Do you use AT&T (T) as your cell phone provider? How long have you used it as your provider? A long time probably, since AT&T is a behemoth of a company. Founded in 1983 and currently holds 230,000 employees. It’s as close to a dinosaur as you may think since it has been around forever.

            Verizon Communications (VZ) is the only telecom service bigger than AT&T, with a market cap of $218.48 billion, and was founded in 1983 as well. AT&T’s market cap is $176.95 billion. Closing in on (T) is T-mobile US (TMUS), with a market cap of $150.59 billion.

            AT&T will spin off a part of their business (WarnerMedia) and merge it with Discovery Inc (DISCA). Expect the merger to close out by mid-2022. It’s preferable to wait for the completion of the merge and see how other investors react to the price. It is a cheap stock looking like a bargain, but it could get “more affordable,” if you know what I mean.

Netflix (NFLX) has returned over 450% over the last 5 years.

            Their 5YR P/E is currently at 11.78, making it very attractive and hinting at undervalued or discounted prices. However, return on investment (ROI), assets (ROA), and equity (ROE) are all subpar, with a return of under 2% on all of them. Big red flag for me.

            An eye-popping dividend at 8.5%, which makes many investors salivate. However, we can expect a cut next year once the merger is complete with high certainty. Also, the dividend paid takes about 60% of the Free Cash Flow (FCF), which is not good if you have debt or are trying to grow the business. Currently, a total of $15 Billion is paid off in dividends by the $25 Billion of FCF. That leaves (T) with only $10 Billion of FCF to pay debt and grow the company.

            To make matters worse, their FCF is $23.44 billion. As a rule of thumb, we can multiply that amount by 5 (5YR projection), and we get a total of $117.2 billion. We would love to see their debt under $117 billion. However, their total long-term debt is sitting at an outstanding $284.2 billion, which more than doubles our estimated numbers. It means that (T) has too much debt relative to their free cash on hand.

            Understand that FCF is critical because you can do many great things to help your company when you have free cash. Things like paying down debt, buying back shares, reinvesting in the company, making acquisitions, or paying dividends. As a result, the excellent use of FCF will be more appealing to shareholders than paying a hefty dividend while burying themselves in debt. Just think about it, is the bank willing to lend money to the guy with little to no debt or the guy that makes $50K a year but owes over $200K?

Be a landlord anywhere in the United States, without the hassle.

            Their revenue has grown slowly over the last 5 years. I like that. It is preferable to see slow and steady growth than a chart that looks like a cardiogram with random spikes. When reality sets in, those spikes are always followed by crashes. My only concern is that although they have acquired many smaller companies, their revenue growth has not shown much improvement.

             Following that, their Net Income has shrunk for the last 5 years from $12 billion in 2017 to $1 billion in 2021. Another reason for concern besides their shrinking income is the outstanding shares have gone up from 6.1 billion to 7.1 billion. We want the outstanding shares to shrink and net income to grow. But, just like Santa Claus got it backward when I asked for a lean body and a fat wallet, AT&T got confused as well and had it all backward.

            Not all is bad news with (T). They have grown their FCF from $15 billion to $28 billion. The average FCF for the last 5 years is about $23.4 billion. Estimating this average can be kept for the next 20 years, we can calculate a market cap of about $468 billion. In the beginning, we said the current market cap is $176.95 billion. Our numbers suggest that this metric undervalues it.

Game Stop (GME) the meme stock that ran over 4,700% during the pandemic.


            (T)’s good points: Low P/E, big dividend (suitable for investors looking for cash flow), slow but steady revenue growth, slow and steady FCF growth, and “undervalued” per FCF metric.

            (T)’s bad points: Not sure what to expect from the spin-off merger as far as price action, meager returns on ROI, ROA & ROE. There is a high probability of seeing a cut on the dividend, and their debt is too high. Revenue has not grown much despite their acquisitions. Net income is shrinking, and outstanding shares are rising.

            Right now (T) has a lot of work to do. The negative points about the company outweigh the positive. This is only a starting point, so ensure you research and analyze before investing. I believe AT&T has to implement better use of their FCF, lower their debt, generate better returns for their shareholders or they will be painfully looking at their market value fall into a quiet and deathly take over. Therefore, we will only trade (T) with a dividend catch strategy. The only way to consider a long-term position is if the price falls below $20.

Now, begin your Road to Wealth!

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“Don’t underestimate the power of consistency and desire” – Unknown.

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My friends! We have a simple goal here, and the goal is to become rich, not just look rich. So, how do we get there? Well, you have to put your money to work for you. In order to do that, you need to ensure that every single cent that you receive as income has a job to do.

But Joey, what does that mean? It means that you have to prepare a plan, follow that plan and tweak it as necessary. If you still don’t understand or don’t know how to budget, don’t be ashamed. You are not alone!

What I learned from wealthy friends is, they know how much they will make, they know how much has to go towards paying the bills. They also know how much they want to save and invest. Finally, they know how much they will have for fun. Yes, when you prepare your budget, ensure to account for some fun and entertainment too.

Let’s begin with the basics. Before we draw our map, we need to understand what we are doing. We will definitely not learn this on Instagram or Twitter. You have several options. If you know Excel, you can do this a lot quicker than most since the formulas will help you automate the results. If you are not tech-savvy, then you can write it on paper and will probably need a calculator to plug in the numbers and results.

What is a S.M.A.R.T. budget? It is an easy acronym that helps you remember what is important when you are planning and preparing your budget.

Specific – you need to be specific with your financial goal and know what do you want to do with your money. That includes the short term (buying something now) and long term (plans for retirement).

Measurable – as you go, you want to see your progress. That is how you will know if you need to step it up or just keep going with the flow. It will also help you see if you overspent or underspent and where.

Achievable – In order for your budget to be successful, it needs to be achievable. If necessary, you can examine your budget at the end of the month to compare your projected numbers against your actual numbers. Make adjustments as you go and if necessary.

Realistic – you need to be honest. For example, you plan to spend $20 eating out at your favorite restaurants but you know you like to order Dominos, take friends or family to Burger King and pay for them, and end up at the Chinese buffet to end the week. Know your tendencies and patterns.

Time-oriented – In order to achieve your financial goals and meet your timeline, you need to break down the big goals into small steps that will gradually take you to where you want to be.

Now that you have a better understanding of what a SMART budget is, know that making your budget is just the first step. You need to keep planning. Discipline and perseverance will help you sustain it and improve it.

Few tricks to making a budget that works are:

* Ensure every penny of your income has a job to do. If you don’t account for every cent you make and don’t give it a job before you even receive it, that penny will find a place to land and most likely will not be where you want.

* Do not charge your credit cards more than you can afford. A big problem is that many of us use our credit cards when we already used up all of our cash. But we are wrong. The right way to use a credit card is having the funds available in your account. That way it won’t hurt you when it’s time to pay off your card. A rule you can use is the rule of 7. When you are tempted to buy something, wait 7 days. Then ask yourself again if you still want it. More than likely you won’t.

* Review your budget several times for adjustments. You want to have this budget ready before you get paid. Do not wait until you start paying your bills, or your money will have control over you instead of the other way around. It is essential that you sit down, review your budget and make adjustments. Stay on top of your game. The great MLB hitters are the ones that prepare for the pitcher they will face. They don’t wait until the pitcher is on the mount to ask for a scouting report.

* Know how much money you have at all times. Staying with the MLB analogy, life is great at throwing us curve balls. We need to know what we have in order to prepare for the unexpected things that happen every month.

* Always track your spending. Your rent, car loan, and some other bills rarely change. We know we won’t overspend there. But dining out, buying groceries, buying on vending machines at school or work can throw us off. By the way, get cashback and great offers in groceries with Ibotta. Just register for free and see how much you will save each month.

Without further ado, let’s see how a budget should look like. At the beginning of the month, we use projected numbers but at the end of the month we use actual numbers to know what adjustments are needed.

Let’s begin with:

Projected income:

All of your income, paycheck, wages or whatever and add any extra income you make, like answering surveys online, washing cars, paint houses, cut grass, etc.

Projected Housing expenses:

Mortgage / Rent, Phone, Electricity, Gas, Water and sewer, cable/internet, waste removal, maintenance or repairs, supplies, other

Projected Loans:

Personal loans, student loans, credit cards, etc.

Projected transportation expenses:

Vehicle payment, insurance, gas, maintenance, other.

Projected savings:

Savings will vary by individual needs. You can use a percentage of your income. If you choose that option, then do this step first before anything. Another option is to use a specific amount. Option three is taking an amount from what is left after paying all bills.

Projected entertainment:

Movies, concerts, sporting events, other.

Projected balance:

This is what you projected as your income and subtract all the expenses and savings. Ensure this number is positive. This is the amount that you will have left for your personal use or whatever you decide to spend it on.

Tools used to aid with budgeting:

Acorns – automated savings, investing and cashback rewards, rolled into one. Just $1 monthly fee. (full report)

Credit Sesame – raise your credit score and follow their tips. You will be able to get lower rates in future loans, hence pay less and save money. (full report)

Fundrise – easiest way to save and grow your money while becoming a landlord without the hassle. The best part is you can start with only $500. (full report)

Gabi – is a service that will help you find the lowest price you can find for your car insurance. I saved $936 when I switched. And it took me no more than 10 minutes. (full report)

Ibotta – Save on groceries, get offers and rewards every week. Bonuses and cashback. (full report)

Inboxdollars – watch videos, answer surveys, search the web, get paid, transfer to your paypal account. I use it for extra income (full report)

Lucktastic – extra income, scratch digital lottery tickets, join different contests to win free groceries, free gas, or cash. (full report)

Swagbucks – extra income, get paid to watch videos, search the web, answer surveys and much, much more. (full report)

LendingClub – is my number one (#1) choice to save, and grow your money substantially. But, it is restricted to the United States and some states can’t invest either. Cross your fingers your state is in and not out. Also, you will need some money saved to begin. In order to get all the bonuses, you need to begin with $5,000. If you don’t want the bonuses, it is recommended you begin with half of that. (full report)

Paribus – will verify your emails, keep track of the price you paid for items and get your money back when the item’s price drops. Also, can get you compensated when your shipment is late. Everything while you sleep or go about your day. (full report)

Robinhood – my number one platform for trading. Commission-free and simple. Plus get a free stock like Amazon or Coca Cola when you sign up. (full report)

S’more – easy extra income, download to your phone, get paid every morning when you unlock your phone. Get extra points when you watch videos or complete surveys. Redeem prices. (full report)

Sweatcoin – more extra income, download to your phone, get paid to walk outside your house or building. The idea is to give incentives to individuals while helping them to get or stay in shape. (full report)

Truebill – save on monthly bills and stop overpaying for them too. This app will search for refunds and it will also negotiate on your behalf to get better deals. (full report) – Is my favorite site to buy items coming from China, cutting the middle man out of the picture. Cheaper than eBay, Amazon, Walmart, you name it. Use code: PJXXZYH (full report)

I will leave you with a picture so you know what it needs to look like. At the beginning of the month is going to be projected, but ensure that you keep track of your numbers throughout the month and do it again at the end of the month with your actual numbers. That is how you know, what type of adjustments you have to make. Also, modify it as necessary. Everyone’s circumstances are different.

I hope it helps! Leave your comment below.

Remember, it’s all about the road to wealth. If you liked it, pay it forward. Don’t forget to share it on social media and help others become successful as well. There is plenty of room for all of us. In the end, your success will only depend on you and not what others do.

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