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How to become financially free?

The Happy Investors Mindset: how to use Time, Energy and Money to get your desired life with more financial freedom

The vision we spread with the Happy Investors Mindset (H.I.M.) is not rocket science. In fact, being a Happy Investor is a rather simple concept. It is a mindset. And a mindset must (and will) become a habit. Also, the H.I.M. is very different than being a professional stock investor. Do not confuse our vision with becoming a professional stock investor. That is not the same. Our mindset is all about investing Time, Energy and Money (T.E.M.) in value-added activities that support your goal(s) and your happy life. The Happy Investors Mindset is a way-of-living that will bring you more happiness by having more time to pursue your dreams and by become financially free. Being financially free allows you to enjoy more of life.

In this chapter we discuss the HOW. How do you use Time, Energy and Money to get your desired life with more joy and more financial liberty. If you haven’t read the WHY about our concept, you should first read why you should apply the Happy Investors Mindset. Here you will learn about our vision and understand why it is relevant for you (and your children).

Happiness and financially free

According our ideology, we are not trying to transform you into a professional investor. However, financial education to
become financially free is part of our Happy Investors Mindset, and will benefit you and your family in the long term. Also, this way of life implies hard work. Although we ensure it can be done by everyone who has the vision and motivation. Our ideology is not as extreme as those people who tell you to save 80% and work 20 hours a day. In our opinion, that is too extreme and not sustainable as it can damage your current life (health, relationships, et cetera). In fact, that kind of lifestyle is against our goal to have a happier life. Social relationships are crucial to be happy. After all, humans are social beings.

The Essence of Happy Investors Mindset

In short: H.I.M. is all about having a defined vision of your happy life, with more fulfillment and become financially free. With dedication towards the Happy Investors Mindset, you can achieve your dreams. We do not proclaim to be the only way to achieve your dreams. In fact, there are many ways. We only encourage you to read about all these wisdom and combine them. The H.I.M. is a holistic approach of combined wisdom as well. And to make it simple to follow, we have designed 7 Key Principles. Before you will read it, we first want to give a grasp of the essence of the H.I.M. via the following quote:  

“Happy investors invest early in creating (passive) income streams that will (partially) cover their expenditures. This means they can work less, so that this free time and energy can be invested in relationships and pursuing dreams. Happy investing is not about becoming a millionaire. It is about having more financial freedom that allows you to work less, so that more time is available that can be used for life-fulfilling activities such as following your passion or spend time with family”.

Investing is more than only money

Many people
might associate investing with merely money. However, the concept of investing
is not only about money. We define an investor as someone who realizes that
decisions and choices on the short-term can either have negative or positive
effects on the long term. This means that on the short term, the Happy Investor
will start early (as in today) with investing in his or her own goal. This can
be done with money, but time and energy (T.E.M.) are crucial as well.

A short example of the H.I.M. is: after gaining more financial knowledge, the Happy Investor will start step by step with investing in passive income streams. Passive income streams will lead to become financially free. This freedom can be used to work less, and instead use his or her time, energy and money to real value-added activities such as family or pursuing his or her passion. Ultimately, the Happy Investor realizes that money is not the end goal. The main goal is to have an enjoyable, happy life. This can be achieved more easily by having (partially) financial freedom. This freedom can be used to invest time in yourself, in your friends and family, and in chasing your dreams & finding your purpose in life.

7 Key Principles for A Happier Life and Become Financially Free

The Happy Investors Ideology is funded upon seven key principles. Following these principles will support you to achieve your desired life, with a certain amount of financial freedom. These principles are a guideline of our mindset. By following these principles, you will structure your road map for achieving your goals. Next to these principles, we have several courses that give you knowledge and tools to achieve those goals more easily. In general we have three topics in which we go very deep. These are: Personal Development, Financial Education and Business Knowledge. You can join our learning community easily on www.happyinvestors.com. It is time to change your life for the good!

Going back
to the principles we’ve talked about. The 7 Key Principles of Happy Investors
are:

  1. Define your desired life
  2. Adopt the Happy Investor Mindset, and make it a habit
  3. Long-term Emotional Discipline
  4. Short-term Choices of Value
  5. Financial & Educational development
  6. Make Passive Income
  7. Money is not the goal, but an enabler for a happier life.

Happy Investor principle
#1: define your desired life

When will you be happy? Is this when you never have to
work any longer, so you can use this time to spend on relationships and on
yourself? How much passive income stream do you need to (partially) cover your
expenditures? What are the value-added activities in your life? Defining your
Happy Life is all about asking big questions about your own life. Clarify your
goal and work for it!

The goal of the Happy Investor is to get your desired life. Thus, the first step towards this goal is to define what your desired life is, and when you ought to end up happy. When do you think you will be happy? When will you be satisfied that you have achieved the goal? What is that you want to achieve?

Honestly, this is a very personal mission that you are on. One of us could desire the Happy life of only having to work two days a week, so that he/she could spend three extra days with his/her family. Or perhaps one of us only will have a happy life when he can fully pursue his passion, and make a living out of it. And another one of us might dream of not working at all. His or her goal would then be to generate passive income that will cover all monthly expenditures.

How to achieve your goals

Now that
you have defined your Happy life, you know what has to be achieved. Now it is
time to think about what has to be done to achieve this goal. A very good
method is to simplify this big goal. We simplify this by “cutting” the big goal
in smaller goals. Let us assume your Happy life has been set on ten years from
now. Please be aware that according research, humans are overestimating what
they can do in one year, and they are underestimating on what they can do in
ten years. So be bold and brave, because a stretch goal in ten years is
possible. It is possible, and you have to believe in it. I can do it, the happy
investor will say.

For every
Happy Investor among us, creating passive income is part of the goal. That is,
unless you can make a very good living with pursuing your passion. But for
other cases, you will need passive income stream to partially or fully cover
your expenditures, so that you could “buy” this time to enjoy time with family,
and / or pursuing your passion.

The Happy Investor knows that he must work hard
for five, ten or perhaps fifteen years, so that he or she can enjoy the Happy
life for many years to come

The power of investing

In summary it is about the above. Investing means putting time, energy and money into the stretched goals so that you can achieve the big goal. That is why it is so important that you set a big goal that you will achieve by stretched smaller goals. Focus on these goals will bring success. And it is also crucial to understand that the harder you work for that goals from day one, the easier it will get when time is passing by. That is the whole crucial concept about investing. Who wants the good life in the long run, needs to work very hard for it on the short term. But it is worth it, and it is possible! If you want to learn more, then read our article about how to achieve all your goals.

Visualize your goal and
the impact of it on your life

A strong
method to apply when you need the motivation is to set a clear goal. Let us
take the example of income. What is your goal? Do you want to earn 5000 dollar
a month, or perhaps 10.000 dollar a week? Whatever you goal is, determine the
amount of money you would like to earn per week or month. So, have you set your
goal?

The second
step is to visualize every day for just five minutes that you will receive that
5000 dollar a week on your bank account. Just think about how you see the money
gets added to your bank account, every single week. Do this constantly for the
following 30 days. And after a few days, you will feel a burning motivation
towards this goal.

Also,
visualize how this 5000 dollar will benefit your life. What positive impact
will it have? How will you use this money for the good? What value-added
activities will you do now you have this money? Will you work less, and use
more time for family or friends? Or to pursue your passion? Whatever it is,
just visualize every day for five minutes how your goal of 5000 dollar a week
will bring you the desired life.  

Happy Investor principle
#2: adopt the Happy Investors Mindset, and make it a habit

The mindset is extremely important. The sooner you master this mindset, the better. And most perfect would be if you transfer the mindset of a Happy Investor to your children. They will greatly benefit from this. They could probably quiet their work when they are 30, and start pursuing their passion. In our chapter about why you should apply the H.I.M. we explain that there is a strange contradiction in the society.

Managing your money is not learned at school

Think about it: universities teach our children to learn a profession. While surviving in our society is not so much about having a profession. It is more about having money to live on. Thus, in terms of surviving, financial education is more important than any other education. Why do children do not learn how to manage money at young age? And why do they not get financial education at young age? Luckily you can make the difference for your own children!

The mindset
of Happy Investors is to manage money properly and start invest early in
passive income streams. We want to generate passive income streams that can
(partially) cover our expenditures. We want this, so that we can work less.
Some want to use passive income streams to get extremely wealthy. And to be
honest, when you have a solid foundation for passive income streams, you can
get more wealthy than with work. However, that is not the goal. The goal is to
generate passive income streams to cover our expenditures so that we can work
less. Working less, or entirely not having to work, implies that we can use
this time to invest in our social relationships, and in pursuing our passions. However,
to attain this situation, a man has to have strong discipline and the habitual
mindset of a Happy Investor.

In a
nutshell, the mindset of Happy Investors is as followed: they think long-term
and have defined their goal (i.e. I need 3000 dollar of monthly passive income
to cover 70% of my expenditures). Once this goal is clear, the Happy Investor
will adopt the habit of very strong discipline. Discipline is needed because of
emotional and social aspect that will be confronted when the Happy Investor
will try to save as much as possible of its current income. As Happy Investors
we save massively in our early years, mostly the first 3 to 7 years, depending
on your income. There are many ways to save money.
All savings will be fully invested in assets. In this article we will talk about assets. The Happy Investor
knows what assets are, and how to select them. We know this because we invest a
lot of time in self-education.

Self-education is the key to a happier life

All Happy Investors have profound knowledge of three topics: Personal Development, Financial Education and Business Knowledge. Educate yourself and join our learning community. Learn on how to improve yourself (i.e. to be more effective). Learn how to manage and create more money. And learn about business concepts that benefit you both as an employee or as a self-employed.

Basically, the above is all a Happy Investor has to do. Yet, it requires a lot of patients and even more discipline. Just imagine that in the first year you have saved 10.000 dollar. You could buy a car with this, you could go out for dinners, you could go on a huge holiday. When having just 10.000 dollar in your bank account, very much individuals are tented to spend this money. Yet, the Happy Investor can handle the social and emotional pressure, and will invest his money only in assets that generate passive income streams.

Please do not underestimated these psychological and social factors. Your social environment can make fun of you because of your effort to save money. For many people this will be perceived as being cheap. Also, your own brain will encourage you to pleasure yourself with your money. “you have earned it”, the brain will shout. But these short-term emotional needs will not benefit your long-term financial goal of generating passive income streams via investments.

Happy Investor principle #3:
Long-term emotional discipline

Investing
is always connected to the long-term. The long-term goal can be achieved (more
easily, more faster) by making sacrifices on the short-term. The traditional
example for investing, whether you invest with your money, time or energy, is
the example of bamboo. When a Chinese bamboo seed is planted, it needs to
nourished and giving water consistently for every day. This has to be done each
day, for the next several years. During this time, the Chinese bamboo is building
its fundament. You can’t see it by eyes, but it is growing day by day. Then at
one certain moment, the bamboo pops out of the ground and will grow very fast
within a matter of weeks. The growth is 5 – 20 cm a day, but such a rapid
growth is only possible when there has been worked consistently for many years
an building a solid fundament.

With
success, or generating wealth through passive income streams, this is no
different. Successful people are being measured by their success. How much
money do they generate? How popular is he or she? And so on. However,
successful people are only spotted by the majority at the moment they become
successful. Before they became successful, they had to work insanely hard. Each
day, they consistently work on their fundament to achieve their long-term
defined goal. And then, at one certain day, they achieve their dream. But that
is only possible by working very hard on a consistent base on their long-term
goals. You have to think long-term, on each single day. If you do not think
long-term, your daily struggles will consume your motivation.

Let money work for you

The same pattern applies to wealth creation. Money makes money. Building passive income streams can only be done by working very hard for each day on building those passive income streams. You will recognize that in the first 3 – 7 years you will work very hard on your own (financial) development, and in investing money into passive income streams. It is a lot of work, and you will notice not much change.

Perhaps you will be able to generate 500 to 1000 dollars a month via passive income streams. Perhaps you are naturally gifted, or just lucky, and you will reach your goal faster. However, for the majority of Happy Investors, it is very hard work for many years without generating much more wealth. Yet, when you will earn money via your first passive income streams, the pathway to your goal will come very close. You will use this money to further invest in more wealth creation. And this snowball will go faster by the day, getting bigger and bigger. Until a certain moment is there, where your wealth will generate exponential wealth.

The message
is: always think long-term, because you will need to work very hard for many
years until you will reach that big goal of yours. If you do not think
long-term, the daily struggles will consume your motivation. Yet, if you think
long-term, you have a clear focus and will not be distracted by set backs and
daily struggles. You know it will be worth it.

Happy Investor principle
#4: Short-term Choices of Value

Save time and money on activities that do not add value
to your life or long-term goal. Rather, invest this time and money in
activities that do add value to your life and long-term goal.

Short-term
sacrifices are key within the H.I.M. Especially in the early years, there has
to be made sacrifices. However, very important is that you understand on what
you will make sacrifices. In this context, we point out making sacrifices on
time and money consuming activities that do not add any value to your life or
goal.

Quote:
“happy investors do not spend time or money on activities that do not add value
to their life or goal”.

The value
aspect is really important on this, and relates to your goal that you have
defined according our first principle. Why do people spend time on activities
that do not add any value on their life or goal? There are many reasons for
this, but most relate to irrational factors such as emotions and social
situations.

Cost savings + increase income = financially free

In terms of
money you will need to save as much as possible on your current income. Reduce
your expenditures and use this saved money to invest. The goal is not to save,
the goal is to get more cash available for investment. Saving money is just a
way to do it. The other way is to generate more money.
On the short-term you can save a lot of money an items that do not add value to
your life. This is different for each person. For some expenditures on cars,
televisions, or luxuries can be missed easily. They know that if you invest all
your money on the short term, you can generate more wealth to enjoy from it on
the long term.

Also on time and energy there has to be made sacrifices to become a Happy Investor. Does excessive relaxing such as watching Netflix for hours really add value to your life and goal? It does not. Instead, this imagined “need” is created by the lazy brain. Your body tends to save energy, instead of going all in. The roots for this are found in our way of living many, many years ago. Yet, in today’s society there is no need to save energy. Use your energy and time to invest in activities that support your long-term goal. Read about personal development, get financial education, find out how to make money, and get more business knowledge for success.  

Can I still sleep?

Do not
forget there is one exception: sleep. Sleep is very important and tend to be
neglected. Sleep 8 hours a day and do not skip hours. Your brains need to
recharge. Sleep ensures you will have more quality in your decision making and
that is crucial during investment decisions.

Finally,
making sacrifices in terms of money and on how you spend your time and energy
can be difficult. It becomes even more difficult if you have a partner. And
even more when having children. It is very important to get your partner aligned with your Happy Investors Mindset if you
want to make this a success without damaging your relationship. The goal of
happy investors is to become happier. Not to lose relationships.

Happy Investor principle
#5: financial and educational development

The foundation of success is financial and educational
development. This is your best chance for sustainable financial success.

Financial and educational development is really the biggest, most sustainable key to success. The most successful people are those who never stop learning. Many can understand the importance of educational development. However, financial education is even more important in life. In school, you don’t learn the basics of become wealthy. In fact, the most important skills aren’t even learned on school.

Think about critical thinking, or holistic reasoning. These skills are only learned at (top) universities, and those are not accessible for everyone. That is the whole point. Rich families are mostly educated people, who understand the importance of education. Furthermore they have the discipline and interest to keep learning. Because of their education, they earn more money, and they are forced to learn more about financial basics to maintain this money. On the longer term, their children will grow up in their world, and going to the (most) same universities. And that is a very simplistic cause for how the difference in wealth has emerged over centuries.

Educational development

Let us first talk about educational development. Herewith we do not point out the importance of going to school. Rather, it is more important to obtain a scientific and critical mindset. Look at the facts and numbers, and question assumptions at all times. Also, it is important to think in opportunities and solutions. Going to university is a good way to obtain such a mindset. However, by reading a lot of books you can growth the same capability. The average CEO is reading a lot of books. We suggest to read at least fifty books a year, in carefully selected topics such as finance, leadership, management, and so on.

Fifty books is realistic as a goal, even with a very busy schedule. You just have to search for the key messages in a book. Many books only have five or ten key messages, sometimes described as principles (just like we did). The rest of the text serves as examples and additional information, but is not as relevant as the key messages. Therefore, scan for key messages in these books, write them down and evaluate them. A learning trick for long-term knowledge is to read these key messages every few months. Repetition is powerful.

Financial development

Now let us
talk about financial education, and why it is so very important. Because it is
really that simple: the rich get richer, because money makes money. Those who
understand and know how to let their money work for them, will become wealthy.

Financial
development is crucial if you want to become more successful in financial
terms. You have to learn what the fundamentals of money
are, and how you can generate more wealth.
Also, you will have to learn how money makes money, and why investing is so crucial.

You can learn
financial development via school, courses, books, videos and networks. Taking
lectures or following courses can be great. Yet, it is not the only way. Also,
there are many videos, podcasts and streaming services to learn. But these are
just tools and ways. More fundamental is that you have to believe in the
importance of education, and you have to have a learning mindset. That means,
you are continuously in search of learning. For example, you consider failures
and challenges as learning opportunities. You will ask a lot of questions to
experts in their domain. When you spot an intelligent individual who has a
passion for, let say, finance, you reckon this as a great opportunity to learn
from. Do not be afraid of very smart people. Instead, use them as a source to
become more educated.

Also, find
mentors in life. Having several mentors is extremely important for personal
development. In many ways, having mentors which are 5 or 10 years ahead of you,
can’t be missed.

Happy Investor principle
#6: Make Passive Income

Building passive income streams is very hard work in the early years. Also, it is never truly passive income. Nonetheless, passive income streams will generate cashflow, so that you have to work less and be able to use this time for value-added activities such as your relationships, personal development and your passion.  

Let it be very clear: building passive income streams requires a lot of hard work, and a lot of time. Also, it will never become truly 100%. But if you play your cards right, you might get close to it. Nevertheless, in the first years you will have to sacrifice a lot of relaxing and fun things to achieve passive in come streams. Do not underestimate it. There is no short cut. Success, any success, demands hard work (or extreme luck…)

Happy
investor understands that money makes money. But it takes a lot of patience and
time. Also, avoid losing money at all costs. It is better to earn a few %, then
to lose money and earn more % afterwards. You need a higher % return to cover
your losses.

Happy
investor should diversify its time and money to different passive income
streams

Happy investor will focus on passive. It must be managed, but won’t take tremendous time. It is however never truly passive. Even with the best possible passive income stream, you will have to manage it time by time. Also, you will think about it a lot. So in your head, you are constantly active with your passive income stream. That can be positive though, as you try to generate new ideas and tactics to improve the passive income stream.

Also, we
strongly suggest to invest your money into assets. Assets will make you rich in
the long term.

Happy Investor principle
#7: money is not the goal, but a resource to a more happier life

Let us be
very clear. We do not believe that the Happy Investors Mindset is the best or
only way to a happy life. However, we do believe that our ideology is a
sustainable way to get more easily a happier life. This is based on the hard
reality that money plays a crucial role in our society. If you have financial
freedom, you can at least avoid the stress of money shortage and use this time
to spend on activities in your relationships, personal development and / or
following your passion.

The goal of
happy investors is to stay or become more happy and to enjoy life. For each
Happy Investor the goal is personal and unique. You determine your own Happy
Life as described in our first principle. Although generating more wealth and
passive income streams is part of our ideology, it is not or should not be our main
goal. In other words, we do not promote the goal to become a millionaire, just
to be a millionaire. It is highly possible that if you follow our Happy
Investors Ideology, that you will become a millionaire, but that is not our
goal. Our goal is that you can become more financial free, so that you can work
less and have more time available for relationships, personal development or to
follow your passion.

Financial Freedom as a
pathway to be free and enjoy more of life

To become financially free will allow you to spend more time and energy on activities that make you truly happy. For instance, you can spend more time on family. You can spend more time on the interactions with your children. Also, you can spend more time and energy on sports, on reading, or on something else that adds value to your life. Money is a crucial resource that will aid you in life, but it most not control your life. Becoming financial free will allow you to fulfill your true purpose in life. And in case your work is your passion? Well, then you should keep on going. But for 95% of us, our passion is different from our work. Ask yourself, if you have enough resources, what would you truly want to do?

Financial freedom can more easily and faster achieved when you are able to lower your standards. If you need less income to cover your expenditures, you will be able to become more easily financially free when you increase your income. If you both decrease your expenditures AND increase your income, then you will achieve financial freedom at a faster pace than if you only decrease your expenditures or merely increase your income.

Focus on increasing your income for financial freedom

Achieving financial freedom by lowering your expenditures is a hard and difficult pathway. Rather, it is much more easily to achieve financial freedom by increasing your (passive) income. Nonetheless, lowering your (luxury) standard to lower your expenditures is important as well.
Currently there is a lot of abundance of materials. More recently there is the sharing economy, but this is still small. You may ask yourself: do I really need all this stuff? Is it to impress others?

For example, why do you need a 50.000 dollar car, while a 20.000 dollar car is more than capable as well? Or what about a 10.000 dollar car? This will allow you to invest 40.000 dollar. If you pick a safe investment, let us say with a diversified dividend of 6%, then in ten years your 40.000 dollars will be 71.634 dollar. Let us now assume you buy another 10.000 dollar car. You now have a balance of 71.634 – 10.000 = 61.634 dollar. Another ten-year investment period of 61.634 dollar against 6% diversified dividend results in 110.377 dollars. So after 20 years, you can buy your 50.000 dollar car for free. Not to mention the additional incomes you can save in these 20 years.

Increase your return on investment with financial education

And the
above example is even based on a diversified percentual return. With financial
education you can make better investment choices to increase the percentual
return to 8, 10 or even 12%. The difference is hundreds of thousands of
dollars.

So ask
yourself, do I really need this luxury or does a cheaper alternative cover the functional
aspects of my need perfectly fine? And yes, in the above example you can
benefit massively from smart investment choices in the early days. The only
major challenge is time. Can you wait for five, ten or even twenty years?

A final verdict on the
Happy Investors Mindset

Those who believe that to become financially free will allow them to become more happy in life, should follow the Happy Investors Mindset. In the early years, we invest our time, energy and money into assets. We use these assets to generate passive income streams. Because we have defined our Happy Life, we know how much money our passive income streams have to generate in order to (partially) cover our expenditures. We do not aim to be a millionaire, although that can be a side-effect of our way of living.

Instead, we use our passive income streams to work less. When we work less, we have more time and energy available to invest in either our social relationships, our personal- and financial education or we invest time to pursue our passion. We do this, because we know that money is a resource to buy time and energy that we can spend on real value-added activities.

The goal is a happier life

As Happy Investors we have defined our Happy Life. This is our grand goal in life. And we will achieve this by obtaining a Happy Investors Mindset. The Mindset will require that we will consistently think long-term, and that short-term sacrifices have to be made on activities that don’t add value to our goal. Because being financially free is essential in our ideology, we will need to invest time, energy and money in our own personal and financial education. This investment will lead to knowledge upon how to build passive income streams.

Although it requires hard work, and patience, we know that the creation of passive income streams is achievable by all kind of individuals regardless of gender, income or age. Extremely important is that our search for passive income streams will not damage our social relationships, nor our health. This would be the opposite of our goal. Hence we suggest a time frame of ten years to achieve more financial freedom. Humans overestimate what they can do in a year. And humans underestimate what they can do in ten years.