How Geraint Anderson retired, aged 35

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Following on from last week's story about Elizabeth Gregory, the 26 year old FX trader who aspires to retire within a decade, we thought we'd offer a perspective on a successful mid-30s retiree: Geraint Anderson.

Anyone familiar with Anderson will know that he is also the author of 'Cityboy: Beer and Loathing in the Square Mile,' and that he was previously a star rated utilities analyst at Dresdner Kleinwort. During his time at Dresdner, he also wrote the 'Cityboy' column for the London paper.

The Times offers a perspective on Anderson's bonuses during his 12 years in the City: in year one he got 14k; in year two he got 55k; then 100k; and in his last two years he got 500k each time.

Based on this, Anderson tells us he was able to amass 2.5m of net assets by the point of his retirement. 700k of this was tied up in his home.

"My premise was that if I was reasonably frugal, and didn't have any messy divorces or send my children to private schools, I could probably survive on this until the end of my days," he says.

"I predicated my retirement on a steady post-tax return of at least 5% a year. It helps that the things that make me happy don't cost too much money - I'm not interested in Ferraris, but things like roast dinners, surfing in Ireland, booze, food, and occasional partying."

Anderson's authorial success (which is partly built on denouncing City employees as overpaid), has also undoubtedly contributed to his financial freedom: Cityboy is an international best seller, with around 180,000 copies sold by October last year. He also writes on a freelance basis for numerous publications.

Nevertheless, he says there was a time in 2009 when everything appeared to be going horribly wrong: "At one point my house alone was down 500k. It suddenly looked like the grand plan was falling apart."

Fortuitously, rising equity markets came to the rescue. Anderson confesses: "Although I'd been telling everyone to get out of equities, I hadn't done so myself."

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