Sunday, December 7, 2014

Goal Reminder Frequency

"Staying focused on your goals is mostly about remembering them. The more ways you have to call attention to your goals – the better. Focus on remembering to be focused."
     - Matthew Furey

Failure is an Important Element of Success

"Without failure, we would not be where we are today.... Failure is one of the most important elements for both business success and personal growth."    
     - Matthew Furey 


I have failed many times as I worked toward my academic and professional goals, and it was hard and embarrassing and painful at times, but I am more respected for over coming the challenges that I faced and still achieving my goals.... and this is only the beginning.


I am not afraid to fail, for if I do fail, it is because I know I will succeed in everything I do. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Quotes from the Book: The Great Depression: A Diary, by Benjamin Roth (2009)

pg. 168  Roth reiterating the investment principles of banker George F. Baker:
     "1.  He always bought sound stocks and bonds when they were offered below intrinsic value.
     2.  He always had liquid cash for such a purpose.
     3.  After he bought such stocks and bonds he held on 'until the cows came home.'  He never tried to catch the market swings.  He simply bought when bargains were offered.  He never sold unless the stock market was going bad or the price offered was too good to refuse."  

pg. 204  Roth discusses another investment strategy from the author Morrell Walker's book, Art of Investment (1922), who believed that certain safeguards can be built up against risk:
     a.  Study the current business cycle you are in,
     b.  When speculation is highest, switch securities to liquid assets by moving out of common stock to short-term bonds,
     c.  When the downward sing has started, switch from short-term bonds or treasury bonds to long-term bonds,
     d.  When the bottom is reached and signs of upturn begin to appear, use the saved liquid and put back into securities, switch the long-term bonds to common stocks.

pg. 21  "I repeat it again and again - he must have liquid capital in time of depression to buy the bargains and then he must sell before the next crash... buying stocks when they are selling far below their intrinsic value and... selling his stocks... at prices far above their intrinsic value- such an investor will pretty nearly hit the bull's eye."

pg. 28  "In prosperous times a man must be cautious and preserve his capital and be careful not to over expand his business or to go too deeply in debt relying on a continuation of good business to pay the debt."




pg. 85  Comparisons the author made to economic conditions in 1873 to 1929-1934:
     "1.  The 1873 panic was preceded by Civil War- then 8 or 9 years of hectic prosperity, speculation, rising prices, corruption in government- and then sudden panic, bank closings, etc.
     2.  In both 1873 [and in the 1930's] the farmers revolted for higher prices.
     3.  Organized movements to stop foreclosures.
     4.  Wild schemes to inflate currency, greenbacks, etc.
     5.  Talk against tariffs.  (aka taxes)
     6.  Untold unemployment and suffering and considerable radical talk about capitalistic system, socialism, etc.- a change of political parties."
   "The panic of 1873 lasted 5-6 years," and the Great Depression started in Fall 1929 and lasted through the early to mid 1930's, in which 4 years were hard until they started seeing true signs of recovery.

Friday, July 18, 2014

FICO credit score by weighted factors

- 35% Payment history 
- 30% Debt-to-credit ratio (the balance you carry on credit cards)
- 15% Length of credit history 
- 10% Different types of credit (cc, mortgage, car loan, etc.)
- 10% New credit accounts or Inquiries (I hate this one)
*Photo source: http://www.buyingcharlestonrealestate.com/blog/what-makes-up-a-fico-credit-score.html#.U8mvPPldW5Q


*Photo source: http://www.schwabmoneywise.com/public/moneywise/money_basics/credit_debt/understanding_your_credit_score.html

Information as of July 2014.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

You really don't need more stuff

*Source: http://www.babble.com/baby/how-moving-to-new-york-city-turned-me-into-a-minimalist/


How Moving to New York City Turned Me into a Minimalist
by Lauren Jimeson

"With the lack of space, it didn’t take me long to learn that we didn’t need most of the “stuff” that I thought we did when we lived in our house in Tampa. I decluttered not only our apartment, but most things in our life.. I kept only the things that I knew I would be able to use later on. My life soon went from “I need this product” to “I don’t need much.” For the first time in my life, I was learning the true value of simplicity — and I loved it."

As I look at the few items I have moved from my 465 sq ft apartment into my 1,594 sq ft house and feeling pressured to start buying "better decor," I needed this article to help remind me that I'm doing just fine.  My family still loves me whether I have fancy new furniture or not and whether half my cupboards are still bare.  Going to throw out the 5 different household ads I received today right now!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Disciplined Credit Card User

I use credit cards regularly and pay all of them off every month for the following reasons:
     - Helped built my credit score to above 780 (from the 850 max scale).
     - Getting free points/money because I am purchasing essential items anyway.  
*Note: I do not overspend and pay off the balance on all of them every month.  You have to be disciplined and not overspend.  Over 2 years, I was able to accumulate enough points to get a round trip ticket from Chicago to Paris (direct) all from airline points!

As other disciplined credit card users know, the FICO score uses a weighted average on various categories, and one of the important factors are showing that you are paying regularly on credit.  While people like Dave Ramsey argue that this is the death spiral because you have to use credit regularly in order to pay regularly, the response is that whether I am using cash or a credit card, I am still having to make the purchases anyway, therefore, why not get free points towards things that can help cut down on the expenses on the other things that are fun in life?

Dance Party Time!

Friday, July 4, 2014

How I borrowed and paid off my undergraduate student loans within 2 years of graduation

I successfully paid off all undergraduate loans by doing the following:
  1.  During the college selection process, I made sure to select an in-state, non-private school.
  2.  During college, I worked at part-time jobs to pay for some expenses. 
  3.  I created and maintained a budget.
  4.  I knew at all times how much I had borrowed in student loans and what kind of loans they were (subsidized, unsubsidized, etc.) in order to do estimates on how much I needed for the next academic year.
  5.  I made sure that at least some part of myself would be employable in the job environment at my target graduation year.  Since my degree was in Criminal Justice, and I knew I didn't want to be a corrections officer or a police officer, I made sure I had job experiences to put on my resume, even though they were unrelated to my degree, any job experiences are better than no work history. 
  6.  In addition to my paid job, I pursued internships (whether paid or unpaid) in areas in which I was interested in pursuing as a career, which for me was at a law firm.  In my situation, I became an office assistant at a law firm.
  7.  One of the best financial advice I received upon graduation, and one I adhered to, was to continue to live as I did while in college in order to be able to pay off my loans as quickly as possible while also establishing a savings for emergencies, retirement, and other savings goals (car, vacations, etc.).  It worked very well and I was able to pay off my undergrad loans within 2 years making $12 per hour as a secretary at a law firm.

*Image from: http://morgaineandmoney.blogspot.com/2013/03/financial-goals-complete.html