Millionaire Interview Series #4 – Steve Adcock
Hello dear reader and welcome to the fourth blog post of the Millionaire Interview Series.
As this blog’s domain name suggests, my personal long term financial goal is to reach a net worth of one million euros, or in other words, become a millionaire.
In addition to self-educating in topics as finance, and summarizing my learnings on my millionaire mind series, I am keen on acquiring knowledge from other people experiences, especially from those who became self-made millionaires.
So, what is this Millionaire Interview Series about?
Every interviewee will answer a set of questions, which aim to collect information from several millionaires around the world. These questions will be all be pretty much the same for everyone.
My goal is to analyse and find common patterns, behaviour, careers, lifestyles, mindset, hobbies, or any other aspect that may come across. I am hoping this experience will add some educational value for me and my readers.
If you’d be interested in being interviewed please get in touch with me by email tony (at) onemillionjourney (dot) com or a message me on Twitter.
- Millionaire Interview #1 – Finumus (The UK)
- Millionaire Interview #2 – FI Heroes (US)
- Millionaire Interview #3 – Perpetual Money Machine (US)
Meet Steve Adcock
The fourth interviewee is none other than Steve Adcock!
Steve worked for 14 years in the US before he retired at the age of 35. He currently lives in the desert with his wife and two dogs and uses an Airstream RV as a way of transportation for travelling. He is now an entrepreneur and writer.
From my piece of property to yours, stay safe out there!— Steve Adcock 🇺🇸 (@SteveOnSpeed) June 20, 2020
Get some sun. Go for a walk. Close that laptop.
Turn off the damn news.
And just live. 💚 pic.twitter.com/bqPOxL66gc
I admire Steve in many ways but what I especially admire the most is his mindset. An optimist who doesn’t worry about the things that are not under his control.
Their achievements and exciting out of the ordinary lifestyle are facts that have made them very popular in the financial independence community. Many FI/RE pursuers are inspired by their story and follow their steps closely. You will also find them featured several times on top sites such as MarketWatch, Forbes, Business Insider and CNBC among others.
So, thanks to Steve for agreeing to share his experience and for taking the time to answer all my question. It’s a true honour to have him here and hope it will add some value to you, my dear reader :).
Without further ado, it’s learning time with Steve Adcock.
Introduction About Yourself
How old are you?
What’s your nationality?
Where do you live?
Are you married? (If so, how old is your spouse and when you married?)
Yes. She’s 35 and we married in 2014.
Do you have any children? (If so, how many and how old are they?)
What do you do for a living?
Fully retired. I write (steveadcock.us), YouTube, and hang out on social media. Writing sometimes generates income. YouTube generates a hundred or two a month.
Determining how wealthy you are
In this section, I would like to find out where you stand along the wealth continuum, or in other words, if you are a prodigious accumulator (PAW), an under accumulator of wealth (UAW) or just an average accumulator (AAW). More about this on wikipedia.
What’s your net worth? Please include debt details if applicable.
Around $1 million.
How much of your net worth is inherited?
Could you please tell us what’s your pre-tax household income from all sources, except inheritances and how it has evolved from your first earnings until now?
Maybe $20k to $25k a year, depending on the year. I retired in 2016 and income was around the same, maybe a bit higher, because I ran ThinkSaveRetire.com that I have since sold.
Sources of income
Please, would you mind telling us what are your main sources of income and how much they contribute to your pre-tax income household? (Day job, side hustles, businesses, dividends, interests… from you and your spouse).
YouTube: $150 / month Writing: $1,200 / month Business investment: $1,000 / month
Approximately, how many hours per week of your time is required to maintain this income level?
Have you had any period with a significant lower stream of income due to a career or occupation change, incapacity, illness or any other bumps on the road you encountered? (If so, what did you do to overcome the situation?)
Yes, early retirement. :). Side hustles produce some income, as stated above.
Do you spend time or money looking for new opportunities to boost your income?
Not really. Sometimes, opportunities find me.
Savings, expenses and purchasing behaviour
How much of your pre-tax household income do you save and how it has changed over time?
Almost none; we live on that income.
Do you have a budget, pay yourself first or track your expenses? (If so, how much time do you spend on it on a monthly basis?)
We track our expenses closely, but we don’t have a traditional budget. We spend an hour or two a month doing this.
Do you remember how much you paid for your first home and what was your household’s total annual realized income at that time?
My first home was $203,000, and it was never worth that value again (I bought in 2007). Income was around $67,000 if I recall.
Is there any category where you don’t mind spending more money into?
Travelling and alcohol. We love our happy hours and spend handsomely to make those happen. Why? Happiness.
What’s the most expensive piece of clothing and the motor vehicle you’ve ever bought?
Clothing was probably a jacket. Maybe $100. Vehicle was my now-sold brand-new Cadillac CTS, bought for $42k.
What’s the current value of all your motor vehicles?
Our single vehicle (a truck) is worth around $20k.
Investing strategy and behaviour
What’s your net worth asset allocation?
47.7% U.S. Stocks, 18% International Stocks, 10% U.S. Bonds, 2% International Bonds, 16% “Unclassified”.
What’s your investing philosophy? Do you stick into any strategy? (If so, do you change it often?)
We like targeted retirement and life strategy funds. We keep a very hands-off approach to investing. We invest, then forget it.
How much time do you spend planning and tracking your investments on a monthly basis?
Right around 10 minutes a month.
Do you follow the markets and media closely and trade accordingly? Are you an active or inactive trader?
Very inactive and don’t follow the markets hardly at all.
Do you hire any professional financial and tax advisors, lawyers or accountants? (If so, what’s the annual cost of it?)
We have an accountant that does our taxes every year, but that’s it. Costs $420.
Tell us about your best investment.
I don’t think this exists. We just invest and forget about it. Given enough time, every investment has done well.
And the worst one?
My first home. I bought it in February 2007 at the height of the market. Your primary home should NOT be an investment, and this is why.
What would be your investment advice to anyone who wants to build wealth today?
Just start and don’t over-think it. If your company has a 401(k) plan, start investing there if you aren’t already. If they match, at least invest that much as it’s free money.
Are you a goal-oriented person? Do you have a net worth target number?
Somewhat, though hardened goals are not really a part of our life. No, we have no net worth target number.
Do you follow any specific morning routine? How do you spend the first hour of the day?
Get up between 5:30am and 6:00am, take a 2-mile walk with the dogs, have a cup of coffee with raw almonds.
Is there any specific goal or habit you would like to mention?
My one and only goal is to remain happy and healthy, which is why fitness is a big part of our lives. Our home gym gets a lot of use.
How do you view money? What does it represent to you?
Money is nothing but a tool, and it represents time up until the point when we are financially independent. Before FI, every dollar that we spend lengthens the time it’ll take to achieve FI. But after FI, that money is a tool that we can use to build any type of life that we want.
Did your parents provide you with economic outpatient care? (If so, how much was gifted to you?)
They paid for my entire college education, so I started my working career debt-free.
Do you consider yourself financially literate? (If so, please could you tell us how you got the knowledge?)
Yes, though I’m not an expert. I learned from a combination of my dad as well as basic observations of life.
Tell us about your hobbies and how you like to spend (free) time and energy.
All-time is free time. I write. I film videos for YouTube. I am trying to build a major Twitter profile. I am also a big fan of Netflix original series like Ozark and House of Cards. I also exercise regularly with a combination of resistance training as well as yoga. Spending time on your health is time well spent.
Your concerns, fears and worries. Can you tell us a bit about them? Is there anything you are especially afraid of?
Nope. Things will happen as they happen. We’ll pivot whenever necessary.
Who do you hang out with? Where do you hang out? What’s your environment like?
We live in the middle of the Arizona desert. Few neighbours. The local town has a farmers market and coffee shop we like to go to, but other than that, we keep to ourselves out here. It’s just the way that we like it.
What is your mindset like? What do you think about on a daily basis?
I’m an optimist and I don’t worry about things that I cannot control. Getting upset won’t fix anything. Staying loose and ready to adjust is the name of the game with me.
Tell us three books you think any wealth accumulator must-read.
The Millionaire Next Door, The Richest Man in Babylon and I Will Teach You To Be Rich.
Becoming a millionaire is a common people’s dream. Can you see any pattern that some millionaire dreamers follow, and you think it isn’t the most appropriate? What would like to advise them?
People tend to overthink this. Becoming a millionaire takes time, but the concepts are not all that difficult. Staying the course is the most important key. Invest, then don’t touch it. Let your money do what it does best, and that’s GROW.
Anything else you would like to add?
I just published an eBook called Big Money about achieving financial independence with any income the old-fashioned way. No inheritance. No lottery winnings. Just basic money principles.