As you know I’m working on “The Modern Day Mavericks Podcast” where our motto is crafting a simple, sustainable, and adventurous lifestyle for those who seek freedom through adventure. The podcast is based within a Ford Transit van that travels from place to place - in exploration of the simplest yet richest pleasures found in living. From two different backgrounds a friend and I are crafting our dreams into an actionable reality.
A guy from Nantucket who left his successful personal training career in Boston for the chance of his dreams, drove cross country with his girl friend to begin living a more adventurously present lifestyle - more play and less work kinda thing. Then there’s me, the notoriously nutty “Dan the van man" who dwells in his home on wheels. Coming from a wonderful midwestern background I too wanted to see what I could create in a lifetime. It’s a big world and I’m a curious soul - with a heart for everyone - How can you contain that?
My choice to move into a van was a deliberate attempt to take ownership of my life - voluntary hardship or something like that. I’ve always been a man of principle - diligently adhering to an inner set of morals and beliefs. I struggle sitting when I see people being taken advantage of. It drives me bonkers - advertisers and media have our immediately gratifying society wrapped around their dirty little fingers. When you look at the current structure of our given culture it appears to me more like indentured servanthood than freedom - humor me for a moment and think objectively - 200 years from now when people read about our society from an experienced perspective what is it going to say? You’re playing a part in writing the script.
Living in the van has allowed me to experience an awesome lifestyle while working and saving money to build the foundation for my future. I’ll admit I could be doing a better job making monetary headway but thats part of the process - learning and becoming more aware - minimizing errors and refining the process.
Our society has manifested it’s own beast: consumerism - imprisoning ourselves by a tether of debt. I don’t believe it should be so hard to live - especially when we’re surrounded by a wealth of resources. I’m committed to going first and enduring the journey - a journey to become fully sustainable, financially free, and a fulfiller of dreams - becoming the creator of my existence. At Modern Day Maverick’s we see a path to an updated version of the American Dream - a dream that is attainable to all and truly serves the betterment of humanity.
Our first episode is an introduction to get to know us through an off-the-cuff question and answer session - we parked the van overlooking the ocean at Fort Cronkite as we fumbled through our first show. The second was equally as challenging - shot at Blackie’s Pasture in the Tiburon Peninsula, we recorded at night during the only time we could collaborate our schedules.
The third and most recent podcast was a sunrise show recorded at Fort Baker around 6:30 in the morning. We backed the van up to the jetty, opened the doors, and recorded our show as the sun rose over the bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the bronze Ford Transit we were comfortably perched within - sitting on a cooler and fitness ball talking about Wealthfront and wrestling.
Our goal as Mavericks is to go ahead and test the waters, seeing what works and refining when needed. Our mission is to share our findings while testing our theories - understanding failure only exists when given up, we view challenges as opportunities to learn and grow. Wealthfront is our first experiment in the pursuit toward Financial Freedom. The company aims to deliver an automated investment management service that maximizes net-of-fee, after-tax, real investment return for each client’s particular tolerance for risk. They use a simple intuitive risk assessment service that projects your risk tolerance for investment in the market. After you answer a few questions and receive your risk assessment rating (0 being low through 10 being highly risky), you now have the option to open an account or use the results to compare against your current 401k plan, or investment mix. My rating was an 8 out of 10.
Since I have no 401K plan I chose to open two accounts:
"Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it ... he who doesn't ... pays it.” - Albert Einstein
Through my Roth IRA I intend on taking advantage of the proverbial “eighth wonder of the world” - compounding interest while using a strategy known as “dollar-cost averaging.” DCA is a technique of buying a fixed dollar amount of a particular investment on a regular schedule, regardless of the share price. The investor purchases more shares when prices are low and fewer shares when prices are high. The great thing about DCA is that it can be fully automated and taken out of your paycheck. It requires little financial knowledge and has the power to generate massive wealth over a lifetime. I’ve found that financial freedom and true wealth can be accomplished regardless your job, career, or source of employment.
My final reason for choosing Wealthfront over a typical Mutual Fund or financial advisor was due to the low fees. Investment fees where you pay over 1% could cost you millions of dollars over your investment career. “401(k) accounts can have fees of 1.0% or more per year. Rolling over a $100,000 401(k) account to Wealthfront could be worth more than $166,847 over 39 years.” All accounts under $15,000 are managed completely free. Accounts exceeding $15,000 pay a flat rate of 0.25% which is much lower than many of it’s competitors. My partner Jason and I opened our personal investment accounts with a minimum balance of $500. Jason has a 401k through work so he only has a personal brokerage with Wealthfront, whereas I decided to open a Roth IRA with a $1000 initial investment as well.
As time progresses and we gain a better understanding of the software, seeing how it works and testing its merits, we will share what we find with you. The philosophy behind our podcast is to be a fully transparent. We live in a time where social media gives a disillusioned reality, it’s rare to find someone progressing through the journey while taking an audience along for the ride. I hope you’ll stick around for the fun!
Dan The Van Man
Learning about life while living in a 1998 Ford E150 van down by the river - sharing life's lessons with a Maverick-Minded community!