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Disaster finally strikes!

I've always been concerned about my rental properties having multiple, large expenses all in the same month.  But thankfully this hasn't really happened.....until now.

During the month of April I had over $960 in real estate-related repair costs.  $960.88 to be exact! Wow, almost $1k of expenses in a single month.

This huge number, as you can imagine, wiped out my cash flow.

When I first started Passive Income Dude, my first report for the month of April, which occurred last year in 2017 was the first month ever where my properties in sum produced negative cash flow. Believe it or not, I only had two active rental properties last year (in April), and my cash flow for that month was -$11.74.

Well apparently April is a bad month for me because this year's total was nearly similar!

The "good news" of this month's report, however, is that despite taking a giant $960.88 assault on my cash, I still came out positive for the month...barely.  See below for the details:

Dividends and Rental Income Received




Wow. Thankfully I was able to eek out a slightly positive total for the month; barely! 

Though it may look like several of my properties did well, and that it was just the Missouri property that was bad, that isn't actually the case.  Here is a detailed list of the expenses for this month below:



As you can see, THREE properties had repairs at $100 or more this month. When it rains, it pours!  But, another sliver of good news - these three properties all have property managers, so the work I actually had to do to complete these repairs was about less than 1 hour for the whole month.  Sometimes it is nice paying for this service, and this month is an example of that.  Very little work required by me, despite a lot of activity and attention needed.  Still, it was not fun to see $960 wiped out from your monthly cash flow.

Purchases
This month had another bit of a silver-lining because I continued to contribute to the mutual funds in my portfolio and have now maxed out my ROTH IRA for the year and am only several thousand away from maxing my wife's ROTH IRA as well.  This means I completed GOAL #5 for the year, which is great!  Diligent, steady, disciplined investing over time into low-cost mutual funds seems to be the way to true financial security and true wealth!

Thoughts on This Month
This was a terrible month for Passive Income, but I am thankful for the fact that I apparently can have such large expenses, all in one month, and still only be -$13 in cash flow for my rental properties. And then also that I can have a pretty quiet Asset month, with only two payers, and have my overall total passive income slightly positive. I know month's like this are going to happen occasionally, but it is nice to know that I have a system that is now fully able to absorb this large amount of maintenance and repair risk within my properties, without "busting the bank."

Compared to last year's April total in 2017 of $655, my YoY growth for this month was NEGATIVE 92%. That's ok.  If there were no repair costs, my YOY would have been significantly positive, which suggests I am moving in the right direction, despite this major setback.

With the addition of this month's income to my Progress Tab I now have earned $3555 in total this year in passive income.  Little behind my desired pace, but I'm motivated to keep moving forward!...No matter how small the monthly total!.

Thanks for reading as always. I greatly appreciate your comments and will do my best to always respond. Stay the course!

Dan
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Another month down...time continues to roll as we are already now one quarter of 2018 complete!

This was a great month for passive income, as most mutual funds pay out on the 3, 6, 9, 12 month cycle and is where I have the bulk of my portfolio outside of real estate.  I have a difficult time with individual stocks now, with all of the academic research suggesting otherwise.

Anyway, I'm still diligently following the simple but difficult to maintain process of day-in and day-out, trying to control my spending, saving wisely, and then deploying that capital in a consistent, diversified manner with the ultimate goal of trying to grow my passive income.


This month I received $1508.54 in passive income. What a blessing! Here are the details:

Dividends and Rental Income Received




As you can see, I had some more expenses with my Missouri property, causing negative cash flow.  I unfortunately have to report more expenses for April's report, and am now considering selling the property.  We'll see but this property may leave my portfolio after this tenant cycle.

Purchases
Nothing fancy....just continuing to add to our ROTH IRAs when possible.  About $1-2K or so.

Thoughts on This Month
This was a great month for Passive Income, and I am thankful for this month's performance. Compared to last year's March total in 2017 of $959, my YoY growth for this month was 57%. I continue to see very large growth, which is great.  The only way to sustain it however is to buy another property, or heavily invest in asset producing income.  We'll see...may buy a 5th property sooner if a deal comes my way!

With the addition of this month's income to my Progress Tab I now have earned $3505 in total this year in passive income.  Little behind my desired pace, but the best quarter I've had.

Thanks for reading as always. I greatly appreciate your comments and will do my best to always respond. Stay the course!

Dan
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Hello!

I'm excited to report February's passive income total, and share what I've learned with you. 

Unfortunately I'm still diligently studying for the PMP exam, and so I don't think I'll be writing much more than once a month for this blog.  But that's ok. And I'll be thankful once this exam is over...if I pass! :)  Then I can start writing more frequently.
 

General Thoughts on This Month: February was a great month, and I'd like to briefly share why; not because of a record number, or 4 digit passive income, or a major change in my portfolio, but simply because it is is reflective of the system that I have built from years of diligent saving and investing and wise decision making. A system that you too can build. Really all it takes is diligence, patience, and sacrifice.  It's incredible what you can achieve with those three ingredients.

This month I received $984 in passive income and it wasn't because of anything new that I did. All of this amount from this month was from past decisions I made in which I am now reaping the reward.  It really is true that you reap what you sow. This is a life-principle that I would not fight against!  You truly do reap what you sow.  So I would say, sow deeply!

Dividends and Rental Income Received
I have several individual stocks, but primarily mutual funds, and also four active rental properties, which if you've been following my story have varying levels of success: my Missouri Rental my Colorado Rental, and my two North Carolina rentals: North Carolina 1 and North Carolina 2.  Listed below is the cash flow that each of these assets provided this month:


In summary, with dividends and rental cash flow combined, Total Passive Income Received: $984.79.

Purchases
I always do my best to add to our Roth IRAs early in the year and this February was no different. I still have a long way to go but I'm proud of my progress. My recommendation: always try to max your ROTH IRAs!

Thoughts on This Month
This was a great month for Passive Income, and I am thankful for this month's performance. Compared to last year's February total in 2017 of $179, my YoY growth for this month was 450%. Wow. 450% growth. Not a bad way at all to continue into the second month of the year! 

I'll note that last year I only had 2 active rental properties...and now I have 4, which accounts for the major increase in YoY growth.  This should continue through June, at which point actual, "new growth" will be more accurately measured.  

With the addition of this month's income to my Progress Tab I now have earned $1,996 in total this year in passive income.  Little behind my desired pace, but I expect big months on the 3-6-9-12 cycle to hopefully make up for it.

Thanks for reading as always. I greatly appreciate your comments and will do my best to always respond. 

Dan
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Hello!

Sorry for the delay in posting! My finger is mostly better, so my typing is basically back, which is good news.  I've been diligently studying for the PMP (project management professional) exam with all of my free time, and so that is why I really haven't written. I imagine I'll pick back up the frequency in a month or so.

General Thoughts on This Month: January started off nicely, with no issues and no surprises.  Though I feel very thankful for the system I've created, I still feel "cash poor", with everything either being reinvested or used for paying down debt.  Eventually that should change! Though it is taking much longer than I thought, or like.

Another reason for the delay in posts is that I changed my system for how I track and report my numbers, now using pivot tables in excel, making things much easier to track and analyze, but the shift to make this happen took a lot of work.

Anyway, this month I received $1,012 in passive income!  This is the first January ever to be in 4 digits! Here are the details from this month below:

Dividends and Rental Income Received
I have some individual stocks, but mostly mutual funds, and also four active rental properties, which if you've been following my story have varying levels of success: my Missouri Rental my Colorado Rental, and my two North Carolina rentals: North Carolina 1 and North Carolina 2.  Listed below is the cash flow that each of these assets provided this month:


In summary, with dividends and rental cash flow combined, Total Passive Income Received: $1,012.

Purchases
I always do my best to add to our Roth IRAs in January and this January was no different.  I basically just bought around $500 or so of mutual funds on every major down day during the correction, investing around $2k total.  My advice - STAY THE COURSE!

Thoughts on This Month
This was a great month for Passive Income, and I am thankful for this month's performance. Compared to last year's January total in 2017 of $377, my YoY growth for this month was 168%. Not a bad way at all to start the year! I'll note that last January I only had 2 active rental properties...now I have 4, which accounts for the major increase in YoY growth.  This should continue through June, at which point actual, new growth will be more accurately measured.

With the addition of this month's income to my Progress Tab I now have earned $1,012 in total this year in passive income.  Little behind my desired pace, but I expect big months on the 3-6-9-12 cycle to hopefully make up for it.

Thanks for reading as always. I greatly appreciate your comments and will do my best to always respond. 

Dan
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What an amazing way to end the year! I literally cannot believe how it ended.  For the last few months I had been saying that I thought it would be a "photo finish" as to whether or not I would reach my passive income goal for the year (of $13,000).  Going in to December, my total was only $9,189 and so I knew I would need a monstrous December monthly total if I was going to make it.

Well, I am very happy to report that I achieved my goal with a grand total of $13,194.24!

Side note - my finger is still in cast and so I will keep this post short, but I do plan to do a 2017 Annual Review in a few weeks where I will highlight more details.

General Thoughts on This Month: This was my best month since the creation of Passive Income Dude with a grand total of $4,004.76 earned in completely passive income.

What an incredible blessing! The system is working and I am patiently watching the snowball pick up momentum! It is incredible to see what the power of patience and compounding can do to your returns. Here are the details from this month below:

Dividends Received



*All dividends are always reinvested.

There are a few very cool things that happened in this month's total in regards to dividends that I would like to highlight quickly:

1) This is the first time ever where a single holding had a payout in the 4 digits! Vanguard Wellington was a huge payer for me at $1,078 by itself!

2) This is the first time I've ever had a monthly total in the $3000s.  This is awesome and definitely did not happen over night.


Rental Income Received
I have four active rental properties, which if you've been following my story have varying levels of success: my Missouri Rental my Colorado Rental, and my two North Carolina rentals: North Carolina 1 and North Carolina 2.  Listed below is the cash flow that each of these properties provided this month:



As you can see from above, this month had over several hundred dollars in real estate expenses, which I always hate because they come right out of my bottom line cash flow total.  Thankfully 3 of the 4 properties still were positive.

In summary, with dividends and rental cash flow combined, Total Passive Income Received: $4,004.76


Purchases
I added a little more to my wife's ROTH IRA (~$750), but it was in a few small chunks and I'm still paying down debt and de-levering currently.  Nothing exciting.

Thoughts on This Month
This was an incredible month for Passive Income, and I am so thankful for this month's performance.

Compared to last year's December's total in 2016 of $2,658, my YoY growth for this month was 50.7%. This puts my annual YoY growth average at 60.7% per month. 

With the addition of this month's income to my Progress Tab I now have earned $13,194 in total this year in passive income.  

Thanks for reading as always. I greatly appreciate your comments and will do my best to always respond.  It's been an incredible year and I will save a lot of my concluding thoughts and analysis for my annual review post in a few weeks.  And once my finger heals I will try to write a little more.  Additionally, I've made some improvements to how I track and analyze the data, which I will start in 2018 as well. Take care!

Passive Income Dude 
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My apologies again for the delay.  Finger is still in a cast....just got x-rays again today and will be wearing this thing for the next 3 weeks.  Looking forward to this injury being in the past!

But, I have been working hard on a new method to track and capture my progress, so I'll be releasing that for the start of 2018.  Getting pretty solid with databases and pivot tables!

Anyway, I didn't want to miss November's relatively decent passive income report, so without further adieu...

General Thoughts on This Month: With one month of 2017 left, it is literally going to be a photo finish for whether I hit my primary passive income goal or not.  This month had around ~$100 in real estate maintenance expenses, which come completely from my bottom line and reduce passive income by the expensed amount. Agh.

All of that said, below are the details from the $997.26 this month I received in passive income. DECEMBER is my multi-thousand passive income month, so I'm greatly looking forward to seeing where the year ends in a few weeks.

Dividends Received



*All dividends are always reinvested.

Rental Income Received
As mentioned last month, I now have four active rental properties, my Missouri Rental my Colorado Rental, and my two North Carolina rentals: North Carolina 1 and North Carolina 2.  Listed below is the cash flow that each of these properties provided this month:



In summary, with dividends and rental cash flow combined, Total Passive Income Received: $997.26

Purchases
I've added a little more to my wife's ROTH IRA (~$1000), but it was in a few small chunks and I'm still paying down debt and de-levering currently.  Nothing exciting.  But that is also part of the beauty of the process!

Thoughts on This Month
This was a solid month for Passive Income.  Compared to last year's November's total in 2016 of $581, my YoY growth for this month was 71.6%.  This puts my annual YoY average through the first 11 months of this year at 61.8% per month. 

With the addition of this month's income to my Progress Tab I now have earned $9,189 in total this year in passive income.  One exciting note is that I now have surpassed my 2016 yearly total! ...With one month to spare!

Unfortunately this month actually represents a small 'loss' in the ground I need to make up in order to reach my passive income goal. I still think it is going to be a photo finish actually as to whether or not I achieve my primary Passive Income Goal.  But in summary I'm counting on a MASSIVE DECEMBER if I'm going to make it!

Thanks for reading, and I always appreciate any comments,

Passive Income Dude 
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I recently broke my finger pretty badly, and am now in a cast and am unable to type very well for the near future. Frustrating!

But things could be much worse and I apologize for getting this report accomplished so late. Unfortunately I will have to keep it short.  But I will follow with my November passive income total in several days.

General thoughts on this month: This was a good month for us.  Each month we stick to a relatively general, but very closely monitored plan and we continue to de-lever with everything left over.  November's and December's expenses are always extremely high, so thankfully this was a good month.  Until my finger heals and I can type again...


Thanks for reading!
Dan
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In this post, I'd like to share a draft  plan of what I think my 2018 Financial Goals will be.  It's only November of 2017 still, so I've got a few weeks left to adjust any of these goals if necessary, but as it stands right now I think these will be what I strive for in 2018, from a financial perspective.

My primary purpose with these goals is simple: to give me a benchmark of success, to know where I should be heading when things are unclear, and to evaluate how well I am doing over the long 365 days we have in 2018.

For this year I decided on 10 financial goals (in 2017 I had 10 as well), but this year I am adding what I will call a "stretch goal" as well - a goal that is far out of reach, one that I may strive for (or may not), so if it does end up actually happening, awesome. But if it does not, no big deal. Spoiler - this year's stretch goal is real estate related.

I tend to put a lot of thought into picking these goals and narrowing them down to only my top 10. But on the other hand, I also tend to think that one's financial success is more about the discipline of sticking to a plan over time than it is about coming up with the right, very complicated, or detailed, plan.  In my opinion, financial success is rather straightforward: save more than you earn, diversify, and invest wisely over many, many years. That is pretty simple. But it is definitely not easy. It is actually very hard sticking to your plan, day in and day out, when others are doing many other more exciting things, or taking exciting vacations, while you are diligently sacrificing and not derailing your plan with poor investment choices or reckless spending.

Let's take a look now at my goals for 2018. I'll be turning 32 years old this year, and will be entering the 3rd year of Passive Income Dude. With all of that said as an introduction, I'm anticipating BIG THINGS AHEAD!  Here we go:

1) $17,000 Earned in Passive Income.  

Passive Income is the primary focus of this site, and therefore the amount of passive income I earn each year is always (...and will always be) my primary financial goal.  For 2018, I think $17,000 by year end, which equates to a massive $1,416 per month, is an appropriate goal.  I'd like to share what I believe it will take to get there:

First, if I hit my goal for 2017 of $13,000, then $17,000 would represent a year-over-year growth of about 31%.  Ambitious, for sure, but achievable with the right steps and focus. I'll need to contribute a lot of new capital, avoid major maintenance or repairs in my real estate, and definitely avoid any long term vacancies.  Now, if I come up short on my 2017 goal of $13K, then this number will be even harder to achieve. But I doubt I will lower it from $17,000. $17,000 is the number in my mind, and so that is what I am shooting for!

2) $20,000 Cash Saved.

With the growth of my portfolio and family over the last few years, at this point I have kind of been playing with fire given how little of a cash cushion I have. Despite having 4 properties, a wife, two kids, and two cars, believe it or not I OFTEN have less than $100 liquid cash in my checking or savings account. Every month its $100 or less, believe it or not. This has to change. But this is going to be a very challenging goal; requiring serious discipline and sacrifice. None of these goals are easy, but that's what make them important and rewarding when they are completed.

Anyway, it's time to have an appropriate cash-cushion, and I think $20,000 by the end of the year is the right number. I will be starting the year with essentially $0, so this will be a good goal for me, and is my 2nd most important goal of the year. Does anyone have a recommendation for how much liquid capital you think one should have?

3) 30% Savings Rate Per Month.

My 3rd most important goal this year is my savings rate per month. In 2018 I think 30% is appropriate. While I think savings should be towards the top of anyone's financial plan, I also think that living and giving are actually more important, so I don't want this number to be much higher than what I've listed. In fact, 30% is 2% higher than my 2017 goal, and so I think it will take a good amount of effort to achieve 30%/month.

4)  Max my Wife's ROTH IRA

My next two goals are both IRA related. I am very passionate about ALWAYS maxing our ROTH IRAs, and this year will be no different. The amount needed to max a ROTH IRA is $5500 for each account, so this will take some diligence to make it happen.  

5) Max my ROTH IRA

No change from above.  There is no way my wife's IRA gets maxed without mine getting maxed as well. Notice I did put hers first in priority though! ;)

6) 810 FICO Score by the End of the Year

In 2017 I aimed for a 800 FICO score by year end, and it's going to be a photo finish to see if I make it. I think we're floating around a 785 right now. We may indeed fall short. But this goal is somewhat tied to my stretch goal below, and is also just a personal desire of mine to have a very high FICO score. We'll see what happens!

7) Contribute $161/mo As an Extra Principle Payment to my Colorado Property

This is a hard goal for me (even to write down, to be honest), as I have always been about maxing my leverage, not giving money back to the bank unless they require it as a down-payment, and always putting any additional capital elsewhere or into a new property...not into one I already have. But the reason for this goal is simply because with an extra $161/mo, I will then be contributing more principle each month towards my loan balance than the amount of interest I pay. And with so many years left on my loan, I think this small amount will almost pay for itself with the total interest saved over the life of the loan. In fact, I'm looking forward to seeing YEARS come off my mortgage end-date simply because of this small additional capital contribution. You'll probably see me lower this number as my interest decreases for 2019.  I will be able to back off my contributions, while still having more principle than interest.  As you can see, I'm only willing to do this SMALL amount extra! :)

8) Contribute $117/mo As an Extra Principle Payment to my Missouri Property 

There isn't much difference between this goal and the one above. I like my CO property much more than my MO one, and I only need an additional $117/month to have more principle than interest applied to this Missouri loan.  So I think this small amount should really help my "snowball" pick up speed in terms of "total earnings" for my real estate portfolio. Again, I'm only willing to do this small amount. :) and I'm still not sure I even believe in this strategy, but I am going to give it a try.  I'll call it "forced additional savings" for 2018, if nothing else.

9) Contribute 1% per Month in my TSP

This was a goal I had in 2017 that I did not achieve. A TSP is essentially a 401K equivalent for federal employees. Since I do not have much money left over after maxing my two ROTH IRAs and paying down debt, I haven't really ever tried maxing out my TSP (at $18,000 per year). I know I am at least a few years out before I have enough max my ROTHs and my TSP, so this year we are starting slowly again with only 1% of my monthly salary contributed.

10) $25/mo Saved in my Kids' 529 College Savings Plan

I'm still slightly behind where I need to be in terms of college savings, but frankly, I wasn't given any college funds from my parents, and so this is last on my list of financial priorities. In fact, a quick college-savings story for you: shortly after my wife and I were married, she received an inheritance of $10,000 from her grandmother. Since her grandmother was such an incredible woman who cared very much about education, we decided to honor her and use the entire $10,000 gift to start a 529 college savings account for our first son, mostly as a small way to continue her legacy. Since that original $10K contribution, the account has now grown to $20,000 after about 7 years. So I do not think we are extremely far off from where I would like to be with our kids college savings...but with two kids and maybe more on the way, we will need much more than that to fund their college experiences. But still, this is not a major priority yet with each of our kids under 4yrs old, which puts this as goal number 10 out of 10.

So there you have it. The top 10 financial pursuits I will strive for and will use to monitor our progress and benchmark our successes.

So that's it. One of my favorite things is getting feedback and learning from other bloggers' financial goals. Reading all of your 'Goals' posts is my favorite! So do you have any recommendations? I would greatly appreciate any thoughts you have!
Thanks for reading,
Passive Income Dude

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Sorry for the delay! - It is time again for my Monthly Progress Review, and again I am happy to report a very large YoY growth of 108% from last October. Despite the large number, it was a rather boring month, of zero action or excitement or purchases or anything new...just letting the system work. Still, I'm happy to receive the amount my portfolio generated!

In each progress review I will list a summary of all dividends I received, the rental income I received, and any purchases I made from that particular month.

This monthly report covers October 2017.  I hope you enjoy these posts and that we can learn how to grow our passive income streams and build real long-term wealth together!

General Thoughts on This Month: A rather boring month as I said of simply letting the system execute what it's been set up to do.  This month was carried almost exclusively by the real estate portion of my portfolio, which I am fine with because that is where my focus has been the last few years. It may be time to start focusing back on the equities side soon.  The market just seems pricey and the bull-market is now the second oldest in history.  When will we see a 20% drop?

All of that said, Read More to see how I earned $980.25 this month in passive income,

Dividends Received


*All dividends are always reinvested. 

Rental Income Received
As mentioned last month, I now have four active rental properties, my Missouri Rental my Colorado Rental, and my two North Carolina rentals: North Carolina 1 and North Carolina 2.  Listed below is the cash flow that each of these properties provided this month:



In summary, with dividends and rental cash flow combined, Total Passive Income Received: $980.25

Purchases
Still no purchases this month, as I have a significant amount of debt (around $14,000) currently, which is quite a lot. 

Thankfully all of my interest bearing debt has now been eliminated.  The $14,000 mentioned above is on a credit card at 0% until June of 2018.  I love this strategy of delaying payment!

Thoughts on This Month
This was a good month for Passive Income.  Compared to last year's October total in 2016 of $470, my YoY growth for this month was 108.6%.  This puts my annual YoY average through the first 10 months of this year at 60.8% per month. 

With the addition of this month's income to my Progress Tab I now have earned $8,192 in total this year in passive income.  Unfortunately this month actually represents a small 'loss' in the ground I need to make up in order to reach my passive income goal. I still think it is going to be a photo finish actually as to whether or not I achieve my primary Passive Income Goal.  But in summary I'm counting on a MASSIVE DECEMBER if I'm going to make it!

Thanks for reading, and I always appreciate any comments,

Passive Income Dude 
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Another month has passed and it is time again for my monthly Income/Expenses report. 

In these reports I highlight what income I made during the month, what sources all of the income came from, and where it all went on the 'expenses'-side; showing all purchases by category...every dollar! Ideally, when it all is calculated I achieve a high savings rate, and then I post that to my Savings Rate tab for month-by-month tracking of progress.

General thoughts on this month: This was another 'standard' month for us. Nothing exciting, nothing extraordinary, but simply discipline and sticking to the budget we've created. Unfortunately we are MASSIVELY in debt at the moment thanks to the purchase of our 4th rental property, so I CANNOT WAIT to have all of that paid off.  Here are the numbers:


General Thoughts on INCOME:
1) Very little change to Income this month. And we really haven't pursued any new sources for growth over the last few months and I do not anticipate any major increases (or decreases) in the foreseeable future, so I imagine income will continue to hum along at close to the above amount.

General Thoughts on EXPENSES:
1) Expenses were again pretty reasonable across the board. I had to buy new running shoes, new soccer cleats, and just a few smaller items that couldn't really be avoided, but overall we kept the budget mostly in check.  You'll notice our two 'catch all' categories (Shopping and Everything Else) really were not too high.

We thankfully hit close to 40% for our savings rate. This month's rate was able to raise our annual average for 2017 to above our goal # 5 amount of 28%/month. I've updated my Savings tab that shows every month since Passive Income Dude was launched as well.  

Remember - it doesn't matter how much you make; it is how much you keep!

Thanks for reading!
Dan
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