing if you’re a fan of the other blogs you mentioned.

  5. Wow! Great interview. I just discovered this podcast. I have always been a huge fan of Lacking Ambition. I like his philosophical approach to writing and FI ideas.

    I will definitely be going back through and listening to the older shows.

    • The Mad Fientist

      Thanks a lot, Eric, and welcome! You can click on the “Interviews” category on the sidebar to check out some of the previous episodes of the podcast or you can also listen to them all on iTunes.

      I look forward to hearing from you again soon!

  6. Nick

    Great podcast! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Awesome podcast. I can never seem to find real estate deals like this in my area. I guess I need to do some more looking.

    • The Mad Fientist

      I’ve not seen deals like that either, Joe, but as I said during the interview, I’m not really looking so that’s probably why. It sounds like Mike watches the MLS like a hawk when he’s in the market to buy another property and then pounces as soon as something good comes up.

  8. Jeff

    Really enjoyed the podcast. Looking forward to the next one. My wife loves real estate and has her rental in Mexico. I like having our house to live in but not sure I want to take on tenant challenges at this stage of life so I will probably stick to mutual funds. Though if I stumbled into a $25,000 deal I might be tempted.

    • The Mad Fientist

      Hey Jeff, great to hear from you again. Sorry for the delayed reply; I just got back online after being abroad without an internet connection.

      I’m not ready to take on tenant challenges at this point in my life either but I imagine I will be someday. Until then, I’ll keep living vicariously through people like Mike (and Paula from the last episode of the podcast).

  9. Great interview, I’ve followed his blog and love the story. You mentioned at the end that you were thinking of ramping up these podcasts, and I think you should definitely do it.

    For someone like me who has read all the blogs on FI and has the knowledge, but is just getting started with it, I think that hearing these people actually speak about it is motivation to me to keep actively pursuing FI. In the “real world” I know of no one that is doing this, and it’s easy to get sucked back into the lifestyle of everyone else if you’re not careful.

    • The Mad Fientist

      Thanks a lot for the comment! Hearing from people who find the podcast valuable definitely motivates me to produce more episodes so thank you very much for taking the time to share your thoughts.

  10. Fantastic! Thanks for posting. Mike is such an interesting guy, that was great to listen to.

    • The Mad Fientist

      I’m glad you enjoyed it and thanks for stopping by!

  11. Great listen. I will now be spending the rest of my day looking for a comparable deal in my area.

    • The Mad Fientist

      Thanks a lot, Michael. Let me know how your search goes.


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