The Math Behind your Goals

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.

blog referers

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.

posts by view

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.

new budget

 

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.

Thanks, B^2

 

Passive Income Update 4-11-19

Disclaimer Been trying my best on bring content to everyone this week unfortunately the ground I’ve made up in writing and posting I have lost in reading so I may be silent these next couple days while I catch up on my reading goal for 2019.

Haven’t updated my passive income in quite awhile so I’ll let you know where I am at now and where I am heading. I finished 2018 off with $830 in passive income for the year which translates to just shy of $70/month. My goal for 2019 is to earn $2500 in passive income which equates to $208/month earned. I’m sure you all know that passive income is critical to reaching financial freedom and I would like my passive income to exceed my active or earned income sometime in the future. If you are unfamiliar refer to this article. Until then we’ll be growing the passive income incrementally and aggressively. I calculate my passive income currently as my dividend income, interest earned through savings accounts, and interest earned through Lending Club. As of today, I have earned $101.25 in dividend/stock interest/savings account interest and $205.90 in Lending Club interest, add that together and we are sitting at $307.15. I’ll be conservative and say we have completed 3.5 months of the year which brings the monthly average to $87.75.

divs 4.11.19

LC 4.11.19

 

That’s not too shabby and I’ll explain why. It’s obviously not the $208/month I’m shooting for and I wouldn’t expect it to be, most of my passive income will be made up in the fall after I start working full-time this summer. With aggressive savings my emergency fund (also my sacred account) will be paying out 2.1% monthly and any other funds I can spare will go into Stash (for my ETF’s), Robinhood (for my stocks), or Lending Club (for my interest payments). I won’t have to pull any more money from my profits in my various accounts so I can get back to compounding my money.

While it isn’t very exciting now these next few months should become more interesting and passive income should start pouring in. My Lending Club performance peaked in November and has been steadily declining ever since which has hurt the passive income performance significantly. I have also sold off several large dividend payers and one being my go-to monthly dividend stock, Realty Income. Pending market conditions, I’ll pick up more dividend stocks as I see fit and as my income warrants.

As always, I am looking towards the future and pending how everything goes in 2019 and pending if I buy real estate before 2020, I’ll be looking at $500-$750 in monthly passive income for 2020 which is $6,000-$9,000 for the year. Not quite a 10X goal but aggressive, nonetheless.

Thanks for reading along, I’d love to hear what you guys are doing to generate passive income, how many passive income streams you have, and what your goals are! If anyone has a suggestion for a side hustle let me know as well, I’ll be working towards that here soon.

Thanks, B^2

2019 Goals, Quarter 1 Review

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.

IMG-3403.png

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.

IMG-3855

IMG-3854.png

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!

Thanks, B^2

 

Lending Club Update 4/4/19

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.

LC notes snip 12.13.18note details 12.13.18

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.

lc 4.4.19lc pie chart

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.

LC interest non adjust

lc adj 4.4.19

The account value has decreased dramatically due to pulling out hundreds of dollars every month to live off of.

LC interest 12.13.18lc non adj 4.4.19

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.

lc table

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.

interest lc

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 always let me know if you have any questions!

Thanks,

B^2

The 40% Rule

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

June July August September October November December Total
4800 $7,900 $5,300 $5,300 $5,300 $5,300 $5,300 $5,300 $39,700
save 40% $3,160 $2,120 $2,120 $2,120 $2,120 $2,120 $2,120 $15,880
tax $1,738 $1,166 $1,166 $1,166 $1,166 $1,166 $1,166 $8,734
budget $3,002 $2,014 $2,014 $2,014 $2,014 $2,014 $2,014 $15,086

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).

June July August September October November December Total
$40,000 $3,333 $3,333 $3,333 $3,333 $3,333 $3,333 $3,333 $23,331
save 40% $1,333 $1,333 $1,333 $1,333 $1,333 $1,333 $1,333 $9,332
tax $283.31 $283.31 $283.31 $283.31 $283.31 $283.31 $283.31 $1,983
budget $1,716 $1,716 $1,716 $1,716 $1,716 $1,716 $1,716 $12,015

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!

Thanks, B^2

Dividend Update 3/5/19

Hey, it’s B^2 coming back with a dividend update, if this is your first time checking this out welcome and feel free to look around! To date I have 73 blog posts covering a multitude of topics so hopefully you can find a topic you would like to hear more about or just use that infinite scroll on the home page and see where that gets you. I realize a lot of my posts are just me blabbing on about where I’m at and where I’m trying to go and I want to change that. I want to add more value for my readers so if there’s something you want to learn more about please feel free to drop a dm to me on Instagram or comment on this blog or on Instagram.

Continuing, I last left you guys on November 2, 2018 which seems like forever ago, and I had just recently raised my portfolio up to $11,500 with the forward dividend table below.

Ticker cost avg percent yield dividend/share share # year equivalent
CEFL $16.55 15.65% $2.59 20 $51.80
LB $32.00 7.50% $2.40 11 $26.40
T $31.89 6.27% $2.00 10 $20.00
STAG $25.85 5.49% $1.42 20 $28.40
F $10.52 5.70% $0.60 115 $69.00
CAT $113.68 3.03% $3.44 2 $6.88
O $55.78 4.75% $2.65 27 $71.55
PG $74.40 3.86% $2.87 2 $5.74
AAPL $157.51 1.85% $2.92 1 $2.92
CBL $4.09 7.33% $0.30 40 $12.00
Total forward dividend $294.69
Yield on portfolio 2.56%

 

To be honest this was my highest total dividend ever. It has dropped a bit since then for a few reasons.

  1. I am trying to reduce my portfolio size down to $10k (currently at $10,750) because I need the money and I think I can take the profits and cut the fat out of my portfolio and be alright.
  2. I sold my largest dividend producer at the time, O, Realty Income.

I sold O, because I felt there were great deals in the market at the time (I sold December 20, 2018) which was an absolute shit storm in the markets if you remember, and I needed the money to purchase those deals. O, was also at its 52 week high and I honestly didn’t know if it could sustain it, so I sold it and made a 22.5% ROI and $303 profit on the position in its entirety. Now those of you that are familiar with O might see that it has surpassed that and is currently trading at almost $70 and while if I had held that I would be up about $125 and some dividends I also ran the numbers for the purchases I made from that sale shown below.

IMG_3369

I calculated that with the purchase price on December 20th to today and I made $610 from those purchases not including potential dividends of some of those purchases.

Those wondering (CHK @ $1.92, ROKU @$28.98, ULTA @ $236.69, JD @ $19.85, F @ $8.31, FB @ $132.14, BABA @ $133.98, T @ $28.77, BPMX @ $0.1066)

$610/$125 is a 487% return due to that sale! Overall, I believe it was the right move, who knows what O or my other purchases might do in the future. I did cash in $245 in profit from Roku, which was largely due to that purchase I made in December and I believe I will make even greater returns in the future on my other positions. You will notice that I am constantly torn between value investing, dividend income, and growth stocks that make massive returns fortunately I have time on my side and the future to find out what works best for me!

Below you’ll find my current forward dividend table as of 3/5/2019.

updated: 3/5/2019
total RH account $10,750.00
Ticker cost avg percent yield dividend/share share # year equivalent
CEFL $16.55 9.24% $1.53 20 $30.60
CBL $3.12 9.62% $0.30 85 $25.50
T $30.89 6.60% $2.04 15 $30.60
F $10.00 6.00% $0.60 150 $90.00
STAG $25.85 5.53% $1.43 20 $28.60
LB $31.32 3.83% $1.20 13 $15.60
CAT $113.68 3.03% $3.44 2 $6.88
AAPL $157.51 1.85% $2.92 1 $2.92
a year in dividends $230.70
percent of total 2.15%
goal 3% +

 

As shown, I am significantly down on forward dividend and forward dividend yield. I have increased positions in Ford (F), CBL, and AT&T (T), however that has not made up for the huge lose I took selling Realty Income.

If you haven’t noticed by now, passive income is one of my top priorities and a large part of my 2019 goals. My goal of earning $2500 this year in passive income will not come easy without an extra push and the sooner the better. I have a large sale coming up assuming all goes according to plan. Ulta Beauty (ULTA) is my 2nd largest position (6 shares, $240 cost average) it is currently hovering around the $310-$315 share price. I plan to sell my entire position in it at $325/share which would bring the total sale to $1950. I would immediately pull out $750 to bring my account size and I need that money (Spring Break is expensive) and I would invest the other $1200 in dividend stocks. The plan as of now is 15 shares of AT&T (T) ($30.60 forward dividend) and 6 shares of Walt Disney (DIS) ($10.56 forward dividend) which would put me at $271.86 forward dividend on the year. I would also have some spare change left after those purchases for picking up some more CEFL or CBL to help bring that dividend up. Ideally, I would end up around 2.75% yield on the entire portfolio and look for some appreciation as well.

I choose AT&T for the high dividend yield, the Time Warner acquisition and the dismissal of the court case regarding it. I believe the market has undervalued it and investors are sleeping on the income and appreciation it could bring in the future. I choose Disney for its dividend which has plenty of room to grow as well as its streaming service to come out soon. I think Disney has been a safe and stable stock for years and with its expansion and solid fundamentals now would be a great time to lock in some shares.

Below is a table of dividends from 2018 and 2019 for comparison.

Dividend tracking 2017 2018 2019
January $0.00 $12.86 $17.66
February $0.00 $28.19 $19.42
March $0.00 $33.18 $28.78
April $0.00 $15.35
May $0.00 $17.72
June $12.54 $28.21
July $6.39 $14.32
August $5.55 $18.42
September $20.68 $35.56
October $17.86 $25.08
November $23.12 $22.27
December $28.13 $68.30
$114.27 $319.46 $65.86
Goal: $125 $500 $1,000
Total: $499.59
yearly avg $195.89 $319.46 $263.44

 

My February performance was rather weak this year in comparison to 2018. I believe the absence of Realty Income will play a strong role in the performance of my dividend’s month to month. Check out December 2018 though, holy cow those were some big numbers! These dividend figures also include interest from my savings account (2.10% APY) and my ETF dividends from Stash App. Both of those accounts pay dividends monthly and should help fill the void from O.

I do have an extremely lofty goal of reaching $1,000 in interest and dividends collected in 2019 (not including Lending Club), I plan to use Grant Cardone’s 40% rule to save over $1500 a month (at my savings account rate of 2.1%) when I begin working in June and any additional funds I can save will be contributed toward stash app, and robinhood. Assuming all goes well, and I can live frugally and generate side income as well as passive income I believe I will be able to ramp up the interest and dividends in the 2nd half of 2019 to make up the ground I am losing currently.

If this is your first time reading my blog, I hope you enjoyed, I will do my best to keep the content coming however the month of March is the busiest of my school year due to mid-terms, St. Pat’s and spring break. If there is anything you are particularly interested in or want me to write about please let me know!

B^2

IG @ Bsquared.website

Blog @ Bsquared.website

Email @ Bsquared.web@gmail.com

 

How to Invest your first $500

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.

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  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Thanks,

B^2

IG @ Bsquared.website

Blog @ Bsquared.website

Email @ Bsquared.web@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

2019 Goals

Looking into 2019 I have some goals and aspirations and I plan to look at them closer than I did last year. After all, it’s critical to know where you are going and remind yourself what your targets are. I mentioned previously that I graduate in May and begin my full-time job in Mid-June. I’ve calculated potential income with my salary and decided to shoot a little higher than that. I would like to have a net worth of $75,000 up from my current net worth of $26,500. While building up my net worth I plan to put at least $10,000 to my emergency fund in my discover savings account. I make a nice 2.10% APY on that account leading to a $210 yearly passive income generated from that account alone. Overall making money while I sleep is nice and I would like to make $2500 in passive income this year. On average that is $200 a month and from there we’ll keep bumping that number up. With the eventual goal of surpassing my active income. To help get that income up so I can invest more I aim to have a side hustle that will generate $5000 this year. With all of that in mind I plan to buy income generating real estate at the end of 2019 or invest significantly with a syndicator.

Money isn’t everything so on the note of building my personal brand and learning more I have several goals related to this. I would first and foremost like to have 150 blog posts in total by the end of 2019. This comes out to writing about 1.5 posts a week. In addition, I would like to have 1500 visitors and 2500 views on my blog in 2019 organically. My other large platform is Instagram and is probably how you are reading this article. I would like to finish 2019 with 750 Instagram posts and 3000 followers. The blog goals and Instagram goals will go hand in hand as they both stimulate each other. The last of my goals involve learning, I aim to read a book every month of 2019, 12 books in total. I’m aware this isn’t a whole lot however I will be learning and studying for school as well as work for most of the year and you can only cram so much into your brain at once.

I know this is very late to be talking about 2019 goals however it took me awhile to decide what I really wanted to go for this year as well as taking the time to sit down and write this out. Feel free to leave a comment below about your 2019 goals or post your comments on Instagram!

B^2

Stock Portfolio Update 1/23/19

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 September 14, 2018 and will be briefly recapped below.
Last time I had $9,750 funded in my Robinhood portfolio, today we are sitting at $11,500 funded. This was done by putting my income from the internship into the stock portfolio in late September and October. Previously I had profit and dividends of $670.92, today we are sitting at $1,132.90. Several large sales were made to attain this profit including selling the entire O, Realty Income position. While the numbers above show profit, all earnings have been reinvested back into the account and my account value is below the funded portion not to mention the $1.1k profits in their as well. I have several positions that require more maturity and I believe in 2020 I will be in the black. Below are pictures showing my account, for all side by side pictures, the picture on the left will be from September while the picture on the right will be recent.

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As I am sure you are all aware the markets have been volatile lately and performance hasn’t been the best as of late. As I mentioned earlier in September the account was funded at $9,750, while currently the account is funded to $11,500.

Below I will highlight some of my positions.

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My largest positions is also one of my worst preforming. This is a company and a situation that is getting better but I wouldn’t get my hopes up till 2020 or later. I have cost average down this position substantially and plan to wait on it to recover.

I mentioned ULTA on the last update however the situation hasn’t changed much. Its gone up, down, and sideways and I have used that to my advantage by skimming some profit off the top and buying back the share when it fell. Still waiting for it to reach new highs, price target is going to be reduced from $335 to somewhere around $315-$320 or so.

I sold O, Realty Income, and my total gain is around 22% according to a back of the napkin calculation including dividends and appreciation. While it may not have been the smartest move since I try to stick with my dividend stocks I felt that at the time it was towards the high end of the spectrum and I needed to cost average down other positions. Most of the updates this time around revolve around cost averaging positions. As we approach the end of this article take a look at the final two tables and look at the average price per stock in some of these positions. With the stock market shakeout/weakness I tried to take advantage of the sale and buy where I thought I could expect future appreciation.

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Apple was a hot topic back in September with my screenshot showing a $221 stock price. We all know how that turned out and I’m still holding and collecting dividends on it.

Ford is another position I cost averaged down on, it also helped supplement my dividend income from the sale of O. In September I was holding Ford at $10.74 @ 100 shares, today I’m holding 150 shares at $10.00 yielding 6% on the dividend.

I always gotta harp on my best pick of 2018 so far, P&G still killing it after a good earnings report. Wish I had bought about 10 shares instead of 2 but we live and we learn and I have made some pick mistakes in my investing career that’s for sure.

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Dividends are rolling in strong for 2019 after an incredible December. Look for an update on those soon. Other notable mentions as far as my stock portfolio. I cost averaged JD and BABA on weakness as well as FB, and ROKU. I believe these will be great positions in the future so long as I hold while the markets do their thang.

It’s been a rock end to 2018. Here’s to hoping 2019 goes better. Couple of quick notes, thanks you for reading this as always, feel free to drop a comment in the blog or on IG. Pending how my taxes go there may be some changes my accounts will have to undergo. I will keep you all updated and try to keep Uncle Same happy.

Lastly, below are the full spreads of m Robinhood account

Thanks

B^2

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2018 Goal Review

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.

Goals:

$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.

Collect over $1,000 in dividends and stock interest (this year projected amount was ~$300, original goal was $500)

  • 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:
    • Internship $22,200
    • 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).

Image result for ross bolen podcast

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.

Thanks, B^2