How a Covered Call Works for a Small Investor

On the famous Friday the 13th, I was scrolling my Twitter account. I felt like talking to people and answering my opinion on various investment issues and the market in general.

I saw a post (I’m not going to mention names because I didn’t ask for permission) where he mentioned covered calls, one of his primary sources of income through his investment portfolio.

Among the comments, there was one that caught my attention and said:

“I’m still learning. I have a $50 call on Verizon ($VZ) which expires in June of next year. Is there a better way to do this than buy and wait?”

I answered:

“Yes. Sell weekly or monthly covered calls. You’ll get income every month apart from dividends every three months (Verizon pays quarterly dividends). Reinvest profits. A call that expires in a year freezes your money.”

He tells me:

“Could you explain a covered call to me like I’m 6 years old? I understand calls and puts perfectly. I don’t understand anything beyond that. So I did that option really to learn and because it was so cheap. So I thought, why not?

I want to say I congratulate you and Thank you very much.

I congratulate you because not many dare to accept that they still do not have the necessary knowledge and are afraid to ask for help, especially in public, as is the Twitter network.

Thank you very much because I just got back from vacation from the island of Puerto Rico and I wasn’t sure what to write. You allow me to help you and others in a similar learning position.

Let’s do it this way first, I’ll give an example of a child investor, then I’ll cover what a covered call is, its risks and benefits, and I’ll finish with two real-life examples that I’m actively managing.

Key takeaways:

* What is a ‘covered call’?

* Risks of this strategy

* Benefits of this strategy

* Real examples

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The Small Investor

You’re 6 years old, and you buy 100 hot-wheels cars for $2. However, you want to sell them in the future at a higher price. A ‘covered call‘ gives you the option to sell them at a higher price in the future while earning you income while keeping the cars in your possession.

Therefore, you sell the option to Juanito to buy the cars from you for $2.50 if the cars are worth $2.50 or more in the future. Juanito pays you a credit, let’s say $0.50, for having the opportunity to buy those cars.

At a stipulated date in the future, say a month from now, one of two things will happen.

1. Cars are worth $2.50 or more. Juanito returns to you to buy the cars. He takes your cars and pays you the $2.50. You keep the $0.50 he paid you for the contract and receive the $2.50 per car in cash.

You have the cash and credit to go back and make another investment. You generated a profit of $0.50 per car ($2.50 sale price – $2 cost) plus the $0.50 credit.

2. Cars have not yet increased in value above $2.50. The contract expires. Since it is not worth more than $2.50, Juanito will not want to exercise his contract since he can get the cars at a lower price. Juanito loses $0.50 that you keep for yourself.

So you keep the $0.50 contract and keep your cars in your possession. It allows you to make a new contract for the next month, generating more income while you continue to reduce the cost of your cars.

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What is a ‘covered call’?

It is an income strategy that helps investors generate income in addition to dividends (if the company pays dividends) and capital gains on the stocks or ETFs that you already manage in your portfolio.

Risks of ‘covered calls’

There are two types of risks:

1. The most considerable risk we incur is that we limit our profits on price appreciation.

For example, we buy 100 shares at $45 and sell a call at $50. We limit our earnings to $5 per share ($50 – $45) plus the credit we receive. If the stock rises above $50, the person who bought the call will exercise their option to buy $50 from us and sell it at the current market price.

2. The other type of risk is if the share price falls too low from where we buy because the further the price is from our effective cost, the credit we receive also decreases.

Benefits of ‘covered calls’

1. Selling ‘covered calls’ provides weekly or monthly income depending on the company. Some companies, like Verizon, sell weekly options. Others, like MPLX LP, sell options on a month-to-month basis.

2. Regardless of what price does after selling a covered call, the credit we receive is ours to do with as we please.

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Possible results

When we sell ‘covered calls,’ there are 2 possibilities:

1. The stock price rises more than the price established by our sale. At this point, the buyer is very likely to exercise his option and take our shares. Then, automatically, the equivalent of the money appears in our account as cash, and our shares disappear.

In this example, we realize capital gains plus any credit we have received. Now we start looking for another investment to repeat the process.

2. The share price remains below the established price by our sale. At this point, the option loses most or all of its value, generating our credit income, and we keep our shares intact so we can repeat the process.

In this example, we have 2 options:

          a. We can wait for the option to expire and go up into the options heaven. It happens on Fridays, either weekly or monthly depending on the availability of the options. Then, when the market opens the following Monday after the expiration, we go back to sell another call with a new expiration date in the future.

b. We can do what is called a ‘roll over’ of the position, which means that we buy/close the current position before it expires for a low price between $1 to $5 and sell/open a new position for a credit to a new date in the future.

As an investor, it is up to you to decide which options to execute. It is your portfolio, and you must manage it your way. Both options are feasible.

Real examples:

Before we get into the examples, there are 2 requirements for this to work.

1. You must be authorized to buy and sell options.

2. You must be able to buy at least 100 shares of the company of your interest.

Each option consists of 100 shares. Therefore, if you do not have at least 100 shares in your portfolio, you cannot sell options contracts against that position. The part that refers to ‘covered’ means that your 100 shares are collateral for that position.

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MPLX LP ($MPLX)

1. The ex-dividend date for MPLX LP ($MPLX) was May 5, 22. If we wanted to receive its dividend, we had to buy the shares on May 4. That’s precisely what I did.

On May 4th, I bought 100 shares at $33 for an investment of $3,300. I sold the $33 call expiring May 20, 22, for a $40 credit.

It left me with two options:

1) the price closes below $33, and I keep the $40 credit and the shares to receive the $70 dividend ($0.70 dividend * 100 shares). By keeping the shares, I could continue to sell covered calls in the future.

2) the price closes above $33, and my shares get assigned to the person who bought my call. So I had $3,300 deposited into my account, and my shares disappeared.

The second option was what happened.

For a couple of hours of holding the stock, I received a $40 credit. After that, the shares disappeared, and my $3,300 returned to my account as cash. It left me with $3,340 to repeat the process.

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Intel Corporation ($INTC)

Like $MPLX, Intel Corporation had an ex-dividend date of May 5, but the difference is that $INTC has options available weekly.

So on May 3rd, I bought 100 shares for $45.40 for an investment of $4,540. I sold the call expiring on May 6 at $46 for a $38 credit.

Since the price of $INTC was below $46 on May 6, the option’s value lost the vast majority of its value, falling to $3. Therefore, I decided to roll over that position before the end of the day, buying the position for $3 and selling/opening a new position for $54 credit expiring May 13.

The price of $INTC is down, with the rest of the market hovering around $43.64 at yesterday’s close. Therefore, I did another ‘rollover,’ closing the position for $2 and selling/opening another position expiring on May 20th for a credit of $27.

I currently have a loss in the value of $INTC shares of ($176). However, I have received $114 in credits in two weeks. Here is the breakdown:

Credit: $38

Debit: $3

Credit: $54

Debit: $2

Credit: $27

Adding the credits ($119) and subtracting the debits ($5) gives us $114. Add to this the dividend of $36.50 ($0.365 dividend * 100 shares) that I will receive on June 1 since I held the shares as of May 5, and we have a total of $150.50 ($114 + $36.50).

I will keep doing this process until, in the future, the price of $INTC recovers to $46 or higher. Then, my shares get assigned to someone else, giving me my money back in the form of cash and allowing me to start the process with a new position either at $INTC or another company.

Which Oil Stock Is A Better Buy? Exxon Mobil (XOM) or Enbridge (ENB)

Note: We have several things to keep in mind.

1. If we want to keep our shares, depending on the price recovers, we can sell ‘covered calls’ at higher prices like $48, $50, etc. Not only does this continue to leave us weekly or monthly income through credits, but we also ensure more significant capital gains.

2. If the stock price continues to decline with the market, two things can happen:

          a. Credits decrease if we continue to sell covered calls at the same price we started.

          b. We are forced to sell covered calls at lower prices than initially started. It decreases the capital gain when shares get assigned to someone else. However, the credits must be higher since we are approaching the current share price.

I hope this can help you understand and learn other ways to make money in the market. If you want to read from other sources, click on this Investopedia link.

Now, begin your Road to Wealth!

Leave your comment below. If you liked it, pay it forward. Please share it on social media and help others become successful as well. Your success will be the result of two things: Knowledge and Action.

Follow me on TWITTER, PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM, LINKEDIN, and FACEBOOK for more posts and updates. You can also reach me here with any questions.

DISCLAIMER: Please read our disclosure policy here. This post contains affiliate links, and I earn from qualifying purchases at no cost to you. There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading. Past results are not indicative of future returns. Road-to-wealth.com and all individuals affiliated with this site assume no responsibilities for your trading and investment results. The indicators, strategies, columns, articles, and other features are for educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice. Information for any trading observations is obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Still, we do not warrant its completeness or accuracy or warrant any results from the use of the information. Your use of the trading observations is entirely at your own risk, and it is your sole responsibility to evaluate the information’s accuracy, completeness, and usefulness. You must assess the risk of any trade with your broker and make your own independent decisions regarding any securities mentioned herein.

How Do Dividends Work? Explained

Companies that pay dividends more often do so in cash. It is a way of generating passive income. Yes, my dear readers, although cash dividends are the most popular and recognized type, there are other dividends besides cash.

These include dividends on stocks, bonds, property, and scrip (promissory notes). These are more likely to be used when acquisitions of other companies or in particular situations.

When companies pay cash dividends, they are sharing the company’s retained earnings with their investors. Cash payment will be deposited automatically in the accounts of each investor without requiring any action on their part. So if you invest in a company that pays dividends, you do not have to do anything to receive it. Your broker will do everything for you. You will have 2 options: receive the cash and use it as you think best, or activate what is known as (DRIP), a Dividend Reinvestment Plan that automatically buys you more shares in the company you are investing in.

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How do you know which one suits you?

Very simple, if you are retired, with a good pension check and a huge investment account, accept the dividend as cash and enjoy it while supplementing your passive income.

If you still work and have a small account that cannot live on those dividends, enable your DRIP and not touch it until you retire.

Important dates:

To know if you will receive the dividend or not, you have to understand the following dates.

Declaration Date: this is the day when the board of directors sits down and decides to announce the amount that each investor will receive per share and the ex-dividend date. Please understand that this date is just an announcement of what will happen. You still do not have the right to receive the dividend.

For example, the local newspaper has a page announcing that they will give toys to the children present on Saturday. Just as the child must be present on Saturday to receive his toy, you will receive your dividend if you owned shares in the company on the announced day.

Ex-Dividend Date: this is the most important date apart from the payment date. To receive the dividend, you have to own shares by this date. Therefore, anyone who wishes to receive the dividend must purchase their shares BEFORE this date. At least the day prior since this is the first day that the shares start trading without the right to receive the dividend. Every day the market opens, shares will go up and down in price, but this date is the one that separates the line from each other, whether you receive the dividend or not.

For example:

The directors of Apple (AAPL) announced on October 28, 2021, that they would pay a dividend of $0.22 per share. The ex-dividend date was November 5, 2021, payable on November 11, 2021.

Anyone who wanted to receive this dividend had to buy their shares BEFORE November 5, 2021. If you purchased on November 5, you would not be entitled to anything since the directors announced that this would be the ex-dividend day. In other words, everyone purchasing from this date forward would not be entitled to the dividend until a new announcement.

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Record Date: is the date on which you must be a shareholder to receive the dividend. It is usually one or two days after the ex-dividend date. We do not do anything with this date. It is not as important to us as for the directors since this is the list of shareholders that will appear to receive the dividend.

Payment date: It is the day you will receive your money. This date varies between companies. It can be from 1 week to a month after the ex-dividend date. Ensure to verify the information so you don’t miss your payday.

Let’s practice:

Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO) announced a $0.15 per share dividend with an ex-dividend date of January 4, 2022, payable on January 21, 2022.

1. If you have 100 shares, how much will you receive in dividends?

2. When is the last day you can buy shares and receive dividends?

3. When will you receive your $15?

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Summary:

1. You will receive $15 in dividends. Multiply the number of shares by the amount of the dividend paid (100 shares x 0.15 cents in this example).

2. January 3, 2022, is the last day to buy and receive the dividend.

3. You will receive your dividend on January 21, 2022.

It’s that simple, my friends. If you want to verify which companies will pay dividends on a specific day, visit this Nasdaq page. Now put this new knowledge to good use.

Now, begin your Road to Wealth!

Leave your comment below. If you liked it, pay it forward. Please share it on social media and help others become successful as well. Your success will be the result of two things: Knowledge and Action.

Follow me on TWITTER, PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM, LINKEDIN, FACEBOOK for more posts and updates. You can also reach me here with any questions.

From the comfort of your home, invest anywhere in the united states with Fundrise.

DISCLAIMER: Please read our disclosure policy here. This post contains affiliate links, and I earn from qualifying purchases at no cost to you. There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading. Past results are not indicative of future returns. Road-to-wealth.com and all individuals affiliated with this site assume no responsibilities for your trading and investment results. The indicators, strategies, columns, articles, and other features are for educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice. Information for any trading observations is obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Still, we do not warrant its completeness or accuracy or warrant any results from the use of the information. Your use of the trading observations is entirely at your own risk, and it is your sole responsibility to evaluate the information’s accuracy, completeness, and usefulness. You must assess the risk of any trade with your broker and make your own independent decisions regarding any securities mentioned herein.

AT&T (T) STOCK ANALYSIS FOR 2022

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?

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            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.

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Summary:

            (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!

Leave your comment below. If you liked it, pay it forward. Please share it on social media and help others become successful as well. Your success will be the result of two things: Knowledge and Action.

Follow me on TWITTER, PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM, LINKEDIN, FACEBOOK for more posts and updates. You can also reach me here with any questions.

From the comfort of your home, invest anywhere in the united states with Fundrise.

DISCLAIMER: Please read our disclosure policy here. This post contains affiliate links, and I earn from qualifying purchases at no cost to you. There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading. Past results are not indicative of future returns. Road-to-wealth.com and all individuals affiliated with this site assume no responsibilities for your trading and investment results. The indicators, strategies, columns, articles, and other features are for educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice. Information for any trading observations is obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Still, we do not warrant its completeness or accuracy or warrant any results from the use of the information. Your use of the trading observations is entirely at your own risk, and it is your sole responsibility to evaluate the information’s accuracy, completeness, and usefulness. You must assess the risk of any trade with your broker and make your own independent decisions regarding any securities mentioned herein.

10 EASY WAYS YOU CAN EARN PASSIVE INCOME EACH MONTH

“Every day you have the chance to build your day better” – Alex Saenz

DISCLAIMER: Links in this post may contain affiliate links. Honesty above all. Please read our disclosure policy here.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Welcome back, Friends! Yes, I consider you all my friends. Why else would I be trying to help you make money?

Do you know what makes us closer? It is our goal. We all have the same goal to become rich, not just look rich. And here, I will show you how I went about to reach my goal. I personally own every single one of these accounts. Managed by me and now published to you all, so you can take advantage of it too.

Always looking to do better in life, my parents did a great job raising me, but never had anyone to really guide me in the right direction to reach my goal as a millionaire. Until one day it clicked for me! Each person has its strengths and weaknesses. So, what if I learn what each successful, wealthy person I meet, do good? Oh yeah! The results are amazing. We will start from the most profitable to the least, but don’t get that word wrong here; “least” still makes easy $30-$60 every month and I only spend about 5-6 hours each month on it. There more time you give it, the better results you will get.

Let’s get started!

1. Earn 3-8% with minimal effort

Stop paying more in monthly fees than what you receive on interest. Become the bank and earn interest each month on your money. Just like banks, we will use one of the oldest ways to earn passive income. Through LendingClub.

Historical interest earnings are 3-8%, although there are ways to weed out possible bad loans. I like to put my probabilities on my side.

My risk or the most I can lose if anything goes wrong is $25. My profits are much bigger than that.

So far, my readers that have the best results, are the ones that started with $5,0000 because they also get a $75 dollar bonus. That translates to 3 free loans that will earn you money and you didn’t spend a dime on them. Obviously, you don’t need to start with that amount, $2,500 is what the platform suggests be ideal in order to diversify.

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2. Invest and get Free Stocks

I opened an account with this platform that is disrupting the brokerage industry by offering commission-free trading and one free stock when you open an account.

Robinhood is a U.S. based financial services company in Menlo Park, California. I make money in 3 different ways with them.

* Bought dividend-paying stocks

* Capital gains

* Free stocks every time my friends join

It is a very basic platform, but it beats the purpose if you are like me. With a full-time job and no time during the day to trade in and out. Slowly but steady wins the race.

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3. Grow your oak!

With this app, I effortlessly saved $479 in 2018, profit with capital gains and dividends. Today, my account seats at $669. Not just that, but if you buy through the app at your favorite brands, you get free money deposited into your account.

Acorns is a very simple app to use and set up. It lets you save, invest, generate passive income and get cashback, all in one place.

Invest as little as $5 every month, get your round-up feature set up with your credit or debit card and get a $5 Bonus when you sign up.

Get your account here.

4. Get paid to test apps

You already use apps on your Smartphone. Now, you can also get paid to try new apps.

Appcoiner connects you with companies developing apps.

It costs thousands of dollars for app developers just to see their app fall to the bottom of the app world and never be heard of. They are willing to pay people like you, for trying out their apps and giving back an honest review. As simple as that!

Get your account here.

5. Become a Landlord without the hassle

Technology can help you in tremendous ways. Today, you can become a landlord, and benefit from investing in real estate without needing hundreds or thousands of dollars. A small $500 investment can get you started.

Fundrise is a platform for real-estate investing, that splits your money between two portfolios that support private real estate in the United States.

You can set it up for income, capital gains or a mix of both. Get paid from renters all over the U.S.

Get your account here.

6. Unlock your phone and get paid

Every morning, I get paid to unlock my phone. This app partners up with brands willing to pay people like you and me, to look at their ads.

S’more is the name of the app, and it sounds very tasty.

You can make extra money by watching short 15-30 seconds of ads and doing surveys. Totally optional.

Get your app here.

7. Bank $90 for holiday shopping

One of my readers’ favorite and mine also. It has a wide variety of ways to make money.

Swagbucks will let you earn by watching videos, answering surveys, doing daily tasks, searching the web and many other ways.

Get a $5 bonus when you sign up and earn 2,500 SB within your first 60 days.

Get your cash into your paypal account or redeem it with a gift card. The choice is yours.

Get your account here.

8. Keep walking Johnnie Walker

This app is aiming to help improve health by paying people to walk outside more often.

Sweatcoin is an app that lets you gain money daily depending on how much walking you do. It has different levels and daily bonuses. Super easy and super simple. Get paid for walking.

Get your app here.

9. Scratch and win money from your phone

What is more satisfying than buying a scratch-off ticket at the gas station and winning? Well, playing scratch-off for free on your phone and winning!

You can play and earn for free with Lucktastic (sorry iPhoners, Android only).

Lucktastic is supported by advertising, allowing high payouts and free games. They say instant wins range from $1 to $10,000. Besides cash, there are also tokens that you earn and you can redeem free gift cards from big retailers.

Get your app here.

10. Get paid for your opinion

This app pays you to watch movie previews, celebrity videos, the latest news, searching the web but mostly answering surveys. They also have other ways to earn money but we cover that in another article.

Inboxdollars is the app we use. Availability is subject to change but it is completely possible to earn up to $200 a month from watching videos and giving your opinion.

I don’t have much time to spend on this, due to work and other projects I’m currently working on and still was able to pull $43 for January and $65 for February. Imagine what you can do if you have the time.

Easy, passive income from home.

Get your app here.

Well, there you have it. 10 easy ways you can earn passive income each month. I hope it helps.

Remember, it’s all about the road to wealth. If you liked it, pay it forward. 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.

Follow me on TWITTER, PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM, LINKEDIN, FACEBOOK for more posts and updates.

If you have any questions, you can reach me at questions@road-to-wealth.com

YOUR ULTIMATE GUIDE TO FINANCIAL FREEDOM YOU WILL EVER NEED

DISCLAIMER: Links in this post may contain affiliate links. Honesty above all. Please read our disclosure policy here.
Photo by maitree rimthong on Pexels.com

Let’s learn how to take control of our financial freedom today. Use the exact same blueprint I used for my financial freedom.

WHAT IS THE BEST MONEY MAKING APPROACH?

There are thousands’ of money making models out there, so I guess you are here to see which of them is the best fit for you. If you need someone with a financial background, like a B.A. in Accounting, you get one here, for free. I’ve been trying different approaches at growing my money in order to not depend solely on my job; especially after retirement.

I learned that the average millionaire has 7 to 8 sources of income. Following on their footsteps, I have become financially free. What I mean by free is, my passive income is making me an amount of money which surpasses my expenses.

DO YOU NEED A BACHELORS IN FINANCE TO DO THIS?

Now remember, it was not done in a month or two. It took some work, sacrifices, discipline and time. It takes money to make money, right?

HOW DID I DO IT?

1. Automate your savings and grow them at the same time

First thing I did was opening a savings account that will help me grow my money over time. It has an easy set up and it is one of those set it and forget it type of models. Just let it compound over the years.

It has several features:

A. Saves your money automatically by rounding up your debit/credit card to the next dollar. When it hits $5, it transfers it out from your checking account into the app account. Then the next feature takes place…

B. The money that you just saved will automatically be invested in the stock market. You can choose if you want to be more heavily invested in stocks, bonds or a mix of both. This step needs to be done only once. It will automatically do it for you after first time set up. Also receive dividends from the stocks you hold.

C. Found money feature lets you buy at your favorite brands and stores through the app and they will give you cash back or reinvest into your account.

Get your ACORNS account.

2. Easy source of income with Real Estate

Then I saved $500 to open an account where I can get some exposition to Real Estate. The reason why I prefer to do it digitally is because I became a landlord without the hassle.

For this type of investment I have a longer time horizon, meaning years. I’m planning on getting money out after I retire, not before. And since Real Estate takes it’s time to develop, I will take my time to let it panned out.

The $500 will get you in with the Starter Portfolio where you can split your money between two portfolios. In order to start using all the features available you need to save $1,000 to reach the next level called Core. By all means you can start here if you have the money available.

After reaching Core level you choose between 3 investment plans…

Supplemental Income

  • Aim to earn returns via quarterly dividends, with less appreciation.
  • Invest in an income-oriented real estate private equity strategy
  • Portfolio allocated primarily to debt real estate assets

Balanced Investing

  • Aim to earn returns via a blend of dividends and appreciation
  • Invest in a balanced mix of income and growth strategies
  • Portfolio allocated across both debt and equity real estate assets

Long Term Growth

  • Aim to earn returns via appreciation in share value, with fewer dividends
  • Invest in a growth-oriented real estate private equity strategy
  • Portfolio allocated more towardequity real estate assets

If you want to get into Real Estate, FUNDRISE is your way to go.

3. Be the Bank

Just as Real Estate has stood the test of time, so have Loans. With this advance in technology now you can become the bank, lend $25 per loan and get paid.

The downside here is you need money to open this account. If you want just the basic stuff you need $1,000 to be exact; although they recommend you begin with $2,500 in order to mitigate risk of losing. If you want to get free notes with full features and $75 bonus, then you need to save $5,000.

Now to the good part. They claim historical returns over the long term is 3%-8% but as you can see on the picture below, I’m currently at 11.55%. If you open an account shoot me an email and I will show you a few tricks to weed out bad investments. Free of charge of course.

LENDINGCLUB is your pass to play the Bank, but with real money, getting paid for real; not Monopoly money.

Note: Currently only residents of the following States may invest in LENDINGCLUB notes: AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NV, NY, OK, OR, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, or WY.

4. Build a wealth mindset

Ever dreamed of becoming a trader and making money on the markets? Today is your lucky day because you can open your account, and receive a free stock like Sprint, Apple, Microsoft or many others.

The simplest way you can do this is by buying dividend paying stocks. I suggest you take a look at this list.

Great Dividend Stocks include stocks with both consistent multi-year dividend growth and steady price appreciation.

Dividend Achievers are stocks that trade on the NYSE  or NASDAQ and have increased its annual dividend for at least 10 years or more.

Dividend Aristocrats, are stocks that have increased its annual dividend for 25 years or more.

Dividend Kings are stocks that have increased its annual dividend for 50 years or more.

You can buy some of this stocks and know that price will increase over time but almost surely your dividend will increase yearly. Giving you bigger payouts.

Get your ROBINHOOD account today.

5. Extra Income

The following accounts I don’t use to build wealth but to get some extra cash every month. They are similar but offer many options when it comes to receiving your money.

SWAGBUCKS will pay you for giving your opinion on surveys, watching videos, and a wide variety of other ways.

INBOXDOLLARS will also pay you for giving your opinion on surveys, watching videos, and many other ways.

LUCKTASTIC is the modern way to play Lottery by scratching digital tickets. You can win cash, gift cards or tokens.

6. Fix your credit score

If you want to become wealthy, one way you need to get started is by improving your credit score. Credit Sesame will give you tips by email to help you get where you need to be.

7. Save, get cash back and much more…

Ease on your pocket by getting the best you can in Car insurance. Gabi will compare your current insurance and will find you if any other Insurance Company is offering the same insurance at a lower price.

Get offers, save and get cash back in your groceries. It is a great way to stay in budget and keep your fridge full. Ibotta will give you this and much more. Give it a try.

Paribus is a program that will scan your emails and get you cash back when the item you bought drops in price. It also gets you compensated when your shipment is late. Don’t delete your emails anymore and rip the benefits of this program.

MY RATING SYSTEM

I give ratings to my investments from 0 to 10. Main variables are:

* Ease of set up

* Ability to make money

* Consistency

* Price

* Special features

ACORNS 9/10 (only downside is if the market sells off, although we know it will be temporarily, everything else is great)

FUNDRISE 9/10 (it is a slow investment, need patience but it’s totally worth it)

LENDINGCLUB 9/10 (only hurdle is the amount of money to get started, once you get over that hurdle you will not stop smiling)

ROBINHOOD 8/10 (super simple platform, need more features if you plan to day trade)

SWAGBUCKS 7/10 (need time for surveys, you can let videos run in the background)

INBOXDOLLARS 7/10 (need time for surveys, you can let videos run in the background)

LUCKTASTIC 6/10 (at least for me the cash prices have been low, although I read about others making $100, maybe I’m not lucky enough, lol)

CREDIT SESAME 10/10 (everything you need to improve your credit score you can find here)

GABI 10/10 (super easy to do and save me over $900 for the year by switching to the new insurance company)

IBOTTA 9/10 (easy to use and offers many options)

PARIBUS 10/10 (easy set up and you have to do nothing but wait)

CONCLUSIONS

Hopefully, you’ve already put an eye on a money making technique that you liked. If you are still unsure, start from the simplest techniques and move up. I recommend you open an account for each type of approach. They are uncorrelated and that will help you grow faster when the cycle comes around. Like the Chinese saying goes “the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is today”. Today is your day to plant your tree.

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 in 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.

Follow me on TWITTER, PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM, LINKEDIN, FACEBOOK for more posts and updates.

If you have any questions, you can reach me at questions@road-to-wealth.com

HOW TO BUILD AN EASY, S.M.A.R.T. BUDGET

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

DISCLAIMER: Links in this post may contain affiliate links. Honesty above all. Please read our disclosure policy here.
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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)

Wish.com – 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┬áis 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.

Follow me on TWITTER, PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM, LINKEDIN, FACEBOOK for more posts and updates.

If you have any questions, you can reach me at questions@road-to-wealth.com