Monday, December 14, 2020

Why guys get defensive when women accumulate $100,000 at a young age

It's almost a tradition or a cost of entry for a financial blogger to talk about how they attained their first $100,000 as some kind of perverse freshman orientation into the world of financial blogging. I'm glad to played a small part in starting this trend when I authored Growing Your Tree of Prosperity over 15 years ago when I documented my own journey. 

When I turned my $100,000 into a self-published book and parlayed it into a feature on the Sunday Times, it was not cool. Some thread on EDMW racked up 128 pages with most postings from fellow Singaporeans cussing me for meeting my financial target.

Some folks want an idea of how my thoughts have evolved on this matter you can refer to the following links on my blog :

  • In 2015, Budget Babe met the $100,000 challenge and I wrote about it here.
  • In response to an increasing number of Deci-millionaires, I wrote an article on how to frame your thinking about this phenomenon here.
Back to the present day.

Denizens of the financial social media forums were given a treat when MissFITFI posted a video on how she accumulated $100,000 on her social media webpage. The thread racked up a firestorm of comments and, to an old veteran, I am now more interested in the folks who gave comments in the major finance FB forums. 

I would characterise responses to the following categories:

a) Well-wishes from the veterans and FIRE regulars 

Without applying any analytics, I noticed that there is small population of well-wishers. My personal guess is that those who are well-wishers have generally high self-esteem. 

These folks tend to FIREd many years ago and most already have families. If I make a guess, guys with daughters will be more encouraging when he sees a female financial blogger succeed. This is mirrored in the corporate world where leaders with daughters tend to be more willing to promote capable female employees.

Sadly, I think that well-wishers are a very small minority in this case.

b) Folks who wonder why they do not have $100,000 before they are 30  

Interestingly, I noticed through my own journey is that articles of this nature tend to trigger a lot of self-examination and a large number of these responses are personal justifications of why the person did not have $100,000 at before age 30. 

This is exceptionally interesting to me because in all cases, the original poster does not write an article to disparage other people but to just share one data point on their own journey. It is not in our pay grade to explain why some folks are not there. 

Adlerian psychology would be a useful framework at this state because most responses talk about things like because they served NS, could not get into a University as reasons. This is pure Freudian etiology at work. I would venture that NOT achieving $100,000 is a goal because most people have a GREEN personality and FIRE requires life adjustments that too uncomfortable and way worse for Millenials who do not have the same opportunities as older generations. No one who enjoys inertia and the status quo will ever go through the process of trying to obtain $100,000 before reaching 30. 

There is simply too much good food to eat and too many Thai discos to visit.

c) Misogynists, BBFA and assorted Gamergate beta males 

MissFITFI had a private conversation with me last night on why female bloggers tend to be targetted with more hate. After that conversation, I went to the other bigger forum to read the comments and it was really toxic as hell. Some guys were complaining that her presentation was too stilted, others criticised her portfolio. Worse, these guys are noob beta males because there were no real suggestions on ho to improve.  

My first reaction was that men generally can't handle a successful woman, so this is expected. Then I realised that those Millenial men probably don't hold back these days because of things like Gamergate. So I told MissFITFI that she's like an ace Fortnite gamer who just happens to be a girl and you can go read about the amount of harassment female gamers receive on the web.

Here's the thing on Gamergate. Social scientists discovered that elite male gamers are generally quite welcoming of female gamers into their communities. It is the lousy male gamers who find all sort of ways to put them down. 

I also suggested to MissFITFIT that she never meets her guy critics. I recall an article interviewing successful women on why they do not like dating beta men who earn less than they do. It's not because they look down on them. It is because of the tendency for beta men disparage these successful women to buff up their own self-esteem making such relationships extremely toxic.

So, in summary, nothing has changed since I made my first $100,000 so future financial bloggers should be mentally prepared to receive brickbats when they talk about their journey. 

But I think they should do it anyway and monetise the eyeballs if they can. 



  1. I really do not know what is the point about being jealous. How does it solve their problem? Putting people down for their achievements is quite a loser move. I think it is wiser to ask why they succeed and if there any way to imitate or learn for.

    Btw, I never quite understand about what is all the rage in saving 100K by age of 30. We all have our own timeline, some get there faster due to their salaries and some get slower because of commitments or simply they earn lesser.

    Joined the workforce as a diploma holder about 9 years ago. The pay sucks as I started out as a desktop engineer. Can't save much due to various commitments. I am glad that I was never exposed to idea of need to save 100K by 30. Otherwise, there will be too much pressure for my FI journey.
    I only hit 100K in wealth at the midst of my 31 by a stroke of luck because COVID-19 happened and I bite the bullet, held on to most of my stocks despite on a 30-40 percent loss (if I remember it correctly, my portfolio at one point was about 50K worth and I had only 1 month of saving) Kept on investing as per usual. This crisis has supercharged my portfolio and my saving to a total of 150K. Not too shabby since I just turned 32.
    So sometimes, it is really about opportunities meeting effort and discipline. If one miss out one milestone, it is really not the end of the world.

  2. You've done damn well, man !

    Maybe can start a blog and see the kind of animalistic rage you will attract from the jelly folks out there too !

    1. As a thought experiment, perhaps I should!