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Mile High Finance Guy

finance demystified, one mountain at a time

Welcome friend. Learn about me.

Hi, my name is Olaf, and I am the Mile High Finance Guy! A millennial who has a passion for personal finance, from investing to taxes, my hobby is to optimize my savings when I am not mountain biking, hiking, or traveling. 

I decided to start after working for one of the largest investment firms in the United States. While there, I worked in a financial advisory capacity. My job entailed providing investment advice while being an expert on the complexities of retirement accounts, employer benefits, and savings optimization strategies. 

I worked with clients who were 18 to 97, with $5,000 to $5,000,000. Still, one commonality was always that they had an employer-sponsored retirement account. These were not investors by choice; instead, they were investors by accident. Their company set them up with a retirement savings plan and encouraged them to save through it so that they would be able to retire someday. 

Some people regularly paid attention to their accounts; others did not. But more often than not, a second commonality was shared: Uncertainty if they were making the right decisions. 

This was eye-opening to me as I grew up as the son of an accountant and discovered the financial independence community early on as an adult. I did two stints in the finance industry, and at the end of the second, I knew I had to make an impact on a broader audience. 

Finance is not taught in the public school system. Instead, the focus is placed on complex math and science skills but not how to be an adult and use money. This played out daily in my client meetings. People had either no idea where to start saving or how to invest; commonly both. So often, I would talk to people who randomly chose their investments or chose the ones their coworkers used since they were unsure. 

Most of these people had a minimal understanding of their investments and if they were using them correctly. So often, I shared knowledge with people and was told afterward they needed to know this sooner.

Knowledge is power. In finance, it is the power to free oneself. So I decided that if I could help people sooner, I could help change the trajectory of their life for the better. But to truly make an impact, I would have to do something different.

Inevitably this led to an internal struggle and culminated in the decision to quit my job. The income was good, the benefits were great, and the friends that I had made will last a lifetime. But I realized to have a sense of fulfillment, I needed to make a difference on a broader scale and that the best way to do this was to share knowledge through teaching. Rather than talking to a finite number of people each day, I wanted to reach a larger audience.

When I did not find an opening within the company that would allow this and change from higher up came, I walked out the door and started exploring just how I could accomplish my goal. Of course, I could have stayed and kept looking, but I realized my position was not right for me. Additionally, I did not agree with the new vision management had begun implementing, which influenced my departure significantly – as did my significant financial savings.

Then, only a few days later into my leave, it struck me: A blog. As an enthusiastic finance blog reader, I thought, “What better way to reach a near-infinite amount of people without the constraints of a traditional role.” Thus Mile High Finance Guy was born!

I run Mile High Finance Guy while working as a financial advisor at a boutique firm and consulting for wineries, a strange pairing I know. While I have long worked in the wine business part-time, I was offered a job shortly after starting this blog in finance, again, which I couldn’t turn down.

I view this blog as an outlet for my ideas and it is not affiliated with the firm I work for; instead, it is strictly educational and my own opinion!

So regardless of how you found this blog, thank you for visiting, and I hope you will frequently return. My goal is to demystify saving for financial independence and retirement. I am a follower of the FIRE movement, but I believe that the purpose of Financial Independence, Retire Early is truly about living life on your own accord. It doesn’t mean saving money and dropping off the face of the Earth. Instead, it is about saving so that you can drop in on what truly matters to you. Financial independence gives people the freedom to chase their dreams, no matter how wild they are, and that is all anyone can ask for in life now, isn’t it?

About me page waving cartoon Olaf

Mile High Finance Guy

I want to empower you

By demystifying finance. My mission is simple: Give you the knowledge needed to achieve financial independence through optimization.

Demystified Series

Strategies to empower your investment decisions. Ranging from green to black in difficulty, these posts distill the knowledge I gathered during my time in the finance industry. I helped others optimize their journey to financial independence and now I want to help you!

Foundational Series

Every mountain has a base, a foundation that the peak is formed upon. This series is a right of passage for those beginning their journey to summit the peak financial independence. Here you will learn the basics needed to read my demystified series.

What Are you waiting for, Read!

Start from the base

Use this link to start from the beginning of my foundational series. Once you have mastered these background posts, you will be ready to join the journey.

Or Start Higher Up!

Already have a background in financial terminology? Then jump straight into my demystified series and enhance your journey to financial freedom here.