Passive Income overview 9/5/18

Passive Income is all the rage these days, with ecommerce blowing up, YouTube, podcasts, blogs, investing etc. there are lots of reason why it should be something to think about. Let’ s dive into it and see what it is all about!

Passive income is income resulting from cash flow received on a regular basis, requiring minimal to no effort by the recipient to maintain it. (Wikipedia)

That sounds amazing! Minimal to no effort and receiving cash from it, but its not quite that simple. Passive income often requires either initial upfront energy, effort, and time or initial upfront cash.

My expertise is with the initial upfront cash portion, so we’ll get into that. I have been collecting data on my passive income for over a year now. I currently receive passive income in the form of interest payments from Lending Club, my savings account, stock dividends, stock interest payments, and I guess money saving apps as well. I won’t go into that last one in depth as I am saving that for an article in the future. Hopefully if you’ve been following me for awhile or are at all familiar with investing you understand what a stock dividend is. Essentially you own a dividend paying stock a every quarter or for every month you receive a little gift from the company in the form of a monetary payout for being their stockholder. I also receive some interest payments from my stocks when people short the stocks I own. Between my savings account interest, stock interest, dividends from both Robinhood and Stash I have received $186.37 this year. Not too shabby most would say, but this does come at a price to the tune of ~$12,500 invested in the above-mentioned platforms. The other vehicle I use for passive income is Lending Club. Currently I have received $233.74 in interest payments this year through that platform and that is to the tune of about $4,000 ish invested. A little calculator work later and we are at $420.11 this year in passive income, or about $46.68 per month.

I’m proud of that number to say the least but there’s more to come and in fact my goal for 2018 was to make $1,000 in passive income this year. There is still along way to go to reach that $1,000 mark and less than 3 months till the ball drops and we are standing in 2019.

My plan to get there is already in the works, I have a sizeable position building in Lending Club, in fact there is quite a lot of notes (loans) that haven’t paid me yet because they are so new. When that all comes clicking together and I continue to add to that platform I expect my interest payment payouts to sky rocket. I think I’ll put in another $1,000 into that platform or so and will be reinvesting the principals and interest payments to snowball that passive income stream and make it larger.

The other side of the coin is my stocks and etf’s I own. I have added around $750 into my stash positions and most of those pay dividends. I’ve also added $1400 to my robinhood portfolio and a decent chunk of that has gone to dividend stocks. I plan to continue to add to both and make profits on my positions to reinvest into dividend stocks as well as reinvest the dividends back from where they came from.

The goal for this is to reach financial freedom. There are various definitions to this but for my purpose it is to create passive income streams that are greater than my active income (the money I make from working). When you reach this and assuming you account for inflation, cost of living increasing etc. you can effectively retire. Now of course I don’t plan to retire super early and go live on a beach or anything like that, my mission is much bigger than that, however that is the ultimate plan.

You might be taking a look at this and scratching your head like, “Brandon, you’ve got a long way to go to replace your standard income if you aren’t even at $1,000 a year yet” and you are absolutely correct. My stock portfolio currently yields around 3%, for a modest $40,000 a year to live on my portfolio would have to be around $1.3 million at that same yield to produce that. That’s a lot of motherfucking money to reach financial freedom if you ask me.

That’s why I am looking into investing in real estate when I build my capital up. With real estate’s monthly cash flow and leverage assuming a modest 5% return not accounting for increasing rents or refinancing or anything like that an $800,000 property would yield $40,000 a year and with a 25% down payment of $200,000 you could control that. That looks much more attainable to me.

Using Grant Cardone’s 40% rule, profits from my investments, and existing passive income streams that will grow that should be attainable within a few years if all goes right.

As Warren Buffett said, “If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.”

Now are these passive income streams passive, no. I actively invest in the stock market, I do research on the positions I take, I check lending club frequently and hand pick my loans that I invest in etc. But all in all they are pretty passive. Real estate on the other hand isn’t very passive until you get to the big leagues and can afford a property manager.

Grant’s new real estate investing book is in route to my door in STL and I will be giving that a read very soon and I plan to implement his plan and to go big on my first deal. We’re talking 24-32 units costing $1.4- 2.0 million requiring a down payment in the neighborhood of $500-700k. Like I said large upfront capital or large up-front work, time, energy.

I should also mention what I am doing right here follows that other method that I haven’t gone over. This blog while it does not produce any income and actually never has produced any income for me may be able to one day. Consider how much time I’ve spent (10 months, 60 blog posts, advertising, Instagram etc.) to get it to this point and still haven’t made a dime with it. That’s what I am talking about in terms of up front time, energy, and effort.

It will not be easy whatever passive income route you choose, but with a good strategy and the work you need to put into it the prize is pretty frickin nice.

Let me hear your passive income journey!

B^2

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

 

Strategic plan ahead

I took this from a homework assignment I completed today. Its a pretty raw form and I rambled and the grammar isn’t great. It does give a general overview of what I plan to do and how I am trying to get there.

My strategic plan for the next 20-25 years looks like this:

(Ages subject to change, general outline given)

Age 22: Where I am at currently, game plan is to graduate S&T in May 2019 with the Eman and Mechanical degree and have a technical sales job with a competitive pay plan and great benefits.

Age 25: Build a solid foundation from the first job and possibly move to another company or make moves in the company I start with. Begin building a real estate portfolio (investment properties) and build a passive income stream while maintaining solid performance at my new job or the higher position I am moved to.

Age 30: Continue to build passive income through the real estate portfolio. Increase passive income to a point where I could maintain a minimal lifestyle with just the earnings from that portfolio. Start own business or seek new ventures as the opportunities present themselves at that time (2026).

Age 35: Build out the side business/own business/ new venture to create another sustainable stream of income. Ideally have at least 3 high flow streams of income with 2/3 being relatively passive. Begin giving back to the people and organizations that made me who I am. (parents would be first ideally when I am 25ish, SLUH wrestling, Sigma Chi Fraternity, Boy Scouts of America, philanthropic endeavors etc.)

Age 40: Ideally many streams of income have formed by now between stock portfolios/dividends, real estate portfolios, 2 or 3 businesses, any job that I still work, etc. Continue to give back to philanthropies, organizations, start to mentor or guide those that could benefit from my knowledge and experience. I’m sure kids are already in the picture by now and set them up for success.

Age 45: Passive income would be enough to sustain a comfortable lifestyle if I choose not to work. I would still in some way shape or form work as that’s just who I am. Continue with multiple streams of income, various companies or side businesses I’ve started partnered with. Consult for other businesses, organizations etc. again benefiting from my various roles and positions and knowledge I have gained throughout the years. Continue to give time, energy, and effort to those around me to ensure their own success. Be a family man. Make a difference in the world, not just those around you in the present but for those that are in the future and still to come.

Rental Property Empire

I gotta be honest this really was a rough one. This book is loaded with quality information, but it is so dense and tough to read and to write about and I’m going to apologize for this on in advance. The reading time suggested on this book is 6 hours and 57 minutes at 332 pages. It took me two goal periods to do it as well because I was a chore to read but I finished it. I never gave up on it, I will give a quick summary just to keep myself honest with you guys, but I think your time would be better spent watching some YouTube videos or doing specific research online rather than read this book just because it would be much more enjoyable and quicker.

Build a Rental Property Empire: The no-nonsense book on finding deals, financing the right way, and managing wisely by Mark Ferguson. You can follow Mark’s blog at Investfourmore.com

Career highlights: Owns 16 rentals which generate $8,000 monthly income and have $1.6 million in equity. Flips 10-20 houses per year with averaged profit of $30,000 each. Started InvestFourMore.com real estate blog in 2013 and gets over 300,000 views a month.

“If you focus on mastering one thing, you will be much more successful than if you halfway do 10 things at once.”

Chapter 1: Why Rental Properties Will Help You Retire Faster than Investing in the Stock Market.

Mark goes very deep in this chapter and considers historical return rates, inflation, his personal surveys he’s conducted, tax benefits, outliving retirement etc. I’ll quickly summarize this Real Estate produces more cash flow than the equivalent investment in dividend paying stocks. Real estate also appreciates consistently in the long term just like the stock market does. You can retire earlier than 65 with real estate, in fact you can “retire” when your passive rental property income exceeds your living expenses. Because dividend paying stocks, bonds, savings accounts etc. can not keep up with your living expenses you will have to withdraw money from those accounts, once they are depleted you are simply out of money. If you have rental property which generates income above your living expenses than if those rentals are occupied and paying rent, you will be able to live off the cash flow without tapping into the foundational equity (selling the property). People are living longer than they were before, so it is not unlikely that my generation (currently 22 years old) could have a life expectancy of 90+ years and you wouldn’t want to run out of money during your retirement.

Chapter 2: What are the Risks of Investing in Real Estate?

I’m sure you’ve all seen it before, the little disclaimer saying something to the effect that all investments carry a certain amount of risk and the investor should be aware of that risk. Rental properties are no different as they are just as much of an investment as a stock, bond, bitcoin etc. I believe the risk is lower than some of the previously mentioned and here’s why. A stock can go to zero, if a company goes bankrupt a stock can go to zero or near zero levels, resulting in 99% loss. They don’t make any more land, the very land that your property sits on has some inherit value because there is a limited amount of land in the world and as the human population continues to grow we need to utilize the land for some productive use whether for living or growing food or infrastructure. The exception would be if you had a hazardous waste situation or radioactive event on the land (think Chernobyl) which would render the land useless for some long stretch of time. So looking at the worst case scenario real estate already is winning. Another aspect is people always need a place to live, they may not always need to product or service that a company provides (think typewriters). These are the extreme scenarios now let’s get into the more common ones. Often people over estimate their returns and revenue, they may forget or underestimate the costs to acquire the property and or renovate it. In general, when doing the number crunching for a property it would be wise to use worse case scenario numbers and incorporate buffer into your calculations. Your rental property needs to be cash flow positive from day 1 and you should not count on appreciation for your pay out because that may never happen with the changing market conditions.  Another money related risk people don’t consider is having funds in reserve, typically banks require 6 months of mortgage payments in reserve on all properties. Besides that, you should always have some extra cash on hand in case the renovations or repairs are costlier than anticipated.

“Resistance is a sign that you are close to your goals and close to a breakthrough” I believe that with all my heart, as this internship I am currently working as well as life has taught me that this is very true.

“The key to any successful real estate investing strategy is to purchase properties below market value.” This is because you receive instant equity, for example if a house’s market value is $100,000 and you can purchase it for $90,000, while the cash is not in your pocket you have effectively made $10,000 from that deal.

“A great piece of advice I recently heard is to never work below your income. If you are worth $100 per hour, do not do tasks you can delegate for $20 an hour. Focus on things that make you that $100 per hour or more and let someone else do the less important work.” This is just sound advice to anyone making elevated levels of income and are looking to grow. The $40 you save every week by cutting your own grass, while frugal, could be hurting you overall if that time could be better spent developing your business, making more sales, expanding your presence in the community/social media.

Chapter 3: How do you know what makes a good rental property Investment?

  • Did I buy it below market value and by how much?
  • How much does it cash flow each month?
  • What are my cash-on-cash returns?
  • What do the prospects look like for the market in which I am buying?

You can use his cash flow calculator on his blog to help calculate that. He also goes over how he accounts for vacancies (table shown below), and maintenance (table shown below.

Vacancies:

Single Family 5%
College Rental 10%
Multifamily 10%

Maintenance:

Good Average Needs Work
0-10 Years 5% 10% 15%
10-50 years 10% 15% 20%
50 Years + 15% 20% 25%

He also suggests not using blanket rules to determine profitability, because they simply aren’t accurate enough and do not account for all situations. This means that you’re going to need to do some number crunching.

Here’s a simple rule to avoid losing your property to foreclosure, “buy for cash flow, have reserves, and don’t expect appreciation as your only way to make money.” Mark states that his target for cash flow is $500 a month for the $80,000 – $140,000 properties he buys and likes to see a 15% cash on cash return but prefers closer to 20%. Don’t worry about your cash on cash return until all expenses are paid, and the house is rented. Until that happens you’re only guessing.

Chapter 4: How do you Know what type of investment property to buy?

Mark analyzes single family vs. multi-family vs. college rentals. Essentially its best to invest in the type of property the follows the above-mentioned criteria in chapter 3. Not all areas are going to be the same. You may be able to get single family homes below market value in Colorado, but perhaps multi-family complexes are cheap in Illinois, and a recent state college has had enrollment increase 5% for consecutive years and the college rentals are dirt cheap in the area with rising rents. All situations are different, but I can review the pros and cons of each type of property. Single family generally have better vacancy rates and less turnover than the other two. They also have plenty of opportunity to be bought below market value. The multifamily buildings have multiple tenants so if there is a vacancy it is not a 0 or 100% situation. That as well as in today’s market climate people tend to move more often and apartments are becoming more popular. College rentals typically can get higher rent rates than the previously mentioned types of properties however they typically require more maintenance costs. I am very interested in college rentals however due to my feeder system for people to move into it as well as my love for my fraternity and my college town. There is a lot of detail in this chapter in fact according to my kindle it takes 45 minutes to read this chapter. Condo’s, HOA, vacation real estate, commercial real estate, CAP rate, what neighborhood to buy in, and more are included in this chapter.

Expenses that should be included in the calculations are:

  • Property taxes
  • Property Insurance
  • Property Management Fees
  • Utilities paid by property owner
  • Ongoing maintenance paid by property owner
  • Vacancies
  • Expected maintenance expenses
  • HOA fees
  • Any onsite management

Neighborhood characteristics:

  • Crime rates
  • School ratings
  • House prices
  • Age of houses
  • Size of houses
  • Size of the town
  • Proximity to large populations areas
  • Local economy
  • HOA’s
  • Types of houses (multifamily or single-family)
  • Tax rates

Chapter 5: How do you buy real estate below market value?

Mark suggests using a professional opinion to figure out market value of properties. “I would not trust Zillow to provide house values, although you can get some great information from Zillow.” Mark goes in depth on how exactly to buy homes below market value in short sales, HUD homes, banked own properties, how to get great deals from the MLS etc. Some notes that I have highlighted are, “with rising prices, real estate agents or sellers sometimes underprice houses.” “If a real estate agent is not paying attention to market price increases; if a house needs some work or if the sellers simply want to sell their house quickly, it could mean opportunity for investors.” Speed often is the difference between getting a great deal and missing out, a bidding war indicates that a house is priced great and many people want it.

Some things to look for include: Aged listings, MLS comments, Fast price changes, back on the market. “Do not give up if another offer is accepted, and do not burn bridges.” Again, this is a 45-minute chapter with lots of detail, so I will again highlight some of the key points.

“When you talk to a seller, you want to highlight the advantages of selling to you:

  • No repairs needed
  • No commissions
  • No closing costs
  • Fast closing
  • Cash Closing
  • No showings
  • No appraisal

Successful investors know their market like no on else, and they are honest and follow through on deals if they say they will buy a house.

Chapter 6: How to finance and pay for Rental properties.

In this chapter Mark discusses financing vs. cash deals, highlighting the use of leverage and the ability to acquire more properties in a shorter amount of time. As far as how much money you will need to start investing in rental properties typically 20-25% down is typical, from there closing cost, repair cost, carrying cost are all needed. Typically, the bank requires 6 months of payment reserves and you must also need adequate cash for any major repairs that may arise. Good credit scores and financial stability are of course desired for financing, most lenders want to see a debt-to-income ratio of 45% or lower.  He then goes in depth on various loans and how to improve your debt to income ratio, and various loan alternative.

Chapter 7: How to invest in rental properties with less cash

There are various no or low money down alternatives to real estate investing, but due diligence is certainly required. There is also hard money, house hacking, private money, turn key rental properties, seller financing, partnerships, using credit cards for cash advances, a 401k, and cash out refinance. Usually standard financing practices are better than the above mentioned, less headache hassle and risk.

Chapter 8: How to repair and maintain rental properties

Typically, Mark spends less money on long term rentals in terms of repairs than his fix and flips. Renters typically are not as picky as buyers which also helps with this. In a flip he repairs and updates nearly everything, in a rental its what’s needed. Finding a great contractor is vital and most investors are not well suited to do the repairs themselves in terms of opportunity cost and how well they can do the work versus a professional. Constant communication between you and the contractor is vital as it will affect the quality and time it takes to do the work.

Chapter 9: How to manage your rental properties

Most of the time it takes to manage rental properties happens at the beginning when it comes to finding tenants, the repair process etc. Once that has been completed it takes much less time to manage, however, once you have four or more you should consider hiring additional help. You may open a can of worms if you do not have enough time to screen tenants and check your properties. Proper due diligence is needed to find good property management, as with all things involving real estate, taking the cheap way may cause more headache than necessary.

Chapter 10: What are the different exit strategies with Rental Properties

There are several exit strategies to consider, sell the property and pay closing costs and taxes, 1031 exchange the property for a similar one, pay off the mortgage early and sell. All of these are again discussed in detail, a quick note on paying the mortgage off early, if you plan to keep buying rentals I would not recommend because you’re wasting prime cash to pay the down payment on your next purchase. Also, debt that makes more than the interest on the note is good debt and leverages your returns. The only negative aspect of incurring multiple loans on rentals is your debt-to-income ratio increases which may make it difficult to obtain another loan.

Chapter 11: How to buy rentals in an expensive market

For one the cost associated with selling your rentals, the taxes you’d have to pay, closing costs, the headache and hassle often isn’t worth the gain from appreciation, and the lack of steady cash flow that you’ve been receiving. If your market is overpriced you may need to look at turnkey rentals, however this makes it very difficult in executing the purchase, knowing the market. Investing near your area is in your best interest although it’s not always possible.

Chapter 12: How do you build a rental property empire

Here’s some basic steps to build a rental property empire:

  • When do you want to buy your first property?
  • What type of property will you buy?
  • What type of financing will you use?
  • How much money will you need?
  • How much money will the property generate?

“Saving money gives you options that allow you to make much more money, such as investing in rental properties and buying fix and flips. Saving money also allows you to be more flexible with your career or even a start a business.”

Chapter 13: What is the next step?

Do it.

Here’s the book:

https://amzn.to/2Mh8b8n

The Next Level

Many want to take their life, finances, current situation to the next level. Some have a vision of what that is, even fewer have a game plan to get themselves there. I will share with you today my vision and how I intend to get there.

So, as we speak I am 22 years old pursuing a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering and engineering management. I have a net worth around $18,000 through mainly my co-op and internship salaries. I will graduate college in May of 2019 and take on the real world.

Vision:

This is always a hard question to articulate and put into words which is why few people get this far. Think about it, when was the last time you sat down and figured out where you want to go in life. Some may have small goals like I want to drive a Ferrari or a Lamborghini but what about the BIG goal.

I would like to first buy my parent’s the lake house of their dreams on table rock lake. My mom and dad have provided for me all their life it is my obligation to give back to them. My dad would like the top of the line jet ski and a nice boat, my mom would be happy with a home that looked like it came out of better homes and gardens, a nice greenhouse and an abundance of grandchildren. My mom is going to have to wait on the later, but my brother may be able to help me out with that one. That is my first and foremost goal.

Second, I would like to give back to the people and organizations that made me who I am today, my wrestling program in high school, my rugby program in both high school and college, and my fraternity to name a few.

Third, is an obvious one but I think it should be said, to provide for those around me. I am going to assume at this stage in my life I have others to take care of other than myself, maybe a girlfriend, or a fiancé or a wife maybe kids the timeline of this one is foggy. My dad made it a goal to give my brother and I everything he ever wanted when he was a kid and to provide more than his parents could for him and I would also like to do the same to my loved ones. My dad did set the bar high on this one so I look forward to the challenge.

Fourth, financial freedom. There is an unbelievable amount of people in the United States that live paycheck to paycheck and I remember my parent’s doing the same at times. I don’t ever want to live a life like that.

Fifth, to help those less fortunate than me, I already practiced this when I was younger and currenly. I am aware I’ve had experiences that many have not or will not be able to have in their lives and I would like to the share that with all those that I can.

So Mr. B^2, how on earth do you plan to do all of this?

That’s a good question isn’t it, when it’s all laid out like that its hard to fathom that kind of success.

First step would be to graduate obviously, I have spent years in education and lots of money has been spent on me to get to where I am so obviously finishing what I started is a good place to begin. I would like to graduate with a 3.25 GPA currently at a 3.16 as of this semester.

Second, I would like to walk out of this university making $80,000 which I believe is a lofty but possible goal and with my skill sets, education and past experience I believe this is within my reach.

Third, using that money, and the money from my investments, and what not buy investment properties and other passive income sources. How many and of what kind I am not sure, but an investment property in my college town would be a good start I feel and from there only grow and expand my horizon as I move and travel. This could also be a side business that I develop to generate more revenue to acquire these properties and make more investments.

Fourth, rinse and repeat over and over and over again.  That in combination with my strong work ethic and developed leadership skills should put me in a position to move up the corporate ladder or start my own business or something of that sort. Not sure where I’m going but I’m going for it all.

With all of that said I would like to attain a net worth north of $3 million before I am 30 years old. I understand that is going to be extremely difficult but nothing of such high aspirations comes easy and I believe what I am doing now is laying a solid foundation for what I plan to do in the future and the fact that I already have the vision and the majority of the game plan is evident that I am already on my way.

As always let me know what you think, even if you think I am blowing smoke up my own ass I’d like to know what you think!

B^2

 

Summer Plans

In my spare time today, I did a little bit of thinking about what I wanted to do this summer as far as my finances are concerned.

  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.
  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”.

 

My favorite part about Lending Club is how liquid it is while you are making money. I get funds transferred to my portfolio nearly everyday as I have 110 active notes currently. This pays me about $100 a month in both interest and principal payments. If I own about 400ish notes I will receive about $350 in payments per month which is coincidentally my rent for this next school year again assuming the conversation with the landlord goes as planned tomorrow. That is all while making about a 7% gain as of this moment. This whole school year I have been pulling out my interest and principal payments to cover my expenses (its not enough however I spend more than $100 a month typically). If I can purchase that many notes however that should cover my rent payment which would be a passive income source for me. As of now that is my game plan for this next academic year. My typical food expenses as I have learned from diligently tracking them through my internship and co-op is about $60 a week or $240 a month. I plan to use my savings and any side money to cover that aspect of my expenses.

  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*.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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’m sure there are other aspects I am forgetting to include but these are just some highlights. I will do my best to update all my readers on what I am up to this summer. Hopefully this last 2 weeks of school won’t drain me to bad, I had the problem occur on my co-op.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Who I follow on YouTube

YouTube, the video –sharing site that is owned by the titan Google, has stood the test of time as far as far as modern social media is concerned. YouTube is a wonderful place to have a few laughs on, learn new things and watch step by step tutorials for your everyday problems, or listen to your favorite artist and see their newest music video. I will primarily go over the learning/education side of the YouTube.

A few weeks ago, I made an Instagram post about whether you use YouTube for entertainment or education and if that ratio is more to the entertainment side you should reconsider the use of your time. The amount of information I have learned from watching YouTube videos is astounding and here are some channels you should check out that I personally follow.

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For all things entrepreneurship and business related I turn to Patrick Bet-David on the Valuetainment channel. As the name suggests his goal is to provide value to the viewer drawing from his own personal success in entrepreneurship and business. They recently took a break from YouTube for a bit and revamped the objective and mission of the channel and the information he brings to the viewers is incredible. If you are at all interested in entrepreneurship or business I highly recommend checking him out. He provides great content and worksheets to the viewer to aid in self-improvement.

The next channel two channels I follow talk about the stock market mainly. Nate O’Brien is a young investor that brings ambition and passion to his channel as he talks about investments and relates well to my generation and age group. The other channel I follow for stock market education is the Financial Education channel. Jeremy from the Financial Education channel has written two books that I have read and has several programs that educate its users on the stock market, passive income, and options trading among other things. I would highly recommend these two channels if you are interested in stock investments, budgeting, passive income etc.

The last two channels revolve around real estate, motivation, and entrepreneurship. Grant Cardone is a world renown sales expert and has developed a real estate company with over $750 million in assets currently. Meet Kevin is about Kevin a real estate agent in California that provides value to the viewer by revealing the tips and tricks of real estate and exposes lies and clears confusion said by other “experts” in finance and real estate, these include Grant Cardone, Dave Ramsey and several others. These two channels help educate me on real estate and motivate me for any side hustle endeavors I have.

I primarily watch these YouTube videos in binges or if I am seeking information on a subject. Rather than watching tv or Netflix or YouTube for entertainment purposes I watch these education-based channels and learn more to further develop myself. Only problem is there are never enough hours in a day as you can see from the subscription box up above. I’m sure I am missing some great education-based YouTube channels out there so if you have any suggestions on who to follow please let me know!

Status Update 3/12/2018

Hey how’s it going everyone hope you all are well.  I just wanted to give a quick update on what is going on with my life right now. If you’ve been keeping up with the biweekly goal analysis you know it’s been a crazy couple week and I’ve been super busy.  I can say nothing has changed on that front, I am in the middle of our big St. Pat’s party week right now, followed by a hard week of school with tests and then spring break. From then on, it’s still going to be a wild ride to the end of the semester. Because of this I’ve been putting the blog and Instagram on the back burner for a little bit. I was consistently working 16-18 hours a day between school, fraternity, philanthropy, rugby, and my personal endeavors and it was slowly killing me. Soon I plan to refocus my Instagram efforts and get the blog some better tools retain my audience (mailing list, email newsletters, more Facebook ads etc.) but I simply do not have the time to make that commitment all the way. On a positive note I have an internship more or less locked down for this upcoming summer its actually a sales position which is very different from what I am use to or expected to do, but the experience and income should be very beneficial. I think the unique schedule I will be working will also help with this blog, and my other endeavors so hopefully that leads to some explosive growth this summer. I was also considering changing the focus of the blog entirely, as it sits now its me sharing my financial journey, but I guess it’s boring right now to be frank. I’m not making many moves right now since I haven’t had any income since August. I am reading books and learning about successful people and how to be successful and am reading a lot of motivational content so maybe that may be a temporary route I go. As I said above its been busy and we are in a holding pattern right now so hold tight while I get my life together.

If you have any suggestions, ideas, content to talk about, or products to aid in some of my problems stated above let me know!

B^2

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.

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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.

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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