Chapter 10 - “How to Deal With Failures" - The Incompetent Investor

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Friday, February 8, 2019

Chapter 10 - “How to Deal With Failures"

Have You Experienced Some Failures In Your Life Too? 

As many of my readers know, I enjoy giving my blog experience a real sense humility. I am not here to paint you a picture of the perfect FIRE blogger who does not make mistakes. I share all my previous, future and current mistakes to motivate others to keep on kicking goals! A lot of the failures below are intertwined with FIRE as you build resilience which makes the progression to FI much easier. 

We have all experienced some set backs in our lives right? Perhaps you have missed a particular promotion at work, or maybe you missed the cut for a particular competitive sports team when you were younger? Maybe you lost a small fortune in speculative investments, or maybe you have had a tough time with some relationships.

Whatever it is, the point is, you're not alone in your failures. In that very moment of hardship, millions if not billions of people around the world are experiencing the same struggles. The trick with failures is to keep showing up everyday and learning from them at the same time. 


  • Scored a solid 33 ENTER score in Year 12 in Victoria. 
  • Given an opportunity to be a Trainee Accountant as a young fella - bailed after 18 months. 
  • Commenced a Diploma in Human Resources - did not complete 
  • Attempted to do a Bachelors in Financial Planning via Open Universities on two separate occasions, failed miserably both times. 
  • Medically discharged from the Army with Chronic Nerve Pain with a rather uneventful career. Consequently struggled with mental health ever since. 
  • Attempted to do a Bachelors in Social Work through Open University - Failed miserably and withdrew. 
  • Purchased a Honda Accord Euro for circa $23,000 and we are getting offers for $3500 on the private market due to sunscreen prints / hail damage and a couple of dents. 
  • Invested in a property in India without any real understanding of the yield, potential growth and the company structure that held the underlying assets. 
  • Lost many thousands of dollars gambling on speculative companies that I once thought were 'investments'. 
  • Lost 21% of my wealth via Cryptocurrency.
  • Tattooed my ex girlfriends name in huge bold writing from shoulder to shoulder. Worst part is she didn't have a short name like Kate, or Tash. It was god dam MENGUPHRENUO. She was from Nagaland in India - This ended up being a financial burden in respect to getting laser removal ha ha. Oh and it was bloody painful. I remember trying to be frugal and passing on injections to numb the area, biggest mistake of my life in that moment. 
Quite a few mistakes hey? Thankfully, while it took me a while to catch on to being discipline and focused, I think me and my family are on the track! 


  • While academically I struggled, I was raised well by my parents to stay out of trouble and remain respectful to others which has kept me on the good side of the law. 
  • Married a beautiful Indian women who is now my wife, Mrs Incompetent Investor. 
  • Did not muck around and had my now son at the age of 23 years old. 
  • Completed an informal expensive degree in Incompetence through the University of Life itself. 
  • Saved some money throughout the years which has allowed me to have a decent little portfolio. My latest portfolio update is here
  • Completed a Certificate III and IV in Community Services via Victoria University. 
  • Stuck with one of the hardest jobs I have experienced (call centre complaints department) post army for 2 years which gave me a stepping stone into my first professional job. 
  • Completed a Bachelor in International Aid & Development / Sustainable Development through Murdoch University - this took 6 years P/T. 
  • Successful in a job up in the Northern Territory within the Human Services sector. 
  • Accepted in Monash University to undertake a Masters in Social Work. 


What have I learnt from these experiences?

 I have found that we need to remind ourselves daily what we are good at and what we have achieved.

For example, I have an A4 paper stuck beside my bedroom door which states what I have achieved and what my goals are over the med-long term. Below is the actual A4 paper that I read each morning before I go to work... 

I encourage you all to just keep showing up every day. If you get knocked down, just get up. When I was playing basketball at Blackburn Vikings at a high level, some of the most gifted athletes were the ones who let their sports go. It was the less talented athletes that actually flourished as they never gave up.  

How does this align with Financial Independence? Well, there are going to be times where your net worth will get smashed for various reasons. It might be due to health reasons, loss of a job, or whatever. Don't let that discourage you, slow and steady, and I promise you, we both will be in a good place in 10 years time! 

Cheers and thank you for reading! 

Disclaimer: The information on this website is general information and should not be taken as financial advise. I am simply documenting my journey and experience. I am also not a licensed Financial Adviser. You should always seek independent legal, financial, taxation and other advise that relates to your unique circumstances. The Incompetent Investor is not liable for any loss caused, whether due to negligence or otherwise arising from the use of, or reliance on, the information provided directly or indirectly, by use of this website. 


  1. This is a really good discussion of failure and persistence. Thank you for writing it. I've been through a few big things lately, so it was helpful to see someone else list out their failures and then go forward anyway.

    1. Mate, glad you got something out of it!
      You got this. All we can do is keep showing up every day. Things will work out eventually.
      Thanks for the read.

  2. Mate, glad you got something out of it!
    You got this. All we can do is keep showing up every day. Things will work out eventually.
    Thanks for the read.