I first discovered the power of passive income when I was a senior in high school. I started a mobile billboard business where I would rent a small piece of land from someone who had land along a busy highway. Then I would place one of my billboard trailers on the land and rent out the ad space on the billboard. I would usually charge about $300 per month for the ad space, meanwhile I was only paying $50 per month to the landowner for the ground rent. I got to the point to where I had 9 billboard faces and was making quite a substantial income for someone in high school. I really learned how passive income could free up my life… this business is what lead me into investing in real estate.

I also like the distinctions you make about the illusion of influence. I have control over most of my investments (real estate related) and have 10% in passive index funds. But I think as I continue to diversify, I like putting it into the two buckets of (1) I control (2) no control (stock market). I like that clarity. The illusion of control does add stress and hassle that detract from enjoying your life. Not worth extra returns to me.

Love your articles. I think everyone is very different as far as how much passive income they need to meet their goals. I’ve read a lot of your articles and really enjoy your thoughts. I have a masters in finance and understand the math of keeping the debt but my emotions are such that I need to try to finish off paying off my last debt (mortgage) in the next two years. At 34 and only worth 525k I’m doing better than a lot of folks my age but it will be difficult for me to catch up in the passive income game without leverage. That is the main reason I recently created a website to try to bring passive income opportunities in my area to me.

If you happen to own a home, apartment, or office space, you have a great source for generating passive income at your fingertips. Peer-to-peer property rental site Airbnb has made it extremely easy for real estate owners to make extra money by renting out their homes to guests for short durations. If you're uncomfortable with such a model, you can also use sites like NestAway to find tenants for your property without having to deal with brokers.
This would only require the investment of your time. Start with a blog on something you love. It could be anything. From a travel blog containing pictures of your travels to a sports blog dedicated to your favorite team/sport. You can blog about anything and everything. It doesn't matter. But write regularly! I've read that an online magazine editor would personally prefer someone who posts something daily over someone who writes long posts once or twice a week.

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Thirst for income is likely to continue with interest rates expected to stay low, keeping government bond yields low for longer and their valuations unattractive.  Looking past bonds, the prices of high-dividend shares are historically high, which limits the likelihood that their dividends will rise markedly from here.  Striving too high for an income target tends to push your portfolio further out on the risk spectrum.
7) Never Withdraw From Your Financial Nut. The biggest downfall I see from people looking to build passive income is that they withdraw from their financial nut too soon. There’s somehow always an emergency which eats away at the positive effects of compounding returns. Make sure your money is invested and not just sitting in your savings account. The harder to access your money, the better. Make it your mission to always contribute X amount every month and consistently increase the savings amount by a percentage or several until it hurts. Pause for a month or two and then keep going. You’ll be amazed how much you can save. You just won’t know because you’ve likely never tested savings limits to the max.

Stocks (shares) paying dividends are typically a reliable source of income but they have higher risk of capital losses than cash and bonds. So, it’s wise not to chase yield indiscriminately.  The 10 highest yielding stocks on the ASX 200 (the 200 largest companies in Australia) are shown in the table below.  But their share price performance on average over the last year has been underwhelming, as shown in the far right column: