Bloggers on FIRE – { in·deed·a·bly }


In our Bloggers on FIRE series, we interview European FI bloggers to find out what makes them tick. Our aim is to build up a “who’s who” directory for the European FI blogging world. We hope you enjoy the series and discover some new blogs to follow. You can find a full list of our Bloggers on FIRE interviews here.

Bloggers on FIRE Profile Card indeedably exp

Please briefly introduce yourself to FIREhub.eu readers


Greetings to all my imaginary friends on the internet! I am the man behind the pseudonym { in·deed·a·bly }, who publishes random thoughts at indeedably.com.

The nice folks from FIREhub.eu have kindly invited me to kick off their “Bloggers on FIRE” interview series.

What’s your backstory?


Once upon a time, I was a young student working in a one-hour photo lab.

Developing and printing millions of photos provided a fascinating peek into the lives of thousands of strangers.

Their triumphs.

Their tragedies.

Their travels.

The trivialities of their everyday lives.

After a while, it occurred to me that folks either looked happy in photos, or they did not.

The overweight balding middle aged guy driving a shiny red sports car didn’t seem any happier than the young family playing at the local park. The girls out for a night on the town looked just as happy as the retired couple posing in front of their caravan.

The happiest people seemed to be those who made the most of their precious leisure time.

Admittedly there was a sampling bias at work here!

Back then you had to pay someone like me to develop your photos before you could see them. That made people selective about the pictures they took. Social media hadn’t been invented yet, so photos were primarily for capturing personal memories, rather than trying to impress others.

Then digital cameras arrived, and everything changed. My hard-won skillset was made technically redundant overnight!

Although I didn’t realise it at the time, it was my experiences working this job that set me on a path towards Financial Independence. 

Why do you want to reach Financial Independence?


I learned the hard way that very few skills will remain in demand forever.

The way to guard against irrelevancy was to replace earned income with investment income. 

After processing far too many photos of accidents, hospitals, and funerals, I learned that time is both precious and scarce.

We must concurrently live for today while planning for tomorrow. Nobody knows how many tomorrows they will experience.

I learned the more money we have, the greater the control we enjoy over how we invest our time.

For years I had been printing hundreds of inspiring holiday happy snaps every week, showcasing the best the world had to offer.

I stopped living vicariously through other people’s photos, and set out to see the world for myself.

How much is your “enough“?


I had reached the point of “enough” sometime before I turned 40.

All my family’s basic needs were reliably funded using income generated by my investments. It was a wonderful feeling realising that I should never need to worry about how I pay for groceries or utility bills again!

From that point onwards we would be comfortably fed, clothed, and housed regardless of whether I was abducted by aliens tomorrow or chose to work every day for the next 50 years. 

Any additional income I earned was icing on the cake.

firehub - indeedably - 003 - journey to financial freedom

It is important to note that having “enough” wasn’t the same as being Financially Independent. My passive income streams may have covered the essentials, but the quality of life-enriching things like holidays and hobbies remained unfunded.    

Where are you on the road to Financial Independence?


I define Financial Independence as being the point at which lifestyle costs are sustainably met by investment income. Recurring lifestyle expenses represent milestones along that journey.

I chart my progress towards Financial Independence by marking off each household bill that can be sustainably covered by investment free cash flows.

By that measure, I am a bit over half way.

firehub - indeedably - 001 - buying control of time

What do you want to do with your life once you reach Financial Independence?


A brush with mortality provided a strong reminder that time is a finite resource we cannot save up for later.

I sought to balance out enjoying today with providing for tomorrow, initially by seeking out part-time work. Unfortunately, in my game those roles simply don’t exist!

Next I looked at establishing a seasonal working pattern, working during the cold wet London winters, and then playing in the sunshine for the remainder of the year.

That proved to be achievable.

firehub - indeedably - 002 - work a little, play a lot

The nice thing about the seasonal working pattern is I am either working, or I am totally off the clock for an extended period of time.

In hindsight, I think this actually worked out better for me than working a couple of days per week broken up by long weekends. Routines, childcare arrangements, and school holidays are much easier to manage as a result.

What is your strategy for reaching Financial Independence?


As a migrant, it was difficult to find an employer who was willing to take a chance by employing me.

To overcome this challenge I began freelancing. Engaging a temporary resource for a fixed period is a less risky proposition for an employer than hiring a permanent employee!

I quickly realised that freelancers with in-demand skills could charge more for their time than a permanent employee. It wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns however, freelancers have no job security and the only benefits they receive are those they provide for themselves.

By keeping a watchful eye on emerging trends, and being selective about the roles I accepted, I was able to learn valuable skills and gain industry knowledge on the job.

This enabled me to find more interesting and/or lucrative roles, while building a network of skilled former colleagues and satisfied clients. 

Over time my knowledge grew, and the roles I was performing became more senior.

This enabled me to bid for whole projects rather than just participating in them: transitioning from freelancer to solution provider. 

My business profits funded the acquisition of investments that would appreciate in capital value and/or generate free cash flow. This included the usual range of asset classes: property, shares, bonds, and managed funds.

I carefully used leverage to grow my investment portfolio. When used correctly, other people’s money can be a powerful wealth generation tool.

What is your financial strategy after reaching FI?


My general philosophy has been to acquire investments that I would be happy to own forever, and to live off the passive income streams they generate. There have been a few occasions where I have sold investments, redeploying capital where it would work harder for me. These are the exception rather than the norm.

Around the time I reached the point of “enough” I started to reduce my leverage, repurposing cash flows to pay down debt rather than acquire further income producing assets. If left alone, my investment portfolio will eventually clear the remaining debt.  

Over the longer term I can see my semi-retirements getting longer, and my working stints becoming less frequent.

What was your biggest financial mistake?


I have led a relatively transient life, including five international moves. This has made for some exciting, albeit expensive, lifestyle choices.

The knowledge that I wasn’t going to finish up in the country I was living in at the time meant I failed to take full advantage of the various tax-advantaged retirement accounts on offer.

This naïve outlook has proven to be ever more expensive, as the opportunity cost of passing up those generous tax benefits compounds relentlessly every year!

What advice you would give to your younger self?


If I had my time over again, I would have invested earlier and much more aggressively.

When you don’t have much, then you don’t have much to lose!

What’s your wildest dream?


As a kid I wanted to captain the Australian cricket team.

Now that I’m older, greyer, and haven’t played competitive cricket since the under 11s, my hopes and dreams have somewhat changed.

Today I would settle for being happy regularly and content often.

What’s your favourite just-for-fun activity that brings you joy?


Embarrassing my children! This is every father’s responsibility, and one that I take great delight in.