Like 007, but not quite as cool, I am secret agent #10. Nice to meet you.

My singular mission – which I have chosen to accept – is to go from -$90k in debt to financial independence in 10 years.

As with many secret agents, my early life was shrouded in mystery. What I can share is that financially speaking, like most kids, I was a mess.

When I was 9, a family friend gave me an odd gift – a piece of paper with the word McDonalds on it.

I had no idea what it was, but my dad informed me that I was now the proud owner of one share of McDonalds (MCD) stock. And while I didn’t give it as much attention as the other toys I received on that birthday, looking back now, I can see it was probably the best gift anyone ever gave me.

By age 23, that one share had grown to be about $2,500 in value.

But instead of letting it grow and compound, I sold it, for something I can’t even remember why.

Later, in 2006, I started investing heavily in the stock market, primarily in index funds, but also Apple and Google.

In 2008, instead of letting it grow and compound, I sold all my Apple and Google stock to pay debts to my divorce lawyer, right before the bull run that saw Apple’s stock go up by eight fold..

Now if I had just held onto that one share of McDonalds stock, that $90 would be tens of thousands now, generating income for me, day and night. If I had just held on to the stock I liquidated in the divorce, it would probably be worth around $500,000.

As you can see, I wasn’t particularly financially savvy for a good bit of my early life.

Fast forward to about two years ago, I was divorced and $90k in lawyer & student loan debt, stuck going to an office in a job I hated, saving nothing – simply treading water financially and marking time. And thinking about retirement – and only thinking of it conceptually, as if it would somehow happen to me, one day.

I decided I’d have to take control of my finances if I wanted to get out of the rat race.

And here we are two years later, I am debt free, out of the corporate world, & gradually building my income snowball, preferring a life of choice & freedom over a life of corporate servitude & unneeded material stuff.

My plan with this blog is to show that it’s possible to achieve financial independence in 10 years. Here’s the plan:

That’s basically it – 2 steps.

At the end of the day, personal finance is, after all, personal.

I think it will take about 10 years to pull off financial independence given all my mistakes to date.

That’s what this blog is all about.

That the road to financial independence isn’t always a straight line, and you can make changes no matter where you are in your life.

Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to taking this journey together.

Yours truly,

Secret Agent #10