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From Childhood Insights to Financial Freedom: My Journey

In my personal finance and investing journey, one concept stands out as my guiding principle—Passive Income. However, this idea extends beyond the realm of finances to permeate various facets of life, as I'll elaborate on.

In our daily lives, many endeavors reward us with a one-time payoff—a day's work for a day's wage, a short wait for a pricey coffee, or a significant expenditure on fuel for a single journey. Yet, the power of passive income lies in investments that yield continual returns over time, be it through dividend-paying stocks or income-generating rental properties. This principle extends to personal well-being, relationships, and knowledge acquisition—investing time and energy in activities that compound benefits over the long term.

Approaching decisions through this lens has enabled me to optimize, be more efficient, and make choices that serve me better over time. Paired with the concept of compounding, this approach has unlocked the potential for exponential growth in various aspects of my life.

Two core memories from my youth solidified these principles. The first was opening my first savings account with my mom's guidance, using Christmas money as my initial deposit. Witnessing that initial interest payment felt like my first encounter with passive income, and understanding the concept of compounding thrilled me.

The second memory unfolded during the financial crisis when my mom, a newly divorced high-school teacher raising two kids, held onto a rental property. Despite our initial reluctance as kids to spend weekends maintaining the property, I later learned that this additional cash flow helped sustain us through tough times.

Implementing these principles took time, but I began applying them while working part-time to put myself through college, accumulating minimal debt through scholarships. The hard work invested in obtaining an almost debt-free education has continued to pay dividends in my professional life. Now, three years into a career in commercial banking, I've channeled my income into investments that mirror the passive income and compounding traits ingrained in me from childhood.

At 23, I purchased my first house, strategically filling two of the four rooms with rent-paying roommates. This marked the beginning of my personal investing journey, primarily focusing on dividend stocks and financial well-being. These strategic moves align with my goal of generating passive income and expediting the compounding process, all with the ultimate aim of early retirement.

Continuing to be mindful of my earning and spending habits, I save and invest aggressively. My journey showcases the beginning of the transformative power of passive income, emphasizing the significance of thoughtful financial decisions and strategic planning for long-term goals.

By Tanner Stewart

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