Lending Club Update 4/4/19

I know this is long over due and I normally like to get these done every 3 months however March was a busy month and I finally carved out some time for this, so let’s get started.

To refresh everyone on the update from December found here, I had 274 active notes after investing another $1500 into the platform. I had a rather even split of notes with an average weighted rate of 15.88% and had collected $717.29 as of then.

LC notes snip 12.13.18note details 12.13.18

I began pulling money out of the platform about November or late October and have been pulling money out ever since. I plan to keep pulling money out until I begin work full time in June and shortly after that I will begin reinvesting back into the platform as well as putting new money into assuming I have extra money left over after the 40% rule. For those of you that are joining for the first time or forgot the backstory, I am a college student with no income for 9 months of the year, I invested in Lending Club to receive a great yield (6-9% generally) and keeping my money liquid with monthly payments to pay for my expenses during school. In early April my portfolio looks like this.

lc 4.4.19lc pie chart

Had some defaults and some fully paid notes along the way but not looking bad, we earned another ~$260 in interest in the last 4 months so far although it is slowing down.

Below we will compare the non-adjusted and adjusted account values with December data first followed by April data.

LC interest non adjust

lc adj 4.4.19

The account value has decreased dramatically due to pulling out hundreds of dollars every month to live off of.

LC interest 12.13.18lc non adj 4.4.19

The April adjusted value has taken a big hit due to the numerous late notes I am currently holding. Even if they default I still should be in good shape overall and will just need to ride out the storm the next few months until we can get some new money into the account and breathe some life into it.

lc table

Above is a table I populate nearly every month on various aspects of the account including the immediate return taken from dividing the adjusted account value by the (total deposited into the account – the total withdrawn). This is taken over the course of 2 years now so the 10% isn’t all that great however as with all of my accounts they have grown dramatically over the years and I have made wiser investing decisions as time has gone on usually. Also returns were so low in October due to the influx of new capital into the account and the notes hadn’t started payments yet essentially making them dead money at the time.

The final table I will show you guys today is a simple interest table by each month.

interest lc

You can see the dramatic uptick with the $3000 I put into the account this summer as we entered Fall and now its on the downswing again.

That just about wraps it up for me, I hope you all learned something today in regards to Lending Club and how I keep track of its performance. I can’t recommend the platform enough assuming it fits your investment criteria. I mentioned earlier my need for liquidity while making a decent return and getting paid monthly to cover my expenses and this platform does just that. I can’t beat the return with what I am getting either and I look forward to putting some more money into it in the future and being able to compound my returns rapidly. I should be able to purchase 8-10 notes a month at my current rate and with additional funds I could compound interest and reinvest in notes every 2 days on average in the future (15 notes a month or $375 in interest and principal every month).

As always let me know if you have any questions!

Thanks,

B^2

How to Invest your first $500

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.

Quotation-Warren-Buffett-If-you-don-t-find-a-way-to-make-money-87-85-65

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Thanks,

B^2

IG @ Bsquared.website

Blog @ Bsquared.website

Email @ Bsquared.web@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Stock Portfolio Update 1/23/19

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.

IMG-2940-2974543385-1536945254322.png IMG_3463

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.

IMG-2942 IMG_3467.png

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.

IMG-2943-675463075-1536945409533.pngIMG_3468.png

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.

IMG-2949IMG_3461.png

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.

Lastly, below are the full spreads of m Robinhood account

Thanks

B^2

OLD

stock port

NEW

sp 12319sp2 12319

 

Lending Club Update 12/13/18

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.         lending club notes       LC notes snip 12.13.18

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.

note composition 12.13.18 note details 12.13.18

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.

lending club adjusted

LC interest 12.13.18

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.

lending club no adjust

LC interest non adjust

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.

Here’s the link to Lending Club Update 9-17-18

Thank you everyone!

B^2

Passive Income update 11-4-2018

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.

LC interest snip

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!

Thanks,

B^2

 

Lending Club Update 9/17/18

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.

lending club 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.

lending club adjusted

This second picture does not account for late notes and shows a higher rate of return.

lending club no adjust

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!

Stock Portfolio update 9/14/18

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.

IMG-2940.png

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.

IMG-2942.png

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

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stock portAs always let me know what you think and what positions you currently have!

 

What did I do when the stock market corrected?

If you at all follow the stock market you know it’s been crazy these last few weeks. Especially with that little correction that we had. What did I do? Warren Buffett’s quote, “Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful.” Rang a bell.

On February 6th, 2 days into the correction I took my only positive position at the time (I had recently sold several other positions and reallocated money to make new positions and cost average down some positions) E.L.F. cosmetics and sold all that I had. It was a small position worth $300 and change and I took that and bought AAPL stock at $157.51, it later dropped lower than that in a second dip but prior to that it hadn’t been at that price since October 2017. I cost averaged down my largest position CHK, cost averaged down ATRS, and cost averaged down TTS. Now unfortunately at the time I was not prepared for this correction. I had no extra cash lying around to put into investment accounts, I did not have anything I could really sell to get the cash to take advantage of the correction and I did not pay attention to the market as much as I should’ve, and my attention was directed elsewhere (school).

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My actions would’ve been more calculated and drastic had I been prepared and prepped for this event. Let’s see how it panned out though. I sold ELF 15 shares at $20.01 = $300.15, today it trades at $20.84 so that results in a lose of $12.45 had I held the position. I bought AAPL at $157.51 and it currently trades at $173.78 = a gain of $16.27. As you can see I already came out on top had I not invested the other portion of the sale proceeds but let’s look at what that did. I bought 25 shares of ATRS at $1.92 and sold them all at $2.23 on February 15th, a $7.75 gain = 16% short term gain. I bought 27 shares of CHK at $3.12 which has been fluctuating tons since then, but fortunately CHK beat earnings big time and shot up ~ 25% yesterday. As I am speaking shares are at $3.35 = $6.21 gain over the duration of holding them. TTS had the opposite happen and did not do well with earnings. I bought 2 shares on Feb. 6th at $8.44 currently trading at $5.50 – a net loss of $5.88.

So overall a split-second decision and action that I made before class/ walking to class led to a $11.90 increase over 17 days (12 trading days). Now why does anyone give a shit about a less than $12 increase?! They don’t but I also don’t have big money, but that also was a 3.97% increase in under 3 weeks. Extrapolate that out and that’s 85% APY now those are some numbers people can get behind! Now looking back, I probably should’ve held out for 2 shares of AAPL but hindsight is 20/20 as they say.

Hope you guys enjoyed that little victory in my investing career! Let me know what you think or share what you did during the correction.

-B^2

Robinhood investing app review

I’ve been using Robinhood since December of 2016. At the time I had a surplus of money from my co-op (extended internship) and I had been researching about the stock market for weeks. I found Robinhood and it fit my criteria at the time of a cheap easy to use mobile stock trading platform and I started trading on it. At first, I deposited $150 and started playing around that. As I am writing this now I have $8,000 deposited in Robinhood and plan to add more as funds become available.

Robinhood offers an easy trading platform with no commissions, hidden fees, or up front opening costs. Under the free service with the Robinhood Instant upgrade (still free) you can trade during normal operating hours, instant deposits up to $1,000, and immediate access to funds from selling stock without waiting 2 days for settlement. These features make Robinhood an ideal platform for investors with limited funds or those who are just starting to invest for the first time.

Using traditional investing platforms limited fund investors would get ate up by $5-$10 commissions on trades. Another feature I love is the real-time notifications and alerts to the market, for example if one of my positions gains or losses 5% during intraday trading I can get a notification on my phone. These notifications can help a beginning investor capitalize on certain opportunities without being glued to his or her phone or computer screen. The detailed account statements every month help keep track of transactions as well as the detailed, filterable activity menu.

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Robinhood does lack in some respects, one of those being its information and news to the stocks. Investors would be better off using a different investing platform or website to gather news and information on the stock as Robinhood’s information is sometimes delayed and not up to date. This in addition to slow refresh times makes Robinhood a less than ideal tool for research and due diligence.

We are still waiting for the web platform and options trading to come out in 2018. I believe these two aspects would make Robinhood a well-rounded platform and further increase its usability. Robinhood also has a monthly subscription feature called Robinhood Gold, which allows users to trade on 2x margins, trade pre-market and afterhours, and have larger instant deposits. I do not use Robinhood Gold nor do I ever plan to. I do look forward to the options trading feature coming out soon, I believe Robinhood would be a great inexpensive platform to dabble in options trading.

Look for updates and more reviews to come as features are added.

If you use the referral code below for a chance to start your new account with a stock like Apple, Facebook or Microsoft for free! Refer to the image for details.

http://share.robinhood.com/brandob394

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Modern Long Term Stock Market Investing Secrets-summary and review

I’ve been watching the Financial Education YouTube channel for a while now and I really like the content and the enthusiasm Jeremy brings to his audience. Those who pursue success and greatness can relate to him well. He is a very successful investor and admits his mistakes and his errors when they come up proving his honesty to his viewers.

Now onto the book, Modern Long Term Stock Market Investing Secrets!, Jeremy reveals how he went from $0 to $200,000 by age 25 using this stock market investing method. He first goes into how he started considering the stock market. Looking at CD’s, savings accounts, bonds etc. yielded very low returns and real estate investing was out of the question for him at 19 years old making $7.50 an hour at his job. This led him to the stock market and he started reading and learning about Warren Buffett. Jeremy credits most of his success in stock market investing to Warren Buffett and an accounting teacher he had in his schooling.

He then goes into how to buy a stock through a brokerage, and then thinking of the underlying company you are buying rather than the stock ticker. This is right out of Warren Buffett’s playbook by looking at the company fundamentals and longevity rather than the short-term outlook. However, as Jeremy further goes into his method we see the key difference between his method and the buy and hold method Mr. Buffett uses. That is the time frame, in modern long term investing Jeremy works within a 1-5 year span. This is due to the rapid change in technology and growth that we experience nowadays. With the evolution of technology at such a rapid pace, business fundamentals, and company outlooks can change just as fast.

Jeremy then goes into what he looks at to determine if the company fits his investment criteria. The first would be looking at the management team and he uses the hockey reference, a management team that skates to where the puck will be rather than skating where the puck is. This ensures that the company will be making sound decisions years down the line. The next criteria is the balance sheet. He primarily looks at financial security or the ability for the company to make it through a tough time and the company’s ability to grow or acquire other businesses. This involves looking at the debt and on hand cash a company has. Jeremy typically looks at companies with very low debt, lots of cash on hand, and a strong brand name in its industry. The balance sheet is one of the most critical portions to his method and he references that in the end of the balance sheet chapter (chapter 6).

The income statement is the next metric he looks at. Jeremy looks at net income and revenue growth primarily and likes to see them grow by at least 10% a year, and prefers net income to outgrow revenue showing increasing profitability. Along the same lines, Jeremy loves “to look at companies that have an expanding gross margin and a high profit business model!” Obviously making profits reflects in the net income line and high margins allows a company to cut them in tough times without a large effect. Both are key aspects in his modern long-term investing method.

Next item on the agenda is PE ratios, EPS, and quarterly results. Now in the grand scheme of things when investing between 1-5 years a bad quarter is a drop in the bucket when you’re talking about an investment expecting to make it through 10+ quarters. He goes in depth as to what range of PE ratios he looks at and pending those numbers what he looks at in his other criteria. He recognizes that constant struggle between growth and value which is shown in the PE ratio. Warren Buffett is primarily a value investor which is where Jeremy has gained most of his investment background. However, the days of buying and holding are over and greater gains can be achieved for the most part by growth companies over the short term. Growth companies are rarely undervalued though, leading to a challenging terrain of finding a growth company for an excellent value.

He goes into dividends, share buyback, acquisitions and mergers next. He notes the usefulness of dividends however he thinks they are the biggest waste of money since cash is coming out with no return on investment. Jeremy ranks the following from best to worse use of capital: Expanding the business, share buyback, dividends, and acquisitions/mergers being the worse use of capital. He wraps up the book with a chapter talking about thinking outside the box and acquiring all information on a business is critical and could lead to good insight. Followed by a recap chapter, then a FAQ chapter, and finally a definitions chapter.

This article was a brief summary of the book. The information in this book in addition to the Financial Education channel has helped my investments and personal finance immensely. I would recommend this book to any beginning/novice investor as it has lots of fundamental value to add to your personal investing. Below is a link to the book on amazon.

http://amzn.to/2E2fgor

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