Hi my name is Brandon and this is my financial and investing blog!
A little bit about myself, I am a 22 year old college student, studying in the engineering field. I currently invest in ETF’s, stocks, 401k, and peer-to-peer lending. I am looking into real estate investing, options trading, and drop shipping in the future.
As many of you know I am a fan of Grant Cardone with a lot of his stuff and one of the key takeaways I look forward to applying to my life is the 40% rule. The 40% rule was documented in the Great Depression where the wealthy were saving 40% of their income, and its just that simple. The 40% rule is saving 40% of your income before taxes, so if you make $10,000 a month that would require you to save $4,000 a month. If you start looking at the math you’ll realize after taxes and expenses that it is very difficult to achieve the 40% rule, and it is. Income is a priority for the 40% rule, you can’t save what you don’t make, and you must pay yourself first. I will show you a real example using my actual projected salary for my full-time job starting in June.
For my full-time job I have a $57,600 salary ($4800 monthly), a $5,000 signing bonus paid in first month, and a $500-month stipend for the first 18 months. It is a salary and commission pay plan however I will only account for the salary part since I don’t know how much I will sell yet.
Because I start mid-June, I calculated my gross income as half of my monthly salary ($2,400) + $5,000 bonus + $500 stipend = $7,900
Looking at the table you can see my budget is around $2,000 and it will be less than that when you consider my 401k will also be pulled out of my income. I did assign a tax rate of 22% which is the bracket you would be in for this income however your marginal tax rate is less than that, either way I prefer to be conservative with my estimates. (I calculated my marginal tax rate to be 11.5% which would add $570 to my budget every month or $570 more to invest every month) For reference, I take data on my spending habits every summer when I am on internship or co-op. This summer I had no living stipend and was completely on my own, my monthly spending came out right at $2,000, though that includes some extraneous cost that most likely will not happen in the first 6-months of my full-time job. I also will be living at home or my girlfriend’s house during the first 6 months of my full-time job as I will be traveling 90% of the time during training.
Realistically looking at the first 6-months I will have extremely low expenses and may be able to save even more aggressively than what I have shown. Any extra income I can save will be put into my other investing accounts (Robinhood, Lending Club, and Stash). Ideally, I would like to save around $20,000 from my full-time job in 2019, which will help me achieve my $75,000 net worth goal. I would also like to try and purchase a 4-plex or duplex at the end of 2019 assuming all goes according to plan.
Looking at 2020, the saving and income numbers look the same as the later half of 2018. Commission will be included assuming I make sales and as my commissions come in, I plan to add those additional funds to my investment accounts as stated above. Looking at 2019 and 2020 I plan to save $40,000 with the 40% rule and invest additional income in my investing accounts. I plan to save in my Discover Savings account which earns 2.10% APY, which will add to my saving goals as well.
2020 will be difficult to keep in budget, I will then be paying rent and will be living full time in St. Louis. The $2,000 I lived on during internship was living like a poor college student for the most part, as I enter the real world, I expect my standard of living from the food I eat to the activities I participate in to be more expensive as well. However, I at least have an idea of what I spend monthly in preparation, I suggest to everyone to start documenting your spending to get an idea of your habits. If you need help or would like to look at how I do it, I cover it in THIS article.
As I mentioned earlier in the article, income is critical to achieving this aggressive saving plan, for your convenience I will run an example with a salary of $40,000, and I will use a marginal tax rate to ensure accuracy. I included above my actual budget above when marginal tax rate is considered ($2570/month).
As you can see with $850 less a month in your budget that makes things considerably more difficult depending on your life style and where you live.
I hope you learned some valuable information about budgeting and saving money, I’d love to hear about how you save and what your targets are!
Hey, it’s B^2 coming back with a dividend update, if this is your first time checking this out welcome and feel free to look around! To date I have 73 blog posts covering a multitude of topics so hopefully you can find a topic you would like to hear more about or just use that infinite scroll on the home page and see where that gets you. I realize a lot of my posts are just me blabbing on about where I’m at and where I’m trying to go and I want to change that. I want to add more value for my readers so if there’s something you want to learn more about please feel free to drop a dm to me on Instagram or comment on this blog or on Instagram.
Continuing, I last left you guys on November 2, 2018 which seems like forever ago, and I had just recently raised my portfolio up to $11,500 with the forward dividend table below.
Total forward dividend
Yield on portfolio
To be honest this was my highest total dividend ever. It has dropped a bit since then for a few reasons.
I am trying to reduce my portfolio size down to $10k (currently at $10,750) because I need the money and I think I can take the profits and cut the fat out of my portfolio and be alright.
I sold my largest dividend producer at the time, O, Realty Income.
I sold O, because I felt there were great deals in the market at the time (I sold December 20, 2018) which was an absolute shit storm in the markets if you remember, and I needed the money to purchase those deals. O, was also at its 52 week high and I honestly didn’t know if it could sustain it, so I sold it and made a 22.5% ROI and $303 profit on the position in its entirety. Now those of you that are familiar with O might see that it has surpassed that and is currently trading at almost $70 and while if I had held that I would be up about $125 and some dividends I also ran the numbers for the purchases I made from that sale shown below.
I calculated that with the purchase price on December 20th to today and I made $610 from those purchases not including potential dividends of some of those purchases.
Those wondering (CHK @ $1.92, ROKU @$28.98, ULTA @ $236.69, JD @ $19.85, F @ $8.31, FB @ $132.14, BABA @ $133.98, T @ $28.77, BPMX @ $0.1066)
$610/$125 is a 487% return due to that sale! Overall, I believe it was the right move, who knows what O or my other purchases might do in the future. I did cash in $245 in profit from Roku, which was largely due to that purchase I made in December and I believe I will make even greater returns in the future on my other positions. You will notice that I am constantly torn between value investing, dividend income, and growth stocks that make massive returns fortunately I have time on my side and the future to find out what works best for me!
Below you’ll find my current forward dividend table as of 3/5/2019.
total RH account
a year in dividends
percent of total
As shown, I am significantly down on forward dividend and forward dividend yield. I have increased positions in Ford (F), CBL, and AT&T (T), however that has not made up for the huge lose I took selling Realty Income.
If you haven’t noticed by now, passive income is one of my top priorities and a large part of my 2019 goals. My goal of earning $2500 this year in passive income will not come easy without an extra push and the sooner the better. I have a large sale coming up assuming all goes according to plan. Ulta Beauty (ULTA) is my 2nd largest position (6 shares, $240 cost average) it is currently hovering around the $310-$315 share price. I plan to sell my entire position in it at $325/share which would bring the total sale to $1950. I would immediately pull out $750 to bring my account size and I need that money (Spring Break is expensive) and I would invest the other $1200 in dividend stocks. The plan as of now is 15 shares of AT&T (T) ($30.60 forward dividend) and 6 shares of Walt Disney (DIS) ($10.56 forward dividend) which would put me at $271.86 forward dividend on the year. I would also have some spare change left after those purchases for picking up some more CEFL or CBL to help bring that dividend up. Ideally, I would end up around 2.75% yield on the entire portfolio and look for some appreciation as well.
I choose AT&T for the high dividend yield, the Time Warner acquisition and the dismissal of the court case regarding it. I believe the market has undervalued it and investors are sleeping on the income and appreciation it could bring in the future. I choose Disney for its dividend which has plenty of room to grow as well as its streaming service to come out soon. I think Disney has been a safe and stable stock for years and with its expansion and solid fundamentals now would be a great time to lock in some shares.
Below is a table of dividends from 2018 and 2019 for comparison.
My February performance was rather weak this year in comparison to 2018. I believe the absence of Realty Income will play a strong role in the performance of my dividend’s month to month. Check out December 2018 though, holy cow those were some big numbers! These dividend figures also include interest from my savings account (2.10% APY) and my ETF dividends from Stash App. Both of those accounts pay dividends monthly and should help fill the void from O.
I do have an extremely lofty goal of reaching $1,000 in interest and dividends collected in 2019 (not including Lending Club), I plan to use Grant Cardone’s 40% rule to save over $1500 a month (at my savings account rate of 2.1%) when I begin working in June and any additional funds I can save will be contributed toward stash app, and robinhood. Assuming all goes well, and I can live frugally and generate side income as well as passive income I believe I will be able to ramp up the interest and dividends in the 2nd half of 2019 to make up the ground I am losing currently.
If this is your first time reading my blog, I hope you enjoyed, I will do my best to keep the content coming however the month of March is the busiest of my school year due to mid-terms, St. Pat’s and spring break. If there is anything you are particularly interested in or want me to write about please let me know!
Just a quick heads up, I don’t normally write articles like this, in fact this wasn’t even for my blog. Another Instagram investing page/ blog asked me to write this article and after waiting to hear back from him for 2 weeks and not seeing it posted on his blog either I decided to put this article on my blog since after all it was my hard work and effort to write it.
So, you saved up your first $500 and you want to invest it. First off, I would like to congratulate you on this feat, approximately 78% of Americans (I’m writing this in the United States, sorry to everyone outside the United States that this statistic doesn’t apply to you) live paycheck to paycheck so the fact that you escaped that cycle deserves some kudos. Before you start investing though, we need to get a couple things straight. If you have any high interest debt (i.e. credit card debt) please handle that before you even think about investing. A beginner at investing will have a hard time earning more than the debt is costing not to mention the other ways high interest debt affects your credit score and other financial aspects of your life. So first and foremost, handle high interest debt if you have it before you start investing. Secondly, if you do not have an emergency account or fund, I would highly advise to put your $500 into that before you start investing. Accidents happen, illness happens, the world is an unpredictable place and having extra money in the event of an emergency can be a life saver.
You’ve taken care of step 1 and step 2 and you still have $500 you’re ready to invest with. Congratulations you are about to embark on the path to financial success! Warren Buffett, one of the most successful and renown investors once said, “If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.” That’s what we aim to do! Before we begin everyone should know that all investments carry some sort of risk and have different time horizons to work with. Pending your current financial situation and what you aim to do with that $500 you can take several different routes listed below.
Invest in yourself
Let me make this clear before you go on a shopping spree, there are ample resources when it comes to free education. YouTube, Podcasts, Free eBooks, Blogs, Written articles, Company financial documents etc. are all at your disposal with an internet connection. Assuming you have exhausted the resources above or are looking for something more detailed I would recommend several investing and financial books and making the commitment to read and follow through on them. To name a few, The Intelligent Investor – Benjamin Graham, Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill, Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert T. Kiyosaki, The Little Book of Common Sense Investing – John C. Bogle. While not all directly related to stock market investing someone trying to invest their first $500 would benefit from the messages in these books. Note that buying 3-4 books will still leave you with plenty of money from your initial savings, I would suggest reading and using the advice given in the books and in this article to utilize the rest of your capital at your own will. An investment in yourself will yield dividends for the rest of your life to come, it is therefore one of the most essential investments to make early on. If the books above aren’t your forte there are several other books centered around general success that may light a fire in your heart to pursue greatness.
CD/High-Yield Savings Account
Holding your money in a CD or a high yield savings account is a great option if you need your money to remain liquid or you have a short time horizon and low risk tolerance. Besides investing in yourself this option carries the lowest risk but also lower returns than can be seen with the other options. I currently use a savings account with a 2.10% yield. This would generate $10.50 a year in a savings account and while that is not a lot there is extremely little risk in this approach and your money is accessible.
CD’s or Certificate of Deposit have a fixed time period to invest over but have higher returns than a savings account. I quickly searched CD rates for 1, 3- and 5-year terms which produced the following yields respectively 2.8%, 2.85%, and 3.10%. (2/11/2019) These were the best rates I could find while adhering to a $500 minimum deposit and would produce returns of $14, $44, and $82 respectively. Now these returns are low, they slightly outpace inflation, but they are safe and rather liquid. I would recommend this strategy if you are new to investing and are trying to combine strategy 1 (learning about investing) and putting your money in a safe modest return investment until you know what you want to invest in.
ETF’s and Index Funds
An ETF index fund may be the best mix of aggressive and save on this list. Let me pull up some definitions real quick to make sure we are all on the same page.
ETF – “An ETF, or exchange-traded fund, is a marketable security that tracks a stock index, a commodity, bonds, or a basket of assets. Although similar in many ways, ETFs differ from mutual funds because shares trade like common stock on an exchange. The price of an ETF’s shares will change throughout the day as they are bought and sold. The largest ETFs typically have higher average daily volume and lower fees than mutual fund shares which makes them an attractive alternative for individual investors.” – Investopedia
Index Fund – “An index fund is a type of mutual fund with a portfolio constructed to match or track the components of a market index, such as the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500).” – Investopedia
A S&P 500 ETF index fund provides good returns on average, low expense ratio, little knowledge or analysis required, and it provides a dividend which all contribute to their success. An app that provides these funds for a low cost would be Stash App, in addition to picking an index fund you can also pick a variety of ETF’s including those that track bonds, precious metals, technology companies, banks, etc. For the S&P 500 the following tickers IVV, VOO, SPY will mimic the index closely and save you money on the expense ratio as well.
In this strategy you are investing in the broad market which has experienced volatility recently. The index and ETF’s will experience ups and downs providing more risk but higher rates of return on average. In the event of a market downturn, the investor will not be able to withdraw the investment without realizing losses. If pursuing this strategy, the investor should understand the risk and possible length of this investment as both are much greater.
Individual Stock of a well-known company
This strategy presents the highest risk/reward of the strategies discussed. Buying shares of an individual stock effectively puts all your eggs in one basket which adds to the risk however an individual stock can move both up or down much quicker than an ETF. Companies such as Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, etc. are popular options. Some stocks such as Google and Amazon have share prices of $1,000+. In this event you will need a platform that allows you to buy partial shares to be able to purchase these stocks with limited funds. I would not recommend a small cap company, penny stock, or any speculative play.
Whichever platform you choose it should be noted that a platform that minimizes brokerage and additional fees should be desired. With $500 to invest with it is critical to not waste capital on fees. Apps I am familiar with that are friendly toward beginner investors with limited capital include, Robinhood, Stash App, Acorns, M1, and Webull. Like strategy 3 a longer investment horizon is required for individual stocks.
In conclusion, there are multiple strategies to invest your first $500. Based on what your goals, risk tolerance, and investment horizon are you should be able to come to a solid conclusion on what strategy is best for you. Having a realistic approach to investing is vital, expecting 100% returns in your first year is asking for failure and discouragement. Hopefully you found this information useful and can begin your investments on a good note.
Looking into 2019 I have some goals and aspirations and I plan to look at them closer than I did last year. After all, it’s critical to know where you are going and remind yourself what your targets are. I mentioned previously that I graduate in May and begin my full-time job in Mid-June. I’ve calculated potential income with my salary and decided to shoot a little higher than that. I would like to have a net worth of $75,000 up from my current net worth of $26,500. While building up my net worth I plan to put at least $10,000 to my emergency fund in my discover savings account. I make a nice 2.10% APY on that account leading to a $210 yearly passive income generated from that account alone. Overall making money while I sleep is nice and I would like to make $2500 in passive income this year. On average that is $200 a month and from there we’ll keep bumping that number up. With the eventual goal of surpassing my active income. To help get that income up so I can invest more I aim to have a side hustle that will generate $5000 this year. With all of that in mind I plan to buy income generating real estate at the end of 2019 or invest significantly with a syndicator.
Money isn’t everything so on the note of building my personal brand and learning more I have several goals related to this. I would first and foremost like to have 150 blog posts in total by the end of 2019. This comes out to writing about 1.5 posts a week. In addition, I would like to have 1500 visitors and 2500 views on my blog in 2019 organically. My other large platform is Instagram and is probably how you are reading this article. I would like to finish 2019 with 750 Instagram posts and 3000 followers. The blog goals and Instagram goals will go hand in hand as they both stimulate each other. The last of my goals involve learning, I aim to read a book every month of 2019, 12 books in total. I’m aware this isn’t a whole lot however I will be learning and studying for school as well as work for most of the year and you can only cram so much into your brain at once.
I know this is very late to be talking about 2019 goals however it took me awhile to decide what I really wanted to go for this year as well as taking the time to sit down and write this out. Feel free to leave a comment below about your 2019 goals or post your comments on Instagram!
Today I’ll be giving an update on my stock portfolio. The previous blog post about my stock portfolio can be found here* it is from September 14, 2018 and will be briefly recapped below.
Last time I had $9,750 funded in my Robinhood portfolio, today we are sitting at $11,500 funded. This was done by putting my income from the internship into the stock portfolio in late September and October. Previously I had profit and dividends of $670.92, today we are sitting at $1,132.90. Several large sales were made to attain this profit including selling the entire O, Realty Income position. While the numbers above show profit, all earnings have been reinvested back into the account and my account value is below the funded portion not to mention the $1.1k profits in their as well. I have several positions that require more maturity and I believe in 2020 I will be in the black. Below are pictures showing my account, for all side by side pictures, the picture on the left will be from September while the picture on the right will be recent.
As I am sure you are all aware the markets have been volatile lately and performance hasn’t been the best as of late. As I mentioned earlier in September the account was funded at $9,750, while currently the account is funded to $11,500.
Below I will highlight some of my positions.
My largest positions is also one of my worst preforming. This is a company and a situation that is getting better but I wouldn’t get my hopes up till 2020 or later. I have cost average down this position substantially and plan to wait on it to recover.
I mentioned ULTA on the last update however the situation hasn’t changed much. Its gone up, down, and sideways and I have used that to my advantage by skimming some profit off the top and buying back the share when it fell. Still waiting for it to reach new highs, price target is going to be reduced from $335 to somewhere around $315-$320 or so.
I sold O, Realty Income, and my total gain is around 22% according to a back of the napkin calculation including dividends and appreciation. While it may not have been the smartest move since I try to stick with my dividend stocks I felt that at the time it was towards the high end of the spectrum and I needed to cost average down other positions. Most of the updates this time around revolve around cost averaging positions. As we approach the end of this article take a look at the final two tables and look at the average price per stock in some of these positions. With the stock market shakeout/weakness I tried to take advantage of the sale and buy where I thought I could expect future appreciation.
Apple was a hot topic back in September with my screenshot showing a $221 stock price. We all know how that turned out and I’m still holding and collecting dividends on it.
Ford is another position I cost averaged down on, it also helped supplement my dividend income from the sale of O. In September I was holding Ford at $10.74 @ 100 shares, today I’m holding 150 shares at $10.00 yielding 6% on the dividend.
I always gotta harp on my best pick of 2018 so far, P&G still killing it after a good earnings report. Wish I had bought about 10 shares instead of 2 but we live and we learn and I have made some pick mistakes in my investing career that’s for sure.
Dividends are rolling in strong for 2019 after an incredible December. Look for an update on those soon. Other notable mentions as far as my stock portfolio. I cost averaged JD and BABA on weakness as well as FB, and ROKU. I believe these will be great positions in the future so long as I hold while the markets do their thang.
It’s been a rock end to 2018. Here’s to hoping 2019 goes better. Couple of quick notes, thanks you for reading this as always, feel free to drop a comment in the blog or on IG. Pending how my taxes go there may be some changes my accounts will have to undergo. I will keep you all updated and try to keep Uncle Same happy.
About a year ago I wrote a blog post titled “2018 Goals” an article which I reflected over my recent short coming and looked to 2018 with open eyes and tried to make the best of my situation. Recently inspired by Grant Cardone’s “10X rule” I set lofty goals and set a series of plans in place to achieve them. Today we’ll review what happened to all of that and what I intend to do moving forward. Below are the goals followed by a bullet point explanation as to what happened.
$2500 in my aspiration emergency fund (this would give me the 1.00% APY interest rate)
This had quite a turn of events occur. First off, I no longer use Aspiration as my savings account, I upgraded to a Discover Savings Account which pays out 2.00% APY and may increase with the recent federal rate increase. Overall, I fell very short of this goal and ended up with $900 saved (was $1,000 but Christmas fucked me). I focused on adding funds to accounts that would make more than the 2.00%. I do have a joint savings account my parents started for me when I was very young, if I transfer that account over I would be able to hit my goal as shown above.
$20,000 In my Robinhood portfolio (originally shooting for $10,000, hoping some options trading will give me the edge I need to achieve this goal)
I hit the original goal of $10,000, in fact I will finish 2018 with $11,500 and I have recently been getting destroyed in the stock market. $20,000 was an incredibly lofty goal in terms of being able to generate that much profit from the markets and I was unable to achieve that. I did increase my portfolio by $3,500 but I turned my attention towards Lending Club.
$10,000 in stash app (originally $5,000)
I believe Stash topped out at $3500 at some point this fall but has since dropped due to stock market performance as well as several withdrawals to fund my ski trip and other activities that I have going on. I was able to increase this portfolio by $1700, but again primarily focused on Lending Club.
$10,000 in Lending club (originally $5,000, would be incredibly useful in the stretch investing method)
I have preformed rather well in this category this year. My plans continually shift, and Lending Club became my primary target in terms of funding this Summer and Fall. I topped out the account at $6,381 as far as my records indicate, in pursuit to stretch invest my rent this school year. While $10,000 was quite ambitious that may be my new goal for 2019. In total, I added over $4,000 to this account this summer and fall.
This one is a constant battle for me. I love passive income, I love making money while I sleep, but I also need to generate positive returns in the stock market too. My investing strategy constantly shifts but I also look at growth stocks that could deliver amazing returns and not just dividend stocks. Between lack of funding in my Robinhood portfolio and investing mostly in growth and value stocks rather than just dividend stocks I was unable to hit my target.
Have 5, $1,000+/year income streams by the end of 2018 (Anticipate being Dividends/interest, Lending Club interest, Internship, Drop Shipping, Blog)
I honestly don’t know what I was thinking on this one, perhaps, diversifying my income streams more however my summer required extreme focus to achieve the desired results. My most lucrative income streams in order:
Lending Club interest $419 (still waiting on December results so approximately $500)
Stock profit $375 (approximated)
Dividend income $300 approximately
Various odds and ends of selling unused things or doing odd jobs might come out to $200/year or so
As you can see my alternative income streams just did not come together like they needed to.
150 blog posts by the end of 2018
I thought I was going to make impressive headway during this summer but that was not the case. With my line of work, I was working 6-7 days a week and had no set schedule which hindered my blogging. My goal is to finish 2018 with 75 blog posts and this one will come in at #69 (nice) (gang gang gang) (RBP).
As you can see, none of my big goals of the year were accomplished however that is not always a bad thing. I would rather go big and come up short rather than go small and have no ambition in what I am pursuing. The 10X mentality may not translate perfectly into my academic life or my internship as well as it would to a post graduate’s career and starting out his or her life. You can’t 10X your GPA from a 4.0 to a 40.0. There is a finite amount of time and resources as an intern to try and compete with targets and goals set by full-time coworkers that can work 9 months compared to your 3 months.
The good news is I will be making that transition this summer to a full-time employee and be finished with college. While I will be training for most of 2019 and will not have control of my income like I will when I really get into sales, I will have access to more income than I have in all my life. With that all in mind, I plan to make some big moves in 2019 to make the most of my opportunities. Keep your eyes open for that post!
So, tell me some of your goals and ambitions this year, I look forward to reading your comments.
I’ve been putting this one off for a hot minute, literally months, but its time to nut up or shut up so here we go.
We all like to save money, buying something on sale, finding that deal online, or working your credit card for maximum cash back is always a good feeling. Today I am going to share with you some of the apps I use to save money. Let’s start with Drop.
Drop is an app that rewards you with points when you spend money at certain places. You can individualize your account a little bit based on your shopping preferences so its not a cookie cutter mold you must fit into to use this app. All that is required is linking your credit/debit cards and it’ll track when you make purchases at certain place that they reward. To share some details with you all about my personal account I currently am rewarded for Walmart, Starbucks, Chipotle, McDonalds, and Target. Below is the screen displaying those offers. As well as my rewards and the general reward page.
Overall, I’ve cashed in $10 using this app and it can be set up in under 10 minutes and requires no additional work outside your normal spending habits. There are also plenty of opportunities to earn bonus points and whatnot to get to your rewards faster!
My drop referral code is: ay0x4
Receipt Hog is the next app we’ll look at. It’s self-explanatory, it’s an app that you upload receipts to and it pays you for those receipts. No credit or debit cards need to be linked, nothing like that, just snap a pic of the receipt and upload and answer a 30 second survey and boom you get some coins. Those coins can cash in for an amazon gift card, visa debit card, or PayPal credit. I currently am stashing up my coins for a bigger payout, but I’ve passed the $5 mark. I have been super hit or miss with receipt hog, just with small transactions like at a gas station or something like that I don’t always ask for the receipt and I lose out that potential from the app. Overall, it’s an easy app to use however it isn’t as lucrative or easy as Drop since that is fully automated.
Ibotta and Checkout51 are going to be compared at the same time since they are very similar. They are online app-based coupons essentially. I don’t know if you or your significant other or parents were ever coupon people, but my mom use to be so that is how I can relate this. I would normally make my grocery shopping list and then go through the apps and see if anything I need had a coupon for it, they have most major grocery stores, so it shouldn’t be an issue to find your grocery store of choice. For both they require $20 in coupons to be redeemed to be able to withdraw your savings. I prefer Ibotta compared to Checkout51 due to its ease of use, how its organized, and I think it has better coupons than Checkout51. Examples can be found below.
My Ibotta referral code is: ficlsui
My checkout51 referral code is: https://checkout51.app.link/GN411WUkOS
For online shopping I use honey and RetailMeNot however I know there are tons of online discount sites, coupons, etc. Honey is a web browser installment that compares price history of an item you are planning to buy. RetailMeNot is an online search engine for coupon codes. I generally use both prior to purchasing something online just to make sure I am getting a good deal. I used to use a many more apps and online wholesale websites but have since eased off the online shopping as I grew older.
If you are interested in any of the above apps, I encourage you to try them out. As I mentioned before I use all the apps I explained above and I’m happy with the results. Overall, I would say I have saved around $100 since using them over the last 2 years or so.
As a college student I tend to have lower spending than the average family so pending your current financial situation and how you use the app or what your current scenario is your results may vary. Free money is free money though so why not pad your pockets a little bit more.
As always thanks for reading and let me know what you want to hear more about!
Hey everyone, sorry for the delay, I just took my last 2 exams yesterday 12/12/18 for school and can finally settle down and get some non-school related work done. So today I’ll be comparing my Lending Club portfolio to what it was on the last update from 9/17/18. Now for those of you who are reading this blog for the first time let me catch you up quick. If you are familiar with me and Lending Club skip down to the horizontal line.
My name is Brandon, I’m a college student if you couldn’t tell by the exams above, I graduate this upcoming May, and already have a job secured so that’s exciting. Lending Club is a peer to peer (P2P) lending platform where, rather than borrowing money from a bank or financial institution, individual investors fund the borrows and receive interest and what not just like a bank does. I’m obviously on the investor side of things so I can’t say much about the borrowing side.
It’s a rather simple platform, I as an investor put in say $1,000 (you can invest with as little as $25 but this is just an example), I can pick which loans I want to fund and fund it into $25 increments (it’s not all or nothing). So, for example, XYZ is requesting a loan for $20,000 for credit consolidation, Lending Club does its due diligence in terms of background information (credit score, credit history, current income, current debt, debt-to-income ratio, etc. etc,), they then assign them a scoring based on the above information in an A-E, 1-5 scale. An A1 rating represents the safest investment while an E5 represents the riskiest investment. Based on that scoring the interest rate is calculated as of today (the rates have changed recently due to rising interest rates in the U.S. and Lending Club has been doing a good job of keeping their investments in line with rising interest), an A1 loan has a 6.46% interest rate, while an E5 has a 27.27% interest rate. The loans come in either 3 year or 5-year lengths and the investors get paid monthly. So in the previous example if I were to take that $1,000 and put the money to work in a variety of loans ($25*40=$1,000) spread over different ratings, I would get paid monthly on all of those and earn somewhere between 4%-7% give or take because of course Lending Club takes a 1%-2% cut or so. Now the loans can always default, or get paid back early, in that case you lose potential interest. So obviously there’s some risk involved as with any investment and even the high-quality A grade loans have defaulted on me before.
My favorite aspects of Lending Club are the monthly principal and interest payments from every loan. In November I collected $75.28 in interest and received about $250 in principal back. I also love the ease of reinvesting at the level I am at. With about $325 coming in from last month divided by the $25/note price tag I could reinvest my P&I 13 times in a month all while earning around 7% interest! Only place you can reinvest quicker is a good savings account and even then, the best you’ll make is 2% (at least that’s what my discover account makes a year)
Alright time to compare the last 3 months side by side. For the following comparisons we’ll do the September data on the left and the December data on the right.
As you can see, we have a significant increase in notes over the almost 3-month period. I mentioned in the previous update that I was waiting on my internship bonus to come in to help fund this endeavor and when it arrived it allowed me to put another $1,500 into Lending Club. Charge offs, fully paid and other scenarios have gone up as they always had.
I did not include the following pictures in my previous update but here they are now. Below is a pie chart depicting my current portfolio by what rating it has. As you can see it is relatively spread even throughout the spectrum except for F and G as they are no longer offered and were incredibly risky. My detailed returns are also shown below.
Moving on, we’ll examine the overall account value as well as return on investment. Since these pictures are long, the September numbers will be shown first, then December.
This shows the adjusted account value and return for my entire portfolio. It is adjusted based off the probability and amount of the various late and defaulted notes in my portfolio. As you can see the account value is dramatically higher as well as the % return. I expected this to happen for a few reasons. For one I mentioned a $1,500 deposit I made to the account increasing its value as well as being able to compound the account through October to reinvest my earnings. As for percent return the account had an influx of new notes at the time as you can see by the first set of pictures. When notes are not issued they add to the account value but not to the profit because they haven’t started paying you yet. This decreases the % return significant and I have seen it every time I make a large deposit. Over time this will drop due to notes defaulting and being paid late.
The next set of pictures show the non-adjusted account values again we will go September then December.
As you can see the percent return and account values are both up and consistent with the previous set of pictures.
So you may be asking what the point of all of this is, like nice bro you made some money, but what’s the deal? Well making money especially passively has always been a huge focus for me, you only have 24 hours in a day and you gotta sleep, so until you can make money while you sleep or while you are not working you will be broke forever. (paraphrased from Warren Buffett) So check that one off the box. I mentioned earlier that I am a college student, I have internships over the summer and I don’t work for the other 9 months of the year, and I needed a way to generate income in a fluid manner throughout the school year. Yes I know I could just stick it all in the bank and withdraw when needed but you don’t make shit at the bank so that’s wasting your money’s potential.
Here’s a bit of background, I moved out of my fraternity house this semester, so I was kinda on my own as far as rent went and I wanted a way to pay my rent and make money at the same time as I have been eluding to in the previous paragraph. I decided to go balls out in Lending Club, utilize the monthly payouts, utilize the return, utilize the fluidity from Lending Club to checking account transaction, and fund my rent through Lending Club.
Overall, I think I accomplished what I was trying to do, if you recall the September update, I mentioned my rent at school was $275 + utilities = approx. $350. I know that’s dirt cheap but it’s a small college town and its not the most glamorous house but whatever I’ve dealt with worse. The total collected amount for principal and interest in November was about $350 so I technically made it, but it doesn’t quite feel like it. I wanted to do better than where I am at now and I am currently in full out withdrawal mode to pay rent, and credit cards, fund my ski trip, buy Christmas presents etc. etc. So, I can’t compound or add to Lending Club any time soon. I believe that if I could’ve started adding to Lending Club sooner this summer (between rent and deposits and just starting work, I was seriously in the hole the first month of my internship this summer) I would’ve had a better shot. I made incredible money over the summer, but I lost the time value of it and the compounding power, because I received about half of my total payment after I left to go back to school. You can read about my internship here
Well awesome guys thank you so much for taking the time to read this, lots more will be coming here in December, we’ve got big plans, big goals, and lots of ambition to get there. Please let me know what you like, don’t like, want to hear more about, if you want shorter or longer posts, videos, tweets, more or less stuff on Instagram etc etc.
I’m here to provide insight and value to all my followers and readers. I want to know what you guys want to hear so I can deliver the best content in the best format possible. Hit me up here and leave a comment, or dm me on Instagram @bsquared.website.
Alright the long-awaited Premier Roofing Review is finally here. It’s been long delayed I wanted to wait until I was finished with my time at Premier Roofing and after my email account was shut down, I believe we are there. That and I kept putting this one off and dragging ass on blog posting so I apologize for that.
Let’s see if I had to summarize working for Premier Roofing Company as a Field Sales Representative, I would say it is very rewarding hard work if you are successful at it. If you are not successful, it’s going to be rough. There are lots of variables affecting your success and some are out of your control like if there is light or no hail, HOA no soliciting in your neighborhood, bad neighborhood not very open, insurance adjusters not passing roofs, etc.
There’s not much you can do about some of those, no matter how good you are at sales and door knocking. There is just a certain amount of luck and circumstance you need to go your way. So, if you do not have these things going for you at the very beginning your confidence will get crushed and you will get discouraged easily.
I can say this from personal experience that my first 3 blocks were not hot, all in all I sold 2 roofs and one fell through and the other was extremely slow. Fortunately, the next several blocks picked up for me, but you see where I am coming from and how demoralizing that can be especially on a commission only pay.
Now of course if you suck at people skills, or you suck at sales, or you do not learn the training material or take it seriously you will also have a tough time. This should be given, you can’t show up on the front door of a house and be mumbling or stumbling all over your script or don’t have responses to any objections. You will clearly fail.
So, I highlighted some of the potential issues and pitfalls you may face with this job lets get to the good stuff. I think first and foremost would be the compensation, now obviously its commission based so if you don’t sell you don’t get paid however I think with the 6 week draw pay guaranteed is a really great policy that helps new sales reps get their feet under them and start making the sales and getting to the 2nd tier of the pay scale to start bring in some money.
For those of you who may not know the pay scale I worked with as an intern was $100 for a signed contracts with a claim number, $200 for when the roof is put into production, and for interns only we received $200 flat rate commission for when the roofs were built rather than the commission payout that the full time reps received since we were temporary workers and the insurance payout process is lengthy. This works out to $500 for a completed roof. Between the draw pay, all the various steps and payments throughout the process, and my $3,000 back to school bonus for hitting a production target(30 roofs in production), I made $22,200 this summer not including taxes. This has been way more lucrative than any of my previous internships or co-ops. It should be noted that I also took about a week-long vacation in the middle of the summer, however I also was closing deals after I returned to school. Altogether a fantastic earning opportunity when successful, to gauge my success I was the 6 or 7th top sales rep when I left out of 192 that were working throughout this season.
Sales itself is a great opportunity for you to learn people skills, how to build confidence, build value, work on conflict resolution, and learn how to deal with rejection. I think all these opportunities listed above are amplified with door to door sales because there is no medium to mitigate the emotion, it is in your face rejection. If you don’t have tough skin this will be challenging to overcome. I can tell you first hand that some of the rejections I received and some of the deals that fell through really stung and really got into my head.
I learned a lot about perseverance with this internship. As an independent contractor we have the freedom to work when we want however when you don’t sell you don’t get paid and when you don’t go out there and knock doors you won’t make any sales. I can tell you there were many days where I pulled up to my street in my car and I did not want to get out the car and go knocking. Even worse was when you were going through the same street for the 5th or 6th time trying to get in front of more people and knowing people were avoiding you or were simply tired of seeing you walk on their street. That was a tough pill to swallow and I hated it more than anything.
I learned how to hustle in this internship. Previously in my prior work experiences you punched the time clock and started making money and whether you were working or not it didn’t matter because that clock was still ticking. With Premier there was no clock just agreements and PFYNR’s and COC’s, those were the payment scales. There were weeks when I walked away with barely anything to show for it and there were weeks that made me feel on top of the world. We were always hustling though, the top producers, the top sales reps, Saturday’s and Sunday’s till dark. We took meetings in the mornings and got our paperwork all together and door knocked and sold all afternoon. Nonstop all summer with little to no breaks. I even confirmed a sale (got the claim number) in the Atlanta Airport on the way to my vacation destination!
I believe that covers my experience from head to toe. Overall it was an incredible lucrative experience. I don’t think I will return to Premier Roofing though. I believe with my level of education and my skill set that I would be better off to pursue a different kind of sales role or a different role all together. Also roofs in the summer of Kansas City are hot and that really sucked. I do appreciate the opportunity and I am glad I could do as much as I did while I was there. I am slightly disappointed though, I had told my supervisor and sales manager that I wanted to make 30 sales that summer. I lied about that, the real target was 50 sales and I just didn’t want to come off as a cocky asshole, I got to 47 sales. In my final push to get my last sales I got frustrated with a customer and went a little too far with a prank regarding dropping off my business card. I am sorry for that and how inappropriate that was of me however I think basic communication on both parties would have prevented that issue from ever occurring.
I also feel like I left a lot of sales on the table and could have performed better during portions of my summer. I think I took a few too many days off and gave up and went home too early on occasion. Had I pushed myself to the max I think I would have been able to hit my target of 50 sales and perhaps made it to the top of the sales leaderboard which would have been my top goal. Nonetheless I think my performance showed that I am an adequate sales representative for Premier Roofing and I learned a lot from them and I hope I did enough to help them.
If you have any questions regarding my internship or Premier Roofing, please feel free to leave a comment.
I’m back at it with another update on my passive income. Two months have passed, and we’ve made progress since I last filled you guys in. To remind everyone I currently receive passive income in the form of interest payments from Lending Club, my savings account, stock dividends, and stock interest payments.
I have invested more money into my Robinhood portfolio, stash app and my lending club account since I last touched on this subject and the results speak for themselves. Two months ago, I had received $233.74 YTD in Lending Club payments, now I am at $343.72. Stock interest and dividend payments have also increased from $186.37 to $260.89. Overall that puts me at a YTD passive income of $604.61 or $60.46/month. This is in comparison to my September numbers of $420.11 YTD and $46.68/month. This shows a 29.5% increase in monthly passive income! Below is a screenshot of my Lending club interest payments by month as you can see we have a dramatic uptick through the fall as funds were added in late summer and early fall showing the strong passive income performance described above.
Unfortunately, I do not think I will make it to my goal of $1,000 of passive income YTD. The progress I have made will continue to help grow my passive income year after year with the goal of my passive income exceeding my earned income one day.
My lending club portfolio has been driving much of this passive income growth and it has not shown its full strength yet. This month all my notes will be issues and generating income and we will see what kind of profits that machine can churn out. My stock portfolio has been extremely volatile during the month of October as many investors have experienced the wild ride with me. I am optimistic of my portfolio and believe I will be making some sales in the future and picking up dividend stocks and profits along the way. My Stash portfolio also grew with considerable size over the last several months and it is likely that some of those positions will be rewarding me in the future as well.
Exciting things are soon to come as the end of 2018 approaches! Expect another passive income update at the end of 2018 or beginning of 2019 to recap the full year and see my future and ambitions for 2019. With graduation, relocating, and adulting there are sure to be some interesting topics to talk about and interesting plans in my future.
I will also be using this post to apologize for my horrendous lack of posting in October, as highlighted in my November goal picture on Instagram I have been off my game to say the least and will be using this first half of November or so to get back on track. For those of you who are curious I only had 1 blog article posted and lacked on my Instagram game as well. This article is already my second of November and many more are to come!
Do you ever get in a rut like I did? If so, leave a comment on how you got out of it or what you did to wake yourself back up. I’m sure myself and everyone reading this could get some benefit out of your words of wisdom!