Today is the 21st of January, and I thought I’d have some fun with the theme of 21. It’s been a long time since I’ve really talked about myself, so I thought that I would share 21 facts that you probably didn’t know about me.
This site has grown exponentially since I started it in 2009, so I know there are a lot of readers out there who don’t really know who I am. And that’s sad. I’m a big believer that people connect with people – so hopefully you’ll connect with me a little more now that you know these 21 different facts about me.
Let’s jump in – I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
1. I’m turning 30 this year… Holy shit I’m turning 30. I can’t believe that I’m no longer going to be in my twenties. My wife jokes that I’m The College Investor, but I’m no longer in college. Well, this site is over 5 years old and I really did start it when I was sitting on the back row of my college classes. Besides – it’s also about the content, and millennial a need help when it comes to escaping student loans and starting to save and invest.
2. I’ve been married for 5 years. Best decision I’ve ever made. My wife is my best friend and partner – and there is nobody more supportive of my many ventures than she is. Pro Tip: find an amazing partner and your life will be successful.
3. I have an 18 month old son. Second best decision ever. My son is the coolest kid ever – yes I’m biased but so what. There is nothing more that I love than playing with him and teaching him new things.
4. I have a half black lab and half golden retriever. She was my first child and she will always be the first. Her name is Abby and we love her – and she is so tolerant of my son sitting on her. You’d never know she was half golden retriever until you saw her demeanor.
5. I took out $40,495 in student loans. This grew to a peak of $44,810.47 before I graduated and started making payments. I was also able to pay off these loans in about 2.5 years – through a combination of tuition reimbursement from my job and side hustling. If I didn’t have the tuition reimbursement program at my job, I would not have taken on these loans and gone into such debt. You have to make sure it’s worth it – it only was because of that program.
6. I got my first job at 16. I was a cart pusher at a local store. I’m a big believer that kids need to work. My first real job was in high school. My mom told me if I wanted to drive a car this summer, I had to get a job and pay for it. She dropped my off at the mall and said “call me to pick you up when you have a job”. I applied at a few stores and ended up being a cart boy.
7. I really started working when I was 12 – being a bridge caddy at a bridge club where my parents played. Before I even pushed carts, my parents taught me the importance of working. When they would go play bridge, they would bring me along and I would caddy – basically moving the card decks from table to table. Pretty boring job, but it paid nicely in cash under the table at the end of each shift.
8. I started investing at 16, right after I got my first real job. I remember opening my first account at Sharebuilder, because I didn’t have a lot of money and I thought the $4 commissions were low priced. I didn’t know what I was doing but I had some early wins and kept learning.
9. I’ve side hustled as long as I can remember. I sold candy out of my backpack in middle school. I used to buy the bulk candy packs at Costco and then sell individual size bars at lunch – using netting myself double what I paid. I then opened my first eBay account in January 2002 (when I was just 16). I started selling anything I could find – from old video games to junk in my grandpas attic.
10. I was a really good bowler. Yes, my sport of choice was bowling, and I was pretty good. I bowled almost weekly in middle school, high school, and even college. For those of you who are thinking it, in my last league I averaged 202 for the season. Not too shabby!
11. I enjoy collecting coins. This is my hobby, but I don’t have the time (or money) to devote to it. My favorite coins to collect are Kennedy Half Dollars, and I have a complete series with many of the coins being high MS or PF. Coin collectors will know what that means. Oh, I took pictures of my coins too.
12. I like drinking craft beers and local brews. I’m a beer guy, and I love trying out local craft brews. The great thing about being from Southern California is that there are a ton of great breweries nearby. Know a great beer I should try? Let me know if the comments.
13. I prefer computer games over console games. I’ve always been a gamer – since I got my first computer in elementary school. However, I’ve never enjoyed console gaming. I always prefer computer gaming. My favorites? I like Sim City, Civilization, and Counterstrike.
14. Mexican food is my favorite type of food. Carne Asada burrito please.
15. Favorite TV series ever? Stargate SG-1. Yes, I’m an action/adventure/sci-fi type guy. I’ve watched every episode of Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis. I’ve even watched the movies they made based on the show. Nerd alert.
16. Favorite movie? Armageddon. That’s a movie that has it all – including a love story! If you don’t like Armageddon I don’t know what to tell you.
17. I really hate public speaking, but I’m trying to work on it. Most Americans have this fear, and I’m no different. But I am trying to work on it – and I’m looking for speaking gigs. I love being on podcasts and will be doing a webinar soon, but I’d like to take it to the next level in 2015.
18. I’m a contributor for Forbes. I focus mainly on education and money issues. Check it out if you haven’t yet.
19. I really enjoy answering reader questions. Of the 1,000s on my email list, when I ask “Ask me anything”, less than 1% ever really do. I think it surprises people when they get a response back from me.
20. Last year I branded America’s Millennial Money Expert™ – and I’ve been quoted as that which is pretty cool. I’m also known as America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™ – which was also published in a real-life newspaper!
21. I hate talking about myself, and couldn’t come up with a 21st other than that. But I really did want you to know more about me as a regular person.
Over to you – tell me about yourself? What do we share in common?
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.