My Journey to Millions is an 8 year old personal finance blog focused on topics including basic personal finance issues, advanced insurance planning, high net worth estate planning. In addition, there is a particular focus on dividend growth investing and option trading. Follow this blog to get personal finance and dividend investing tips.
We all need a place to live. From a financial point-of-view, where we choose to live can be the most important decision we make. Whether it’s a mortgage payment, rent payment, or the fuel and maintenance to keep a van running (see below) the monthly cost of housing is usually the biggest bite out of our income. Choose wisely and we manage to have an affordable way to live comfortably and to improve our chances of building a stronger financial future. Choose poorly and we risk throwing thousands of money away needlessly and sabotage our financial security going forward.
While we can’t advise anyone to follow a particular path to their most financially-sound living situation, as everyone’s circumstances are different, we’ve provided some background and breakdown for the most popular options on the table:
Coliving, also known as shared housing, is a cost-effective approach to living in a city with a high cost of living. While it sounds like living in a college dormitory, there are key differences between the two, mainly that shared housing tends to include a furnished room which is cleaned once a week and features high-end amenities throughout the shared sections of the residence. In short, this gives people the chance to live in cities like New York or San Francisco while paying hundreds less per month than they would if they rented an apartment.
The financial benefits of coliving must be weighed against the tradeoffs of space and privacy. Leading coliving company Common.com isn’t shy about the fact their residents will be sharing space with one another on a daily basis. It’s an inherent element of the shared housing situation which must be considered before choosing this living option.
Buying a home is part of the American dream. It also provides a form of financial security and stability to homeowners in the form of equity built as the mortgage is paid down. Coupled with the wide range of freedom and level of privacy afforded to homeowners, buying a house is commonly cited as the most financially responsible living situation possible.
While owning your own home can feel like a dream come true, the high cost of home maintenance, renovations, property taxes, and other expenses associated with homeownership can quickly turn into a nightmare if you aren’t financially secure enough to weather the situation effectively. It’s imperative for prospective homeowners to factor the added costs of homeownership before going forward with this living situation.
While it’s true we all need a place to live, that doesn’t necessarily mean we need to live in the same place the entire time. The nomadic lifestyle essentially means you earn your income online and therefore have the freedom to move around wherever you want. Financially speaking, this living choice gives you a way to see the world while living and working at the same time, removing the need to plan and spend on vacations.
The financial downsides to the nomadic lifestyle have mostly to do with the increased difficulty in borrowing money and utilizing credit. Without a permanent address, most banks and financial institutions will be hesitant to do business with you.
Van Down by the River
An offshoot of the nomadic living model is choosing to live in a van or motorhome. The financial perks of this situation are also the same as those of nomadic living, which also include an inherent restriction on your ability to accumulate things. The constraint on material purchases will save you money.
But who knows how long that old van is going to last before it needs a new transmission? What happens when the septic system fails in the motorhome? It’s a financial hurdle to overcome when you’re someplace unfamiliar, so keep that in mind.
At last, we arrive at traditional renting, the seemingly inevitable living situation for everyone at some point in their lives. Renting allows us to have the benefits of a home without the responsibility of paying for repairs and upgrades. Leases give us the freedom to make a break from one living situation to another with relative ease when compared to owning a home.
The downside to renting is the fact you are not building equity for yourself, you’re building it for your landlord. Furthermore, as mentioned earlier, the skyrocketing rents in many major cities are leading to many people spending a vast amount of their income just to afford a place to live.
Fortunately for those in need of a place to live – which is everyone with a pulse – there are several options to choose from. However, when it comes to maximizing your financial power while keeping a roof over your head, it’s imperative to make your choice carefully.
When I was doing a review of my 2018 Goals and Objectives last week I noticed a glaringfailure on my part. When I was creating my goals and objective for 2018, I remember specifically thinking that I wanted to treat my dividend account more like a business. The account is not (yet) large in terms of my net worth, but I really believe I can turn it into a future income stream.
To me, “treating it like a business,” would mean increased record keeping and transparency (even if that is just to myself and my tens of readers). Record keeping and transparency forces me to discover and revisit mistakes and missteps. While I have been screening for undervalued dividend growth stocks, and sharing those screens, I have completely failed to keep track of my dividend and option income.
As I started to built out the following spreadsheets I quickly figured out why I stopped being transparent to myself and on here. I had a particularly few bad months mid 2017 which is exactly the time I stopped sharing! With that being said, I think what I am going to do is create these reports only once a quarter. This will flatten out the extremes when it comes to rolling naked puts.
I found an old spreadsheet that actually went back 6 years, so I just started to add to it. I am missing a couple months in the beginning of 2016 when I switched over to from Fidelity to TD Ameritrade:
I created the scale at $1,000 a month to give myself how much of a perspective of how f’n far I am from that initial goal! Notwithstanding how far I am the next thing I noticed is how flat the line is so many years later. I know I took a few months off from purchases, but that couldn’t explain the lack of growth. Combing through 7 years of net worth spreadsheets it took me about 5 minutes to figure out what the hell happened.
After my meeting with my account I was informally told that I would be receiving a tax return that while smaller than in years past it was still a few thousand dollars. When I told The Wife about the money, and that it was solely going to be used to pay down debt I could see the disappointment in her face. For the past few years I have carried consumer debt at zero percent, and while I would put a few hundred towards it a month I had more going towards my family’s investments. So whenever tax returns or bonuses came through most of it either went towards debt (or again into one of our investment accounts). When I asked why she was disappointed, she explained that she would feel better if we just eradicated our debt so that future lump sums can be used differently. It didn’t take much convincing because I already started feeling that way independent of her statement.
When looking back at my net worth spreadsheets I can see tens of thousands of dollars leaving the account and the corresponding credit cards being marked down to $0.00. It wasn’t till late 2017 that the account’s balance matched that of “2012 Evan.” I know it is more or less meaningless in the long term, but being able to track down what happened was a very interesting exercise for me.
Cleared Options and Liquidated Assigned Positions
I sell a lot of naked puts every month. Without getting too deep when someone sells a naked put they are taking bet that a particular equity won’t go beneath a particular strike price. To take on that bet I get paid a premium (money up front). My goal is to get out of the position at about 50% of the premium and move on to the next “bet.” As alluded to above, and as every adult knows, not all bets work out in your favor and I am either assigned the shares or I have to roll the bet essentially doubling down. I have written extensivelyaboutthetopic over the years. So, what occurred was in 2017 I had to roll quite a few times giving me MULTIPLE bad months, until my rolling worked and I was able to get out from underneath the bet.
So at some point I just gave up on sharing the information because it depressed the shit out of me to actually update the numbers. Terrible attitude especially with hindsight and seeing how it all worked out in the end. In an effort to not discourage myself again, I am going to only update this section every quarter. Will there be legacy failed positions that cross over the 3 mark bet? Absolutely, but such is life and more palatable than questioning myself month after month while in the trenches of the trade gone wrong.
Really, what occurred is that the stellar January 2018 made up for the terrible Q2 and Q3 of 2017. As I look at this graph, I don’t think it accurately represents anything useful yet. Until I come up with a better tool I am going to run with it.
Tracking Margin Interest
Failing to track my debt (via the interest paid) seems dishonest at best. If I wanted to “lie to myself” about how well I am doing I could just buy a ton on margin, and conveniently ignore the servicing of that debt but count the income therefrom.
I think an annual view that can be compared to my option income would be much more useful in the future. For example, my margin debt in 2017 was about $1,800 but I only brought in $1,300 of options income. Not good.
As compared to 2018 where I have brought in approximately $4,800 YTD of options income and only paid out $290.00.
The Future of Tracking and Sharing
I think I need to engage someone a bit better than me on Google Sheets to show me how to put this all together, but until that happens I am going to share all this information every quarter going forward!
Thoughts before I calculate my net worth: I usually have a feeling as to how I did with regard to my net worth. I think this month is going to be a down month. It felt like the spending just did not stop, so combine that with a down month over month market and I should have a rare negative month.
My Wife’s Roth IRA – Nothing special – just a mixture of cheap index funds and individual companies that capture my attention.
My 401(k) – I still have about 50% of my contributions going into cash. I am not entirely convinced that this marketing timing is worthwhile given my age (36) and the fact that the account can’t be touched for 24 years at the minimum. I think after this month I am going to slow down the cash contributions and get back to a balanced investment approach.
Wife’s Mutual Funds – This was an amount that was given to my wife from her deceased grandparents. They were horribly mismanaged until I stepped in, putting them in low expense vanguard mutual funds. She and I both look at this account as a super emergency fund.
My House – I increased the value of my home starting in 2018 3%. This was the first time since I bought the home that I even bothered to increase the value.
My Traditional IRA – Just a few stocks that have captured my attention.
Wife’s Business – NEW IN 2018– Just going to value this at the cash that is on the books at the end of every month. There won’t be a distribution for quite sometime, so hopefully, there is a nice trend upwards.
Physical Gold – Earlier this year I decided that I would buy a small amount of physical gold every month or two. After doing some quick math, I am getting killed in transaction costs. I set up a capital one 360 account to save the amount I would be buying in gold and I will make a larger purchase less often.
Crytocurrency Account – Earlier this year I bought a tiny amount of Bitcoin. By the time my initial payment cleared bitcoin had dropped 40%. I am not exactly sure what I am going to do with this account just yet. Right now I am going to ignore it.
My Law School Loans – Despite being 36 years old I have a significant amount of law school loans left. They are locked in at 3.5%, so I have no real rush to pay them off. I’d like to get the monthly cash flow back but at about the $40,000 it would be a tremendous hit to liquidity.
My Mortgage – I live on Long Island (and it’s on, not in) so the odds of me ever prepaying this down, especially with a 3.375% 30yr fixed is unrealistic.
Credit Cards – My favorite card was my American Express Premier Gold Card, whose fee I fight every year. I also have some minor outstanding balances that I’ll just pay down slowly. I just recently opened up an American Express Platinum Card for 60,000 points and a lot of benefits for the first year.
My HELOC – A good portion of it was to capitalize The Wife’s Business. I decided to keep the debt of the HELOC on the balance sheet, but ignore the corresponding asset (the removed checking account).
My Net Worth Increase/Decrease
From May 1st to June 1st my net worth increased .07%
Year to date my net worth has increased 5.4%
Wow my gut was correct! I’d consider a .07% increase a down month. It is going to be hard over the summer, but I need to get either spending in check or get refocused on earning money via my law practice and/or online income world. I have always found that earning more money was easier than controlling my spending, so with that I am going to make a major push in July!
With about half the year gone, I figured it was a good time to check out my goals and objectives for 2018. See if I am blowing any of them out of the water (unlikely) or if I am severely under-performing where I thought I’d be at this point (likely). For the past few years I have orgnized my goals and objectives into the following categories, and as such it would only make sense to review them in the same categories:
Online Income World
Mid-Year Review of my 2018 Goals and Objectives
Broken down into 2 sections:
With regard to a goal via growth I think my goal in 2018 will be to at least write every single financial planner to see if we can meet to see how I can further integrate into their practice.
My Law Practice
I have a very small law practice based solely on referrals, however, this year I want to actively grow it. After receiving an unsolicited referral from facebook I figured it was about time to get into 2014 and get a quick facebook page up.
My goal will be to share an original third party piece every week in 2018. I also need to create a process going forward about following up with completed clients. For the most part my clients are transactional in nature (either a will or buy sell is created and all parties move on), I need to create calendar entries to make sure I am the attorney they think of if anything in their life changes.
Fail, but not epic fail. My practice has definitely been growing this year, but it isn’t because of the proactive items I listed. I am going to take the next 6 months to ramp it up using those tools.
I am going to make a systematic effort to discover and comment on other sites. My goal will be to provide a meaningful comment on 5 sites each and every week.
As a secondary goal, I want to fix some on site items:
5 Posts a week and make sure they have proper headers, an SEO friendly description, featured image where appropriate.
Once a month run a smushing plugin to make sure all images are appropriately ‘smushed’
5 Images a week to make sure their description is appropriate
Once a month run a broken link plugin
Set up adsense once again
Doing well on this one. I have been fixing 5 posts every week or every other week (while fixing images while doing that). I have not been commenting, but have been more active on twitter. Think I need to slow down on twitter and refocus on the commenting. Lastly, I have adsense back on.
Online Income World
A few years ago one of my goals was to write emails to old advertisers and wow that has worked wonders. My goal this year is to be a little bit more active with trying to find new sites to buy.
Again, we are good here. I have picked up a site or two and every 3 to 4 months I have reached out to site owners.
I have four financial goals for this year.
The first would be to continue to try and find a rental property to purchase…
I have been looking, but I am not sure if, when and how this is going to get off the ground. I have been keeping an eye out, but so much of where I am looking is so damn expensive. This means to start I’d have to be involved in some type of syndicate or club, which to be honest, seems like such an f’n hassle. If I could do it with one or two other guys in more of a partnership setting I think it may be a bit more manageable. With 6 months left in the year, I really don’t see how this gets off the ground.
Not sure how to grade this because, yes, I am working on it, but no I doubt it is going to happen.
The second is easy. I’d like to buy a small amount of physical gold every month. I am talking a tiny position of $50 to $100 per month. I haven’t found the right way to do it yet, but when I do I am sure I’ll write about it.
Complete success thus far. I have been buying $100 to $200 clips every month or 6 weeks thus far. I have just recently decided to slow down and save the money for a larger purchase down the line. I did the math on buying these little gram to 2.5g bars and I think I am getting killed on the fees.
The third is a bit more time consuming and complicated with a lot of sub-goals. My undervalued dividend investment portfolio is easily my favorite part of my financial world. I am intrigued by the idea of one day turning off the dividend reinvestment portion and having an income to live off of (it is like the rental income when the mortgage is paid down). So I want to make sure I purchase $500 – $750 of undervalued dividend stocks every month. I would also like to re-do the way I screen for undervalued stocks, if for no other reason, that I am convinced that the current way, or the past way or the future way of doing it is the correct way. This way if I change it up every 9 to 18 months I may end up with different companies that may be considered undervalued. Within this same account I also sell naked puts, covered calls, and bear put spreads – it is my goal to track and share these sells. I think this will help me find my strengths and weaknesses.
I may be stretching here but I am going to call this one a success. I have been picking up my monthly lots and have been switching up how I find value. My latest method has been using the Acquirer’s Multiple method – this one is going to be it for at least the rest of the calendar year. I have also been very active selling naked puts and covered calls.
Where I have been failing is tracking and sharing my option plays and dividend income. Next month is as good as any to try and recapture what I have done this year so far and then share it.
I am not rock solid on the fourth goal but I may just put it out there. I am not immune to the crypto currency mania (and absolute bubble). I think my goal is to set up an account and throw a one time $500 investment split between a few of the smaller but still popular currencies.
Success, but failure. So, I bought some bitcoin, but at exactly the wrong time. It is actually amazing how wrong the timing was. I think I am down 50% to 60%, but luckily I only put in $1k or so. I never diversified to other alt-coins, but since I bought at the wrong time I am just going to ignore the account for a while (rehashing the pain every time I open it up for a net worth update).
My goal this year would be two-fold. One, I want to track my progress more. The box subscribes to Wodify, and so, I want to use it a bit more intentionally. The second goal, would be to participate in more ‘WODs’ that I suck at
Success. I have absolutely stepped it up with regard to performing those workouts that I know I’ll be terrible at. In addition, I have been a bit better at recording and tracking my progress.
Last, and absolutely the most important thing, is time with my family. I don’t have any goals except to continue to be as involved in my kids life as much as I can.
Action List for The Second Half of 2018 to Complete my Goals and Objectives
I think I can get back on track with the following items:
Check with the powers that be and see if I should be doing anything more? If I can help in any other ways that would move the firm’s trajectory?
Get my Law Office Website back up and running (it went down to a server change with another one of my sites…completely my oversight)
Start regularly posting estate planning and business succession articles to my Facebook page
Get to Commenting on other blogs!
Back calculate dividend and option income YTD and continue to track going forward
Make sure I do one more big push for a site purchase after the summer
A Federal Employee Identification Number (EIN) is a unique number the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assigns to most types of business entities for tax reporting and filing purposes. IRS-EIN-Tax-ID is an easy and secure way to apply for an EIN online through their secure website.
An EIN is required in the following circumstances:
You have employees
You operate your business as a partnership or corporation
You pay excise, alcohol, tobacco, employment, or firearms tax
You have a Keogh plan
You withhold taxes on revenue, besides pay, paid to a foreign alien
You are involved with a trust, estate, IRA, real estate mortgage investment conduit, non-profit, plan administrator program or farmers’ cooperative.
This nine-digit number is used by the IRS to track legal entities as well as their tax obligations. An EIN remains with a business for its entirety, unless the owner or business files bankruptcy, the secretary of state distributes a new corporate charter, or the business becomes a new type of entity.
As a business owner, an EIN is needed to apply for a business license, open a business bank account, and file your tax return. It is recommended to apply for one the moment you begin planning for your business. This is to ensure there will be no delays in obtaining the needed financing to operate the business, or obtaining the necessary licenses.
Reason for EIN When Not Required
Even if you are not required to obtain an EIN, it is a good idea to have one. Using an EIN instead of your Social Security number on tax forms or other important business documents can help you avoid identity theft.
How to Apply for an EIN
The best way to apply for an EIN is online. Through the IRS-EIN-Tax-ID website, business owners can fill out and submit their EIN application, or check on EIN status 27/7/365.
It has been a while since I have been this frustrated with a faceless corporation, but wow, has fidelity completely pissed me off, and what’s worse it doesn’t even matter. So in an non-original fashion, I’ll just bitch about it on my site that doesn’t get enough pageviews to matter.
Background of my Frustration with Fidelity
About 2 months ago, I received an email from my brother who asked if I would be interested in starting another investment club. This one would be with a buddy of his, and would focus a little bit more on dividend paying stocks. Since, I have really enjoyed the past 5 years with my investment club, and he used the word dividend, how could I possible say no?
Since we were dealing with just three people, I figured I would skip the creation of an investment club business entity and we could get to work quickly as tenants in common (i.e. joint owners with no survivorship rights). I was horrified to learn that Fidelity would need a paper application for 3 joint owners. It is 2018, who needs a paper application for anything!?
Fine, it is what it is, I later learned that somehow this is standard practice when dealing with online brokers. So I requested that they send me an application for 3 owners, but they don’t make one. I am then forced to print out multiple copies of the application and piece them together to make one complete application. After finishing my piecemeal application I was to send this hard copy with only one original signature (mine) and two scanned then printed signatures to a Fidelity post office box. One week passes, nothing from Fidelity. At the end of the second week, I decide to call them up. It was at this point my mind was blown. They were mailing me back my application because they were unclear of my what I was trying to get done. What?! They couldn’t have called? texted? emailed me? Fuck, they could have even faxed me and saved some time.
Fine. I get someone on the phone who tells me to send back the application. So, I send back the application. One week passes by, I call and ask for an update. Fidelity’s response, “it is being looked at by our compliance department.” I can open and fund an account with one or two people without any real oversight, but you need 10 business days because I want a third person added to the account? Their response, was simply, yes.
Fine, take another week. At the end of that second week, someone actually called me this time and left me a voicemail letting me know that there was a mistake. Yes, it was my mistake. I missed the box indicating whether this account was with survivorship rights or without survivorship rights. In my defense, tenants in common should indicate in it of itself that it was without survivorship rights. Notwithstanding, the voicemail stated I could just call back and let them know. Finally some good news, and I did just that. The customer service rep said to call back in 48 hours just to make sure there weren’t any other hiccups.
Fine, take another 2 days which was over a weekend so really 4 days, it didn’t matter because the nightmare was coming to an end. Except when I called back (as in they didn’t reach out to me), some other faceless dick decided the oral confirmation wasn’t enough and I had to start from scratch with a new application! I lost it. I completely get it was not any of the CSR’s fault, but he was on the other end of the phone. I couldn’t fucking believe it. 5 weeks later and I have to start from scratch!?
To move all my accounts from Fidelity would mean absolutely nothing to them, and cause me so much pain that I couldn’t even begin to think about doing it. I have my IRA, The Wife’s Roth IRA, 6 children accounts (my 2 and then a few investment accounts nieces and nephews), and then at the very end of that I would have to convince 8 other people in my original investment club that we have to leave Fidelity because I got into a fight with them…and lost. Not happening anytime soon.
So instead, I chose to write 700 words on something that doesn’t matter to anyone in the hopes that one of the google bots will notice my complaints about Fidelity Brokerage, and perhaps, save some other poor soul some time.
If you’re thinking about hiring an IT consultant to help you modernize your IT department, work on a new project, or otherwise aid your in-house IT staff, it can be hard to understand what you should be looking for.
In this quick guide, we’ll go over five traits of highly-effective IT consultants. Read on, and find out what you should be looking for when searching for an IT consultant.
Willing To Do The Groundwork
This is especially important when looking for an IT consultant. You want a consultant who doesn’t just come in and start ordering others around. You want someone who will take the time to familiarize themselves with how you do things, as well as your current IT staff, infrastructure, and other details about your company.
Look for a consultant who is willing to take the time to truly understand your business – before they start making suggestions or recommendations about how you can improve it.
Plays Well With Others
Consultants almost never work alone. They either work in teams of consultants or directly with your in-house IT staff.
Because of this, it’s very important to hire an IT consultant who can “play well with others.” There is often a slight attitude of resentment towards consultants, particularly if an in-house IT team does not think that they’re necessary
Pick a consultant with good people skills, and who is an effective team player, and you’ll get the best results
If you get a consultant who is domineering, disrespectful, or dismissive of your team, chances are they won’t work well with others – and your project will suffer as a result.
Takes Control And Is A Good Leader
Consultants often have to take control and be the leader, especially during difficult projects. When interviewing potential consultants, look at their past experiences to see if they have a history of leadership and solid results on projects where they have been the lead consultant
The last thing you want is an IT consultant who simply “goes with the flow,” and doesn’t have a strong presence. Make it a point to find a consultant who can truly take control of your team, and lead them properly.
Resourcefulness And Problem-Solving Skills
Problem-solving is, essentially, the #1 responsibility of an IT consultant. You have a problem, you’re unable to solve it on your own, and you need help from somebody else. This means that the ideal IT consultant is extremely resourceful, and has great problem-solving skills. Look to hire a Vancouver disaster recovery consultant who knows how to handle unmitigated problems.
They should be able to use all of the tools, personnel, and equipment at their disposal to come up with a novel solution for your project. Whether you’re overhauling your IT infrastructure, or working on a new piece of proprietary software, your consultant must be able to do more with less – and still deliver fantastic results.
Not Afraid To Ask Questions
The best IT consultants ask questions about everything – especially when they’re just getting started with a project. What is the project? What roadblocks have you encountered? Have you identified any possible solutions? Why can’t your in-house staff handle the issue?
By asking these kinds of questions, the consultant is quickly able to understand the problem areas of your business or project and begin focusing in on a solution. So look for a consultant who is curious, not afraid to ask questions, and is always trying to develop a better understanding of your company and your IT team.
Follow These 5 Tips – Find The Right Consultant For Your Company
Consultants can be expensive, and the search for the right IT consultant is not always easy. But if you take your time, follow these tips, and make it a point to choose a qualified, experienced IT consultant, you’re sure to get the best results – no matter what your specific needs may be!
Basement renovations in Winnipeg can be more difficult than other home renovations due to the nature of what you start with. When it comes to basement flooring, a homeowner might be limited by what lays underneath, what the conditions of the basement are, and by the budget that they have and what they want to spend.
If you are renovating your basement to add additional space, what you intend to do with that space might have a big bearing on what type of flooring you want to choose. To play it safe, you should consider all factors before making the final flooring decision.
If you have a basement that might be susceptible to flooding or moisture, then you will want to choose flooring that you won’t have to pull up and redo if the unexpected happens. Slate tiles are super trendy, beautiful and resistant to moisture.
They can also handle water if your basement floods and they have a non-skid surface. If you are worried about the warmth factor (tile tends to be cooler), add electric heating coils to the floor underneath before you tile.
Vinyl flooring has come a long way since it was introduced to the flooring industry decades ago. It comes in a variety of colors, patterns, and sizes. It is an ideal material to use because it can take a whole lot of wear and tear and doesn’t succumb to moisture.
Although having the appearance of things like hardwood, vinyl can withstand a whole lot more and it isn’t hardly as pricey. An excellent waterproof surface to start with, vinyl is also a whole lot more worry-free than other flooring options, but you don’t have to sacrifice style.
Since hardwood is not recommended for basements due to its porous nature, laminate flooring might be an excellent alternative. If you choose laminate flooring, it comes in a vast array of wood grain colors.
The laminate provides both stain and moisture resistance, and can be put right over a plywood subfloor or even over concrete. Thanks to the upgraded material, you also don’t have to worry about any warping or shrinking, which was a common problem with laminate flooring in the past. Easy and inexpensive installation, the installment of vinyl might be the best choice for your basement areas.
If your subfloor is already concrete, you might not have to do anything but clean it up a bit. Concrete can be super chic if you do it right. You can paint it with any color you want, or you can stain it. Acid staining offers some really interesting appearance options. If you use the natural concrete, then you never have to worry about moisture, water, or any staining.
That is why it is used for basement construction to begin with. If you use the right type of primer, you can do just about anything you want with a concrete floor. It is your canvas.
If you are looking for an excellent do-it-yourself flooring that is super easy to install, needs no preparation and looks like real tile, then vinyl tiles are your answer. You can create cool patterns, use alternating colors and set the tiles without worrying about them.
An excellent flooring choice that is inexpensive, if it needs to be replaced, you can pull up just those tiles that are damaged and replace them for an affordable price. If you aren’t looking to spend a fortune on your basement remodel and want to handle it without a contractor, vinyl tiles are your answer.
Ceramic tile is an excellent choice for basements because it is water impervious and highly durable. It might be a bit more expensive and require professional installation unlike vinyl tiles, but once placed, ceramic tiles not only stay put, but also have longevity. You can get ceramic tiles that come in all shapes and sizes.
Manufacturers even make ceramic tiles that have the look of hardwood. The sky’s the limit if you are going to use ceramic tiling. Again, if you are worried about the tiles being cold, install heating coils underneath before you lay the tile.
The basement can be an excellent place to find additional living space, but it does come with special considerations. To find the best flooring choice, think about how much you want to spend, if you want to hire someone to help and what your individual taste is in order to find the perfect flooring material to make your basement feel like home.
If you’re interested in buying a car at Abbotsford dealership, you may be dreading the process. Buying a car can be exhausting, and it’s a big decision. Even just thinking about shopping for a car at an Abbotsford dealership may make you tired, or fill you with a sense of dread.
However, buying a car doesn’t have to be an ordeal. If you follow just a few helpful tips, you’ll be able to buy a car in just a few hours – and guarantee that you’ll get a good deal at any Abbotsford car dealership. Here’s what you need to do.
Begin With A Budget
The first thing you should do – before you even begin shopping at a dealership – is build a budget that can determine which cars you should look at.
As a rule, your automotive expenses should not exceed 15% of your take-home pay. This includes both your monthly car payment and your automotive insurance. For example, if you make $40,000 a year, you should be spending about $500/month maximum on your car payment and insurance.
If you’re working with a lower budget, you can save money by purchasing a pre-owned or certified car, and putting down a large down-payment. This will reduce your monthly payments quite a bit, and still get you a great car.
Start With Online Research – Find A Car You Like!
All major car dealers have online car listings. Start browsing the dealerships near you to see if there are any cars you like, and if any fit your budget.
It’s a good idea to compare the dealership prices to Kelley Blue Book values while shopping for a car. This lets you see if you’re getting a good deal, or if a car may be overpriced.
Note that the sticker price does not include registration fees and taxes, which can easily add up to several thousand dollars. Take this into account when considering your budget, and choosing vehicles you may want to buy.
Once you find a few cars you like, and that appear to be a good value, it’s time to start shopping!
Bring Important Credit Application Documents With You – Or Get Pre-Approved
If you’re going to be applying for credit at the dealership, you’ll want to have some documents with you, such as:
References (3 or more are often required)
Proof of income (pay stub or bank statements showing income per month)
Proof of address (a phone bill or utility bill works for this)
Identification (driver’s license, passport, social security number, etc)
If you have all of these with you when you shop, you’ll be able to get through the application process much more quickly.
Alternatively, you could seek loan pre-approval from your bank or a credit union. If you get pre-approved, you can buy a car without filling out another credit application, or the dealer may be willing to cut you a better deal on your APR and loan terms.
Make Sure You’re Fed And Hydrated Before You Go To The Dealership
This may sound silly, but it’s a good idea. Buying a car can take hours – you have to look at each vehicle, examine it, test drive it, ask about loan terms, negotiate prices – there’s a lot to do. You may get tired during the process, and if you’re hungry or dehydrated, it may not be much fun.
Most dealerships offer water and some snacks, but you should make sure you drink plenty of water and eat a full meal before going to a dealership. This will help you keep your head clear, and aid you in avoiding fatigue during the process.
Realize You Can Always Back Out
Even if you have test driven a car, filled out a credit application, and begun preliminary negotiations for your loan, you can back out of the deal. As long as you have not signed for the car, you are not committed.
If you decide that you could find a better deal elsewhere, or that you’re not interested in a car, you can walk away. Your salesperson may try to pressure you to stay – or even make you a better offer – but you are fully within your rights to leave.
Follow These Tips For A Better Car-Buying Experience
If you follow the tips outlined above, you’re sure to have a more pleasant time shopping for your next car. Do your research, build a budget, bring in all the documentation you need, and ensure that you’ve got a few cars picked out that may be viable candidates.
Do that, and you’re sure to get a great deal on a car, and have a smooth experience at any Abbotsford dealership.
After finishing The Acquirer’s Multiple book by Tobias Carlisle, I decided that I wanted to give the valuation method a chance. It takes a bit of a different spin on valuation than what I had been used to. It moves away from using price as a cornerstone (i.e. does not look at price to earnings, price to book, price to etc.) and takes a look at balance sheet and earnings. It seemed like a very interesting take on the same desire to buy a $1 for .50 cents. After some research I figured out that running the screen for the Acquirer’s Multiple seemed damn near impossible for a person who wasn’t doing it for their profession, and since I wasn’t willing to pay for the screen it seems that I have moved towards a very similar idea called the Magic Formula (described in detail below). For future screens I am not sure how I got to the magic formula will be necessary.
It should be mentioned that I am not getting away from my desire to build a future dividend income stream, and as such, everything I did was going to have the dividend champion and contender list in the background.
is a quant screen…that identifies great companies selling at a discount. The process is simple. To identify great companies Greenblatt screens for companies with a high return on invested capital (ROIC). And to identify companies that are “cheap” Greenblatt uses the company’s earnings yield.
The formula is basically Enterprise Value/EBIT. This differs from the Acquirer’s Multiple insofar as Mr. Carlisle uses a different denominator. Mr. Carlisle uses a different version of ‘earnings’ by looking at different variables.
In addition to the screen, the magic formula removes financial and utility firms. Considering how heavy I am in both sectors, I am happy to ignore both categories for the next six to 12 months.
How Did I Screen for the Magic Formula?
After way longer than I’d like to admit I found an amazing, free site to easily screen for EV/EBITDA (rather than EBIT). The site is called FinBox and I would highly recommend it for anyone that is trying to screen for almost anything. The EV/EBIT is a premium feature on the site, and I may opt to sign up for the service in the future, but right now, I am just learning about this method of valuing companies.
My June 20108 Dividend Growth Watch List
So after screening for those companies with a magic formula of less than 10, and a dividend yield of at least .01%, I was left with approximately 600 companies. Separately, there were about 165 companies that have increased their dividend at least 20 years. When we cross referenced the two lists I ended up with only 20 companies! Respecting the removal of financial and utilities from the formula I am left with the following companies to purchase in June:
ADM – Archer Daniels
T – AT&T
CVX – Chevron
XOM – Exxon
NC – NACCO
NUE – Nucor
SCL – Stepan Companies
TGT – Target
TDS – Telephone and Data Systems
UVV – Universal Corporation
WBA – Walgreens
WMT – Walmart
CAH – Cardinal Health Care
BPL – Buckeye
ENB – Enbridge
I’d love to hear any thoughts on the Magic Formula, or any of the companies that I ended up with on my watch list