The Introvert Interview series is back with Kevin from Just Start Investing,. Kevin blog focuses on making investing easy. Just Start Investing has been featured on US News & World Report and Chime Bank, among other major publications for his easy-to-follow writing. After you read the interview, you’ll want to check out Just Start Investing to learn the simple strategies to start investing today, as well as ways to optimize your credit cards, banking and budget.
So you are the man behind Just Start Investing. Who are you and why did you start your site?
So, yes, I am Kevin from Just Start Investing. Simply put, I’m a relatively introverted guy who likes to cook, hike, run, and optimize my personal finances. The last one some might argue I am a little too passionate about. But that is what led me to start Just Start Investing – my passion for investing and personal finance. I was helping my sisters and some friends with really basic things, like how to find the best credit card and how to start index investing and thought, “hey, there are probably a lot of people who could use this 101 advice.” And that was that. I started Just Start Investing as a little side project.
Did we just become best friends? I am also an avid runner, hiker, and personal finance optimizer.
Do you agree this is the Golden Age of personal finance for introverts because we have online banking and robo advisors that allow us to manage our own finances without the small talk?
Yes, 100%. But it is also the golden age of personal finance in general.
The hands-off options that are available today for banking and investing are great for introverts, no doubt. I can access everything I need to on my laptop without talking to another human! But this is also great for everyone at a broader level.
These online services also keep costs low (because of the limited human involvement), which means you can get index funds with 0% expense ratios and banks with over 2% interest!
You offer public speaking as a service on your website. Have you always been comfortable with public speaking?
Public speaking is one where I usually over prepare and stress out too much beforehand, and then afterwards immediately realize, “oh, that wasn’t that bad.”
It’s always been a bit of a mixed bag for me, because I love sharing ideas that I am passionate about, but also don’t particularly love getting up in front of a group of people. Usually I am just selective about what I do here because public speaking is pretty draining for me. I much prefer to hide behind a website and write!
What is the most embarrassing situation you’ve found yourself in?
This is a tough one… and I’m going to take the easy route I think and tie it back to investing.
In college, I was investing through Scottrade and primarily invested in individual stocks. Looking back at that it is super embarrassing! Especially considering the stance I take on investing now (which is that low cost index funds are the way to go!).
I am glad to say that I had some friends point me in the right direction and I am now 100% invested in low cost index funds and ETFs through Charles Scwhab
Hmmm…That was the easy route. Let’s try another. What is something about you that other people likely find annoying?
I can be a bit nerdy at times. I don’t think my wife cares about my net worth tracking tool and credit card calculator as much as I do. Unfortunately (for her), that does not stop me from bringing it up (probably too much).
I think you’re nerdiness is safe here. What annoys you most about other people?
There lack of interest in personal finance. Seriously!
It’s less of an annoyance like, “oh I’m so mad” and more of like, “I wish money was less taboo and we could talk about this more.”
A ton of people are not investing or using the right credit card, and I feel like if everyone talked about money more openly that a lot of people would be better off. We need to break this stigma!
Okay you really are all in on this personal finance stuff. I am almost afraid to ask but, what are you most proud of so far in your life?
I am very proud of this website I created, Just Start Investing. I started it just 6 months ago and feel like it’s coming along. There is a still a lot of work ahead of me, but I am looking forward to that work to come!
In life though, it is definitely the relationship I have with my Wife and the relationships I have with my close family and friends. That is most important to me to maintain.
Phew! I am glad you threw your wife in there at the last second. I was worried. What are you working on right now that excites you?
I am trying to build my credit card calculator in a web page rather than in excel. It should be more sleek and a lot easier to use! That is priority number one right now. And thankfully, I have a friend who is much more tech-savvy than I am help to get that done.
From there, I really want to create a personal finance 101 course. I love the tagline, “the best high school class you never had.” I would want to make it affordable (maybe free) and get it out there to help people get the basics they need on personal finance. I feel like if I had two weeks off to just work on Just Start Investing that there is so much I would do to improve it!
Those are great ideas and I like the course title. What books, blogs, podcasts or movies do you recommend to an introvert looking to succeed in career and personal finance?
How I Built This is super motivational and fun to listen to. Hearing other people’s success stories is motivation for me to just keep on working.
And I love Planet Money because they bring forward really interesting topics in an approachable manner. Sometimes it’s really relatable and about personal finance, and other times it’s just a random topic that they make super interesting!
My favorite personal finance book that I think everyone should read is John Bogle’s The Little Book of Common Sense Investing. It’s a simple guidebook and all you need to read to start investing today.
You’ve got a one track mind my man. You do realize you just recommended a textbook? Okay, if you could send a text to my subscriber list, what would it say?
Investing does not have to be hard. Anyone can start today and create a simple, 3 Fund Portfolio. Just take the first step right now and the rest will fall into place!
Alright, thank you Kevin! Whether you invest in equities, real estate, a business, or yourself, start investing today because your investments will compound overtime and turn into enormous returns that will change your life.
I struggled for years to decode why going to work, socializing in loud places, and taking trips with large groups were so draining. Finally, after gaining an understanding of introversion, I started to progress professionally and socially. Coupled with my newfound knowledge of introversion, the concept of financial independence was the motivation I needed to improve my life.
This blog documents my journey and the journeys of other introverts, lessons learned, and strategies for a meaningful and fulfilling life as an introvert in an extroverted world.