Hi – I’m Jake. I am a husband, father, and personal finance enthusiast. I love a good adventure, laughing, spending time with friends and family, reading, mountain biking, adventure motorcycling, and soccer. I have an adventurous spirit and the heart of a teacher.
I have an aversion toward wearing shoes, and tend to wear my Chacos year-round in all but the worst of winter snow storms – and even then, the Chacos have been known to make an appearance. And yes, our daughter is barefoot in this picture, which was not intentional! You can see her boot on the ground – it’s hard taking pictures with toddlers! Why does this matter? It doesn’t.
So, what qualifies me to write about money?
- I’m a bit of a nerd who has a lifelong passion for personal finance. I started investing when I was in middle school, graduated high school at age 16, college at 20 (degree in Finance, magna cum laude), and bought my first investment property at age 20, as well.
- By adopting the principles of Financial Independence (“FI”) into my life at an early age, I’ve been able to reap the benefits of the FI journey. This has allowed my family to live and make decisions with a high degree of freedom.
- I am a Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®)
- I am the founder of Trailguide Financial, LLC – an independent financial planning firm.
- I have a professional background in real estate investment, private equity, and financial analysis. Combined with a ‘lifetime’ (still young though!) of studying and practicing in the traditional investment world – my experience gives me a well-rounded and multi-disciplinary background in finance.
I’ve learned quite a bit about money and life in my journey and I’m willing to open up and share my story with you, warts and all. I hope you’ll join me and, moreover, I hope the content on this website proves to be useful, inspirational, and educational for you in your own journey.
If you want to get in touch with me, use the Contact form to send me a message. Thank you!
About The Blog
“Oh wow, yet another personal finance blog!” I have to admit, I had a certain amount of trepidation in adding another personal finance blog to the blogosphere when there are, admittedly, quite a few good ones out there already. Call it imposter syndrome, fear of putting my own words out in the world for everyone to see, or whatever, but it took me way too long to finally get this blog going. My first inclination to do this was 2009 or 2010 (and its now 2018 as I write this)!
Ok, so why do it now? One, because I keep running into people who don’t read or don’t like some of the other personal finance blogs but enjoy talking about the things I have to say – so apparently there’s still room for another voice. Two, I’m tired of seeing bad financial content floating around and think I have some valuable nuggets to share with the world. And last but not least, I enjoy writing.
What makes this blog different? If you’ve spent any amount of time on popular personal finance sites you’ve no doubt noticed that credit card companies, robo-advisors, banks, and brokerage firms are all paying generous sums to bloggers to convince their readers to buy their product. Some posts these days feel like one long list of affiliate links! I get it, they are trying to make a living – and that is 100% ok with me. I’m not suggesting that all of these blogs are dishonest or deceptive! In fact, I’ve learned quite a bit from a couple of them. If someone is putting out good content, believes in a product they use, and can get paid for telling people about it – then why not, right?
But what makes the unFinanced Life blog different is that I’ve made a commitment to not accept commissions, affiliate revenue, etc. from the sale or marketing of financial products on this website. That way, you and I can be sure the financial content on this site is free from any outside financial bias. Now this isn’t to say the site isn’t intended to be monetized at all – you’ll notice some Amazon links , potentially an ad here and there, and in the future I’d like to publish a book and maybe even create some eCourses.
What does ‘unFinanced Life’ mean? The first three posts on this blog are almost entirely devoted to discussing this topic, but here is the short version.
- First, I think most consumers need to un-learn much of what we know about money – so, in this sense, it refers to the act of un-learning the bad stuff and embracing a more un-conventional / un-traditional approach to money and life.
- Second, unFinanced Life is a term which refers to a life that is free from the bondage of debt. I’m not of the position that ALL debt is bad all the time or that its impossible to responsibly use credit cards (why not take advantage of travel and cash back perks?). But there is much to be said for the freedom which comes when we have no debt.
- Third, ‘unFinanced Life’ refers to a life philosophy which encourages a view of money that leads to greater personal freedom rather than simply greater wealth. Think ‘return on life’ instead of only ‘return on investment’. Too often we focus only on the destination aspect of building wealth, but the unFinanced Life embraces the process and enjoys it.