Lending Club Update 9/17/18

Hope everyone is doing well, I’ve been getting some questions about lending club here lately with how much I’ve been talking about it and posting about it. Hopefully today I can answer all those questions and give you an update on where I am at with this investing platform.

In case you weren’t around when I first talked about this, I started using lending club in April of 2017. Lending club is a peer to peer lending and borrowing platform. Where individual investors fund individual borrowers for various loans. These loans can range quite a bit in size from $4,000 to $35,000 or so, 36 months or 60 months in length, and of various ratings and interest rates. Now I’m not going all in on $30k loans or anything like that, I’m not rolling that deep by any stretch of the imagination. The loans are bought in notes from an investor perspective, these notes are in $25 increments. Now you could go and fund an entire loan yourself I like to diversify, and I currently fund over 200 different loans over the course of a year and a half.  Much like a car payment or a house payment the borrower pays the loan off every month so as an investor you get paid out every month in principal and interest. Of course, the house takes a cut as well and that’s generally around 1-2% depending on the loan. The rate on the loans are usually between 5%-30% interest rates based on the borrower’s credit score, previous lines of credit, income etc. etc. Obviously the higher the interest rate the higher the risk of defaulting the loan, and the lower the interest rate the less likely the borrower is to default. Below is a quick snapshot of how my portfolio looks in terms of active notes, defaults, late notes, and fully paid notes.

lending club notes

Now generally I take a rather aggressive approach to my notes and my average interest rate is around 15-18% overall. That can explain some of the defaults I’ve had as they are a higher risk loan, per usual with investing the greater the risk the greater the reward.

What really turned me on to Lending Club and this platform of investing (peer to peer lending) is the monthly payments. Dividend stocks are great, and I have quite a bit of cash flow from them (currently $275/year as we speak) however only a few of them pay me monthly. Having a monthly cash flow allows me to compound my gains 4x faster than a quarterly dividend stock which most of them are quarterly. I also am more fluid with withdrawing money with this platform which leads into my next point. I am investing heavily in this platform to passively pay my rent in the spring semester. You heard that right while it won’t be all interest based (in fact its mostly principal based) I will attempt to use this platform to make a nice 6% or more return while being able to pull my money out and pay rent every month. This obviously has lots of risk and I have back up plans in place in the event most of my loans default however from what I’ve learned in the last year and a half this has been a pretty reliable strategy, and of course I make passive income while I am doing this with a decent return.

Now let’s back up a minute. Most of you are probably thinking I’ve got to be pulling in some big bucks to pay rent with this right! If any of you rent out there you’re probably thinking this is quite a stretch. If you didn’t see in any of my previous posts my rent here in my college town is dirt cheap I’m talking $275 a month + utilities which generally rounds out to $350/month. As of my last monthly payment update I am currently bringing in $195 in principal and interest a month! I’m not done yet either, the snowball has started to roll, I dumped in almost $3,000 this summer into my portfolio and when I get my bonus here soon another $1,000+ will go in + I’m starting to get monthly payments from the loans I purchased this summer. Come October/November I will be approaching that first tier of rent ($275). Not too shabby considering a 6% return on a passive income and its monthly.

With this next small deposit coming in this week I will be at ~230 notes and I am estimating I will need 315 or so to cover the $275 a month. Let’s take a quick look at my account summary, this first picture is adjusted account value which includes the defaults and the late notes.

lending club adjusted

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

lending club no adjust

My account is out of whack at the moment, with the large influx of new notes there is quite a few that haven’t started paying out yet because they are so new. Like I said come October/November that should all get settled in and the returns will be coming up as the monthly payment number starts ringing true and all my loans start paying out.

As a disclaimer I am not a financial consultant and all investments carry risk. I am simply showing you all what I am doing and why I think it will work. Of course, I’d like to hear what you have to say. I know quite a few of my followers have been asking questions about this platform and the pros and cons of it. I have another post from way long ago on why I like this platform so much and you can read that post right Lending Club Review.

Have a great day and I can’t wait to hear from you guys!

Summer Plans Review

On May 1st I wrote a post titled “Summer Plans” today I will review what steps I took to achieve these goals and aspirations and how you can too. First and foremost, to achieve these goals and aspirations you of course have to have these goals and aspirations and not just in your head but somewhere written down where you will see it often. If you follow me on Instagram @bsquared.website you can see I write my goals down in my notes and I post and look at them constantly. If you have good goals that are designed to get you to your end goal you will be in good shape.

  1. I am going to absolutely crush this internship/sales position. I mean crush it! This is the first time in my life that I will get paid on commission meaning every minute I am not working or trying to sell is a wasted minute. That goes beyond the job as well, I also have this blog and an Instagram, and I will continue to expand my social media presence and further build my personal brand.

In terms of Instagram and this blog I build my Instagram presence from 142 posts to 266 currently. I went from 39 blog posts to now 59. I wish I could’ve bumped up the blog post number quite a bit but it’s a process and takes some time. As far as the internship is concerned we will highlight later as I am still collecting checks and making sure everything goes as planned. How did I do this? I kept setting goals to increase these two metrics. Not the best strategy ever but I wanted more content, I will build on this content later and add more value for my viewers, that will be in the goals for the first half of September. 

2. I want to move away from the umbrella of financial security of my parents. They have done a fantastic job providing for me all my life and I feel obligated to lighten their load. I am making it a goal of mine to work harder than ever before to obtain scholarships and other means to provide for my schooling. My parents have also paid for my housing during college and pending the results of my friend meeting with his landlord tomorrow I should be moving out the fraternity house and plan to pay my rent and all necessary living expenses. I also came up with my method to do so. I have talked about Lending Club before on this blog but for those of you who haven’t read about it yet you can reference this post about it “Lending Club Review”.

 I was unsuccessful in obtaining scholarships, I realized I missed the time frame for most scholarships that would cover the 2018-2019 school year. I am living with a roommate and am no longer in the fraternity house. I am still working toward using lending club as my vehicle for funding my rent and utilities. I am currently making about $165/month from this method and I am still funneling money towards it. I mentioned in an IG post that approx. 31% of my portfolio I have not collected payments from because they are so new. This just goes to show that this takes time for it to materialize. Ideally by October we will be near the target and will let the monthly cash flow pay for my rent. How did I do this? I had a problem – paying $350 for rent and utilities a month ( I know some of you wish you had this problem cause Rolla is dirt cheap) . I wanted to find a solution that would make paying this easier and be able to make money while still paying. I was already using the vehicle (Lending Club) and I just had to commit to it. It had to have certain criteria (safe, familiar with it, monthly cash flow, easily withdraw-able etc.) then I put the money into it and I am still putting money into it. 

  1. I have also began looking at investment properties in my college town, with the hopeful influx of money I make this summer this may finally become a reality and I have also explained some of those plans in a previous post linked here.

This is just a little bit out of my reach, with a 20% down payment we are looking at $20,000 or so and I just don’t have that unless I were to liquidate all my funds. I also didn’t make the stock gains and investment gains that I planned to. I am focusing most of my money and energy into other forms of passive income like Lending Club and dividends. This will keep paying me over the school year and keep making money and fund all my activities. How did I do this? I didn’t sometimes you just need to know when to much is too much. I’m all about pushing hard for your goals and what will bring you closer to success but there’s just not enough to go around. 

  1. This will also be the first summer where I will be relatively free while I have been this interested in improving my life for the years to come. On my co-op I did not start investing until very late and then I returned to school and was again very busy with my other obligations. While on my internship I was taking 9 credit hours of summer class which took a very large toll on my time and extracurricular efforts. I lived an endless cycle of work, working out, and then studying and doing homework during the 5-day work week and then my Sunday’s were typically consumed in school work as well. This is another very exciting aspect of this summer that I can hopefully take advantage of.

This did not happen as planned. In theory when you are only door knocking 5 hours a day that doesn’t sound too bad. However, all the time I spent on returning phone calls, text messages, emails, keeping everything updated and documented was sizeable. I didn’t push myself as hard as I should have and I did my fair share of sleeping in and slacking off.  Why do I do this? Because knowledge is power. The more I know the better decisions I can make. The better chance I have of succeeding. 

  1. I intend to learn more than I ever have this summer as well. I have an ambitious reading goal this summer of 10 books which is crazy to think about since I have not read for leisure in years but the value that it has been bring to my life is incredible and I have learned so much already and I can’t wait to learn more. If you have any suggestions I am open to them all but I will most likely need to focus in on something related to what I would like to pursue later in my life, namely entrepreneurship, business, investment property and real estate, and investing.

I did learn quite a bit this summer from my internship, podcasts and books I read. The numbers won’t show it in terms of books I’ve read but I continue to learn and I am putting more effort into that during the school year. Refer to above italic text.

  1. I would like to make a strong effort to help my fraternities recruitment efforts this summer. Due to the new structure of our recruitment and pledgeship process this summer will be the ultimate factor to our future success and I would like to give my time, effort and talent to this endeavor. Not that I haven’t helped in the past, but I see the high importance of this task, but it will also give a chance to develop my new skills.

Unfortunately, I did not put as much effort into this as I should have during the summer and during the fall. I did a lot behind the scenes in terms of creative thinking and problem solving. I also set up events, but I did not really kill it like I did the year before in terms of actual recruiting. I believe this was just me getting older and wanting to have some fun for occasionally. Why did I do this? Because I feel obligated to share my knowledge and experience in this position to help out the current Recruitment Chair. I also think the ROI on the time and effort is well worth it. 

  1. I believe this summer will also allow me to network more than I have in the past and I have given up some of those opportunities for my other obligations in the past. Again, with all that I have learned this school year I believe this will be a key aspect in my ultimate success later in life and the more I can network and connect with the others the more opportunities will present themselves.

I did network when I could with my fellow interns, coworkers, and customers. Again, with my work schedule and other obligations it wasn’t as much as I wanted to. I do have 2 great references for my resume which will be key in my job hunting here to come, my immediate supervisor and my sales manager. Two of the best references I have had so far all created by networking. Why did I do this? Its not what you know its who you know. Ever hear that saying before? While I think what you know is important the message is clear and my references I listed in my resume will help me out dramatically and all the connections I have made will help me in the future. 

We are still pushing hard towards the end of the month. Keep your eyes open for more blog posts, more Instagram posts, more money and hopefully no problems. I’ll keep you guys updated!

As always, I would love to hear all your comments!

B^2

 

March- April Goal Review

It’s been awhile since I have posted one of these so what the heck let’s get to it.

Like I’ve mentioned before the spring semester is crazy busy at my school and March- Mid April is probably the busiest section of them all. I mean there’s St. Pat’s, Spring Break, Greek Sing, and Derby Days all in there plus a round of tests or two. Like are you kidding me!? Doesn’t get much worse than that, however, that didn’t stop me from doing what I do best and getting shit done so let’s see how I did.

Here is the goal list to start off march on top, on the bottom is where I finished at.

IMG-0399IMG-0400

I intentionally went away from the biweekly format with March because of Pat’s and Spring Break. I also did not try to push myself as hard as I have been lately. Don’t worry we’ll get back on my game here soon I promise.

In the beginning of March was sitting at around 75 IG posts, 400+ IG followers (my all time high as of right now) so from the social media perspective I was doing great. When we turn to the blog you’ll see I failed to miss my target yet again on the # of blog posts with only 30 and 175 blog visitors, again piggybacking off paid advertising for that. Finished sell or be sold and did not finish Rental Property Empire we will get to that one later.

So that sets the stage for where I was going into March, as we see in the month of March goals we boosted up IG posts by +35, which is a solid 1 post a day average and then some. Unfortunately, my consistency isn’t the greatest with that and I’ve been working on getting that more consistent. I was going in several short bursts and then taking breaks rather than a consistent one or two posts a day. Organic blog traffic was a struggle, I did not have the systems in place to capitalize and keep my paid advertising traffic and in fact I still do not have the proper systems in place which has been hurting my viewership. That and only 3 blog posts in the entire month of March is just pitiful and I’ve been working hard to improve that this month. Still didn’t make it through Rental Property Empire either, and let me tell you that book was DENSE, packed with information and great content but man was it a slow read and hard to get motivated because the nitty gritty of rental property investing is not all that exciting. Using that prior screenshot as a starting point of April lets see where we landed during the mid-April goal review.

IMG-0401

Mid-April I was consumed in my philanthropy, as head chair it was a lot of long nights and busy work to make things run smoothly, and I did my best to make up for it in early April but even then, I was making up work that others failed to do. If you would like to know more about the philanthropy and what all happened the link to the article can be found here. Philanthropy article

I hit my low IG post goal, but followers diminished a bit, blog posts remained stagnant at 33 posts. Organic visitors were still very low probably due to my lack of Instagram engagement, and side money was also low due to my less than ideal productivity during my spring break. (P.S. girlfriends are a time commitment, so is covering for people who fail to follow through on their assignments.)

So using that last screenshot we can analyze my current in progress goal list shown below.

IMG-0402

I am finishing writing this post at 1am on Friday April 27, I have my fraternity’s initiation tomorrow which I am heavily involved in as Vice President and that has been bogging me down a bit, but I have been making effective use of my relatively light work load this week. I say light just because I do not have any tests, but I’ve spent a good 20 hours on homework and project work for my classes this week already with a final presentation tomorrow at 11am which should be fun.

As you can see I’m a tad behind on IG posts and I feel like I am spamming content, but I like to hit my targets and goals and my content is still pretty good so there’s that. Instagram followers have picked up a bit so my extra effort in reaching out to other accounts and people has paid off as well as my content I am delivering. I finished Gary Vaynerchuk’s “Crush it” it’s an old book but the content is still great and inspiring, and I can’t wait to read his newest book as it is sitting on my desk right next to me. I am also catching up on blog posts at a rate never seen before so kudos to me! Credit card payments are almost complete, we will find out about initiation come Saturday, my loose money on robinhood can be summed up as my options trading which is going poorly. If you didn’t see my Instagram post of “The stock market is drunk” it is, and it is very annoying. I have a little more on my plate this upcoming week as projects, papers, and tests are wrapping up in the week famously known at my school as “Dead Week”. (the name is not as it suggests, it is hell and full of work then leads into finals week). So hopefully a final push this weekend and early next week can wrap up April as a success or at least that is my hope.

As for future goals we will have to see how they go with my new work schedule which is far different from what I am used to. That in combination with additional metrics for tracking revenue, costs, investing and getting back into prime shape and performance for my next rugby season we will see how frequent I set goals and track them. I am very excited to see what this summer will bring me though, this last summer I was bogged down in 9 credit hours of class in addition to a 40-hour work week at my internship at Caterpillar which was very demanding. This summer with my peculiar schedule I may actually be able to be more productive despite working more (I am definitely a night owl as the time I am writing this post suggests). I will do my best to keep all my viewers informed as well as do what is best for me to advance my life, career, and personal goals.

Thanks for tuning in as always, please leave a comment I would love to hear from you guys and if you haven’t already please follow me on Instagram @bsquared.website as I am most active there if you haven’t noticed.

End of February Goal Analysis

Man, that was a quick one, a very short and busy month let to some disappointing results but lets not beat around the bush and dive right in.

IMG_0085.png

Looking at the Instagram items, posts and followers were close to the target, again it was a too little too late scenario and its hard to make up for the days with no posts. Overall, I’m not disappointed with this one, I put a lot of effort into it and it was very close just didn’t want to compromise my content for hitting the target, but I may have already… more on that later. Moving to the blog objectives, 40 blog posts and 400 visitors, yea neither of those were going to happen. Had I continued pushing the paid advertising as hard as I did the first half of February then maybe, but without that the views are organic and very low. As I have said before, writing blog posts requires a lot from me, I must be in the mood and mindset to write these up and if its not there then the writing quality is trash and it’s a slow process.

Related to the blog is the mailing list, and I looked at a plugin for it on WordPress, but I don’t think it was ever implemented, at least when I went on the site I never found a form to fill out. Again, related to the blog, affiliate sales still have never took off, of course its much harder with low traffic on the site. Same applies to the Shopify referrals, I had 10 clicks through the site and I never had one go through with the full signup process.

Changing gears again we look at the two book goals, Sell or be Sold, and Rental Property Empire. I finished and posted on Sell or Be Sold, terrific book, great content, it may have persuaded me to take a sales internship this summer, updates to come soon on that. Here is the link for the article though, check it out! http://bsquared.website/2018/02/28/sell-or-be-sold-how-to-get-your-way-in-business-and-in-life-grant-cardone/ I just started Rental Property Empire tonight actually, so far, its pretty basic information I already knew hopefully it picks up in fresh content though, approximately 15% through it.

Last two girls include credit cards and interviews. Despite the check marks the credit cards didn’t get paid off the way I wanted them to so that was rather disappointing, as far as the interviews, the Spring Career Fair at my school was rough this year. Lots of full-time and co-op opportunities but not much for summer interns so that wasn’t good. I did get 2 interviews though, one for the sales rep and one for a steel company. There may be more opportunities coming up but that’s all I have right now.

About the Instagram issue noted above, I have two screenshots from my account tonight. You can see there is a strong inverse correlation between action and discovery and I don’t know why. I have been posting frequently (probably too much but was going for the goal) and I think that may have something to do with it. But I am looking for more link clicks, engagement, and followers. I am getting them slowly but surely, but I would like to master Instagram to deliver the best results for my blog.

IMG_0095

Looking forward March is a crazy month at my school. I have 2 tests next week, St. Pat’s, another testing week, then spring break. My philanthropy week is also soon after in April and my team and I are putting in tons of work lately to get that all ready to go. I have made accommodations to my goals by covering the whole month of March in this next set. Hopefully I can deliver stellar results to make up for the last couple disappointing performances. At first I set the bar relatively low for my goals, the more I looked at them the easier they looked and I decided I needed to keep pushing myself so I cranked them back up to a tougher target.

As always let me know what you think, and if you have any suggestions or comments those are always appreciated.

Until next time,

B^2

Blog analysis January- February

As you may know I am extremely data driven. I love numbers and finding trends and all that kind of stuff, that probably why I ended up studying engineering.  Anyway after 2 solid months of putting my heart and soul into this blog or as much of both as I could I wanted to look at what I had and see if I couldn’t find any trends or anything special with it. Hopefully by the end of this I can give other bloggers out there some tips and advice or if you have any please share it with me!

Below is the stats board for January 2018.

January stats

Unfortunately, I didn’t think I could fit everything well in one screen snip, but I had 152 views and 97 visitors. Fairly respectable for a full first month’s effort. At this time, I was experimenting with Facebook advertising as you can see 55 of my views all of which were driven by the Modern Long Term Stock Market investing book drove many of my visitors and views. Instagram contributed 27 visitors and search engines managed 7 visitors. If you turn those all into percentages it would read 56.7% Facebook, 27.8% Instagram, 7.2% search engine. All should be noted that many of the views came within the United States and the runner up was UK with approximately 10% of the total views. About $29 was spent on advertising in January.

Next up we have February 2018. While not completely over we are pretty darn close so we will call it as we see it.

February stats

February boosts 260 views and 177 visitors, a sizeable margin over January. Now with 2 front runners for article views, both Freedom Funnel and Millionaire Booklet were advertised heavily. The runner up 10X Rule didn’t do bad either. Facebook comprised 125 out of 177 referrals, Instagram 35, search engines 7 it looks like. In percentages we have Facebook 70.6%, Instagram 19.8%, and Search engines at 4%. Lets also look at viewership. Majority United States again comprising of 64% of the demographic, and UK in second with 16.5% of the demographic. Advertising costs for January were about $43 maybe slightly less than that.

Digging further into the data we find that both January and February had 8 new blog posts each so that remains a consistent factor. I also cut down the Facebook advertising after mid-February, I was at 150+ visitors around that time as well. The lack of effort in the second half of February killed the growth of this blog. I have mentioned in earlier posts my extra effort required at school around that time prevented some of that growth.

After looking at the above data, I can deduct that advertising has a direct correlation to viewership however I still have not made any income from the blog in terms of referrals to apps, amazon affiliate sales, or any other revenue of that manner. Until I can increase my income organically I will be taking it easy on the advertising costs. I have been putting more emphasis in my Instagram account and hope that will drive future growth. I believe more posts and the catalog of old posts will also increase visitors and viewership. I am currently working on setting up a mailing list to further hit on returning visitors and keep the blog growth steady.

Hopefully this gave you all some insight on what’s going on behind the scenes here at B^2, please let me know if you have any suggestions!

Until next time,

B^2