Plus links to my best stories by topic.

Illustration of an ark in the ocean in the rain.
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I founded Building Arks to help busy professionals like you ignore mainstream advice and build real wealth.

Join me and build your ark today!

If you want to learn more about me…


Why I don’t max out my 401k and other secrets to building wealth

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Photo: Mikhail Nilov/Pexels

When I first started my adult life, I believed the standard middle-class narrative that a good job, a house, and a 401k were the secret to a good life. I worked long, hard hours at my job trying to get a promotion and a raise, I had a big house because I believed it was an investment, and I maxed out my 401k every year hoping I would have enough to retire by sixty-five.

The reality was, however, that even though I had a good job, I wasn’t building wealth. After I realized that what I was doing wasn’t working…


A walk through my process

Boy looking through old binoculars sitting between stacks of books.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

During the crash, I was prepared to buy with cash on the side. The problem was that the S&P 500 never got back down to what I thought was a reasonable level, then it quickly took off again. After that, I decided I needed to learn how to evaluate individual stocks.

If the market as a whole could stay overpriced, maybe I could find some stocks…


And one that can make you rich.

Cartoon of a man struggling with a bag labeled ‘debt’ and small coins that are eating dollars.
Image by Rilsonav from Pixabay

As fellow author Sam Dixon Brown recently wrote in his article Stop Calling It “Good Debt”, most debt, at least as it is used by the general public, is bad debt. If used poorly, as it most often is, it will keep you running on a financial treadmill. If used wisely, however, it can help you build massive wealth and break free of the rat race.

That is why I disagree with people who say…


Then I changed my life, and you can too.

Man standing with arms crossed in front of a drawing of muscular arms flexing. It looks like his arms are the strong ones.
Image by Schäferle from Pixabay

These hit home because I used to live like that.

The first article was this piece by Rocco Pendola, who chastises us for being so bad with money. The second article was a follow-up posted by Ben Le Fort, who said that while we deserve to be criticized, we are just following the path pushed by society.

They are both right.

In this article, I will walk through my story so…


The shockingly simple math from a different angle.

Lit match against a black background.
Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels
  • reduce your spending to save a massive portion of your take-home pay every month (targeting more than 50%)
  • invest everything in low-cost index funds
  • retire once the balance in your investments is 25 times what you need to live, without increasing your spending (allows for a 4% withdrawal rate)
  • hope the market continues to go up enough so that your withdraws don’t pull down your balance…


Stories you may have missed.

Photo by Stas Knop from Pexels

I can’t help much with Covid, but I hope I can help you some with your financial education and your path to build wealth. Below are the top 3 stories from Building Arks in August.

If you want to learn about how to create wealth…


The framework I am using to achieve early retirement.

Image by Charles McArthur from Pixabay

After a few years of doing this, however, I realized that I was not building wealth as fast as I had hoped. Much of my money was tied up in my house, and most of my cash flow was used to pay bills (mortgage, car payments, etc.). …


Why you shouldn’t listen to just anyone about investing.

Photo by Ann H from Pexels

Tim is quite popular on Medium, but his guidance is often questionable, in my opinion. He says his background is in finance, but he seems to have made his money as a writer, rather than an investor, best I can tell. …


The Selloff In Chinese Stocks

Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay

Issues

Some of the recent moves (documented in this article from SupChina) include:

  • suspension of Ant Group’s IPO in Nov 2020
  • record $2.8 billion fine on Alibaba
  • antitrust fines against many other major companies, including Tencent, Meituan, Didi, Baidu, ByteDance, and JD
  • suspending the app of ride-hailing company Didi for data…

Building Arks with Jason Clendenen

Self-taught investor helping busy professionals learn how to ignore mainstream advice and build real wealth. Build your ark today!

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