FinCon 2019 – Washington, D.C, Friends and Inspiration

In September of 2019, I spoke at FinCon 2019 in Washington, D.C. I met up with a bunch of people, had fun talking about finance and making friends.

Written by Adam on 2019-09-07. Minafi, Blog, personal, Canonical. 46 comments. Find out how I make money.

In September of 2019, I spoke at FinCon 2019 in Washington, D.C. If you’re here for the slides mentioned in my talk, 24 Ways to Create Sticky Content, here they are! Read on if you’re curious to hear how my FinCon went, or read my rundowns on FinCon 2018 or FinCon 2017.

Anyone I know who creates online or works remotely eventually develops a longing to spend some time with actual people. This is especially true for me at this point in my life since I left my fulltime job in December and now see far fewer people. I’ve been on the lookout for events to go to that look fun (XOXO Fest, World Domination Summit and MicroConf are on my shortlist), but so far FinCon has been the one staple I go to every year. I’ve bought my ticket for FinCon 2020 in Long Beach and will be there next September if you want to say hi!

FinCon 2019 Buttons
FinCon 2019 Buttons

Who is FinCon For?

FinCon markets itself as a place “where money and media meet”. What that means is that almost EVERYONE there does something with money. On the creator side, there are tons of bloggers, YouTubers, Podcasters. On the services side, there are banks, investment firms, and credit card carriers. On the tools side, there are site aggregators, brands developing relationships, apps and a lot more.

Since there are so many creators there, a bunch of people who aren’t content creators also come to just hang out. FinCon offers a “community pass” for this that is usually cheaper but lets you attend the parties and limited events without the main tracks. The people I talked to this year who were there for this all looked to be having just as much fun as everyone else. The vast majority of people are awesome and want to chat with anyone they can. Whenever someone says they’ve read Minafi, my heart swells up and I thank them – which made for some great discussions.

Most people that I know go to FinCon for one of three reasons:

Connecting in Person! The absolute highlight (for me) is meeting people in person that you’ve only chatted with online. Putting a face to a name is great, and causes me to enjoy their writing so much more if I can imagine them saying it.

Learning Next Steps! There are people at all levels in their journey at FinCon. I like leaving with a solid idea of what I should do to take what I’m working on to the next level. Sometimes that’ll be something I’ve never focused on. At my first FinCon, I learned the value of email and immediately created the Minimal Investor Course. The hardest part for me is always figuring this out amongst dozens of possibilities (SEO? Products? Posting more often?). Talking through my future ideas with people who have successfully done exactly what I’m trying to do is great.

Making Future Contacts! I’ve always kind of sucked at networking. When I go to a local developer meetup I’ll chat with a few people, but I rarely follow up and develop long-lasting relationships. I’ve made a bunch of contacts at FinCon that were made from a point of friendship, but I don’t doubt they could be beneficial from a business standpoint (guest posts, asking for help, collaborating).

One reason I tend to enjoy FinCon is that I’m here for all three. I lead with just connecting in person, but love digging into strategies used for building a business (that’s the startup employee in me coming out).

I do want to do more helping other people learn/grow as well, which was a focus of this FinCon with my talk/mentoring. I’m hoping to do more of that in the future as well, as I start sharing more of what I’ve learned in my 2.5 years blogging and 12 years working in and around startups & growing businesses. No matter where you are in your journey there are people who are looking to learn what you’ve learned.

Day By Day

This usually gets a little long, but here’s what my FinCon looked like broken down day by day. Every year I’ve asked “what days should I go to FinCon?” which sounds like it should be an easy answer – but it’s not! The “main” talks are generally Thursday, Friday and Saturday, but there are conference events Wednesday – and even Tuesday! In the past few years, I haven’t seen too much happening on Sunday.

If this is your first FinCon, I’d recommend showing up Wednesday afternoon so you don’t miss the opening party that happens Wednesday night. That’s what I did for my first 2 years. Also: stay in the hotel if you can. In 2020 it’s in a convention center, so that’s not possible, but staying close is essential in my opinion.

This year though, I went a day earlier and stayed in town from Tuesday – Monday. I enjoyed having that day to settle in and relax a bit before going into full-people mode.

Side note: I’m going to mention a number of people I met/talked to, but I’ll no doubt miss some. If we talked and I don’t mention you in this post, drop me a line with where/when/what we talked about to help jog my memory and I’ll add you in here.

Tuesday – Flight, DYEB Party

I flew into D.C. around 4pm and navigated the Metro from DCA airport to the FinCon hotel just north of Dupont Circle. I met up with my roommate for the week, Bob from The Frugal Fellow, and headed out for the Do You Even Blog party hosted over at a BOARD GAME BAR.

Pete has a special place in my heart because he was starting out right around the same time I was here on Minafi. We followed each other’s journeys over the years, and have traded thoughts/advice/ideas. Last time I asked him a question he sent a VIDEO response. That guy, man.

I met up and chatted with a bunch of people there. What was great was the variety too! People just starting a blog up to raking it in. Pete acted as host and connector, introducing people who were looking a little left out. It can be hard not knowing anyone, so I’m sure they appreciated that.

Another side note, and Mr. Wow and I talked about this some: the same way “What do you do?” is not a great getting to know you question, “what’s your site about?” isn’t a great one either. I like “What brings you to FinCon?” since that steers the conversation to what people are most interested in.

Most of Tuesday night was spent chatting with a bunch of people there before calling it an early night. A had a few longer conversations with some people though, including getting dinner with Tae from Financial Tortoise and Justin Pogue who had recently launched his book Rental Secrets – How to reduce your rent. I kept running into Tae, and he introduced me to the term “sandwich generation” – which refers to caring for aging parents and growing kids at the same time. Later on, when we talked about what he would spend 10x the money on he instantly said “my parents and kids”. Crazy nice guy.

It was fun to put a few faces to names, including Champagne and Capital Gains (who I met for a second last FinCon and is an absolute riot), Keyy from Eff the Joneses (who is an amazing connector of people, even ones she’s just met) and Kim from The Frugal Engineers. Kim’s one person who after talking with for 5 minutes I felt like I’d known her for years.

Before you think I have too great a memory, I was looking at one guy who I absolutely knew that I knew but couldn’t remember how. It was Robert from The College Investor – one of the biggest blogs around and someone I met last year. ? I remember listening to his episode on DYEB – even remembering where I was running at the time. I feel like Robert is one guy who’s managed to build something huge while having fun, which I respect immensely.

Wednesday – Check-In, Mentoring, Interview, Party

The best part about getting in Tuesday is sleeping in on Wednesday. There are no main sessions on Wednesday, but the Expo center opens up to wander around. There are a few quick 20-minute talks on Wednesday, but they tend were mostly packed this year (so I hear).

I usually go around the expo center once or twice, but always feel like most services don’t click with me. I’m a minimalist in the services I use, so for someone to be useful it has to solve a major problem better than any way I’ve previously done it. What did click with me was getting a macaroon with my face printed on it from Ally:

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Adam and Macaron Adam say hi. ?

A post shared by Adam Fortuna (@adamfortuna) on

I mean, how do you say no to that?

Based on previous FinCons, I’ve learned that if you need to get shit done, Wednesday is the best day for it. Later on, there’s so much happening that pausing for a focused hour gets tough.

I was paired up with a mentee about WordPress/Plugins, which is something I know a touch about (I’ve created 15+ WP themes, a few plugins and Minafi itself is a Ruby on Rails site that uses the WordPress API as a content management system).

Gloria from She Loves Good Things and I met up for a debugging session and figured out a bunch of things in an hour or so. Gloria was all smiles the entire time and it was a ton of fun. She even got me a cookie from her favorite local place which was absolutely DELICIOUS and helped me out later in the week when I needed that sugar rush the most (around 2PM for me). I did eat other things than cookies this week, but they were a reoccurring theme.

Wednesday is pretty chill, which I liked. It’s the calm before the storm once people start arriving. I grabbed lunch with The Frugal Fellow and Mr. Jamie Griffin at a market closeby and we all caught up. Jamie and I randomly met last year when we were in line for sushi at FinCon and ended up getting a seat together with Annie from Good Egg Investments. I caught up with Annie some later and realized how great an idea it is to sell a course before you’ve written it to gauge interest and determine pricing.

Later on that afternoon, I joined Justine from Debt Free Millennials for a video chat about how to get started investing and how to think about that if you’re in debt or just escaping it. Justine is super-nice, and it was a fun, not-too hectic talk. When I think about people who could have a massive breakout success in the next few years, she’s at the top of my list (remember us, lowly bloggers, when that happens, OK?). Later on during the conference, I was walking by Vanguard’s booth and saw some overachiever had printed out materials giving a breakdown of their audience as a starting point for brand collaborations. Yep, it was Justine. Check out her stuff if you haven’t. I got some tips before our Vegas trip from her Vegas Budget Travel Tips video.

I was on the fence about attending the Singles Mixer, but enough friends of mine were going I wanted to check it out. Luckily Gwen from Fiery Millennials and Miss Mazuma had a plan for that. I walked in and Gwen immediately said “red”. They were giving out stickers for peoples badges that denote their relationship status! A genius but easy way of doing it.

The closest I would want to get to the White House
The closest I would want to get to the White House

The last “big” thing from Wednesday was the kickoff party. I was really excited to see this was at The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian – one I hadn’t previously been to. I had full intentions of checking out the museum while I was there, but sadly that didn’t happen. You could, but I spent the bulk of my time mingling around, enjoying the open bar and eating free donuts off the wall (less weird than it sounds).

I mentioned Pete (DYEB) started around the same time as I did. Another blogger who started around the same time was The Luxe Strategist, who’s somehow even more nice in person. We’d met earlier this year in NY when Mrs. Minafi and I were in town and went to delicious schezwan restaurant with her and Birds of a FIRE (who sadly missed FinCon this year). Luxe was sporting a Luxe/Costco mashup shirt designed by Accidental Fire that was on point. I have a few Minafi shirt ideas for next year already.

The opening party was LOUD and somewhat a blur. It’s tough for me to have a conversation with more than maybe 2 people at a time and still be able to hear what’s going on. That was why I was glad when Joyce from Financial Impulse and Kevin from Blackboard Finance. They had just taken the best photo from FinCon on the green screen – a Bond-style photo that was better than any pose I could think of. We had a great chat about slowing down at FinCon and favoring quality of talks with people over quantity. You’re not going to meet everyone, but leaving with a few memorable relationships you can build on is better than leaving with only a few business cards.

One couple who it was nice to meet in person was Dylin and Allison from Retire by 45. They’ve been retired a little while now, and it was a potential look into my future in the next few years as we travel more and travel slower. I don’t know that I’ll be taking a cruise from Europe to South America anytime soon, but I can’t wait to hear how their’s goes.

Thursday – Keynotes, Talks, Playing with FIRE

Thursday is the real kickoff of the content portion of FinCon. Who better to start it off than one of my all-time favorite blogs/bloggers/people – Tanja from Our Next Life! When it comes to people I’m in awe of their ability to do a TON of work and still have it seem authentic, she’s at the top of the list. Her talk was along those same lines – staying authentic while growing. It was one of the points from my talk too, but she did it justice. We caught up a little, but as a keynoter, podcaster, conference organizer and 3-time Plutus winner (this year alone) she’s now mobbed wherever she goes. To think just 2 years ago Tanja hadn’t even shown her face on her blog!

Ramit Sethi giving his keynote
Ramit Sethi giving his keynote

The second keynote was by Ramit Sethi from I Will Teach You To Be Rich. Similar to The Latte Factor, I was initially turned off by the title. Imagine my surprise when Ramit’s talk was the most memorable for me from all of FinCon! It focused around the main concept of his book: that you should ruthlessly cut spending on things you don’t care about and spend lavishly on what you love.

This hit a sweet spot for me and how I think about my spending. It’s something I try to follow already, but his exercise was a good one:

How would your life change if you spent 10x as much on the thing you love to spend money on the most?

For me, that would involve even more lavish travel. I can’t claim to be frugal now – I handed in that card after we spent $15,000 on our honeymoon. I felt like I did channel that thought on Sunday of FinCon though (spoiler for below: the day after the conference I did ALL THE THINGS). Spending 10x more on travel for me would mean:

  • Less planning required
  • Eating at more unique, and amazing restaurants
  • Staying closer to the action
  • Bringing more people
  • Going with the flow more (but still going to last-minute events)
  • Flying first class (which is on my goals list, but not something I can justify with my current income).
  • Taking a cab/Lyft when I have luggage, it’s raining or I’m in a hurry (I do like riding public transit most the time)

For this FinCon I did my best to cut spending ruthlessly on things I didn’t care about. I split a room with 2 other guys, bought my flight on points and even SPOKE at the event which provided a free ticket and helped with the hotel costs. What I cared about was spending time with people and I spent lavishly whenever that was an option. My total costs for FinCon this year were:

Expense Cost
Flight Free (points! Would be ~$400)
FinCon Ticket Free (spoke this year! Would be ~$200)
Hotel $330 for 7 nights after
speaker discount/splitting
Food (conf + travel) $71
Beer & Wine $102
Transportation $16
Coffee $5
Total $524!

Note: This doesn’t take into account the day after FinCon when I explored the area.

The above spending is everything I spent during my 7 days in DC – aside from Sunday. I’m amazed the food expenses are so low, to be honest. Part of that is because I ate protein bars for breakfast and had a bunch of free meals.

Then on Sunday alone, I spent $286 on a last-minute concert, a few beers, and two excellent meals.

I’ve found a lot of people at FinCon like to 100% go the hallway track (talking to people). I’ll do that when none of the current talks sound good, but I do love hearing a well-crafted and prepared talk. I went to a few talks each day, but won’t mention them all here.

A small group of us Salt Lake City locals somehow happened to be at the same place at the same time, including Scott from I Dream of FIRE, Chris from Can I Retire Yet? / the new Choose FI Book, Aaron from Personal Finance for Beginners, and Elyssa from Brave Saver (who’s sitting next to me here in the airport as I write this!). I love having a local community with the same interests to chat with. We’ve done a few in-person masterminds (thanks Aaron for organizing that) which always boost my motivation.

My favorite from Thursday was Jilian’s from Montana Money Adventures. Chatting with her before it always feels like talking with a long-time friend, even though we’ve barely spoken (it may have something to do with her email list, which is very well written). Her talk was on “networking for introverts”, but it was really a way of translating the 5 Love Languages books to professional networking. Having just read 5LL (I have no idea if that’s what people call it), this was a refreshing take. It’s half “how to make friends” and a half “how to build authentic relationships”. A memorable one for sure.

Managed to catch up and grab lunch with Life Outside the Maze at an incredible southern place nearby. Fried catfish, okra and collard greens? Yeah, I’d eat that every day if I could. We’d recently recorded an interview for the What’s Up Next Podcast that should come out soon about “Are Startups a Good Path to FI?” and we share a frightening number of things in common. From our view on that topic (yes, but mostly no. listen to the episode for the full breakdown), to what we write about (FI, but also the mental take of money on mental health and future plans) to both being in tech. He’s also one of the nicest guys you’ll meet. It’s rare to find people who are just that comfortable around people.

Chatted a bunch with Anna from Garlic Delight (yes, that’s a food blog) and somehow managed to go super serious without it seeming weird at all. She’s great at opening a conversation to deeper issues – and it helps that I’m somewhat open about my beliefs here on my blog as a good invitation to chat/question/discuss.

One person who I was looking forward to meeting was One Frugal Girl. We’re both FI and both software developers, which was a good starting point. She’s hilarious though and we were quickly pulling up our phones, comparing feeds and reminiscing about Google Reader and the last 20 years of software dev. She mentioned she wanted to meet J.D. Roth from Get Rich Slowly since she’s been reading his work for over a decade (he even once said “You do good work” to her [context is key]).

A bit later at the Speaker/Pro network thing, I spotted J.D. and we walked up doing my best “hi, have you met One Frugal Girl?” channeling my inner Barney from How I Met Your Mother.

One of the people I most wanted to finally meet was there – Brad from the Choose FI podcast. I binge listened to about the first 100 episodes in a month, so I feel like I know him and Jonathan way too well. It helped that Josh Overmyer was there and immediately started praising my site, the Periodic Table of FIRE and saying how I’d be a great guest on their show (seriously Josh is awesome). I was able to chat with Jonathan later on and let him know how inspirational a speaker he is – one of my favorite parts of listening to the show.

Thursday ended with the What’s Up Next Podcast party, Playing with FIRE panel and hanging out in the lobby with friends.

Playing with FIRE Q&A featuring an all-star lineup.
Playing with FIRE Q&A featuring an all-star lineup.

Later on that night I was chatting with Mrs. Minafi out in front of the hotel on Facetime when we got to talking about Pokemon Go. Someone walking by instantly asked, “POKEMON GO?”. I looked up to see Kitty and Piggy from Bitches get Riches! Suddenly they were asking Mrs. Minafi about her favorite Pokemon and sharing theirs. If you’re wondering if their voice on their blog is only in writing – I can assure it’s not, they are absolutely that hilarious and outgoing in real life.

Friday – Margaritas, Plutus Awards

Went to the Motley Fool Soapbox network lunch. Met a bunch of people, but mostly had a blast chatting with Financial Panther and Mindy (aka, Mrs. 1500 Days). If you get a chance to have endless margaritas with them, in particular, I’d highly recommend it. Finally got to hear the full history about the fall of ThinkGeek from Stephanie from Poorer Than You. ThinkGeek was core part of my ’00s nerdom – from buying Bawls energy drinks to geeky t-shirts to Penguin mints.

Went to the Afford Anything x Choose FI Party, which was the launch of their new foundation for future giving.

Found our way to dinner with Financial Panther and Zach from Four Pillar Freedom at a local diner in the Adams Morgan neighborhood. Zach also left his job recently, so I was excited to hear about what the experience was. When I left my job, everyone knew why. My manager and coworkers can all check my net worth after all. Zachs went a more discreet path and even his friends don’t know the extent of his online persona. Loved hearing about the differences that brings.

We made it back in time for the Plutus awards and I grabbed a seat just ahead of Josh Overmyer. It was amazing seeing so many sites, podcasts and friends win awards that night. I have a long list of new ones I want to check out now too! Congrats to everyone, seriously.

Saturday – MY Presentation and Relief After

I joined for some talks in the morning, including Steve Stewarts on Podcasting. I’ve considering starting one, so hearing his entire process broken down was helpful. Back at Code School I sometimes participated in a few podcasts that were 5-minute takes on the week – Ruby Five, 5 Minutes of JavaScript and iOS Bytes. Those were fun, and even grew to something like 8k/downloads a week combined in their height, but they were a lot of work. I’m very hesitant to make commitments about my time now unless I’m 110% in and can’t imagine NOT doing it. Maybe in 2020? We’ll see.

I gave my talk: 24 Ways to Create Sticky Content that Keep Users Coming Back for More! The talk took me about 6 weeks from start to finish, with maybe 15 hours total working on it. Getting the slides just right, the messaging just right and practicing it enough times for it to feel natural takes a while for me. During the talk, I rarely needed to look at my notes, which was a good sign. I tried to break out of my comfort zone a little more and even removed the podium so I wouldn’t hide behind it.

The crowd was amazing for this talk too. They were engaged, laughed at my dry jokes, paid attention, took pictures and asked questions. Almost every seat was taken, along with the walkways and standing areas – something I wasn’t expecting during a last-day talk.

I’m both excited and nervous to rewatch the video once it’s up on the virtual pass. I’d like to improve at public speaking, even if that means cringing through it and trying to objectively figure out how to improve.

Thanks, Dollar Revolution for the photo!

Immediately after I left my Logitech clicker in the room (there goes another one ?) and headed out for lunch with few other guys at quick, local Chinese place for the best $6 lunch of the trip.

Most of the day after that was spent being relieved my talk was over and chatting with people. I grabbed a beer with Andrew from Shift Upwards and caught up on life. As another software developer turned product manager with a scruffy beard, we’re basically the same (minus his extra height).

A bunch of us made our way over to the patio and enjoyed some relaxation before the evening activities. We feasted on food that some nice soul had liberated from the Hilton Executive Lounge and offered to the group.

It was nice to catch up with Michelle from Freedom and Frugality about her crazy year-long US trip. Our paths crossed when we were both volunteers at Sundance last year. She was nice enough to bring tasty treats from Australia/NZ for people to try, as well as not-so-tasty things (yes, I’m talking about vegemite).

Most of the rest of the night was spent wandering aimlessly, finding new people to talk to and continuing to catch up with people before they left FinCon for the year.

Sunday – Museums, Tasty Food, Baby Metal

With FinCon now over, I wanted to spend the day taking a break from people and exploring D.C. alone. That started out at the Smithsonian Castle and the Archives viewing the Constitution, Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence.

D.C. has no shortage of electric scooters. I jumped on one and made it around the Washington Monument to finally see the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, FDR Memorial, and MLK Memorial. When I dropped off my scooter close to the Lincoln Memorial, the total payment was about $12 for the 2 hours I’d rented it for. A great deal to save 3+ miles of walking in the heat.

Inside the Smithsonian castle
Inside the Smithsonian castle
The Smithsonian castle
The Smithsonian castle
The Jefferson Memorial is still open even with roof repairs in progress.
The Jefferson Memorial is still open even with roof repairs in progress.
Reflecting pool and the Washington Monument.
Reflecting pool and the Washington Monument.
Me avoiding the crowds at the Lincoln Monument
Me avoiding the crowds at the Lincoln Monument

I’m always in awe of the Lincoln Monument. It’s always larger with steeper stairs every time I go.

For food, I went all out. I found a Peruvian place closeby and had some of the best tostones and milky ceviche I’ve ever tried.

One restaurant I absolutely wanted to check out was Bad Saint, an upscale Philipines place with 20 seats and that was rated the #2 best new restaurant in America in 2016 when they opened. I had a delicious meal, but only wished I could have tried more than just the radish, build your own pork buns and a pair of cocktails made with a spirit I hadn’t previously tried.

I had a solo seat at the bar that was basically in the kitchen
I had a solo seat at the bar that was basically in the kitchen
Bad Saint in DC
Bad Saint in DC
These are radishes in a rich, nutty sauce
These are radishes in a rich, nutty sauce
Slow roasted pork with make-your own buns? Yes please.
Slow roasted pork with make-your-own buns? Yes, please.

Spending money on unique food is something I’ll do all day. No regrets on that meal at all.

After that delicious meal, I planned to hang out and relax the rest of the night. Imagine my surprise when I saw this was happening a few miles away.

A last-minute concert!
A last-minute concert!

I immediately bought tickets, jumped in a Lyft and made it there just as Avatar started their set. If you’ve never seen/heard BabyMetal, well, just watch this or watch their performance on Colbert and that’ll explain it. It hits the right chord of music and performance to be awesome.

Wrapped up the night playing a bunch of games with Jen and the San Diego Choose FI group and alternating between first and last in Fibbage. She’s was doing an amazing job at the Choose FI/Afford Anything launch party making people laugh for their photos and bringing people together, so I can absolutely see why the San Diego Choose FI group is so tight.

Hallway Track

Outside the scope of time, I know for a fact that I talked to a bunch more people. I have a bit of trouble placing the exact time/places we talked, but here’s a list of other people I had a chance to catch up with.

In no particular order other than how I shuffled business cards, photos, parties, hanging out in underground hallways, terraces and stairways.

P.T. Money J Money
A Purple Life Military Dollar
Cody from Fly to FI Doc G
Financial Mechanic The Fioneers
Ann from Dragons on FIRE
(Dragon Guy at least)
B.C. Krygowski Jordan from Money Answers
Our Table for Two Mighty Bargain Hunter
Legacy Playbooks Stop Ironing Shirts
Owen Your Future The FruGirl
Bucks & Cents William from Wamber
Echo from Echo Wealth Management Thicker Grits
Countdown to FIRE Make Time
Matt from Financial Imagineer Monica from The Piece of the Pire
Physician on FIRE Couch Cents
Abigail from I Pick up Pennies Allea from Ask Allea
7 Every Minute Average to Awesome
The Mastermind Within Xennial Blogger
Andy from Marriage Kids Money Liz from Chief Mom Officer
FI Ideas ESI Money
Dmitry from 90 Day Money Pro Jim from WalletHacks
Nick Looper Modest Millionaires
Vicki from
Make Smarter Decisions and
Women who Money
Amy from Life Zemplified & Women Who Money
Coach Carson
(and his awesome wife!)
Tread Lightly Retire Early
Mr. Centsible Deanna from Recovering Women Wealth
Financially Alert Young FIRE Knight
Bob from Tawcan Uncommon Dream
Financial Pilgrimage Smile and Conquer
The Frugal Convert Sean and Kevin from Two Frugal Dudes
Millennial Money Man Simplifiniances
Early Retirement Now Full Time Finance
Free Family Fun Shainur Ahsan
Tap Dancing to FI

Side note: I’m going on record now saying trying to remember/track everyone you meet at FinCon is a crazy idea. I took photos of peoples badges and collected cards, but STILL forgot dozens of conversations. I’m not going to commit to trying this again in 2020. ?

More About FinCon 2019?

Writing up a post about going to FinCon is sort of a tradition for a lot of bloggers. Here are a few other FinCon posts out there already. (Have you written one and want it added? Let me know!).

  1. Wallet Hacks – FinCon 2019 Recap: The Most Fun You’ll Have at a “Work” Conference
  2. Tread Lightly, Retire Early – The Best Community Of Money Nerds: FinCon 2019 Recap
  3. A Purple Life – The Ultimate FinCon Bootcamp: Sleep, Sprint, Yell, Fast!
  4. The Frugal Girl – Everything you wanted to know about Fincon!
  5. Catherine Alford – FinCon 2019 Recap (aka that time I spoke in front of 2,000 people)
  6. Money at 30 – FinCon 2019 Recap: 7 Things I Did Right and Wrong This Year
  7. One Frugal Girl – The Power of Human Connection (A FinCon 2019 Recap)
  8. Miss Mazuma – FinCon19…The Good, The Bad & The Could Have Been Ugly
  9. Tawcan – FinCon 2019 – A Canadian’s Recap
  10. Stop Ironing Shirts – FinCon 2019 Recap
  11. Full Time Finance – The Value of a Conference: Fincon 2019 Recap
  12. Smile and Conquer – How to Survive Your First FinCon
  13. Get Rich Slowly – FinCon 2019 and the future of Get Rich Slowly
  14. Dr. McFrugal – Five Personal Takeaways From FinCon19
  15. Partners in FIRE – Attending Your First FinCon
  16. Life Outside the Maze – What is Financial Independence Really?
  17. Do You Even Blog – 5 FinCon 2019 Takeaways to Grow Your Biz
  18. B.C. Krygowski – 10 Reasons Why You Need to Attend a FINCON
  19. Piki Living – 10 Things I Learned From FinCon 2019 Even Though I’m 14,000kms Away (not an attendee, but some top-tier stalking)
  20. Rich and Regular – FinCon 2019 Recap
  21. Simplifinances – Here’s What Happened At FinCon 2019
  22. Free Family Fun – The Value of Investing in What You Love: Takeaways from #FinCon19
  23. Miss Be Helpful – My Experience at FinCon 2019, Being an Official Speaker & Meeting Ramit Sethi
  24. Financial Services Marketing – Taking a look back at FinCon 2019
  25. Four Pillar Freedom – My Three Biggest Takeaways from FinCon 2019
  26. Financial Impulse – Is FinCon Worth It?
  27. Modest Millionaires – My First FinCon Experience: Thoughts and Emotions, So Many Emotions!
  28. DollarSprout – The DollarSprout Team Takes on FinCon 2019! Here’s Our Recap
  29. Broke is a Choice – FinCon 2019
  30. Financial Freedom Countdown – First timer FinCon 2019 recap including a delightful surprise
  31. The Dragons on Fire – FinCon19 Fairy Tale
  32. Financial Pilgrimage – FinCon 2019 Recap: My Week as Mr. Burrito Bowl’s Publicist
  33. I Like to Dabble – FinCon 2019 Review: Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone as a Creative
  34. Dollar Revolution – The Ultimate FinCon 2019 Recap Roundup
  35. The FI Old Guys – Taking Walks at FinCon19
  36. Fiery Millennials – FinCon 2019 and the Future
  37. My Money Chronicles – My FinCon 2019 Review
  38. Budget to be Free – FinCon Recap 2019

(More to come!)


Hi, I'm Adam! I help millennials invest to reach financial independence sooner than they ever thought possible. Want to see what you could do to reach FI sooner? You're in the right place!


Why not add to the conversation below? Your voice is welcome!

Hey Adam,

Great to finally meet you in person, not only reading your blog from afar. It was nice to bump into you at the roundtables.

Looking forward to reading your write up from Thurs – Sat of Fincon.

It was great to meet you too Anna! The post is now up to date with an extremely long, full recap haha.

Vegemite is gross. Had I known you were sampling some, I would have brought marmite for you to try. That is way better 😉

I really hope they have you on ChooseFI! I would love to hear more of your story. I also loved meeting One Frugal Girl– so fun to catch up with other devs in the finance community. I’m sad we just got to chat briefly that first day and didn’t get more time, but I’m sure I will be seeing you again at another event!

I’m honestly surprised how few programmers there are in the FinCon community! There’s so many more out there, but the intersection with financial content + community is smaller than I thought. Maybe it just felt like that because The Mad Fientist wasn’t there this time around. We’ll have to catch up more in person next year for sure.

For anyone reading that was not able to attend Adam’s presentation, I can tell you first hand that it was really fantastic and you should click on the link above and check it out. What a great set of ideas for making your content “sticky”.

It was great to meet you for the 2nd FinCon and have a brief chat. Having met you first online as your competitor in the Rockstar Rumble, I immediately wanted to vote for you instead of myself. That’s how much I believe you have to offer us, both as a FI resource and as a mentor for how to improve our content. The sharing and community spirit I’ve experienced at FinCon is infectious. Thanks for publishing, even with the “stubs”. It’s fun to read right away and keep the excitement going.

Thanks Susan! It was great to catch up with you too. And you’re so kind. 🙂

It was great seeing you again Adam and thanks for the mention. I heard your session was great and sorry I missed it!

Thanks man! We didn’t get to chat much, but I might reach out sometime soon with a few questions around shirts. I have a few ideas for some and I’m super-curious how that’s been going for you.

Meeting you was definitely one of the highlights of my #FinCon19 experience. I felt like I was chatting with an old friend I hadn’t seen in awhile instead of a fellow blogger I’d just met. I love that you included the quote ‘you do good work.’ For the record an email also said, ‘I love your blog.’ I will forward it to prove I’m not making this stuff up. I know it seems to unbelievable to be true! I added a few of your favorite blogs to my old school Feedly app and began devouring their content. Thanks for the laughs.

Haha, I believe you. That’s an awesome email to save/print out/frame. Great to chat in person for sure.

The JD Roth story is hands down my favorite story from FinCon that I didn’t witness firsthand ?

It was great seeing you again Adam. I really enjoyed your session.

Thanks man, that means a lot. Your photos of Ben’s Chili Bowl also made me check them out in the airport and get absolutely covered chili and cheese. Worth it for sure.

Great, now I’m annoyed I forgot to corner you to help fix my WordPress problem! I’m also jealous you got to eat with Financial Panther and Four Pillar Freedom.

Good to see you again, friend! And oh my gosh, you deserve a gold star for actually linking all those names at the bottom.

Ahhh man!! I’m so bad about reaching out to see what others are up to not around me. You would’ve been more than welcomed too. That’s a good takeaway for next time.

It was good to meet you, Adam. Thanks for including me in your extensive list. I missed out on your talk, but hopefully I’ll see you again next year (or who knows, maybe sooner). Keep up all the good work.

Thanks man! Nice to meet you in person too.

Thanks so much for including my post! I had such a great time at my first FinCon, and I’m sorry I missed your session. I wanted to go but I had to talk to a brand at the time.

Virtual Pass, engage!

I’ve tagged a few talks to check out with the virtual pass too. Hoping that comes out soon while I’m still enthusiastic about it!

It was great meeting up with you. Your session was very well done. I especially appreciated the resources you shared around interactivity. Thanks for taking the effort to put it together.

Thanks man! It was fun geeking about some technical details too. 🙂

Had a great time finally meeting you in person! It sounds like you truly made the most of FinCon which is awesome. I love being able to hang out with everyone in the community! Looking forward to hanging out and talking more at future events!

I didn’t get a chance to chat with you at FinCon, but I loved your presentation! I came away with a nice long list of things to work on!

I’m checking out all your interactive tools now and they are amazing!

Thanks! They’ve been sooo much fun to create, and I can’t wait to do more of them. It’s also nice creating something that I can reuse in future posts too.

Hi Adam, we didn’t meet at FinCon, but I attended your session and found all of the information to be amazing. I’ve flipped through my notes a few times already. Thanks for putting your thoughts together on the conference. I was only able to attend for the full-day on Saturday, so it’s nice to get a perspective of what happened on the other days.

Thanks Shainur! I’m glad the content prooved useful!

Epic coverage! It was lovely to meet you for a brief moment in real life. Thanks for the Utah travel rec’s and the link. If you haven’t read the Edward Abbey book (Desert Solitaire) yet, it’s really amazing.

Thanks for the book recommendation – that’s one I hadn’t heard of before but looks right up my alley. Having just been to Moab last month, it comes at a good time!

Wow. This might be the best conference write-up I’ve ever seen. Not kidding. Well done! Would love to sit down and chat with you sometime at a future Fincon…or other event. Remember, if you get to the final WDS this year, I live in Portland. Happy to meet up if you’re in town.

Aw, thanks man! We’ll have to meet up next time for sure. Portland is one of our all-time favorite towns, so absolutely want to go back and eat all the things.


As one of the first people I met during my first FinCon, you set the tone for an amazing conference experience. Thank you for recording your experience in such detail. Anyone who reads it will be in Long Beach in 2020.

Thanks man! Always down for grabbing Thai again in 2020.

I’ll have to check out this baby metal. Hey thanks for the shout out Adam. BTW your fincon talk was 100% jam packed with value and insight with zero fluff. Enjoyed hanging with you at Fincon

Thanks man – you too!

That was a beast of a recap, well done! I’m happy we got to meet briefly on the last night but wish we had a chance to chat for longer. Hopefully I’ll see you again next year in Long Beach.

Nice to meet you too Sarah – even if only for a short time. We’ll have to actually catch up next time year. 🙂

Piki Living

Piki Living

September 12, 2019

I hope to graduate from stalker to attendee someday. ?

This is one hell of a recap!

Yours too! LA area is about 5,000 miles closer to you. Maybe next year is the year.

Adam, reading this brings back the feeling of actually being there with everyone. Thanks for putting this together. You are so easy to talk to and your presentation was extremely helpful! I already booked my ticket for next year (and the Financial Freedom Summit if you’re going) and am excited to spend more catching up with you 🙂

Aw thanks! I’m glad the presentation was helpful too. Always hard to tell how it’ll go until it’s done. I don’t think I’ll go to the FF Summit this year, but want to catch up with people who do go to see how it is for next time. I’ll be at FinCon next year for sure.!

Hey Adam, Thanks for a great session! We learned a lot and love all the great ideas. It was fun to read this post and reminisce about all the fun through your writing, and way to go for keeping costs low! Appreciate your including us in the FinCon post list. Hope our paths will cross again someday soon.

Hi Adam,

I enjoyed reading all about FINCON 2019 from your perspective! It sounds like you had a great time! I can’t wait to dig deeper into your blog!

I was wondering, from your perspective, would you recommend doing the “mentoring” option? I’m interesting in coming next year and meeting some teacher-finance bloggers. Were there many in attendance?

Thanks for helping me to feel like I was a part of the action!


Ops! I somehow missed this comment.

I was wondering, from your perspective, would you recommend doing the “mentoring” option? I’m interesting in coming next year and meeting some teacher-finance bloggers. Were there many in attendance?

I’d try the mentoring again for sure. I was a mentee for 2 years and learned a lot about SEO and self-publishing that would’ve taken a lot longer to learn on my own. With thousands of attendees there’s no shortage of people. The hard part is having the deeper, targeted conversations with specific people. For those, you’ll want to reach out before the con and plan time to talk.

Amazing post.Thanks for this amazing post

That’s interesting, never heard of FinCon. Great read. Thanks.

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