Vincent Chan

You’re guilty of this, aren’t you?

Welcome to reThinkable – my weekly newsletter where I share actionable insights to build a wealthy healthy life.

Here’s what we’re covering:

😳 You’re Guilty of This, Aren’t You?

🏮 What Is Kaizen?

🛠️ The 1% Approach To Wealth

Estimated read time: 4 minutes and 11 seconds

😳 You’re Guilty of This, Aren’t You?

Has this ever happened to you?

You watch something inspirational, feel hyped, and decide that tomorrow is the day you will transform your life for the better.

All week, you wake up at 6 AM, exercise, eat only healthy food, read 2 books, and even meditate before bed.

By the second week, you’re burnt out, give up on your dreams, and feel terrible because you lacked the necessary discipline.

And you’re right, you lacked the discipline of someone… who has been practicing these habits for years.

You wouldn’t step into a boxing ring for the first time expecting to knock out Mike Tyson, dodge every punch from Muhammad Ali, and not break a sweat, all at once..

So why do we expect to transform our lives overnight?

Today, I want to share a Japanese concept that is the secret to success: Kaizen.

🏮 What Is Kaizen?

Kaizen is a Japanese term that means, “change for the better” or “continuous improvement.” 

Kaizen isn’t just some outdated philosophy — it’s a practical approach used by successful global companies like Toyota, Nestle, and Canon to improve their processes and workflows.

But we can take this concept and apply it to improve our own lives.

Essentially, Kaizen suggests breaking down tasks into steps so small that you can do them right away, making each goal so easy to accomplish that you can’t make an excuse to not do it:

1. If you need to clean your house, but you can’t, just put one piece of dirty laundry in the basket

2. If you need to exercise, but you don’t want to, just do 1 pushup

3. If you want to write a book, but you don’t have time, just write 1 sentence a day

The beauty with each of these seemingly small insignificant actions is that you’ll probably end up doing much more because taking the first step is always the hardest

But if you don’t, that’s okay too because with Kaizen, instead of doing nothing, you’ve done something and that is a 100% improvement from before.

🛠️ The 1% Approach To Wealth

More specifically, you can easily apply the Kaizen concept to improve your personal finances too. 

Instead of trying to overhaul your finances in one go, The 1% Approach reduces overwhelm and makes your saving and investing process more manageable.

Here’s how it works:

The 1% Approach (Step 1 of 2)

Start by saving an initial percentage of your income that feels comfortable but is at the lower end of what you think you can manage— say, 5%. 

Each month, increase your savings rate by 1%. 

This change is so minor that you’ll hardly feel its impact on your budget month to month, but over a year, the amount you end up saving will increase significantly.

The goal is to save enough to fill up 5-6 months of your emergency fund. 

Using a savings tracker that allows you to track your incremental savings increases will help you save faster. You can grab my Savings Tracker for free here. 

Once you’ve filled your emergency fund, move onto the next step.

The 1% Approach (Step 2 of 2)

Let’s say you had to increase your sayings rate from 5% to 11% before you were able to fill up your emergency fund.

What should you do next?

First, Treat yourself to a small reward. This makes the The 2-Step 1% Approach process more enjoyable and sustainable.

Then, take the same rate (in this case, 11%) you had planned to funnel into your savings account and instead, put it towards your investments.

Again, it doesn’t have to be a large amount; the key is consistency.

Similarly, every month, increase the rate you invest by 1%. 

Over time, these small increases ease you into investing more without making it feel like a financial burden.

For most people, investing in an Index Fund or ETF is all that you need to do. 

Basically, instead of investing in one stock that can go up or down, with an index fund or ETF, you’ll immediately be invested in hundreds of different stocks. 

You automatically diversify your money and reduce your overall risk. 

With nearly all my investment accounts, I invest in S&P 500 funds like FXIAX or VOO because it’s easy and straightforward. But you don’t have to only invest in these, there are a ton of great ETFs and Index Funds out there you can choose from.

You can invest in these funds with any brokerage account like Fidelity or Schwab but my  personal favorite investing platform is Moomoo

I’ve been using Moomoo for years because they offer you a 5.1% APY for your cash, which is a higher rate than nearly every High Yield Savings Accounts available. 

Plus, Moomoo is offering reThinkable readers a limited-time exclusive deal: get 7 fractional Tesla, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Nvidia, Meta, and Google shares when you open an account and deposit $100. Take advantage of it!

Most people fail at improving their personal finances because they try to start at level 10 instead of level 1 — You try to do everything for a week days but then slip back to where you started (or even worse if you burn out).

The trick is to implement Kaizen and to consistently take small daily steps forward. Overtime, you’ll be shocked by how far down the path you can hike.

And if you can’t, don’t, or won’t take the first step, then the task is not small enough. You need to break it down further.

Successfully improving your personal finances is a long-term game. You can, and will, create a wealthier healthier life.