I decided in Mid-January after reading part of Grant Cardone’s “The 10X Rule” that I needed to push myself and set some short-term goals to get my finances, blog, social influence, brand etc. all on track. I wrote these goals down on my phone and posted them on my business Instagram as you can see here.
Also if you haven’t been following me yet its @bsquared.website and I try to make my posts value oriented and show everyone what I am doing to improve my blog, business, investments etc. Anyways the timeline for that first set of goals was under 2 weeks and as you can see below I didn’t reach most of them.
I came so close to the blog visitor goal, I was at 97 for January and as I was finishing up homework around 12:30am I had another visitor technically on February 1st, that’s why the +1 is there. Nonetheless that was a huge achievement for me, I started the blog in late November and had only 7 visitors for the whole month of December. As far as clicks go I haven’t been doing well on blog to amazon, I always hear its just a law of numbers. I guess I just need to get my numbers up and the clicks will come in. Falling short on blog posts came down to time and amount of content I had, but mainly time. I also planned on a friend writing 2 articles for me but that hasn’t happened yet. Side money made it easily with all the recent stock sales and profits I’ve collected from that. Again, with the clicks I think the affiliate sale follow a rule of numbers and I just need to keep pushing until I get to that threshold. The 10X rule and posting about it also came down to time, I’ve been extremely busy with school, fraternity business and working on all my personal goals and picking up my kindle and reading just wasn’t on the priority list. Coming short on forward dividend was mostly on me. I sold and bought a bunch of stock over this duration of time and didn’t allocate for the best dividend stocks but rather went with shorter plays for profits soon. Hitting my 25 IG posts was easy, I could always come up with content for that and just got in a habit of posting in the morning and late at night helping me rack of my following, reach, impressions etc. Instagram followers are a little bit more difficult to come by, I noticed I have lost a decent number of followers as well, so I am not sure what that is all about, but we are going to try to get those numbers up this month. Speaking of which here are my goals for the next 2 weeks.
They are as ambitious as the last ones I would say, but attainable I believe. I think these goals will come down to how I utilize my weekends. This tends to be the only free time I have, and I normally allocate that to social activities. I can say for certain that affected the end of January goals in a negative way. Tell me what you think!
Wow. I think Mr. Cardone out did himself on this one. This long pamphlet, The Millionaire Booklet, has the most useful information packed into 44 little pages that I have ever seen. Honestly best bang for your buck book in terms of reading length I have ever read. But let’s get to it, what is The Millionaire Booklet?
Mr. Cardone wrote this booklet after a charity dinner. The charity aimed to raised $2 million dollars and after everyone was all tapped out there was still $1 million to go. It took over 55 people to raise the first million, but the last million was donated by a single man with a single check. When all hope was loss, a single shining hero came in to save the day. Grant was inspired by this man and his generosity and created this booklet immediately after, and in two hours had it finished, so that one day others may be the shining hero for those less fortunate.
The booklet features the following:
Chapter 1 – Getting Rich is Not a Fantasy, a chapter dedicated to changing your mindset
Chapter 2 – Where you get your advice, a chapter also dedicated to changing your mindset and who you listen to/surround yourself with.
Chapter 3 – The Millionaire Decision, a chapter dedicated to changing your perspective of becoming super rich.
Chapter 4 – Millionaire Math, a chapter dedicated to explaining the simple math needed to understand what it takes to achieve becoming a millionaire.
Chapter 5 – Increase Income, the foundation of becoming a millionaire is described here.
Chapter 6 – Who’s Got My Money? This chapter describes the alternative mindset needed to complete chapter 2’s who you surround yourself with message.
Chapter 7 – Stay Broke, the mantra that has propelled Mr. Cardone to his financial success, and how to “save” money.
Chapter 8 – Save to Invest, Don’t Save to Save – This further explains that quoted “save” in chapter 7.
Chapter 9 – Multiple Flows of Income, the critical tool to fortifying your fortune and prevent financial distress in cases of economic emergency or hardships within a company or industry.
Chapter 10 – Repeat, Reinforce and Hyperfocus, describes the rinse and repeat cycle to creating wealth.
That’s it! All that information is packed into these 10 chapters on how to get super rich. The book is simple and to the point and doesn’t contain the fluff that other books might have. Mr. Cardone does ask 3 things of the reader,
1) Keep this booklet in your possession until you become a millionaire.
Let’s go get super rich! The message in this book inspiring, I highly recommend to anyone pursuing some degree of financial freedom or prosperity. The tools and knowledge are all here and only requires the reader to act. So, with that I’ll leave you to it, I’ve recorded the day I read it (1/30/2018), so who wants to race there?
So I actually had this post written and ready to be sent on Saturday, but then Jetpack crashed and I lost the post because I didn’t save it and it was just a mess. But we are back up and running now so moving forward, February should be an awesome month for me. This blog was started in late November, did not have much success with it in November or December. Its the tail end of January and as I write this I’ve had 125 views and 75+ visitors! My Instagram account @bsquared.website was started in early January and has been picking up momentum. I’ve been experimenting with Facebook and Instagram ads and I think I just found winner!
In summation, January has been all about laying the foundation for what is to come. I’ve been pushing myself really hard in terms of school work, fraternity obligations, and all my side endeavors including this blog. I believe February will be the month to capitalize on the work that has been put in during January.
Only time will tell though, expect a lot more to come including book reviews, portfolio overviews, dividend updates, stock market moves I’m making, and a Lyft and/or drop shipping guide.
So naturally as an engineer I am very numbers and data driven. Fluff is not my game, numbers, charts, graphs, hard tangible data is where I thrive. I started tracking my spending while on co-op and internship, I figured it would be good practice for when I got out in the real world on my own and needed to be financially responsible. So, at that point I created what is now my most useful tool that I use to track my finances and goals, the co-op money breakdown google sheet. Doesn’t sound exciting but contained in these 8 pages excel spreadsheet is a lot of cool stuff. We’ll start with what started it all, the daily tracking of my finances.
I color coded my categories of expenses, from left to right they are Food, gas, fun money, fitness, Significant other, and other costs. I would track every cost that came in with running totals at the bottom, weekly amount spent on each category as well as the percentage of my costs it represents. This helped figure out where I was over spending and what needed to be adjusted. Next, on the same page of the excel sheet right next to the color-coded spending category is my income category. Here I would track my income (mainly paychecks) as well as how much of that income I saved. I also tracked my 401k contributions on every paycheck and kept a running total of that as well. Yes, I had a 401k through my co-op company at 20 years old, it was pretty frickin cool. Moving on, I would run totals on all of that, run percentages for amount of money I was saving compared to making and how much I was investing compared to how much I made in total etc.
5/24/16 tax return
After that I believe I started tracking my net worth in specific categories. As you can see below I would track it every month and I have a nice little graph and everything, but I would track cash, emergency fund, P2P lending, Robinhood stock account, Stash and acorn, and finally my 401k. Add all that up in a couple different columns and there’s my net worth tracking.
Another critical tool that I use on this spreadsheet is my Robinhood portfolio spreadsheet. Shown below it contains all the information on my stocks, shares, cost average, value into the position, market value and then the gain/loss with percentages. Also, the conditional formatting is a nice touch to quickly assess the portfolio. I usually update this sheet twice a week or more if I make big moves in the portfolio which I have recently.
profits and dividends
current market ROI
face value ROI
net annual profit
Following the stock portfolio, I have two tables for dividend tracking however I’m only going to show the monthly counting dividend table. Below is a table showing how much I’ve received in dividends by each month and then sum it all together for the yearly total. As you can see I was relatively close to my goal this past year, a lot of my money was tied up in bad positions that didn’t pay dividends which ultimately hurt my portfolio as well. The other table features all the stocks I own that pay dividends, their payout on a yearly basis, how many shares I own, total yearly dividend income from those stocks, etc. I believe I am right at the $200 a year in dividends mark as we are speaking, that is not including interest payments I receive from Robinhood or the dividends I receive in stash.
I also use 2 tables for my Lending Club portfolio, the one below just tracks the interest I receive each month as it says on the account statement I get. Very simple and easy to fill out, nice little tool to figure out how the portfolio is doing overall at a quick glance.
Lending club interest collected
1 year gain
This next one is a bit more intimidating. This is a detailed depiction of the Lending Club portfolio, I fill this one out biweekly and the immediate return column is the only one that is self-calculated, everything else is straight from the Lending Club dashboard/summary screen. I use the immediate return to gauge my APY % as it comes in rather than the speculative NAR % return.
Lending Club info
NAR % return
Finally, I track my blog statistics and posting schedule on my spreadsheet. As you can see I have tracked my advertising costs as well as the WordPress cost of the blog. I also track my views, visitors each month. Now if you are familiar with blogging or have one already you know that jetpack tracks this all for you currently. I just like the convenience of pulling up this spreadsheet and having all the numbers and data I’d ever care to know about right at the tip of my fingertips and easily analyzed. I think It is worth the extra time to fill out the spreadsheet.
blog was created
wordpress 1 year
Like I said, just a schedule of what I’ve posted and when, I also anticipate a posting schedule but that is never correct, I always have too much on my plate or other things that need my attention before this. The yellow highlighted posts are blog posts that have the potential to profit through affiliate sales, referral codes, etc. I have a column next to it with the amount they’ve made so far. Unfortunately that’s a big fat goose egg right now.
future real estate investment
side money challenge
lending club review
change of plans
Discover Credit Card
Dividend update 12/27/17
stock market book FE
side money update 1
As always let me know that you think!Hope you got some useful information from this post, and may apply some of the ideas and concepts to help organize your finances or something else important to you.
All my life I’ve been obsessed with money, I say all my life even though I turn 22 in about a month, but I can say it dates back awhile. I think it had to do with how I was raised, I had two very hard-working parents and just watching and being involved in a lifestyle that revolved around that molded me from an early age. Enough with the backstory let’s get to it.
When I was about 13 years old I’d say I was getting into airsoft (yea those plastic bb shooting guns), all my friends had them, we’d have wars in each other’s backyards and all of that. As I got older I got more and more involved in it and being mechanical inclined (hence studying engineering) I started upgrading and taking apart my airsoft guns. My friends took notice and wanted their guns upgraded as well at the beginning it was very light modification (barrel swaps, hop-up unit modifications, external components), but then I bought a couple junker airsoft guns. And started learning how to disassemble the gearbox and internals, looking at the springs, piston, cylinder, the gearset, motors, bearings etc. I began to realize that there was a demand for modified airsoft guns and I could probably buy more junker guns and flip them if I could repair them/ upgrade them.
When I was 16 years old I got my airsoft buddies together and decided to open up a “business” our plan was to flip airsoft guns, and modifying some and reselling. That lasted for about a summer until we outgrew the airsoft phase. Our time was spent at jobs and at high school instead of my basement working on the guns and going out on craigslist and finding deals and broken guns for sale. The entrepreneur experience outweighed the profits I think between the 3 of us that helped in my “business” was about $150 or so. I must also add that some of that profit was in material goods that we acquired through trading things rather than just cash deals. Any how that is were my entrepreneurship started, in a dark dingy basement, taking apart airsoft guns. The screenshot below was taken in 2011 when I was 16 years old.
I later expanded on this idea of flipping and reselling things. Like I said I loved money and wanted to find ways to make it besides my summer job. I also was interested in trading things, I found out in my days of buying and selling airsoft guns on craigslist most people didn’t have cash on hand like I thought they did. I’d get calls and texts asking if they could trade for my airsoft guns and airsoft equipment. I realized the potential profit that could be made by leveraging trades since they weren’t cash and then finding a cash buyer or another trade to make afterwards. I started trading things if I could, I believe over the course of a summer I turned a Go Pro Hero 2 which I valued at about $225 to a hunting crossbow worth about $350 to a trade lot of about $450 worth of stuff. I was fascinated with this and started going to Goodwill to find cheap things to trade or sell on craigslist and eBay. I had my ups and downs with some of that but overall, I learned a lot from this side business I was running. I’d even find deals on amazon and other online retailers and sell still in box items for profit! The picture below depicts some of the trade deals and goodwill flips and trades.
I continued to do this until the end of my senior year of high school. Shortly after that the social aspect of my life picked up and my time was more focused on my summer job and hanging out with friends. In college I never really pursued the same craigslist flipping/trading as much as I use to, I still took advantage of some of the opportunities I saw but again my social life and involvement in different organizations here on campus took up most of my time. My summers also became busier, and focused more on my career with internships and co-ops. In fact, I didn’t really sell anything on craigslist or on the side in the last 2 years apart from this past Thanksgiving and winter break where I dug out some of my old trades, and little knick knacks that have been collecting dust for years and made about $100 in trades this past break.
This brings us to now, and what kind of business/entrepreneurial things I am doing today. Unfortunately, not much now, I sell my used textbooks back, sold some of my old trades this past winter break, made some side money through apps and rebates etc. I am looking to get back into it though, you could say this blog and my affiliate sales/ promotional and referral stuff is sort of a side business. If/when I deep dive into another business venture or some sort of side hustle I will let you all know.
In the mean time let me know how your 2018 is going!
Hey sorry everyone, I was out of town on a ski trip this last week and didn’t have a chance to post anything. I’m back at school now and while its been hectic getting back I should be able to post more frequently, my goal being every other day or thereabouts. I have a friend that will write an article on Lyft or drop shipping here shortly and he’s had incredible success with both so keep your eyes open for that.
Other than that things have been relatively uneventful. My stash portfolio has been doing incredible its up about $100 in the last 2 weeks (portfolio value of ~$2150 so ~5% increase) and I started an Instagram account for the blog you can follow it @bsquared.website. I’ve been experimenting with Instagram advertising and trying to promote my articles and posts through that. Look for a review of that in the future as I learn more about the subject and experiment with different methods to drive traffic and revenue.
I’ve started reading Grant Cardone’s The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure, and I would highly recommend that book so far. Look for a review of that here shortly as well as well as some drastic action that I will take as a result. I would also recommend checking him out on YouTube, he offers lots of advice and motivation and is a great source for information regarding Real Estate if you choose to go that route which I intend to do when I get some more capital.
Also I have several posts that have the opportunity to make me revenue through the blog, including the book review for stock market investing, Discover It credit card, stash app review, acorns app review, Robinhood app review etc. Unfortunately I haven’t made any revenue from these opportunities yet but I think we are getting closer and I expect to make my first dollar from this blog by the end of January. I will of course keep you all updated on that as well.
In summary, buckle up ladies and gentleman, 2018 is going to be a phenomenal year filled with handwork, hardship and opportunities and we should all try to make the most of it.
I completed the December – January 15th challenge of $600. Now to be completely honest here I knew this one was going to be easy. I knew in advance I had a check coming in from John Deere to reimburse me for travel expenses. Now if you’ve ever been reimbursed for travel expenses we all know that $.55/mile is more than enough to cover both gas and wear and tear. So naturally I profited about $300 from that trip, but left without an internship. Anyway, that only left $300 more to go which was handled through resale, dividends, interest, credit card rewards and short-term stock sales for the most part. The final push that got me to the finish line was actually a $100 cashback reward on my Visa card for spending “x” dollars in 90 days.
This allows me to get a head start on the next objective which is $1,000 by the end of February. This one will be the real challenge considering I will be back in school which will take up most my time and I don’t have a couple hundred dollars coming in already. I will update you all on how this next objective goes.
Follow me on Instagram @ bsquared.website
I link articles through there and update on investments and financials more frequently than the blog.
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.
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.
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.
So as December ends and 2018 is fast approaching I’ve been thinking what I want to accomplish this upcoming year. I’m not talking about New Years resolutions or anything, I’m looking at this year as a incredibly critical moment in my life. The actions I take in 2018 could have a significant impact on my life, and could either push me to the next level however you would like to define it, or I could come up short. As I mentioned before in my “Change of Plans” post, I did not get offered the co-op or internship that I thought I had a very good shot at. The co-op would’ve gave me another huge influx of capital and could’ve been a critical asset in my financial life. The missed internship opportunity would have most likely secured a career path once I graduated. So, without either of those I am approaching 2018 in no man’s land. This would be the first time in 2 years that I am going into the new year without a summer job prospect or offer. I did end the Fall 2017 semester very strong, so I have that going for me as well as some good stock positions and prospects going into 2018, but back to the goals. I recently started reading Grant Cardone’s The 10x Rule which has driven me to set more ambitious goals and to put in more time and effort to achieve those results.
$2500 in my aspiration emergency fund (this would give me the 1.00% APY interest rate)
$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)
$10,000 in stash app (originally $5,000)
$10,000 in Lending club (originally $5,000, would be incredibly useful in the stretch investing method)
Collect over $1,000 in dividends and stock interest (this years projected amount was ~$250, original goal was $500)
Have 5, $1,000+/year income streams by the end of 2018 (Anticipate being Dividends/interest, Lending Club interest, Internship, Drop Shipping, Blog)
150 blog posts by the end of 2018
All these goals are related to the blog and my financial life, I also have goals, relating to my academic life, extracurricular involvement, and fitness. I won’t get into details on these to keep this post short.
So tell me some of your goals and ambitions this year, I look forward to reading your comments.