It’s been a long time coming, but we finally did it, we hit the million dollar net worth milestone.

Our million dollar journey started in 2006 with a family net worth of about $200,000.  While that is a significant amount of money for a 27 year old, the balance sheet, or net worth statement, was full of consumer and student debt. My wife and I graduated in 2003 with about $45,000 in student debt.  Of course, we needed a new car to celebrate our new degrees, so we racked up an additional $25,000 in car financing.  To top it off, we threw a new mortgage onto our first house (a two apartment house) all in the same year.  Although we both graduated with professional degrees, our starting salaries were relatively low, so our cash flow was very tight after debt servicing.

Despite this, I had ambitions of becoming financially free while I was still young – that is, to have enough passive income to cover our living expenses.  To achieve financial freedom, aggressive goals had to be established. So, in 2006, I started this blog to keep me accountable and set a lofty goal of becoming a millionaire by the end of 2014 at the age 35.

There are many paths to financial abundance. Inheritance and winning the lottery are a couple, but reserved for the lucky.  What about regular working guys and girls like you and me?  In my mind, whether you are an employee on salary and/or a business owner, the only sure fire way to build wealth is, wait for it… to spend less than you earn.  We’ve all heard that cliche a thousand times before, but it is tried and true.  Living within your means helps generate positive cash flow which is a key ingredient to aggressively paying off debt and buying long term appreciating assets.  With long term appreciating assets comes the power of compounding which can significantly accelerate wealth if used properly.

What really helped us accelerate our wealth is living a sensible lifestyle within our means and, at the same time, being open to ways to increase our means.  As an example, when we graduated, we created a budget, found tenants for the basement apartment, I took a second job and my wife worked overtime when available to help build our cash flow.  At that stage in the game, our focus was on debt repayment.  We attacked the car and student loans which were repaid within 5 years. During this time, we purchased another rental property which further generated cash flow.  In 2005, I stumbled upon financial blogs, and decided to start my own in 2006. While it initially started off as a hobby and online journal to share financial ideas, Million Dollar Journey started to attract readers and soon became a healthy side business.

To help grow the personal finance community further, in 2009, I partnered with Canadian Capitalist to start Canadian Money Forum which also grew into a robust community.  With the success in the blog and forum, the online business expanded further with online consulting and web site strategy.  All of this while maintaining a 9-5 job and attempting to spend quality time with the wife and kids.

With the career and side business going strong, we maintained our lifestyle which helped continue pushing our net worth in an upward trajectory.  Finances were good, but the hours that I was putting into the business was not sustainable.  I started to burn out, and being a Dad of two young children, my work/life balance was suffering.  To help resolve this, I scaled back my online consulting business, and in May 2014,we made the tough decision to sell Canadian Money Forum. While I can’t get into the details of the sale, the proceeds from my share of the sale was enough to help meet the million dollar milestone a few months before the deadline. While I can happily say that we reached our net worth goal, there is still a lot of work to do before we can call ourselves financially free.

Readers have suggested to chart my net worth progress over time.  Below are the net worth values since Dec 2006 with data points taken semi annually.  If you cannot see the chart, please click here.

chart_1 (2)

If you are on a similar journey, or would like to start, my advice would be to set a big goal for yourself, then break up that goal into baby steps and you’ll be surprised at what you can achieve.  Just make sure to keep that goal in front of you – whether it’s on your computer/smartphone wallpaper, or sticky notes on your mirror, constant reminders are key.

Right now, it feels like a big transition point in my life.  Selling the forum and completing our million dollar journey has me asking myself – what’s next?  A better question is, what direction should I take this site? As I’ve mentioned, reaching the million dollar mark was a financial milestone within the longer journey of financial freedom. My focus going forward will be building a portfolio of income producing assets to hopefully one day achieve financial freedom. Perhaps, rather than continuing net worth updates, I can share with you passive income updates and my journey towards financial freedom.

Since you are the ones who have kept me going over the years, what would you like to see on MDJ going forward?

If you would like to read more articles like this, you can sign up for my free weekly money tips newsletter below (we will never spam you).


  1. Roadmap2Retire on June 2, 2014 at 9:22 am

    I’ve been following your journey for years now and has been an inspiration for my own journey. Congrats on meeting this big milestone at the age of 35.

    Best wishes for the future


  2. Joe on June 2, 2014 at 9:32 am

    Congrats on reaching your goal! You are an inspiration to us all. Keep up the good work.

  3. J. Money on June 2, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Congrats!!! On selling the forum too – that’s always fun and scary/relieving at the same time (I just sold two of my projects last month). Whatever the future holds, I do hope you’ll continue w/ the blog here motivating people – we need as much help as we can get! ;)

  4. Patrick on June 2, 2014 at 10:06 am

    Congrats!!! I have been following your blog for two years. Please continue to share your progress on passive income producing strategies. Cheers

  5. Dan @ Our Big Fat Wallet on June 2, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Congrats FT! That is a great accomplishment and you should be proud. In the future it would be great if you’d post updates on your passive income

  6. Robb Engen on June 2, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Congrats, FT! I remember when I discovered your blog back in 2009 – I think I read the archives all the way back to 2006 before deciding to start my own blog. Your journey was definitely an inspiration to me.

    Now that you’ve reached your million dollar destination, I hope you continue to update us on your passive income pursuit and quest for financial independence.

  7. CJ on June 2, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Well done. The first million is the hardest and only the start. Spend more time with your children since they grow up too fast. Diversify your investments too.

  8. Jim on June 2, 2014 at 11:28 am

    Congratulations FT!
    I am very happy for you and look forward to hearing about your updates!

  9. Richard @ Master Your Portfolio on June 2, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    Great work! Should we call you 2MDJ now? :)

    I always like to plan ahead (despite some people saying that “I act too old”) and I’m sure a lot of people reading this site are a few years behind you, so if you keep writing about what you’re aiming for next I’m sure it will still be relevant to many people. At the same time, new readers might be interested in hearing more about others who are closer to the beginning of the journey.

  10. Justin Barracosa on June 2, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Congrats brother, I’ve also been following your blog for a couple years now. Keep up the great work! :)

  11. Canadian Budget Binder on June 2, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Congratulations first off!! We are still young a few years away from our million dollar mark but we aren’t giving up. I had to start over when I moved to Canada from the UK with my education and finding a career which set us back but we never gave up.

    So much can get in the way and like yourselves we’ve done the same, budget, investing, spend less than we earn, work overtime, take on second job etc., start a blog. It’s not easy but I’m hoping it will pay off in the end.

    We just paid our mortgage off in April and are completely debt free. As for your blog…that’s tough because you’ve reached your milestone. I’ve been following for quite some time and I’m sure the fans would continue to enjoy reading about your journey past the million dollar mark or start a new blog :) Well done and congrats again.

  12. Not a Millionaire (yet) on June 2, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    Big fan of your blog.
    Congratulations on reaching this milestone.
    Wishing you much success in future!


  13. SC on June 2, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Congratulations! I have been following your blog for a couple of years now and it has inspired me to take control of my own finances. All the best to you on achieving your future goals!

  14. Evan on June 2, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Congrats FT! I’ve been following almost since the beginning. It’s nice to see determination and follow through. As for selling the forum, a great idea. No one ever regrets scaling back to spend more time with family.

    We still have 2 years to go in our MDJ.

  15. OttawaGuy on June 2, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Big Congrats! Truly a great accomplishment.

    I saw that real estate makes up about 33% of your networth. I classify many as these days “artifically wealthy” from real estate because I chose to rent while many people at work only talk about their houses until I interrupt them to talk about investing… and somehow I get the weird looks. I don’t argue that it should be part of someones networth, and even with a Smith Manoeuvre it’s not the same as $1M in investable assets and houses costs more to maintain than a portfolio.

    So just like you mentioned in the end of the article. I personally would love to read your story to financial freedom. That’s what everyone wants, to live off their portfolio.

    If it was me, sell everything, invest in the most secure assets available, live off the income and travel the world.

  16. DavidV on June 2, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    awesome work!!

  17. M.S. on June 2, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    I’m so happy for you.
    All the best to you and your family in the future.

  18. Traveller on June 2, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    Congratulations FT. You have inspired so many of us. The transparency you show in your posts has been an invaluable learning tool for me. Thank you and best wishes on your next big goal!

  19. Greg on June 2, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Way to go FT. For next milestones to track I would suggest starting with $1M in net liquid assets (a new million dollar journey) and then financial independence.

  20. VS on June 2, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Congrats and best wishes for an even brighter future!

  21. Jay on June 2, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Congrats on reaching your target. I’ve been a follower for many years and will continue to follow for many more. Keep up the great work.

  22. Elbyron on June 2, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    Congrats! I hope you continue to post useful information on investing, saving money, credit cards, tax tricks, and pretty much all the same wonderful articles you’ve done for us in the past!

  23. Dwilly on June 2, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    First off, congrats!

    Second, now I KNOW you were most definitely sandbagging! First, it’s the “sudden inclusion” of corporate accounts a couple months back, and now the “convenient sale of hitherto unaccounted for assets” to help you cross the line! It’s like watching a dude run the first 38km of a 40km marathon, then suddenly get in a car for the last 2km!

    Lol in all seriousness, good stuff. I think you should still continue to post NW updates (you’re never going to STOP looking at that stuff are you?), but maybe add in some other stuff related to income as you say.

    Congrats again on the success. I’m on a similar path and my only regret is not starting a few years earlier.

  24. Paul Unosawa on June 2, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    Hey FT good Job! Been following you for awhile now and your blog has been invaluable.

  25. Paul Unosawa on June 2, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    No more net worth updates?

  26. SST on June 2, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    Congrats. Nice move on the sale.
    More proof that most millionaires are created via high income and/or business ownership, not via the stock market.

    Now that you have your net worth nailed down, I’d love to see you hit the million mark in investable asset, marking you an almost true millionaire (“household”, but not yet “individual”…your third leg in the story, perhaps?).

  27. CanadianCorner on June 2, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    Congrats on meeting your milestone. Why don’t you just keep writing on personal finance topics?

  28. My Own Advisor on June 2, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    Wow…and congrats. I just tweeted that :)

    I remember finding your site back in 2008 and I thought it was the great…been a loyal follower ever since and I hope you keep it running for many years to come. The Archives alone are worth gold :)

    Your journey inspired my investing journey and to start my own blog, I haven’t looked back since.

    I second what others have said – keep posting FT and I would love to see your passive income journey to financial freedom, the MDJ relates to your $1 M in invested assets. That would be quite a number for a 30- or 40-something, a number no doubt you’re going to get to sooner than later.

    Best wishes for a bright financial future,

  29. Andrew @ AvrexMoney on June 3, 2014 at 12:14 am

    Congrats on this amazing milestone.
    I’ve been following your journey for awhile now. It’s been inspiring. Great work.

  30. Brian So on June 3, 2014 at 2:12 am

    Congratulations on reaching your goal! Take some time to celebrate, it’s quite a milestone to reach at your age.

  31. S on June 3, 2014 at 2:37 am

    Well done, FT.

    I would enjoy reading about your journey to a passive income stream through asset building. I’ve always concentrated on passive income with net worth as a secondary measure.

    I’m ten years older than you and my annual passive income right now boils down to (via real estate):
    150,000 income with 50,000 HELOC interest. The excess 100k plus the majority of my salary (no personal debt) is used towards HELOC pay down.

    I’m paying more attention to the stocks I own since they are becoming a smaller and smaller fraction of my assets. Extra attention to monthly dividend reinvestment (I don’t DRIP) to create more dividends and rebalance is modestly paying off though I’m striving to do better.

    I look forward to seeing the how, what and why of your decision making regarding passive income because I’m sure it will help me optimize my own situation.

  32. Cmjxj on June 3, 2014 at 3:10 am

    Glad you pulled it off. There was a time when i didnt think you would reach your goal before 35. I’ve taken much from your articles over the years so for that, thank-you for sharing the MDJ.
    I think you have enough knowledge and experience to write about your journey in a book that would include the learnings along the way. There is nothing artificial here, you can straight talk the things that worked and didn’t work. A book like that i would share with friends and family.
    I personally would like to see you venture off into the tax world and become an expert in that area. After you will need to manage your taxes going forward as a millionaire. I would certainly benefit from those learnings
    Whatever you end up doing. Best of luck, cmjxj

  33. Jason on June 3, 2014 at 6:52 am

    CONGRATS Frugaltrader!!!

    An inspiration to me and others truly.


  34. Stephen on June 3, 2014 at 8:34 am

    I’ve been following your blog since I first realized I needed to learn about money management in 2009, Just wanted to say congrats and thank you for the help and inspiration!

  35. OttawaChris on June 3, 2014 at 9:16 am

    Great accomplishment, FT.

    I am very jealous of your achievement!

    One downside though, I personally don’t think real estate should be included in your million net worth, as you will always need a place to live. So you still have ways to go ;-)

    Anyways, I always found your articles the most useful for me and I certainly hope you will keep writing. The topic of income producing assets seems like a good one to me.

    So, congratulations on being (almost) free !!!

  36. Bogdan on June 3, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Congratulation on reaching your goal.

    Long time lurker here, thank you for the tons of information you posted on this website.

  37. Jamie on June 3, 2014 at 10:57 am

    Congratulations FT! Like the other comments, I have been following for a few years. Seeing the total dollar amounts change monthly, and growing larger as the net worth grew, was what inspired me. I hope you keep doing this because those numbers are eye opening for beginner net worth builders and those of us who are on our own journey.
    Thanks for putting the effort in to let us follow your journey and to show that good old fashioned hard work can pay off too!

  38. Mike on June 3, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Congratulations FT!
    I have been following your website since 2008 but I haven’t made significant improvements in my financial balance sheet. I’m most commited to my mortgage right now and would like to look at the avenue of stock investing sometime in the future.
    Keep doing what you’re doing – that’s what keep you out there. God bless and more power to you.

  39. SST on June 3, 2014 at 11:25 am

    As an aside, and because I think a clear and precise understanding of financial terminology is required, statements such as this: “I had ambitions of becoming financially free while I was still young – that is, to have enough passive income to cover our living expenses” — are not exactly true.

    Having your expenses covered by passive income may leave you “employment free/job optional” but your money is very much ‘financially bound’ to those income producing assets.

    A truer definition of being financial free would be to have enough cash (yes, inflation adjusted) to cover all expenses for the rest of your life. As you can see, it’s a lot more difficult to attain true financial freedom than it is a state of employment freedom.

  40. Paris on June 3, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Congratulations on reaching your goal! That is fantastic.

    Although we followed a different path, we also averaged adding about $100k per year to net worth on our million dollar journey. It can be done folks. 10 years to becoming a millionaire is absolutely possible. Set your goal, stay focused, get educated about finances and step forward.

    Remember to stay humble. Do not be envious as everyone’s path is slightly different. You may not know exactly how you’ll get there but life has a way of putting opportunity in front of someone who is prepared.

    Be willing to share your knowledge with others who show genuine interest so you can be that beacon of light up ahead to show them it can be done. We had an inpirational couple be role models for us when we were recent grads in our first jobs 20 years ago. Life throws you challenges and curve balls. Yet having someone up ahead on the path to show you that it is possible to be a millionaire for regular working folks as now FT you have been an inspiration for many is a huge encourgement.

    Please continue your blog to share what the other side of the million dollar hill looks like. Best wishes to you and your family.

  41. David on June 3, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    Congrats! This is a motivation for us to get on this path systematically. I will likely refer to some of your past posts over time to continue to inspire our journey.

  42. Mélanie S on June 3, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    Congrats! I’ve been following since the beginning have enjoyed seeing your progress as well as reading the posts on a variety of pf topics.

  43. donald on June 3, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    congrats,million dollar journey is a gold mine!Living the good life ft,the beauty is now you have a money machine!by 45 your portf will be a thing of beauty!Passive cash flow the holy grail!why don’t you retire from your occupation and pursue a new blog?take up self employment in the personal finance sector of social media full time and fatherhood?

  44. John Lee on June 3, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    I’ve been following your journey for the last five years. It has been inspirational and informational. Congratulations on reaching your goal. Can’t wait to see what you do next.

  45. on June 3, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    Congrats FT on reaching your goal, and thank you for sharing this and inspiring all of us.

    I have been following your blog for a while and lean a lot from you. I am just doing my baby steps to reach the million dollar dream. I hope I can achieve in 10 years like you.

  46. MyRoadtoWealthandFreedom on June 3, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    Congratulations on reaching your million dollar goal FT. I’ve been a long time follower of your blog and you’ve been an inspiration to myself and many others out there. I look forward to seeing you continue on your journey to financial freedom.

  47. Gotim on June 3, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    Congratulation – well done! I discovered this blog in 2007, around the time we started tracking our expenses, budgeting, and seriously working on our net worth. Being an immigrant to this country, I knew very little about MERs, index funds, etc. With everybody around us having no financial ambition and no interest in talking about money, this blog has always acted as a beacon of sanity and rational advice. It also managed to “pull” me along, since it always helps to compare oneself to someone better at a task rather than worse. And man, are you good.

    What should be next? I see two options:

    1) “Laters, suckas!”

    2) A further chronicling of the route to financial independence. Most of the people on this blog are wondering when work will become optional for them. If you have any ambitions to get to that point, keep writing about them. I, for one, would read it. And how am I going to post about when I finally reach my million if this blog should cease to exist?

  48. Ed Rempel on June 4, 2014 at 12:26 am

    Congratulations, FT! Do you find you feel differently being fully financially independent?

    My question – are you going to retire and enjoy life now? You calculated that you only need $550,000 for your retirement, and you have quite a bit more than that.


  49. Liquid on June 4, 2014 at 2:40 am

    Congrats FT :) You’re probably the youngest millionaire I know. I like the idea of passive income updates from now on. Or let us know what percentage of your annual expenses can covered with your investment income alone, and keep track of that going forward.

  50. Andrew on June 4, 2014 at 7:16 am

    Congrats! Also, typo in your ultimate post: search for “chiche”

  51. Tim Stobbs on June 4, 2014 at 10:14 am

    This is so great! Way to go on actually making it to a million with a full six months to spare! I’m proud of you and you have helped inspire me to keep on going towards my goals.

    As to what to do next on the blog, I suppose it comes down to what do you feel like doing? You could just quit if you want. Or it might be fun to keep going for a while as you make some decisions on where to go next. For example, how much longer do you want to keep the day job? Do you start some other project that is meaningful to you?

    Also with my publisher hat on for the moment…do you have a book deal yet? ;)


  52. SST on June 4, 2014 at 10:50 am

    re: “My question – are you going to retire and enjoy life now? You calculated that you only need $550,000 for your retirement, and you have quite a bit more than that.”

    Careful reading show his life still contains a very key expense component yet to be nullified upon reaching a more traditional retirement age — children.

    Annual expenses as well as education savings are still embedded in FT’s outlays.

  53. Backstretch on June 4, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Just found this blog recently. I’m now 54 but earlier in my life had been on a similar path as MDJ. This included RRSP’s, a house, added a LOC, and non-registered leveraged investments. Even got close to $1M net worth before it unravelled for me to half of that amount four years ago. I got ahead of myself in thinking my investing success was unfallible. I became a nervous wreck, depressed, and full of anxiety. My mistakes are full of lessons for those of you who are reaching your milestones.Having too much success made me feel immune from risk. Nowadays things have stabilized for me. I’m retrenching and looking at the next 10-12 years as my backstretch run. I’m still in the game but cannot afford too much risk. Will still have to make some calculated strategies as I head into the backstretch of building my own million.

  54. Susan on June 4, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Well done! Please continue posting on your journey.

    Building passive income is something I’ve been focussed on for years, and it would be very helpful to have your thoughts. Also, I’ve seen people founder after reaching a goal, and even slide back from the goal they’ve achieved! So maybe some thoughts on a new goal or re-jigged goal would be helpful.

  55. Rob on June 4, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Congrats on your success!! I do hope that you continue in just the way you have with this site. Finding your site really helped me with my personal finance knowledge and helped me achieve my goal of becoming debt free in just over a year after accumulating close to $30,000 in consumer debt. I’m now well on my way to establishing my Emergency fund which i will have by the end of the year.

    I would be very interested in hearing updates on you growing your passive income.

    Thanks again and congratulations!

  56. Backstretch on June 4, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Thanks Susan. I learned the hard way greed and panic are not good attributes for investing. Also it’s not helpful to get too caught up with those business shows ie. CNBC.
    An investment plan you are comfortable with and can buy into is one which allows you to sleep at night.

  57. A Frugal Family's Journey on June 4, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    Congrats…8 years from 200K to 1MIL is still very impressive! If you include our home equity, we should also be reaching that milestone soon. Without the home equity, I would have to say that we are still a few years away.

    Congrats again…now onto the next million! :) AFFJ

  58. Crass Cash on June 4, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    Congratulations man! It’s got to be an incredible feeling? I hope you continue to post, I’ve enjoyed reading back through the years and you’ve inspired me to start posting net worth statements of my own.

  59. Maggie on June 4, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    A big congratulations on reaching your target well ahead of your deadline! When I first discovered your blog in early 2011, I went back and read every single post and have been following it ever since. I find it very encouraging that you learned so much about so many financial topics, vehicles and strategies, some of them being quite complex. Most of all, I loved your dedicated, realistic, and down-to earth approach about reaching the goal – spend less, invest wisely, keep your eye on the prize. Congrats again!

  60. FrugalTrader on June 4, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    Thanks guys for all the kind words, I will follow up with another post in the coming days.

  61. Al on June 4, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Hi FT

    Congratulations on the achievement

    I would love to see future posts focus on the next stage of your journey – tax and estate planning, investments, philanthropy, lifestyle, values imparted to your children, etc.

  62. TR on June 6, 2014 at 12:53 am

    Congratulations. You are an inspiration.

  63. Alexis Smith on June 7, 2014 at 5:24 am

    What an inspiring story! This just goes to show that anything is possible if we put our mind into it. Congratulations on completing the million dollar journey! I’m sure you and your wife worked hard for this. May your success continue throughout the years. More power to you and your blog!

  64. George on June 7, 2014 at 5:50 am

    Well, to be honest with you, you achieve this goal as a “couple”, not one person all by yourself. So, you are actually a half millionaire. Even so, I believe you will become a true millionaire very soon with your discipline and intelligence.

    Well done and keep up the good work.

  65. FrugalTrader on June 7, 2014 at 11:31 am

    Good ideas guys!

    @George, for sure, this was a team project. No way that we could have reached this goal without both of us aligned towards building net worth.

  66. Stephen Weyman on June 7, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    I’ve been an MDJ reader and commenter since sometime in mid-2008 and, much like was the case with Robb Engen and Mark from My Own Advisor, you were a big part of the inspiration that lead me to launch

    I’m really happy to see that you reached the goal you set out to accomplish when you launched this site. You’ve accomplished something that most people could never dream of, that’s for sure!

    I’m glad to hear you are taking the time to refocus on your family and slow down a little. I’m currently in the process of doing the same thing. Work, money, and success are great, but nothing with give you back lost time with your family.

    As for the direction of your blog, I don’t think you need to really change the direction much at all. I would still enjoy the net worth updates and your take on money and investing as I always have. Unless you feel the need to change, you already have a great formula. Just keep iterating on it and tweak as your life and opinions evolve and change.

    Well done!

  67. M4 on June 8, 2014 at 4:29 am

    I have been following your blog for a couple of years and realized tonight that I hadn’t been on in two or 3 months. I clicked on my bookmark, and found myself smiling at the title of your latest article.

    Congratulations on reaching your Million Dollar goal. You have been an inspiration and a wealth of knowledge for me.

    Look forward to following whatever path you embark on next.

  68. laura / no more spending on June 8, 2014 at 5:31 am

    Congratulations MDJ! I’ve been lurking since almost the beginning and it’s great to see you achieve your goal. :)

  69. JC on June 8, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    Congratulations FT! You are one of my favorite inspirations and I am happy you have achieved your goal.

    The next step is to make a million dollars in passive income!

  70. RICARDO on June 9, 2014 at 11:28 am

    Always nice to see that you can achieve your objectives. A great accomplishment but also a great motivator for future ambitions.
    One of my friends was at a party for his boss who finally had the $1Mil in the bank. They asked him what he was thinking about for a follow-up. He said quite seriously that it was how to make the second million.
    Don’t get caught up in the rat race but do enjoy your sucesses. Money is not everything but it does help to ease “some” of the trials we may encounter. And no amount of money is worth good health. A happy life with family and friends and good time in health on $5K a month is one hell of a lot better that being sick on $20K a month.
    Take care, enjoy life, family, friends. Pay it forward if you can. Have a smile on your face.

  71. Peter on June 10, 2014 at 12:09 am

    Congratulations on hitting your goal and on selling the website. Well done – I have been visiting your website for years.



  72. Peter @ on June 10, 2014 at 12:10 am

    P.S. Enjoy the spare time that you can now enjoy with your family!

  73. Tanya on June 13, 2014 at 9:56 am

    I have been following your journey for the past five years after an online recommendation included your website as one of the “best Canadian financial blogs”. Passive income would be a great theme to continue on and one that would interest me personally. Congratulations!

  74. Sustainable PF on June 13, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Fantastic that you reached this accomplishment FT. You have been an inspiration for my family to achieve a similar goal. While I am a bit older than you and very far behind we make progress each and every year.

  75. Ken on June 13, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Congratulation! I have been following your journey for years and you are a great inspiration.

    As far as the direction of your blog, I would like you to focus on financial independence. As you are still very young, early retirement may be a theme you want to pick up. Most retirement information available assumes retiring at 65 so calculations generally do not work for early retirees. You are probably on track for financial independence before age 45 which would be another great accomplishment. That perspective of an early retiree would be of interest to me.

  76. RJ on June 13, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    Congrats. I agree that passive income updates would be of interest. In the current low yield environment passive income that can be relied upon is hard to come by.

  77. Karen on June 13, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Congratulations! I’ve been a longtime follower and have looked to the MDJ site for financial advice over the years. I especially appreciate the Canadian content! One suggestion for future may be to expand on saving for retirement (as we all know there will likely not be pensions to fall back on). Also as a parent, I’d also like more strategies for saving for my children’s post secondary education and how I can help educate them, so that they can have a successful financial future. Just a thought? Thank you again for sharing your journey, All the best, Karen

  78. JL on June 13, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    Congratulations on meeting your goal! Well done! How exciting! I’ve also been following you for some time. Love if you’d continue to blog about becoming financially independent on income from passive assets.

  79. Kyle @ Young and Thrifty on June 14, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    Congrats FT! Yours was the first blog I found when I started learning about PF and I branched out from there. It’s really great to see someone realize such a long-term goal (although, not that long-term as you have proven) and give updates every step of the way. You’ll have to start new blog along the lines of how to live life as a 35-year old millionaire!

  80. The Passive Income Earner on June 16, 2014 at 12:49 am

    WOW! Congrats – A well deserved achievement!

    I would love to hear about your passive income as other have mentioned. I consider my passive income my key to retirement. Or more specifically, my key to financial freedom.

  81. Kratos on June 16, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    Congrats. We hit the million dollar mark by 33. Have about 550k in equity markets (stocks) and 650 k equity in the home now at 34. Found my networth is increasing faster as the years go by. We are still frugal. I bike, she buses. We usually eat in and take local vacations. Dividends keep growing and I keep getting wealthier.

  82. David on June 17, 2014 at 11:28 am

    Congratulations! I have been reading your blog since just after you started your journey. You’re an inspiration to many. Keep up the great work!

  83. Cal on June 17, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Congrats on reaching the milestone.

    Multi Million Dollar Journey by 40?

    It would be interesting going forward to track your annual projected income, via dividends, rental income, pension, etc…..perhaps your goal could be to replace your current income. I know you wouldn’t need that much in retirement, but it would make for a good goal to achieve.

  84. Lisa aka debt free mommy on June 18, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Congrats! I started following you after reading an article in the Telegram. Such a smart idea that’s turned into a business and more.

    Your income will continue to grow. Now is the time to enjoy your family and life. Enjoy being young, travel, have fun with your kids. They won’t always be there.
    Thanks for inspiring so many people, including myself, to start our own journeys.

  85. Michel on June 18, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Congratulations !

    As to suggestions for the future of the site…

    A few sites like yours show us how to save a lot. Many sellers of goods show us how to spend a lot.

    The information regarding how to manage your assets and yet enjoy them once you have piled up a few is more scarce. Maybe you could discuss this topic once in a while…

    One thing our family did a few years back is withdraw an amount of money which was managed by a professional money manager in one of the big banks (its wealth management subsidiary). This management cost us 2% a year and was not doing so well…

    We found a simple and cute cottage which corresponded to the amount of money we were ready to “immobilize”, did not need major renovations and had annual “basic” expenses (heating, electricity, snow removal, taxes, etc) that came up to a total of… approximately 2% of the purchase price.

    Although the money did not earn what the stock market earned in the past 3 years, it is relatively safe, has most probably grown in value, and we have “lived in our investment” many weekends and a few weeks a year.

    This is one thing we have done once we were in a good financial position and have decided that we could designate an amount to be less productive and more enjoyable (still without “spending” it).

    I would love to hear what others have done.

    Thanks and congratulations once again.

  86. Ok but... on June 19, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    Lesson learned.

    1. You need to have a bull market like QE to do well.
    2. You need to have a side business to sell to get rich fast.
    3. You need to have a Dot.Com business like Blogging or Social Media to get rich even faster.

    If you follow a 9-to-5 job and see no bull market in stocks, good luck to you… You can manage finance and rebalance your portfolio all you want, it ain’t going to do jack.

    Good job but let’s face it, your journey is not a typical one for average joe to copy.

  87. Judy on June 23, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    Major Congrats on reaching your MDJ at such a young age. I hope you can slow down a bit now and enjoy life, your wife and children. In the end, that’s all that matters.

  88. Free To Pursue on June 24, 2014 at 10:51 am


    Future posts:

    It would be great to hear how you are living/thinking differently (somewhat inevitable when one reaches such a milestone).

    There’s nothing wrong with continuing on with the journey to $2M and beyond.

    At what point will you feel you’ve saved enough that how you feel and how you make decisions is no longer about the money?

    Looking forward to future posts.

  89. SingleDadLiving on July 10, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Hey, I’ve been following your site for a few year and I just wanted to say CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  90. Pierre on July 19, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    Felicitations, late in the process and not a site follower but close to the top in my bookmark list, just time to time reading. Kids, family, stupid job, OLD in comparison. Ok how can i do that in 8 years, oops, don’t have 200K+ to start?
    BUT i know it can be done and i am working on it.

  91. A Crock of Schmidt on December 15, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Curious to know if your initial journey remains intact in light of the recent pull on the stock market?

  92. Sylvie on February 22, 2015 at 8:51 am

    Congratulations! Relatively new to your blog, however, few years in the process of my own Million Dollar Journey, I would like to read on your next goal and journey in being “financially free”.

    Looking forward to read more in your News lettres..!

  93. EL on February 26, 2015 at 11:08 pm

    Congrats on your great milestone, and I’m sure it has grown as this post is a bit old already. Seeing the passive income portion of finances is a fun topic and I’m sure it will motivate others.

  94. Michael Mota @ NTPNW on April 3, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    Great accomplishment! I am a bit older but have begun on a similiar journey a few years back and have started my own blog to help others and hold myself accountable on my own finance goals also. Great to see others hit this goal. It gives me motivation and lets me know we too (wife and I) can hit this goal.
    As for the future, maybe a few articles on investing to earn passive income would be cool.

  95. Hell Babineaux on June 4, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    How did you start with $200k net worth. Seriously. Why would you have $45k in student loans and $200k net worth?

    • FrugalTrader on June 5, 2015 at 11:17 am

      Thanks for stopping by. We graduated from University in 2003 with a bunch of debt. We started Million Dollar Journey at the end of 2006 with around $200k in net worth.

      • GoodSmith on July 6, 2015 at 5:24 pm

        I think his question was: why didn’t you pay your $45K debt first when you could have afforded it (with a networth of $200K).

        • FrugalTrader on July 6, 2015 at 9:18 pm

          I think the confusion is the timeline. By the time we had $200k in net worth, most of the debt was already paid off (2006). The $45k debt balance started in 2003.

  96. Jelani Smith on June 27, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    Congratulations on reaching your goal!

    Quick question – instead of aggressively paying down your debt, have you thought of investing that money into different assets, such as real estate, mutual funds, stocks, etc.? That way, you would be able to gain a decent ROI over a few years while your debt payments would remain constant.

    • FrugalTrader on July 6, 2015 at 9:21 pm

      Great comment, there is no one right answer for everyone. I like paying down debt because it offers a guaranteed after tax return and not everyone is willing to accept market volatility/risk.

      However, I think that people should take advantage of any free RRSP matching that is offered through work (free money) first, then use free cash flow to pay down debt.

  97. Daniel on December 18, 2015 at 8:50 am

    Belated congratulations! Wow, at 35 (2000), my net worth was $750K. I got there by doing aggressive saving (50% after tax like you) but rather than focusing on investment, I took an expat job overseas which escalated after tax income.

    However at 35, I lost my job, and took me 3 years to find the next one. I had to live on savings which lowered my net worth to $600K, by the time I found my next job.

    I also lived through the Toronto Real Estate slump which saw my primary residence fall by 45% and take 10 years to recover to the purchase price.

    Just to highlight that regular income is not always a given and property/equities can take a long time to recover.

    Equally though, property/equities can grow at an astonishing rate (last 15 years) if you are in the right place at the right time.

    I guess there is an element of chance (as pointed out by the other reader), that must be acknowledged.

    • FrugalTrader on December 18, 2015 at 9:08 am

      Thanks for the kind feedback Daniel. I’m glad that you got back on your feet. As with any investments, real estate, equities etc, in the long term it all works out!

      • Daniel on December 18, 2015 at 10:41 am

        Correct. If I didn’t keep at it with property investments and continue to pursue higher paying jobs, I would have missed out during the property and market run (bull markets enable high paying jobs as well). As it stands now, I’ve increased my net worth by 7 fold over the last 15 years.

        When I took a bath on property/investments back in 2000, my father said my losses were “tuition in the university of investment”. Although I thought it was a joke back then, my bad experiences really did teach me not to be afraid to invest…but also to brave enough to sell when things get crazy…

  98. James on February 10, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    Hi, just wondering if you were going to post a recent net worth update?


  99. smayer97 on April 28, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    @frugaltrader very belated Congrats! Been too busy to follow your progress.

    I noticed this comment “…Selling the forum and completing our million dollar journey…” Did the forum get sold? If so, who owns it now?


    • FrugalTrader on April 28, 2016 at 8:43 pm

      Thanks again for stopping by smayer! Yes, the forum was sold in 2014 to a large forum company called Vertical Scope.

  100. Financial Canadian on July 8, 2016 at 11:53 am

    I find your story very inspiring.

    I have a personal goal to have a net worth of $1 million when I turn 32. So far I’m on pace but there’s a lot of things that could get in my way. Reader your blog has renewed my focus!

  101. Jess on December 15, 2016 at 2:08 am


    I ‘m a 29 yo girl who just recently started doing stock and ETF investing.
    Love your blog and it really does motivate me to keep track on how my money goes.

    Is your net worth combined with your wife or just yours?

    • FT on December 15, 2016 at 12:14 pm

      Hi Jess, yes the numbers are combined.

  102. Passivecanadianincome on February 22, 2017 at 12:40 am

    Congrats. That’s awesome what’s your net worth at these days? Wish I started earlier but now is better then later =)

  103. John on April 15, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    FT, I followed you & MDJ in the earlier days pre-2010 & at that time made a suggestion of investing in ATM’s for passive income.

    Doing a google today I remembered this forum to see any updates & was excited to see that you made the journey.

    Congratulations to you & your family on the success

    • FT on April 15, 2017 at 1:58 pm

      Thanks for stopping by John! It’s quite interesting looking back at old posts to see my ideas and concerns from back in the day. I didn’t invest in ATMs after, I just stuck with the basics of saving and investing. What about you? Has your financial picture improved since that time?

      • John on April 15, 2017 at 2:25 pm

        Hi FT, thanks for your reply.
        How time flies & yes my wife & I achieved our goals early on, now aged 70, we are well & financially sound. We began our journey in 1967 as newly wed’s aged 20 when we emigrated to Canada with one suitcase and £100 each. We achieved what we wanted within the first 10 years in Canada.

  104. FT on April 15, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    John, I really enjoy hearing stories like that! My parents were also immigrants to Canada in the early 70’s. Did you start a business?

    • John on April 15, 2017 at 2:51 pm

      I’m guessing we came to Canada at the right time.

      Basic timeline: April 1967 landed in Canada, 14 months of our arrival we purchased our first income property (a rooming house) that we lived in on the ground floors, with 2 floors above us 5 rooms tenanted paid by the week. The property was fully paid off in 6 years.

      During that period we invested in private discounted second mortgages through a mortgage broker in the east end of Toronto on the Danforth.

      We have owned several properties along our journey that included income producing.

      First born 1978, second born 1986

      We also emigrated twice more, living as PR’s in OZ & NZ in the early 80’s

      It wasn’t till around 1986 that we first started investing in the stock market

      We also had a small side electronics business which I would work at after work, wife also helped.

      Although I never had to work since the 90’s, I really enjoyed my work life & retired from the daily grind in 2010

      Recap, the real success came from real estate, no so much in the stock market. Today less than 10% of our cash is invested in anything, the rest is under the mattress, for the reason ‘we don’t need the income’ and the adult children ‘are just fine’

      All (every last penny) of our expenses year over year is just under 30% of our income

      Being old school, we paid off any debt including mortgages as fast as we could. We never did the ‘smith manoeuvre’

      • FT on April 15, 2017 at 3:13 pm

        Thanks for the inspirational story John! Question for you, have you looked into discounted second mortgages lately? This is an investment strategy that a mortgage broker friend of mine has pursued with success thus far.

        • John on April 15, 2017 at 3:46 pm

          Haven’t looked into the discounted second mortgages. They worked for us when we did them. There is also a few MIC’s out there that have decent returns, not for a long hold, one just needs to time the buy & sell.

          P2P nor Solarbonds interest me

          Any investing that I would do today has to have an hedge

          For discussion purposes only – lets take a blue chip (Bank or utlity BCE) that pays dividends and that has LEAP’s.

          Buying at the top of the last 24 range, then selling a long contract (LEAP) ‘deep in the money’ (DITM) covered call as close as possible to 50% of the underlying stock price. So, say a $50 stock that is optionable at say $25 – $30 DITM out to Jan 2019. There will be little to zero premium (who cares) its the ‘collect more % dividends’, protected on the downside. Yes, I have done this and not been called till/to the contract expiry, for the reason I always expect stocks to go down in price. Best to do this as I mentioned when stocks are close or at the top of their range

  105. Nevertoolate on May 6, 2017 at 10:59 am

    Have been following your journey for some time. Our journey started later and I thought worth sharing so even older folks can dream of hitting their goals.
    After a bitter divorce that left me $20k in debt with no assets, I met the true love of my life and we began rebuilding our lives at age 35. We discovered index funds in 2006( thanks Moneysense), maxed out our RRSPs and TFSAs. It took 4 years to get back to even ground and 5 additional years to hit the $200k in 2009. We lived in apartments for 14 years and bought out first house together in 2014 for $295k. We both now have good paying jobs and in April of 2017 we hit the million dollar mark, coincidently, 8 years after the $200k mark. We increase our mortgage payments by 10% annually, make an additional monthly payment, and put 10% on the principal each year. We will be mortgage free in 2019.
    In 2021 we plan to retire at age 55 to mark our first 20 years together.
    Our favorite saying is this: the difference between a goal and a dream is a timeline and a plan.
    So pick your timeline, make a plan to get there, and start living the dream.

    • Daniel Pei on May 9, 2017 at 3:09 pm

      Retiring early is more fun than it is perceived to be. I’m learning and playing 10 different sports I know I would not be able to if I retired @ 65 vs. 50 and have lost 20 lbs doing so. Spending time with the kids and joined a Symphony.

      Its not just boring sitting around the house all day! You feel young again for sure…

  106. Rahim on June 23, 2019 at 12:25 am

    So, in 2006, I started this blog to keep me accountable and set a lofty goal of becoming a millionaire by the end of 2014 at the age 35.

    If you take away your wife’s net worth, did you achieve your goal of being a millionaire? Or was your initial goal always to be part of a millionaire family…

    Thx, RK

    • FT on June 23, 2019 at 1:24 pm

      Hello Rahim!

      Thanks for stopping by. Once a couple is married, there is no such thing as individual net worth – except of course if there was a pre-nup agreement and/or inherited assets that have been kept separate. To answer your question, it’s family net worth. In case you are wondering, if a couple gets divorced in Canada, assets are essentially divided by two. I wrote an article about this being one of the biggest wealth destroyers out there:

      • Rahim on June 26, 2019 at 12:34 pm

        Hello FT,

        One of the greatest wealth builders is marriage so it works both ways ;)

        Person A has a net worth of $525,000, they fall madly in love with Person B who has a net worth or $475,000. They get married and boom, Millionaire…

        With two working married individuals, reaching a family net worth of a million dollars, is pretty easy in my mind. More impressive is becoming a millionaire individually in USD ($1.316 Million in CAD) or generating enough passive income from investments to fully cover family expenses.

        Thanks, RK

          • Rahim on June 26, 2019 at 10:09 pm

            Yup, I’ve been following your progress and like I said before, my bet is that you will hit your target of $60,000 when you have a total of $1,500,000 invested in the market ;)

            It’s the Mustachian way -> Annual Expenses x 25 = $ _______ in investments.

            Speaking about Mustachian, It’s sad that Mr. Money Mustache is divorced. I’m sure you heard of him?

            There was a Canadian fellow who would write on his blog sometimes, Frugul Toque. That’s not you right? You are Frugal Trader?

            Senior Mustachian, RK

  107. FT on June 27, 2019 at 9:52 am

    I did not know that MMM got divorced – that’s too bad. I’m not Frugal Toque, although that has a nice ring to it!

    The MMM way is the 4% rule (ie. annual expenses x 25). While the 4% rule is valid, it’s generally only meant for portfolios to last 30 years with a min of 50% equities in the portfolio. The rules are different if 100% equities and spending only the dividends (which I plan on doing).

    How are you doing on your financial freedom goal?

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.