In “How To Improve Your Credit Score to 800+” I shared with you five steps to take in order to enter the exclusive 800 Credit Score Club filled with beautiful people, gummy bears, and free massages. It’s good enough to get the most amount of credit at the cheapest rate, but to be elevated to “Tier 1 Datable Status” is just amazing!
Following instructions is probably the easiest path to financial success. Sign your name at the end of the exam. Don’t buy depreciating assets. Listen to your elders. Wait for enough time to pass. Sometimes we do things we think are right, but are actually wrong. Other times we worry about things we’ve done which we think are wrong, but are actually irrelevant. This post is about irrelevancy as it relates to your credit score.
After doing some digging online, I found a site called Totally Money highlighting various misconceptions about what can negatively affect a credit score. I’d like to comment on each misconception, share some of my own, and perhaps get your thoughts as well.
WHAT DOESN’T AFFECT YOUR CREDIT SCORE Read more…
The following is a guest post by Colleen Kong-Savage who is in the middle of changing her financial habits after a recent divorce. I’m a big proponent of tackling specific financial habits one at a time vs. all at once to increase our chances of change. Let’s see how Colleen did with her no eat out challenge in Manhattan. If you’d like to write a guest post, please feel free to e-mail me.
I have been challenged by my brother to NOT eat out for a whole month. My budget needs a bit of a makeover: I’m freshly divorced, unable to shake this nasty case of unemployment after staying home nine years to raise my son.
Lucky for me, I’m OK for the next few years with an alimony check deposited monthly into my bank account, but sooner or later it’ll stop. If I never ate out, I could save $500 a month.
This challenge might be a preview of my future. However, I live in NYC, and how do you NOT eat out in the food capital of America. Last week I snarfed dim sum at Jing Fong including fried mochi balls of sweet lotus paste, at Landmarc I swabbed the roasted marrow out of bones with crusty bread, I had the lamb shank at Frida and fat greasy Pad See Yu noodles from Spice. Global dining is my right as a New York citizen.
Well, let me try a week. See how I do. Read more…
Making money while not doing anything is the ideal scenario, or so I thought until recently. For years I’ve been diligently saving and investing so I could never be told what to do for money again. 5am conference call with the East Coast? No thanks! Fly to Chicago in the middle of winter to see clients? Have fun! Come in before sunrise and leave after sunset? Yeah, you do that.
One of the most important tips I’ve shared about building sustainable passive income is treating the whole process like a game with multiple levels. Because interest rates have been coming down for the past 30+ years, generating low risk passive income is becoming that much harder every year. Earning $28,000 a year in dividends on a $1 million dollar portfolio is not exactly living it up! The investing world is counting much more on capital appreciation instead.
The problem with building passive income my way is that you start becoming completely oblivious to the income production because you aren’t utilizing the money. You have to follow the rules remember? I haven’t touched any principal or interest/dividend income since I started the passive income journey in 1999. I’ve become an over saver during retirement, which is not bringing me joy any longer.
The problem with over savers is that there’s this irrational fear that Doom is right around the corner. What if Google’s latest search algorithm changes cuts this site’s traffic in half? Less traffic means less income. What if eventual Woman Of The Year, Janet Yellen recants on her promise to keep interest rates low forever? We’re all depending on the bull run in real estate and stocks to continue. The “what ifs” never stop, so we continue to save for a rainy day that never comes.
WHY ACTIVE INCOME FEELS SO MUCH BETTER THAN PASSIVE INCOME Read more…
“Should I Sell My Rental Property And Simplify Life?” was written in frustration due to unnecessary conflict between my tenants and their downstairs neighbor. I’ve had some time to think more objectively about the incident as well as talk to a couple older landlords to come to a more rational decision which I will share in this post.
When I had no online income, real estate income was by far my favorite income stream. Now that my online income has grown, I’m becoming obsessed with the idea of being as unencumbered as possible to make money. Early retirees become totally spoiled with our time because we never have answer to anybody. So when we have to do something that’s unpleasant, such as play peace keeper, we get very bummed out. (Read: “What Does Early Retirement Feel Like? The Positives And Negatives“)
As you know from previous articles, I spend an exorbitant amount of time doing research on anything that has large financial consequences. I calculate various scenarios, talk to friends and family, and speak to as many industry veterans as I can find. After consulting with several 55+ year old rental property owners who’ve owned their properties for over 25 years and comparing notes, I’ve come up with three tangible targets to determine the best time to sell rental property.
Math not emotion is what’s going to help make the best financial choices!
THE BEST TIMES TO SELL RENTAL PROPERTY Read more…
The sun now sets at 5pm and it only gets to a high of ~64 degrees nowadays in San Francisco. Despite the cold, winter is one of the best seasons in Northern California thanks to epic powder up in Lake Tahoe three hours away. I’ve got my season pass on hand and I can’t wait to carve it up at Squaw Valley. What’s better than shredding down a 2,800 foot vertical and then grabbing a beer with friends in a hot tub? Nothing!
Before the snow falls there’s this awkward time between November 1 – December 1 where it’s cold, but not cold enough to bring about consistent natural snow. My resort closes down for three weeks in November for maintenance and artificial snow production to build the base as an example. Can you imagine living in a cold climate without anything to do? That’s like living on top of a hill with no view.
As CEO of my business, I’ve decided to make an executive decision to host an annual company offsite in Hawaii every November to December. Going to Hawaii during the winter maximizes one’s appreciation for the islands since the weather ranges from 70 at night up to 82 during the day, everyday without fail. Hawaii is also one of my key retirement hubs I’ve got to do more research on before permanently relocating for an estimated six months a year. The other six months will be spent between San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and traveling.
After attending a disappointing company offsite in NYC where we were locked up in conference rooms the entire weekend, I promised myself if I was ever the big boss I’d do it right for my people. A company off-site should exist to build relationships, improve profitability, and make work fun. I’d like to share some thoughts on creating a company offsite agenda for maximum business efficacy.
COMPANY OFFSITE AGENDA Read more…
The following is a guest post from reader, Erin Opalek. Erin is a married 30-something saver who engages in synchronized saving and other questionable leisure sports. If you’d like to try your hand at personal finance blogging, feel free to shoot me an e-mail and send me your proposal! My goal is to have every single one of you give it a go before 2020.
Over the years, I’ve had a bunch of married friends express a desire to get their personal finances in order. Pretty much everyone agrees that financial uncertainty is stressful, and following a plan is a great remedy for that stress. So what’s the biggest obstacle I’ve heard about getting started? Surprisingly, it’s not that one person is a buy-like-you’re-dying-tomorrow wastrel. Instead, it’s usually been the fact that one partner hates the thought of even talking about money. So how does a couple tackle their finances when only one half is interested?
It’s a question that I’ve pondered a lot lately. Because, here’s the deal: while I think personal finance is neat-o, it’s not really my husband’s cup o’ tea. But we’ve been able to stick to a financial plan, save a ton of money, and never worry about how to pay for expensive surprises like that furnace that crapped out on us a few years ago. How have we made it work? How did we get here?
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… Read more…
If someone can’t count to 10 or still possesses a negative net worth after 20 years of work experience, it’s probably not the best idea to listen to them for financial advice. It’s not useful to read home buying tips from someone who has never bought a property. Nor is receiving child raising tips from someone who’s never been a parent helpful either. Common sense wins again!
But what happens if you went to Yale and are rocking a $20 million dollar net worth with decades of investing experience. You’ve got a portfolio of properties around the world and worked as an accountant, investment banker, and entrepreneur for 30 years. All you want to do is kick back, relax, and not worry about your money. What can a 35 year old, sub $500,000 net worth financial adviser who majored in religion from Podunk U possibly teach or help you about managing money? Perhaps you should be giving him advice instead!
Most rational people look up to older people for advice on work, money, and love presumably because they have more experience and have made plenty of mistakes. The easiest way to counteract, “I wish I knew then what I know now” is to listen to people who’ve been there. It’s only the stubborn individual who thinks their way is always the right way. Meet any of those types before?
In an ideal situation, we’re much better off going with a financial adviser who is smarter, more experienced, and wealthier than us to manage our money. The problem with the ideal situation is that star financial advisers probably only spend time with their wealthiest clients, leaving their lackeys to advise the rest of us! Always strive to understand the background of the financial adviser before taking them on please.
In this post I’d like to explore how we should think about using a less wealthy and less experienced financial adviser if at all. I’ll also suggest ways for financial advisers who lack the pedigree relative to their clients to better serve us.
PERHAPS BEING SMART AND WEALTHY IS OVERRATED Read more…