Dividend update 3-26-18

I came to you guys almost 3 months ago with an overview of my dividend income and situation. Back then I was bringing in approximately $150 a year in dividends from Robinhood and with all dividends and interest included I was bring in a little over $20 a month. Today this is what we are looking at.

div update table 3-26-18

The above table tracks my dividends from multiple platforms (Robinhood, acorns, and stash) as well as interest I receive from Robinhood. As you can see there is a general trend upward and although there were some bad months (January) I receive upwards of $20 a month in dividends. Here is the table in graph form, the blue represents 2017 and the red represents 2018. As you can see March 2018 has been my best month to date with $31.68, or about a $1 a day.

dividend update 3-26-18

Below is another table tracking my dividend stocks in Robinhood. As you can see I am now making approximately $200 a year in dividends not including stash dividends or Robinhood interest. This equates to approximately 2.5% return on my portfolio in dividends.  I also have small positions in some very high yield dividend stock such as CEFL, CBL, and OHI. I am looking into increasing those positions moving forward and cost averaging down when I can, to increase actual percent yield which is calculated in the table below.

div table 3-26-18

Overall, I am impressed with these results as I have been taking my foot off the gas in terms of investing in dividend stocks. I have been looking more into higher potential returns than higher dividend income recently and we will see how that pays off in the future. Currently my largest position is down big right now (~$750) as that comes up as I expect it too in 2018/2019 and I can funnel more money into my investing accounts I will keep you all updated on my stock portfolio and my dividends.

Please leave a comment below!

B^2

February 15th Goal Update

Hey everyone, first off, I just want to say I am so sorry for this coming out as late as it is. I had a couple tests, the career fair at my school, fraternity and philanthropy matters that were taking up a lot of time, and unfortunately it isn’t going to get any better. I had a function this past weekend and forgot my laptop charger and put me very far behind and has caused some of the time issues that led to the above-mentioned items to take priority. Excluding that hiccup this has been the busiest semester I’ve ever had and them I’m adding to that with this blog and everything else I’m trying to do. If you have any suggestions or advice I’m all ears because this quite a serious matter.

Anyways let’s get to it! Below is the goal screenshot.

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Like I mentioned above I had the career fair at my school which is a huge deal and I needed to get myself out there and try and get a job for this summer. I decided to have my resume revised and getting applications out early would help me out tremendously and added those items to my goal list and accomplished both. I’ve been trying to build my brand/establish my presence in the world and I feel like Instagram is a very good platform to do that in for what I am doing and what demographic I am targeting so that’s why my current and future goals will revolve around it. I came one post short for my Instagram goal and that really came down to me scrambling the last 3 days trying to post useful content and taking time to find that great content. I did hit my followers goal though! On that note I would like to ask my readers, do you have any issues with losing followers on significant levels? I’ve seen a drop in 5-10 followers on some of those days and it was extremely puzzling so if anyone has any suggestions or advice on that again I am all ears.

Moving on I finished The 10X Rule and I am so happy I did, it was an incredible book with great content, advice, ideas and I believe it will be the foundation of my success for the future. I wrote a nice little review for it as well so if you would like to check it out click the link here. http://bsquared.website/2018/02/08/the-10x-rule-the-only-difference-between-success-and-failure/

I also finished 10 Ways to make Passive Income, not the same level of book but the link for the article is here as well. http://bsquared.website/2018/02/13/10-ways-to-make-passive-income-financial-education-youtube-channel/

Reading the 2 books above and the one I am currently reading, Sell or be Sold, has rekindled my passion for learning and reading that has been gone for quite some time now so that was refreshing to experience. I encourage everyone if they think a book would benefit them and I’ve read and reviewed it to check out the review before you buy it and get an idea if it is for you or not. I also think honesty is crucial and I will also tell you if you should buy the book or not regardless if I affiliate link it or not.

Next goals I will cover regard the blog, 35 blog posts and 100 visitors. Let me tell you first and foremost I occasionally dread writing these posts. I’ve never been much of a writer, but I am passionate about teaching and this seems at the current time the most effective way to get my message across under the given circumstances, so that’s why I blog. On that note, 26 blog posts are very short of 35 and I realize I set my goals on the upper end of the spectrum. I would have normally said I set my goals too high, but I really didn’t take enough action to create the content to write 35 blog posts worth of material and to do the actual writing itself. You can find that life lesson in The 10X Rule. The back half of this month’s goals will be posted at the end of this article, but you can see I did not take a very ambitious approach with blog post goal for the reasons mentioned above. I crushed the 100-blog visitor goal…. But it was mainly due to paid advertising through Facebook. Which is good, people are reading my posts and I’m getting a few clicks for the affiliate sales, but I need something sustainable obviously and you will see that in the next set of goals.

Next up affiliate sales. Oh man these have been rough, I had goals of 1 affiliate sale and 30 clicks across the board. We landed at zero affiliate sales and 17 clicks, I failed to reach either goal. These have continued to struggle since so I am asking my readers again, if you have any suggestions or advice for these please let me know. I really need to get some research in on how to best set all of those up when I get some time.

The side money challenge has more or less fallen off the wagon. I am quite simply trying to do too many things at once and I’ve always heard its better to full-ass one thing than half-ass two things. So, while I am still tracking it and I was at $227.50 / $400 it has not been my main priority at all. Investing referrals! I failed to get a referral for the following investing apps I use, Robinhood, stash, and acorns. I think I am simply late to the game and incorrectly targeting my audience. My main demographic is already people who invest so that doesn’t help me get referrals typically. At least those articles are out there forever, and the links still work so one day someone might stumble upon them and start using the app.  The last item on the goal list was to pay off my Discover credit card. I paid off the equivalent amount on my Visa instead because the due date is sooner, so I’ll call that a win in my books.

My next set of goals are below, if you follow me on Instagram you’ve already seen these. I realize this isn’t very productive since these goals end in 5-6 days since it’s a short month but nonetheless this can give you an idea of where I was coming from and where I am going. They are up to date as of the morning of 2/23/2018. As you can see there is a long way to go and I got a bad start with the above mentioned time commitments mentioned in the first paragraph but I am determined to make a sizable dent in those goals.

So tell me what kind of goal setting do you do? Do you write your goals down everyday like Grant Cardone? Do you set short term goals like I do? Are you a New Years’ Resolutioner and quit about this time of the year?

Comment and let me know, I’d love to hear your feedback!

-B^2

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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.

color coded

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.

networth

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

Acorn investing/savings app

Another investing/saving app I use is Acorn. I’ve been using this app since November 2016, and haven’t used it nearly as much as Robinhood or Stash. Acorn is an app that uses your rounded up spare change from purchases on credit/debit cards to fund the investment portfolio ($5.63 is rounded up to $6 and $0.37 is deposited into the account). Due to my very different stretch investing method I’ve been using recently, I stopped using acorn in July 2017. In that short duration of time I was able to make a 4.3% return in about 7 months using the aggressive portfolio shown below. Extrapolating that return into a APY yields approximately 7.4% return. The conservative portfolio is shown below for comparison.

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Between my age, tolerance of risk, and a reliable fall back plan allows me to invest in the aggressive portfolio worry free. The app has you put in your financial information and goals and recommends the proper portfolio you should invest in. Based on the app I was actually supposed  to invest in the moderately aggressive portfolio, but changed to the aggressive portfolio.

Below are my returns and the “Found Money” page.

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The “Found Money” page is essentially the rewards portion. When you make purchases on your linked cards they will redeem the rewards which are paid out in flat rates ($5, $3 etc.) or in a percentage of your total purchase. I currently have a pending “Found Money” reward from the Wall Street Journal for a 2-month trial to their subscription for a $5 amount and the subscription fee cost me $2 for a net $3 gain. Along the lines of free money, when you use the invite code below you will receive $5 in your acorn portfolio.

https://acorns.com/invite/SGQYCZ

Overall, I would say this is a great app to start saving more money daily. The platform of the app is simple and easy to use providing graphs and detailed information where you want it and an overview where you don’t. There is also a “grow” section which is their article and information area. They post monthly articles from Warren Buffet advice, to basic investment information. I would highly recommend this app to beginning investors and savers as well as anyone that could use a little kickstart on saving more money.