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 January 23, 2019 and will be briefly recapped below.
Last time I had $11,500 funded in my Robinhood portfolio, today we are sitting at $8,500 with $350 in process of being withdrawn. This was due to pulling profits and the need to pay the bills and paying Uncle Sam this year. In January I had a total profit of 1,132.90, today we are sitting at $1950.53 which has been a terrific gain in the last 3 months. Also this is real, dividend and profit gains from sold positions, this is not based off the account value/paper value. If you run the numbers, it equates to a yearly gain of 32.7% (quarterly gain of 8.17%) when using a $10,000 account value (average account value over this duration). Some of the larger sales and profits made during this time include, Proctor and Gamble (PG), Roku, Caterpillar (CAT), ULTA, BPMX, Chesapeake Energy (CHK), Apple, Alibaba (BABA), and Facebook (FB). Some of these were large full position sales, others were pulling profits and reallocating funds with small sales. As a result, my account looks incredible right now. A few of the highlights include $550 profit from Ulta, $245 profit from Roku, Apple-BABA-CAT together came out to around $100 profit.(single shares were sold)
The markets have been on quite a tear since the major hiccup in December and with reallocation and making some big sales I have continue to do well in all aspects of my account. I am looking into adding into some of my dividend positions as my yield could come up quite a bit to hit my passive income targets for 2019. I am finishing writing this article on 4/25/19 and Ford just broke $10, and several dividend stocks I’ve been looking at have hit recent lows which I am hoping to capitalize on.
Below I will highlight some of my positions.
CHK has come up considerably but still rough considering its my largest position, I did sell off 75 shares for a nice little gain (still a loss though) to recycle some more cash back into my account.
F just went up around 8% AH on a great earnings report, more to come on that, plan to hold for a while and collect 6% dividends for years to come.
JD and BABA are doing well overall, China and U.S. trade tensions have eased a bit and both positions look good.
FB is doing incredible now as well as AMBA which was one of my low runners for the longest time.
For a complete view of my portfolio check out the screenshot of my tables below.
I am currently looking at adding to my AT&T position, APLE, IRM, and LB. I am also trash at options and should really avoid using them till I feel more confident and just stick to my value and dividend investing and make my returns that way instead of trying to get rich quick.
I talk a lot about setting goals and what my goals are on this blog and my Instagram page, and while goals give you something to shoot for you must also draw out that goal into something more tangible. Today I will go through some examples of how I wrap my head around my goals and how to do the math on your goals. Let’s start with one of my goals I am working on right now, writing 150 blog posts by the end of 2019. This very post will be number 78, that means I have 72 blog posts to write in 256 days (end of 2019). If you do the math that means I need to write a blog post every 3.6 days or about 2 a week, every week, without fail to reach my goal. When you do the math and break things down it adds clarity what you must do to achieve your goals. Now this goal is cut and dry, I simply must get on my laptop and write about something two times a week. The brainstorming and all of that could be involved but this is a rather simple goal and very one dimensional. Let’s look at something a little bit more complex.
Another goal pertaining to the one above is 1500 blog visitors and 2500 blog views in 2019. I am currently sitting at 176 visitors and 318 views. With 256 days to go that equates to 5.17 new visitors per day and 8.52 views per day. If you extrapolate that out to a month using 30.5 days in a month you get 158 visitors a month and 260 views per month. So now we know what we need to shoot for but how do we get there? I stated above that these goals pertain to each other, over the years I have noticed that the more posts I put up the more views and visitors I typically get so increasing volume on the writing side will increase traffic. Another way to look at this problem is to look at is how does the person viewing my blog post get there? Below you can see that most of my traffic comes from Instagram, google search, and a little bit of Facebook.
Let’s further dissect that. Keeping my Instagram presence strong and even pushing on that harder (which I have done recently) will yield better results as far as the data shows. As I increase the volume of articles and write about things people are interested at the time as well as what is known as evergreen content (content that people will forever be searching for i.e. how to save money etc.) I will be able to generate more traffic organically through search engines. I will also be able to better optimize SEO (search engine optimization) by providing more content with more tags and gain more clicks to my articles. When discussing Facebook, I will be the first to admit that it is my Achilles heel of my online life. I normally just post the same picture that I post on Instagram as I do on Facebook. Clearly Facebook’s platform caters to a different type of content than Instagram does, and I simply haven’t put the time and effort into Facebook as I need to. Instagram is obviously the leading platform and with searching being more of a passive grower I should be focusing my efforts toward Facebook with GaryVee’s 79/21 rule. https://www.garyvaynerchuk.com/instagram-for-business-180-strategy-grow-business-brand/
Another aspect to consider is what I write and how that affects traffic. In the picture below all the articles with blue sidebars were written in 2019.
There seems to be a trend for newer content especially when analyzing the data on a month to month basis. I also see trends toward reviews, updates, and overviews of what I am doing to be some of the more popular posts. By catering to the viewership and utilizing some of the strategies I’ve mentioned above you can see where I will be putting my time energy and effort to maximize results and to ultimately achieve my goal.
Let’s take a goal that may resonate with people a little bit more and then gives some insight as to how to work with those numbers to make your goal achievable. One of my monetary goals is to have a net worth of $75,000 by the end of 2019. For those of you that are not aware of my background, I am currently a college student that graduates in May and start a full-time job in June. Considering that and I’ll have a $20,000 net worth when I graduate it is a very ambitious goal. Many of you may be in a similar boat, you want to take your finances to the next level and may have a goal but don’t know how to really get there. So, let’s take a closer look, as I mentioned earlier, I start working in June and I am paid salary now so I can easily calculate my returns every month.
I made the table above, using the 40% rule, getting taxed at 22%, 401k withdrawal of 5% leaves me with a $1750 monthly budget which will be tough but very possible. Now remember I’ll need to increase my net worth by $55,000 in 7 months or so. The 40% rule will get me to about $16,000 including the 2.1% APY I get in my savings account. My 401k will contribute to my net worth to the tune of $2,000. So, if you are keeping up with the math, I’m $18,000 down with $37,000 to go. My Lending Club portfolio assuming some little deposits here and there as well as compounding at 8% a year I can see that going from around $4,750 to $7,000 or so by EOY 2019. My stash portfolio could also see returns similar and can see that rising from $2750 to $4,000 or more. My Robinhood portfolio currently sits at a $9500 account value and with the returns and small deposits down the road could potentially see $12,000 out of that vehicle. So that adds $6,000 to my net worth so only $31,000 to go. This is where the creativity starts to come into effect because I already know I’ll need a side hustle or something to get me to my goal. A side hustle would have to generate $5,000 a month however any extra money is getting invested in some way shape or form so I believe $4500 a month would suffice assuming I can earn solid returns. A side hustle appears to be a must however, I have also considered buying rental property late in 2019. If I can buy something that requires the work and I put some sweat equity into the project I could come out with realized equity in the property also raising my net worth. Now I intentionally made this goal difficult, I did some back of the envelope calculations in January this year when I was setting my goals and looked at $50,000 net worth as being achievable and bumped it up to $75,000 because of the 10X rule and thinking. As always, I’ll keep you all posted on my progress and let you know how it all goes. Thanks for reading and I hope you could find some value behind running the numbers behind your goals and to break it down in smaller time increments like every month or every week rather than the full year outlook. I also hope this inspired you to go for big goals and to stop thinking so small.
A couple months ago I wrote an article explaining my 2019 goals. That article by the way can be found HERE. In that article I explain my reasoning and thought process behind it all however I think I can do a little bit better now that the dust has settled, and I’ve had time to collect my thoughts.
As you can see my first three goals are money related. A $75,000 net worth is one my goals because I believe it is outside of what I can predict to be my net worth. With a few assumptions like anticipating that my net worth will be about $20k when I leave school and calculating my salary, savings, and money earned through investments my anticipated net worth lands somewhere around $40-$50k and obviously I want to challenge myself so bump that number up by 50% and take a crack at it.
My next goal was earning $2,500 in passive income in 2019. This has been a progressively growing goal for me for a couple years now. Some would say you have achieved financial freedom when your passive income exceeds your living costs. Whatever your definition, earning more passive income than active income is one of my goals and while it will take years for that to occur, I can make some progress towards it every day. I made $830 last year in passive income and with new income and coming from a good year as far as investments are concerned, I believe $2500 will be attainable.
A $10,000 emergency fund is my next goal, and it is more like a sacred account than an emergency fund but either way I should be able to smash this and hit about $16,000 based off the 40% rule and my calculations.
The next couple goals revolve around my online life in terms of this blog and my Instagram account. If you haven’t seen my Instagram profile check me out @bsquared.website to see what I’m doing in terms of my investments and what’s going on with me. First up is writing 150 total blog posts, this one has been an emphasis for me because sometimes I just must be in the mood to write and I need the time and energy for it as well. I simply want more content on this blog to improve my SEO and just to have a variety of information available to you all. I am currently at 76 posts with this one going live. The next goal has to do with traffic and that is driving 1500 unique visitors and 2500 views organically. In the past I have driven some traffic with paid ads and what not but that’s not what I’m trying to do. I don’t have anymore amazon offers or anything like that anymore, I’m not trying to build this out to be a passive income stream just yet. I’m just trying to build an audience and a following by sharing my triumphs and struggles and hoping I can help some people out along the way. In 2018, I had 803 unique visitors and 1300 views, so I essentially doubled my numbers and came up with my goal in that manner. Again, some of that traffic was driven by paid ads so reaching those numbers organically is going to take some serious effort.
My next two goals revolve around Instagram as that is my main social media platform. Instagram is where I get my audience engagement and I can show all things B^2 so naturally I would like to grow my audience and my brand there. I would like to finish out 2019 with 750 posts and 3000 followers.
Related to my net worth and passive income generation I would also like to earn $5k or more from a side hustle of some sort because my income will remain static till early 2020 when I can begin earning commission. I haven’t quite figured out my game plan for this yet and so far its only been making a few dollars here and there from some of the apps I use to save money.
Last two goals are to own income generating real estate and to read 12 books or 1 book a month in 2019. I think the income generating real estate is a little bit ambitious but I will be done with my work training around November and then I can finally settle down in St. Louis and hopefully by then I can save up enough money to buy a duplex and house hack it. As far as the reading good I am always looking to improve myself and to keep learning and I listen to lots of educational podcasts however reading has been one of the harder things I have to do and I really wanted to focus on that and grow that “muscle” if you will during 2019.
Now that we flushed out all the goals with a little more detail lets see how we ended up. Below is a full 2019 goal comparison as well as one that has been scaled down for the quarterly evaluation, I essentially took the total increase needed to hit my goals and divided it by 4 to gauge where I was at and where I need to go.
As you can see, I’ve been doing atrocious in regard to the progress towards these goals but there are a few reasons and reminders I need to share. As far as reading is concerned, I knew that would be bad however, I should be able to make up ground over the month that I have off between school and work. Passive income will scale with my earned income so coming in short for this is to be expected, however we should see a dramatic jump in June and on once the earned income starts rolling in. Blog visitors, blog views, blog posts, Instagram posts and followers are all related. A rising tide raises all ships so by picking up the weakest link (probably writing blog posts) we’ll be able to raise all those numbers I expect; I do believe these numbers will be easier to achieve as they work off each other and each other’s momentum. The side hustle bit is totally on me, I have made no real effort towards that and I should since I’m getting crushed on net worth thanks to Uncle Sam and all the fun I had in March.
Expect a new Quarter 2, 2019 goals Instagram pic to come out soon, I believe that is where we will see some progress considering my month off school and work as well as starting to make some money.
If you have any questions or concerns, I’d love to hear them, you can reach out to me on Instagram or here and I’d be happy to talk about anything with you. Also let me know what you want to hear more of!
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.
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.
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.
The account value has decreased dramatically due to pulling out hundreds of dollars every month to live off of.
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.
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.
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 many of you know I am a fan of Grant Cardone with a lot of his stuff and one of the key takeaways I look forward to applying to my life is the 40% rule. The 40% rule was documented in the Great Depression where the wealthy were saving 40% of their income, and its just that simple. The 40% rule is saving 40% of your income before taxes, so if you make $10,000 a month that would require you to save $4,000 a month. If you start looking at the math you’ll realize after taxes and expenses that it is very difficult to achieve the 40% rule, and it is. Income is a priority for the 40% rule, you can’t save what you don’t make, and you must pay yourself first. I will show you a real example using my actual projected salary for my full-time job starting in June.
For my full-time job I have a $57,600 salary ($4800 monthly), a $5,000 signing bonus paid in first month, and a $500-month stipend for the first 18 months. It is a salary and commission pay plan however I will only account for the salary part since I don’t know how much I will sell yet.
Because I start mid-June, I calculated my gross income as half of my monthly salary ($2,400) + $5,000 bonus + $500 stipend = $7,900
Looking at the table you can see my budget is around $2,000 and it will be less than that when you consider my 401k will also be pulled out of my income. I did assign a tax rate of 22% which is the bracket you would be in for this income however your marginal tax rate is less than that, either way I prefer to be conservative with my estimates. (I calculated my marginal tax rate to be 11.5% which would add $570 to my budget every month or $570 more to invest every month) For reference, I take data on my spending habits every summer when I am on internship or co-op. This summer I had no living stipend and was completely on my own, my monthly spending came out right at $2,000, though that includes some extraneous cost that most likely will not happen in the first 6-months of my full-time job. I also will be living at home or my girlfriend’s house during the first 6 months of my full-time job as I will be traveling 90% of the time during training.
Realistically looking at the first 6-months I will have extremely low expenses and may be able to save even more aggressively than what I have shown. Any extra income I can save will be put into my other investing accounts (Robinhood, Lending Club, and Stash). Ideally, I would like to save around $20,000 from my full-time job in 2019, which will help me achieve my $75,000 net worth goal. I would also like to try and purchase a 4-plex or duplex at the end of 2019 assuming all goes according to plan.
Looking at 2020, the saving and income numbers look the same as the later half of 2018. Commission will be included assuming I make sales and as my commissions come in, I plan to add those additional funds to my investment accounts as stated above. Looking at 2019 and 2020 I plan to save $40,000 with the 40% rule and invest additional income in my investing accounts. I plan to save in my Discover Savings account which earns 2.10% APY, which will add to my saving goals as well.
2020 will be difficult to keep in budget, I will then be paying rent and will be living full time in St. Louis. The $2,000 I lived on during internship was living like a poor college student for the most part, as I enter the real world, I expect my standard of living from the food I eat to the activities I participate in to be more expensive as well. However, I at least have an idea of what I spend monthly in preparation, I suggest to everyone to start documenting your spending to get an idea of your habits. If you need help or would like to look at how I do it, I cover it in THIS article.
As I mentioned earlier in the article, income is critical to achieving this aggressive saving plan, for your convenience I will run an example with a salary of $40,000, and I will use a marginal tax rate to ensure accuracy. I included above my actual budget above when marginal tax rate is considered ($2570/month).
As you can see with $850 less a month in your budget that makes things considerably more difficult depending on your life style and where you live.
I hope you learned some valuable information about budgeting and saving money, I’d love to hear about how you save and what your targets are!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
About a year ago I wrote a blog post titled “2018 Goals” an article which I reflected over my recent short coming and looked to 2018 with open eyes and tried to make the best of my situation. Recently inspired by Grant Cardone’s “10X rule” I set lofty goals and set a series of plans in place to achieve them. Today we’ll review what happened to all of that and what I intend to do moving forward. Below are the goals followed by a bullet point explanation as to what happened.
$2500 in my aspiration emergency fund (this would give me the 1.00% APY interest rate)
This had quite a turn of events occur. First off, I no longer use Aspiration as my savings account, I upgraded to a Discover Savings Account which pays out 2.00% APY and may increase with the recent federal rate increase. Overall, I fell very short of this goal and ended up with $900 saved (was $1,000 but Christmas fucked me). I focused on adding funds to accounts that would make more than the 2.00%. I do have a joint savings account my parents started for me when I was very young, if I transfer that account over I would be able to hit my goal as shown above.
$20,000 In my Robinhood portfolio (originally shooting for $10,000, hoping some options trading will give me the edge I need to achieve this goal)
I hit the original goal of $10,000, in fact I will finish 2018 with $11,500 and I have recently been getting destroyed in the stock market. $20,000 was an incredibly lofty goal in terms of being able to generate that much profit from the markets and I was unable to achieve that. I did increase my portfolio by $3,500 but I turned my attention towards Lending Club.
$10,000 in stash app (originally $5,000)
I believe Stash topped out at $3500 at some point this fall but has since dropped due to stock market performance as well as several withdrawals to fund my ski trip and other activities that I have going on. I was able to increase this portfolio by $1700, but again primarily focused on Lending Club.
$10,000 in Lending club (originally $5,000, would be incredibly useful in the stretch investing method)
I have preformed rather well in this category this year. My plans continually shift, and Lending Club became my primary target in terms of funding this Summer and Fall. I topped out the account at $6,381 as far as my records indicate, in pursuit to stretch invest my rent this school year. While $10,000 was quite ambitious that may be my new goal for 2019. In total, I added over $4,000 to this account this summer and fall.
This one is a constant battle for me. I love passive income, I love making money while I sleep, but I also need to generate positive returns in the stock market too. My investing strategy constantly shifts but I also look at growth stocks that could deliver amazing returns and not just dividend stocks. Between lack of funding in my Robinhood portfolio and investing mostly in growth and value stocks rather than just dividend stocks I was unable to hit my target.
Have 5, $1,000+/year income streams by the end of 2018 (Anticipate being Dividends/interest, Lending Club interest, Internship, Drop Shipping, Blog)
I honestly don’t know what I was thinking on this one, perhaps, diversifying my income streams more however my summer required extreme focus to achieve the desired results. My most lucrative income streams in order:
Lending Club interest $419 (still waiting on December results so approximately $500)
Stock profit $375 (approximated)
Dividend income $300 approximately
Various odds and ends of selling unused things or doing odd jobs might come out to $200/year or so
As you can see my alternative income streams just did not come together like they needed to.
150 blog posts by the end of 2018
I thought I was going to make impressive headway during this summer but that was not the case. With my line of work, I was working 6-7 days a week and had no set schedule which hindered my blogging. My goal is to finish 2018 with 75 blog posts and this one will come in at #69 (nice) (gang gang gang) (RBP).
As you can see, none of my big goals of the year were accomplished however that is not always a bad thing. I would rather go big and come up short rather than go small and have no ambition in what I am pursuing. The 10X mentality may not translate perfectly into my academic life or my internship as well as it would to a post graduate’s career and starting out his or her life. You can’t 10X your GPA from a 4.0 to a 40.0. There is a finite amount of time and resources as an intern to try and compete with targets and goals set by full-time coworkers that can work 9 months compared to your 3 months.
The good news is I will be making that transition this summer to a full-time employee and be finished with college. While I will be training for most of 2019 and will not have control of my income like I will when I really get into sales, I will have access to more income than I have in all my life. With that all in mind, I plan to make some big moves in 2019 to make the most of my opportunities. Keep your eyes open for that post!
So, tell me some of your goals and ambitions this year, I look forward to reading your comments.
I’ve been putting this one off for a hot minute, literally months, but its time to nut up or shut up so here we go.
We all like to save money, buying something on sale, finding that deal online, or working your credit card for maximum cash back is always a good feeling. Today I am going to share with you some of the apps I use to save money. Let’s start with Drop.
Drop is an app that rewards you with points when you spend money at certain places. You can individualize your account a little bit based on your shopping preferences so its not a cookie cutter mold you must fit into to use this app. All that is required is linking your credit/debit cards and it’ll track when you make purchases at certain place that they reward. To share some details with you all about my personal account I currently am rewarded for Walmart, Starbucks, Chipotle, McDonalds, and Target. Below is the screen displaying those offers. As well as my rewards and the general reward page.
Overall, I’ve cashed in $10 using this app and it can be set up in under 10 minutes and requires no additional work outside your normal spending habits. There are also plenty of opportunities to earn bonus points and whatnot to get to your rewards faster!
My drop referral code is: ay0x4
Receipt Hog is the next app we’ll look at. It’s self-explanatory, it’s an app that you upload receipts to and it pays you for those receipts. No credit or debit cards need to be linked, nothing like that, just snap a pic of the receipt and upload and answer a 30 second survey and boom you get some coins. Those coins can cash in for an amazon gift card, visa debit card, or PayPal credit. I currently am stashing up my coins for a bigger payout, but I’ve passed the $5 mark. I have been super hit or miss with receipt hog, just with small transactions like at a gas station or something like that I don’t always ask for the receipt and I lose out that potential from the app. Overall, it’s an easy app to use however it isn’t as lucrative or easy as Drop since that is fully automated.
Ibotta and Checkout51 are going to be compared at the same time since they are very similar. They are online app-based coupons essentially. I don’t know if you or your significant other or parents were ever coupon people, but my mom use to be so that is how I can relate this. I would normally make my grocery shopping list and then go through the apps and see if anything I need had a coupon for it, they have most major grocery stores, so it shouldn’t be an issue to find your grocery store of choice. For both they require $20 in coupons to be redeemed to be able to withdraw your savings. I prefer Ibotta compared to Checkout51 due to its ease of use, how its organized, and I think it has better coupons than Checkout51. Examples can be found below.
My Ibotta referral code is: ficlsui
My checkout51 referral code is: https://checkout51.app.link/GN411WUkOS
For online shopping I use honey and RetailMeNot however I know there are tons of online discount sites, coupons, etc. Honey is a web browser installment that compares price history of an item you are planning to buy. RetailMeNot is an online search engine for coupon codes. I generally use both prior to purchasing something online just to make sure I am getting a good deal. I used to use a many more apps and online wholesale websites but have since eased off the online shopping as I grew older.
If you are interested in any of the above apps, I encourage you to try them out. As I mentioned before I use all the apps I explained above and I’m happy with the results. Overall, I would say I have saved around $100 since using them over the last 2 years or so.
As a college student I tend to have lower spending than the average family so pending your current financial situation and how you use the app or what your current scenario is your results may vary. Free money is free money though so why not pad your pockets a little bit more.
As always thanks for reading and let me know what you want to hear more about!
Hey everyone, sorry for the delay, I just took my last 2 exams yesterday 12/12/18 for school and can finally settle down and get some non-school related work done. So today I’ll be comparing my Lending Club portfolio to what it was on the last update from 9/17/18. Now for those of you who are reading this blog for the first time let me catch you up quick. If you are familiar with me and Lending Club skip down to the horizontal line.
My name is Brandon, I’m a college student if you couldn’t tell by the exams above, I graduate this upcoming May, and already have a job secured so that’s exciting. Lending Club is a peer to peer (P2P) lending platform where, rather than borrowing money from a bank or financial institution, individual investors fund the borrows and receive interest and what not just like a bank does. I’m obviously on the investor side of things so I can’t say much about the borrowing side.
It’s a rather simple platform, I as an investor put in say $1,000 (you can invest with as little as $25 but this is just an example), I can pick which loans I want to fund and fund it into $25 increments (it’s not all or nothing). So, for example, XYZ is requesting a loan for $20,000 for credit consolidation, Lending Club does its due diligence in terms of background information (credit score, credit history, current income, current debt, debt-to-income ratio, etc. etc,), they then assign them a scoring based on the above information in an A-E, 1-5 scale. An A1 rating represents the safest investment while an E5 represents the riskiest investment. Based on that scoring the interest rate is calculated as of today (the rates have changed recently due to rising interest rates in the U.S. and Lending Club has been doing a good job of keeping their investments in line with rising interest), an A1 loan has a 6.46% interest rate, while an E5 has a 27.27% interest rate. The loans come in either 3 year or 5-year lengths and the investors get paid monthly. So in the previous example if I were to take that $1,000 and put the money to work in a variety of loans ($25*40=$1,000) spread over different ratings, I would get paid monthly on all of those and earn somewhere between 4%-7% give or take because of course Lending Club takes a 1%-2% cut or so. Now the loans can always default, or get paid back early, in that case you lose potential interest. So obviously there’s some risk involved as with any investment and even the high-quality A grade loans have defaulted on me before.
My favorite aspects of Lending Club are the monthly principal and interest payments from every loan. In November I collected $75.28 in interest and received about $250 in principal back. I also love the ease of reinvesting at the level I am at. With about $325 coming in from last month divided by the $25/note price tag I could reinvest my P&I 13 times in a month all while earning around 7% interest! Only place you can reinvest quicker is a good savings account and even then, the best you’ll make is 2% (at least that’s what my discover account makes a year)
Alright time to compare the last 3 months side by side. For the following comparisons we’ll do the September data on the left and the December data on the right.
As you can see, we have a significant increase in notes over the almost 3-month period. I mentioned in the previous update that I was waiting on my internship bonus to come in to help fund this endeavor and when it arrived it allowed me to put another $1,500 into Lending Club. Charge offs, fully paid and other scenarios have gone up as they always had.
I did not include the following pictures in my previous update but here they are now. Below is a pie chart depicting my current portfolio by what rating it has. As you can see it is relatively spread even throughout the spectrum except for F and G as they are no longer offered and were incredibly risky. My detailed returns are also shown below.
Moving on, we’ll examine the overall account value as well as return on investment. Since these pictures are long, the September numbers will be shown first, then December.
This shows the adjusted account value and return for my entire portfolio. It is adjusted based off the probability and amount of the various late and defaulted notes in my portfolio. As you can see the account value is dramatically higher as well as the % return. I expected this to happen for a few reasons. For one I mentioned a $1,500 deposit I made to the account increasing its value as well as being able to compound the account through October to reinvest my earnings. As for percent return the account had an influx of new notes at the time as you can see by the first set of pictures. When notes are not issued they add to the account value but not to the profit because they haven’t started paying you yet. This decreases the % return significant and I have seen it every time I make a large deposit. Over time this will drop due to notes defaulting and being paid late.
The next set of pictures show the non-adjusted account values again we will go September then December.
As you can see the percent return and account values are both up and consistent with the previous set of pictures.
So you may be asking what the point of all of this is, like nice bro you made some money, but what’s the deal? Well making money especially passively has always been a huge focus for me, you only have 24 hours in a day and you gotta sleep, so until you can make money while you sleep or while you are not working you will be broke forever. (paraphrased from Warren Buffett) So check that one off the box. I mentioned earlier that I am a college student, I have internships over the summer and I don’t work for the other 9 months of the year, and I needed a way to generate income in a fluid manner throughout the school year. Yes I know I could just stick it all in the bank and withdraw when needed but you don’t make shit at the bank so that’s wasting your money’s potential.
Here’s a bit of background, I moved out of my fraternity house this semester, so I was kinda on my own as far as rent went and I wanted a way to pay my rent and make money at the same time as I have been eluding to in the previous paragraph. I decided to go balls out in Lending Club, utilize the monthly payouts, utilize the return, utilize the fluidity from Lending Club to checking account transaction, and fund my rent through Lending Club.
Overall, I think I accomplished what I was trying to do, if you recall the September update, I mentioned my rent at school was $275 + utilities = approx. $350. I know that’s dirt cheap but it’s a small college town and its not the most glamorous house but whatever I’ve dealt with worse. The total collected amount for principal and interest in November was about $350 so I technically made it, but it doesn’t quite feel like it. I wanted to do better than where I am at now and I am currently in full out withdrawal mode to pay rent, and credit cards, fund my ski trip, buy Christmas presents etc. etc. So, I can’t compound or add to Lending Club any time soon. I believe that if I could’ve started adding to Lending Club sooner this summer (between rent and deposits and just starting work, I was seriously in the hole the first month of my internship this summer) I would’ve had a better shot. I made incredible money over the summer, but I lost the time value of it and the compounding power, because I received about half of my total payment after I left to go back to school. You can read about my internship here
Well awesome guys thank you so much for taking the time to read this, lots more will be coming here in December, we’ve got big plans, big goals, and lots of ambition to get there. Please let me know what you like, don’t like, want to hear more about, if you want shorter or longer posts, videos, tweets, more or less stuff on Instagram etc etc.
I’m here to provide insight and value to all my followers and readers. I want to know what you guys want to hear so I can deliver the best content in the best format possible. Hit me up here and leave a comment, or dm me on Instagram @bsquared.website.
I’m back at it with another update on my passive income. Two months have passed, and we’ve made progress since I last filled you guys in. To remind everyone I currently receive passive income in the form of interest payments from Lending Club, my savings account, stock dividends, and stock interest payments.
I have invested more money into my Robinhood portfolio, stash app and my lending club account since I last touched on this subject and the results speak for themselves. Two months ago, I had received $233.74 YTD in Lending Club payments, now I am at $343.72. Stock interest and dividend payments have also increased from $186.37 to $260.89. Overall that puts me at a YTD passive income of $604.61 or $60.46/month. This is in comparison to my September numbers of $420.11 YTD and $46.68/month. This shows a 29.5% increase in monthly passive income! Below is a screenshot of my Lending club interest payments by month as you can see we have a dramatic uptick through the fall as funds were added in late summer and early fall showing the strong passive income performance described above.
Unfortunately, I do not think I will make it to my goal of $1,000 of passive income YTD. The progress I have made will continue to help grow my passive income year after year with the goal of my passive income exceeding my earned income one day.
My lending club portfolio has been driving much of this passive income growth and it has not shown its full strength yet. This month all my notes will be issues and generating income and we will see what kind of profits that machine can churn out. My stock portfolio has been extremely volatile during the month of October as many investors have experienced the wild ride with me. I am optimistic of my portfolio and believe I will be making some sales in the future and picking up dividend stocks and profits along the way. My Stash portfolio also grew with considerable size over the last several months and it is likely that some of those positions will be rewarding me in the future as well.
Exciting things are soon to come as the end of 2018 approaches! Expect another passive income update at the end of 2018 or beginning of 2019 to recap the full year and see my future and ambitions for 2019. With graduation, relocating, and adulting there are sure to be some interesting topics to talk about and interesting plans in my future.
I will also be using this post to apologize for my horrendous lack of posting in October, as highlighted in my November goal picture on Instagram I have been off my game to say the least and will be using this first half of November or so to get back on track. For those of you who are curious I only had 1 blog article posted and lacked on my Instagram game as well. This article is already my second of November and many more are to come!
Do you ever get in a rut like I did? If so, leave a comment on how you got out of it or what you did to wake yourself back up. I’m sure myself and everyone reading this could get some benefit out of your words of wisdom!