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

January Goal Analysis

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.IMG_0313.png

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.

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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.

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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!

B^2

3. 2. 1. Liftoff

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.

Till next time,

B^2

What I keep track of and Why

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.

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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.

Date: Income: Net profit Savings Invested (401k)
5/24/16 tax return $74.00 $7,629.20 $900.00 $378.00
5/27/2016 paycheck $660.50 $925.00 $345.00
6/10 paycheck $1,192.00 $548.00 $395.80
Baseball tickets $45.00 $507.00 $42.09
6/24 paycheck $1,234.00 $562.00 $384.72
7/8 paycheck $1,097.00 $106.80 $388.87
7/22 paycheck $1,014.00 $600.00 $339.00
Amazon $80.00 $889.00 $375.00
8/5 paycheck $1,124.00 $551.00 $123.30
bonus $106.80 $295.00 $324.00
8/19 paycheck $1,099.00 ** $550.00 $622.12

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.

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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.

Ticker shares cost average value in market value gain/loss gain/loss %
CHK 399 $4.92 $1,963.08 $4.00 -$367.08 -18.70%
ULTA 7 $241.25 $1,688.75 $227.69 -$94.92 -5.62%
O 25 $56.23 $1,405.75 $54.21 -$50.50 -3.59%
F 50 $11.38 $569.00 $11.64 $13.00 2.28%
BPMX 1624 $0.30 $483.46 $0.13 -$272.34 -56.33%
OHI 15 $27.12 $406.80 $27.41 $4.35 1.07%
STAG 15 $26.77 $401.55 $25.69 -$16.20 -4.03%
ATRS 130 $2.42 $314.60 $2.26 -$20.80 -6.61%
ELF 15 $19.87 $298.05 $20.05 $2.70 0.91%
AMBA 10 $52.94 $529.40 $50.25 -$26.90 -5.08%
CEFL 10 $17.72 $177.20 $17.95 $2.30 1.30%
T 5 $33.64 $168.20 $37.82 $20.90 12.43%
IP 1 $57.54 $57.54 $64.75 $7.21 12.53%
TTS 5 $9.48 $47.40 $9.75 $1.35 2.85%
JD 0 $41.82 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 -100.00%
BAC 0 $23.95 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 -100.00%
BABA 0 $0.00 $0.00
cash $4.35
updated $8,515.13 profits and dividends -$796.93 Current Value
1/18/18 money in $8,000.00 $515.13 current market ROI
started face value ROI 6.44%
12/2/16 net annual profit $456.37

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.

Dividend tracking 2017 2018
January $0.00 $12.32
February $0.00 $3.10
March $0.00
April $0.00
May $0.00
June $12.54
July $6.39
August $5.55
September $20.68
October $17.86
November $23.12
December $28.13
$114.27 $15.42
Goal: $125 $500

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
month amount
April 2017 $0.00
May 2017 $11.04
June 2017 $29.03
July 2017 $21.33
August 2017 $37.25
September 2017 $38.81
October 2017 $40.66
November 2017 $41.20
December 2017 $35.15
January 2018
February 2018
March 2018
April 2018
1 year gain $254.47

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 deposited account value NAR % return date immediate return monthly payments
active notes $1,500.00 16.50% 6/5/17
70 $1,700.00 $1,720.00 16.74% 6/19/17 1.176%
103 $2,500.00 $2,534.00 14.70% 7/7/17 1.360% ?
107 $2,500.00 $2,546.72 17.58% 7/21/17 1.869% $91.48
128 $3,000.00 $3,063.65 15.72% 8/4/17 2.122% $92.13
129 $3,000.00 $3,066.90 13.95% 8/29/17 2.230% $111.66
128 $2,900.00 $2,963.39 11.41% 9/15/17 2.186% $111.74
127 $2,850.00 $2,931.35 10.05% 10/3 2.854% $110.83
127 $2,800.00 $2,905.65 11.78% 10/17/17 3.773% $110.83
125 $2,650.00 $2,765.00 12.28% 11/1/17 4.340% $109.00
123 $2,600.00 $2,729.38 11.79% 11/15/17 4.976% $107.18
121 $2,500.00 $2,628.97 11.32% 12/1/17 5.159% $105.49
121 $2,450.00 $2,615.00 11.84% 12/16/17 6.735% $105.49
120 $2,400.00 $2,558.22 10.76% 1/1/18 6.593% $103.63
122 $2,400.00 $2,591.66 12.54% 1/15/18 7.986% $105.00

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 sheet blog was created 11/24/2017 Blog stats 2018
Date expense Month: November December January
11/24 $46.98 wordpress 1 year views 3 81
1/5/18 $3.00 IG promotion visitors 2 7
1/12/18 $20.00 IG promotion Revenue $0.00 $0.00
1/15/18 $3.00 IG promotion expense $46.98 $0.00 $29.00
1/17/18 $3.00 IG pormotion NET -$46.98 $0.00 -$29.00

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.

Schedule content
11/30/17 future real estate investment
12/3/17 Stretch investing
12/7/17 side money challenge
12/11/17 lending club review
12/12/17 change of plans
12/17/17 stock portfolio
12/20/17 Aspiration|Summit
12/20/17 stash investing
12/21/17 acorn investing
12/27/17 Discover Credit Card
12/27/17 Dividend update 12/27/17
12/28/17 2018 Goals
1/3/18 stock market book FE
1/5/18 review Robinhood
1/5/18 side money update 1
1/16/18 status update
1/22/18 airsoft entrepreneur

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.

Thanks, B^2

How I started my journey as an Entrepreneur

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.

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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.

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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!

Change of plans

Well I unfortunately didn’t get the co-op (extended internship) that I was hoping for. Considering that was a missed opportunity for lots of experience for my career and good chunk of change for investment opportunities (approximately $25,000 before tax).  I am looking into other alternatives for income and investments this spring and summer. I was originally looking at purchasing a house this summer in my college town to rent to my fraternity brothers. Unfortunately that will most likely not be possible without that initial capital I was planning on getting from the co-op. I will keep updating this situation as it progresses, but looks like I’ll be busy on getting this blog up to full capacity this winter break along with some side hustle and establishing passive income streams.

 

About Me

Hi my name is Brandon and this is my financial and investing blog!

 

A little bit about myself, I am a 21 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.