My name is James, I am the founder and creator of Invest Like a Warrior. Many people have asked me how this platform came about and why I created it. So, I decided to share my own personal story of how I got on the road to financial serfdom, and how I discovered that the only way to find financial success was to first learn how to wage financial warfare.
Growing up a Midwest Warrior
Like many Millennials, I didn’t receive the best financial. Personal finance and investing are one of those topics that aren’t really taught in schools or college. It is a more personal journey where one has to always educate themselves, and often times the rules of the financial world always changing.
I grew up in small midwestern town. I was the son of a professional photographer, during the 1990’s. It was a time long before the internet. Both of my parents worked in our family studio, and I spent most of my childhood at skating dhow banquets, dance studios, proms, sporting events, and helicopter rides.
My parents were often so busy with the studio, that they never really taught me about money. We spent more time reading the works of Tolkien than we did reading about boring stocks and bonds news. They did their best to teach me how small businesses worked, but struggled to teach me beyond that.
Birth of the Internet – The Decline of the Family Business
Eventually when the internet became mainstream, my parent’s photography business quickly began to tank. The transition from film to digital photographs rocked the photography world. And with the invention of the digital camera, everyone could now become a “professional photographer.”
To put this into more context, the USA went from a photographic economy where every town in American had its own local photographer to capture all of life’s most precious moments; Births of new children, 1st baptisms, weddings, senior pictures, pet photos, etc. To a new world where photographers were suddenly no longer needed, and the world got their own cameras, complete with software and digital aids to replicate professional quality work.
Soon, cell phones and selfie sticks began to cut into my father’s core business. I watched first hand, as my parents desperately tried to, but failed to change with the times. They tried rebranding the business, switching from taking pictures to teaching people how to take pictures, to rising prices, and even taking part time jobs. My parents were so busy trying to save the family business, that they weren’t able to keep up with the transition to digital.
So, from an early age, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to count on my parents to take care of me. So, I made the best investment I could have possibly made. (Or so I thought) I went to college and racked up a nice chunk of student loan debt while doing it. But little did I know, my life was not going to go the way I expected.
Recessions, Dropping out, and Failure
The 2009 recession hit my family with full force and I decided to drop out of college and enter the work force early. Eventually, I went back to college, and found myself a meat wrapper/college student racking up student loan debt, struggling to pay my bills, still not knowing what I wanted to do with my life.
By 2013, I was still going to college part time, my parents had lost their home, they had declared bankruptcy, and I was STILL working as a meat cutter! I was desperate to graduate and find a job that could sustain my parents, but the best job I was able to find was an unpaid internship despite having almost obtaining a 4-year degree.
What happened? I thought my success was going to be guaranteed because I went to college. I was sorely mistaken. All of the jobs I wanted were filled by Baby Boomers, who were literally going to die in their desks, before retiring and letting the next generation get a crack. I was also watching the as technology and outsourcing was replacing thousands of jobs, and my employment future was quickly beginning to dim.
I had the painful realization that I was actually more finically free when I was when I was 16 working in my father’s dark room, than I was as an almost 25-year-old with a college degree. I needed to change my life, but I didn’t know how or which direction to take.
The Birth of Invest Like a Warrior
I started my financial education in 2014 with a fury. I studied everything I could about financing and investing. I became an avid Dave Ramsey fan, I read all about Rich Dads and Poor Dads, and watched the rapid rise of Cryptocurrency unfold before my eyes. I was finally starting to understand buzz words like DOW and Asset class, Boiler Band, and Krammer. But something was missing. Despite all of this new found financial knowledge, I needed a plan. A path completes with its own pathways, resources, and goals. But no such resource existed for me, well at least not one that I could understand or relate too.
I had to create a system for me to process what I was learning. I need a place where I could sort through all the conflicting financial advice I was reading, and find the path that best worked for me. I needed a series of action plans, career paths, and analogies that could help me understand the intricacies of financial planning. But above all, I needed a platform where I could share my what I was learning, and foster meaningful dialogue with fellow warriors like me.
So, I combined my newfound knowledge of money, years of playing dungeons and dragons, and my passion for writing I created invest Like a Warrior. Invest Like a Warrior is the result of my all research. It combines everything from career pathing, to personal finance, and investing, all in one entertaining and easy to consume resource.
Death of my Warriors
As a started writing and creating my platform, my father become my #1 champion of my idea. We spent hours researching ideas together, creating new warrior classes together, and even sharing what we were working on with our families and friends. However, before we could publish all of our hard work, my mother was diagnosed with a combination of early onset Alt shimmers & terminal Leukemia.
My father took care of my mother as best he could. My father was filled with grief as he walked her to the end of her life. Sadly, in October 2017, my father suffered from a heart attack and died, with my mother dying shortly after he did. The grief I felt was in explainable, as I learned to live life without my two greatest supporters. However, I remembered the charge my father gave me, shortly before he died.
He told me that he was so proud of all the work we had done on Invest Like a Warrior. But he also told me that he truly felt my piles of notes and charts could really change people’s lives. To help give them hope, and effect real change in the world. And that I needed to stop playing the “warrior” and truly start living it. I needed to start a podcast, a website, publish a book, make YouTube videos, anything and everything to get my message of hope out to the masses.
Invest Like a Warrior
Invest like a Warrior is a platform consisting of 6 different Warrior Paths, each showcasing a different financial strategy. The platform’s goal is to help connect you with the strategies and assets you need to find financial success.
There is a Financial Warrior inside of every person. By following the examples of Warriors of old, we can find new ways of looking at money. And the goal of Invest Like a Warrior, is to help you connect with that Warrior and take control of your financial life.
It is my sincerest hope that you find both wisdom and purpose in this tome. That it may guide you on your financial journey. So, wither you are a student loan serf, or a debt free knight with your own castle, that you can find quale on this site learn that many ways of waging financial warfare. So, sharpen your sword as you embark on a journey to learn how to INVEST like a WARRIOR