As we near the one year point, I’m having a Labor Day sale over the next few days. I regularly receive emails asking me when I’m having a sale and/or opening up the forums for membership and now it’s here!
If you want to cut to the chase and simply take advantage of the sale asap, you can do so here.
Otherwise, this post will share some facts about the forums, highlight comments from members and mentors, and give details on the sale (which you may want to know if you’re interested in joining).
Growth of the Forums
Here are some interesting facts about the forums:
There are now just about 3,500 threads in the forums. For comparison, ESI Money has just over 1,000 posts.
Traffic in the forums is about 75% of the traffic at ESI Money. Not bad at all given the much smaller readership and length it’s been around.
Our top ten forums topics of all time are:
- “Humble Brag” (where we celebrate each other’s successes)
- All About Real Estate
- Housing Gone Wild (current trends in real estate)
- Individual Stocks and the Stock Market
- Digital/Crypto Asset News & Updates
- Real Estate Syndications – Insights and Lessons Learned
- Countdown to Retirement
- ISE – Invest Spend Enjoy
- Going Back into the Office
- Upcoming Travel Plans
Top forums topics over the past month or so include:
- Why Not Leave Money to Kids?
- Earn $10,000 per month passive income!
- Second/vacation homes
- Is an Electric Vehicle in your future?
- Length of time to multi-millionaire status
- Practicing Stealth Early Retirement
- Any other MMM members on Millionaires Unveiled Podcast?
- The Finish Line Keeps Moving
In short, we cover a wide range of subjects with a breadth of experience, opinions, insights, and success.
No, we don’t always agree with each other either (we often don’t), but anyone looking for thoughts on any financial topic will certainly get many perspectives to consider, which is one thing I love about the forums.
Thoughts from Members and Mentors
One forums thread started this past June asked the question: “What is the most important thing you have learned from MMM?”
I’m going to share several responses to that question so ESI Money readers can hear from others what they think of the forums (instead of just taking my word for how great they are).
Here’s a response from one mentor:
For me the most impactful is probably What Comes after ESI? The ISE Phase of FIRE as it was almost like it was written for me for where I was with how things were unfolding and of course would have read that on ESI Money but being in the group made it a no brainer to start to catalog my journey/thoughts ISE – Invest Spend Enjoy and get some great support, insights from other members which helped with the mental journey which for some (especially me) is as challenging as the financial side of things.
The top idea that impacted me personally was Do You Invest Your HSA Money? as it was something that I had not really considered as well as the overall strategy of deferring taking out expenses so I could let the $ grow tax free. It was a “blind spot” I had and very quickly changed course and in less than 9 months am $6.5K “richer” due to it.
Several other threads have opened my eyes to the realization that in some circles I would be considering to have expert level knowledge when it comes to finance/money but in reality have so much more I can (and plan) to learn about. The more you know about something the more you realize you have left to learn.
FYI, this is from a MENTOR in the forums who has a net worth of over 8 figures. Certainly if he is learning great things from the group, the rest of us can as well!
I can vouch that the simple discussion we had about investing our HSA money (versus letting it sit in cash) was a $30k gain for me.
The discussion made me realize I needed to invest that money in index funds as I wasn’t going to be using it for a long time. So when the market fell last March I saw my chance, invested it, and it’s almost doubled.
Not bad at all — a $30k gain from one simple tip. Think the forums are worth the price? 😉
Here’s another post from a different mentor:
The most important thing I’ve learned here is that more money makes you more of who you already are. In a good way and in other ways.
I’ve also learned what to discuss with our lawyer (and a CFP or CPA) about giving a big chunk of our assets to our daughter and son-in-law now instead of during probate.
Finally, related to the top sentence, I’ve learned that the financial issues which people worry about on the way to FI do not always disappear after reaching FI, even when they’re far past FI.
The forums have challenged my thinking on our estate plans as well, which we are in the process of revising.
Next we have some thoughts from a member:
I am not sure I can put my finger on a single topic, but for me I’d say it’s been a couple fairly high level things:
1. Specific informational assets for future endeavors. Examples off the top of my head: the real estate thread is a goldmine, the syndication thread and the ongoing group experiments there, all about hedge funds, digital assets, and the estate planning legal advice.
2. Human assets – there are a number of individuals that have offered specific-to-me advice/support in either PMs or in threads, which has been immeasurably useful, kind, and game-changing. Having that access is priceless. In the long run the help I’ve already received WILL change my outcomes. Thank you friends and mentors! Of note, there are also a number of people that I feel make an extra effort to be supportive and encouraging of others routinely without question. Extra heart to you – you know who you are.
3. Mindset – this is an understated incredible contribution of this group – conditioning of a successful wealth-building mindset. It happens all day long through the collective wisdom and perspectives shared, and it’s invaluable if you don’t have a natural environment for it otherwise (I imagine few people do). I REALLY like the deep respectful scrutiny discussions undergo, which represents an element of mindset rigor, but more importantly an environment where constructive conflict brings out best thinking.
The sum total of the parts is like having a whole new set of navigational tools and a panic button for good measure. So I guess I’d say overall I’ve learned how to better navigate. I’ve got further to go, but what a lifeline this has been!
This member has been a real blessing to the group as well, and it was kind of her to share those thoughts.
One mentor responded to her post with this:
One of the things I loved that you called out is the “deep respect” as that is sadly becoming more and more rare in society and especially online and the really neat thing about this group is that it is filled with successful people, from many walks of life, some with FU money so can say what they want and most anonymous which makes it easier to be not respective and confrontational yet what I have seen is a group of smart, successful, hard working, humble, thoughtful, learners and sharers, willingness to hear opposing viewpoints and in reading many posts over the past 9 months and getting to “know” people by their repeated interactions it is no surprise why so many are successful as that skill set is a become more and more rare.
From another member:
I’m 55 and retiring later this year. This group has been very helpful as I only have 1 other friend who retired early. MMM is where I can read what others have done (most important) but also read how others are going through similar thought processes including doubts.
I love the in depth analysis, diversity of pov’s, the candid sharing of personal strategies, and most importantly the humbleness of this group. So many discussions are ego driven (in real life and online), but not here. I learn something new everyday with the underlying thread that this journey is not a linear path. And, when curve balls happen, it’s good to know I have this group to rely on and help me think through things.
And another one from a different mentor:
This forum is a very rare place to be able to interact with people that have figured out a path to get where they want to be in life. The conversations and MI interviews prove that there is not one path, but some consistent traits that lead to FI. Most revolve around the tenants that ESI has been exploring and reporting on for quite a while.
It has also been very interesting to pick up what others have read/are reading. Reading (including audio) seems to be a key tenant along the path to FI. It would seem that “The Millionaire Next Door” is one of the most read books among our group, then it branches out to other personal finance/investing, philosophy etc. type books that inspire the ESI fundamentals.
Personally, I pick up tips about how to manage investment vehicles and accounts (the HSA conversation is a great example), along with strategy on things like options trading for fun and profit.
For me, it takes the place of the old “Fat-Wallet-Finance” community, only on a much more civil and enjoyable note. I truly appreciate the tolerance of different personal perspectives as some of us “bite our virtual tongues” from time to time in our responses.
I think the absolute best thing I get out of this, though, in the occasional opportunity to help someone else that is not as far along the path. It is harder to find a place to do that in real life, where someone actually wants advice.
Those are just some of the posts (I’ll share more in the next post) but you get the idea — it’s a great group delivering lots of value to mentor and member alike.
The Labor Day Sale
I get several emails a week asking when we’re going to open up the forums, when we’re going to have a sale, etc.
My plan is to have a few every year (at least two) but quite honestly they are kind of a pain to manage, so there will probably be fewer in year 2 than there were this year. Just wanted to get that out there so no one could say they didn’t know in advance.
The current sale is different from past ones in one major way: it’s only on the annual membership.
The annual membership price of $490 is now $290 until 10 pm Mountain time on Monday, September 6.
With the annual membership you also get the bonuses which more than cover the first year’s cost (the bonuses are delivered after your seven day trial period is over, generally about a month after you sign up.)
And, of course, there is still the seven-day trial period so you can try-it-before-you-buy-it. So what’s there to lose?
There is also a monthly option available, but the details are different:
- There is no sale. It remains at $49 a month. This is because it’s much more of a hassle to manage monthly memberships and since so many upgrade to annual anyway, why not just focus on annual memberships?
- There are no bonuses with the monthly memberships. If you want the bonuses, the annual membership is the only choice.
And that’s it. The sale remains open for the next few days, but let me warn you: do not wait to purchase it.
Every time I’ve had a sale I have a handful of people contact me within an hour or two of the sale ending (a sale that was available for several days, BTW) saying they had meant to sign up but just didn’t get around to it and asking if they could they still have the sale price.
It might be cold, but I have never allowed this. If these people are 1) so disorganized and 2) feel like they should be treated specially compared to everyone else, they would probably not be people I’d want in the forums anyway. We have something special going on there and I want to keep that vibe.
BTW, the top reason people leave the forums, by far, is that they “don’t have time to check the forums”. Ok, I can see that. People live busy lives. But then again, you have to make time for your priorities in life and what’s more important than your family’s financial future.
The second most expressed reason for not joining is “I’m too cheap to pay for the membership.” I understand frugality, of course. I used it to great result as I grew my net worth. And being frugal is my middle name (“save”). Ha! But there’s also investing in yourself in a way that yields you multiple times a return back on what you paid. I think the MMM forums fall into this category.
And finally, one reason I started the forums is because it will give people a place to ask specific questions about their financial issues and get a wide variety of input (so they can then decide how to proceed). So please do not email me asking personal questions as 1) I do not answer those sorts of questions one-on-one and 2) you have the forums if you really want to get feedback on any issue.
I invite everyone to join now while the price is as low as it’s going to go. I hope to see you there soon.
Hope you all have a wonderful and blessed Labor Day!