Financial Samurai – How Sam Dogen Built His Passive Income


Sam Dogen created Financial Samurai as a blog to assist people in unraveling money’s mysteries. After 13 years on Wall Street working at several bulge bracket firms and earning his MBA at UC Berkeley.

At 34, he decided to retire early and has successfully created multiple streams of passive income; however, college tuition remains an overwhelming worry for his children.

Real Estate

Sam Dogen enjoys working from home, allowing him to pursue engaging projects. While most of his time is dedicated to writing, he enjoys working on rental properties and other projects as a great way to generate passive income and build wealth.

Sam spent 13 years in investment banking before founding Financial Samurai, a personal finance website. His book, published as a Wall Street Journal bestseller, is highly regarded, and he regularly contributes articles to both The Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times.

Thanks to his blogging and investments, Sam Dogen is making waves in the FIRE (financial independence, retire early) movement. He makes more than enough income for living expenses and can pursue passion projects that align with his goals – such as video production or working with sports teams – without needing money as an anchor. Money should always remain secondary compared to the freedom it grants you to pursue activities you care about most! Ultimately, your actual value resides not with money but in how your time is spent doing things that bring joy.


Sam Dogen was one of the pioneers of the Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) movement and could retire early at 34 thanks to hard work, savings, and stagnant income growth. Now though, due to a financial need – paying for his son’s college expenses and feeling lonely due to the current downturn – he may return to working as part of a team.

He earns about $200,000 annually through passive income streams such as two rental properties and selling an e-book he wrote. His philosophy for building wealth involves tracking expenses, investing in income-producing assets, and diversifying your portfolio – which may or may not include following the FIRE movement blindly; for instance, minority people might find relocation more challenging in low-cost areas than in San Francisco due to differences in demographics; so this strategy might not work well.

Investing in REITs

Sam Dogen retired at 34 with an estimated net worth of $3 Million and became one of the pioneers of the FIRE (financial independence, retire early) movement. He no longer needed to deal with 60-hour workweeks, office politics, or stressful commutes; instead, he spent his time traveling and writing.

Financial Samurai has educated more than 90 million readers on how to make their money work for them through blogging on his Financial Samurai blog. Still, during the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, his faith in investing was shaken, and he lost 35% of his net worth within just months!

He realized he needed to return to work to save enough for their college educations. Now, he works part-time on his website and consults startups, making a small amount from podcasting, book writing, and consulting startups. Additionally, he’s exploring possibilities with sports teams.


Sam Dogen had no plans of returning to work when he walked away from his job at age 34 as part of the FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) movement, having amassed enough passive investment income through passive investing to meet all his living expenses.

Financial Samurai, founded by Sam, has educated more than 90 million readers on how to put their money to work for them. Sam also hosts the Buy This, Not That podcast and has written several unique books, such as his bestseller How to Engineer Your Layoff, which shows people how to negotiate their exit packages.

Sam is now a full-time stay-at-home dad in San Francisco, taking care of two young kids at home full-time and running his blogs. While he’s enjoying this role immensely, it has come at the cost of finances in his household – leading Sam to consider returning to work at some point soon.