2018 Goals

So as December ends and 2018 is fast approaching I’ve been thinking what I want to accomplish this upcoming year. I’m not talking about New Years resolutions or anything, I’m looking at this year as a incredibly critical moment in my life. The actions I take in 2018 could have a significant impact on my life, and could either push me to the next level however you would like to define it, or I could come up short. As I mentioned before in my “Change of Plans” post, I did not get offered the co-op or internship that I thought I had a very good shot at. The co-op would’ve gave me another huge influx of capital and could’ve been a critical asset in my financial life. The missed internship opportunity would have most likely secured a career path once I graduated. So, without either of those I am approaching 2018 in no man’s land. This would be the first time in 2 years that I am going into the new year without a summer job prospect or offer. I did end the Fall 2017 semester very strong, so I have that going for me as well as some good stock positions and prospects going into 2018, but back to the goals. I recently started reading Grant Cardone’s The 10x Rule  which has driven me to set more ambitious goals and to put in more time and effort to achieve those results.

$2500 in my aspiration emergency fund (this would give me the 1.00% APY interest rate)

$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)

$10,000 in stash app (originally $5,000)

$10,000 in Lending club (originally $5,000, would be incredibly useful in the stretch investing method)

Collect over $1,000 in dividends and stock interest (this years projected amount was ~$250, original goal was $500)

Have 5, $1,000+/year income streams by the end of 2018 (Anticipate being Dividends/interest, Lending Club interest, Internship, Drop Shipping, Blog)

150 blog posts by the end of 2018

All these goals are related to the blog and my financial life, I also have goals, relating to my academic life, extracurricular involvement, and fitness. I won’t get into details on these to keep this post short.

So tell me some of your goals and ambitions this year, I look forward to reading your comments.

Dividend update 12-27-17

As you all know I am heavily invested in the stock market, $8,000 in my Robinhood account to be exact and I showed you all my portfolio not too long ago. You may have noticed some unfamiliar tickers and some dividend stocks I own. Well today I am going to give an overview of my dividend stocks, why I hold them, and how they play into my strategy.

Like I’ve mentioned before, I am a college student with little to no income from August to May. I also stretch invested my summer earnings with little to know savings left so I can not add more money to my stock account whenever I feel like it. That’s where my dividends come in.

Ticker cost avg percent yield dividend/share share # year equivalent
O $57.20 4.46% $2.55 17 $43.35
OHI $27.12 9.59% $2.60 15 $39.00
F $11.14 5.39% $0.60 45 $27.00
STAG $26.71 5.28% $1.41 10 $14.10
BAC $23.95 2.00% $0.48 25 $12.00
T $33.64 5.95% $2.00 5 $10.00
DE $126.27 1.90% $2.40 1 $2.40

Above is an overview of my current dividend stocks. It yields approximately $148 a year (1.85% overall in portfolio). This does not include the interest payments I receive from Robinhood which have been around $6 a month for the last 3 months. In total, my dividend and interest income from all apps and platforms is approximately $20+ a month. Now because I can’t put any new money in I have to play with what I got to be ready for opportunities as they arise. So how do I do that?

It happens about like this, I own a stock that is down huge right now (BPMX) approximately -66% right now and it trades at $.11 a share. It is very volatile and the whole time I’ve owned it, it general would swing in a 10-15% range. I would buy shares on the low end and sell at a 10% gain regularly. Using the dividends that I would receive to do that. I would continue to compound my small gains over and over and purchase either CHK which also is volatile and swings in a range to short trade, or buy more dividend stocks. O and STAG are both monthly dividend stocks with yields near 5% which allowed me to keep my short trades fluent. I would also sell bits and pieces of positions I’ve made good returns on (DE, BAC, F, MTR, VOC etc.) to fund the purchase of more dividend stocks, or other long-term positions.

While this may not be the most standard approach it has allowed me to compound small gains rapidly. It also keeps things moving and interesting as I am young and like to have fun with the stock market. I currently have on the table a buy order for 15 shares of CEFL a leveraged high dividend paying stock that I would expect to capitalize even more short-term gains on, as well as other long-term positions I am looking at.

This next year should be very interesting with my current portfolio and the stocks I am looking to sell and purchase here shortly, I will update this as I see relevant to my portfolio situation.

Acorn investing/savings app

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

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

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

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

https://acorns.com/invite/SGQYCZ

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

Stash Investing app

I have been using Stash since November 2016 and I am a huge fan. Stash is an app based platform to invest in ETF’s (exchange traded funds) and offers over 40 of them. ETF’s are a grade investment to help diversify your portfolio and mitigate risk, as well as a sound investment for beginners. When you follow the link https://get.stashinvest.com/brandoni35n0 you will receive one year of free investing (normal fee is $1 a month for accounts under $5,000, and 0.25% APY for accounts over $5,000). Below are some pictures of my own stash portfolio and what all I own.

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The first screen shot is the portfolio screen, here you can see Total Portfolio Value and Total Return. As you can see in 13 months I’ve managed an impressive 25% return, with minimal risk. The screen shot on the right shows my account balance over time, if you have seen my stretch investing article you may recognize the steady ramp up over the summer months and the slow decrease in the fall months as I start to pull out money for large expenses that come up. I would normally sell off portions of my highest return ETF’s and any funds I would receive from dividends or bank transfers would go toward the worse preforming ETF, thus following the sell high, buy low mantra.

As of 12/20/2017 here are my best and worse performing investments over the duration I’ve used the app.

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Unfortunately, the app organizes based on total return in dollars which accounts for the size of the position and not just the % return. Essential Europe is my worse preforming ETF; however, I’ve only owned it since July so a 4.4% return in 6 months would ideally equate to a 8.8% return for the year, being inline with the overall market average historically speaking.

I would highly recommend this app for anyone looking to easily diversify their portfolios, or a beginner looking to get their toes wet. The app also features an IRA retirement account, and articles to help beginners learn about ETF investing and the stock market.

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*Received the summary for the year from stash take a look and let me know what you think.

Aspiration|Summit checking account

I just recently opened another savings/checking account through Aspiration. Aspiration has been in the news lately with its Glassdoor reviews and recent awards. I am using this new savings/checking account as my emergency fund. Aspiration is known for its high interest rates specifically, 0.25% APY for accounts below $2500, and 1.00% APY for accounts above $2500. My short-term goal is to reach the $2500 amount by the end of 2018. In the future I would like to use their IRA, and investment account options. Another perk of Aspiration is that they will allow you to use any ATM and they will pay the transaction fees. This proves extremely useful in the context of an emergency account. That along with the high interest rate gives Aspiration the dynamic duo I was searching for.

I will provide further review as I become more familiar with the platform and explore some of its other features and investment potential.

I encourage you to take a look at this great banking option.

Aspiration Referral Program

Every time a friend or loved one opens an account using your invitation link (linked below), you both will receive $25 Do Good dollars to donate to the charitable cause of your choice. So lets start the new year off right!

https://my.aspiration.com/app/token/referral/42IC50VR6ON2QX0B

My Stock Portfolio

Hey guys,

As you may know I am invested in the stock market via Robinhood and I am planning to give a review of the app and services here soon, but in the mean time I wanted to show you what stocks I currently own.

Again like everything I do, I track my portfolio and its contents diligently in a comprehensive excel spreadsheet, as shown below.

Ticker shares cost average value in market value gain/loss gain/loss %
CHK 479 $4.92 $2,356.68 $3.54 -$661.02 -28.05%
ULTA 7 $244.08 $1,708.56 $218.37 -$179.97 -10.53%
O 17 $57.20 $972.40 $57.40 $3.40 0.35%
BPMX 1964 $0.33 $646.94 $0.11 -$424.03 -65.54%
BAC 25 $23.95 $598.75 $29.14 $129.75 21.67%
F 45 $11.14 $501.30 $12.57 $64.35 12.84%
ATRS 135 $2.42 $326.70 $2.01 -$55.35 -16.94%
OHI 10 $27.17 $271.70 $28.20 $10.30 3.79%
STAG 10 $26.71 $267.10 $28.03 $13.20 4.94%
DE 2 $126.27 $252.54 $150.87 $49.20 19.48%
T 5 $33.64 $168.20 $38.28 $23.20 13.79%
ELF 4 $19.64 $78.56 $22.47 $11.32 14.41%
CEFL 0 $17.65 $0.00 $17.85 $0.00 1.13%
cash $263.12
updated $8,412.55 profits and dividends -$1,026.97 Current Value
12/17/17 money in $8,000.00 $412.55 current market ROI
started face value ROI 5.16%
12/2/16 net annual profit $396.27

Let me know what you all think! As you can see its kinda ugly up there at my larger positions. I’ve been cost dollar averaging some of  my positions for sometime now so hopefully that pays off in the near future. The cash on the side is actually for CEFL which already has its own spot in the spreadsheet. I’m hoping that will help bump up my dividend income to keep my financially fluid while I do not make any income until May or so.

Thanks

Change of plans

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

 

Side Money Challenge

I came up with this idea not too long ago. As a college student with no job, I have little to zero income 9 months out of the year. The little income I do produce (dividends, stock gains, interest, odd jobs etc.) goes right out the door. As a way to decrease the necessity to pull money out of my investments to support my living while at school I started to do a little challenge. I started recording and tracking my “side income”, by side income I mean anything I make besides my internship or co-op income. Some would also call this your “side hustle” your secondary income in addition to your normal job. In 2018 one of my primary focuses will be expanding my income streams, particularly passive income streams. This is just the first step in exploring that avenue further. As you can see in the table below, I am 1 for 2 on the challenge, Thanksgiving break did not go as planned and I failed to capitalize on some of my resale opportunities. As of writing this (12/4/17) December isn’t off to a bad start, again opportunities for resale and side jobs when I return home for winter break.

Let me know what you think, or if you have your own side hustle or gig.

 

October 2017 Goal $80/month mark 10/1/2017 totals: 10/31/17
date profit source baseline %
10/31 $17.86 dividends Dividends $17.86 14.59%
10/31 $40.66 LC interest interest $40.66 33.21%
10/6 $0.75 bpmx stock stocks $5.49 4.48%
10/7 $50.00 move furniture odd jobs $50.00 40.84%
10/10 $5.43 credit card rewards credit cards $5.43 4.43%
10/10 $4.05 bpmx stock online side money $3.00 2.45%
10/18 $0.69 bpmx stock
10/31 $3.00 swagbucks amazon gc
$122.44
current date
November Goal: $300 month 11/1/2017 12/1/17 11/30/17
Date: Profit Source
11/30 $23.12 dividends Dividends $23.12 17.84%
11/30 $41.20 LC interest interest $41.20 31.80%
11/6 $11.42 credit card rewards stocks $6.33 4.89%
11/7 $4.83 chk/bpmx stock odd jobs $0.00 0.00%
11/10 $24.50 ibotta credit cards $11.42 8.81%
11/25 $20.00 zippos online side money $27.50 21.22%
11/28 $3.00 amazon gc sb resale $20.00 15.44%
11/30 $1.50 bpmx stock
Thanksgiving break was a hard flop, strong dividend count, online money was strong
$129.57 43.19% 100.00%
current date
Winter break goal: $600 12/1/17 12/4/17 1/15/18
Date: Profit Source
12/31/17 $14.11 dividends Dividends $14.11
1/15/17 dividends stocks $3.12
12/31/17 LC interest odd jobs
$2.80 credit card rewards credit cards $2.80
12/4/17 $3.12 ATRS stock online side money $4.00
12/4/17 $4.00 WSJ / acorn resale
LC interest
$24.03 4.01% 6.67%

 

About Me

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

A little bit about myself, I am a 22 year old college student, studying in the engineering field. I currently invest in ETF’s, stocks, 401k, and peer-to-peer lending. I am looking into real estate investing, options trading, and drop shipping in the future.