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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Use Your First Job Out Of College To Create Future Opportunities

You're fresh out of college and you haven't landed the job you really wanted.  Not yet you haven't.  You're knee deep in debt and your grace loan deferment period is about to end.  Should you start applying for work anywhere?  Should you take the first offering that comes your way?

Here's what I would do.  Just like when you applied for college you had your top choices and your back-up choices, you should do the same with jobs, select places to work as your best bets and others that follow below these.

Here are my top places to work at (in no particular order of importance) if I could not land my desired job off the bat:

1) Fry's Electronics, Best Buy, or an Apple store.
2) A coffee shop in an affluent area or near a financial district
3) A bar at a country club or at a high end restaurant
4) A BMW, Mercedes, or Tesla dealership/show room.
5) A high end designer (tailored) clothes, shoes, or purse store





What do all of these places have in common?  They involve sales, customer service, and most importantly, an ability to communicate with money and social placement players.

Places like Fry's Electronics and Best Buy are frequented by engineers, nerds, tech company managers, and regular people wanting a great deal on a TV, laptop, etc.  You may also have co-workers who have free-lance tech businesses.  All in all, not only will you get paid working at Fry's, but you'll also create your first network of contacts both in-house and from quality visitors to the store.  Still, if you just go about your day, sticking to the rules, following sales scripts, not reeling in as much info as you can about your customer to see if they would make a good contact, your first job will be a wasted opportunity.

Your first job is for you to break out of your shell.  College was fun and you had a blast partying with your friends, but let's face it, it is nothing like the real world.  In the real world what matters the most are relationships.  You can't forge relationships that improve your social capital without conversational abilities.  Showing an interest, being friendly, asking probing (not prying) questions, garnering trust, are skills you weren't taught in college but what actually make the (money) world go round.  In, Napolean Dynamite was Right! I made the case that companies are interested in graduates with actual skills.  Well, in addition to learning sales and "talkmanship" (a word I just invented), working for a great retail company will also help you learn business.  Running a business is something you may one day end up doing, especially if you aspire to join the management core of a company someday.  Again, it boils down to how you frame the opportunities you are given, working your first job out of college.  So be strategic!


If you're already working at your first job and want to see how you can improve your status, I have a great read recommendation for you: Why-your-first-job-is-the-most-important

I am also going to embark on something new, but only for my blog subscribers.  I'm going to be writing a newsletter twice a month where I will share the secret to my success: Being bold and knowing how to stand out in America.  We live in a highly competitive society and getting what you want has become increasingly more difficult with social media taking everyone's time.  Let me help you become a conversational genius!

Thanks for reading!  Follow me on Twitter: @COsvaGomez.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Don't Count On The Government To Bring You Back To Prosperity

Yesterday I discussed the topics of self-reliance and parenting: Is-teaching-financial-self-reliance-a-lost-parental-art?  I ended the post like this:

We need more parenting done like Mr. Fagan.  The substance and character of our nation depends on it! 

Lo and behold while roaming for stories to read today on the net I find this one: Finance.yahoo.com/news/government-won't-bring-back-prosperity--here's-what-will

The article is about the lost art of being self-reliant in America.  Watch the video.  Aaron Task, Editor In Chief at Yahoo Finance, interviews author Rick Newman about his latest book, Liberty For All: A Manifesto for Reclaiming Financial & Political Freedom.





The book provides practical advice, so says Mr. Newman, on how to take inventory of the crap you have that you don't really need.  Also, something even more powerful, doing what he terms as a "dependency audit."  What institutions are you dependent on?  Are you relying on credit card companies that treat you more like a number than an actual person so you can keep up your consumption habits?  Are you a dependent of your company, basically one step from being homeless if your boss decides to fire you?

Here's why I agree with Rick.

The Wealth Gap has reached critical mass and there is no turning it back.  Not when the 1% keeps siphoning off the remaining capital that is available to the masses.  Not when these elites control politicians (namely the Republican party) and can decide elections and government policy.

Since we, the masses, do not have the capital to dictate middle-class favorable political outcomes in DC, and since our votes are essentially nullified by the 1%, there's not much for us to control outside of our own behaviors and attitudes.  We cannot leave it to the government to bring us back into prosperity.  It is entirely up to us.

What are you waiting for to start taking control of your buying and spending?  Keep feeling sorry for yourself, complaining about the economy and Obama, and soon enough you will find yourself priced out of America!

Priced out of America?  Yea…like being priced out of the suburbs but instead you'll be immigrating to a third world nation.  Maybe in Mexico you can have a nice home, slick clothing, gourmet food, and the lifestyle you really wanted for yourself, but couldn't achieve here in the U.S.

It can happen.  If the 1% keeps swallowing up the remaining capital in the U.S. not already in their hands what will be left is Matt Damon's Elysium.  A polarized country where only the ultra-wealthy live in the U.S.  They will buy Mexico and tell our children and grandchildren to go live there.





God Save America!  God Save The Middle Class!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Is Teaching Financial Self-Reliance A Lost Parental Art?

It certainly appears as if more and more soon to be adults are close to being worthless when it comes to being able to survive on their own.  Sorry to be so blunt.



Teens these days can't do many things Generation X'ers and Baby Boomers learned from their parents as they came of age.  Things like checking their car's oil.  Hooking up battery cables correctly for a charge without killing themselves.  Mailing a letter.  Making themselves a meal.  Talking to adults.  Resolving their own conflicts.  The list of inabilities goes on and on.  The blame falls squarely on helicopter and enabling parents.  These well-intentioned but erroneous child rearers end up producing adults with entitlement issues.  Adults like some of these Millennials:

Even-millennials-raking-in-75000-take-money-from-parents-2014-11-20

I just can fathom it.  Maybe it is because I grew up poor and asking my parents for money was like slapping them in the face.  I think I stopped asking my parents for money around 10.  Through college, their "Parental Contribution" to my educational costs was somewhere around $500 (I never asked for this money, it was offered), that's both Undergrad and Graduate school.  Did I have to take up loans?  Yes.  Did I work during college?  Yes, every summer.

Maybe it is a racial thing, and I hope this isn't off putting to you but…

When former poor Latinos rise above their humble beginnings to an economic level above their parents, the roles reverse.  That's right.  We give our parents money!  Not the other way around.  Just think, you have already spent like $200K on your kid by the time they are 18.  They owe you!

Are White parents more inclined to give their millennial children money than parents of color?

Alas, there was no ethnic breakdown reported for these 1000 surveyed millennials.  Also, 1000 is statistically acceptable, but I would've liked to have seen the survey given to 10,000 millennials.


Ask yourself this, mom, or dad:

If you were to unexpectedly die tomorrow, how would your offspring(s) fare?  Would they manage without you?

The article suggested that an explanation for parents giving their millennials money, even when there was no economic need, had to do with proximity and a strong bond:

According to a White House report released last month “millennials have close relationships with their parents” with roughly half saying that it is important to them to live close to their friends and family, compared to 29% of baby boomers and 40% of Generation Xers. These close relationships may further foster the giving of money even to well-to-do millennials, particularly for those who live close to their families.

Mom/Dad…what is going on here?  Are you avoiding separation anxiety from your adult child by rewarding him/her with money for sticking around?  This is bad.  Really bad!

Well-to-do millennial…1) Why are you asking your parents for money?  If you're not asking, why are you taking it?  2)  Why is it important for you to live close to your friends and family if you are married, have a family of your own, and have no need for the added financial safety net of mom and dad?

The repercussions of a parent not learning to stop the monetary charity to their millennial child (who is in no need of money) is a dire one.  You won't have enough money for yourself in retirement!  Tell your child this: "Son, your mom and I have to stop giving you money because otherwise we'll become a burden to you in our old age."






Teaching Financial (or general) Self-Reliance May Perhaps Be A Lost Parental Art

It really scares me to see how weak many of the young adults I work with are in terms of survivability.  If you must know, I'm not referring to the street savvy, low-income kid.  I'm talking middle-class child that has mommy or daddy come to the rescue for every little thing.  These iPhone 6 having, brand clothes wearing, new car driving, teens are not only spoiled in many other ways, but lack major self-reliance skills.  When it comes to money, they know where to get it and not how to earn it.


If you see the danger in all of this like I do, I suggest you learn different parenting skills.  I can help you, if you simply ask.  I can show you how to raise a winner, meaning, a self-reliant, money savvy person that is ready for adulthood without your constant emotional or financial support.  Email me for a free opinion on your particular situation.  calilimexica@gmail.com

There's also this guy named, Kevin T. Fagan, CEO of Guerrillaparenting.com  You may have heard of him.  He's got like eight kids and they're all relatively self-reliant.  We need more parenting done like Mr. Fagan.  The substance and character of our nation depends on it!


Thanks for reading as always.  Subscribe to my blog and get a free eBook.  Leave a comment, please.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Publishing On EzineArticles.com to Boost Your Personal Brand

What does your personal or business brand stand for?  How can you get additional exposure for yourself or your company, blog, website, etc.?  What are some other ways of generating traffic to your online platform?  These questions will be answered in this post.

You know me by now…always looking to get into something new online to help me achieve my current goals:

1) Promote my authority as a blogger, investor, writer, and entrepreneur.
2) Boost traffic to this money and finance educational blog I've created.
3) Increase my streams of passive income.

And what are your financial independence goals?  Have you laid them out on paper yet?

Publishing Articles Online

There are a slew of sites where you can publish your own niche articles online.  Here is a list of some High Ranking Directories where you can submit:


1.  Ezinearticles.com
2.  Goarticles.com
3.  Articlesbase.com
4. Articledashboard.com
5. Articlesubmit.com
6. 24article.com

I took this little blurb from #6's site to show you why doing this task is important for your business, blog, and website:


Welcome to Article - Host
Here you can post your opinion and articles for free!

Publish articles on the Internet - and show anyone what you have to offer
When someone type your name on google he will see your articles and posts.
Publish articles on the Internet - to get links to your site or your blog and improve your position in search engines.

    7. Goarticles.com/submit/


    Publishing on Ezinearticles.com

    I chose to use Ezine because it is a popular directory (current Alexa Global rank of 2,074) and I liked their logo.  Membership is free.  I plan on trying out other directories soon in order to maximize my opportunities for both online publication and directing traffic.




    This guy, Michael, at Thefinestwriter.com is one prolific writer.  He's been at it since 2005.  He's earned a "Diamond Level Expert Author" ranking given only to the top 1% out of 40,000 plus authors on the site.  Yikes!  What a stud.  If you hire him, make sure you tell him your homie, C. Osvaldo Gomez, sent ya.  He claims to pay a $50 commission per referred client.  You may want to refer him yourself!

    I just created a profile on the 22nd of this month.  See below:

    What do you know…another Wealthfront.com banner ad.  Thanks, Mr. Nash!


    I submitted 7 articles from this blog on Ezine, after creating my profile, and today I learned that all 7 were approved for publishing!  I'm new to Ezine so I cannot tell you if this is typical. I have no idea what criteria the good people at Ezine use to consider an article for "publication" on their site.  It doesn't really matter for our purposes.  What matters is that you sit at your computer and write something to compliment whatever it is you're doing to make money!  My 7 articles generated 22 views in the morning, and after just checking it again, I'm at 27 views.  Not too shabby for day one.

    Here's how the articles, once published, look online: Raise-Money-For-Investing-Using-11-Poor-Man-Strategies



    After 10 articles published, your submissions get highly more scrutinized by the reviewers and you earn "badges" for every achievement, including climbing the expert pyramid (Basic, Basic Plus, Platinum, and Diamond).

    Writing content in article format for your enterprise or venture, and submitting on multiple high ranking directories is one Search Engine Optimization strategy you need to utilize!  Most directories are free to use so there is really no downside to doing this, especially if you're writing content already anyway.


    Thanks for Reading!  Subscribe to this Blog and get my $9.99 eBook, Common Core Money, absolutely free!  

    Get Your Finances In Order with LearnVest!


    Saturday, January 24, 2015

    4 Mischievous Ways to Keep Your Partner from Overspending on Groceries

    Those grocery stores…they are sure slick!  It's damn near impossible to come out with exactly what you went in to get.  Well, impossible for some people.  Perhaps you are as anal-retentive as me and always shop for the items written on a list, nothing more, nothing less?  Perhaps you can control yourself, despite the wicked ways in which the stores place their most delicious and attention commanding products in high traffic areas?

    Really, who looks like this family when grocery shopping?



    Here's my situation.  My wife, Jessica, loves to grocery shop.  She goes to the Costco, Stater Bros, and Trader Joe's to get the foods she likes.  On one shopping trip, she'll spend $200 at the Costco and another $75 at the Trader Joe's.  "Why did you go to the Trader Joe's after being at Costco?" I ask.  "Cuz!  Costco doesn't have these gluten free cookies or Ajani and Rehani's crackers," she says emphatically.  Of course, my concern is on all the money that was just spent.  It'd be fine if it happened once a month.  Unfortunately, we make at least three separate trips to the grocery stores each month.  I give Jessica the benefit of the doubt.  She knows what we need and when we need it.

    Yet, from going with her to the store now for many years, I know the two of us are incompatible shoppers.  Even though we can both agree on a list prior to leaving the house, somehow other items find their way inside the shopping cart.  It irks the hell out of me!  How about you, partner?  This happen to you?  These extra food items are unnecessary in my mind.  "We don't need them!" I plead.  Jessica's playful response: "You hush!"

    Damn.  I get beat every time.  Two can play that game though and I have devised ways of curbing some of Jessica's impulses at the store.  She is like Michael Jordan.  You can't stop her, you can only hope to contain her.



    Here are my four tips for containing my partner from going crazy at the supermarket:

    1) Do the shopping yourself.  Take the list you just made at the house, grab the car keys, and tell your partner not to worry, you got this!  Jessica doesn't know what hit her.  She yells as I'm fleeing the house:

    "Make sure you get the right type of turkey sandwich meat!  Call me when you're at the deli section!"
    "Sure, babes," I say.  Off I go before she can add anything onto the list.  Then…she texts me while I'm at the store:

    "Get yobaby yogurt, avocados, canned pinto beans, & bananas."

    See, I held her to just four other items not originally on the list.

    2)  Hijack the shopping cart.  When your partner isn't looking, make a run for it!  This is how this technique works.  First you make sure that the items on your list that can be found on the aisle you're currently in have been all placed in the cart.  At this point, your partner is just browsing around looking for other things she/he can buy, not on the list.  Uncomfortable, isn't it?  The only solution to containing them is to leave them in the aisle alone.  They can only carry so many items in their hands and when they turn around for the cart, it will be gone!  Thus they leave to find you.  When they catch up with you and ask, "Why did you leave the aisle?"  Act stupid and say, "Oh, I thought you were right behind me, sorry."  They'll dump what they have in their hands (extra items not on the list) and continue shopping with you in the new aisle.  Note: This technique only works once on any given trip to the store.  When I get caught, Jessica says, "I'm on to you, Mr.!"

    3) Put stuff (not on the list) back when your partner isn't looking.  This technique is quite sophisticated.  Caution, if done too often, it could make your partner believe that they are losing their mind.  Here's how it is done like a pro.  Prior to getting to the check-out line, while your partner is distracted, take one item from the bottom of the shopping cart, preferably a smaller one, and put it back on the shelf.  Having been underneath all other items, this product has been out of your partner's sight and hopefully out of mind.  Pick something not from a refrigerator (non-perishable) so as not to punish the chain for your mischief.  Also make sure the item(s) are not a favorite of your partner.  You'll be caught for sure if you grab your partner's favorite treat and put it back on the shelf.  They don't forget having grabbed these items while at the store.  Go through the check-out, and feign ignorance when it comes up in conversation back at the house:


    "That's funny," Jessica says as we're putting the groceries away, "I could've swore I bought a box of Quinoa & Brown Rice packets."

    I stay silent.

    "Babes!" she yells.  "Did you see a box of Quinoa packets at check-out?"
    "No," I reply with a straight face, "can't say I did."

    4.  Lie about the length of the check-out lines.  This strategy is used at the end of shopping, once every item on your list has been procured.  It's best used when your partner is dragging.  You're just about your wits end seeing your partner place a multitude of items not on your list inside the cart, and can't take it anymore.  You gotta cut them off.  Be like: "Oh, honey, I'm going to get in line now, the check-out lines are packed!"  And bug the heck out!  Hang out near the entrance of a check-out aisle.  Keep letting others get ahead of you.  Keep looking out for your partner.  If you see him/her coming with a handful of last minute items, get in line quick and look toward the cashier.  Nothing going on around here, Officer.

    I know what you're all thinking by now.  Carlos, why not just talk to Jessica about setting limits at the grocery store?  Carlos, why not just try communicating?  Ha!  I tried that.  It worked a few times, but like all chemical reactions, the chemistry is for coming back to equilibrium, meaning reverting back to our individual ways.  I know Jessica will have her way and I love her for it.  I will try to restrict her from going crazy at the supermarket, getting more than what we actually need, and be foiled each time, like Wile E. Coyote.  But the four tactics listed above keep me feeling like all is not lost.  If anything, there's plenty of entertainment happening on our shopping trips to the grocery store.  How go your joint food shopping trips?



    Thanks for reading!  Leave a comment below.  Subscribe to CCM blog.  Follow me on Twitter: @COsvaGomez.     

    Friday, January 23, 2015

    5 Reasons Why Your Private Company Needs A Brand Ambassador

    There's something to it.  I may not have a bunch of data to share with you, but being a brand advisor and ambassador for Rich-uncles.com has helped Nexregen REIT catch fire with investors.  I've shared with you before how I have been involved with the brand.  See: From Book To Blog To Customer posted on 10/13/14.  One of the most helpful contributions I've made for R-U is helping to expose the brand.  R-U cares about its investors and from the beginning the Founders decided not to throw millions into marketing and advertising.  Facebook ads were used instead.  I supported the brand by blogging for them on this platform as back then they did not have a blog or content writer of their own.  Founder, Howie Makler, was quick to recognize that quality content about the brand was indispensable and since he had a myriad number of tasks of his own, he put me to work.  If you're a small cap private company and don't have "social" going for you, you're basically still in the 20th century.

    Here are some numbers for data mindful people who may be reading:

    Post: Investing With Rich-Uncles 3/26/2014.  Total Pageviews: 1,347.  This blog's All Time Pageviews as of today: 12,785.  This solitary post represents 10.5% of all of my blog's Pageviews.  And it keeps getting clicks!  If you look at my right sidebar, you can see that two other Rich-Uncles associated posts are in the top four all time.  If you Google: "Rich-Uncles," I'm sure you'll see my blog in the results.  Click on Images while you're at it, and you'll see my mug, smiling next to Founder, Howie Makler.  What it all boils down to is…I'm like a brand champion.  We have famous athletes representing brands like Nike, Gatorade, Under Armour, Papa Johns, etc.  Why can't there be a mini version of this, but instead of private (or even public) labels using famous jocks, use bloggers like me?  If you're a Founder or CEO of a small cap private company, looking to get noticed, here are five reasons why you should consider finding yourself a blogger to champion your brand:



    1) Your blog is boring and no one reads it.

    2) Your content manager (if you can afford one) is okay, but she or he is restricted by company policy, meaning, they don't have the liberty of "livening" up their blog posts.  In other words, the posts coming out of your blog page are super technical and dry.  Yawn…

    3) You are too busy as a Founder or CEO, running the company, to keep your blog current.  This is the 21st Century!  Everyone is on social.  If you create a blog post once a week, this may not be enough exposure for your brand.  You are essentially losing customers to other brands that are in people's face constantly.



    4) Your blog is informational and educational only.  Yet, little victories happen for your brand that are not being celebrated publicly.  You got a bigger, nicer main office?  Blog about it!  You raised a little capital?  Blog about it!  You had a successful event for the public?  Blog about it!!!  If you can't, then assign it to your brand champion.

    5) You don't have enough social influence or authority.  I let all my followers know when I post via my business Facebook page and my own personal FB page.  Both of these are linked to my Twitter handle so as soon as I post on FB, I'm also tweeting on Twitter.  I mass distribute information on these two social sites and LinkedIn AND Google+.  Do you have multiple social accounts with hundreds, if not thousands of followers?

    Worries

    You are worried that having an unknown element represent your brand could be bad for you.  Then get to know your potential champion.  Shop around, interview, ask for a background check, and educate the potential blogger brand champion about your vision as a company.  Provide writing restrictions, like not using profanities ever on any blog post or insults aimed at people/other rival companies.


    You are worried that you will violate some sort of law.  If you have a lawyer or a team of lawyers, consult with them.  Most bloggers have legal disclaimers of their own.  Blogs are so prevalent nowadays, and they may be already covering what comes out of your own media, just not passionately.

    You worry about a potential Tiger Woods (marriage incident) moment.  Sure, there could be moments in the brand champion's life that reach the public and the Internet.  I can assure you that most successful bloggers take special care of their lives outside of their blog so that they can safeguard their money maker.

    Thanks for Reading!  @COsvaGomez.  https://www.facebook.com/commoncoremoney
           

    Wednesday, January 21, 2015

    Homelessness Can Happen To Anyone, So Save Up!

    I've been a member of a homeless family once in my life.  In June of 1983, my then 26-year-old mother decided to defy my father's wishes and journey to El Norte with my older sister and me.  My father was a day laborer at the time in California.  He'd live with his two American citizen brothers (he was the unlucky third offspring of a migrant worker who returned with his pregnant wife to Mexico in 1955 after twenty-five years of living on U.S. soil) in the Coachella Valley, or with immigrant friends who lived in San Jose, CA.  My mother must have imagined my father having a great time in California while we starved at home in Chihuahua, Mexico.  "Your father hasn't sent us any money!" I recall her yelling, whenever I'd ask for change to buy sweets at the corner tienda.

    I went from living in a one-bedroom, cement block built house, to sharing a small southwest style home with strangers in El Paso, TX.  My mother's guide from the day we left our small town, Meoqui, to the day we arrived safely in El Paso, was a local couple who'd crossed the Rio Grande more than once.  This couple had family of their own in El Paso, and had pre-arranged a two to three day stay for us with their relatives.  I was six at the time.


    What I remember the most from this experience was eating mayonnaise sandwiches.  This host family was not kin of ours.  Their kitchen was theirs.  Their food was theirs.  We had no money for food.  We were enough of a burden, filling-up their home.  So that's what we ate for a few days until the airline confirmed it had six tickets available for a flight to Los Angeles, three for us, and three for our guides and their son.  Walking into the El Paso airport and on to our gate was nerve-racking.  My mom was sure La Migra would be there just waiting for us.

    Uncle Mario, a former Coachella Valley High School teacher, who passed away from cancer in the late eighties, came to pick us up at the airport in L.A.  We were all still homeless, but at least we would be staying with family.  We lived in Coachella for about a week.  I got to actually leave the house while there and explore the neighborhood with my American cousins.  I'd never seen so many paved roads in my life.

    While in Coachella, my mother was able to finally communicate with my father, using my uncle's telephone to call long-distance to the bay area.  He was not a happy camper, knowing we were now only about 400 miles away, and with no international border to separate us.  Sharing an apartment or renting a garage is a lot easier to do on your own.  No way he'd be able to keep to his set-up.  Plus he had to come get us, borrowing someone else's vehicle.  Remember, people drove without licenses or insurance (very risky) all the time back then.  Being poor was a lot easier.

    What awaited our family in San Jose?  Someone else's house of course!  My dad had a Mexican friend from work who allowed our family to crash at their place until my parents could get an apartment.  Would you like to know what I remember the most about this experience?  Not being allowed to use these people's combs or hairbrushes.  We didn't have any of our own.  We'd left Mexico on the spur of the moment, and my mother, bless her heart, had only packed one bag full of clothes.  She didn't expect us to have made it so far.  I remember her being quite upset at the slight from this more established Mexican family.  "You two have never had lice in your lives!" she told my sister and me in private.  I'd get lice for the first time in my life ironically a few years later while attending McKinley Elementary in East San Jose.

    Voluntarily Becoming Homeless Versus Involuntary Becoming Homeless

    There's a huge difference between becoming "homeless" on your own accord versus becoming homeless out of unfortunate circumstances.  No one forced us to leave Mexico.  Poverty pushed us out. Here in America, people and families become homeless everyday.  I visited Familyhomelessness.org and took the liberty of copying and pasting this blurb for you:



    What Is Family Homelessness? 



    Every year, hundreds of thousands of American families become homeless, including more than 1.6 million children. These families are hidden from our view. They move frequently, and many are doubled-up in overcrowded apartments with relatives or friends. Others sleep in cars and campgrounds or send their children to stay with relatives to avoid shelter life. Once in shelter, despite the efforts of dedicated staff, life can be noisy, chaotic, and lack privacy. Homelessness increases the likelihood that families will separate or dissolve.
    Family homelessness is caused by the combined effects of lack of affordable housing, unemployment, limited access to resources and supports, health and mental health challenges, the challenges of raising children as a single parent, and experiences of violence. As the gap between housing costs and income continues to widen, more and more families are at risk of homelessness. Even a seemingly minor event can trigger a catastrophic outcome and catapult a family onto the streets.
    Families experiencing homelessness are under considerable stress. Homelessness is a devastating experience that significantly impacts the health and well-being of adults and children. Often, members of homeless families have experienced trauma. These experiences affect how children and adults think, feel, behave, relate, and cope.

    I'd like to add one additional reason, not included in the second paragraph above, but one that I come in contact with all the time at the school I work in: Deportation.  These past few years (during the Obama administration) have been difficult for many American children and youth.  They're dubbed, "anchor babies," by conservative media.  Let them be called whatever, it doesn't change the fact that thousands have been left behind to live with relatives or friends, parent-less.  Talk about trauma.  How would you like to have your mom and dad arrested and hauled away from you while grabbing doughnuts before school?  This really happened to two high school age siblings where I work.  Just one of many sad situations I've encountered.  The law is the law, right?  Just doesn't feel right.

    I'm not here to debate immigration policy.  I just wanted to make sure in this post, that I covered every single American out there that has read up to this point, and to make my main point: Family homelessness can happen to anyone...Whites, Blacks, Latinos, and Asians…people living paycheck to paycheck or indeed, even successful investors and entrepreneurs.

    We've heard of individuals who were once homeless and later became rich and famous.  People like Jim Cramer of Mad Money/CNBC.  He talks on his show about having lived in his car at one point in his life.  We may have read, "Rich Dad/Poor Dad," by Robert Kiyosaki and recall his struggles before becoming the wealthy businessman he is today.  The movie, The Pursuit of Happyness, starring Will Smith was hard to watch, but made us feel good knowing his character had made it in the end.  He and his son didn't have to live at the Bart station ever again.  Not every homeless family is this lucky.  For some of them, the struggle never ends.

    A Serious Call for Emergency Savings

    Why I have written about this topic on my blog?  It's supposed to be about financial literacy, investing, entrepreneurship, business, etc.  I wrote this piece to scare you into saving for an emergency.  Friend, you have to trust me on this one.  I admit that I, myself, have done a poor job of saving for an emergency.


    If you're living paycheck to paycheck, pull a few bucks out of your budget every month and put it in an emergency fund.  Get yourself into a Money Market account when you can (there may be deposit minimums) and save until you have at least six months' worth of living expenses.  If you're not living paycheck to paycheck and don't have an emergency fund…shame on you!  Do you have a family?  Then slap yourself in the face and wake up!  I just slapped myself.

    Advice for Head of Multiple Households

    I'm not even sure if that's the term to use: Head of multiple households.  But if you have taken in a family and are the breadwinner or share this role with your partner, I can share a bit of advice with you.



    • Take each day one at a time, but always work for the future.
    • Help empower the people under your roof; don't inadvertently or purposely take away whatever dignity your guests may have with negative comments or actions.  Stay positive for everyone's sake.
    • If adults have come to live with you, be a resource not an enabler.  Many adults have never taken the public bus, for example.  If you've done this before, tell them how to do it, but don't drive them around everyday like a chauffeur.
    • Allow your guests to pitch in around the house.  This makes them feel helpful, especially if they're not paying rent.
    • Keep in mind that your guests are just as uncomfortable about the situation as you are, and want nothing more than to get their own place immediately.  They are not like your Millennial/Boomerang child!
    • Seek help if the strain or stress is too much.  You are not a machine and need to be able to unload your burden on someone, i.e., vent from time to time for your own sanity.  It doesn't do the family any good if the pilot of the ship goes out of commission.
    Thank-you for reading.  Take care.

    Tuesday, January 20, 2015

    Rich-Uncles Declares 4th Quarter Dividend for 2014


    1-20-15
    Newport Beach, CA.

    Nexregen Real Estate Investment Trust I, known to investors and most people as Rich Uncles, reported and paid today a quarterly cash dividend in the amount of $0.1875 per $10 share to interest holders of record as of December 31, 2014.

    The dividend equals an annualized 7.5% investment return.  As an investor, you’d have to be in junk bond territory to get that type of yield. 

    Business Update

    Here are some of the company highlights from the report:

    ·      All commercial properties in the portfolio (22 Del Taco and 1 Chase Bank) remain leased, with all schedule rents received on a timely basis.
    ·      The “Rich-Uncles.com” Internet platform has been completely upgraded.  Current and future investors are able to access their accounts, review their holdings at any time, buy more shares via their linked accounts, etc.
    ·      Sales: Investors bought $1 million worth of shares in the company during the month of December.  This represents the company’s best single month performance to date.
    ·      The acquisition (of new properties) Line of Credit balance was reduced to zero. 


    Line of Credit

    Straight from the report:

    (The purpose of the Line of Credit is to buy income generating commercial real estate investments in conjunction with selling Company Shares. As Shares in the Company are sold, the Line of Credit balance is correspondingly reduced. In this regard, new Shareholders immediately own income producing real estate and immediately earn Dividends derived from this real estate).

    To date, our Line of Credit has been provided by our founders. We have replaced this original Line of Credit with a new, expanded Line of Credit provided by Pacific Mercantile Bank. The Line of Credit limit is now $2.5 million. The Line of Credit provides us great flexibility and nimbleness – we can quickly close on compelling purchase opportunities, which gives us a competitive advantage in the market.   


    New Properties

    Founder Uncle Harold Hofer recently signed a contract to purchase a Chevron gas station and an “ExtraMile” mini-mart located in Rancho Cordova (Sacramento, CA).  The property has a brand new 10-year Triple Net Lease and is the type of property Rich-Uncles loves to buy.  Uncle Harold and his partner and Co-Founder, Uncle Howard Makler, are overseeing the due-diligence process currently.  If all things check, they expect to close escrow in February.



    Dividend Info

    As a Rich-Uncles’ investor and the Investors’ Ambassador, I’m often asked how the dividend works.   Dividend distributions take place around the 20th (not exactly because sometimes the 20th falls on a weekend/holiday/etc.) of the first month of the subsequent quarter.  Case in point: The last quarter ended on December 31st, 2014, and today, 1/20/15, we get our money.  That’s if you elect to get the dividend paid to you each quarter in cash.  There is a re-investment option.  In this case, your dividend distribution will be used to purchase additional shares at the fixed rate of $10/share.  The latter option allows you to take advantage of compounding interest!

    Here’s a little more info from the quarter report on the dividend: 

    Shareholders who purchased Shares during the fourth quarter of 2014 will have their Dividend payment pro-rated based upon a 92 day calendar quarter, as measured from the date shown on each Shareholder’s Share Certificate.

    Shareholders who purchased Shares on more than one occasion will receive one check representing all of the Dividends owed to them; and those who own their Shares in a custodial retirement account will have their Dividend paid directly to the account custodian.

    Shareholders who have elected to participate in the Company’s Dividend Reinvestment Program will receive notification via email of their current Share account balances, including the reinvested Dividends, on January 20, 2015.  


    Comments from Uncle Harold Hofer

    I reached out to Uncle Harold today to get his take on the fourth quarter of 2014.  He said:

    "Our performance for the fourth quarter clicked on all cylinders. First and foremost, our investment properties remained 100% leased with all rents received as scheduled.  We completed the upgrade to our Rich-Uncles.com crowdfunding platform and were rewarded with a great reception by the investing public - $1 million of shares were sold on Rich-Uncles.com in December!  Our 7.5% annualized dividend continues unabated, fully supported by the rents paid by our tenants.  We are under contract to purchase our next property, which fits our acquisition parameters and will broaden the base of our underlying rent-paying investments.  We are pleased and humbled by the confidence shown by our investors, and we will continue to work hard on their behalf."

    Some Quick General Info

    Unfortunately, investing with Nexregen I, a public, non-exchange traded (i.e., not traded in the stock market) REIT, is only available to California residents or Internationals.  There are legalities the company has to abide by as a public, crowdfunding entity that deals in commercial real estate and securities.  If you are interested in the investment, there’s much you can do to educate yourself.

    You can go to the site: Rich Uncles.com
    You can to Investor Education and read some of my blog posts.
    You can read the top three blog posts here at CCM blog (right sidebar).
    You can visit the Rich-Uncles Facebook Page.
    You can contact me.
    You can even talk directly with Uncle Howard at 714-309-1600 or email him at howard@rich-uncles.com.    

    “Our collective success is enhanced by selling more Shares and buying more properties. Please refer Rich-Uncles.com to your family members, friends and business colleagues. Our Advisor pays a free Shares referral fee for every referral you make that results in a new Shareholder. Do us – and yourself – a favor by spreading the word!”



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    Monday, January 19, 2015

    Freelance at Elance.com: How You Too Can Make Mo' Money

    This month I created an account on Elance.  I'm kicking myself now for not having done this sooner.  I guess I just didn't consider freelance writing as a worthwhile side hustle.  Mistake!

    What prompted me to check out Elance was reading an article on one of J. Money's blogs.  You ever hear of J. Money?  He's a financial blogger at Budgets Are Sexy and sticks his hair up in a mohawk.  He accepted the Mexican slang nickname, J. Feria, I gave him over email this past week.  Meaning he's not only a friendly person for communicating with me, but also now an honorary Mexican.  Ha!  You should check out his sites.

    Back to Elance.  The process of setting up your own account is not that hard.  Like most sites, you create a profile first.  Most people will use their name for their Freelance company.  I used "Common Core Money," of course.  Below that comes your tagline.  For example, you can write, "Blogger," or "Article Writer," or "Coding," or "Software Developer," whatever it is that defines you and your skill set.


    Side Hustle

    After entering where you live and other information, you get to provide an Overview of your freelance services.  I recommend you really work hard on crafting a strong and concise paragraph about who you are, what you represent, and what you can offer potential Clients.  Don't get too specific about your services here.  You should leave that for the Service Description portion of your profile.  When you're adding skills, make sure you thoroughly give each sector a good look.  You want to have added as many skills as you can, i.e., that you actually possess.  Remember, you'll get job postings emailed to you by Elance each day based on these skills.

    Not to belabor writing about the Elance profile process, I'll now move on to my first successful proposal.  So I submitted a proposal for this job I thought was perfect for my Creative Writing skill set.  The job was posted on January 12th.  The title of the job was, "Regarding Poverty."  It caught my eye. I was like…shoot, I can tell you all about poverty.  I read the description of the job to be sure I was a match.  I took the liberty of copying and pasting it below so you can see it for yourself.


    We are looking for well-written, personal accounts from those who want to share their experiences on what it is like having lived in poverty and/or overcome it and how being poor has affected them. 

    In this country, poverty has a great social stigma. So, we would like to create a compilation that deals with this topic and helps inspire other in similar situations to keep their chins up. Our goal is to inspire others to keep fighting to achieve whatever dream they seek. 

    Criteria:
    1. must be true, personal stories, not published elsewhere
    2. should be at least 500 words in length (or more)
    3. should also be overall positive in nature 
    4. should include a blurb about yourself as the author (at the end)

    Any story you write for us, you can still receive author credit for (if you elect to) but the story you submit will become our property upon submission (thus, you cannot reprint it without our written permission first and the sole compensation for this project will be what is pre-negotiated).

    If this is something you would be interested in being part of, please do include a short writing sample & describe what you'd like to write about. We are looking to pay $20 per story (for this project) and will hire multiple authors. Our preferred story would have emotional impact and be easy to read, not read like a bio….



    If you feel worthy of the job, you then submit a proposal.  I made sure to hit on the things that fit the Client's criteria.  Wouldn't you know it…I got the gig three days later.  I finished the job on the 17th and got paid on the 19th.  I was also given my first feedback and it was outstanding!  See for yourself below:


    Added Benefits

    I spent about an hour and fifteen minutes writing and editing my piece.  I was paid $20 for it.  You may think this is not much for the effort but sometimes there are collateral benefits to Elance jobs.  This is the email I received from the Client that paid me:

    Wow! That was excellent. Your story is very well written and even humorous, too.
    I loved it. This will be perfect for our collection. We're so lucky to have found you! Thanks again so much for having written this piece for us.

    Thanks so much for your email contact! Ours is ReadingHarborCo@gmail.com
    We also have a website: www.readingharbor.com. 

    To answer your questions, we are going to post it as part of a book compilation on both trade paperback as well as ebook (kindle) version. We may try to release it in other formats but those are our intended platforms right now. It will be through Amazon & Barnes and Nobles online. We can keep you posted when it comes out. 

    That would be great if you could/ would share it with your network contacts.
    We are really excited about this project and are trying to collect more quality stories like this to share with the world. :)


    Thanks again so much!
    Grace

    www.readingharbor.com


    Notice where my piece will be showcased?  In a book!  That adds to my ongoing published works resume.  And I made a contact as well.  $20 could turn into more in the future from this one job.

    Should You Do Elance?

    That's a no brainer.  Even if you live comfortably on your work salary, you should consider creating an Elance profile and bidding on qualified jobs.  You can use the extra cash for investing and accelerate your wealth creation.  Freelancing should be everyone's side hustle in this day and age.  Why?  Because there's less money out there to be had.  Really!  If you haven't heard, the richest one percent's share of global wealth increased to 48%.  By 2016 this elite minority will own over half of all the world's wealth.  See: global-income-inequality-richest-1-to-own-half-of-worlds-wealth-by-2016/.  What are they going to do when they own it all?  Build country clubs on the moon and leave a polluted, dying, planet Earth for the poor?  Elon Musk will have CAT build this wealthy segment contained space bubble cities with artificial gravity, temperature regulators, the works...and make giant swimming pools out of craters.  Hey…one never knows!



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