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The ex-JPMorgan VP who earned $600k in 16 months and spent almost nothing

If you want to 'retire' before the age of 30 as a VP in investment banking, chances are you'll have to give up the Ferragamo loafers and Equinox memberships. Daniel George, an applied AI lead at JPMorgan, spoke recently to Business Insider about his road to retirement and his frugal spending habits. In a subsequent AMA on forum site Blind, he revealed more details about his unusually minimalist lifestyle.

George, who says he "[doesn't] like owning material stuff", cataloged all his possessions in a 10lb bag, whose contents are worth less than $1,700. His most expensive items of clothing are a $55 Decathlon jacket, and Skechers shoes "worn over 4000 miles & 21 countries." Despite "getting over $600k in the first 1 year 4 months span" at JPMorgan, he says he preferred renting a house to buying one; George and his wife would frequently stay in hotels, which he claims actually saved them money due to free food and amenities, plus he accrued points at the major chains. 

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George appears to avoid all vices, saying he doesn't "even drink coffee or tea or anything with caffeine." While eating out at restaurants is one of the few expenses he justifies (saying "I've never cooked in my life"), George says he "almost never" has breakfast and will sometimes "forget" to eat for a day if he's obsessed with something. 

Time, more than anything, is what he's frugal with. Adamant that, "80% of results come from 20% of the work," George tries to avoid wasting long hours on "the less impactful 80%." He watches YouTube videos, lectures and movies at 2x speed, saying "eventually you get used to it and can't tell the difference."

After leaving JPMorgan in August, George has cofounded AI startup called ThirdEar. He calls its product a "proactive AI" which he likens to Iron Man's Jarvis.

Even if you keep expenses low, you still have to be smart with your money to secure your millions. To minimize tax liability, George constantly maxed out his 401k, and was "putting all my salary and bonuses into stocks even during the covid crash." He also relied on tax advantaged bank accounts to maximise earning potential. He told Business Insider that a rule of thumb in the FIRE (financial independence, retire early) community was that you needed to spend less than 4% of your income to afford to retire; when he left JPMorgan, George's spend was just 2%.

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AUTHORAlex McMurray Editor
  • co
    common_caves
    15 February 2024

     "Money is like manure. You have to spread it around to make it do any good." I'll stay away from this guy to avoid the stink

  • Ja
    Jaques Clouseau
    9 February 2024

    George sounds like a blast!

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