Remodeling The Stoic’s Virtual Home

As you may have noticed if you visit often, The Stoic Investor has a slightly different look.  Not too drastic of a change, but a different theme keeping with the original desire to keep the place “basic” in presentation, but deep in substance.  I fear the former has been much easier to accomplish than the latter…

The same header photo is used, which is a picture I took looking out over the Dead Sea during a sunset while spending some time in Jordan a few years ago.

You may notice a category menu to the right that will allow you to navigate The Stoic’s thoughts based on your interests.  I realized that greater than 95% of the posts weren’t categorized and the only way of navigating was through the archives.  Basically there are three main “themes” that have grown from this writing experiment and coincide with three periods of time:

  •   2012-2013– This period is while I was still overseas and ended right around the time I purchased my house.  It is mostly focused on investing and you will find much of my thoughts and investment activity under this category.
  • mid-2013-2014– This reflects the time leading up to my purchase of my house and much of my thoughts on real estate investing as well as play-by-play on the various rehab projects I’ve worked on.  You can find material related to real estate investing and DIY projects along with costs of each project under the category real estate.
  • 2012-2014– Scattered throughout you will find various philosophical musings, many more concentrated during the latter part of 2014.  These writing lay at the very heart of my being.  They are the ends to which all economic means take us; the ability to live “good lives”.  For a sample of these writings, look under the category philosophy.

While doing a bit of housekeeping on The Stoic’s virtual home I found a paragraph written a couple of years ago that is still in alignment with my thinking of today and I want to share it with you again here:

“Independence is not something one has; it is something one is.”  Jacob Fisker

This sentence is like a dagger to the heart, it penetrates so deeply and completely to leave the landscape of ones soul thoroughly changed.  I’ve been going about it all wrong.  I’ve been thinking of my freedom/independence as something I could possess or a destination in time I would someday arrive at, but that’s not it.  Instead it is what one is and that is powerful stuff.  For it’s not x amount of an investment balance or some passive income stream that will support you forever and ever.  No, it’s being so independent that one is less and less in need of such things and that is an entirely different conception of independence.  It is being independent vs. having independence.

Hope you guys are having a great weekend and well on your way to discovering the independence that already lies within you, even if it now lies dormant.


The above still echoes true today.  What I feel I’ve been most successful with lately is not the accumulation of monetary assets, but the accumulation of skills and modes of thinking that make me even less dependent on the need for such assets.   This is nice, because there are things I’ve put into place this year (self-employment) that I think will bear fruit in 2015.  I don’t know if there is a better place to be financially than having your monetary resources grow while your need for them decreases.

10 thoughts on “Remodeling The Stoic’s Virtual Home

    • Thanks! I believe most of us are much more independent than we realize or could be with a little effort. Having assets that cover expenses is one way and the one we most often read about. But another way, and one I think should be developed along side the monetary means, is by developing our abilities to produce the things we need ourselves or become less reliant upon the things we depend on. The things I’m talking about are the methods that you and Mr. Frugalwood will implement at you homestead one day. We really are much more independent/free than we realize.

  1. “I don’t know if there is a better place to be financially than having your monetary resources grow while your need for them decreases.”
    I like that! That is what we hope for in the next decade. Right now our expenses have to be where they are because the kids are young and we have daycare, etc. to pay for. But I hope to become mortgage debt free in a little over a decade and also decrease our expenses around that time.

    • Holly,
      The wonderful thing about the principles of personal finance is that they apply to all walks of life. We all have different arrangement that reflect the uniqueness of our lives, but those principles work the same.

      I think you guys are doing a great job on not only getting “rich” but living a “rich” life as well. That balance is important and often neglected.

  2. Stoic,

    “For it’s not x amount of an investment balance or some passive income stream that will support you forever and ever. No, it’s being so independent that one is less and less in need of such things and that is an entirely different conception of independence. It is being independent vs. having independence.”
    That is an interesting take on the nature of independence, I have never thought of it like that before. I have been focusing on the passive income side of things and not realizing the DIY home repairs with plumbing, electrical, or planting a garden is additionally reducing my reliance upon others making me more independent

    • I think it’s an ideas that many of us would benefit from considering more deeply. I’m not saying that people should abandon building up diversified income streams, but by being independent we limit our dependence on income of any sort. The skills you mention are perfect examples and ones I continue to build upon myself along with other ways of being independent. If we become less dependent upon purely money to meet our needs then the capital, generated through labor, needed to provide us with income later in life is much less.

  3. Stoic,

    Great stuff. You’ve done a great job at not just having more independence, but being more independent.

    That’s certainly something I could improve on. Being more independent can certainly speed the gap between having to work for money and living on your terms. I’m doing it the other way, where the capital can kind of “work for me”, perhaps because I’m not only not DIY-efficient, but also because I lack the inclination necessary. But doing both simultaneously can really speed things up, and that’s perhaps how Jacob was able to go from $0 to ERE so quickly.

    I think one important aspect to being independent is being able to adapt. And you’ve shown a great ability there. 🙂

    Keep up the great work.

    Best wishes!

    • DM, Nice to see you around these parts!

      I wouldn’t argue for one over the other, I think both approaches provide for greater security. It’s easy to use money as a buffer against the world. If we run into a problem, instead of learning the skills to overcome the problem, it’s easy to just throw some money at the problem. I would rather have the option of both approaches, fix the problem myself or use money to have it fixed for me.

      Thanks for stopping by and your compliments, both are much appreciated.

  4. Money/dividends, etc. is simply the tool that enables our freedom or independence. Call it what you want but always remember that we should never exist just for our money/dividends rather it should exist for ourselves (IE provide us the freedom/independence we desire).

    • Well said DivHut. There is always a “right” tool for the job. Sometimes that tool will be money and sometimes it may be a skill/knowledge, or maybe it’s some other tool altogether. The more tools you have the better prepared you are to handle the challenges life can throw at you.

      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

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