I invested most of my salary for 7 years and had enough to retire at 29. My top tips: Start young, take risks and don’t settle in expensive cities.

Daniel George travels to Iceland.

Daniel George travels to Iceland.Courtesy of Daniel George

  • Daniel George worked at Google X and then as a vice president for JP Morgan after receiving his Ph.D. in 2018.

  • This year he began investing the majority of his income and lived on 2% of his investments until 2023.

  • Daniel reveals five things that were key to achieving financial freedom and quitting his job at 29.

This is an as-told-to essay based on a transcribed conversation with Daniel Georgethe co-founder of ThirdEar AI. Daniel George provided documents verifying his finances. The following has been edited for length and clarity.

At the age of 29, I achieved financial independence and retired early.

After completing my Ph.D. At 24 in 2018, I was working at Google X, leading AI for early-stage secret moonshot projects. In 2020, I moved to JP Morgan and remained there as Vice President until 2023.

I started 2017 with just $1,000, invested my income aggressively in stocks, and reached my first million dollars in my late 20s. So by 2023, my annual spending in the US was less than 2% of my investments I quit my job.

I don’t have to worry about earning a salary again so I can work on what I love most. I spend my time building my startup, ThirdEar AIan AI that provides real-time help and suggestions without prompting.

Here are the ways I was able to do it:

1. Avoid educational debt

I grew up in Kerala, India, where my parents made less than $20,000 a year. Without debt, I would not have been able to afford an undergraduate education in the United States or even attend private colleges in India. That’s why I decided to study at a government university in India, which is much cheaper.

I studied hard for a test that students in India take every year for college admissions. I was in the top 0.1% and was able to study engineering and physics at the India Institute of Technology Bombay, one of the best public universities in India. The total cost was only about $1,200 per year, including tuition, room, and food.

Instead of taking on debt to get a master’s degree, I applied directly for a PhD. program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

You can apply directly for the Ph.D. apply. programs in the United States without first obtaining a master’s degree. PhD Students at US universities often have tuition waived and receive a stipend from day one – typically $2,000 to $3,000 per month. Two years after starting the Ph.D. get a free master’s degree. Program that saves you time and money.

I moved to Illinois in 2015. Within two years I received a free master’s degree. After just another year, I completed my doctoral thesis. early at the age of 24.

My entire training cost me nothing overall. I only needed half of the scholarship I received to cover living expenses; The remaining income was far more than the cost of my bachelor’s degree.

2. Invest aggressively in stocks when you’re younger

I also earned additional income during my doctoral work. through part-time work and summer internships at technology companies. Most of the money I earned was initially in a bank account and earned little interest. In the last year of my PhD, I slowly started buying stocks.

I learned more about investing. When I started working full-time at Google X, I started investing all of my savings. I spent less than 10% of my compensation at Google I didn’t invest in anything other than stocks and didn’t keep any cash savings.

The sooner you invest, the better increased exponential growth. However, this growth comes with a lot of risk and volatility. However, market time is more important than the timing of the market. Even when stocks go down, they usually go back up if you can wait long enough without selling.

If you are young and working, you can manage the risk and market volatility because you have income from your work and a lower cost of living.

If you’re older or retired, you’ll probably want to diversify into safer, less volatile assets like bonds, treasuries and regular savings accounts.

3. Work in expensive cities at first but don’t settle in it long term

In San Francisco, New York and Seattle, the compensation can be paid for many jobs much higher. This usually doesn’t help with saving because the cost of living is also high there.

If you move to these cities early in your career when you don’t have big expenses, you can take full advantage of that high income to quickly boost your savings.

When I started working at Google X in Mountain View, California, I was making about $270,000 a year. I shared a nice apartment with friends, ate most of my meals at Google offices, and had no other major expenses, so I spent less than 10% of my income.

Finally, if you want to settle down, you can multiply the value of your savings by moving to places where the cost of living is significantly lower.

4. Learn to negotiate salary

For my first job at Google

I had friends who started at a lower level than me and didn’t have PhDs. However, they received three times the share price because they negotiated by presenting Google with counteroffers from other companies.

When JPMorgan approached me for a job a few years later, I had a lot of influence because I made sure I got multiple offers from tech companies and hedge funds. I also spent some time educating myself about it Negotiation strategies.

I took advantage of other offers, avoided specific numbers when discussing salary expectations, and looked at all aspects of my salary package during interviews at JP Morgan. I negotiated my salary well and received almost double the compensation I was originally offered.

5. Find a partner who has similar goals

My wife and I met at Google X. We were about the same age and both had doctorates.

Ds in AI. We had similar incomes and each of us had roughly equal savings, held in separate stock accounts.

We share the same attitude towards spending and investing and divide our expenses evenly. We both like it minimalistic Digital nomad lifestyleI valued travel and experiences more than owning expensive material possessions, which is why I was able to retire early.

If you want one, finding the right partner is one of the most important factors in your long-term happiness and success.

Read the original article Business Insider

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