Dear Readers,

Welcome to Financial Otters! This is a blog on our journey in wealth building as a tech worker couple in the Bay Area. Every week, I document lessons on managing personal finance as a newly married couple, growing an investment portfolio, creating side income while growing a tech career in a HCOL area.

This blog is about building wealth slowly, but surely. Here is not about chasing venture capital money and sell the company in 3 years. Here is about a sustainable journey to financial freedom.

We choose Otters because they are leisurely, enjoying life and affectionate – To prevent themselves from floating away in the swirling sea while they sleep, sea otters often entangle themselves in forests of kelp or giant seaweed to provide anchorage.

Otters holding hands while sleeping
Otters holding hands while sleeping

This blog covers:

  • How to use a high paying career to build wealth
  • How to supercharge wealth building journey through side hustles and what kind of side hustles to choose
  • How to manage martial finances, deal with disagreements and grow wealth as a young household
  • How to define wealth in a holistic way and create a truly rich life

About Harper, a Financial Otter

After working in the finance and tech industry for 10+ years, I have witnessed my net worth fluctuate intensely with the markets and economy. I’ve also drunk the Kool-Aid of the Paul Graham venture capital driven culture in the Bay Area, where it’s advised to young engineers or tech workers to chase the dream and work really hard for a few years so you don’t have to work for the rest of your lives.

Growing up in a middle class family, I was brought up with the values of “work hard, keep a job and save as much as you can”, which has served my parents well financially in their generation.

Thanks to the pop culture of escaping the 9-5, I started a startup in 2015 and ran it for a few years. While it was a moderate success financially, it cost me a severe burnout and took me a good year to recover.

Separately in 2017, I decided to get financially literate and started devouring all that I can about personal finance. Since then, I’ve kept a journal that keep track of my finances each month.

In 2022, I got married and we bought a house in the Bay Area. I am currently in the exciting phase of learning a whole new suite of topics including navigating finances as a newly wed couple, managing a house as a new homeowner, real estate investing etc.

Lastly, while I am no longer a startup founder and am currently a salaried tech worker, I am always thinking of ways to build wealth sustainably and still, effectively. I believe there is a way to reach the same goal of financial freedom, without the burnout, red-eye flights and 5 cups of coffee days.