top of page
  • AutorenbildKevin

#005 Fireside Fridays - Beating The Algorithm, Spending Habits & 3-Week+ Packing Guide

Beating The Algorithm, Spending Habits &  3-Week+ Packing Guide

No Pain No Gain

The stories I'll share in this and the upcoming newsletters pick up where my book, School Dropout, Chimney Sweep, Investment Banker:The Art of Pursuing Goals That Seem Unattainable at First Glance, ends. It's the epilogue that didn't get printed but happened in the chapters of real life.

The last few weeks have been all about trading. Every day I would get home from work, sit down at my desk, and study my new bible, "The Big Book of Market Technique: In Search of Quality in Trading". After an hour or so, I took action. Equipped with my new brokerage account, I was trading in demo mode. I studied the charts for hours and tried all the features of the platform. My plan was to become exceptional first and then start trading on the live account with my hard-earned money.

I got better and made progress, but something just felt off. It took me a while, but then it clicked. It wasn't going to work this way. It's like playing poker with fun money. Have you ever played a round of poker with your friends but without real money on the line? There's always that guy calling all-in every second round because it doesn't matter anyway. It's like laser tag vs. paintball. Laser tag is all fun and games, and when you get shot, everything blinks and you leave the "playground". Paintball is a different beast though. You're out there in the woods, seeking shelter behind a trunk from the bullets flying by a few centimeters from your head. You can hear the dull sound of the bullets hitting the trunk one after the other. Adrenaline shoots through your veins, and you're in fight or flight mode, fully embracing the present moment. You have to feel the pain to know if you can handle it.

I realized I had to put real cash on the line to learn this game. Well, there was the next obstacle. There are a few ground rules in trading, and I definitely struggled with the most important one: Never use more than 1% of your capital per trade. For example: If you set aside $10,000 as a trading budget, that means you will never risk more than $100 per single trade. The problem was, I had only $1,000 to spare, and even that I had to finance with my credit card...

1. Level Up Your Career Game: How To Beat The Algorithm?

Do you know that most high-profile companies use CV screeners?

What the hell is a CV screener?

That's exactly what I asked myself when I started applying to a bunch of prestigious Wall Street firms.

The first hurdle of your application journey is not an HR person who spends 10 seconds on your CV before ditching it... this comes later, though.

The first obstacle you have to overcome is the algorithm.

The best firms are looking for the best talent, and usually, it's found at the best universities, aka target universities like Harvard, Oxford, St. Gallen, etc.

When I learned this truth, it shattered me.

How on earth was I supposed to get a foot in the door?

I was convinced that once I made it to a human being, I could tell my story and at least have a shot.

However, there is a secret the 1% don't want you to know:

Summer Schools and professional designations.

If you don't have $100k+ to spare for a target school MBA program, they offer summer school programs and online programs.

For example, I had only a Bachelor's degree from a distance learning university. To ramp up my CV, I signed up for the Leading with Finance program from Harvard Business School Online and for the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Level 1.

These online programs are still an investment of around $2000 but allow you to kill two birds with one stone. You get a fantastic education from the top universities out there, plus you have them on your CV.

The best thing was, I didn't even finish the CFA Program, but it helped me break into Wall Street and beat the algorithm.

2. Retire Early: Where Does Your Money Go?

Do you have an idea where your money goes?

I mean, not like: "Yeah, I know I spend way too much on sneakers, dining out, and video games."

I'm talking about a clear overview where you can see at first glance how you've spent every dollar over the last month.

You probably have no idea, and that's okay.

You might think tracking your expenses is only for those guys who are too stingy to pay for a round of beers at the bar.

I had the same mindset for a couple of years, but guess what happened?

I often overspent, and there was too much month left at the end of the money. I used my credit card to cover the balance and hoped for the best. That's a recipe for financial disaster.

My life and financial situation improved significantly when I started tracking my money. I didn't dive in right away and track every dollar.

I started with a simple Excel sheet where I listed every recurring expense to get an idea of how much money was left after covering rent, insurance, streaming services, gym memberships, etc.

For many years, I focused on earning more money, but it was like throwing more wood into the fireplace—the harder I worked, the faster it burned. As I increased my salary, I increased my spending, and at the end of the day, nothing changed. I was still broke at the end of the month.

Tracking my spending changed that.

It made a huge difference just to know how much I had in recurring expenses and how much was left for the month afterward. Retiring early is not about how much money you earn but about how much money you keep.

Action Step: Start tracking your money today.

Bonus: Shoot me an e-mail with "Follow the money" and I'll send you my Excel template.

3. Travel The World: Packing For A 3 Week Trip

What do you pack for a 3-Week trip?

In 2019, Angelika and I embarked on our first-ever backpacking trip through Thailand and Vietnam. Until then, we had always been "suitcase people" and had no idea how to pack for three weeks with hand luggage only. After watching countless YouTube videos, we finally settled on a backpack of our choice and a few essentials.

Here, you can take inspiration from our 3-week+ backpacking set-up:

  • I love my Osprey, a large but comfortable backpack that still fits into hand luggage.

  • On top of that I always bring a small daypack for short boat trips or days on the beach.

  • Non-negotiable, a vacuum storage bag for your clothes. Pro Tip: roll up your shirts to avoid wrinkles.

  • A power bar to save your smartphone from a nasty and painful battery death

  • iPad or MacBook for work & entertainment.

  • I'll never leave without a fantastic book or kindle.

  • A hat or cap to protect yourself from the midday sun.

  • Massively underrated, a refillable water bottle, sustainable & reliable.

  • iPhone charger and never get onto a plane without noise-canceling headphones!

  • One pair of flip flops.

  • A towel, I love to bring mine from Greece.

  • 4 shirts and 1 button-down shirt.

  • Two swimming shorts.

  • One pair of light trousers.

  • 5 sets of underwear and socks.

  • I always add my swim goggles and a waterproof watch to the mix because I love swimming in the sea.

  • The heavier items, like a pair of jeans, a light jacket, and shoes or hiking boots, I wear during the flight. This keeps me warm during the flight and helps avoid extra weight in hand luggage.

That's it, add the personal care items of your choice and you are good to go.

You can have a look here:

PS: Angelika and I will start our world trip in mid-October. I'm curious: what's your favorite travel set-up?

Adventure Awaits,

Kevin Schwarzinger

Founder, ChimneyCapital

Author, World Explorer & Solopreneur

Refer Like-Minded Friends

Have friends who'd love Fire Side Fridays - A Glimpse Into Wealth, Freedom & Adventure Newsletter too? Share the registration link and help them to level up their career game, retire early and travel the world:

Are you ready to write your own success story? Get a copy of my book now:

15 Ansichten0 Kommentare


bottom of page