I was born in 1974 in Belgium. Local cycling hero Eddy Merckx would win his fifth tour de france while I was busy learning to eat and poop.
Belgium is a weird little country in the middle of europe. It was not by coincidence we embraced surrealisme and in a way we never stopped.
I grew up on the countryside. My parents are both working class people who toughed me a lot of common sense and the value of money. I never spend a lot of money because I like reading, watching series or movies and being left alone (I appear to be an enneagram type 5 or INTJ according to Myers-Briggs). So being naturally frugal I started exploring the world of investing shortly after getting my first real job (what else was I supposed to do with the money I was making?). I was lucky to stumble upon value investing pretty early in my investing life. It has served me well.
Although I had already figured out what amount I needed to never have to work again, it was not until a friend gave me a link to Mr. Money moustache that I realized there where others out there persuing the same goal! A lot of things finally clicked. It gave me back my focus and also made me realize that it is not only money you need for early retirement but also a good health and meaningful personal relations. Being fugal or investing comes naturally to be, being disciplined on my health and being social do not come easy. So expect a bit off psychological introspection in between the frugal/financial bits.
I was also born in the city of Aalst, which means that during 3 days of the year I will dress up, get drunk and celebrate with a few thousand other people from Aalst. For all non-belgian people who watched the clip in the link and find it all very strange: don’t worry, every one else in Belgium also finds this a bit strange and weird but we have been doing it since the 1500’s and see no reason to stop doing it. I mention it, because in a way it defines me every bit as much as INTJ does.
In short: I have a weird brain, spend my youth in a very boring city that goes completely bonkers during three days a year, in a strange and complicated country.
To top it off, I was 16 in the early 90’s which meant I grew up in the midst of the first techno wave. Strange days indeed, and that documentary, in a way, really captures the Belgian spirit. Well that and our fries, beers, chocolate and waffles.
If you feel inclined to contact me by mail you can do so via the form below. But no promises on a swift (or useful) reply.