Mad FIentist

Brandon Ganch is a computer programmer-turned-financial expert, musician, blogger, and podcaster.

The Mad Fientist emerged from his laboratory in early 2012 with two goals:

1) Research and develop strategies to reach financial independence sooner

2) Talk to other people who already retired early to find out how they did it

To achieve the first goal, he analyzed the tax code, created a lot of spreadsheets, and ran experiments.  These efforts lead to the discovery of many innovative tax-avoidance methods that helped him retire years earlier.

For the second goal, he launched the Financial Independence Podcast and has since interviewed dozens of early retirees to find out their financial secrets.

In 2016, at the age of 34, the Mad Fientist was able to walk away from his career as a computer programmer for good.  He now spends his time creating free financial and travel-hacking software, writing, and making weird noises on synthesizers.

Now, he’s conclusively reached an audience with over 300,000+ pageviews per month amassed on his website, and 2.5 million podcast downloads.

Isn’t it better to be rich than to look rich?
— The Mad FIentist

watch playing with fire

A documentary about the FIRE movement and one family's quest to achieve financial independence and retire early. Available on the following:

Get your copy of the


A perfect follow up on the film to dive deeper into the philosophies and "how-tos of the FIRE movement"
Playing the FIRE book image

Reading material

We have assembled the foundational information to get your start on the right foot down the FIRE path to financial independence.

The Role of Frugality in FIRE

Dive into the transformative world of financial independence with a refreshing take on frugality versus being cheap. Embrace the art of living well without living beyond your means, and find out how being frugal, not cheap, can unlock the door to your financial liberation.

Understanding the 4% Rule

Retirement withdrawal strategies are anything but one-size-fits-all. For many FIRE fans, determining how much to withdraw each year requires a balance between ensuring your savings last and meeting your current financial needs.

The Importance of Savings Rate in FIRE

Explore the essential role of savings rate in the FIRE movement for achieving financial independence and early retirement. Learn how to balance frugality, investment strategies, and lifestyle to accelerate your journey towards financial freedom.