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.
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!
Back with another dividend update. The last one was almost 3 months ago and since then I have improved my forward dividend by 23 percent! So, lets jump right into it.
Here is my table of dividends as seen on August 5th.
Total forward dividend
Yield on portfolio
To recap that is $239.22 in forward dividends on $8500. I have since then increased my portfolio by $3,000 to a standing total of $11,500 as of now.
Below is the chart showing my current forward dividend.
Total forward dividend
Yield on portfolio
Some new additions have been made such as CAT, and CBL. I have also increased numerous positions such as F, LB, and CEFL. My percent total has gone down slightly since I have bought positions and added to non-dividend positions such as CHK, BPMX and FB. Unfortunately, CBL took a massive dividend cut of 67.5% and has significantly hurt my forward dividend projection.
I am currently in a holding pattern as I will have no more income coming in for the foreseeable future. I will be using my dividends to purchase more stocks and options and hope that I will be able to generate profits to keep my dividend base growing throughout the school year. I also hope to make some large sales in the future.
Several notes that I will highlight further in my passive income update which should be arriving here this weekend include. Added positions in my stash account that produce dividends and interest payments. Added cash in my savings account which produces interest, as well as added cash into my Lending Club account that also produces interest payments. While not dividend driven my passive income, streams are growing and will continue to grow in the future.
Below is a highlight of my dividends and interest over time.
Reviewing over the last several months we can see August saw a dividend increase of 231%, September saw an increase of 72%, and October saw an increase of 40%.
Currently sitting ~$255 of dividends to be collected in 2018 unfortunately that will be far short of my goal of reaching $500 in dividends received. Consistency is key, and I plan to continue adding to my dividend positions and increase my passive income. With large sales and profits generated from that in the future we should see a dramatic increase in forward dividend in the coming months/years. In the coming months we will be able to see actual YoY gains on the full calendar year and see exactly how much improvement has been made since there have been various accounting changes as well as significant positions added that haven’t materialized quite yet.
As always let me know what you think and if you have any comments or suggestions I would love to hear them!
To preface, I am not a financial consultant, CPA, etc. etc.
I have however built a respectable credit score in my short credit history and I can share a few tips to get you there as well.
First, let’s start off with the basics. You need a credit card. To build credit you first must establish credit. This should be relatively easy to do after all credit card companies are handing the things out like candy, but you want to choose the right one. One of the cards I have is a Discover It student card. This card earns 1% cash back on all purchases, 5% cashback on certain rotating categories every quarter, 1-year cash back match (just received mine ~$75), and $20 a year for good grades, reports credit score from Transunion.
Solid card, with no annual fee, plenty of perks, and 15-24% APR. For more information check out this blog post here
Step 1. Get a card
It doesn’t have to be that card, I also have a Visa Signature Card and I think that’s also an incredible card. Overall, I would look for a card that gives you feedback on your credit score, no annual fees, decent cashback opportunities etc.
Step 2. Use the card responsibly
You have a card now you need to use it responsibly and there’s several factors into this. Part of your credit score (30%) is based on your revolving credit utilization. That means they look at how much credit you have across all your lines and how much your balance is and convert it into a percent. Total balance/ total credit line = % Utilization.
As of this moment my total balance owed is $201 and my utilization is 2% which puts me in the very good category. If you carry a high utilization, then your credit score will be negatively affected. I would also suggest using your credit card responsibly to ensure you can pay the full balance off every month. It doesn’t make any sense paying extremely high interest rates on credit cards that’s just extra money out of your pocket.
Another portion of using your card responsibly is for the cashback rewards, now obviously do not violate the two rules above for the sake of cash back rewards but when you can get a nice little 5% at amazon or your grocery store you may want to opt in to use your card at these places and use cash or debit at others.
Hold onto that credit card
Another aspect of your credit score is your total accounts and length of credit. (10% and 15% respectively) For total accounts I have three credit cards and zero installment loans. I’ve never cancelled a credit card even though my first card hasn’t been used in years (a beginner Visa card with a down payment required). Length of credit also factors into your score, the longer your accounts are open, generally the better. FICO credit scores also consider the newest account, oldest account, and average age of accounts. Essentially even if you don’t use a card anymore and assuming it doesn’t have an annual fee just hang onto it. You don’t have to use it for the account to remain active.
Make the payments
Its obvious but I will reiterate. About 35% of your credit score is based on your payment history. One missed payment will affect your score. They keep track of the last 7 years of payments, so I mistake now will still cost you 7 years down the line. Make your payments every month (when I get paid biweekly I pay off my credit card every 2 weeks), don’t miss a payment and keep a great credit score.
The last portion that comprises your score is credit seeking inquiries which comes out to 10% of your score. This happens when lenders do a hard inquiry of your credit and it is tracked over the past 12 months. Obviously, some of this stuff is unavoidable (buying a new car etc.). Fortunately, the Discover It card isn’t a hard inquiry, so it does not affect your credit score, or I would probably lose every bit of that 10% of my score.
That summarizes how your credit score is comprised and what you can do to improve your score. Another way to increase your score is after having good credit with existing accounts for some time you may be offered a larger credit line. For example, my first credit card account had a tiny credit limit of $800. After 2 years of so I received a credit line extension of $3500 = a credit line of $4300 total. If you remember the line utilization problem of total balance/ total credit line = utilization %, when you extend your credit line and keep spending habits the same your utilization will lower and therefore increase your credit score. When those opportunities arise take them and don’t go crazy with the larger credit line.
Those are the tips and tricks to building a great credit score! As I am writing this I currently have a credit score of 788 and my earliest line of credit was April of 2014. I’m pushing to break past the 800 mark and the only portion holding me back is the length of credit and father time is responsible for that.
As always if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment or hit me up on Instagram @bsquared.website
Hope everyone is doing well, I’ve been getting some questions about lending club here lately with how much I’ve been talking about it and posting about it. Hopefully today I can answer all those questions and give you an update on where I am at with this investing platform.
In case you weren’t around when I first talked about this, I started using lending club in April of 2017. Lending club is a peer to peer lending and borrowing platform. Where individual investors fund individual borrowers for various loans. These loans can range quite a bit in size from $4,000 to $35,000 or so, 36 months or 60 months in length, and of various ratings and interest rates. Now I’m not going all in on $30k loans or anything like that, I’m not rolling that deep by any stretch of the imagination. The loans are bought in notes from an investor perspective, these notes are in $25 increments. Now you could go and fund an entire loan yourself I like to diversify, and I currently fund over 200 different loans over the course of a year and a half. Much like a car payment or a house payment the borrower pays the loan off every month so as an investor you get paid out every month in principal and interest. Of course, the house takes a cut as well and that’s generally around 1-2% depending on the loan. The rate on the loans are usually between 5%-30% interest rates based on the borrower’s credit score, previous lines of credit, income etc. etc. Obviously the higher the interest rate the higher the risk of defaulting the loan, and the lower the interest rate the less likely the borrower is to default. Below is a quick snapshot of how my portfolio looks in terms of active notes, defaults, late notes, and fully paid notes.
Now generally I take a rather aggressive approach to my notes and my average interest rate is around 15-18% overall. That can explain some of the defaults I’ve had as they are a higher risk loan, per usual with investing the greater the risk the greater the reward.
What really turned me on to Lending Club and this platform of investing (peer to peer lending) is the monthly payments. Dividend stocks are great, and I have quite a bit of cash flow from them (currently $275/year as we speak) however only a few of them pay me monthly. Having a monthly cash flow allows me to compound my gains 4x faster than a quarterly dividend stock which most of them are quarterly. I also am more fluid with withdrawing money with this platform which leads into my next point. I am investing heavily in this platform to passively pay my rent in the spring semester. You heard that right while it won’t be all interest based (in fact its mostly principal based) I will attempt to use this platform to make a nice 6% or more return while being able to pull my money out and pay rent every month. This obviously has lots of risk and I have back up plans in place in the event most of my loans default however from what I’ve learned in the last year and a half this has been a pretty reliable strategy, and of course I make passive income while I am doing this with a decent return.
Now let’s back up a minute. Most of you are probably thinking I’ve got to be pulling in some big bucks to pay rent with this right! If any of you rent out there you’re probably thinking this is quite a stretch. If you didn’t see in any of my previous posts my rent here in my college town is dirt cheap I’m talking $275 a month + utilities which generally rounds out to $350/month. As of my last monthly payment update I am currently bringing in $195 in principal and interest a month! I’m not done yet either, the snowball has started to roll, I dumped in almost $3,000 this summer into my portfolio and when I get my bonus here soon another $1,000+ will go in + I’m starting to get monthly payments from the loans I purchased this summer. Come October/November I will be approaching that first tier of rent ($275). Not too shabby considering a 6% return on a passive income and its monthly.
With this next small deposit coming in this week I will be at ~230 notes and I am estimating I will need 315 or so to cover the $275 a month. Let’s take a quick look at my account summary, this first picture is adjusted account value which includes the defaults and the late notes.
This second picture does not account for late notes and shows a higher rate of return.
My account is out of whack at the moment, with the large influx of new notes there is quite a few that haven’t started paying out yet because they are so new. Like I said come October/November that should all get settled in and the returns will be coming up as the monthly payment number starts ringing true and all my loans start paying out.
As a disclaimer I am not a financial consultant and all investments carry risk. I am simply showing you all what I am doing and why I think it will work. Of course, I’d like to hear what you have to say. I know quite a few of my followers have been asking questions about this platform and the pros and cons of it. I have another post from way long ago on why I like this platform so much and you can read that post right Lending Club Review.
Have a great day and I can’t wait to hear from you guys!
Lots of people on Instagram ask what I am invested in or what others are invested in. Today we’ll go over all my positions and what I’m looking into in the future.
I currently have $9,750 funded in my Robinhood portfolio, however with dividends and profits I have made $670.92 throughout my time investing. I began investing with Robinhood in December of 2016 and have been growing my account ever since. My final funding round will be to round out my account to $10,000 by the end of September and I will not be putting any more money into the account for quite awhile after that. The screenshot below was taken a few days ago showing my account balance, you may notice that it is down a little bit from the $9,750 + $670 profit, but that’s alright I’ve dealt with both highs and lows of my portfolio balance.
We’ll deep dive into some of my larger positions, first Chesapeake Energy (CHK) this was one of my first investments when I started investing and I have added and cost average the position down quite a bit over time. As you can see here we are down a little bit but nothing to worry about. I plan to continue to cost average a bit and try to sell some of my position when we reach around 20% profit or so.
Another large position I own is Ulta Beauty (ULTA) this one has been a wild ride for sure. I owned it when it hit its all time high of ~$312 ish and I have also held it through its lowest point in some time dipping below $200. The market finally came back around to the beauty retailer and it is currently a decent little profit as you look at the cost average and return rate below. They have significant raised 12-18-month price targets of this stock and I plan to exit around $335 which would net a 30% profit or thereabouts.
Another large position I own is Realty Income (O) I have owned this stock for a considerable time as well and it is a key player in my dividend income. In case you are unfamiliar with this stock, it is a monthly dividend paying REIT stock. It yields about 4.75% at my current cost average and has been a key factor and the liquidity of my portfolio when I don’t have funds coming into the account. I plan to hold this position for the foreseeable future and anytime it does dip down I plan to cost average down and buy more. A great example of this is when the 10-year bond was over 3% and many dividend stocks including O took a big hit as investors flocked to the high bond yield and security they provide.
The above three positions are the largest in my portfolio, I would like to also include a few key stars to my portfolio below.
My apple position below is probably one of my best-timed trades. It was after the little correction in February and I picked up the cheapest Apple stock since October 2017, only issue… I couldn’t buy more, I was out of funds and couldn’t justify selling any portions of my other positions. As you can see I think going heavy into Apple at that time would have been the move to make but why cry over spilt milk.
I also dabble in options trading, I’m not the greatest at it and I’ve lost a little bit of money and made a little bit as well. Below you can see my current options spread, I sold some of the SNAP puts for 40-115% profit today however the puts were very inexpensive, so I only really made like $10 off them.
Ford (F) is another one of my large positions, currently at 100 shares with a cost average of $10.74 the blue oval isn’t doing too well for me. (-12%) I have been holding and growing my ford position for awhile now and I enjoy the nice dividends, (currently yields 5.6% based on cost average) again this is a huge part of my liquidity and fluidity of my portfolio in the coming months.
Proctor and Gamble is another proud pick up by yours truly. At a cost average of $74.40 we are up around 11% + a solid 3.8% yielding dividend. I picked this up in May 2018 at its lowest price it had in 2 years, another play with great timing, unfortunately I only purchased 2 shares and just like my Apple position I wish I bought more.
Here are my recent deposits and dividends, I put $1,750 into my robinhood portfolio this summer and have collected lots of dividends as well. I am continuing to increase my forward dividend and hoping to reach $1,000 in passive income received for 2018. I am looking into further expanding my positions in Chinese stocks (JD, BABA) as well as Facebook (FB)
As always let me know what you think and what positions you currently have!
Passive Income is all the rage these days, with ecommerce blowing up, YouTube, podcasts, blogs, investing etc. there are lots of reason why it should be something to think about. Let’ s dive into it and see what it is all about!
Passive income is income resulting from cash flow received on a regular basis, requiring minimal to no effort by the recipient to maintain it. (Wikipedia)
That sounds amazing! Minimal to no effort and receiving cash from it, but its not quite that simple. Passive income often requires either initial upfront energy, effort, and time or initial upfront cash.
My expertise is with the initial upfront cash portion, so we’ll get into that. I have been collecting data on my passive income for over a year now. I currently receive passive income in the form of interest payments from Lending Club, my savings account, stock dividends, stock interest payments, and I guess money saving apps as well. I won’t go into that last one in depth as I am saving that for an article in the future. Hopefully if you’ve been following me for awhile or are at all familiar with investing you understand what a stock dividend is. Essentially you own a dividend paying stock a every quarter or for every month you receive a little gift from the company in the form of a monetary payout for being their stockholder. I also receive some interest payments from my stocks when people short the stocks I own. Between my savings account interest, stock interest, dividends from both Robinhood and Stash I have received $186.37 this year. Not too shabby most would say, but this does come at a price to the tune of ~$12,500 invested in the above-mentioned platforms. The other vehicle I use for passive income is Lending Club. Currently I have received $233.74 in interest payments this year through that platform and that is to the tune of about $4,000 ish invested. A little calculator work later and we are at $420.11 this year in passive income, or about $46.68 per month.
I’m proud of that number to say the least but there’s more to come and in fact my goal for 2018 was to make $1,000 in passive income this year. There is still along way to go to reach that $1,000 mark and less than 3 months till the ball drops and we are standing in 2019.
My plan to get there is already in the works, I have a sizeable position building in Lending Club, in fact there is quite a lot of notes (loans) that haven’t paid me yet because they are so new. When that all comes clicking together and I continue to add to that platform I expect my interest payment payouts to sky rocket. I think I’ll put in another $1,000 into that platform or so and will be reinvesting the principals and interest payments to snowball that passive income stream and make it larger.
The other side of the coin is my stocks and etf’s I own. I have added around $750 into my stash positions and most of those pay dividends. I’ve also added $1400 to my robinhood portfolio and a decent chunk of that has gone to dividend stocks. I plan to continue to add to both and make profits on my positions to reinvest into dividend stocks as well as reinvest the dividends back from where they came from.
The goal for this is to reach financial freedom. There are various definitions to this but for my purpose it is to create passive income streams that are greater than my active income (the money I make from working). When you reach this and assuming you account for inflation, cost of living increasing etc. you can effectively retire. Now of course I don’t plan to retire super early and go live on a beach or anything like that, my mission is much bigger than that, however that is the ultimate plan.
You might be taking a look at this and scratching your head like, “Brandon, you’ve got a long way to go to replace your standard income if you aren’t even at $1,000 a year yet” and you are absolutely correct. My stock portfolio currently yields around 3%, for a modest $40,000 a year to live on my portfolio would have to be around $1.3 million at that same yield to produce that. That’s a lot of motherfucking money to reach financial freedom if you ask me.
That’s why I am looking into investing in real estate when I build my capital up. With real estate’s monthly cash flow and leverage assuming a modest 5% return not accounting for increasing rents or refinancing or anything like that an $800,000 property would yield $40,000 a year and with a 25% down payment of $200,000 you could control that. That looks much more attainable to me.
Using Grant Cardone’s 40% rule, profits from my investments, and existing passive income streams that will grow that should be attainable within a few years if all goes right.
As Warren Buffett said, “If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.”
Now are these passive income streams passive, no. I actively invest in the stock market, I do research on the positions I take, I check lending club frequently and hand pick my loans that I invest in etc. But all in all they are pretty passive. Real estate on the other hand isn’t very passive until you get to the big leagues and can afford a property manager.
Grant’s new real estate investing book is in route to my door in STL and I will be giving that a read very soon and I plan to implement his plan and to go big on my first deal. We’re talking 24-32 units costing $1.4- 2.0 million requiring a down payment in the neighborhood of $500-700k. Like I said large upfront capital or large up-front work, time, energy.
I should also mention what I am doing right here follows that other method that I haven’t gone over. This blog while it does not produce any income and actually never has produced any income for me may be able to one day. Consider how much time I’ve spent (10 months, 60 blog posts, advertising, Instagram etc.) to get it to this point and still haven’t made a dime with it. That’s what I am talking about in terms of up front time, energy, and effort.
It will not be easy whatever passive income route you choose, but with a good strategy and the work you need to put into it the prize is pretty frickin nice.