An Average Joe’s Pursuit for Financial Freedom offers a different perspective on money than what is traditionally taught by our parents and in our school systems. The reason there is such a discrepancy between the wealthy and the poor is due to the difference in the way money is perceived. We are not born with the ability to maintain wealth: it is something that is learned. The knowledge of knowing how to make money work to generate passive income is something that anyone can learn as long as they are disciplined. An Average Joe’s Pursuit for Financial Freedom is based on practical concepts and discusses the problems that the majority of us face with our personal finance. The concepts in this book are based on theory by an author that practices what he writes about.
Introduction I am an everyday average Joe searching for a way to become independent from a paycheck and a job. I have to admit that I am not currently financially free, and I am handcuffed to a job in the oil industry. I work for a paycheck to provide for the standard of living I want to provide for my family. One thing you can be assured of is that I practice what I write. I am ambitious in my aspirations, but I am confident that one day I will be financially free and independent from a paycheck. One day, I will be in a position where my money works for me rather than going to work every day for a paycheck myself. I want to provide a specific standard of living for my family without having to get up and go to work. If you picked up this book looking to learn something new about personal finance, this book is not for you. Every concept in this book has been written or explained by other authors. I am writing this book for a couple reasons: I want other average Joes trying to get to retirement in the tough world of personal finance to understand that they are not alone. I want to share my personal experiences and struggles on my own finance in an effort to help someone keep from making the same bonehead mistakes that I made when I was in my early twenties and thirties. This book was not written to change your current investment strategy because there is no one set formula in becoming financially free. Each one of us has to find the financial vehicle that works best for us. This book should help you to ask the tough questions about your own personal finance decisions. The journey to be financially free is not easy and should not be taken lightly. I was raised in a small rural town in Southern Illinois. The primary occupations in the region were coal mining, farming, and oil-field production/services. I graduated from a high school with a class of twenty graduates. My high school had just over one hundred students total. Many of the school districts in the region where I was raised had consolidated multiple surrounding small-town schools with the exception of our small town. Many residences in our town were afraid that if we consolidated with the other school districts and lost our school, our town would lose its identity. After graduating high school, I went off to college in Murray, Kentucky, at Murray State University. I graduated from Murray State in May of 1995. I got married two weeks after graduation and began working for a civil engineering firm in West Tennessee as a project manager, overseeing construction staking for several highway construction projects in West Tennessee and Northern Mississippi. After working in the civil engineering field for two years, I decided that I would not be able to provide the standard of living that I wanted to provide for my family. My dad put in a good word for me with the company that he was working for at the time, Halliburton Energy Services, which helped me to get my first decent-paying job. The job opening with Halliburton was in Shreveport, Louisiana, so my wife and I packed up and moved to Shreveport, Louisiana, to work in the oil industry. For the next six years, I worked the oil fields in North Louisiana, East Texas, and Mississippi. After gaining six years of field experience, I interviewed for a promotion in Oklahoma, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Houston. Halliburton decided to send me to Houston, Texas, to work as a desk engineer for a large independent oil and gas operator. At the beginning of 2006, I made a business trip with a colleague to Mission, Texas, to work on a well. Over dinner, we discussed my career and where I wanted to be in the next ten years. We discussed the value in earning my professional engineering license in petroleum versus going back to school to get a graduate degree master of business administration (MBA). My colleague worked to get his professional engineering license and wished that he had gotten his MBA instead. When I returned from Mission, Texas, I signed up to take my Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) and applied to enroll in the Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) program at Rice University in Houston, Texas. While earning my MBA, I learned a great deal about business and much more about myself. In the last set of classes just before graduating, I took an entrepreneurship class, which has drastically impacted the direction of my life and decision making. The professor that taught the class consistently talked about making money while you sleep. One way he suggested to make money while sleeping was through the Internet. This sparked my interest, of course, but I am not Internet savvy and I am not very creative. Ironically enough, my wife is in the process of starting up an Internet company. In the spring of 2009, my employer announced that they were going to restructure the company. For those of you that have not gone through a company restructuring, it is another way of saying “possible layoffs.” At that time, I was in the process of reading Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad. The problem became very clear while reading this book. I worked for a paycheck rather than having my money work for me. The next question was how long I could live without a paycheck before I went bankrupt. The answer was “not very long.” It was the spring of 2009 when I changed my definition of success. It took me twelve years into my professional career to decide exactly what my definition of a successful career meant to me. Early in my career, I thought that I wanted to climb the corporate ladder and be a high-paid employee. Now I am striving to be financially free, not working for a paycheck while not lowering my current standard of living. In order for me to be successful, I need to be able to generate enough passive income so I do not have to work for a paycheck to provide for my everyday needs. Chapter 1—What Is Being Financially Free? Before we get too deep into the subject of personal finance, I think it is best to be clear on the definition of being financially free. The definition of being financially free may be slightly different from what you have been taught from your parents and in the classroom. The exposure you have to understanding personal finance can also shape your opinion. Over the last several years, our expectations to be financially free and to retire has changed with respect to pensions, saving plans, 401(k)s, Social Security benefits, and a common problem today: our medical coverage during retirement. When we discuss being financially free in this book, I am referring to having your money work for you. To be truly financially free ...
Michael Munsey works in the Oil Industry and resides in Houston, Texas. He received his undergraduate degree from Murray State University in May of 1995. While working to climb the corporate ladder within Halliburton Energy Services, Michael enrolled in the EMBA program at Rice University in 2005. After earning his MBA, he had a major change in the way he perceives money, which he shares in this book An Average Joe’s Pursuit For Financial Freedom.
Thank you, for writing this book! Your journey, information and tips will be so helpful for me. I have already recommended your book to others! I am your number one fan!
Thank you again, Michael!
I received a copy of this book for review -
Not everyone can have the insight and foresight of inventors and investors like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. The basic, or what is generally considered as basic, principles of finance and investing aren't always easily applied in the life of a normal, hard working, middle American. We feel like we work ourselves to extinction only to see our hard earned dollars be swallowed by taxes, mortgages, utilities, schooling, rising food costs and the ever dreaded credit card bill. There has to be a better way than living paycheck to paycheck! Author Michael Munsey discloses his own path in the pursuit of financial freedom. He shares ways to make your money work for you instead of always working for it. I need to sit down more calmly and take notes the next time I read it to formulate not only a financial plan but a life plan for our family that will benefit us well into retirement. Being that it's written by an "Average Joe" the concepts are much more understandable and relatable than other financial advice books.
Lucero De La Tierra