It’s happened to us all. We’re just back from that dinner party. Jack was there. He was monopolizing the conversation again. Going on about why the markets are about to shift. “And this time it’s different!” he exclaimed! “This time it’s going to be big!”

Who knows when the markets will turn? Maybe this is one of those times when it’s urgent to do nothing. But wouldn’t it be great if I didn’t have to worry about Jack and his hunches? Wouldn’t it be ideal if I could just sit back and smile when Jack starts entertaining us with his doomsday scenarios? After all, I earn a healthy income. I’ve probably got more in the bank than Jack has. Why should I be concerned?

I was thirty-eight at the time of that dinner party. I’d already come a long way since earning my Master’s Degree fourteen years earlier. I’d passed the obligatory post-graduate exams. Actively participated in professional associations. Wrote regularly in journals. Spoken frequently at professional conferences. And I’d already worked my way up to the top levels of my organization.

If only I could say the same about my investments. If only I could master my investments so I wouldn’t have to let Jack and his stories get to me. I could embrace the uncertainty of the markets and enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing I’m doing the right thing. And, if I get it right, maybe I might even become financially independent some day.

So that’s what I did. The day after the dinner party I made the decision to get a firm grip on my personal finances. And I committed myself to implementing a strategy that would lead me to financial independence.

This book is written ten years later.