The Wall Street Journal Layoff Implications For Personal Finance

by in Personal Finance on Jun 19th, 2015

The Wall Street Journal announced on June 18, 2015 that they will be laying off roughly 100 staff and most of their personal finance journalists. The news isn’t a huge shock given Dow Jones’ results were down 11% YoY in the third quarter of 2015. But it was a surprise to see that most of their personal finance journalists will be let go if you follow the #WSJperfi hashtag on Twitter.

In a world where there’s not enough good personal finance education, it’s sad to see that there will now be even less by one of the best publications in the world. I’ve personally reached out to some of the reporters if they want to do some freelance work, but no responses as of yet. Here are some thoughts about the layoffs. Read More

To Build Greater Wealth Never Sell Your Income Producing Assets

Hold On To Your Blog, Real Estate, And Dividend Funds For As Long As Possible

Do you know what happens when you sell an income producing asset? You end up spending so much time trying to recreate what you sold in vain. Thanks to inflation, declining interest rates, and a bull market, the asset you sold becomes tougher and tougher to replicate if you don’t buy another asset immediately.

Selling an income producing website is even tougher given it often takes at least a year or two to produce any meaningful type of income. Not only do you lose your voice online, you also lose the relatively passive income and a platform that could lead to many new opportunities.

Bottom line: try not to sell your income producing assets if you want to create greater wealth in your lifetime.  Read More

How Important Is Social Media To Your Blog Or Business?

Maximize Your Use Of Time And Money Online

As an online media consultant for several financial technology companies, I’ve been asked to think about existing traffic acquisition strategies and figure out better ways to utilize a company’s time and money to improve returns. I love analyzing data and finding solutions to increase ROI. As a problogger, leveraging my experience building Financial Samurai over the past six years to help other companies grow their brand and traffic online makes sense.

For the longest time, I’ve had a bias AGAINST social media. Who has time to tweet, like, flip, share, and do all that? Social media seriously feels like a huge time sink if you are just a one or two person show. The only platform I really use is Twitter, and even Twitter I feel is not a very good use of my time.

Look at what happens on social media:

* You open yourself up to social flaming wars

* You create stress by always feeling you have to respond to people

* The police come and arrest you once you tell everybody on Facebook you robbed a bank

* Given Facebook’s privacy settings are so confusing, Mark Zuckerberg’s sister didn’t realize the family photo she posted on her Wall was actually accessible to more people than she thought.

* You don’t get that much traffic back to your site, unless your site is really small, or all about social

There is social media overload, and I just don’t have time to run a Facebook page, Pinterest page, Twitter feed, Google+ page, and LinkedIn page to help those sites gain traffic. Instead, I’ve focused all my time just writing content on Financial Samurai and doing the basic social media publishing, but nothing more.

But some people are rockstars at social media and I wonder if it takes a certain type of personality to always be talking about yourself and your work online. I personally get sick of hearing myself speak, which is why I’m constantly looking for other viewpoints.

Let me share with you a spreadsheet I put together on various sites’ traffic figures, social percentage, and social percentage. Let’s see if we can glean any data together. Read More

The Power Of Compounding For Building Greater Wealth

by in Personal Finance on Jan 26th, 2015

“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it … he who doesn’t … pays it.

Compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe.

Compound interest is the greatest mathematical discovery of all time.”

~Albert Einstein (source: quotesonfinance website)

I’ve been amazed at the power of compounding ever since my mom explained the Rule of 72 to me many years ago. This simple exercise shows how long it will take for your money to double at a particular interest rate. Divide the expected interest rate into 72 and you have an approximation of how long it will take for your investment to double at the given interest rate. For example, if your projected return is 9 percent, then you divide 9 into 72 and the result is 8. According to the rule of 72, it will take approximately 8 years for your money to double at a 9 percent interest rate.

More recently – as I see the traditional retirement age coming into view- I’m doing some portfolio analysis to assess our financial picture now and into the future. One of the thing that amazes me is a particular TIAA CREF retirement account I contributed to decades ago when I worked at San Diego State University. I contributed to this account during my ten years of employment and invested 75 percent of my allocation in a diversified stock fund and 25 percent in a fixed option. After those ten years were up, I never contributed again nor did I change the asset allocation.

Several decades later, the account value has increased 6 times. That means if I invested $35,000 during those ten years, that account would be worth $210,000 today. It still amazes me as I write this article how a mere $300 or so dollars per month invested conservatively for ten years grew to a respectable sum. When calculating the annual average rate of return on that account, it was approximately 6.75 percent. This is a very attainable rate of return. Read More

Should You Consider A Career In Investment Banking?

by in Personal Finance on Dec 28th, 2014

New year, new career?

If words such as takeover, IPOs, financial modeling, research, and bridge loans are some of your favorite conversation topics, you might want to consider investment banking as a career option. The same goes if MSNBC and Bloomberg TV are your go-to channels, and you have an addiction watching the red and green flashing lights of tickers go up and down all day long.

Investments banks have played a major role in M&A, underwriting, and raising money for the corporate world. Although investment banking has lost a lot of its pre 2008 luster, it is still difficult to get a job in this notoriously competitive and demanding industry. But at the same time, it is still a lucrative career choice for its most disciplined players. If you want to emerge as a winner in this field, familiarize yourself with the below:

Who Will Offer You An Entry-Level Role In Investment Banking?

If you wish to be a part of this industry that is constantly involved in shaping the destiny of major corporate houses, you have options to join one of the following:

  • Bulge bracket firms consisting of the top investment banks like JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.
  • Regionally oriented IBs or ones located in the middle market like Jefferies, Lazard or Greenhill.
  • Boutiques or specialized firms oriented towards a specific industry vertical – ex. program trading, bond-trading, technical analysis, or M&A advisory.
  • Merger and Acquisition wing of a large company, like General Electric, as an in house staff member who evaluates strategies for inorganic growth

How Do You Get Into Investment Banking? Read More

How To Make Money Quitting Your Job
  • Financial Samurai: Knowing what I know now, I would have definitely started a blog or launched various type of sites...
  • Financial Samurai: Thank goodness for Twitter, Tumblr, and other stuff that puts blogging in a clear...
  • Untemplater: This was a fun read because I understand everything you highlight. I think the most people have...
  • Jerry: Very interesting insight. I don’t think anybody thinks “when I grow up, I want to be a...
  • Tortoise Banker: Wise words. I see many clients tremendously happy with lifestyle businesses. For example, a...
  • Financial Samurai: Exactly! Doing something you’d do for free is the best!
  • Financial Samurai: “Hell is other people!” I always think of this line before wanting to go big. I...
  • Financial Samurai: Thoughts on just focusing on one site and making it big, rather than a lot of smaller sites?...
  • Untemplater: I think you’re making the right decision! I’m definitely a lifestyle person. I feel good...
  • Jeff: I’m going the lifestyle route after leaving my corporate job. I value lifestyle a heck of a lot more than...

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