Making Cents with Liam Croke: Identify your financial holy grail and chase it

Liam Croke


Liam Croke


Making Cents with Liam Croke: Identify your financial holy grail and chase it

Investor Chris Sacca lost everything before he bounced back and reached his financial goal

I was asked recently what I considered the holy grail of personal finance to be. And I thought it was a great way to ask a question that everyone would like the answer to.

There are many different answers, all of which depend on your personal circumstances and philosophy.

For some, money has no meaning, it doesn’t impact how they live their lives, how happy they are and for others it’s all consuming.

It really depends on your point of view, and mine and your financial holy grail (FHG) will be different to everyone else’s, as it should be.

Some people have told me their FHG would be reaching a stage where they could leave their day job, because they have enough savings to cover them for a year or two. They haven’t quite figured out what the long term grail is, but in the short to medium term, having enough to tell their current employer, thanks for the memories, is.

And others have said, if their income just covers their outgoings, that’s fine with them. Doing work that’s rewarding and impactful, which also allows them to live the lifestyle they want to, is their ultimate goal.

They don’t want a 9 to 5 job, they don’t want to be involved in mind numbing meetings every other day. Being able to have a particular lifestyle is their holy grail. And for some, that has meant making serious changes to where they live.

I have encountered more than one person who were able to work remotely and because of that, moved to another country, work 20 hours a week, but their standard of living increased despite them earning and working less.

My holy grail would be having the ability to do whatever you want with your time, free of money worries.

A life where you can spend time with people you like, doing things that make you happy.

When you get in a position where you have saved enough and/or have enough passive income streams that cover your living expenses, then you have reached that stage, and whether you get up out of bed in the morning is your choice.

And, of course, that’s a big ask. Something you could only dream about perhaps, or is it?

I meet and read about people who have reached this state all the time, all starting from a zero base. What they all had in common was that they took personal responsibility for their lives and their finances. They didn’t leave it to chance, they made it happen. They were goal orientated, very hard working and consistent in what they did.

In the States there is a great programme called Shark Tank. And, one of the sharks is a guy called, Chris Sacca. In 2000, at the age of 25 he was already a millionaire, but then when the market crashed, he lost everything and ended up $4 million in debt. But he turned things around and at the age of 42 reached his financial holy grail and retired from working altogether.

He said he reached it two years later than he’d planned to.

Mr. Sacca had a plan, he knew what his number was, and he knew when he reached it, he would have time to explore the world, become a mentor, a philanthropist, appear on TV shows, do whatever he wanted to. He’d have the freedom to create the life he wanted to, free of stress, just full of options.

And yes, he took risks, and yes, he probably got lucky along the way, but it doesn’t matter, he made it happen. He wasn’t financially free by accident at 42, he was very deliberate and focused which is why he worked 24/7.

It seems to me, that entrepreneurs like them are actively thinking about their holy grail number all the time. They think about it more than the everyday person who’s going to work.

So, like them, I would give some thought as to what your financial holy grail is.

It may be cutting back or changing jobs, earning an annual income of €250,000, giving up work altogether.

The sooner you figure out what that is, the easier and quicker it will be to put a plan in place. And if you want to achieve something in 10 years, don’t wait nine years to make it happen, start now.

What’s clear to me is that you have to become a different person you are today, starting with a different mindset.

You need to know what you want and how much that’s going to cost, and what you are willing to do, to make that a reality. And unfortunately, I don’t think whatever your FHG is, is going to come from saving a small part of your income, it’s going to be nearly impossible.

So, you need to pivot and seek out opportunities that will make your FHG become a reality, but before you do anything, work backwards and think about what it is you want, and then put a number on that and a timeline in which you want to achieve it.

Liam Croke is MD of Harmonics Financial Ltd,

based in Plassey. He can be contacted at or