1/ From mountains of debt to financial freedom in 21 years

A 🧵 about a normal guy named Lennie ⬇️
2/ The Motley Fool has a thriving discussion board that has been filled with wisdom over the last 20+ years

I recently came across a post by a Canadian named Lennie and was inspired to share
3/ In 1998, Lennie was 27 years-old

He and his wife "felt trapped" by student loan debt that consumed 30% of their income

They had "no visible path to financial health. Our finances were maxed out."

They could afford the basics, but nothing else
4/ With their back against the wall, they "took a big swing"

They quit their jobs and took a position in Saudi Arabia

A big, risky move, but the upside was no taxes, no rent, and no utility bills

They went for it
5/ With their expenses cut to the bone, they got to work

Within a year they paid off all of their student loan debt
6/ After that, they had some money to save & invest

Lennie got interested in the stock market

This was December 1999, near the peak of the dot-com craze
7/ Lennie didn't know much about investing

He bought popular hype stocks of the day like JDS Uniphase, Nortel, and Infosys

He used margin to "supercharge my gains"

In 3 months, he had $50,000 and felt like a genius

"I was the poster boy for the Dunning-Kruger effect"
8/ 1 month later was the stock market peak

All the high-flyers started to crash

Lennie got a margin call that "essentially wiped me out"

He sold in April with just $2,000 left

A $48,000 loss -- 96% of his stock market wealth -- in just 6 weeks!

(why I avoid margin)
9/ Lennie swore off the stock market

Extra money was used to save for a down payment and to build his wife's online business

In 2003, they moved back to Canada with no loans and a house down payment

"We were definitely not rich, but our finances were secure"
10/ The new plan was to work for 30 years, pay off the mortgage, save for college (they had 2 kids), and collect a pension in 2035 at age 65

"The path was long and boring, but at least it was navigable."
11/ In 2004, Lennie got over his fear of individual stocks and subscribed to @TMFStockAdvisor

He contributed money every 2 weeks to an RRSP (Canadian IRA), investing ~$5,000/year

He slowly built a portfolio of ~80 stocks, avoided margin, added to his winners, and sold rarely
12/ After 14 years of consistency, at age 48, Lennie was able to retire

"Considering where we stood in 1998, this seems nothing short of a financial miracle, but it’s not. It’s predictable and reproducible."

Here are Lennie's top5⃣lessons
13/1⃣Be Frugal

"You need to pay off debt and spend less than you make"

Lennie & his wife averaged just $52k/year from 2003-2018

"The only way that we could save to invest was to live frugally"
14/ 2⃣Be Patient

"Compounding really is the 8th wonder of the world, especially when you’re beating the market over a very long period of time,

but the first decade or so is not all that impressive."
15/ 3⃣Rarely sell

"Every one of my biggest mistakes over the last decade is related to selling"

Lennie sold $BKNG at $100 (now $2,350)

I've made tons of selling mistakes myself!
15/4⃣Invest with a long-term mindset

"steer your mind away from all short-term price changes.

Many stocks you own will do poorly – it’s unavoidable.

But the multi-baggers will carry the day."
16/5⃣Don’t be afraid to take big swings on stocks (and in life)

Taking the job in the Middle East was a "big swing" that paid off

"Similarly, our greatest stock returns have come from the big swings taken on the little rule breakers"
17/ You don't have to buy individual stocks if you don't want to

You can do great financially through regular savings & index funds
18/ Stock picking can be fun & financially rewarding

but make sure you get your financial house in order first

19/ Thanks for sharing, Lennie!

If you like these financial graphics, I email them daily for free


• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Brian Feroldi

Brian Feroldi Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @BrianFeroldi

25 Feb
My top takeaways from my chat with @JonahLupton & @saxena_puru ⬇️
Puru calls Hong Kong home. He loves living there.

0% tax rate on capital gains. That allows him to buy and sell as he pleases with no worries about the taxes

Puru was a professional trader in Asia for many years

Now, he's a full-time investor with his own capital
Puru owns between 15 - 25 high growth stocks at any given time

He looks for strong revenue growth, a competitive advantage, and a massive opportunity

If he likes a stock, he doesn't let valuation keep him from investing
Read 15 tweets
18 Feb
1/ How to think about a stock that is recently up BIG

A 🧵 about my personal history with Anchoring Bias

With $DMTK, $FVRR, $NVCR, $ZM ⬇️
2/ What is anchoring bias?

When the first price that you see influences your future opinion

Ex: I offer you a piece of gum for $0.10. You decline

You change your mind, but the price is now $0.50

Do you buy?

Probably not -- you are 'anchoring' to the original $0.10 price
3/ This comes up ALL THE TIME with investing

$ZM came public at $65 in 2019

Current price: $426

Is it a buy today?

Should you wait for a pullback?

It's really, really hard to convince yourself to pay 8x the price for a stock!
Read 21 tweets
17 Feb
Here are some of the big investors that track:

Altarock Partners
AKO Capital
Akre Capital
Broad Run
Dorsey Asset
Polen Capital
Third Point

Here are their current top 10 holdings (in order) and links to their latest buys/sells ⬇️
Altarock Partners

Top 7


AKO Capital

Top 10 (in order):


Read 12 tweets
16 Feb
The 🔟 Most Important Money Lessons

I Wish I Could Teach My Younger Self 🧵
1⃣ ALWAYS live below your means
2⃣Developing a long-term mindset

is the foundation of financial success
Read 12 tweets
15 Feb
My 🔟 Biggest Investing Mistakes 🧵
1⃣Only looking at the share price

I bought penny stocks at the start

My logic: 100 shares of $1 stock > 1 share of $100 stock


The price of 1 share is meaningless!

What matters is how great the company is!
2⃣Only looking at dividend yield

I bought stocks with 10%+ yields

My logic: 10% yield > 1% yield


The dividend got cut and the share price dropped -- a double-whammy!

A high yield is Wall Street's way of saying "this yield is not sustainable, watch out"
Read 12 tweets
14 Feb
1/ How to review quarterly earnings 🧵

A step by step guide using $DXCM as an example

2/ The BIG question: Is the thesis on track❓

Other question:

❓Is revenue growing?
❓Are margins stable/expanding?
❓Balance sheet?
❓New opportunities?
❓New threats?
3/ I open 4 browser tabs

Tab 1 - Current company earnings report / shareholder letter

Tab 2 - Previous company earnings report / shareholder letter (check guidance)

Tab 3 - Analyst estimates

Tab 4 - Call Transcript
Read 19 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!