Tag Archives: real estate

Buying an Investment Property Sight Unseen

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A little over a year ago, I purchased an investment property in Kansas City, Missouri. I have never been to Kansas City, Missouri. I bought the property sight unseen. I live in New York City and can’t afford rental property in this area so I decided to invest out-of-state where the numbers make more sense. I am a risk averse person and buying something sight unseen sounded crazy. I just didn’t have to time to fly out there to see the property personally. However, ultimately, I determined that me physically going to the location wouldn’t have made that much of a difference. Was it really necessary to drive around the neighborhoods, look at houses, and speak to the staff of company I was looking to purchase my investment from? With the power of the internet, I can research the neighborhoods, look at pictures and videos of the houses, and speak to the staff of the real estate investment company over the phone. I know very little about housing construction and the extent of my home improvement skills is changing a light bulb and hammering a nail into the wall. Yes, it is pretty pathetic. I am much better off in leaving this to the experts.

Here is what I did instead:

First, when choosing someone to work with, I went to the forums of Biggerpockets. There are many people asking for references and a few names consistently came up as being trustworthy. I contacted the people who gave the good reviews and asked them more specific questions about how their investment was going. I googled those companies and checked if there were complaints on BBB. The most important thing when investing (and especially when investing out-of-state) is to trust the person you are working with. And even if you do trust the person, you must always make sure to the best of your ability that what they are saying is true. Trust, but verify!

After narrowing down the companies that had great reviews, I contacted them and asked them more specific questions regarding the investment. If the person I spoke to take forever to reply to e-mails or phone calls or if they sound shady or overly optimistic about their investment, sounding like they were making a sales pitch, I’d be less inclined to work with them. Sure, an in-person meeting may be slightly better way to determine whether one can be trusted, but I don’t think it was absolutely necessary.

Researching the neighborhood and property:

Zillow: This is one of the best tools giving you a good amount of information about the property and neighborhood. It will provide you with a “Zestimate” which is their estimate as to the approximate value of the property. They seem to do a pretty good job estimating how much the property is worth. You can also look at the comparable sales in the neighborhood. There are also ratings for the schools in the neighborhood. Another great tool that Zillow has is their rent zestimate which estimates the amount of rent you can probably get from that property. It is a pretty good estimation but also check out Rentometer, which also gives a rent estimate. Another thing you can do is to call up local property managers and ask them how much rent they think you can charge for that property.

Trulia: It provides similar information to Zillow, but I like using Zillow better. I do like Trulia’s Crime Map which shows the amount of reported crimes in that neighborhood. It also has information about demographics as well as average commute time and businesses in the neighborhood. For more information about crime, SpotCrime is also a good resource. Another great resource with a wealth of information about various neighborhoods is neighborhood scout. (You will have to pay for more advanced data)

The Biggerpockets forum is not just a great place to get recommendations on companies to work with, but it is also a great place to find which neighborhoods you should invest in. There are plenty of helpful people who will tell you what areas to avoid and which areas are a good investment. Also, check out the City Data forum where there are many locals who will provide information about the neighborhood you are looking into. The Biggerpockets forum is geared towards investors whereas the City Data forum seems to be people talking about their neighborhoods generally and helping those who plan on moving there with information. Another way to look at the neighborhood and house without traveling there is to use Google Street View. Of course, these pictures may not be up-to-date but it still gives you a feel for the neighborhood.

Seeing the property- the turnkey company, realtor or whoever it is you are working with will send you pictures and/or videos of the property. If you want to make sure these pictures are accurate, you can hire an independent third-party to take pictures of the property and send it to you. For $69, WeGoLook will send an agent to the property to take some pictures and verify the condition of the property.

Finally, after all this research, I think that an inspection and appraisal of the property adds an extra layer of security. If you are taking a mortgage on the property, the bank won’t want to take the risk of giving you mortgage with a property that is in horrible condition and about to fall apart. The home inspector has no incentive to lie about the condition of the property. Consider using a different home inspector than the one recommended by the turnkey company or realtor you’re working with to ensure there is no conflict of interest.

I’m not saying you should purchase real estate out-of-state without seeing it. If you are able to fly out to see the properties offered, check out the neighborhoods, and talk to the people you will be investing with, it’s a great idea. I’m just saying that it is doable even if you cannot personally go there. Just make sure you do your due diligence. Investing in real estate has risks and investing in a property out-of-state has increased risks, but they can be reduced.

Would you consider buying a property without seeing it? If you’ve done this before, are there any other resources you would recommend using?

Mind-blowing Ideas Found Reading Blogs

credit: Freedigitalphotos.net

credit: Freedigitalphotos.net


Even before I started my own blog, I was a blog reading addict (mostly personal finance blogs). I’ve learned so many great things and gotten so many ideas from reading blogs, which include ideas that the main stream media often don’t talk about. I was tired of reading the recycled articles about making a budget and contributing to your 401K up to the employer match. I didn’t want to read any more stories about how early retirement was almost impossible (and by early they meant 50’s) and that even retiring at 65 might be a pipe dream. Here are some of the amazing things that I’ve learned thus far:

Retire in your 30’s

I always thought that, like most people, you get a job, work for 40 some odd years and retire in your 60s. I thought I was doing an awesome job saving for retirement when I opened an IRA account and increased my 401K contribution over the amount that my employer matched. Since I was working in government where I had a pension, I started thinking that retirement at 55 would be possible and thought that was incredibly awesome. Now when I stumbled upon the Early Retirement Extreme blog where the blogger, Jacob, said that he retired after working 5 years and was not yet 30, my mind was blown. He was a little extreme with his frugality, but then through Jacob’s blog, I found Mr. Money Mustache and his story really made me think that early retirement was possible. He went into detail about how he and his wife retired early, and argued that early retirement didn’t mean a life of deprivation, explaining often that he lives a very fulfilling life. I’m not going to be able to retire in my 30’s, but it’s possible I get there in my 40’s.

Simple, Stress-free Investing with Superior Results

I have talked about index investing many times on my blog. I believe in it and I am glad that I found this strategy. It wasn’t always this way though. Like many others, I used to chase returns by trying to a hit run by investing in the next hot stock and by investing in mutual funds which had the best returns. Now I realize that it is difficult if not impossible to consistently beat the market, so I just stick with low-cost index funds. Warren Buffet has encouraged most investors to just invest in low-cost index funds and I’m going to take his advice. This investment approach has also reduced my stress. The market drops a few hundred points! There’s a recession coming! Britain is exiting the EU! I’m investing for the long haul and I don’t really care about the stock market fluctuations. I continue to invest and stay the course. I’m not exactly sure when I first learned about index investing but it was likely on the Bogleheads’ forum.

Don’t Pay Taxes

You know how the saying goes that “there are only two guarantees in life: Death and Taxes.” Well, what if you could pay very little or no taxes? Wait wait wait, I’m not saying you should be like Wesley Snipes and get convicted of tax evasion. There are legitimate ways for regular working Joes to shelter our money from taxes. When I read the blog post title $150,000 Income, $150 Income Tax and Never Pay Taxes Again, I was very interested. We often hear about maximizing our returns when investing, but most times we ignored tax savings. Taxes are boring and complicated. Nobody really wants to deal with them. Heck, most people I know have no idea about their own taxes! They send their tax documents to the accountant who files the taxes for them. The tax policy in the US targets people with earned income so if you reduce your taxable income by “making your take home pay as small as possible,” you can avoid paying a good amount of taxes. Justin who blogs at Root of Good and wrote the post about paying only $150 in income tax with a $150,000 income, suggests that “you do everything you can to make your take home pay as small as possible” by maxing out tax advantaged plans like Retirement plan contributions (401k, 457 or 403b plans), flexible spending accounts, health savings accounts, and others. I’m pretty sure that after I read this post, I immediately logged onto my 457 plan online and maxed out my contributions.

The post about never paying taxes again was found on the Go Curry Cracker blog and it gave four simple rules to eliminate taxes:

◾Choose leisure over labor
◾Live well for less
◾Leverage ROTH IRA Conversions
◾Harvest Capital Losses AND Capital Gains

I’m especially a fan of choosing leisure over labor to eliminate taxes. That’s a win win! This advice is geared more towards those seeking or near early retirement, which is what I often dream about.

Out-of-State Real Estate Investing

I always wanted to invest in real estate but it didn’t seem possible because real estate was so expensive in the area where I lived. When I read that the blogger FI Fighter, who also lived in a high-cost-of-living-area, invested in real estate in states where the prices made more sense and where the properties would cash flow, I was very intrigued. I was somewhat skeptical at first but after some due diligence and research, I jumped in and also purchased a rental property out-of-state.

Travel for Free

I used to focus on earning cash back on my credit cards. When I read bloggers write about earning travel points on credit cards and going to exotic locations for nearly free with points, I didn’t really pay much attention because I always figured it was just too good to be true. There was a catch, right? However, after I read more and more stories of people were doing it, I was of course, interested to see if I could get in on it too. After learning some of the “tricks of the trade” with travel hacking, I’ve been able to score some free flights and have stayed at hotels (some pretty luxurious ones) for pretty much free. If you are someone who overspends with a credit card, travel hacking is not a good idea. If you are disciplined with your spending and are an organized person, you can definitely take advantage of travel hacking. I think I first started reading about travel hacking on the Flyertalk forums, but the information can get pretty technical and it might be intimidating to newbies. I think from that forum, I found the Million Mile Secrets blog which is a great resource for those interested in pursuing this. If you want to learn more about this area, there is even a free online course about the topic on Travel Miles 101. If you want even more hand holding, you can contact Holly from Club Thrifty with your ideal itinerary and she will help you create a “credit card rewards-fueled plan that can make your travel dreams come true”

You Can Really Make Money Online!

I always thought that there was an opportunity to make money online but I didn’t know how, plus I am not the least bit technically inclined. Reading articles where bloggers reveal how much money they earn online really opened my eyes to the opportunities out there. Check out the income reports on Club Thrifty and Making Sense of Cents and tell me you don’t want to learn more about this possibility. I definitely am and will need to learn more about how to earn some money online! The best thing about making money online is that you can be often work from anywhere and your schedule is a lot more flexible. Also, if you do it right, a lot of the income can be passive.

Drastically Reduce the Cost of Your Cellphone Service

I was in a family plan with AT&T and had an employer discount. I thought that was the best that I could do. There was no other way to reduce this expense unless I went with some unknown network which was probably unreliable. Then I read Is Your Cellphone Plan Ripping You Off? on the Saving the Crumbs blog and I knew that I could saved a lot of money by switching. Being that Cricket Wireless uses AT&T’s network, I figured there was no downside to the switch. With Cricket Wireless’ family plan, you can have 5 smartphones with unlimited talk and text and 2.5 gigs of data (after which your data speeds are reduced) for $100. That is less than half of what you would pay if you had a similar plan on AT&T. So why wouldn’t I switch? I’ve also heard great things about other plans like Republic Wireless and Ting which are a lot more affordable that the traditional plans, but I haven’t tried them. If you’re interested, you can check out the review on Republic Wireless here, and the review on Ting here.

Consider an Adjustable Rate Mortgage
When I was purchasing a co-op, I went to the bank and the loan consultant just assumed that I was looking for a 30 year fixed mortgage. I didn’t know any better and after the housing crash in 2007, there was such a stigma with adjustable rate mortgages that I just assumed that a fixed mortgage was superior. I truly regret not doing more research about this because I would have saved a lot of money if I didn’t go with conventional advice. When I read Financial Samurai’s post, 30-Year Fixed Mortgage Loan or an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)?, I knew I made a costly mistake. Here is an excerpt of what he had to say:

“First of all, the average duration one lives in and owns a home is 7 years. If that’s the case, what on earth are you doing borrowing a 30-year fixed rate mortgage for? A 23 year + overestimation of ownership is a serious miscalculation based on the statistics at hand. With a 5/1 ARM, your underestimation is only 2 years, but you already have baked that in”

We bought a co-op which is a junior 4 (small dining alcove converted into a small bedroom). Being that our family was growing, it was very likely that we’d outgrow the apartment in 5 to 7 years. I did run the “rent vs buy” calculator and given other factors, I think it made sense to buy a co-op even given this timeline. But it made no sense to get a 30-year fixed mortgage. If I had gotten a 5/1 ARM, I’d reduce my interest rate by 1% saving over a thousand dollars a year. *Face Palm*

Do you see anything here you might implement in your life? Have you read anything tips or ideas on other blogs that was really mind-blowing? If so, please share in the comments!

I Bought an Out-of-State Investment Property

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Living in New York City, I always thought it would be hard to buy a house because they are so expensive, so instead we purchased a co-op which is much more affordable. I was always interested in real estate investing, but I used to immediately think that it would be IMPOSSIBLE! I couldn’t even afford to buy a house to live in, how was I going to buy one as an investment property? I considered buying a co-op to rent out, but there are often very strict rules about renting so I scratched that idea off. I started reading the Biggerpockets forum which is a great resource for those interested in investing in real estate. When the topic of how to invest in real estate when you live in an expensive area came up, a member of that forum suggested that you look a little farther away from where you live. I work outside of NYC so I looked into that area. While the properties were more affordable, the property taxes were very high and ultimately, the numbers just didn’t make sense. Then I read an option that just might work: invest in an out-of-state turnkey property.

First, what is a turnkey property?

Basically, a turnkey property is a house that has been fully renovated and is ready to be rented out. The company that sells this turnkey property usually also manages the property for the investor. The goal is for the management company to handle the day-to-day operations of the property, it takes a fee, and you, the investor gets to sit back and have the remainder of the rent sent to you.

But aren’t you scared to buy a property out-of-state?

This is the most asked question when I tell them that I bought an out-of-state rental property. As a matter of fact, I bought it sight unseen. You often hear about real estate investment scams and buying a property out-of-state would make most people feel uneasy. Even after learning about such opportunities, I took a lot of time to learn more about it and do my due diligence before jumping in. I read reviews about various turnkey companies and read the BiggerPockets forums to find people who had invested with those companies. I contacted those investors and asked them how their experience was. When I heard positive reviews from other investors, it put me at ease. I used Google maps, Neighborhood Scout and Zillow/Trulia to look at pictures of the property as well as other information. More specifically, I looked at the crime in that area, the school ratings and what Zillow/Trulia estimates the property to be worth. (This is just a starting point. Don’t just rely on information on these sites) I also figure that since there will be an appraisal and an inspection done on the property, there are some safeguards from a company selling you a dump that no one in their right mind would rent.

Where did I end up buying my out-of-state property?

Initially, I wanted to buy in an area where I at least knew someone living there so that they could check on it if I felt the company which was managing the property was doing something shady. I looked into the Buffalo area because it seemed the properties would cash flow and there has been a lot investment by the state to revitalize the city. However, after contacting a few companies, I didn’t feel too comfortable with them as they were not too great with communicating with me. Also, one company offered me a property in a not so great part of town and I wasn’t interested in being a slumlord. Then, I narrowed down the cities that I thought would make sense and came up with Indianapolis, Memphis, and Kansas City, Missouri based on the economy and employment rates as well as other factors. After contacting the companies and asking other investors their honest take about them, I ended up choosing a company in Kansas City.

While the company I chose to work with sold turnkey properties, they also had a hybrid approach. With turnkey properties, the company will usually buy a distressed property at a low price, make renovations to it and sell it to the investor at retail price. Nothing really wrong with that. It is a business and they need to make money too. Just make sure it’s a fair price. The hybrid approach that the company I worked with used was a little different in that the investor would purchase the distressed property, the company would manage the renovation (for a fee), and then rent it out. I decided that since buying the property at a lower price would give me some built in equity in the property from the start, it might be a better investment.

How is it going?

I bought the property about one year ago. It was a foreclosure and my offer of $60,000 was accepted. I took out a mortgage as well as a rehab loan. The rehab cost about $12,000 so the total price of the rehabbed property was $72,000 and the appraisal of the property came to $83,000. After it was renovated, it was rented out in September 2015 for $850 a month and the tenant has paid timely each month. Some maintenance issues have popped up since I purchased the property, however, I am still confident that it will turn out to be a good investment.

I am still very much a novice when it comes to investing in real estate so I didn’t go too in-depth into the more technical aspects of real estate investing. However, I wanted to write about my experience so others who thought they would never be able to invest in real estate because their local housing prices were so high, know that there are opportunities available in other parts of the country and that it’s possible to invest out-of-state. I also understand that there is always risk whenever you invest in real estate, especially when it is out-of-state. So if you are interested in going this route, make very sure that you do your due diligence. Also, check out the resources below. I read a lot of the following blogs and forums from other more experienced real estate investors when I decided to invest.

Resources for those who are interested in investing in out-of-state rental property

I think the first blog I read which talked about investing in out-of-state rentals was Fi Fighter. He laid out a clear and reasoned explanation as to why he chose this route and why he thought it was a good investment. There are a bunch of valuable posts about this topic, but I highly recommend Why I Invest in Turnkey Properties, and How to Quickly Evaluate a Real Estate Deal: The 1% Rule

Paula Pant who blogs at Afford Anything also has a lot of posts relating to real estate investing. She doesn’t focus on turnkey investing but she does write about managing her rental properties from “around the globe.” She has a fantastic post answering the most frequently asked questions about real estate investing, she has monthly income reports, and recently launched a course about this topic.

Another excellent resource is the Biggerpockets website (I mentioned the forum earlier), however they also have a free beginner’s guide to investing, podcasts, blog, calculators and a plethora of other useful tools at your disposal.

For those interested in turnkey properties, you can check out Turnkey reviews, and you can also get a free e-book about that topic there. It’s a good starting point to find companies that seem to do a good job, but I haven’t seen any negative reviews so I try to take the reviews with a grain of salt.

Lastly, I have been following the Cash Flow Diaries blog as the blogger writes about his turnkey real estate investments and is very transparent about the price, expenses, etc, relating to his investments. An excellent post for beginners interesting in investing in turnkey properties is his post A Step by Step Guide: How to Buy a Turnkey Rental Property.

Have you invested in out-of-state rental properties and how has it gone? If not, would you consider this investment option?

I’m Frugal…Now What?

Piggy bank2

In my post Live Like a College Student, I encouraged new grads to continue being frugal and to save money. But what if you’re already frugal? I know a few friends and relatives in their 20s who aren’t living the high life and have a healthy savings rate, but unfortunately, the money is sitting idly in a bank account. So what should they be doing with their money instead?

Invest it!

“But I’m scared of the stock market,” you say

Rather than leaving a large amount of your savings in a bank account, make your money work for you. Many people, especially millenials, fear the stock market. While it is understandable to be apprehensive being that you observed the 2008 stock market crash and subsequent recession wreck havoc on many people’s finances. The media has also done a great job in scaring people. However, you have to invest your money if you want to build wealth. Hiding the bulk of your savings in your mattress or in a savings account won’t do that. In fact, the value of your money will be eroded by inflation. No one can predict what the stock market will do, but it’s very likely that another stock market crash will occur. But that’s okay because the stock market has historically given investors about an 8% return. Remember, you’re young and you’re a long-term investor. The next time there is a stock market crash, just think of it as stocks going on sale and a buying opportunity.

But I don’t know how to invest?,” you ask.

Index Funds

Other than being scared of investing, a lot of people are also intimidated because they don’t know the first thing about investing. Don’t worry if you don’t know much about investing or have any inclination to learn. You can set up a “lazy portfolio” and it’ll probably perform better than your friends who “think” they can beat the stock market. Or if you want to be even more hands-off, just invest in an “all-in-one” fund.

Some, on the other hand, think they know more about investing than they really do and “invest” in individual stocks. For most people, they’re better off sticking with index funds. Like many of my peers when I was in my 20s, I thought I could beat the market by predicting which stocks would soar. Well my track record is pretty poor, and I would have done a lot better just investing in an index fund.

Automate your savings

Automating your savings makes saving money easy. By having money automatically sent from your paycheck to your 401k/IRA account/etc, you take the stress out of saving. Even better, every time you receive a raise, increase the amount you save. I have received steady increases in pay the last few years, but my paycheck has stayed about the same. This prevents lifestyle inflation as you’ll never miss the money since it is out of sight, out of mind.

As for your 401k, don’t settle for saving up to the match. Save much more than that if you have decent options in your 401k (if not, invest in an IRA account). At my first job, my employer matched up to 5%, and I thought I was a rockstar when I increased my contribution to 7%. That’s just not going to cut it. But of course, at a minimum, invest up to what your company matches. Don’t make the mistake of many Boeing employees who have collectively turned down $98 million in matching funds by not contributing up to the match.

Real Estate: Should I buy or rent?

For most people in their 20s, just starting in their careers, it’s probably better to rent rather than buy a place. You want the flexibility just in case your career takes you someplace else. You don’t want to be forced to sell your home as there are transactional costs and you might get caught in a down market. Plus, you’re young, who wants to be stuck maintaining the yard and taking care of other home-related projects? However, there are some instances where I do think it would make sense to buy a house at that stage of your life.

I have a friend who purchased a duplex a few years after he graduated from college. He rented out one unit and also rented a room to a friend in his unit. The rental income that he received paid for his mortgage. He was living rent-free! Now, years later, the property has also appreciated so it’s been a great investment for him. So, I think it makes sense to purchase a house in your 20s if you’re purchasing the property as an investment and it will cash flow. It definitely depends on where you live. It makes sense to buy in some areas in the country, whereas it makes more sense to continue renting in other parts. Check out the Rent vs Buy calculator to help you make your decision.

Increase your income

Invest in yourself and acquire marketable skills to increase your salary. While in some circumstances you may need to go to graduate school, you don’t necessarily have to quit your job to acquire new skills, as it’s possible to learn new skills online. Check out Udemy or Treehouse. Another way to increase your income is to have a “side hustle” or part-time job. Check out this site for a list of 50 side hustle ideas.

What other advice would you give to someone just starting out on their financial journey? What advice would you give your 22 year old self about finances?

What Are You Investing In?

credit: Freedigitalphotos.net by Scott Chan

credit: Freedigitalphotos.net by Scott Chan


Last week, I was at a birthday party for my friend’s 3 year old child. It was a group of guys that I’ve know since college, and now we’re all working professionals in the stage of our lives where we’re married and have young children. One friend said that the income from his day job just wasn’t going to cut it. He wanted to make more. Now he wasn’t saying that they couldn’t make ends meet. I think he earns a good salary, it’s just tough living in NYC with a family. Plus, they recently became a one-income family and they are thinking about moving since they live in a 2-bedroom condo with two kids. So the topic of make money in ventures outside of our primary job came up. Here are the ideas that were discussed:

Stocks

I think investing in stocks is one of the best ways to make your money work for you. My friends talked about the money they’ve made investing in stocks such as Apple, Tesla, and in 3-D Printing companies, among others. I joined in the conversation about buying stocks as I have a small amount in individual stocks. But I really think that index investing is the best bet. Basically, I love the low costs, simplicity and often superior returns. For more of my thoughts on index investing, read Why Invest in Index Funds? and When Being Cheap and Lazy is Better. However, if you are also interested in investing in individual stocks, check out Bryan’s blog Income Surfer, who provides a great resource regarding investing in stocks. My friends weren’t too fond of index investing and think they have a better shot at higher returns investing by themselves. I’ll stick with index funds for the bulk of my money, and satisfy my “I can get higher returns” side by investing a small portion in individual stocks.

Real Estate

My friend said that he was considering investing in real property in New York City. In the last few years, the housing prices in NYC have increased substantially. There’s a mindset with many I know, that there will always be a high demand for property in NYC so it will always be a good investment. I’m not sure about that, but that is the prevailing mindset of many. As housing prices have skyrocketed, my friend is thinking about buying in neighborhoods that are “up and coming” or prospective neighborhoods that might see growth in the future. The highly sought after areas like Williamsburg, DUMBO in Brooklyn, and Long Island City in Queens were once mainly factories and warehouses…not neighborhoods people pay big money to move to. It’s an interesting idea, but I’m not sure I have the money or the risk tolerance to try this plan. I have recently thought about buying property in lower cost areas, such as Western New York where my wife went to school and where my brother-in-law still resides, and renting it out. It’s just a thought for now though, and I’ll definitely need to learn more about investing in real estate and in being a landlord. Dave from The New York Budget just wrote about investing in a turnkey property, which is pretty awesome since I might look into doing that in the future.

To learn more about investing in real estate, definitely check out:
FI Fighter
No Nonsense Landlord

Peer-to-Peer Lending

I invest a small amount of money in Lending Club, a peer-to-peer lending platform, where investors like you and me can provide micro loans (as small as $25) that get pooled together for someone that needs the loan. The borrowers pay interest rates depending on various factors such as their creditworthiness, and Lending Club charges a small fee of 1% for the service. Currently, according to Lending Club, my net annualized return is 7.4%, which is great compared to a savings account, but not as great when compared to stocks. As I mentioned earlier, I only invest a small amount of money, as I’m not sure it’s the best place for my money when considering the risks and returns.

Online Blog/Store

Back in 2006, my friend, who was also at the party, and I decided to try and make some money from the internet. We didn’t really know what we were doing, which resulted in us quitting. That was pretty unfortunate since I keep hearing that it was much easier to make money blogging back then. We started various websites and an eBay store. In any case, AdSense sent me a check for $25 about a year ago since our AdSense account had been inactive for such a long time. It is one of the reasons which motivated me to start a blog. I haven’t yet learned how to monetize property though, as I don’t even have $25 in my AdSense account. Sam from Frugaling posted that he made $35,000 during his first year blogging so it can be done. For a quick rundown on how to make money blogging, check out DC’s post on Young Adult Money entitled 5 Ways to Make Money Blogging. Steve from My Wife Quit Her Job has a great blog and online course for those who want to start an online business.

Education

Invest in yourself. A friend of mine is not happy with his current position and salary. He plans on acquiring some marketable skills to increase his salary. You don’t necessarily have to quit your job to acquire new skills, as it’s possible to learn new skills online.

Forex Trading (Currency trading)

One of my friends mentioned this investment option, but I’m not sure I would recommend it. He works in that field and says he has done well in investing in currency markets. It seems pretty volatile though. However, you can open a free practice account if you are interested.

So what are you investing in?