I Opened a TD Ameritrade Account - What now_
Cross Border Investment

I Opened a TD Ameritrade Account – Now What?

After the initial excitement of having a US-based online brokerage account, readers messaged me asking what else they need to do to actually start investing through TD Ameritrade. They needed additional information and guidance on how to proceed. This post is to bridge that knowledge gap from account activation to buying the stock or mutual fund of your choice. I wrote this post because I thought that if there are people who took the time to write me and ask these questions, there must be others who have the same questions but didn’t bother to write. If you’re one of those

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Why I Want to FIRE
FIRE

Why I Want to FIRE – A Personal Tale of Early Woes and Awesome Wins

I was in yoga class one night when I realized that I’ve been speaking to you guys about money and ways to achieve financial goals but you barely know anything about me, Katie Scarlett. After bringing this fact up to my son, I decided to be more open with you guys. I want to share with you why I want to achieve financial independence and early retirement (FIRE). I feel privileged that so many of you have shared your stories and goals with me privately via email or Facebook messenger. And to balance that out, I think it’s now my

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Analysis of Common Investment Options for OFWs
Expat

Analysis of Common Investment Options for OFWs

A great way for OFWs to maximize their earnings abroad is through investing. Instead of just putting their money away in a regular bank savings account, OFWs can instead make that money earn more money by investing. But not all investments are created equal. Depending on several factors, one option may be great for you while it is not so for another. In this post, I will share my analyses of common investment options for OFWs. I mentioned in the post How to Build a Strong Financial Foundation As An OFW that you need to be prepared, mentally and financially, even before

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Crossing the Turkmenistan-UzbekistanBorder
Travel

Crossing the Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan Border

I was given a four-day transit visa by Turkmenistan immigration so I had to leave on time or risk deportation (probably, maybe).After my overnight stay in the Darvaza Gas Crater, fittingly dubbed the Door to Hell by people for its creepy but romantic (a combination that doesn’t work for people) ambience at night then a mid-morning stroll looking at the ruins of Konye-Urgench, I opted to cross the border to Uzbekistan from Konye-Urgench instead of from Dashoguz.  I was worried that I won’t have enough time to get out of Turkmenistan if I travel from Konye-Urgench to Dashoguz, which Sergey

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3 MP2 PAG-IBIG HACKS FOR ADVANCE INVESTORS
Financial Hacks

3 Pag-IBIG MP2 Hacks For Advanced Investors

I think most of us would agree that Pag-IBIG MP2 is a great investment. It is one of the most popular investment instruments for both OFWs and workers based in the Philippines. Its popularity is due to the fact that Pag-IBIG MP2 is guaranteed by the Philippine government and has a higher dividend rate compared to other safe investments like time deposits, retail treasury bonds, and money market funds The MP2 is a boon to Filipinos who want their money to grow but are afraid to put their money in other, riskier investments. If you’re one of these people, this

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Konye-Urgench
Travel

The Beautiful Ruins of Konye-Urgench

After saying goodbye to the Darvaza Gas Crater, we took off for a short tour of Konye-Urgench before I cross the border to Uzbekistan. We left at 9 a.m. since Konye-Urgench is 270 kilometers away, or around 3 and a half hours of driving.  I really debated with myself whether or not I will visit Konye-Urgench. My next destination after exiting Turkmenistan was the former slave trading town of Khiva, now in Uzbekistan. The nearest border exit going to Khiva is through Dashoguz, around 2 hours away from Konye-Urgench, and it was reportedly easier to get a cab to Khiva

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Book Review: Quit Like A Millionaire
Book Review

Review: Quit Like A Millionaire by Kristy Shen and Bryce Leung

As a personal finance education enthusiast, I love finding new PF literature that gives me new ideas. In the more than 15 years of consuming personal finance books and blogs, I’ve come to notice that many inevitably explore more or less the same ideas, with the best ones giving you a new a take on old wisdom and the bad ones being just basically bad rewording of personal finance classics. So it’s always such a surprise when I encounter works that combine existing knowledge with a different perspective while giving new and original ideas that make you think. That’s why

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Overnight Tour of Darvaza
Travel

Overnight Tour of Darvaza Gas Crater

This post was first published in 2017 in my old travel blog, Erudite Traveller. During the height of the Cold War in the 70s, a team of Soviet geologists looking for oil fields excavated a likely spot in Derweza village in the Karakum desert. Unfortunately, the site they chose was on top of a cavernous pocket of natural gas that was unable to hold all their equipment. This pocket collapsed and emitted poisonous methane gas, killing animals in the vicinity. Those in charge decided to light a flame on top to use up the emitted methane gas, expecting it to

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FIRE_4% safe withdrawal rate
FIRE

FIRE-ing in Developing Countries: Does the 4% Safe Withdrawal Rate Apply To Us?

For the past few days, I’ve been trying to write a post about challenges in achieving FIRE (financial independence, retire early), comparing the situation of those who live in developing countries versus the experiences of people who live in developed, Western countries.  It seems obvious that our experiences in developing countries will be different from the experiences of people in the West but I want to still write these challenges down to serve as food for thought for people like me who are on this FIRE journey, as well as to start a discussion. This is not that post. Although

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Akhal Teke riding experience in turkmenistan
Travel

Riding an Akhal Teke Horse in Turkmenistan

This article was first published in my travel blog, Erudite Traveller, in 2017. While doing my research for the Turkmenistan leg of my Silk Road trip, I stumbled upon the existence of the Akhal Teke horse. The Akhal Teke – also called Golden Horses and Celestial Horses – belong to the world’s most ancient existing horse breed. For 3,000 years the Teke tribe living in Turkmenistan’s Akhal region selectively bred these horses, keeping the horses’ ancestry by oral tradition. Akhal Teke horses are famous for their endurance, intelligence, beauty, and the metallic sheen their coats reflect when hit by sunlight.

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Katie Scarlett

Katie Scarlett

is a personal finance advocate working towards achieving financial independence and early retirement (FIRE).

Read her story here.
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