Welcome to Dollars and Drams, a website dedicated to personal development, personal finance, and investing.

My name is Johnnie Drams.

I started Dollars and Drams for several reasons:

  1. Give myself an avenue to clear my head from the stresses of everyday life
  2. Document and discuss various financial ideas
  3. Educate people about money and investing

Why Should You Read This Blog?

The subject of money gets over-complicated by “financial academics” and the average person is left in the dust.  People in the finance industry will tell you that you need to see a financial planner to get your money in order.  They’ll also tell you that you need to give your money to an investment advisor to grow your wealth. 

These things can help, but it’s not the only way.  I can teach you how to take control of your finances.

Whether you like it or not, having money is essential in the world today.  The good news is you can learn how to get it. You can absolutely reach financial independence on a 9-5 salary. You are also capable of building and diversifying your income streams regardless of your education or background.

That’s why I have a three step process to increasing your wealth:

  1. Cut your expenses
  2. Create an emergency fund
  3. Invest and increase your income

I’m making progress towards financial independence every day, and I’m here to share some of my insights along the way.

About the author

I work in the M&A (mergers and acquisitions) department of a private equity firm based in the United States.  I am passionate about investing, financial independence, and spreading financial knowledge. 

I grew up in a two-stoplight town of less than 2,000 people.  My parents knew the financial basics—like saving money and living frugally—but they knew little about the stock market and investing.  When I was twelve-years-old, my dad helped me buy my first stock.  Since that moment, I became interested in learning more about money.

After high school, I received a finance and accounting degree at a state university.  There I learned a lot about finance… and how complicated it can be.  Calculus was a prerequisite to many of my business classes. 

During my college years, I believed that having this advanced financial knowledge would automatically make me rich.  As if the market would just hand me money once it saw my finance degree.  How wrong I was.

For the first few years after I graduated from college, I lived a very humble lifestyle.  I could calculate the expected return, equity premium, and beta of any stock, but I was living paycheck to paycheck.  How could that be?  I had more financial knowledge than 95% of people on the planet, and I struggled to pay rent every month.

Years later, I realized how simple money can be.  After discovering various podcasts, seminars, and investing books, I slowly distanced myself from the financial dogma taught at universities.  The knowledge I gained from going to college was providing my income, but it didn’t translate to my personal finances.

Getting Started

A “dram” is a small glass of scotch. I love drinking scotch. The name “Dollars and Drams” reflects the purpose of this website: learning about money without sacrificing what you love.

If you’re new to finance and money, I’d recommend starting with these articles:

The nature of this website will ebb and flow throughout its existence. Some of my stances may change, and some may be solidified. The road is never clear. The best I can do is document my mindset along the way.

I hope you find this website useful–or at least interesting–and I look forward to hearing from you.

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