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!
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.
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.
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!
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
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).
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!
Hey, it’s B^2 coming back with a dividend update, if this is your first time checking this out welcome and feel free to look around! To date I have 73 blog posts covering a multitude of topics so hopefully you can find a topic you would like to hear more about or just use that infinite scroll on the home page and see where that gets you. I realize a lot of my posts are just me blabbing on about where I’m at and where I’m trying to go and I want to change that. I want to add more value for my readers so if there’s something you want to learn more about please feel free to drop a dm to me on Instagram or comment on this blog or on Instagram.
Continuing, I last left you guys on November 2, 2018 which seems like forever ago, and I had just recently raised my portfolio up to $11,500 with the forward dividend table below.
Total forward dividend
Yield on portfolio
To be honest this was my highest total dividend ever. It has dropped a bit since then for a few reasons.
I am trying to reduce my portfolio size down to $10k (currently at $10,750) because I need the money and I think I can take the profits and cut the fat out of my portfolio and be alright.
I sold my largest dividend producer at the time, O, Realty Income.
I sold O, because I felt there were great deals in the market at the time (I sold December 20, 2018) which was an absolute shit storm in the markets if you remember, and I needed the money to purchase those deals. O, was also at its 52 week high and I honestly didn’t know if it could sustain it, so I sold it and made a 22.5% ROI and $303 profit on the position in its entirety. Now those of you that are familiar with O might see that it has surpassed that and is currently trading at almost $70 and while if I had held that I would be up about $125 and some dividends I also ran the numbers for the purchases I made from that sale shown below.
I calculated that with the purchase price on December 20th to today and I made $610 from those purchases not including potential dividends of some of those purchases.
Those wondering (CHK @ $1.92, ROKU @$28.98, ULTA @ $236.69, JD @ $19.85, F @ $8.31, FB @ $132.14, BABA @ $133.98, T @ $28.77, BPMX @ $0.1066)
$610/$125 is a 487% return due to that sale! Overall, I believe it was the right move, who knows what O or my other purchases might do in the future. I did cash in $245 in profit from Roku, which was largely due to that purchase I made in December and I believe I will make even greater returns in the future on my other positions. You will notice that I am constantly torn between value investing, dividend income, and growth stocks that make massive returns fortunately I have time on my side and the future to find out what works best for me!
Below you’ll find my current forward dividend table as of 3/5/2019.
total RH account
a year in dividends
percent of total
As shown, I am significantly down on forward dividend and forward dividend yield. I have increased positions in Ford (F), CBL, and AT&T (T), however that has not made up for the huge lose I took selling Realty Income.
If you haven’t noticed by now, passive income is one of my top priorities and a large part of my 2019 goals. My goal of earning $2500 this year in passive income will not come easy without an extra push and the sooner the better. I have a large sale coming up assuming all goes according to plan. Ulta Beauty (ULTA) is my 2nd largest position (6 shares, $240 cost average) it is currently hovering around the $310-$315 share price. I plan to sell my entire position in it at $325/share which would bring the total sale to $1950. I would immediately pull out $750 to bring my account size and I need that money (Spring Break is expensive) and I would invest the other $1200 in dividend stocks. The plan as of now is 15 shares of AT&T (T) ($30.60 forward dividend) and 6 shares of Walt Disney (DIS) ($10.56 forward dividend) which would put me at $271.86 forward dividend on the year. I would also have some spare change left after those purchases for picking up some more CEFL or CBL to help bring that dividend up. Ideally, I would end up around 2.75% yield on the entire portfolio and look for some appreciation as well.
I choose AT&T for the high dividend yield, the Time Warner acquisition and the dismissal of the court case regarding it. I believe the market has undervalued it and investors are sleeping on the income and appreciation it could bring in the future. I choose Disney for its dividend which has plenty of room to grow as well as its streaming service to come out soon. I think Disney has been a safe and stable stock for years and with its expansion and solid fundamentals now would be a great time to lock in some shares.
Below is a table of dividends from 2018 and 2019 for comparison.
My February performance was rather weak this year in comparison to 2018. I believe the absence of Realty Income will play a strong role in the performance of my dividend’s month to month. Check out December 2018 though, holy cow those were some big numbers! These dividend figures also include interest from my savings account (2.10% APY) and my ETF dividends from Stash App. Both of those accounts pay dividends monthly and should help fill the void from O.
I do have an extremely lofty goal of reaching $1,000 in interest and dividends collected in 2019 (not including Lending Club), I plan to use Grant Cardone’s 40% rule to save over $1500 a month (at my savings account rate of 2.1%) when I begin working in June and any additional funds I can save will be contributed toward stash app, and robinhood. Assuming all goes well, and I can live frugally and generate side income as well as passive income I believe I will be able to ramp up the interest and dividends in the 2nd half of 2019 to make up the ground I am losing currently.
If this is your first time reading my blog, I hope you enjoyed, I will do my best to keep the content coming however the month of March is the busiest of my school year due to mid-terms, St. Pat’s and spring break. If there is anything you are particularly interested in or want me to write about please let me know!
Just a quick heads up, I don’t normally write articles like this, in fact this wasn’t even for my blog. Another Instagram investing page/ blog asked me to write this article and after waiting to hear back from him for 2 weeks and not seeing it posted on his blog either I decided to put this article on my blog since after all it was my hard work and effort to write it.
So, you saved up your first $500 and you want to invest it. First off, I would like to congratulate you on this feat, approximately 78% of Americans (I’m writing this in the United States, sorry to everyone outside the United States that this statistic doesn’t apply to you) live paycheck to paycheck so the fact that you escaped that cycle deserves some kudos. Before you start investing though, we need to get a couple things straight. If you have any high interest debt (i.e. credit card debt) please handle that before you even think about investing. A beginner at investing will have a hard time earning more than the debt is costing not to mention the other ways high interest debt affects your credit score and other financial aspects of your life. So first and foremost, handle high interest debt if you have it before you start investing. Secondly, if you do not have an emergency account or fund, I would highly advise to put your $500 into that before you start investing. Accidents happen, illness happens, the world is an unpredictable place and having extra money in the event of an emergency can be a life saver.
You’ve taken care of step 1 and step 2 and you still have $500 you’re ready to invest with. Congratulations you are about to embark on the path to financial success! Warren Buffett, one of the most successful and renown investors once said, “If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.” That’s what we aim to do! Before we begin everyone should know that all investments carry some sort of risk and have different time horizons to work with. Pending your current financial situation and what you aim to do with that $500 you can take several different routes listed below.
Invest in yourself
Let me make this clear before you go on a shopping spree, there are ample resources when it comes to free education. YouTube, Podcasts, Free eBooks, Blogs, Written articles, Company financial documents etc. are all at your disposal with an internet connection. Assuming you have exhausted the resources above or are looking for something more detailed I would recommend several investing and financial books and making the commitment to read and follow through on them. To name a few, The Intelligent Investor – Benjamin Graham, Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill, Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert T. Kiyosaki, The Little Book of Common Sense Investing – John C. Bogle. While not all directly related to stock market investing someone trying to invest their first $500 would benefit from the messages in these books. Note that buying 3-4 books will still leave you with plenty of money from your initial savings, I would suggest reading and using the advice given in the books and in this article to utilize the rest of your capital at your own will. An investment in yourself will yield dividends for the rest of your life to come, it is therefore one of the most essential investments to make early on. If the books above aren’t your forte there are several other books centered around general success that may light a fire in your heart to pursue greatness.
CD/High-Yield Savings Account
Holding your money in a CD or a high yield savings account is a great option if you need your money to remain liquid or you have a short time horizon and low risk tolerance. Besides investing in yourself this option carries the lowest risk but also lower returns than can be seen with the other options. I currently use a savings account with a 2.10% yield. This would generate $10.50 a year in a savings account and while that is not a lot there is extremely little risk in this approach and your money is accessible.
CD’s or Certificate of Deposit have a fixed time period to invest over but have higher returns than a savings account. I quickly searched CD rates for 1, 3- and 5-year terms which produced the following yields respectively 2.8%, 2.85%, and 3.10%. (2/11/2019) These were the best rates I could find while adhering to a $500 minimum deposit and would produce returns of $14, $44, and $82 respectively. Now these returns are low, they slightly outpace inflation, but they are safe and rather liquid. I would recommend this strategy if you are new to investing and are trying to combine strategy 1 (learning about investing) and putting your money in a safe modest return investment until you know what you want to invest in.
ETF’s and Index Funds
An ETF index fund may be the best mix of aggressive and save on this list. Let me pull up some definitions real quick to make sure we are all on the same page.
ETF – “An ETF, or exchange-traded fund, is a marketable security that tracks a stock index, a commodity, bonds, or a basket of assets. Although similar in many ways, ETFs differ from mutual funds because shares trade like common stock on an exchange. The price of an ETF’s shares will change throughout the day as they are bought and sold. The largest ETFs typically have higher average daily volume and lower fees than mutual fund shares which makes them an attractive alternative for individual investors.” – Investopedia
Index Fund – “An index fund is a type of mutual fund with a portfolio constructed to match or track the components of a market index, such as the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500).” – Investopedia
A S&P 500 ETF index fund provides good returns on average, low expense ratio, little knowledge or analysis required, and it provides a dividend which all contribute to their success. An app that provides these funds for a low cost would be Stash App, in addition to picking an index fund you can also pick a variety of ETF’s including those that track bonds, precious metals, technology companies, banks, etc. For the S&P 500 the following tickers IVV, VOO, SPY will mimic the index closely and save you money on the expense ratio as well.
In this strategy you are investing in the broad market which has experienced volatility recently. The index and ETF’s will experience ups and downs providing more risk but higher rates of return on average. In the event of a market downturn, the investor will not be able to withdraw the investment without realizing losses. If pursuing this strategy, the investor should understand the risk and possible length of this investment as both are much greater.
Individual Stock of a well-known company
This strategy presents the highest risk/reward of the strategies discussed. Buying shares of an individual stock effectively puts all your eggs in one basket which adds to the risk however an individual stock can move both up or down much quicker than an ETF. Companies such as Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, etc. are popular options. Some stocks such as Google and Amazon have share prices of $1,000+. In this event you will need a platform that allows you to buy partial shares to be able to purchase these stocks with limited funds. I would not recommend a small cap company, penny stock, or any speculative play.
Whichever platform you choose it should be noted that a platform that minimizes brokerage and additional fees should be desired. With $500 to invest with it is critical to not waste capital on fees. Apps I am familiar with that are friendly toward beginner investors with limited capital include, Robinhood, Stash App, Acorns, M1, and Webull. Like strategy 3 a longer investment horizon is required for individual stocks.
In conclusion, there are multiple strategies to invest your first $500. Based on what your goals, risk tolerance, and investment horizon are you should be able to come to a solid conclusion on what strategy is best for you. Having a realistic approach to investing is vital, expecting 100% returns in your first year is asking for failure and discouragement. Hopefully you found this information useful and can begin your investments on a good note.
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!
Today I’ll be giving an update on my stock portfolio. The previous blog post about my stock portfolio can be found here* it is from September 14, 2018 and will be briefly recapped below.
Last time I had $9,750 funded in my Robinhood portfolio, today we are sitting at $11,500 funded. This was done by putting my income from the internship into the stock portfolio in late September and October. Previously I had profit and dividends of $670.92, today we are sitting at $1,132.90. Several large sales were made to attain this profit including selling the entire O, Realty Income position. While the numbers above show profit, all earnings have been reinvested back into the account and my account value is below the funded portion not to mention the $1.1k profits in their as well. I have several positions that require more maturity and I believe in 2020 I will be in the black. Below are pictures showing my account, for all side by side pictures, the picture on the left will be from September while the picture on the right will be recent.
As I am sure you are all aware the markets have been volatile lately and performance hasn’t been the best as of late. As I mentioned earlier in September the account was funded at $9,750, while currently the account is funded to $11,500.
Below I will highlight some of my positions.
My largest positions is also one of my worst preforming. This is a company and a situation that is getting better but I wouldn’t get my hopes up till 2020 or later. I have cost average down this position substantially and plan to wait on it to recover.
I mentioned ULTA on the last update however the situation hasn’t changed much. Its gone up, down, and sideways and I have used that to my advantage by skimming some profit off the top and buying back the share when it fell. Still waiting for it to reach new highs, price target is going to be reduced from $335 to somewhere around $315-$320 or so.
I sold O, Realty Income, and my total gain is around 22% according to a back of the napkin calculation including dividends and appreciation. While it may not have been the smartest move since I try to stick with my dividend stocks I felt that at the time it was towards the high end of the spectrum and I needed to cost average down other positions. Most of the updates this time around revolve around cost averaging positions. As we approach the end of this article take a look at the final two tables and look at the average price per stock in some of these positions. With the stock market shakeout/weakness I tried to take advantage of the sale and buy where I thought I could expect future appreciation.
Apple was a hot topic back in September with my screenshot showing a $221 stock price. We all know how that turned out and I’m still holding and collecting dividends on it.
Ford is another position I cost averaged down on, it also helped supplement my dividend income from the sale of O. In September I was holding Ford at $10.74 @ 100 shares, today I’m holding 150 shares at $10.00 yielding 6% on the dividend.
I always gotta harp on my best pick of 2018 so far, P&G still killing it after a good earnings report. Wish I had bought about 10 shares instead of 2 but we live and we learn and I have made some pick mistakes in my investing career that’s for sure.
Dividends are rolling in strong for 2019 after an incredible December. Look for an update on those soon. Other notable mentions as far as my stock portfolio. I cost averaged JD and BABA on weakness as well as FB, and ROKU. I believe these will be great positions in the future so long as I hold while the markets do their thang.
It’s been a rock end to 2018. Here’s to hoping 2019 goes better. Couple of quick notes, thanks you for reading this as always, feel free to drop a comment in the blog or on IG. Pending how my taxes go there may be some changes my accounts will have to undergo. I will keep you all updated and try to keep Uncle Same happy.
About a year ago I wrote a blog post titled “2018 Goals” an article which I reflected over my recent short coming and looked to 2018 with open eyes and tried to make the best of my situation. Recently inspired by Grant Cardone’s “10X rule” I set lofty goals and set a series of plans in place to achieve them. Today we’ll review what happened to all of that and what I intend to do moving forward. Below are the goals followed by a bullet point explanation as to what happened.
$2500 in my aspiration emergency fund (this would give me the 1.00% APY interest rate)
This had quite a turn of events occur. First off, I no longer use Aspiration as my savings account, I upgraded to a Discover Savings Account which pays out 2.00% APY and may increase with the recent federal rate increase. Overall, I fell very short of this goal and ended up with $900 saved (was $1,000 but Christmas fucked me). I focused on adding funds to accounts that would make more than the 2.00%. I do have a joint savings account my parents started for me when I was very young, if I transfer that account over I would be able to hit my goal as shown above.
$20,000 In my Robinhood portfolio (originally shooting for $10,000, hoping some options trading will give me the edge I need to achieve this goal)
I hit the original goal of $10,000, in fact I will finish 2018 with $11,500 and I have recently been getting destroyed in the stock market. $20,000 was an incredibly lofty goal in terms of being able to generate that much profit from the markets and I was unable to achieve that. I did increase my portfolio by $3,500 but I turned my attention towards Lending Club.
$10,000 in stash app (originally $5,000)
I believe Stash topped out at $3500 at some point this fall but has since dropped due to stock market performance as well as several withdrawals to fund my ski trip and other activities that I have going on. I was able to increase this portfolio by $1700, but again primarily focused on Lending Club.
$10,000 in Lending club (originally $5,000, would be incredibly useful in the stretch investing method)
I have preformed rather well in this category this year. My plans continually shift, and Lending Club became my primary target in terms of funding this Summer and Fall. I topped out the account at $6,381 as far as my records indicate, in pursuit to stretch invest my rent this school year. While $10,000 was quite ambitious that may be my new goal for 2019. In total, I added over $4,000 to this account this summer and fall.
This one is a constant battle for me. I love passive income, I love making money while I sleep, but I also need to generate positive returns in the stock market too. My investing strategy constantly shifts but I also look at growth stocks that could deliver amazing returns and not just dividend stocks. Between lack of funding in my Robinhood portfolio and investing mostly in growth and value stocks rather than just dividend stocks I was unable to hit my target.
Have 5, $1,000+/year income streams by the end of 2018 (Anticipate being Dividends/interest, Lending Club interest, Internship, Drop Shipping, Blog)
I honestly don’t know what I was thinking on this one, perhaps, diversifying my income streams more however my summer required extreme focus to achieve the desired results. My most lucrative income streams in order:
Lending Club interest $419 (still waiting on December results so approximately $500)
Stock profit $375 (approximated)
Dividend income $300 approximately
Various odds and ends of selling unused things or doing odd jobs might come out to $200/year or so
As you can see my alternative income streams just did not come together like they needed to.
150 blog posts by the end of 2018
I thought I was going to make impressive headway during this summer but that was not the case. With my line of work, I was working 6-7 days a week and had no set schedule which hindered my blogging. My goal is to finish 2018 with 75 blog posts and this one will come in at #69 (nice) (gang gang gang) (RBP).
As you can see, none of my big goals of the year were accomplished however that is not always a bad thing. I would rather go big and come up short rather than go small and have no ambition in what I am pursuing. The 10X mentality may not translate perfectly into my academic life or my internship as well as it would to a post graduate’s career and starting out his or her life. You can’t 10X your GPA from a 4.0 to a 40.0. There is a finite amount of time and resources as an intern to try and compete with targets and goals set by full-time coworkers that can work 9 months compared to your 3 months.
The good news is I will be making that transition this summer to a full-time employee and be finished with college. While I will be training for most of 2019 and will not have control of my income like I will when I really get into sales, I will have access to more income than I have in all my life. With that all in mind, I plan to make some big moves in 2019 to make the most of my opportunities. Keep your eyes open for that post!
So, tell me some of your goals and ambitions this year, I look forward to reading your comments.
To preface, I am not a financial consultant, CPA, etc. etc.
I have however built a respectable credit score in my short credit history and I can share a few tips to get you there as well.
First, let’s start off with the basics. You need a credit card. To build credit you first must establish credit. This should be relatively easy to do after all credit card companies are handing the things out like candy, but you want to choose the right one. One of the cards I have is a Discover It student card. This card earns 1% cash back on all purchases, 5% cashback on certain rotating categories every quarter, 1-year cash back match (just received mine ~$75), and $20 a year for good grades, reports credit score from Transunion.
Solid card, with no annual fee, plenty of perks, and 15-24% APR. For more information check out this blog post here
Step 1. Get a card
It doesn’t have to be that card, I also have a Visa Signature Card and I think that’s also an incredible card. Overall, I would look for a card that gives you feedback on your credit score, no annual fees, decent cashback opportunities etc.
Step 2. Use the card responsibly
You have a card now you need to use it responsibly and there’s several factors into this. Part of your credit score (30%) is based on your revolving credit utilization. That means they look at how much credit you have across all your lines and how much your balance is and convert it into a percent. Total balance/ total credit line = % Utilization.
As of this moment my total balance owed is $201 and my utilization is 2% which puts me in the very good category. If you carry a high utilization, then your credit score will be negatively affected. I would also suggest using your credit card responsibly to ensure you can pay the full balance off every month. It doesn’t make any sense paying extremely high interest rates on credit cards that’s just extra money out of your pocket.
Another portion of using your card responsibly is for the cashback rewards, now obviously do not violate the two rules above for the sake of cash back rewards but when you can get a nice little 5% at amazon or your grocery store you may want to opt in to use your card at these places and use cash or debit at others.
Hold onto that credit card
Another aspect of your credit score is your total accounts and length of credit. (10% and 15% respectively) For total accounts I have three credit cards and zero installment loans. I’ve never cancelled a credit card even though my first card hasn’t been used in years (a beginner Visa card with a down payment required). Length of credit also factors into your score, the longer your accounts are open, generally the better. FICO credit scores also consider the newest account, oldest account, and average age of accounts. Essentially even if you don’t use a card anymore and assuming it doesn’t have an annual fee just hang onto it. You don’t have to use it for the account to remain active.
Make the payments
Its obvious but I will reiterate. About 35% of your credit score is based on your payment history. One missed payment will affect your score. They keep track of the last 7 years of payments, so I mistake now will still cost you 7 years down the line. Make your payments every month (when I get paid biweekly I pay off my credit card every 2 weeks), don’t miss a payment and keep a great credit score.
The last portion that comprises your score is credit seeking inquiries which comes out to 10% of your score. This happens when lenders do a hard inquiry of your credit and it is tracked over the past 12 months. Obviously, some of this stuff is unavoidable (buying a new car etc.). Fortunately, the Discover It card isn’t a hard inquiry, so it does not affect your credit score, or I would probably lose every bit of that 10% of my score.
That summarizes how your credit score is comprised and what you can do to improve your score. Another way to increase your score is after having good credit with existing accounts for some time you may be offered a larger credit line. For example, my first credit card account had a tiny credit limit of $800. After 2 years of so I received a credit line extension of $3500 = a credit line of $4300 total. If you remember the line utilization problem of total balance/ total credit line = utilization %, when you extend your credit line and keep spending habits the same your utilization will lower and therefore increase your credit score. When those opportunities arise take them and don’t go crazy with the larger credit line.
Those are the tips and tricks to building a great credit score! As I am writing this I currently have a credit score of 788 and my earliest line of credit was April of 2014. I’m pushing to break past the 800 mark and the only portion holding me back is the length of credit and father time is responsible for that.
As always if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment or hit me up on Instagram @bsquared.website
Hope everyone is doing well, I’ve been getting some questions about lending club here lately with how much I’ve been talking about it and posting about it. Hopefully today I can answer all those questions and give you an update on where I am at with this investing platform.
In case you weren’t around when I first talked about this, I started using lending club in April of 2017. Lending club is a peer to peer lending and borrowing platform. Where individual investors fund individual borrowers for various loans. These loans can range quite a bit in size from $4,000 to $35,000 or so, 36 months or 60 months in length, and of various ratings and interest rates. Now I’m not going all in on $30k loans or anything like that, I’m not rolling that deep by any stretch of the imagination. The loans are bought in notes from an investor perspective, these notes are in $25 increments. Now you could go and fund an entire loan yourself I like to diversify, and I currently fund over 200 different loans over the course of a year and a half. Much like a car payment or a house payment the borrower pays the loan off every month so as an investor you get paid out every month in principal and interest. Of course, the house takes a cut as well and that’s generally around 1-2% depending on the loan. The rate on the loans are usually between 5%-30% interest rates based on the borrower’s credit score, previous lines of credit, income etc. etc. Obviously the higher the interest rate the higher the risk of defaulting the loan, and the lower the interest rate the less likely the borrower is to default. Below is a quick snapshot of how my portfolio looks in terms of active notes, defaults, late notes, and fully paid notes.
Now generally I take a rather aggressive approach to my notes and my average interest rate is around 15-18% overall. That can explain some of the defaults I’ve had as they are a higher risk loan, per usual with investing the greater the risk the greater the reward.
What really turned me on to Lending Club and this platform of investing (peer to peer lending) is the monthly payments. Dividend stocks are great, and I have quite a bit of cash flow from them (currently $275/year as we speak) however only a few of them pay me monthly. Having a monthly cash flow allows me to compound my gains 4x faster than a quarterly dividend stock which most of them are quarterly. I also am more fluid with withdrawing money with this platform which leads into my next point. I am investing heavily in this platform to passively pay my rent in the spring semester. You heard that right while it won’t be all interest based (in fact its mostly principal based) I will attempt to use this platform to make a nice 6% or more return while being able to pull my money out and pay rent every month. This obviously has lots of risk and I have back up plans in place in the event most of my loans default however from what I’ve learned in the last year and a half this has been a pretty reliable strategy, and of course I make passive income while I am doing this with a decent return.
Now let’s back up a minute. Most of you are probably thinking I’ve got to be pulling in some big bucks to pay rent with this right! If any of you rent out there you’re probably thinking this is quite a stretch. If you didn’t see in any of my previous posts my rent here in my college town is dirt cheap I’m talking $275 a month + utilities which generally rounds out to $350/month. As of my last monthly payment update I am currently bringing in $195 in principal and interest a month! I’m not done yet either, the snowball has started to roll, I dumped in almost $3,000 this summer into my portfolio and when I get my bonus here soon another $1,000+ will go in + I’m starting to get monthly payments from the loans I purchased this summer. Come October/November I will be approaching that first tier of rent ($275). Not too shabby considering a 6% return on a passive income and its monthly.
With this next small deposit coming in this week I will be at ~230 notes and I am estimating I will need 315 or so to cover the $275 a month. Let’s take a quick look at my account summary, this first picture is adjusted account value which includes the defaults and the late notes.
This second picture does not account for late notes and shows a higher rate of return.
My account is out of whack at the moment, with the large influx of new notes there is quite a few that haven’t started paying out yet because they are so new. Like I said come October/November that should all get settled in and the returns will be coming up as the monthly payment number starts ringing true and all my loans start paying out.
As a disclaimer I am not a financial consultant and all investments carry risk. I am simply showing you all what I am doing and why I think it will work. Of course, I’d like to hear what you have to say. I know quite a few of my followers have been asking questions about this platform and the pros and cons of it. I have another post from way long ago on why I like this platform so much and you can read that post right Lending Club Review.
Have a great day and I can’t wait to hear from you guys!