About Me 21


 

Quick Summary of Me

  • Early 30’s male
  • Born in South Korea and live in Toronto, Canada
  • Came to study English and work for 6 months in Vancouver, Canada in 2006 but that became more than 8 years so far and keeps counting
  • Newly married in 2013 with my love of my life. No kids yet but a greyhound that eats like a horse.
  • Became a Canadian in January 2015
  • Works in a TSX company and am a chartered accountant
  • Addicted to
    • Glass of red wine and tall can of red and dark beer after work and falling asleep on the couch around 9pm until my wife wakes me up at 11pm to help me move to the bed
    • Drinking with friends solving all kinds of world’s problems
    • Animals especially dogs and cats
    • Playing piano and guitar. Used to be in a fusion jazz band in Korea
    • Listening to all kinds of music. Jazz, Blues, Pop, hiphop, Hardcore metal, thresh metal, reggae…
    • Swimming, skating, snowboarding, tennis, golfing
    • Watching great shows and documentaries such as BBC Earth series e.g. Planet Earth, Michael Moore films, The Wire, Sherlock, True Detective, Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Rick and Morty etc…
    • Reading books about personal finance and investment
    • Been to all the major cities in Canada. Planning to expand to US
    • Healthy organic food, BBQ,
    • Saving, being frugal and buying solid dividend stocks and ETFs
    • Be inspired by successful people regardless what they do for a living
    • Be debt free. Hate borrowing money as that makes me uncomfortable
grey1

My monster dog. She consumes more food than my wife

Land of Opportunities

I was born and raised in Seoul, Korea and currently resides in Toronto, Canada, my land of opportunity.

I had so many different jobs while I was growing up in Korea. I used to be a newspaper delivery man, gas station assistant, convenient store cashier, dish washer, bakery assistant, flyer handout man, buffet and various restaurants server, computer store assistant, sergeant of Korean military etc…

I worked hard but my life wasn’t going anywhere until I realized that in order to be financially independent in this harsh world, learning to live Smart is the key. So I decide to come to Canada. I arrived in Canada, Vancouver, back in July 2006 right after completing my military service.

Lesson Learned from Military

From the military, I learned to push my mental and physical barrier. My team often worked under unfavorable conditions such as running low on food or sleep. I had to make quick decisions. I learned to live consistently out of my comfort zone and operate effectively and efficiently despite all the stressors. I learned to tune out the distractions and focus at the task at hand.

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I used to live in that APC (Armoured Personnel Carrier) for 2 years.

 

Minimum Wage?- No Problems

I endured 2 years golden time of my life in one of toughest military in the world so I had full of confidence and was extremely happy to be out of the military and be a civilian. Living in a totally different country was tough but exciting and very rewarding as I learned something new every day. I had no English skills, was very shy and quiet and knew no one but myself.

I studied in a language school and worked as dish washer and pawn shop assistant at first making less than minimum wage. If I think about it now, I was taken an advantage by the employers due to the fact that I spoke poor English and was a fresh foreign worker without a university degree although I was happy to make some money to pay for rent and bills and not touching my savings.

minimum wage pic

$7/ hour wasn’t really great.

 

Good Education is a Must-have

During the stay, I became more and more fond of staying in Canada. I really like Canadians for their well mannered and warm hearted personality and its diversity. I love its beautiful well cared pollution free nature and its great culture. I realized that this is my land of opportunity and dream. So I decided to stay and study. I wanted to study in all the great university in Canada such as UBC, Simon Fraser, UT, Mcgill,  etc… but I couldn’t afford them. I would have declared personal bankruptcy within 2 years if I studied one of those schools. Haha… So I researched every single universities in Canada from Saskatchewan, Regina, to Memorial university in Newfoundland then I found an excellent business school in Halifax, Nova Scotia that was affordable.

So I moved from West Coast, Vancouver, BC to all the way to East Coast, Halifax, Nova Scotia. People in Halifax is wonderful, very caring and warm. I made amazing friends, partied a lot but when other people partied harder, I knew I had to work at least twice harder than otheMoney Treers to be even so I came home and studied and worked very hard.

All the hard work materialized as I graduated as top 10 commerce graduates with Summa Cum Laude and received a job offer from a big 4 accounting firm a year before I graduated.

Became a Canadian Citizen

Most recently, I achieved my greatest goal of my life. I became a Canadian. Words can’t describe enough how proud I am to be a Canadian. It took me 8 years to achieve this goal of my life. I want to thank everyone for warm friendships along the journey and I decided to work hard days and nights to pay back for all the help and support I received. The best way is to work for them and never ever forget all the support that I received.

The Purpose of the Blog

That’s one of the main reasons why I created this blog not because my friends and family get annoyed and cranky when I talk about world’s problems, stock markets and my random rants. Haha… I want to encourage hard working people just like you to study, work smartly, save, being frugal and invest wisely for better future. Think about it. I was poor, had no family member living nearby, my language skills were terrible and was a high school graduate making less than minimum wage.
I worked very hard with smart plans and I am quite different now as compared to who I was 8 years ago. Currently, I work with a TSX company and have a managerial position in the accounting department. I am nobody compared to all the successful people who sold their companies for billions but I want to share all the tips that I know with you regarding how a regular person just like you has a dream to be a millionaire and getting closer every day.

 

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Welcome to a Random Korean Immigrant’s Million Dollar Journey

Whether you are a hard working immigrant like me or a native speaker (wherever you were born) feeling stuck in life with no way out, what you are probably missing is learning to live Smart. If a random Korean immigrant who used to speak terrible English without university degree in Canada can do it then you can do it too.

Set your goals up and Fulfill your dream. I want to be as honest as possible in my blog and of course will be accountable for decisions that I make. I won’t try to make stupid mistakes but it may happen and you are more than welcome to laugh with me so be prepared.

I don’t consider myself a financial guru but I keep my eyes open to learn something useful everyday. My net worth as of May 2011 was $25,000 and I am planning to grow my current net worth of $90,000 (Sep 1 2014) to $1,000,000 before I hit 45 years old. Yes. I said it. Is the goal too unrealistic? Well, let’s see how it goes.  If this sounds interesting, Subscribe your email and come along for the voyage.

If you will excuse me, I will have to water my money tree.


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21 thoughts on “About Me

  • Vivianne

    Wow, very inspiring story. I think you can get to that first million even before you hit 45 years old. In one of my posts, I went and use the million dollars calculator, if you invest $40k a year, at 10% growth rate, you’ll get $1 mil in 10 years. In combination with real estate, and business, you could it that mark even quicker.

    Goodluck, I think you can do it.
    .

    • monsterid
      Be Smart Rich Post author

      Thanks so much Vivianne. Hard work finally pays off slowly. My goal is conservative and attainable but still I will have to work very hard to get there. Haha Thanks for stopping by and wish to see you here often!

  • Ree Klein

    Hi BeSmartRich ~

    I just found your blog and find your journey and goals inspiring. You put most of us to shame with what you’ve accomplished in such a short time. You are brave, smart and driven…there’s no question in my mind that you will achieve any goal to which you set your mind.

    Cheers!
    Ree

    • monsterid
      Be Smart Rich Post author

      Thanks so much Ree for your kind words. I worked very hard but most importantly, I couldn’t have achieved anything by myself as I was helped by so many great friends along the way. I am very grateful and it is time for me to pay back and share great information and knowledge I learned from fellow bloggers like you. Keep up the great work Ree!

      BeSmartRich

  • Dividend Growth Investor

    BeSmartRich,

    I like your story a lot. You probably had to work twice as hard, just to be on the same level as Canadians who were there already. And to be ahead of the pack, you probably worked even harder.

    Your story is really good, because it shows how someone who really wants to improve their life can put things in their own hands, and achieve anything!

    I am looking forward to following your story along the way to becoming a millionaire!

    Dividend Growth Investor

    • monsterid
      Be Smart Rich Post author

      I am flattered, Dividend Growth Investor. I worked hard to be where I am now but I was really helped a lot by great people around me. Luckily, not that long ago, I found great personal finance bloggers like you who have inspired me to start my own blog to share journey to becoming financially independent. I wanted to let you know that I really enjoy your emails and am learning priceless knowledge from you everyday. Thank you!

      BeSmartRich

  • Dividend Hustler

    Hey Be Smart Rich. I just found your blog. Thank you for sharing your personal life with us. Great story! It’s awesome that you’re logging your progress and sharing your journey with us. I know you will hit your milestone way before 45! You watch, success creates more success!
    I will be following your journey and glad to have another fellow Canadian on this journey. 🙂 Keep hustling hard my friend and enjoy the family. Cheers!

    • monsterid
      Be Smart Rich Post author

      Hi Dividend Hustler,

      Thanks so much for your kind words. I will keep hustling to achieve the financial independence before 45. It will be challenging but definitely doable and I am glad that there are so many great people like you that have similar goals toward our future. Cheers to you as well!

      BeSmartRich

  • Liveoffmydividends

    Hi BeRichSmart,
    I just stumbled upon your blog! Thanks for sharing your story with us! Keep up the investing and you will be financially independent in a few years my friend. I am going to follow you on your journey. I added you to my blog roll…Take care and keep in touch.
    LOMD

    • monsterid
      Be Smart Rich Post author

      Hi Micheal, Thanks for your kind words adding my blog into your blogroll. I will do the same and follow your blog to the end of our journey. It will be challenging but surely exciting. Take care Micheal and thanks for stopping by!

      BeSmartRich

  • Julie @ Millennial Boss

    Wow inspirational story! I recently paid off $90k in debt so I am just starting on my journey to financial independence. I also have a dog that looks and eats like a little monster. If only I could get him to stick to his food. He loves to nibble on my shoes too!