blog, blogging, budgeting, money

Fall Budgeting*

Now that it is officially Fall , this is the perfect time to look over your finances and look to make sure your budget works for the next few months.  Since the holidays are coming up this is the perfect time to set a budget for upcoming holiday expenses.

A lot of banks have special holiday accounts that you can put money into for holiday spending. First, if you have kids your kids will need costumes for Halloween which have gotten pricier over the years. If you can’t save for that look to get creative and make a homemade costume. Thanksgiving ,depending on if you are hosting or going to someone else’s home, can be pretty costly. Look out for all the different deals at your local grocery stores and look to utilize coupons to help save money. For Christmas, which can be the most costly holiday of the year should most definitely be budgeted months beforehand so you do not have to go into debt by using credit cards to afford presents for others. With all the holiday events that occur, it is easy to drive yourself into debt.

The best thing to do is get ahead of the curve. The holidays occur every year at the same time so it should be no surprise at the expenses that can pile up. Make a plan now so the holidays don’t become stressful or affect your financial standing.

blog, blogging, money

WEEKLY MARKET RECAP

Red hot sector.

This week the cannabis sector has been on fire. Stocks such as Tilray, Canopy Growth, Aphria & Aurora have been gaining momentum this last month as Canada prepares for legalization of recreational marijuana on October 17,2018. Also , with whispers of larger tobacco, alcohol and pharmaceutical companies looking to enter the sector expect a lot of interest in these stocks.

Is it too late to get in the game? I don’t believe so. I believe a stock like Tilray , which has reached a high of $300 recently is way overpriced but there are other companies I believe still has lots of room to grow. Aurora, Hexo & Aphria are 3 marijuana stocks that aren’t as pricy as Canopy Growth or Tilray but have long term potential.

Aurora Cannabis is looking to uplist to US markets next month but at this time trading OTC under ACBFF. Also, their earnings date is coming up 9/25/18 so there is time to purchase some shares and receive possible future gains. Also , with recent whispers of large beverage companies looking to partner with the company, I think this stock is fairly undervalued when compared with the other stocks in the sector.

Hexo (Hydropothecary) is also a reasonably priced marijuana stock. They currently have a joint venture with Molson Coors. At a price under $7.00 there is still time to hop on the cannabis train for a decent price.

Aphria is also one of the top 5 Canadian marijuana companies and has the potential possibility of being picked up by a beverage, tobacco or pharmaceutical company.

I listed some of the different stocks in the sector and believe there is a lot of potential for high long term gains. Remember, this is a new sector so expect a lot of volatility in the short term. If you are risk-averse these stocks may not be in your best interest. If you are okay with high risks, high rewards, I suggest you research some companies and look to invest.

DISCLAIMER*** I do not associate or work with any of these companies. I recommend you do your own research or contact a financial/wealth advisor if you need assistance in deciding if these stocks are right for you.

blog, blogging, money

Weekly Stock Pick

My stock pick of the month is OTC ticker ACBFF : Aurora Cannabis. I chose Aurora because of the impending legalization of recreational marijuana use in Canada in October. Marijuana stocks are currently bullish with other heavy hitters like Canopy Growth and Tilray making huge gains over the last month.

As of September 17,2018 there has been rumors/whispers of Coca Cola being in talks with the company. The CCO of Aurora was recently interviewed on the Midas Letter & advised the company plans to list in the US in October which is good news and gives the company more legitimacy. Also, Aurora is currently under $8/share compared to the other major players like Canopy Growth which is $49/share and Tilray ,which I believe is way overvalued, at over $120/share.  Aurora Cannabis has been acquiring many other companies in Canada and internationally in the last year looking to be a future mega force in the cannabis sector. At this time many are worried about the ACBFF stock being diluted due to multiple acquisitions meaning there is a high amount of floating shares. I understand the concern, it is a risky investment but as with the whole cannabis sector there is a chance of huge returns in the long term. Dilution is an issue but since it is a young market there is plenty of room for growth. It is also wise to remember that cannabis/marijuana isn’t legal everywhere. It is legal in certain states in the United States of America but not on a federal level. There are also European countries that it is legal. There is future opportunities outside of Canada for when it becomes legalized in other countries. This allows them to have a head start on production. At this time, Aurora Cannabis is setting itself up to have a high production rate not just for recreational use but for medicinal use worldwide.  Since it is still a new market/ young company future profits are purely speculative.

DISCLAIMER*** Investing is risky and anytime you invest in the stock market you risk losing money. I am not affiliated with this company nor am I financial advisor or stock broker. I recommend you do your due diligence and research companies on your own before investing. Also, I suggest reviewing companies financial statements and speaking with a certified financial planner before investing if you are new to investing.

blog, money

Growth Stocks.

As a 28 year old millennial looking to increase my net worth I have been researching sectors that have future growth potential. I currently have a brokerage account and Roth IRA with E*trade and have chosen high risk stocks with long term potential. The stocks I have are considered high risk because they are in fairly new sectors or young companies. Since I am young and have years of investing ahead of me, it is safe for me to have a higher risk tolerance vs someone who is close to retirement. I also have a traditional 401k/Roth 401k with my employer so I am able to utilize my personal account with E*trade to have a much more aggressive portfolio than I have in my employee sponsored retirement account.

 

My goal is to retire before the age of 45. If I am able to acquire a certain amount of wealth by 35 to where I have enough passive income to live on I would consider leaving the work force sooner to pursue my own passions. At this time, my investment accounts include young companies in the marijuana/cannabis sector such as Canopy Growth, CV Sciences Inc and others. I also have invested in Chinese companies that are still fairly young. Bili , Uxin & Huya are a few of the companies I have decided have the possibility of providing high returns in the future. As you know with investing nothing is guaranteed so doing as much research on a company and reviewing their financials is extremely important.  I do have other stocks in my portfolio and will continue to give updates on the blog and give my stock picks each month.  I am not day trading or holding for the short term. A famous phrase by one of the most brilliant investors Warren Buffet said “The stock market is a device for transferring money from the impatient to the patient.”  I believe the stocks I have chosen will be what we call “multibaggers” in the future.  A multibagger is a stock that provides returns over 100%. At this time CV Sciences Inc, which is my stock of the month, has provided me with a return of over 100% so it would be considered a two-bagger stock. When you invest in stocks that are considered risky you must be able to handle the volatility of them. If seeing a possible 20% or more drop in price of a stock causes you angst even when the fundamentals of a company remains in tact, you may not be able to handle the risks. If you decide to choose a blue chip stock, like Coca Cola, expect a less volatile stock but average returns. You wouldn’t expect to have increasingly high returns with those stocks.

If you are new to investing and looking to grow your money look to companies that have growth potential. Visit financial sites, online financial message boards and learn as much as you can. The sooner you start the better. Time is everything with investing and if you have years to hold stocks that have good fundamentals you will almost always be guaranteed a high return.

 

blog, blogging

Procrastination is killing your dreams.

Are you someone who makes plans to start something but end up  pushing it off until tomorrow, next week, next month or next year? Or maybe you push it back so much that you never get started at all. Some people have brilliant ideas but never get to put those ideas to work.

 

Procrastination is killing your dreams.

Maybe you are someone who has many ideas but everyday you do things that take you further away from your vision. It is time to have a plan and take action.  To stay on track utilize the tools you have at your disposal. These tools can include electronic devices such as your phone, a tablet or even post-it stickers that you can put in locations where you will have to see them everyday. You can even mark a calendar or use a planner to stay on track.

You can have a million goals or plans for your life but if you do not take any action you won’t fulfill any of them. The only thing holding you back is yourself. Look at every invention you use on a day to day basis and imagine if the inventor never got around to focusing on bringing that idea to life.  Conquering procrastination is the first step to making things happen.

blog, money

STOCK OF THE MONTH

My stock pick for the month of August has been stock ticker CVSI. The stock is up over 700% for the year. CVSI is CV Sciences Inc which has two divisions:Pharmaceuticals and consumer products. The company develops synthetically-formulated cannabidiol-based medicine. For further information please see their website : CV SCIENCES INC

 

DISCLAIMER: I do not recommend buying a stock without doing your own research. The best thing to do is research a company and review their financial statements before deciding to invest your money. Investing in the market is a risk. Make sure you have as much information as possible. It’s also never smart to put all your eggs in one basket so if you are buying stocks make sure your portfolio is diversified. This means having stocks from different sectors and companies in your portfolio which will help minimize your risk of losing money long term.

 

 

 

 

blog

Rental Income

Most people are aware of earned income which is income from working a job. Most of us go to school to get a job that can pay for our lifestyle and everyday necessities. What the wealthy among us know is that there are many other forms of income streams. I want to focus on one form of income in this article and that is rental income.

 

Rental Income-

Rental income is income received from renting out a property that you own to others.  For example, if you purchase a multi-unit house and rent it out, this will provide you with enough income to pay off the home and some extra income to use at your disposal. You can rent out rooms or different units. If you aren’t handy or don’t want to be too involved with the everyday work of owning the property you can hire a property management company who is knowledgeable. You can also hire a contractor that can handle maintenance for you. Building a real estate portfolio is one effective method of building wealth. If you buy a home and the mortgage is $2100/month but you rent out the home to 2 families at a rate of $2200 a month each, you will net $2200 in extra income a month. This can be used to make extra payments to have the home paid off earlier, to invest in other properties or to use in any way you see fit.  Setting up passive income streams is necessary in obtaining financial freedom. Passive income is defined by Investopedia.com as “earnings derived from a rental property, limited partnership or other enterprise in which a person is not actively involved.” Rental income is just one of many ways to build your portfolio to include multiple streams of income. If you lose your job tomorrow and your earned income disappears, would you be able to sustain your current lifestyle? If not you are not financially free and should look into including other types of income into your portfolio.

blog

Ways to Avoid Hefty Student Loan Debt*

Thinking of enrolling in college for the first time or going back to school but not sure how to pay for it without taking on a huge amount of debt? Everyday we hear about the student loan debt crisis in this country but yet people still go about going to school by continuing to do the same things that are causing the younger generation to delay buying a home, delay starting a family, delay investing due to taking out student loans…

I want you to know that you do not have to go into a huge amount of debt. There are many options out there to decrease your risk of incurring high student loan debt.

 

My personal story.

I’ve personally never had to take out a student loan. It wasn’t because my family was rich or that I had a full scholarship. I’ve always disliked debt and found ways to limit the amount I have to pay for school.  For me, I went to community college for a little over  2 years even though I got accepted to other schools because it was the most financially responsible thing for me.  It took me over 2 years to finish because I also worked during this time. I looked at the bigger picture. I realized working gave me experience on top of my education. How often do we see job postings that are entry level looking for experience? I always kept that in the back of my mind. It may have taken me longer to finish getting my degrees but I had not debt, worked throughout my entire college career and that made it easier for me to get jobs and end up working in a career that pays well. After going to community college and getting my associates degree, I transferred to a state university. I could have went to a private school or a more well known/respected school but I knew that wouldn’t guarantee me success or a job. I was confident enough in myself that having the degree and experience put me one step ahead of some of those with zero experience while saving money on large tuition expenses. I also stayed home during my college years to avoid additional costs. By the time I got to a state university, I worked for a job that offered tuition reimbursement. I was able to take courses that I initially paid for out of pocket but was reimbursed the tuition costs from my employer. I also work at an employer( who I am currently still with) that has their own credit union who allows you to fill out the tuition reimbursement form, take out a loan and if you pass with a C or better in your course they will reimburse you so that loan gets paid off without you having to pay out of pocket. So if you don’t have the money to pay out of pocket you can take out a loan but expect to be reimbursed as long as you pass the course.

 

Different ways to lessen your costs of attending school

  1. Job outlook & choosing a major

Before choosing a major , decide on a few different fields you will like to work in and what degree they require. Next, research those particular fields and degrees to get an outlook on that career path in the upcoming years. It’s pointless to get a degree in something you will not be able to find a job doing. Even if it is something that you enjoy, you can always still do it as a hobby. If you are risking going into debt wouldn’t you prefer to have some kind of guarantee you can find places hiring that will pay well when you graduate?

  1. Scholarships & Financial Aid

Check if you qualify for financial aid. If you do , that is great, if not you can find local & national scholarships to apply for at your school, place of work, local library or via the web. The internet has leveled the playing field. There are tons of scholarships available and some that go unclaimed because people do not take advantage of them. There are scholarships that are specific to majors, gender, ethnicity, income, location and more. Why not take advantage of free money if it is being offered?

  1. Gain experience through working or internships

It has become normal to job search and see entry level jobs require 1 plus years of experience on top of having a degree. I often question this and try to comprehend how can a position be entry level if it requires experience. You spend 4 years focusing 100% on your studies to get good grades but not qualify for a position because you have zero work experience. I suggest getting a part time job or finding an internship in your field of interest. If you have a heavy workload at school you can also decide to work during the summer break. Another option after graduating high school is to take a year off to work and save money or go to school part time while working. This will give you work experience and the option to gain income to go towards your tuition or loans.  Do not underestimate the power of getting hands on experience in your prospective field.

Going to college is one the first major decisions you will make as an adult.  It should be a decision that you put thought into and research. Why not start off your financial health on the right foot?

 

blog, money

Traditional university is not the only path to success

The student loan debt in this country is over $1 trillion dollars. Is it even worth it to go to college anymore? It really depends on the person and their career trajectory. Let’s be honest, not everyone is good with traditional schooling and this should not determine your future success. If you aren’t academically successful there are plenty of other options available if you do your research. Trade schools are one of those options. I feel trade schools aren’t recommended as much as they should be especially to students struggling academically and frustrated with traditional schooling.

 

Trade Schools

Trade schools can provide you with a career path that pays well. There are plumbers who start their own business and make over $100k a year. If you know regular school is not your strong suit and you are more handy or like to work with your hands think of enrolling in a trade school. This doesn’t make you less than anyone else. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is a major factor in finding what works for you long-term. If your high school offers classes like auto shop or even home economics, take those courses to see if it is a career path you will like to embark on. Remember that starting life with a plan is the first step to success. If you do decide to go to a trade school be on the look out for apprenticeships. This will offer you the on the job training necessary to begin your career.

Here’s a list of a few different trades:

Construction

Electrician

Plumber

HVAC technician

Auto body Repairer

Welder

Automotive Mechanic and more…

***A construction manager average hourly salary is $47.84 with a top-end hourly pay over $76.12. (Salary information from : https://www.trade-schools.net/articles/trade-school-jobs.asp).***

 

The average trade school degree costs $33,000 compared to an average $127,000 for a bachelor’s degree (The average factors in schools that are lower cost and schools with significantly higher costs which may bring up the average).

I want to make it clear that I am not discouraging going to an university especially if you are successful academically & know exactly what you want to do because some fields require you have an undergraduate or graduate degree. In addition, not everyone has to go into debt to accomplish getting their degrees which I will go over in my next blog post.  There are many different ways to lower your financial burdens & also ways to avoid student loans completely. It’s time to take accountability for the debt we take on especially with the student loan debt at such a high amount. If you don’t want student loan debt to be the reason you can’t buy a home, can’t save or can’t invest it’s time to look at other options.

 

 

blog, money

Financial Freedom

The idea of financial freedom is being able to afford your current lifestyle without actively working for a regular paycheck. Some may look at retirement as an example of being financially free. I personally believe financial freedom is being able to live the life you want without having to stress about money. It is when you no longer have to worry about money coming in or what bills you need to pay. I believe most of us desire to reach a place of financial freedom but the reasoning for this desire is different among each individual. Not everyone desires to stop working especially if they are doing something they love. Let’s take a look at the richest man in the world today, Jeff Bezos. He was and still is very passionate about his company Amazon. Lucky for him, his passion has lead him to extreme wealth where if he handed the company over to someone else he would have no worries about money. In this case, financial freedom is not about retiring but being able to do the things that you are passionate about. It gives you the freedom do what you really want in your life or take risks without worrying about when money will be coming in.

Think of the term starving artist. Imagine living, breathing , creating art or music but not making enough to live on. In this scenario, you would have to get a full time job in an office and live a life that doesn’t make you happy and it will take away your time from dedicating your energy into what really makes you happy. This is why learning how to make your money work for you is important. If you just work this other job for the next 30 years and don’t properly manage your money to allow you to also do what you enjoy then you would have lived an unfulfilled life.

My goal is to reach a place of being financially free which will allow me the option to have the choice to work or not. Since I am working full time for a company, I make sure I invest my money into things that will bring in future passive income that will help me afford my basic necessities. Examples of this can include dividends from stocks, real estate, side gigs, own business etc. I think it is important that you don’t just work for a paycheck , pay bills and “hope to retire” one day. I believe the sooner you begin to put money into things that can make you more money and find ways to generate more streams of income outside of your employment, the more wealth you can accumulate in which you can reach financial freedom sooner than the national retirement age. Life is about balance. Let’s be honest, none of us know how long we will live to so managing your money to enjoy it today and also making sure you have enough for the future is extremely important. I get it, some people have the mindset that they don’t want to wait until they are older,  sick and can’t move around like they do now. That’s why you must capitalize off of the things you are good at and enjoy yourself while also working for someone else if you cannot withstand the risks of solely relying on your talents/passions. Also, let’s be real, not everyone wants to work for themselves or be a boss and that is fine. The idea of financial freedom is to allow yourself to retain as much of the money you make and find ways to grow it so at some point you can do the things you enjoy without worry. If you feel like traveling to another country next month, you will be able to without stressing how to make that happen.

What is your definition of financial freedom?

Create a list of your hobbies, talents and come up with ways you can make money off of them. You can even take personality tests. If you are an extrovert who likes people and good at selling things you can be a sales consultant. If you are an introvert who is good with computers or website designs you can offer those services to make money. There are so many ways to make money. Utilize the resouces you have available such as books and the internet.

“It is not how much money you make, it’s how much money you keep.”—unknown

After finding ways to make more money put that extra income to work so you can generate enough passive income that will allow you to live a financially free existence.