Jun 29, 2018

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks to JL Collins About Financial Independence and Investing

It started out innocently enough...he wanted to write letters of financial advice to his daughter. J.L. Collins never imagined that his blog would become a favorite source for the financial independence movement. His knack for storytelling and simplifying complex topics has boosted his blog popularity to over two million pageviews per year and convinced him to write a book, The Simple Path to Wealth. Hear how this proponent of index investing (his Stock Series is a must read for those who want to increase their investing knowledge) throws financial rules of thumb out the window and offers advice to teachers on how to best teach concepts, like retirement, to students. Enjoy!


  • 0:00–1:10 Introduction
  • 1:11–4:20 Starting his blogging career in retirement
  • 4:21–6:09 The philosophy of financial independence
  • 6:10–10:03 J.L.’s sudden rise to fame
  • 10:04–13:46 The 4% rule
  • 13:47–17:46 Great things take time—three years to be exact
  • 17:47–23:40 J.L.’s advice on investing: the simple things are the most worth it
  • 23:41–30:11 As long as civilization exists, index funds will continue to prosper
  • 30:12–34:34 Wealth creation stage vs. wealth preservation stage
  • 34:35–35:02 A word from NGPF
  • 35:03–40:46 How bonds smooth the ride
  • 40:47–49:50 Throwing rules of thumb out the window
  • 49:51–51:25 J.L., a master storyteller
  • 51:26–57:14 Saving for retirement is just a different way of spending your money
  • 57:15–1:00:12 Collins’s Chautauquas
  • 1:00:13–1:02:00 Conclusion

Resources mentioned:

Index funds that J.L. owns:


  • “You can spend your money on a lot of different things… and you can spend that how you wish…  I think the most powerful thing that money can buy is your [financial] freedom.”
  • “10:30 Financial independence is not about what you have, but it’s very much about how much money you need. And it is the balance between those two things that determine whether you’re financially independent or not.”

About the Authors

Danielle Bautista

Danielle is a native of Southern California and a recent graduate from the University of Maine, where she braved the frigid winters—a feat in and of itself—and earned her Bachelor's degree in International Affairs. She has a passion for working with non-profit organizations and serving populations in underprivileged communities. When Danielle isn't writing NGPF blog posts, spearheading various outreach projects, or managing contests and flash surveys, you can find her doing some sort of outdoor activity, learning a new hobby, or cracking what she thinks are witty puns!

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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