What spurred this blog post was an idea put forth by my friend at ESI Money in which he talks about how the first million is the hardest. ESI shares how his net worth growth has accelerated. The first million took 19 years of work (the clock starts when he started working, not at birth!) but the 2nd million took just 4 years and 9 months. J Money took this same idea and started at $100k, which took him 7yrs 11mos. Each of the next $100k milestones took close to 18 months each to reach.
California had a per capita income of $29,906 during the five-year period comprising years 2010 through 2014. About every third county and every third place in California had per capita incomes above the state average. Though somewhat counterintuitive, this implies that counties and places with per capita incomes even slightly exceeding that of the state can be classified as "high income" given the natural division of places into a top third (high), middle third (medium), and lower third (low) when ranked by per capita income. Hence, the upper third of all places in this ranking have a per capita income with a lower bound roughly equal to that of the state, about $30,000. The median place and county in California had a per capita income of roughly $25,000, and the lower third of both types of geographies had per capita incomes with an upper bound of about $20,000. Places and counties with the highest per capita income were concentrated in the San Francisco Bay Area, which has a relatively high cost of living. Those with the lowest per capita incomes were concentrated in the Central Valley, an economy in which agriculture assumes a primary role.
Nobody gets early FI investing in bonds, CD’s, or even stocks unless they make a huge income or are extremely frugal or a combination of both. Paper assets just don’t provide enough returns. Business income can be great but it is typically not as semi-passive as I would like and there is a relatively high failure rate. That is if you can monetize an ideal to begin with. RE investing needs to be higher ranked IMO as a way that the “average guy” can become FI.
Those who choose to focus on passive income will need either family money, funds from investors, or the nerve to borrow large sums by taking on debt to fund the purchase of assets. The easiest to understand is someone who takes out substantial bank loans to build an apartment building or buy rental houses. Although this can turn a very small amount of equity into a large cash flow stream, it is not without risk. When using borrowed money, the margin of safety is much smaller because you can’t absorb the same degree of setback before defaulting and finding your balance sheet obliterated.
One of the best ways to build wealth is to get a handle on your finances by signing up with Personal Capital. They are a free online platform which aggregates all your financial accounts on their Dashboard so you can see where you can optimize. Before Personal Capital, I had to log into eight different systems to track 28 different accounts (brokerage, multiple banks, 401K, etc) to track my finances. Now, I can just log into Personal Capital to see how my stock accounts are doing, how my net worth is progressing, and where my spending is going.
My dad is in a similar situation as we speak, things have not been going well for him at work (but I do think he has himself to blame) and seems likely he will get let go. Mr. Budgets and I both see how our parents are and we totally want to be on the other end of the spectrum when it comes to how they handle money. It motivates us to save and invest even more.
Audiobooks are witnessing a surge in popularity when compared to their text-based counterparts. If you have decided to write and publish an eBook, converting it into an audiobook requires little effort and is a great way to bolster your income. Amazon's Audible ACX platform connects authors with producers who can turn their written work into professional grade audio. Once that's done, the audiobooks are put up for sale on Audible and iTunes.
For example my business is a LLC taxed as a S corp. I am active in it and my wife is not. She owns half the company because she fronted the money to start the company (but is not active at all in the business). I get paid a W2 salary for my work I put into it and any profits are distributed to my Wife and I as “dividends”. However the dividends are still taxed as active income at the higher tax rates.
My reasons for diversifying income are simple: I want to be able to quit my day job eventually. But your reasons may be different, maybe your job isn’t that secure or your co-workers are starting to feel the pressure. It really doesn’t matter why you diversify your sources of income, what matters is that you do it. Making money won’t happen overnight with second sources of income so if you wait until it’s too late you’ll be screwed.
People don’t realize how important this is. Recently an online marketing system, who had thousands of members who depended on it for their income, just shut down without notice. One morning all the members could no longer log in to their back office. Capture pages were gone, built in autoresponder gone, and their email list of subscribers were gone forever. Many were running solo ads and advertising. To make matters worse those who clicked on their links were redirected to the before-mentioned system creator’s new business and their own affiliate id’s. This means that any sale that was made went in their pocket off the backs of their now former members. Working from home is awesome but everyone who does it needs to be cautious and prepared. The best thing to do is earn multiple streams of income, just as this article talks about, and try to have control over your business. Don’t depend on all-ready-made systems. Make your own capture pages, have your own autoresponder, website, etc. This will go a long way to keeping your business alive and income flowing in.
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There are a couple of problems with direct investment in real estate though. It’s expensive to buy even a single property, a minimum of tens of thousands of dollars, and there’s no way most investors can build a portfolio of different property types and in different regions to protect from those risks when you have all your money in just one or two investments.
Retirees are paying a high price as the world stimulates its way out of the GFC (Great Recession). After a 30-year bull market to the lowest interest rates the world has ever seen, bonds have become highly priced and now don’t generate enough to meet income needs. Just 5 years ago the average income from $100,000 invested in a 10 year Australian Government Bond (10yrs) was $5,600 p.a. – now it’s less than half at $2,600 p.a.