Interview #8 – Angry Retail Banker from AngryRetailBanker.com
This is the eighth interview of my interview series, where I interview bloggers blogging about Early Retirement, Personal Finance, and related topics. After publishing my first book, I am writing my second book, which will be on what I learned interviewing millionaires. As you can see, I love interviewing people.
ARB actually gave me this interview in mid-2017 so this is why there is a leg in terms of timespan. Either way, it is a great interview, I hope you guys like it.
Q1 – Who is ARB?
Q2 – What do you do for a living and what do you like the most about it?
As the Angry Retail Banker, I make a living being an angry retail banker. Specifically, I work as a licensed banker in a bank branch, selling insurance and annuities along with your standard banking products. As for what I like the most, I’d really have to say the benefits. The benefits for even a part-time teller straight out of high school with no work experience are absolutely amazing. Honestly, there’s not much past that to like. It’s a great job if you love meeting new people day in and day out. I hate the general public. As well as the nonsensical regulations, the tight leash we’re all kept on, the office politics, the low pay, and all the other hallmarks of being an employee of Corporate America.
Q3 – Why did you start your blog and what is your main goal with it?
I started my blog as part of a plan to earn passive retirement for financial freedom. I’ve seen bloggers earn four to five figures monthly from blogging, and I thought “Why not me? Why not now?” Well, I’ve only earned about three figures in as many years, so that. But I also started a blog on banking (rather than something like cars, which I have zero interest in) for the purposes of venting my frustration with retail customer service, learning more about banking than I would during my forty hours per week and learning things that I wouldn’t know otherwise, and to help others with a part of personal finance that is so prevalent in our lives yet so misunderstood. Eventually, I would like to be earning a decent income from my blog (be it through Google Adsense, affiliate marketing, or sponsored guest posts) while becoming one of the bigger names in the finance blogging community.
[Ben: My experience tells me that if you do it for the money, you should have a well-tuned selling machine from day 1. Otherwise, you’ll only make a few bucks. Going the other way, as I did, will take you to much higher figures but will take you infinitely longer to get there.]
Q4 – Any big plans for your blog for the near future?
Other than not running it more into the ground than it already is? I have a few things that I’m looking to have happen by the end of this year, but I’m keeping that stuff close to the vest. Wait, “close to the vest”, no that’s not the term. What’s the expression? I swear I’m a native English speaker.
[Ben: Ahaha, not sure you ran it to the ground. Keep hustling!]
Q5 – What was the main reason for you to think about early retirement?
I hate working.
That’s really the number 1 reason. I know it’s the “wrong” reason, but it really is the case. I want to live the life I want to live. I don’t want to spend my days fighting customers over the verification requirements for their business accounts. I don’t want to spend my days worrying about neverending sales quotas. I have other things I want to do with my life, so early retirement to me doesn’t involve sitting around and doing nothing all day. But to simply not have to worry about work-related stuff–stuff that’s not even really important–and to have that stress off me is reason enough to shoot for financial freedom regardless of what I do or don’t do afterwards.
[Ben: I would not say that is the wrong motivation. If do you have working, then FIRE up!]
Q6 – At what age are you most likely to retire from your day job?
[Ben: Make sure you get some beers then, you’ll likely want to enjoy them!]
Q7 – What do you plan on doing after retirement?
Blogging full time. Running my side business full time. Traveling more (or rather, traveling in the first place). Volunteering my time to teach financial literacy (me and another banker are already considering doing that now, but other obligations have pretty much put the kibosh on that). Devoting more time to keeping my body healthy. Maybe starting another blog devoted to anime/manga reviews (“One Piece”=best manga EVER). Doing Youtube/Twitch Let’s Play’s.
I’ll tell you what I won’t do after retirement. Deal with customers.
[Ben: Angry customers. I see the problem.]
Q8 – What investments do you like the best, and why?
Income producing assets are the best, and I’m specifically a fan of dividend growth investing. If you buy dividend stocks across a spectrum of industries, geographies, and market caps, then you have a diversified portfolio of assets that can be nearly recession-proof even if you are only in one “asset class”. Being in one asset class is only a problem when all the assets are the same. With dividend stocks, you are investing in so many quality businesses all over the world. Plus, isn’t it wonderful to earn money while having ZERO obligations? Even a landlord has to fix a toilet or deal with a rowdy tenant every now and again; a shareholder collects his dividends and there is NOTHING expected of him.
[Ben: I agree that dividend stocks are AWESOME when it comes to obligations. In my company, I am trying to invest the surplus in stocks rather than RE. But I still think RE is the best investment vehicle to go with.]
Q9 – How about eleven places you love that you’ve visited or have lived in?
I haven’t been to eleven places.
[Ben: Dude! Traveling doesn’t have to be expensive!]
Q10 – What are your goals for the rest of 2017?
Become a homeowner, leave retail banking, and not lock anybody in a room and set them on fire. All three goals are looking iffy.
[Ben: I am curious – how many have you achieved?]