About Old Man Mase
Hi, I’m Old Man Mase. I’m 24 and I live in St. Louis, Missouri with my beautiful wife, Mrs. Mase. We moved here in 2012 after graduating from college and got married. We’re just starting our professional careers (I’m an engineer by day) and are just now learning about this fun thing called “the real world”.
That brings me to why I started this blog. My reasons are both out of inspiration and perturbation. As I’ve entered the world of adulthood, I’ve noticed that the culture in America is so focused on what seems to be the wrong things: we want efficiency no matter what the cost, instant gratification, and knowledge of everything all the time. Now, these can be very good things when taken in smaller doses, but I feel like we have forgotten about wisdom. We have forgotten about time patience, focus, self-reflection and differentiating between what we think we want and what we really want. Many of my millennial peers are oblivious to the fact that their lives are flying by them and they are out of control. Jobs, Facebook, and the Internet owns their time. Creditors, retailers, and other businesses end up owning their money. Everything is too far out of balance.
That’s why I call this blog Old Man Mase – I want to live with purpose, while seeking true wisdom, not just knowledge. While I am still young, I hope to develop habits that will help my family have better control of our money and time. This blog is a way of chronicling that journey.
The inspiration part of starting this blog comes from the success stories that I have read and heard about. These are people who have figured out what they want out of life and go for it. People like Joshua Kennon, Mr. Money Mustache, Dividend Mantra, and many others. They inspire me to be a better person, and to seek a higher quality of life for my family, my community, and myself.
OK, so what are Mrs. Mase and I actually doing to better ourselves financially and overall as people? What are the specific things that we want to achieve? There’s a lot of goals and dreams, but here is a snapshot of some key ones:
- Have our condo paid off by the end of 2015, and purchase our next home in cash by 2017 or so.
- Max out all tax-advantaged accounts as “insurance” so we can still live well when we’re older even if we mess up everything else.
- Vacation in all 7 continents (yes, Antarctica too!) before 30, and live in one other than North America at some point for an extended period of time (we’re looking at you, Spain).
- Build investments to the point where the passive income generated surpasses our expenses. Do this before we have children.
I’ll elaborate on that fourth one a bit, since investing and personal finance is the main focus of my writing here. Throughout my readings, personal experiences, and observations of others, I have come to realize that time is by far the most precious asset that any person has. Independence of time, for me at least, is the greatest luxury. Building streams of passive income will allow Mrs. Mase and I to focus on family, friends, ourselves, and giving back.
I am not talking about quitting work altogether – I see myself engineering for the rest of my life in one way or another – but more so having the freedom to work and live without the obligation to get out of bed at a certain time in the morning.
One of the ways I think we will achieve passive income streams is through dividend growth stocks. They tend to create lots of wealth over long periods of time for those who buy them at fair or discount prices, and hold onto them for at least a decade or two. We will also look at rental real estate as an option, and maybe even bonds (!) if interest rates ever rise to enticing enough levels. The overall point is to invest is quality assets that throw off ever-rising streams of cash over long periods of time.
As far as the dividend stocks go, the businesses I’d like to invest in have the following characteristics: old, strong company culture, strong brand name, growth in earnings over time, little or no debt on the balance sheet, consistently high returns on equity, and a solid dividend payout that increases over time. Basically, I’m talking about the most badass companies on the planet. My temperament lends itself to only want to invest in “boring”, high quality companies that are likely to be around 100 years from now. Ultimately, I would imagine our stock portfolio would look like this one day:
No one position should ever account for more than 25% of the portfolio, and no sector should ever make up more than 30%. This may sound a little aggressive to some of you reading this, and a little conservative to others. For us, I think it’ll be just right.
Also, I’m not too keen on selling positions. It triggers taxes, brokerage commissions, and really, why would I want to sell a wonderful asset that’s paying my family dividends every year? Unless there is a much higher opportunity cost at work it wouldn’t make much sense. In order to keep all of the assets in balance, the plan is to simply purchase other assets that are fairly priced. That approach keeps things simpler, and would help me sleep better at night. I don’t want to be that investor that goes to bed thinking, “Man…if only I hadn’t sold those shares two years ago.” I’d rather be the “my stock went down 20% today…well profits are still solid…time to buy some more tomorrow!” kind of guy.
These guidelines more or less define our financial roadmap. Things will change, as they always do in life. However, there’s that famous quote that I believe remains true, “plans are worthless, but planning is invaluable.” Stay tuned as we continue on our journey to being totally debt free, and eventually reach financial independence and interdependence.