Future investment plans

I’m coming up on work here soon and its had me thinking about what I want to invest in and where I want that money to go. Just like a kid at Christmas I get a little giddy inside just thinking about it. If you didn’t know I am planning on saving 40% of my income before taxes however I am hoping my living expenses are so minimal that I will still have excess outside of my cost of living expenses. I am looking to add an alternative investment to my belt known as Ground Floor, a peer to peer hard money investing platform like Lending Club. It has high returns and a shorter time period than Lending Club which should allow for a great ROI and passive income generation. With returns around 8-12% depending on the loan and duration I would like to get $1,000 in there as soon as possible and get the money churning out of that platform. I have about $30 in there now thanks to the extremely low minimum required ($10).

Coming up next I would like to get into the Cardone Capital fund for non-accredited investors as soon as possible. It requires a minimum of $5,000 to invest and it has a 10-year time horizon. They anticipate a 6% return per year with it increasing as time progresses and then a big chunk of profit at the end when they sell or refinance. At $300 a year in passive income that would help me hit my future passive income goals substantially. I could also try and reinvest into the fund if it is still open later down the road and would not be opposed to putting in an additional $5,000 into it and bring the passive income total to $600 a year or $50 a month.

I would also like to bring my Robinhood account back up to $10,000 its currently sitting at $8,050. I wish I could make this happen sooner and take advantage of some of the panic selling that has gone on lately however I expect to see some more of that in the future. I would also like to bring up my Lending Club account significantly and believe once I start making money and no longer need to pull every dollar and cent out of my account that it will compound nicely come August-December and finish the year off strong. I would also like to build my stash account back up again as well from its current $2,500 or so up to $4,500. I’ve depleted it for a while and would like to pick up some good deals and get some dividends coming back through it as well.

One of the last investments I’ll mention is in myself, I plan to buy a real estate investing program from the YouTuber MeetKevin and learn from a realtor and real estate investor exactly what I want to do and how I want to get there. It’s a $300 program or so and I think the knowledge will be extremely valuable in the future when I plan to get into real estate investing.

As you can see most of my investments are passive income related and there is good reason for that. With the next 6 months solely focused on learning and training for work followed by an additional 12 months of inside sales which will need to take up most of my time to be successful. The plan is to establish these passive income sources and let Father Time do the work and I’ll just sit back and collect the interest, dividends, and the rent checks. It will also take massive amounts of action to reach my $2500 passive income goal by the end of 2019, however with a little bit of side hustle and a proper plan we might just get there!

Till next time, B^2

What I Read and Why

If you keep up with my Instagram you’ve seen, I’ve been cranking through some reading over the past couple weeks. I have also been reading more than I ever have throughout this whole journey I’ve been on and I would like to highlight some of things I read and the direction I intend to take. I will start from the past and move to the present in terms of what I read and why. If you are early in your journey to transform yourself or are looking to get started, you can look at what I’ve read and see what aspect you need to improve on! Many of the books below have links attached to them, I have reviewed some of these books in the past and if you want a quick overview or to get the gist of it feel free to check out the link pertaining to each book.

I read a book on modern long-term stock market investing from a guy I followed on YouTube. His channel is the Financial Education channel and he has some good content. His book however is a little mundane and useless if you’ve already consumed his content. All his book is, is a couple of his YouTube videos all summarized into a book so if you’re already familiar with it’s a waste of money.

The next “book” I read was “The Millionaire Booklet” by Grant Cardone and this was more of a shift in mindset “book”.  It’s very short, very informative and is written with passion, if you need to get fired up and get something that will spark you to change your life, I would suggest this book. You may be able to get it for free and pay shipping they often run promos on this booklet.

From here, I got fired up on all things Grant Cardone, so I read a couple more of his books, the next two being “The 10X Rule” and “Sell or be Sold”. “The 10X Rule” is a productivity and mindset book and will really challenge you to pursue success and to think bigger. “Sell or Be Sold” is sales related, and at the time I confirmed that I was going into a sales position for my summer internship which led to the obvious choice to read the book. Even if you are not going into sales it is something very important to learn for your career and for your life. Everything is a sale, from dating a girl and selling her on you, to getting a raise at your job and selling your boss on your performance.

Next, I went with Gary Vaynerchuk’s “Crush It” and I believe I read the sequel “Crushing it” sometime around there as well but I don’t have a date on that one. As with most things GaryVee is involved with these books revolve around entrepreneurship and circles around social media. If you’re at all interested in becoming an entrepreneur and starting your own business and following your passion these are the books and the guy you should investigate.

I read “Rental Property Empire” since I became interested in real estate and while the book was dry and tough to make it through it had all the information you could ever want to pertain to real estate investing. Same can be said about “How to Create Wealth Investing in Real Estate” by Grant Cardone, though this book was much more manageable and easier to get through.

The next two books I read that’ll get lumped together as a mindset and motivation style books are “Rise and Grind” by Daymond John, and “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. Both change your mindset in terms of what is necessary to achieve financial success and how to work hard as well as motivate you to achieve higher things in life.

The book I would suggest for anyone to read out of all of these on this list would be “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. This book is the holy grail in my opinion. It contains practical advice that is timeless as to how to interact with people daily that will transfer to sales skills, negotiation skills, and conflict resolution skills. I can not recommend this book enough, in fact, the day after our new Recruitment Chair was elected to take the position, I handed him the book and said start reading this will be one of the tools towards your success.

The most recent book I read was “Getting Things Done” by David Allen and while useful in terms of organization and increasing your productivity the book is a little dated in terms of technology since it was written in 2001. If you struggle with productivity or get distracted easily or you’re not organized this book could be your solution. A large part of the book involves clearing your mental RAM, like the passive thoughts in your brain that are saying “don’t forget to do X” or “don’t forget to call Y” things of that nature that suck out the productivity and creativeness that people sometimes lack these days. If you fit in that category this book may also be for you!

Onto the last book that I am in the process of reading now is, “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill and my oh my I believe this one is going to be a banger. Written with inspiration and in close association to Dale Carnegie you know this book is just going to be life changing! I’m only 10% done with it right now but I will for sure give my opinion on it in the future.

Onto what I am looking to read and learn in the future. My full-time job involves sales so that will primarily be my focus going into the summer, I plan to listen to more Hardcore Closer Podcast by Ryan Stewman for all things sales related. I plan to read various books by Zig Ziglar who I hear is another sales prodigy. I have several productivity type books on my shelf, as well as investing and business books. I also plan to purchase a course by MeetKevin on YouTube related to real estate investing and all aspects of that. I also plan to listen to Bigger Pockets again in the future, and purchase some of their material.

You can clearly see that there remains a nearly infinite amount of knowledge out there in the form of books, podcasts, YouTube videos, courses, etc. I suggest that if you are looking to make a change in your life or to level up a certain aspect of your life you start looking into the books, podcasts, videos that pertain to what you are trying to do and go deep into them. If you first need to get some motivation in you, I have suggestions above for that (Eric Thomas is a good guy to YouTube if you need some motivation really quick). If you want to start your own business, I have suggestions above for you. If you want to get into real estate, I have suggestions above as well.

You have a vast amount of knowledge at your fingertips, figure out what you want to do and go after it.

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.

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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.

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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

 

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

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

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