Yakezie Member Post: Money Cone Thumbnail

What’s the best thing about the times we live in?

We have more opportunities than ever for making money and you can do it sitting on your couch! Think about it, Benjamin Graham and Warren Buffett had to wade through pages and pages of company reports to pick stocks but today anyone, not just the wealthy, can get these in a matter of seconds and at no cost!

You can spend all your savings shopping online or you can grow your savings by offering services online. And if you aren’t careful, you can also get scammed. The choice is yours.

Blogging
I think it was this realization that turned me into a blogger. I think of it this way. Everyone has something to offer. Everyone has a passion, some like watching movies, some like discussing sports some are good at home improvement and some are good with numbers. And on the other side, there is always someone who wishes he knew what you know! There are 6 billion people on this planet. Chances are very high! The internet is an extraordinary tool. The question is how are you going to use it?

Here’s another reason I like blogging. Between home and work, you need an outlet. If you can write about what you are good at and possibly make some money in the bargain, why not do it?

Finance
What qualifies me to talk about finance? I do not have a finance background and I think that helps! I look at finance topics as a layman does and I hope I explain it the same way without getting sucked into finance jargons.

Here’s a list of things I think I did right looking back:

  • I dumped BofA sometime in 2001 or 2002 and joined a credit union. Remember this is waay back when joining credit unions wasn’t as fashionable as it is today.
  • I did all my banking online when online banking was still in its infancy.
  • I have never set foot in my CU as of this post!
  • Made money selling photographs online early on. My first taste of making money online! I still earn money from this hustle even though it’s been years since I added anything new
  • The first time I ever checked my credit score, it was above 800. So I know I did something right, though unknowingly!
  • Except for my first car, paid cash for all subsequent purchases. That’s each car I bought at different points in my life.  I do not own a fleet of cars! (I wish!)
  • Paid 20% down for the house, though I wish I could’ve paid all cash.
  • Lost a lot of money (multiples of 5 figures) in the stock market when I was still young! Better when young than when nearing retirement.
  • My chat with my 401K provider never goes well.

Yakezie!
Now I don’t play WoW, so I don’t have a lot of purely virtual friends! :) Yakezie made up for this lack! I met some incredible bloggers who have become very good friends now. Being active in the blogosphere means reaching out to new and established bloggers. That’s what I did. I connect with some, I don’t with the others, but I won’t know till I try! It simply mimics what we do in real life! And even if I didn’t connect, most blogs live in my RSS reader. I think that’s a good way to broaden my horizon. Read a differing opinion. I may not accept everything, but at least I know! (Good debt/bad debt debate is my favorite!).

Privacy
In this age when privacy is becoming less relavant, I think as a finance blogger I need to be extra vigilant. If you post a screenshot of a finance product you use and if it had some important info like your SSN, you could be toast! Once it is out there, it is out there. A little bit of Facebooking and one can pretty much find out everything needed to break in to your accounts. Once your identity is stolen, trust me, you get little help. It can be months before you get back what’s yours. Is posting your name worth the risk?

I know there are differing opinions on this issue, stick with what you are most comfortable with.

Family
My 2 year old was the reason I got to realizing I needed more. He sits on my lap watching Sesame Street on one window and me browsing Yakezie blogs on another. So if you ever find comments from me on your blog that makes no sense you know the reason. I totally blame my kid!

Bloggers
I think I’ve commented on every Yakezie blog there is (ok, I’m exaggerating a bit!), and hopefully none were rude or tactless. To all those who did not get a visit from me, hey I need to know! The more the merrier! To all those who visited or commented or wrote me a personal note, thank you! If I can return the favor, just ask!

Advice
I received a number of comments on what I did to breach Alexa rank in less than a month. Here’s what I would advice for those starting out. For every comment, reply to the comment and/or visit the blogger and participate by commenting.

Read as many blogs as possible.

A person who won’t read blogs has no advantage over one who can’t read blogs.

- With personal apologies to Mark Twain