Saturday, January 23, 2016

Investing Young & Retire Early

Do you know anything about investing your money? A lot of people do not. The reason for that is that we are not taught in school how to do it. The only way to learn is to research it yourself. There are lots of books, videos, and audio on the subject. I personally started looking into it in my 40s. That is not entirely too late but it is a lot easier if you learn it much sooner.

With that in mind, I am going to share with you what I am learning. I am not an expert on the subject. I am only giving you my experience from researching and applying what I have learned. I started my research by looking into ways to make money online. I do pretty good but it is not a good way to build retirement income. I graduated to network marketing which is a really good way to build residual income from leveraging your business partners' work. By working 1 to 5 years finding business partners who educate others, you can live the life of your dreams. Treat it like a business and give back to your business partners to help them succeed and you will succeed.

I also looked into investing money into stocks. I bought some penny stocks and lost my money. It was a good learning experience. I still have the stocks because I refuse to sell until I have gotten my money back. I may wait forever and that is fine with me. I only spent/lost $60.

My wife's family has always used Edward Jones and she has an IRA account with them. So, I approached them and asked questions. I wanted to know how dividends worked, how you are taxed, and the fees associated with buying and selling stocks. I got a lot of good information including a complimentary book on how to invest your money.

My goal has changed from my own monetary investments to that of my children's. Instead of learning this for my own gain, I am learning and passing it on to my children. I encourage you to do the same. If you are reading this as a young man/woman, I encourage you to read this book and apply its teachings today!: David Bach's The Automatic Millionaire.

Monday, February 16, 2015

United States Air Force - Young & Dumb

This is a new set of posts writing embarrassing things I did during my years of service. One of the dumbest things I did... well let me start from the beginning.

I had lived on the (Altus AFB) base about six months. I had never been inspected the whole time I was there. I was in a real funk during this time. I didn't have money, didn't know how to budget my money very well, and was actually starving.

I had purchased a MGB from a guy down on his luck. He let me pay him in monthly payments of $200. The total cost was $1800 I think. Before I drove it off, a policeman in the small town of Lone Oak pulls up and tells me how many times he has pulled this guy over for speeding and never wants to see the car on the road in his town again. I agree and drive away.

I drove it from Lake Tawakoni, TX to the base (about 250 miles) and it ran like a champ. It was a convertible and very low to the ground. Picture a young boy driving an old car (I don't remember the year but the picture is close to what it looked like) that looked to be in great shape. Heads turned and people liked the car. It was one of the more fun drives I had over a long stretch of road.

A couple days after getting back to the base, I drove the car to the Command Post. About 300 feet from there, smoke billowed out from under the hood and inside the car. I thought it was on fire but didn't see any flames. I could smell that electrical burning smell (I didn't know what it was back then). The whole wiring mechanism burned to a crisp while the car coasted to a stop.

I ended up letting my friend take the car and he got it running again but I couldn't afford to keep paying on it. I asked my friend to let me take it back to the guy I bought it from. He didn't like the idea but neither of us could afford to pay it off. So I drove it back to the guy's house and left it in his yard with a note apologizing for not completing the purchase. He was probably ecstatic to see the car again.

So, I was in a funk. Depressed at not having any money and no car. Upset that I had payed money on the car and nothing to show for it. In my dorm room, I didn't have a trash can. I kept a trash bag and usually threw my trash away. Well, I had used my last bag and didn't have money to purchase more. I was eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and my sink where I made them was sticky and trash was in a pile on the floor. It was bad and I cringe everytime I think about this. While at work, my dorm got inspected by the first sergeant and when I got back, they were there and he was giving the sergeant in charge of the dorm a good ass chewing. He asked me why it was like that and I told him I didn't have a trashcan. He told the sergeant to get me a trashcan and some bags and to get the room cleaned up. He said he would be back in a few days and it better look spotless! After that, I got over my funk real fast. I cleaned that dorm room up and always kept it that way.

Sometimes you just need a good kick in the ass to get your attitude adjusted for you. All I had to do was go ask for a trashcan and some bags and the whole ordeal could have been avoided. Instead I got in trouble, and worse, the sergeant got in trouble too.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

All the Great and Great-Greats Have Left Us

I grew up in a very family oriented family. That means that we always did things together and helped in any way we could. This closeness has existed with us for many generations. My Parents were as busy as most but we always found ourselves with our Grandparents, our Uncles and Aunts, and even our cousins. My Grandparents lived on a large farm and I find most of my youth and young adult-hood memories come from that location. I have written previously on the farm and will try not to repeat what has already been said. I wanted to introduce you to my subject before moving forward.

My Grandparents inherited the farm from their Parents, my Great-Great Grandparents. Both of their histories are so interesting. They lived in a time with no internet, they lived in a time where great minds were inventing the things we have today. They ate much less than we do today and worked much harder than we do today. They did their best or provide, not just for themselves, but for their children, for their children's children. They did this without breaking up the family in divorce though they were not perfect in their relationships. They stuck together though.

Today we buried the last of our Greats. This is the reason for my melancholy post. The Greats have moved to our Parents who will become the Great-Greats, bringing us to Greats. Time seems to be catching up with us. Do we have time to provide for our children and their children's children? We live in a time of broken families, a time of entitlement. Are we too late to teach our children they need to work for what they have? We have given them anything their heart's desire to a point. Though we sprouted from hard times, we were provided for but were taught to work and work hard for ourselves. We learned to save for what we wanted instead of it being handed to us. Our children have grown up and we hope they are not doomed to failure for spoiling them so.

If it is too late for our children maybe the best thing is for them to learn the hard way. Then teach them how to avoid the hard knocks in the future. Teach them how to work and work hard for what they want. Maybe it is time for us, the Greats, to buy some land. Land for growing up on, land for farming on, and most importantly land for feeding so we no longer rely on others in the world to feed us.

Maybe I am wrong and our children are much better equipped for the future that is moving quickly upon them. As a father, I worry about them though. I hope I haven't failed them.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Chess Fans?

I play chess on I play at about 1850 on the site. These games aren't over the board but played in turns over days and months. You can really study before making a move. A lot of the people up on the site really know their openings. I studied the openings to a point but I like playing my own style of game. I fall into traps and zaps all the time because I don't follow the openings but I learn from them (well until I forget again).

I find myself doing really good and then equally really bad. I think it has to do with life and responsibilities. I end up making rushed moves instead of thinking more before making a move. My opponent always seems to take advantage of me during those times. When I play a great game, I always wonder why I can't repeat that every game. How can a person such as Kasparov rarely lose a game? Is it memorization or really good strategy? Most likely both.

I have always dreamed of being good enough to play against a master but I haven't reached that level of skill yet. Maybe someday :)

I just wanted to share that with you. Maybe you have better answers than I. Either way, Chess is a game/sport I will never tire of.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

New Family Dogs

I wrote about our puppies a while back (see The Spare Tire That Should'a Been). It has been a couple of years now and I have acquired two more dogs.

Our third dog was actually saved by a friend of ours when the dog ran out in front of her. She opened the door to get the dog off of the road so it wouldn't get run over. It jumped into the truck and she took it back to her house. A few days later my wife is over there with her sister and they got to plotting. I'm called and asked if I want another dog. I did not and said no. They asked me to come over and meet the dog before saying no. I went along with it knowing I would say no anyway. I walk in and sit in the floor. A white short haired and long legged dog runs over with a ball in her mouth. I start playing with the dog because I enjoy playing with dogs. You should have seen the wicked grins on the lady's faces. crack-russel Teensy They knew I couldn't say no now... they were right.

We take the dog home and our long haired Dachshund, the alpha of the two dogs we already have, would not leave her along. She would bark at her and get real vicious. We would have to hold the alpha and let the other two play together. For a couple of weeks this hateful behavior continued but finally subsided and then they started getting along, or at least tolerated. A week or so more and all three were playing well together. Don't tell the Dachshunds but my favorite dog is the long legged "crack-russel". That dog makes me mad because we can't keep it in the yard and we have a chain linked fence. She somehow finds ways of getting under it but through it all she is my favorite dog.

My wife's sister's daughter wanted a dog and rescued a black Dachshund. Roxy We visited and were introduced to the dog. It was a scrawny little black puppy with white feet and one white leg. The papers say she is a Dachshund mix. We visited a couple more times and the dog was still scrawny. My daughter comes up to me and asks if we can take the puppy home. It was very hard to do but I said no. She walks away and converses with the ladies for help. So they come back and I cave in. We take the dog home and the viciousness starts all over. We watch it carefully for a week and things start to settle down. We get the dog some food and it gradually starts filling out. She is very playful and I enjoy playing with her but she is a toy hog and I can't play with my "crack-russel" anymore. I find ways around it but my favorite dog doesn't want to play as much anymore. She still comes to me and gets in my lap though and we bond that way.

So counting them up, we now have four dogs and I am putting my foot down ... no more dogs! :)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Scared to Death

When I was 21 years old, I got married to a woman who had never been away from her parents. When she was young, her parents had divorced but remained close but did not live together. After we were settled in Altus, Ok where I was stationed, she started asking me about certain parts of her body. She was really worried something was wrong with her. The Hypochondriac's Pocket Guide to Horrible Diseases You Probably Already Have At first I checked her out real good but she kept on with it day after day. I didn't know what was wrong with her. I would tell her she was fine but nothing eased her worries. She eventually went to a psychologist to help her work through what was really bothering her. They prescribed her medicine to ease her worries. I had two years left of my four year term in the Air Force and this went on until I was out and we lived closer to her parents. I didn't realize any of this until years later.

It is miserable, not only for the person who thinks that they are about to get a disease and die, but for the people having to deal with the problem. You can tell nothing is wrong with them. You can tell them that but nothing convinces them. These people are labeled Hypochondriacs in the medical field.

Now, my family is dealing with this problem. My brother has started worrying about his health. He has been to the doctor and got all kinds of tests to prove nothing is wrong but he insists that something is wrong. Recently he had an anxiety attack and ended up in the emergency room thinking he was having a heart attack. I have told him he needs to get counseling but so far it is going in one ear and out the other. They did some tests on him to determine what was wrong with him but didn't find anything after a stress test and sonogram. Person carrying books with caption, Let's see which illness I have today! Still, he thinks they are missing something. If he doesn't seek help, he will most likely end up in the emergency room again.

As someone on the outside, there is nothing you can do to convince Hypochondriacs there is nothing wrong with them. It is on them to figure out they need to see a counselor. That is something my brother has not yet figured out for himself even though we keep telling him. It's almost like an alcoholic or drug addict who has to come to the realization that they need help.

If they get to where they are hurting themselves (scaring themselves to death), it is time to get psychiatric help by forcing them into it. It's not something anyone wants to do but sometimes it is necessary. I'm hoping my brother will realize he needs help and takes the first step.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Is it Possible to Make Money on the Internet?

You will probably think I have gone off the deep end or, at the very least, laugh at me for getting scammed. I have started working (if you can call it that), in my spare time, at home on the internet. All I really do now is stay social on a web site and help new members succeed as I have. If you are interested in how it works, keep reading. If your mind is already blocked to this, I ask you to open your mind and keep reading.

My wife started to college at 40 years old. She has an impressive resume already but never completed her degree. After her years in the Air Force, she worked on computer hardware. She debugged problems with the wiring and schematics. The work became volatile though and she ended up working in the health field where she excels today. My career path is computer software as a programmer. We started a small business (more of a hobby) building web sites for our customers. She was doing the logo and selling, while I was building the sites. I would ask her questions about the style of the site and her input was great. It brought something out of her though. She wanted to learn to program as I do. So she has dug in, with a full time job, two children, and me weighing her down. She is very busy but she is making progress in her computer engineering degree.

She wishes she could go to school full time and I really want to make that dream a reality for her. I decided I would see how I could make money on the internet from my computer. It had to be easy and not very time consuming as I have full time job. I searched online and found there are a lot of things you can do to make money on the internet: write blogs that get popular (hard to do and very time consuming), write documentation or whatever a company wants you to through a contracting type site (time consuming and frustrating), and many more I'm not going to list. Of all of the things I tried, I found that Inbox Dollars was easy and not real time consuming. The site is set up so that you take surveys and get paid to do so. They have other ways of making money but I highly advise not doing those. Mainly because the next thing I found takes what they do to a whole other level.

Before I tell anymore though I must warn you about protecting yourself from computer viruses. The only reason I even started looking at these sites online was because I have an easy way to deal with viruses. I have software that creates a mini computer on my computer. This is called a virtual machine that allows you to save a snapshot of it before going to sites that might give you viruses. It makes it easy to go back to that snapshot so that you never have to worry about viruses. The software was created by Sun Microsystems but Oralce bought them out so you will find the software on the Oracle site. The name of the software is Oracle VM Virtual Box. If you follow that link, download the version for your operating system and install. You will need an operating system to use it. Since MS Window's software costs money, I chose to use Ubuntu Linux. Linux is free and easy to use so long as you don't want to do anything but browse the web. Linux is becoming easier to use but for a user coming from MS Windows, there is a bit of a learning curb. If you click on the Linux link above, you should choose the right version based on your machine and save it to a location you will remember. Open the VirtualBox and when making a virtual machine, point it to that file. I could go on and on telling you how to install and run this but the instructions are already out there. Search for it if you need help. Although this is not foolproof as far as viruses go, it comes very close.

I had signed up with several sites, checking out what they had that would help me make money. So naturally I started receiving lots of spam. You see these kinds of things in your email occasionally - make $5000 a month but, like you, I'm saying to myself yea right. With an open mind though, I visited one of the sites. The site has videos showing you how to make money. They actually train you to "green" a site that pays you $50 once you complete it. Until this point, I had not spent any money. My idea was to make money without having to spend anything. I mean how can you make money if you are spending it? Well it turns out that if you invest a little, you have the potential to make more. If I have peaked your interest, go to ProjectPayday and sign up. Check out all the videos and reading materials with an open mind.

There are two parts to their system. The first is called Method I and the last is called Method II. In these steps, money flows like this:

  • Company with product and trial offer
  • Advertiser who sends customers to the company site utilizing several IFW sites
  • IFW Site that sends Method I referrals to the company site using a special link so that the advertiser gets paid, who in turn, pays them
  • Method II Trader who sends referrals to the IFW sites who in turn pay the trader a kickback from the money they get paid from the advertiser
  • Method I Referral who completes enough offers on a IFW site to "green" it for their trader who gives them a kickback (50 to 65%)
  • Freebie Site gets payed by Method II traders for membership and the opportunity to trade on their IFW sites

As a Method I referral, you purchase offers from companies with good products. These offers are heavily discounted for new customers. If you are not a new customer, you cannot purchase an offer. The offers are from all kinds of companies, but some of the known ones are Dell, Discover, Netflix, etc. Basically you purchase the offers on a trial basis and if you like it, keep paying the monthly subscription (or whatever plan the offer has). If not, follow the company's instructions set forth in their terms of service for cancelling. ProjectPayday sends you through their "Fast First Fifty" where you get paid $50 for "greening" their site. Then they tell you where you can go from there to continue this process. I lucked out and went to a site that has a very fair process for the next level, Method II. The site, where you continue working as a Method I referral, is called 1stDegreeFreebies. As a new member you introduce yourself and receive lots of welcomes from experienced members in Method II hoping to acquire you as their referral. These mentors are very helpful and truly are interested in helping you succeed. I, myself am one of these mentors. Mentors have several IFW sites to choose from and 1stDegreeFreebies has requirements of which sites should be greened before a Method I referral moves to Method II. As you green IFW sites in Method I, you acquire those sites for your referrals in Method II. These acquired sites are the ones the mentor's offer their referrals to green. After you green enough IFW sites as a Method I referral, you can start trading your IFW sites you have acquired as a Method II trader.

The second part of the system is called Method II. You are a trader hoping to acquire referrals to green your IFW sites for you. All you have to do is stay social on 1stDegreeFreebies and help new members and you will get a fair share of new recruits. In addition to staying social and helping new members, if you want more opportunities, post your successes on social sites like Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, etc. ProjectPayday has good information on how to do this. You can view some of my success on my Pinterest board, Making Money Online.

This has been an overview of trying to make money online using the freebie system. There is so much information about all of this that I am going to have to split it up into several posts. I will provide my experiences in each step and how I have become popular on 1stDegreeFreebies to acquire referrals. I hope you will continue reading and I hope to see you as one of my referrals in the near future! This is not a scam or I would not be writing about it. You do have to spend money to make money. Though I started this so my wife could quit her job and go to school full time, that is not realistic unless I really push to get a lot more referrals. In other words, the potential to make a lot of money is there but you really have to work at it.

If you made it here thank you for keeping an open mind and I hope this helps you if you are interested in making a little extra money. I would appreciate it, if you are going to start this, if you will use my ProjectPayday link first. After going through the training there, I hope you will join 1stDegreeFreebies using my link as well. Once you join, I hope you will look for Welby, my name on that site. More than likely I will find you though :) If you follow my instructions and adhere to the warnings, you will make it to Method II where you can make easy money!