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

Dividend Update 3/5/19

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

B^2

IG @ Bsquared.website

Blog @ Bsquared.website

Email @ Bsquared.web@gmail.com

 

How to Invest your first $500

Just a quick heads up, I don’t normally write articles like this, in fact this wasn’t even for my blog. Another Instagram investing page/ blog asked me to write this article and after waiting to hear back from him for 2 weeks and not seeing it posted on his blog either I decided to put this article on my blog since after all it was my hard work and effort to write it.

So, you saved up your first $500 and you want to invest it. First off, I would like to congratulate you on this feat, approximately 78% of Americans (I’m writing this in the United States, sorry to everyone outside the United States that this statistic doesn’t apply to you) live paycheck to paycheck so the fact that you escaped that cycle deserves some kudos. Before you start investing though, we need to get a couple things straight. If you have any high interest debt (i.e. credit card debt) please handle that before you even think about investing. A beginner at investing will have a hard time earning more than the debt is costing not to mention the other ways high interest debt affects your credit score and other financial aspects of your life. So first and foremost, handle high interest debt if you have it before you start investing. Secondly, if you do not have an emergency account or fund, I would highly advise to put your $500 into that before you start investing. Accidents happen, illness happens, the world is an unpredictable place and having extra money in the event of an emergency can be a life saver.

You’ve taken care of step 1 and step 2 and you still have $500 you’re ready to invest with. Congratulations you are about to embark on the path to financial success! Warren Buffett, one of the most successful and renown investors once said, “If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.” That’s what we aim to do! Before we begin everyone should know that all investments carry some sort of risk and have different time horizons to work with. Pending your current financial situation and what you aim to do with that $500 you can take several different routes listed below.

Quotation-Warren-Buffett-If-you-don-t-find-a-way-to-make-money-87-85-65

  1. Invest in yourself

Let me make this clear before you go on a shopping spree, there are ample resources when it comes to free education. YouTube, Podcasts, Free eBooks, Blogs, Written articles, Company financial documents etc. are all at your disposal with an internet connection. Assuming you have exhausted the resources above or are looking for something more detailed I would recommend several investing and financial books and making the commitment to read and follow through on them. To name a few, The Intelligent Investor – Benjamin Graham, Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill, Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert T. Kiyosaki, The Little Book of Common Sense Investing – John C. Bogle. While not all directly related to stock market investing someone trying to invest their first $500 would benefit from the messages in these books. Note that buying 3-4 books will still leave you with plenty of money from your initial savings, I would suggest reading and using the advice given in the books and in this article to utilize the rest of your capital at your own will. An investment in yourself will yield dividends for the rest of your life to come, it is therefore one of the most essential investments to make early on. If the books above aren’t your forte there are several other books centered around general success that may light a fire in your heart to pursue greatness.

  1. CD/High-Yield Savings Account

Holding your money in a CD or a high yield savings account is a great option if you need your money to remain liquid or you have a short time horizon and low risk tolerance. Besides investing in yourself this option carries the lowest risk but also lower returns than can be seen with the other options. I currently use a savings account with a 2.10% yield. This would generate $10.50 a year in a savings account and while that is not a lot there is extremely little risk in this approach and your money is accessible.

CD’s or Certificate of Deposit have a fixed time period to invest over but have higher returns than a savings account. I quickly searched CD rates for 1, 3- and 5-year terms which produced the following yields respectively 2.8%, 2.85%, and 3.10%. (2/11/2019) These were the best rates I could find while adhering to a $500 minimum deposit and would produce returns of $14, $44, and $82 respectively. Now these returns are low, they slightly outpace inflation, but they are safe and rather liquid. I would recommend this strategy if you are new to investing and are trying to combine strategy 1 (learning about investing) and putting your money in a safe modest return investment until you know what you want to invest in.

  1. ETF’s and Index Funds

An ETF index fund may be the best mix of aggressive and save on this list. Let me pull up some definitions real quick to make sure we are all on the same page.

ETF – “An ETF, or exchange-traded fund, is a marketable security that tracks a stock index, a commodity, bonds, or a basket of assets. Although similar in many ways, ETFs differ from mutual funds because shares trade like common stock on an exchange. The price of an ETF’s shares will change throughout the day as they are bought and sold. The largest ETFs typically have higher average daily volume and lower fees than mutual fund shares which makes them an attractive alternative for individual investors.” – Investopedia

Index Fund – “An index fund is a type of mutual fund with a portfolio constructed to match or track the components of a market index, such as the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500).” – Investopedia

A S&P 500 ETF index fund provides good returns on average, low expense ratio, little knowledge or analysis required, and it provides a dividend which all contribute to their success. An app that provides these funds for a low cost would be Stash App, in addition to picking an index fund you can also pick a variety of ETF’s including those that track bonds, precious metals, technology companies, banks, etc. For the S&P 500 the following tickers IVV, VOO, SPY will mimic the index closely and save you money on the expense ratio as well.

In this strategy you are investing in the broad market which has experienced volatility recently. The index and ETF’s will experience ups and downs providing more risk but higher rates of return on average. In the event of a market downturn, the investor will not be able to withdraw the investment without realizing losses. If pursuing this strategy, the investor should understand the risk and possible length of this investment as both are much greater.

  1. Individual Stock of a well-known company

This strategy presents the highest risk/reward of the strategies discussed. Buying shares of an individual stock effectively puts all your eggs in one basket which adds to the risk however an individual stock can move both up or down much quicker than an ETF. Companies such as Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, etc. are popular options. Some stocks such as Google and Amazon have share prices of $1,000+. In this event you will need a platform that allows you to buy partial shares to be able to purchase these stocks with limited funds. I would not recommend a small cap company, penny stock, or any speculative play.

Whichever platform you choose it should be noted that a platform that minimizes brokerage and additional fees should be desired. With $500 to invest with it is critical to not waste capital on fees. Apps I am familiar with that are friendly toward beginner investors with limited capital include, Robinhood, Stash App, Acorns, M1, and Webull. Like strategy 3 a longer investment horizon is required for individual stocks.

In conclusion, there are multiple strategies to invest your first $500. Based on what your goals, risk tolerance, and investment horizon are you should be able to come to a solid conclusion on what strategy is best for you. Having a realistic approach to investing is vital, expecting 100% returns in your first year is asking for failure and discouragement. Hopefully you found this information useful and can begin your investments on a good note.

Thanks,

B^2

IG @ Bsquared.website

Blog @ Bsquared.website

Email @ Bsquared.web@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

2019 Goals

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

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

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

B^2

2018 Goal Review

About a year ago I wrote a blog post titled “2018 Goals” an article which I reflected over my recent short coming and looked to 2018 with open eyes and tried to make the best of my situation. Recently inspired by Grant Cardone’s “10X rule” I set lofty goals and set a series of plans in place to achieve them. Today we’ll review what happened to all of that and what I intend to do moving forward. Below are the goals followed by a bullet point explanation as to what happened.

Goals:

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

  • This had quite a turn of events occur. First off, I no longer use Aspiration as my savings account, I upgraded to a Discover Savings Account which pays out 2.00% APY and may increase with the recent federal rate increase. Overall, I fell very short of this goal and ended up with $900 saved (was $1,000 but Christmas fucked me). I focused on adding funds to accounts that would make more than the 2.00%. I do have a joint savings account my parents started for me when I was very young, if I transfer that account over I would be able to hit my goal as shown above.

$20,000 In my Robinhood portfolio (originally shooting for $10,000, hoping some options trading will give me the edge I need to achieve this goal)

  • I hit the original goal of $10,000, in fact I will finish 2018 with $11,500 and I have recently been getting destroyed in the stock market. $20,000 was an incredibly lofty goal in terms of being able to generate that much profit from the markets and I was unable to achieve that. I did increase my portfolio by $3,500 but I turned my attention towards Lending Club.

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

  • I believe Stash topped out at $3500 at some point this fall but has since dropped due to stock market performance as well as several withdrawals to fund my ski trip and other activities that I have going on. I was able to increase this portfolio by $1700, but again primarily focused on Lending Club.

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

  • I have preformed rather well in this category this year. My plans continually shift, and Lending Club became my primary target in terms of funding this Summer and Fall. I topped out the account at $6,381 as far as my records indicate, in pursuit to stretch invest my rent this school year. While $10,000 was quite ambitious that may be my new goal for 2019. In total, I added over $4,000 to this account this summer and fall.

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

  • This one is a constant battle for me. I love passive income, I love making money while I sleep, but I also need to generate positive returns in the stock market too. My investing strategy constantly shifts but I also look at growth stocks that could deliver amazing returns and not just dividend stocks. Between lack of funding in my Robinhood portfolio and investing mostly in growth and value stocks rather than just dividend stocks I was unable to hit my target.

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

  • I honestly don’t know what I was thinking on this one, perhaps, diversifying my income streams more however my summer required extreme focus to achieve the desired results. My most lucrative income streams in order:
    • Internship $22,200
    • Lending Club interest $419 (still waiting on December results so approximately $500)
    • Stock profit $375 (approximated)
    • Dividend income $300 approximately
    • Various odds and ends of selling unused things or doing odd jobs might come out to $200/year or so

As you can see my alternative income streams just did not come together like they needed to.

150 blog posts by the end of 2018

I thought I was going to make impressive headway during this summer but that was not the case. With my line of work, I was working 6-7 days a week and had no set schedule which hindered my blogging. My goal is to finish 2018 with 75 blog posts and this one will come in at #69 (nice) (gang gang gang) (RBP).

Image result for ross bolen podcast

As you can see, none of my big goals of the year were accomplished however that is not always a bad thing. I would rather go big and come up short rather than go small and have no ambition in what I am pursuing. The 10X mentality may not translate perfectly into my academic life or my internship as well as it would to a post graduate’s career and starting out his or her life. You can’t 10X your GPA from a 4.0 to a 40.0. There is a finite amount of time and resources as an intern to try and compete with targets and goals set by full-time coworkers that can work 9 months compared to your 3 months.

The good news is I will be making that transition this summer to a full-time employee and be finished with college. While I will be training for most of 2019 and will not have control of my income like I will when I really get into sales, I will have access to more income than I have in all my life. With that all in mind, I plan to make some big moves in 2019 to make the most of my opportunities. Keep your eyes open for that post!

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

Thanks, B^2

 

Lending Club Update 12/13/18

Hey everyone, sorry for the delay, I just took my last 2 exams yesterday 12/12/18 for school and can finally settle down and get some non-school related work done. So today I’ll be comparing my Lending Club portfolio to what it was on the last update from 9/17/18. Now for those of you who are reading this blog for the first time let me catch you up quick. If you are familiar with me and Lending Club skip down to the horizontal line.

My name is Brandon, I’m a college student if you couldn’t tell by the exams above, I graduate this upcoming May, and already have a job secured so that’s exciting. Lending Club is a peer to peer (P2P) lending platform where, rather than borrowing money from a bank or financial institution, individual investors fund the borrows and receive interest and what not just like a bank does. I’m obviously on the investor side of things so I can’t say much about the borrowing side.

It’s a rather simple platform, I as an investor put in say $1,000 (you can invest with as little as $25 but this is just an example), I can pick which loans I want to fund and fund it into $25 increments (it’s not all or nothing). So, for example, XYZ is requesting a loan for $20,000 for credit consolidation, Lending Club does its due diligence in terms of background information (credit score, credit history, current income, current debt, debt-to-income ratio, etc. etc,), they then assign them a scoring based on the above information in an A-E, 1-5 scale. An A1 rating represents the safest investment while an E5 represents the riskiest investment. Based on that scoring the interest rate is calculated as of today (the rates have changed recently due to rising interest rates in the U.S. and Lending Club has been doing a good job of keeping their investments in line with rising interest), an A1 loan has a 6.46% interest rate, while an E5 has a 27.27% interest rate. The loans come in either 3 year or 5-year lengths and the investors get paid monthly. So in the previous example if I were to take that $1,000 and put the money to work in a variety of loans ($25*40=$1,000) spread over different ratings, I would get paid monthly on all of those and earn somewhere between 4%-7% give or take because of course Lending Club takes a 1%-2% cut or so. Now the loans can always default, or get paid back early, in that case you lose potential interest. So obviously there’s some risk involved as with any investment and even the high-quality A grade loans have defaulted on me before.

My favorite aspects of Lending Club are the monthly principal and interest payments from every loan. In November I collected $75.28 in interest and received about $250 in principal back. I also love the ease of reinvesting at the level I am at. With about $325 coming in from last month divided by the $25/note price tag I could reinvest my P&I 13 times in a month all while earning around 7% interest! Only place you can reinvest quicker is a good savings account and even then, the best you’ll make is 2% (at least that’s what my discover account makes a year)

Alright time to compare the last 3 months side by side. For the following comparisons we’ll do the September data on the left and the December data on the right.         lending club notes       LC notes snip 12.13.18

As you can see, we have a significant increase in notes over the almost 3-month period. I mentioned in the previous update that I was waiting on my internship bonus to come in to help fund this endeavor and when it arrived it allowed me to put another $1,500 into Lending Club. Charge offs, fully paid and other scenarios have gone up as they always had.

I did not include the following pictures in my previous update but here they are now. Below is a pie chart depicting my current portfolio by what rating it has. As you can see it is relatively spread even throughout the spectrum except for F and G as they are no longer offered and were incredibly risky. My detailed returns are also shown below.

note composition 12.13.18 note details 12.13.18

Moving on, we’ll examine the overall account value as well as return on investment. Since these pictures are long, the September numbers will be shown first, then December.

lending club adjusted

LC interest 12.13.18

This shows the adjusted account value and return for my entire portfolio. It is adjusted based off the probability and amount of the various late and defaulted notes in my portfolio. As you can see the account value is dramatically higher as well as the % return. I expected this to happen for a few reasons. For one I mentioned a $1,500 deposit I made to the account increasing its value as well as being able to compound the account through October to reinvest my earnings. As for percent return the account had an influx of new notes at the time as you can see by the first set of pictures. When notes are not issued they add to the account value but not to the profit because they haven’t started paying you yet. This decreases the % return significant and I have seen it every time I make a large deposit. Over time this will drop due to notes defaulting and being paid late.

The next set of pictures show the non-adjusted account values again we will go September then December.

lending club no adjust

LC interest non adjust

As you can see the percent return and account values are both up and consistent with the previous set of pictures.

So you may be asking what the point of all of this is, like nice bro you made some money, but what’s the deal? Well making money especially passively has always been a huge focus for me, you only have 24 hours in a day and you gotta sleep, so until you can make money while you sleep or while you are not working you will be broke forever. (paraphrased from Warren Buffett) So check that one off the box. I mentioned earlier that I am a college student, I have internships over the summer and I don’t work for the other 9 months of the year, and I needed a way to generate income in a fluid manner throughout the school year. Yes I know I could just stick it all in the bank and withdraw when needed but you don’t make shit at the bank so that’s wasting your money’s potential.

Here’s a bit of background, I moved out of my fraternity house this semester, so I was kinda on my own as far as rent went and I wanted a way to pay my rent and make money at the same time as I have been eluding to in the previous paragraph. I decided to go balls out in Lending Club, utilize the monthly payouts, utilize the return, utilize the fluidity from Lending Club to checking account transaction, and fund my rent through Lending Club.

Overall, I think I accomplished what I was trying to do, if you recall the September update, I mentioned my rent at school was $275 + utilities = approx. $350. I know that’s dirt cheap but it’s a small college town and its not the most glamorous house but whatever I’ve dealt with worse. The total collected amount for principal and interest in November was about $350 so I technically made it, but it doesn’t quite feel like it. I wanted to do better than where I am at now and I am currently in full out withdrawal mode to pay rent, and credit cards, fund my ski trip, buy Christmas presents etc. etc. So, I can’t compound or add to Lending Club any time soon. I believe that if I could’ve started adding to Lending Club sooner this summer (between rent and deposits and just starting work, I was seriously in the hole the first month of my internship this summer) I would’ve had a better shot. I made incredible money over the summer, but I lost the time value of it and the compounding power, because I received about half of my total payment after I left to go back to school. You can read about my internship here

Well awesome guys thank you so much for taking the time to read this, lots more will be coming here in December, we’ve got big plans, big goals, and lots of ambition to get there. Please let me know what you like, don’t like, want to hear more about, if you want shorter or longer posts, videos, tweets, more or less stuff on Instagram etc etc.

I’m here to provide insight and value to all my followers and readers. I want to know what you guys want to hear so I can deliver the best content in the best format possible. Hit me up here and leave a comment, or dm me on Instagram @bsquared.website.

Here’s the link to Lending Club Update 9-17-18

Thank you everyone!

B^2

The Last Splurge

If you follow Grant Cardone at all he preaches increasing income above all else. The 2nd step in the process is to reduce taxes. I have done a relatively good job of that thus far, my internship allowed me to dictate how much income I make because it was a 100% commission job. I have tracked all receipts and have started researching how to minimize my tax bill this upcoming spring as well. The third step in his cycle is to save specifically “save it all”. This requires you to live your daily life without increasing your cost of living while you increase your income.

We see people violating this rule every day, some guy gets a promotion at work makes an extra $10k a year and goes out and celebrates by purchasing a new BMW. That promotion and pay increase did not make any difference since he increased his cost of living. He probably would have been better off getting a $5k pay increase and not blowing the money on material things.

I never was into blowing my money, here and there I would “treat yo self” but nothing drastic. Last summer at the end of my internship which paid me quite well and was a decent increase from the previous year ($150 more a week) I bought my only watch and a piece of wall art. That was my form of treating myself which came out to be about $250.

This summer by the time it is over and with bonuses included as well as any lingering payments I should avg a pay increase of about $350 more a week (no living stipend though) than last summer. I should be able to reduce my tax bill because of my 1099 status this year substantially. (I received about $1300 back last year, but I also had taxes taken out every paycheck and I am not taxed under my current pay system yet.) So, check box 1 and 2 for Mr. Cardone. I should also note I didn’t upgrade my standard of living during this time. I currently live in the cheapest apartment my roommate and I could find that would be able to accommodate a 3-month lease. It is cockroach infested and is pretty hood for a $400 a person month rent ($450 for 3-month lease). I drive the same car, I wear the same clothes, I buy the same food, I buy the same beer, and spend the same amount at the bars.

Onto box #3 spending: Looking over my expenses which I track to the penny, we’re looking pretty good. I went over them in a blog post about halfway through the summer and you can check them out here. I spent some extracurricular on/with my girlfriend for the vacation and everything like that. I also spent some money at the bars and on booze and other non-constructive habits and vices, but that was minimal. Overall, I didn’t blow any of my money. That is until this upcoming weekend.

I plan to spend a bunch of money when I return to home and go shopping with the girlfriend Saturday. I WANT new clothes, new shoes, a new suit, and some other Knick knacks. I say want and not need because that’s just what they are. The clothes I wear are fine but perhaps a bit dated. Some of my shorts and shirts I often wear I purchased 3-4 years ago and some are not in the best condition. I’d still wear them though, so it isn’t necessary I purchase new ones. Essentially this shopping trip is to purchase my “adult clothes” things that I will need in the future after I graduate college. That is why I call it the last splurge. This theoretically should get me the next two years or so of my life in terms of clothing and what not and would be considered the “treat yo self” portion of my saving.

Some of these purchases have been a long time coming for example the suit I currently wear I’ve owned for about 5 years, and I received a gift card for the purchase of a new suit last Christmas. The watch I purchased previously was intended to go with this new suit I plan to purchase. With upcoming interviews for full time jobs and the networking, events and other occasions I plan to attend you could consider this an investment in my dated wardrobe.

So, what do you all think? A waste of time and money or a much-needed update to prepare myself for what comes in my future.

 

 

Personal Finance Overview 7/17/18

Have you ever taken a hard look at your personal finances? I mean a hard look, like track every transaction, every paycheck, every bill you pay? Two years ago, I started tracking my personal finances during my co-op and internships. It has really opened my eyes to what I spend money on every day and gives me a better idea of where I am at with my finances. Let’s look at how I’ve been doing this summer!

finances

Above is a snip of my master spreadsheet for this summer. It contains all my expenses, paychecks, investments, some of my goals etc. Let’s go over this briefly to get a sense of what is going on. In color coded column is a category, from left to right: food, gas, fun, gym, girlfriend, bullshit. Sorry you’ve got your own column Nikki, but you cost some money and I’m not going to put you down at the bullshit level.

Anyways let’s analyze each column starting with food. Obviously, this is critical as you need food to survive and it’s a very basic need, I have included any eating out (fast food, restaurants etc.) as well as coffee and energy drinks and things of that nature. I work from my car and my job is pretty demanding out in the heat and having considerable amounts of energy is vital to my success so while I could opt for cheaper energy substitutions (majority of my coffee is from Starbucks) it is a necessary evil for me to preform well. Considering all of that, I average just under $300 a month over a 2-month span for my food consumption and it will hopefully taper down to $250 when I near the end of the summer.

Next up is gas, again a very necessary portion of my job is I must drive a lot and I also travel back home and back to school on occasion (200+ mile trips one way). At just under $200 a month on gas, I do go back to STL this upcoming weekend but that should be my last trip home besides actually going home for the summer, hopefully we can reduce that expenditure a tad and I can drive more efficiently.

Fun money! This is the column I try to minimize the most, as you can see I have some of paid subscription services but in my defense, I pay for the Netflix for my whole family and my brother and I use Spotify and I pay for it all. But besides that, you see alcohol and tobacco costs taking up the bulk of this column, I will have a substantial increase here as I will be paying for copious amounts of alcohol this weekend. Its gonna be litty titty.  This column will make its way up to $200 a month without a doubt here shortly.

Gym: If you didn’t already know my health and fitness is very important to me as I am a rugby player and have been lifting all my teenage years. The gym membership was a large upfront cost and I should have enough supplements to get me through the rest of the summer, hopefully this column ends at about $60-75 a month in costs.

Girlfriend: Sorry not sorry but you cost me some money this summer babe. Mainly in plane tickets to vacation but also lots of food and nice little gifts. Again, I wasn’t going to put it in the bullshit column so it gets its own column. There probably won’t be any additions to this column for the remainder of the summer so hopefully ending around $200 a month on this one.

Bullshit: this one is a toughie. To preface, this isn’t all bullshit like obviously I need to pay rent and to live somewhere but that’s what I called the column even when I wasn’t paying rent, so I stuck with the title. As you can see we have a deposit and lots of rent, I am paying 2 rents right now, one for Rolla (college town) and one for here in KC this summer. That started in July and my KC august rent will be low and the Rolla rent will increase slightly so it’ll lighten the load overall, but July rent sucked up a lot of my money. We have electric and internet bills, they both had start up fees, so they have since flatlined and we’ll only need to pay another month of two of those. Some of my supplies for work cost me a decent chunk of change including ladders, shoes, clothes, but those can be tax write offs as well. I also got my first ever speeding ticket this year which cost me $220 to get it moved to a non-moving violation. Anyways this is the largest chunk of my costs but hopefully with august being a short month it will taper down, and I can get my deposit back and we can wash our hands of this.

As of today July 17, 2018, my monthly costs of living is $2,134.50, I’m not sure if that is a lot or a little compared to most of the people reading this. I don’t have kids, I live in a cockroach invested shit hole of an apartment, I am partially paying for two rents, I eat cheap, etc. My assumption would be yes this is very cheap cost of living. I would like to reduce it further though. As I’ve stated above for some of the columns they should not increase anymore and as father time keeps ticking my avg cost per month will reduce. I had the goal of $1500 a month this summer however that was way underestimated and simply won’t be possible, I would like to have a cost of living under $2,000 though I think that would be very reasonable considering the circumstances.

My monthly conversion for what I am paid comes out to $3,033 a month. To me this is extremely low and pisses me off, (salary equivalent = $36,400) because I made $50k salary + living stipend last summer, and I am working significantly harder than I did last summer. My numbers should bump up soon and I will get a bonus as well at the end of the summer which will help. My goal was to make an equivalent of $60,000 salary from this job and I am very very far behind that goal.

As always let me know what you think!

Do you keep track of your personal finances? Do you keep track like this?

Could you benefit from tracking like this?

How do your expenses compare with your income?

Thanks, B^2

 

 

June through Mid-July Goal Update

Alright folks its been a little bit for this one so let’s get to it. When we last left off I was getting my shit rocked by the amount of work I was doing outside of work in terms of our training program and my other obligations. Since then I have been doing better rearranging my schedule to manage my time (working out at night now) and trying to get everything done. I also went on vacation and started taking days off here and there. Nothing too crazy but I was realizing the 11-day work benders I was doing was affecting my performance.

For June I went back to the full month goal schedule, at that point in time I was still overwhelmed with trying to get everything done. As you can see in the photo below I was very ambitious and thought I was going to absolutely kill it. Increasing my net worth by $6k, 30 sales, banking tons in lending club and my Discover savings account and restructuring my robinhood account to grow dividends.

IMG_1364

As you can see below, we got our shit kind of rocked, I did hit some goals but anything money related was not achieved and then as always, I struggle to post enough on the blog.

IMG_2017

This is a great segway into this current goal update. I went back to biweekly thinking that I push very hard at the end of the goal term (student effect/procrastination) so the more frequently I have deadlines on these goals the more frequently I will push to get them done. Another part of this goal session was the vacation, now its been a very long time since I’ve been on a vacation like the one I went on and I thought I could get a lot done. I was very wrong about that, if I made it a priority to get a lot done I could have but I failed to do so. As a result, this week has been very stressful from the fast paced intense 16-18-hour days I’m putting in with very little down time or breaks, as well as the mounting pressure to finish the summer strong as its rapidly coming to an end and I’m failing to meet my goals.

As you can see below we didn’t quite finish where I wanted to. Close on some, barely advancing from the previous goal session on some. Overall a failure in my mind and a great motivator to achieve more and taking massive action to achieve these goals. I’ll rethink where I want to end up and how I’m going to get there tonight and what steps I need to take to achieve that. We will continue to go with biweekly goals however there will only be 2 left before the end of my summer, its the red-zone, and the clock is ticking. I can post and tweet and write to my hearts content while I am at school, but I can’t sell roofs when I’m at school so that will be my primary focus.

IMG_2151

As always thanks for reading and supporting my efforts on the various social media platforms and all. Let me know what you think!

B^2