After a tumultuous year of 6(!) different jobs, 4 months without ANY job, and 6 weeks abroad living out my fantasies... I’m finally back to a reasonable spot with a healthy-ish savings and decent income. (knocks on every wooden surface in room). Oh and debt is low, and interest on said debt is negligible.

I’ve got my spending strategy nailed down, my savings/checking accounts are set up for maximum returns, I’m not going to buy stupid shit like I immediately would have five years ago (sorry Ducati Panigale V2)... I figure it’s time to wade into the murky-to-me depths of investing.

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I opened a brokerage account through Charles Schwab.

Why not a retirement account with some form of tax benefit?

Two reasons.

One, I’m kind of banking on being in a better place career-wise within 5 years, the type of job where I can expect employer-matched contributions.

Two... I want a house. By all means correct me if I’m wrong, but a brokerage account sounds like the best place to build up a portfolio if you want to see some earnings and plan on withdrawing money in say... Ten years?

Anyhoo... That’s where I’m at. I’m going to try getting familiarized with Charles Schwab’s online and mobile platforms tonight, but... I’m going in blind. The plan is to invest a few hundred now-ish, about 90% of my Christmas bonus when that arrives, and $200 or so a month. Hopefully increase that number a bit in the near future, depending on how looming life choices go down.

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I know there are some real financial gurus here—FACW, Wobbles the Mind, Eric, etc.—and I’ll happily accept any morsel of info that you have to offer!

Oh and because I know someone will ask, the 6 jobs were...

1. Regional Opps manager, cleaning company! (aka desk job where I got fat, so much for stripping smh)

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2. Window washer (I helped my old company out for like two days, but I got paid so I’m counting it).

I financial advisor focusing on small business. I went with the piano-teacher school-of-thought here, where success is in knowing just a hair more than your students at any given time. (I worked from a laptop primarily, going to beaches and parks everyday. Truly a great two months. Only recommend in Seattle during the Summer)

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4 cleaning company. I still get calls to the Google number I setup, mostly because for the life of me I can’t unlink it from my personal number. This was my 3rd window washing company, you all have read stories from the 2nd (we don’t talk about the 1st)

5. Tile Apprentice. I really wish I could have gotten another 6 months of experience here, but the Miata could not take 80 miles of stop-and-go freeway driving a day, and the pay sucked. Boss was amazing though.

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6. Delivery driver. I’m the guy that parks in such a way as to block every other driver within a 5 mile radius, somehow.

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