Amber Tree Leaves' Learnings from FinCon Masters London 2017

Last updated: June 16, 2017

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Last April, Amber Tree Leaves won his ticket to FinCon Masters London 2017. As agreed, he tweeted a live picture of the event with PT and Mad Fientist (enough to make me jealous to not have been able to join this time); and today, he shares his learnings from this FIRE evening. Thank you ATL!

Fincon… It’s a gathering of people that brings sparks in the blogs and twitter feeds of people that go there. I wanted to go one day. And then, PT and the MustachianPost (double thx for that) made it possible for me to go to the Fincon Masters in London. This is a side event, much smaller and intends to keep the spirit of Fincon.

Yes, I was enthusiastic to go there. And even more enthusiastic now that I have been there.

The main event took place in the evening. It allowed for a meet and greet with some drinks. Even after a few meetups, it keeps surprising me how easy it is to get the conversation going. As we were all into FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) and blogging, we had a lot to talk about. And there seemed to be no competition: people shared best practices, tips and tricks. You got to put a face on some blogs that you read.

Maria, the MC of the evening

Maria is a professor that blogs. After the meeting, we went for a drink and I appreciated her opinions, as they were based on solid research and experience. She brought some interesting points to the table. The following two made most sense to me.

The first message was that when you want people to change their behaviour, it is not by telling them how to spend less or how to do this or that. You need to make sure they get motivated. That a habit starts to form. We also discussed this topic in the BENL (i.e. Belgium-Netherlands) meetups. I am a big fan of this idea.

The second message of Maria was that in retirement, you need sustainable passive income. So, not an income from selling items you no longer need. Being part of the FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) community, this is a no brainer.

Learnings from Andy Webber

His topic was the impact that bloggers can have and how to deal with it. This is actually an interesting angle: with great power comes great responsibility. Some individual blogs, and the blogger community as a whole has a great impact on the decisions and habits of many readers. And how do you manage that when money joins the game. Do you publish a sponsored blogpost when you think it might damage readers due to the nature of the message? And what if you really need the money?

Above all, I remember that blogging is about sharing your story. Getting your messages and learning out there so that others can learn from it.

Miss Thrifty live show

She tackled the topic of Facebook Live: what is it and where/how to use it. She brought the topic based on her broad work experience in the field. For a few moment, she was even live on Facebook, although that did not seem to be part of the script… Check out her Facebook to see some of the interaction she has with her audience via this format. At first it seems easy: take your smartphone, press the button, and done. In reality, it requires a lot of intensive planning and research, not to forget the aftercare of the movie.

JD Roth on the value of a community

Why is that important: a strong community of loyal tribe members is something that stays. By giving a strong focused message and setting an example, you can select the kind of people you look for.
Thinking back on my reasons to start blogging, it is all about community and interaction. That is why I am so grateful that I went to the FIWE weekend in Budapest and now host meetups with Mr CF in Belgium/Netherlands.

Last speaker: Chris Ducker

Chris is a non-FIRE speaker. Last, and surely not the least. It was about personal branding and what matters in life. He brought his life story as an example. A very energetic speaker.

Chris Ducker on stage at FinCon Masters London 2017

Chris Ducker on stage at FinCon Masters London 2017

There are three key messages that I’d like to share from his talk.

First, being different is more important than being better. You need to make the difference to the others in what you do.

Secondly, Family is what matters. Spending time with people you like and love is the most important part of life. Relationships need to be treasured, not used. When people reach out to you to “abuse” your network, they should not become good friends.

Thirdly, be deliberate: when you say yes to something, you say no to something else. This is so true.
Knowing what you value and what you want to reach makes it easy to decide what/where you want to spend your money and even more important, your time.

I wanna go to Fincon!

Being there has reconfirmed a lot. Some elements, I already apply, other points were in the back of my head. I can take action now.

Being to this side event of Fincon makes me want to go to Fincon even more. The energy, the people, the talks, it is worth it. I also realize that being part of a community is important. It also reaffirmed that I want to keep growing my local community.

About the author: ATL is a 40 years old married father with 2 toddler kids from Belgium. He recently discovered the FIRE community (although he already bought his first mutual funds 15 years ago) and is now on is way towards financial freedom. You can find more about him at

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