20K YouTube Subscriber Giveaway!

It’s really hard for me to believe that in about a year and nine months creating content chronicling my investing journey here on YouTube that 20,000+ actual people have chosen to follow me and subscribe. I have built a portfolio that started (around Feb. 2019) with around $7,000 worth of 3M stock (shares I bought on a an employee share purchase program at a discount) from my 5 years working at 3M and around $4,000 in cash for a total value of $11,000. That portfolio as it stands today is worth $150,852.17 (11/21/2020), now I consistently contribute to the portfolio so that is not obviously all from gains (around $42k or 38.5% is capital gains). At any rate it has been a lot of fun, I have met so many other investors and content creators, and really am enjoying the process and progress made through the channel and the portfolio. So I decided to do a giveaway, rules to enter are as follows:

To enter the giveaway you must “Subscribe” to my newsletter by clicking “Subscribe Now” here on the right side of the website.

Also drop a comment here on this blog post, saying your preference, whether it is a t-shirt or a mask and keychain (these will come together). There are 2 XL t-shirts, 2 XXL t-shirts, and 2 Mask/Keychain combos, so there will be 6 winners.

Your comment should simply say either “t-shirt XL”, “t-shirt XXL”, or “mask\keychain”, I will do a follow up drawing on these categories on Tuesday evening 11/24 at 8PM EDT so 5PM EDT on Tuesday evening 11/24 is the cutoff so I can add them all into a spreadsheet to get ready for the lives stream to announce the winners. Thanks again for the support and best of luck on winning!

A SPAQ-tacular SPAC

2020 has been a very different and strange year all the way around. From the global pandemic, to having social distancing become a new way of life every we go now seemingly. Also 2020 has wound up becoming the year of the rise of the EV (electric vehicle). Up to this point EV’s were mostly conceptual and gimmicky (other than Tesla’s) like the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt. I even had a neighbor that leased a Nissan Leaf a couple years back. We lived around 40 miles north of Atlanta, GA and he bought his Leaf thinking he would use it as his commuter car (the Leaf only had a range of around 100 miles then, not sure what it is now). His daily commute round trip was around 60 miles in brutal bumper to bumper, stop and go traffic. Needless to say he soon concluded he could not use it as a commuter car and ran out of charge a couple times trying to make it home. He wound up having to pay quite a premium to break his lease and get rid of the vehicle. This along with me not even knowing about Tesla’s all that much back then, made it so that an electric vehicle was not even a consideration in my mind.

Enter 2020 where I get introduced to SPACs and the market for electrification of everything, and a push towards renewable energy sources is taking its proper place on the forefront of most of our minds now. This brings me to Fisker, Inc a new startup electric vehicle auto maker who has actually been working on EV’s for many years, well not Fisker, Inc, but the man behind the company, Henrik Fisker. Henrik Fisker co-founded his intial EV endeavor Fisker Automotive in 2007 after securing a $5.2 million investment from Gianfranco Pizzuto, an Italian businessman, among some other Palo Alto Investors. Fisker is responsible for designing many premium cars such as the Aston Martin DB9 and V8 VantageArtega GT, and BMW Z8. He also served as design director and sat on the board at Aston Martin. Fisker Automotive’s problems started with the recall of its battery by A123 Systems in December 2011, followed by a second recall by A123 Systems in March 2012 and eventually a bankruptcy of its battery supplier A123 Systems in August 2012, the costs involved regarding a recall and repairs to customer cars. This led to the demise and eventual selling of his first EV startup attempt Fisker Automotive.

Fastforward to today October 15, 2020 where Henrik announced his joint partnership with Magna to build and manufacture his newest EV the Fisker Ocean. Fisker has laid out pricing for the Ocean which will have a starting price of $37,499 (with up to a $7,000 federal credit making it even less). This really is a game changer and brings a very nice, luxurious, economical SUV into a price range that many who never thought of owning an EV before may consider now. Especially after seeing the interior and exterior of a Fisker Ocean:

Me and my wife liked it so much, we put down a deposit on one, especially since it was only $250 and is fully refundable if you change your mind. The Ocean has a range between 250 miles and announced today up to 320 miles on a single charge, so EV’s have come a really long way and the gap between a gas powered vehicle and battery powered has closed tremendously:

Fisker, Inc is also coming public via a SPAC (special purpose acquisition company) Spartan Energy Acquisition Corp and currently trades under the ticker symbol “SPAQ” on the NYSE. The company will be merging and becoming its’ own standalone company Fisker, Inc and trading under the ticker symbol “FSR” so long as the business combination vote passes on October 28th when there will be a special proxy vote meeting. So while this is a completely different business model and approach the Henrik is taking versus the approach Elon Musk of Tesla has taken. This very well could garner tons of attention, and truly become a player in the North American and European automobile industry. Alot still has to be proven, but one thing no one can say that Henrik Fisker is a man on a mission that is dedicated, driven and won’t stop until he succeeds. This is another reason I believe many will rally behind Fisker, Inc, as we can all relate. We have all failed at some point in life, but failure doesn’t have to define us it can help mold us and make us better. This is what is unfolding before our eyes here with Henrik Fisker, and Fisker, Inc!

SPAC’s Are Here To Stay

2020 Can be characterized by many things, from the coronavirus, to a wild election year, to the economy moving to everything stay at home. For me one of the few bright spots of 2020 is the rise of the SPAC as an investment vehicle for retail investors to finally get in on the wealth building action of wall street. SPAC is an acronym: Special Purpose Acquisition Company, also sometimes referred to as a blank check company. These are publicly traded shell companies that come to market via a no hype IPO, and these companies have one stated goal in mind with their cash on the balance sheet; to bring a private company public via a merger/acquisition.

The frenzy really began to catch on when the SPAC VectoIQ (VTIQ) announced that they would be merging with startup Nikola Motors, a pre-revenue early stage startup with some lofty hydrogen fuel cell/electric vehicle plans for the semi truck industry. They also had a very boisterous and flashy CEO Trevor Milton (in whom I interviewed here) that seemed to make a new outlandish claim about what Nikola would become every other day. The retail investors flocked to VTIQ like sharks to bloody waters and the stock went up over $90 post merger from where it started at $10 (where mostly all SPAC common shares start trading). After coming public, the scrutiny of Nikola became great and there was a nasty fall out that continues today with the former CEO/Chairman Trevor Milton and the company. The reason I shed light on this company in light of the rest of the SPAC market, is shortly after this merger occurred many other companies began to choose the path of coming public via a SPAC. Hyliion, BurgerFi, The Tattooed Chef, Golden Nugget Online Gaming, Fisker, Inc, and many others started lining up and setting the stage for one of the wildest rides I’ve ever been on.

Those few companies I named like Hyliion followed closely behind Nikola motors coming via a SPAC but that trend hasn’t slowed one bit, and more decent companies are announcing there intent to come public via a SPAC on a consistent basis. This is really setting up the potential for some of these to really be potential 5-10x companies that have great business models you can see this growth trend reflected below:

While Nikola left a black eye on SPACs, the method of entry hasn’t slowed. The way to play these is to really do a deep dive into the company and the leadership when announced and the ones that have potential, jump in and get ready for a ride. It’s a volatile niche market, but that volatility provides opportunity, also provides the chance for some serious gains. My portfolio this year has seen the most % upside by far that I’ve ever seen, and I plan on investing around 50% of my portfolio in SPACs for the foreseeable future.

SPACs are here to stay whether Wall Street likes it or not, while some have SPAC fatigue, I am invigorated and ready for the next announcement. Waiting and watching, ready to pounce!

One-on-One with Trevor Milton of Nikola Motors

Check out my exclusive one-on-one interview with the former CEO of Nikola Motors, Trevor Milton. Trevor is a polarizing, charismatic, controversial, and candid guy who is a great ambassador of zero emissions and disrupting diesel engine semi-trucks. We discussed some of the ways Nikola Motors will make money on their semi-trucks, hydrogen fueling stations, and a few other hot topics surrounding the company. If you are interested in watching the interview in its entirety jump over to my YouTube channel and watch the video!

May 2020 Dividend Update!

In May the stock market saw a tremendous bounce back and rally, one seemingly for the ages. Many who decided to stay on the sidelines and not invest when the markets were down 30 plus percent are probably kicking themselves. I am certainly not saying that we can’t have another 30 percent correction in the coming months, I just don’t understand why you wouldn’t begin buying on any 30 percent correction. So if we have another correction, it will simply be another opportunity to stack shares at great prices. That being said let’s take a look at the dividends I was paid in the month of May 2020!

In May I was paid $129.33 in my 3 accounts combined. The breakdown is below:

  1. M1 Finance Main Account: $107.61
  2. M1 Finance Roth IRA: $9.34
  3. Fidelity Traditional IRA: $12.28

Here is all of the payouts over the course of May by each holding:

TickerAmount PaidM1 Main AcctM1 Roth IRAFidelity IRA
MAIN$6.88/$3.20/$3.08
O$4.09/$1.86
ABBV$13.35/$7.86
SBUX$5.85
FAST$7.03
EPD$26.47
VZ$15.90
STAG$3.64
LOW$3.81
CVS$4.30
EV$4.26
INVH$1.97
AAPL$0.67
EPR$12.03/$3.50
Total:$129.33

April 2020 Dividend Update

April was a wild ride as the markets came storming back following unprecedented stimulus into the markets and the economy by both the Federal Reserve and the Federal Government. I saw a bit of a decline in dividends paid from the past couple of months, but still earned triple digits dividends which is fabulous. I also opened a new Roth IRA for my wife as I have already essentially maxed my Roth IRA out for the 2020 calendar year.

In April I was paid $106.53 in my 3 accounts combined. The breakdown is below:

  1. M1 Finance Main Account: $85.37
  2. M1 Finance Roth IRA: $17.25
  3. Fidelity Traditional IRA: $3.91

Here is all of the payouts over the course of April by each holding:

TickerAmount PaidM1 Main AcctM1 Roth IRAFidelity IRA
CSCO$8.18
WPC$9.55/$4.33
MO$26.41/6.77
IRM$6.95
COLD$3.81
O$2.76/$1.86
MAIN$5.11/$2.27/$2.05
STAG$2.77
EPR$10.96/$3.19
MPW$5.57
JPM$3.30
INTU$0.69
Total: $106.53

March 2020 Dividends Paid Update

March was the beginning of shelter in place and shutdowns in large swaths of the global economy. In the sea of uncertainty the dividends kept rolling on in. I did have one holding suspend dividends which was Cracker Barrel (CBRL) otherwise the show goes on.

In March I was paid $129.80 in my 3 accounts combined. The breakdown is below:

  1. M1 Finance Main Account: $86.36
  2. M1 Finance Roth IRA: $17.11
  3. Fidelity Traditional IRA: $26.33

Here is all of the payouts over the course of March by each holding:

TickerAmount PaidM1 Main AcctM1 Roth IRAFidelity IRA
ABR$15.62/$7.67
DLR$4.52
BPYU$9.98/$3.57
DFS$3.56
V$0.60
IBM$2.78
ROST$1.83
BIP$4.37
BEP$5.54
LIN$1.81
SBSI$2.19
MAIN$3.79/$0.95
EPR$5.32/$1.54
MMM$6.76
NEE$1.43
STAG$2.15
O$2.15
UTX$3.83
WTRG$1.55
PEP$2.05
DUK$3.78
SO$3.04
TickerAmount PaidM1 Main AcctM1 Roth IRAFidelity IRA
AVGO$11.78/$4.15
INTC$2.02
JNJ$2.62
MSFT$0.22
CVX$1.93
CDW$0.65
LYB$3.58
CSL$0.52
Total$129.80

Realty Income Suspends Dividends

Realty Income, The Monthly Dividend Company®, is an S&P 500 company dedicated to providing stockholders with dependable monthly income. The company is structured as a REIT, and its monthly dividends are supported by the cash flow from over 6,400 real estate properties owned under long-term lease agreements with commercial tenants.

To date, the company has paid 596 consecutive common stock monthly dividends throughout its 51-year operating history and increased the dividend 106 times since Realty Income’s public listing, which makes this dividend suspension so surprising.

April Fools 😂🤣😂🤣

Stacking Shares in this Downturn Will Accelerate Your Wealth Long Term

The headlines, emails, and notifications we are receiving seemingly every few minutes during this corona-virus pandemic has many of us gripped with fear of the future. I hope to share some encouragement with you in the midst of this storm on the horizon and to ensure you that this storm will pass. The news outlets and media no longer have the near monopoly status they once had, because of this they like other online and social media outlets have to drive revenue via click bait tactics. Now I am not saying this pandemic is not to be take seriously, but what I am saying is it is being made out to be something bigger than it likely is, and that is driving lots of profits to these news and media agencies. In turn we are having to filter through all the noise and notifications which turns us, like the stock market, into irrational beings.

The stock market is irrationally consistent. What I mean is the stock market over the course of many decades produces an average return of somewhere between 7-9% profit. Some years its down, most years its up, at the end of the day your average is between 7-9% that is why I call it irrationally consistent. So when it is irrational in the red and going down, this is when we as long term investors are given an amazing opportunity to stockpile highly coveted assets (Blue Chip Companies) at a huge discount some 50-70% off (even now). Companies like Lowe’s, Johnson & Johnson, 3M, and many more that have weathered many recessions and corrections and consistently rewarded shareholders with dividends and capital gains.

So that is where we are today, we have an incredible opportunity in front of us, that we can use to our advantage to fill our portfolios at an accelerated pace with shares of these companies. By doing so, we can reap the rewards of this gift of the corona-virus pandemic with an accelerated compounding effect for many decades to come. Stay encouraged, and put your money to work today, so you won’t have to work tomorrow!!

I also just dropped a video that also touches on this topic head over to my channel and check it out:

Dividends Paid in February 2020 – A New Record is Set!

Dividends Paid in February 2020 – A New Record is Set!

February 2020 was a wild ride, with the huge correction at the end of the month, and it being a leap year, it was a really crazy month. That being said, I had an amazing month in terms of dividend income, a new record actually. Let’s break it down and see how it all shook out.

In February I was paid $151.86 in my 3 accounts combined. The breakdown is below:

  1. M1 Finance Main Account: $92.50
  2. M1 Finance Roth IRA: $4.80
  3. Fidelity Traditional IRA: $54.56 (MSM $5 per share special dividend accounted for much of this)

Here is all of the payouts over the course of February by each holding:

TickerAmount PaidM1 Main AcctM1 Roth IRAFidelity IRA
ILPT$2.13
INVH$0.62
AAPL$0.17
MAIN$3.79/$0.89
EPR$4.98/$0.99
PAYX$2.78
CAT$2.89
LEVI$2.81
SBUX$2.01
FAST$4.74
MMP$12.44
EPD$13.37
VZ$10.80
T$6.90
O$2.16
STAG$2.15
LOW$1.94
CBRL$5.46
COST$0.86/$1.31
EV$2.27
ABBV$10.15/$7.25
MSM$46.00
TOTAL$151.86

January 2020 Dividends Paid

In January I was paid $84.32 in my 3 accounts combined. The breakdown is below:

  1. M1 Finance Main Account: $72.30
  2. M1 Finance Roth IRA: $7.70
  3. Fidelity Traditional IRA: $4.32

Here is all of the payouts over the course of January by each holding:

TickerAmount PaidM1 Main AcctM1 Roth IRAFidelity IRA
DLR$4.32
CSCO$3.87
NTR$2.32
IIPR$11.39/$2.07
WPC$7.12/$2.13
MO$16.40
IRM$6.27
COLD$3.42
O$2.11
MAIN$3.79
STAG$2.14
EPR$4.18/$0.87
MPW$5.37
JPM$1.60
BNS$2.32
CMCSA$0.63
INTU$0.27
TRNO$0.66
QTS$1.07
Total:$84.32

Making Money in the Stock Market in 2020

Making Money in the Stock Market in 2020

So far 2020, at first glance, looks like it might be a repeat of 2019 where the S&P 500 index was up almost 30%. In the first half of January the S&P 500 Index is already up over 2%. While a market like this makes it seem really easy to make money, I have a feeling there will be a dramatic drop at some point this year and I don’t really have any thing factual to back that up, more of a gut feeling. That being said take this opinion with a grain of salt, however this gut feeling has me investing a little different as well, which is what I want to share with you all today.

If there is more volatility in the stock market this year, we may need to re-evaluate how and what we are investing in and that is certainly something I am doing. I recently made a video discussing a strategy that I am employing in my DGI (Dividend Growth Investing) portfolio, where I am evaluating and buying only the holdings that are nearing their ex-dividend dates and that are either on discount or are fairly valued. I still believe this is a great way to continue investing to accelerate the dividend compounding in my portfolio, and plan on continuing to do that in 2020. So check out that video if your interested in learning more about that, and that is a way I recommend you make money in the stock market this year. Another strategy I plan on employing is adding to my more defensive positions like United Technolgies (UTX), utility companies, and large cap blue chip DGI companies. The final strategy that is something that most good investors do on a regular basis is look for value opportunities in good companies that are going through some issues, but will eventually come out of and recover. Investing in this manner is certainly not flashy and won’t give you massive gains into your accounts, but I believe it will keep a good stream of dividend income and growth coming into the portfolio. With the combination of these methods, I believe no matter how 2020 turns out at year end I will have continued success investing and making money, and encourage you to consider doing the same (if it makes sense for your situation). Happy Investing everyone!

Capitalize on 5G with this Small Cap Stock

A lot of publicity has gone into the 5G revolution that is going to take place, and some are placing bets on companies that may or may not be players in this coming financial boom. I for one like to play it fairly safe, and have more concrete information on companies that I invest in. With that being said a small cap company that will play a major role in the expansion of 5G is a company that has already been a player in the 4G LTE expansion. That company is Inseego Corp. (INSG), Inseego has been making 4G LTE hotspot routers for the cellular phone giants Verizon and AT&T for years. I personally used an Inseego Verizon 4G LTE Mifi hotspot to work off of for six months, when me and family traveled in an RV across the southern parts of the US. It worked flawlessly and many times had a better connection than my smart phone in remote areas.

I believe one of the big expansion opportunities once the 5G network is built out will be people cutting all cables including ISP (cable internet) providers and moving to add home 5G plans to their cellular provider plans, specifically Verizon who is building their 5G network the most aggressively. This is where Inseego will come in to play as they have already built a home 5G router. They also already have built a 5G Mifi hotspot device ready for Verizon. A lot of hedge funds have been ahead of this one and have added Inseego, so this may be timely for you to jump ahead of the curve. I have added a speculative position on this company, although as always do your own research and make your own investing decisions! Also I am very bullish as well on the future growth of Verizon (VZ), for all the reasons mentioned and the expansion of all the 5G devices they will be selling! Happy investing!

A Stock to Buy & Hold for the Next Decade (2020-2029)

So I am not really a prediction guy, and I really don’t like making bold statements about the future, however I thought it would be fun to put down a stock that I think will have e a tremendous future over the next 10 years. This led me to write this article, especially since I spend so much time researching companies and stock performance. There are some no-brainer companies that should be the pick like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, and Apple, but whats the fun in picking one everyone else already knows all about. Also these behemoths will probably have tremendous decade long returns, they likely won’t get you 500% returns or more, like I am thinking about with my decade long pick.

Here’s some of the criteria I look for in a long term growth play:

  • Small to Mid cap companies with room to grow long into the future
  • Recession resilient products or services
  • Market leader or ability to grow into becoming a market leader

Now that we have some context and criteria let’s get straight into it.

My Decade Stock Pick

My decade stock pick is Five Below (FIVE) which is a discount retailer that sells items that mostly all cost below $5 dollars, obviously, but have also recently introduced some items up to $10. The main reason I am so bullish on Five Below is that it has some incredible store expansion goals for the future, and are only around 1/3 of the way to their initial store count goal of 2,500 as shown in the graphic below:

So as you can see in the graphic Five Below has not really expanded yet to the North West part of the United States but has plans to. The store growth alone accounts for 23% compound annual growth rate, which gets me all kinds of excited. They have also strategically added or will be adding 3 new regional distribution centers (Mid-west, West-coast, & South-west) to handle the expansion and growth areas as shown below:

Five is led by a very experienced team including their CEO Joel Anderson who is a former Walmart executive, I also like that the chairman & co-founder (2002) is still on the leadership team and actively involved. Five Below is priced like a growth stock and has a high multiple P/E (price to earnings) but that is to be expected since they do not pay a dividend and are reinvesting everything back into company expansion. As of the time of writing FIVE is trading at a stock price of around $126 and a forward P/E of around 35. I do however believe that once expansion slows, they will switch over to becoming a dividend paying company (could be 8-10 years from now). How nice would that be to have racked up a bunch of their shares during this high growth period, and then after some years start getting paid dividends as well.

Five Below should continue to grow and be alright even during economic downturns since they provide quality products at a discount. Although the only risk I see is their target market is a younger demographic from tween to under 45 years old. That takes off a lot of that older money off the table from many in retirement age, but I would guess lots of grandparents still shop there or would take the grand-kids shopping there even though they are not the target audience.

I also did a little deeper dive into Five Below over on my YouTube channel as well, if you want to go check that out:

M1 Finance $20 Referral Bonus in the Month of January

M1 Finance has kicked off 2020 with an incredible promotional offer where when you sign up and fund your account with as little as $100 you get a $20 bonus. So you could use that extra cash to buy additional fractional shares, or you could choose to not buy any stocks and withdraw your $120 and literally get a free $20 after it shows up in your account.

So here’s to a great financial start to 2020, if you are unfamiliar with M1 Finance, it is an investment platform that can automate investing. It allows for super flexible portfolio construction with their pie and slice concept, and allows you to buy fractional shares of companies that most of us could otherwise not afford to invest in (think Amazon over $1,800 per share). Here is more about M1 and some of their features:

So again this $20 promo lasts until January 31st, so sign up and fund your account today! Happy investing!

December 2020 Dividends Paid

↑ View YouTube Video Above ↑

I have been building out my portfolio for nine months now, which I realize is not a very long time at all. That being said I have learned so much in these nine months, and realize this dividend growth investing game is a very long term game that really pays off in the end not the beginning. Even knowing that I believe in setting incremental goals and celebrating when those smaller goals are met on top of celebrating the bigger goals. I set the goal of reaching $100 per month in projected dividends by the end of 2019 and reached that, just had seen a $100 payout in a month yet, until now!

In December I was paid $106.85 in my 3 accounts combined. The breakdown is below:

  1. M1 Finance Main Account: $74.31
  2. M1 Finance Roth IRA: $10.84
  3. FIdenity Traditional IRA: $21.70

Here is all of the payouts over the course of December by each holding:

TickerAmount PaidM1 Main AcctM1 Roth IRAFidelity IRA
BPR$1.79/$6.60
DGRO$4.40/$1.43
WM$2.59
USRT$2.71
MCD $2.49/ 2.53
DFS $ 2.22
V $ 0.60
ROST $ 1.01
BAM $ 0.96
BIP $ 3.97
BEP $ 5.26
KSS $ 6.59
LIN $ 1.22
SBSI $ 2.41
ABR $ 15.24
O $ 1.87
MAIN $ 8.22
STAG $ 2.14
EPR $ 3.77
MMM $ 5.65
AWK $ 0.64
NEE $ 1.27
UTX $ 1.64
WTR $ 1.11
DUK $ 2.23
SO $ 2.07
JNJ $ 2.62
INTC $ 1.93
WEN0.83
AVGO1.67
CSL0.33
ITOT1.82
Total:$106.85

Thanks for stopping by. Happy New Year and happy investing in 2020!

What I Have Learned Starting an Investing YouTube Channel

What I Have Learned Starting an Investing YouTube Channel

View condensed video version on YouTube ↑

I had the crazy idea to begin the journey of starting a YouTube channel that would chronicle my investing journey and portfolio, so I started it on April 20, 2019. I really didn’t have much of a clue what I was doing or where I wanted the channel to go. I also had no idea how difficult it was to actually be comfortable on a video talking to strangers. I mean I am a forty year old father of two children, who has been married for nearly 15 years (at the time of writing this). I say that to say I have seen a lot of things, conquered a lot, failed a lot, and generally am not concerned with what others think about me, generally speaking. Then I started making video content on YouTube and got nervous about it, life is weird sometimes, haha. At any rate let’s go over the things I have learned creating this channel, that might assist others thinking of getting started on the same path.

Lesson Number One: I had to learn not be nervous on camera, and speak without using so many speech fillers

One of the first things I had to learn, was to not be nervous, and speak without using so many “uh”, “umm” and “ah” fillers. The nervous thing got better by just making more videos, and I think that is really the best way to overcome it. The filler word issue, was one I didn’t even realize until I started watching myself on camera, and had to be purposeful about trying to correct it, and also edit out some of them.

Lesson Number Two: Make sure the people close to you are on board with you starting a channel.

For many people this may not even be a major consideration, but for me it was since I am married and have a family. I had to get their consent and think about how it would effect their lives as well. Creating content and setting up a brand can be time consuming, and that has certainly been the case for me as well. I am very thankful my wife and kids were and are very supportive even in the beginning when becoming monetized was not really a consideration (it was only a hope and dream). At any rate this is a key step to consider and discuss when beginning.

Lesson Number Three: Quality, trusted content is king

Let me explain what I mean here that quality, trusted content is king. When I started my channel I had a quantity mindset, where I was pumping out 4-5 videos per week, many of which were sub-par in quality. Needless to say those videos many times did not do so well. On most occasions, even early on, when I would spend the time methodically thinking through the content I would produce and do the best job I could editing it (this also is an evolution over time), the video would inevitably do better than a rushed video production. I also learned to do the extra research so I was not mis-speaking on a topic or providing ideas and insights that were not beneficial to those consuming my content. So the trusted aspect of this is also huge, because when people come to your content and know that they can trust your content it builds loyalty.

Lesson Number Four: It’s all about community

So YouTube is a vast community of both content creators and content consumers, with niche categories galore. The investing community on YouTube is from what I am learning still kind of in it’s infancy. There are a few big channels with over 500,000 subscribers, and maybe a couple with 1 million plus subscribers, but in comparison to some other categories on YouTube that’s a drop in a bucket. I say all that to say, it is very important to be in-grained in the community by visiting, subscribing, commenting, and supporting other content creators. This is in my opinion in the beginning the best way to grow your channel, and to see what other channels are doing to help inspire ideas and learn from others.

It is also critical to acknowledge those and interact with those that come to you videos and comment. A way to make the community feel included is to answer some of the questions that come in on a video and recognize the person who asked it (ask them first to make sure they don’t mind). Another way to make your supporters feel included is to do live streams/video premieres where they can join in a live conversation with others and yourself.

Lesson Number Five: YouTube opens up many additional other opportunities other than monetization

This particular lesson is one that I was completely oblivious to. I did realize that really big channels got paid sponsorships and partnerships with companies, I did not think that I would be able to partake in any of these until my channel was much bigger. Let me give some details into what I am trying to say here. Essentially as soon as my channel hit 1,000 subscribers I was sent a couple emails from a couple of newer smaller brokerages/cryptocurrency platforms to begin either an affiliate marketer for them, or to review their product on my channel. I declined all of the cryptocurrency platforms, as that does not make sense for my audience and content. I have however accepted two stock trading brokerages to be an affiliate marketer for. Being that my channel is still so relatively small, I have made very little from these, but it did open my eyes to the possibilities that are bound to come as my channel and brand continues to grow. One of the affiliates did pay me for my first video review of the platform and I was able to buy a new desk with that payout that I plan to use building a new studio to film in.

Another opportunity that becomes available to content creators is to create a blog in conjunction with the YouTube channel and also get ad revenue from the blog as well, obviously. So there are numerous doors that open up through the YouTube platform that many are unaware of.

Lesson Number Six: After monetization, it’s all about views and quality content, not adding subscribers

Views and quality content that provides value to your viewers will build your channel more than any other vehicle. I have seen some content creators get so fixated on getting more subscribers and not creating content that their current subscribers want to come back to the channel and view. Once you get monetized, every view you get is an opportunity to make a little more cash so why would you focus on subscriber count? This is backwards math, and I see some content creators go down the path of focusing on subscribers over content and their channels suffer.

So in conclusion, I have learned many things these past 8-9 months on YouTube, and I honestly have had an excellent experience on the platform. There are many videos and content creators that knock the YouTube platform, but I would dare to say that they may be misusing the platform or copyright laws or other policies/guidelines set forth by YouTube. If you have the desire to kick off a new channel, be prepared to be in lots of effort for very little return for quite a while, but also be prepared for many doors of opportunities to swing open wide. So just do it, and be kind and supportive to others, even when they are not being kind to you. All the best!

Learning How to Buy & Sell Stocks (Paper Trading)

Learning How to Buy & Sell Stocks (Paper Trading)

When you first consider investing into the stock market, there are so many nuances and verbiage surrounding the stock market that seems foreign. It won’t take very long once you begin your research, before you figure out there’s a lot to learn. One thing in the very beginning once you open up a retirement account like an IRA or a Taxable Brokerage account that may also be unsettling is the many different order types that there are when buying or selling stocks. In this article I try to give you some insights on what some of these order types are, and propose a way to practice using some of these without using real money, in what is called paper trading.

Let’s begin by looking at some of the most common order types:

  • Market Order: an order to buy or sell a Stock or ETF immediately. This type of order guarantees that the order will be executed, but does not guarantee the execution price. A market order generally will execute at or near the current bid (for a sell order) or ask (for a buy order) price. However, it is important for investors to remember that the last-traded price is not necessarily the price at which a market order will be executed.
  • Limit Order: an order to buy or sell a Stock or ETF at a specific price or better. A buy limit order can only be executed at the limit price or lower, and a sell limit order can only be executed at the limit price or higher. Example: An investor wants to purchase shares of ABC stock for no more than $10. The investor could submit a limit order for this amount and this order will only execute if the price of ABC stock is $10 or lower.
  • Stop Order (or Stop-loss Order): an order to buy or sell a Stock or ETF once the price of the stock reaches the specified price, known as the stop price. When the stop price is reached, a stop order becomes a market order.

So looking at these three order types is a good starting place, and most beginning investors likely will mostly use Market and Limit orders initially. Market orders work just fine on Stocks or ETFs that have a lot of liquidity (a large volume of buys and sells) meaning a market order will usually be filled very close to the current trading price of the asset. On the other hand, if you are buying a lessor known Stock or ETF that has low liquidity (a small volume of buys and sells) a market order might fill at a much higher price than the asset is currently trading so proceed with caution and keep this in mind. Limit orders are the safest way to purchase a Stock or ETF because you have full control over how long the order stays open for and the price that you desire to purchase the asset at. Limit orders also require a level of patience and may require you to close the order and reopen it at a higher price to actually get the order to fill if the Stock or ETF is going up in price so keep this in mind.

Lastly, I will briefly cover a Stop Order (or Stop-Loss Order). These types of orders are used in a defensive manner to prevent loss of capital, if one thinks there is a market crash on the horizon. Another time a Stop Order could be used is when you have held a Stock or ETF and seen substantial gains and want to lock in gains in the event of a big drop in price.

Example: you purchase stock A at $100 and after 5 years the price has risen to $250. You could set a Stop Order at maybe $225 so that is the price drops sharply you would at least keep a profit of $125 ($225 minus $100) per share.

I think this gives you a good overview of what these order types are and how to use them, now if you would like to practice using them I would suggest opening an account with a brokerage that has paper trading. A paper trading account is setup with a set amount of paper money (typically at least $100,000) that can be traded against real stock prices during the hours that stock market is open. This will give you a good opportunity to familiarize yourself with how to execute Market Orders and Limit Orders and see some results without actually using real money at first. A couple great free trading apps that have this option are Webull and Moomoo. Webull is a trading platform that has multiple account types including retirement accounts and have announced they will be rolling out options trading soon (they also announced that options trading will be free). Moomoo is a trading platform that only has taxable accounts but does already have free options trading with level 2 market data. Another great benefit to both of these trading platforms is that when you sign up for the account you get a FREE STOCK and you get another FREE STOCK when you fund your account (with $100 or more). They both are great and both have paper trading accounts!

Webull Paper Trading Account

If you would like to try Webull use my referral link to get your 2 FREE STOCKS: https://act.webull.com/kol-us/share.html?hl=en&inviteCode=GgCc5IyUvnSr.

Moomoo Paper Trading Account

If you would like to try Moomoo use my referral link to get your 2 FREE STOCKS: https://j.moomoo.com/000Dvp

2020 Investing Goals

2020 Investing Goals

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I don’t make a lot of goals, not that I’m advocating not setting goals, but I do find it easy for me to set financial goals. One reason that may be the case is I can break out a calculator for financial planning. Also with financial planning, there really isn’t too much speculation involved once you have a budget in place. What would derail financial goals is if that budget changes, your salary gets cut or decreases, or some life event cuts into the budget. At any rate here’s to a prosperous 2020 to all of you and here are the investing goals I have created for 2020!

Main Portfolio:

  • $35,000 by year’s end
  • $123.33 monthly dividend average ($1,470 total dividends)

Roth IRA:

  • $9,500 by year’s end
  • $20.83 monthly dividend average ($250 total dividends)

Traditional IRA:

  • $5,500 by year’s end
  • $15.83 monthly dividend average ($190 total dividends)

Combined Portfolio:

  • $50,000 by year’s end
  • $160 monthly dividend average ($1,920 total dividends)

YouTube Channel Goals

  • 4,000 Subscribers
  • Build Emergency Fund With YouTube Income