Personal – Top 10 Sales for Jan-2022

Congratulation to the agents who made the Top 10 for sales volume at our brokerage!

This is two months in a row that I am in this group. I am deeply honored to be here.

This is an amazing place to work and I really love the family atmosphere of the KW Bayou Partners Brokerage. It is so different than my previous career that I am constantly having to pinch myself to make sure I am not dreaming.

If you are thinking about a career in real estate, let’s talk.

Remember, if you have a real estate need, whether buying or selling, give me a call or shoot me an email. It doesn’t matter if you are outside of my area, I can connect you with a Rockstar Real Estate Agent!

Clint C. Galliano, REALTOR® 985.647.4479

Clint C. Galliano, a native of Lafourche Parish, has lived in the Houma-Thibodaux area for over 36 years and is currently a REALTOR® with Keller Williams Realty Bayou Partners in Houma, La. He has been involved with real estate investing since 2017 and hosts the local Real Estate Investment Association. Real Estate is his passion. Clint previously worked in drilling fluids and drilling fluids automation for 28 years. He lives in Bayou Blue with his wife and two daughters.

Business – Five Tips for Business Startups

Today’s article is a guest post from Howie Bick.

Howie Bick is the founder of The Analyst Handbook. The Analyst Handbook is a collection of 16 guides created to help current and aspiring Analysts advance their careers. Prior to founding The Analyst Handbook, Howie was a financial analyst.

Things To Keep In Mind When Starting A Business

Building or creating a business is an endeavor that incorporates a variety of different factors, and touches upon multiple different topics. Within the building of a business, there are lots of ideas to think about, like the amount of capital you may need in order to begin, the type of overhead or expenses you may have on a monthly basis, the type of market or demographic you’ll be catering to, and the type of competition that’s out there. The business landscape is one that requires business owners or managers to manage and handle a variety of tasks and wear multiple different hats at once. Keeping these things in mind, and having a good idea of what’s ahead, will be beneficial for anyone trying to build or create a business.

The Market or Demographic You’re Catering To

Each business or company has a particular demographic or market that they are looking to cater to. The market or demographic a company or business is looking to cater to, is often a group of people who have something in common, like a problem, an issue, or a desire they’re looking to solve. It can be something they need, desire, or want, but the business is looking to provide a solution or deliver the type of results their customers are looking for. Figuring out the market or demographic you’re looking to cater to, is a great place to start. That way, you can get an idea of the types of services they may be looking for, the type of products that may interest them, or the type of solutions they may be looking for. The way a business positions themselves, with their offerings to their customers, plays an important role in the way potential customers view them, and the way they’re viewed within the marketplace.

Competitive Advantages or Competitive Edges

Businesses that are able to carve out a particular niche, or area where they’re successful, often have a competitive edge, or a competitive advantage over the competition. A competitive edge is something that a business does better or more effectively than their competitors, or something that allows them to differentiate themselves within the marketplace. It’s an important element to any company or business, that’s looking to compete in a market where there are lots of options, and many parties looking to fulfill or satisfy their customers desires. Companies can develop competitive advantages through their prior experiences, the type of packages or services they offer to their competitors, or the type of knowledge or information they may have that others don’t. It’s something that’s important to keep in mind, when you’re evaluating whether you may be successful in a certain market, or whether you’re capable of differentiating yourself among the competition.

The Initial or Upfront Costs Associated With Starting

Every business requires a certain amount of investment, or capital in order to begin operating. Whether it’s getting a space and signing a lease, or acquiring the type of machinery you may need to operate, the costs associated with creating or building a business depend on the type of company you’re looking to build, and the types of products or services you plan to offer. It’s important to have a sense of the amount of capital or investment it may cost to create a business. It’s a tough situation when you decide to start a business and invest the capital or resources you do have, to later find out that you don’t have enough, or need to obtain more. By having an idea or a sense of the type of investment a certain business requires you can prepare or plan in advance or prior to creating the business and be better situated to develop or create the business you were looking to build.

The Monthly Costs or Expenditures

Similar to the amount of capital or investment you may need in order to start or build a business, having a sense or an idea of the types of costs or expenses that your business may accrue or cost on a monthly basis is an important metric to keep an eye on. The age-old business equation is revenue minus expenses equals profit. By having an idea of the type of expenses you may accrue, you’re able to get an idea of how much business you need to do, or how much revenue you need to generate in order to make money in a month. You’re also able to have an idea of how much capital or money you need to keep on hand to continue operating and continue running the business. The monthly costs or expenditures associated with a business is an important figure to keep an eye on, and to monitor during the operations of a business, and prior to starting or creating a business.

Personal Expenses Continue to Accrue

Whenever you’re starting something new, a new job, a new company, or a new business, it’s important to keep in mind that your personal expenses continue to accrue. In the beginning stages of building a business, it often takes a bit of time to get going, and to start making the type of money you’re looking to make. That’s why, it’s important to consider that even though you may be starting a new business or a new company, which is great and congratulations, that you’ll still need to find a way to pay bills and provide for yourself. It’s something that’s a bit of a struggle for a new business owner, who’s truly looking to build a business to support themselves, or to generate the type of income they’re looking for. Preparing and planning in advance is something that can be very beneficial to lightening the load and making the transition an easier process or ordeal for you financially.


Building a business is something that comes with lots of different ideas to keep in mind and brings in to play lots of different factors as well. The market or demographic you’re trying to cater to, is an important part of any business, as it’s the group of people or companies you’re looking to interact with and find a way to provide value to. The competitive edge or competitive advantage a company has, is important in a company’s efforts to stand out within a marketplace or find a way to differentiate itself among its competitors. By having a sense of how much capital or investment you might need to start a business, you can have an idea of whether you have enough to begin, or whether you need to wait longer, or figure out another way. Having that sense of how much investment it might require, can save you spending lots of your money on something that may not be feasible just yet, or a bit out of reach. The monthly costs or expenditures that a business requires, is important to know how much revenue you need to generate, and the type of capital or money you need to keep on hand in order to continue operating. A lot of what corporate finance is, is managing the finances behind a business, making sure that the business has what it needs to continue operating, and finding ways to continue to grow and develop the business as well. Even though you may be starting something new, and you need time to bring it into fruition, personal expenses are something that continue to accrue, and are important to keep in mind when building a business. All in all, creating a business is something that comes with lots of different factors, a lot more than the few we were able to highlight. We hoped this helped and shined light on some of the important factors to consider when starting or creating a business.

And, as always, let me know what you think in the comments. Ask questions, tell your story.

If you like my articles, please share them with others and subscribe to this blog.

Personal Finance – Due to…Your Position is No Longer Needed

The “R-word”.

Twenty-seven years.

For twenty-seven years I worked for a company.

In the span of these last five months I have had two meetings with my manager(s) and HR to let me know that due to market conditions, among other thing things, my position was being eliminated.

The first conversation was a choice between an early retirement package or working in another state. The second gave no options.

This is how I joined the ranks of the recently unemployed. It may or may not differ from yours, but that is not the point. I will lay out some guidelines to point you in the right direction, especially if you are feeling overwhelmed and not sure what to do.

What next?

“What next?” is the question you may be asking yourself. The first thing you should do is understand that this situation is not a reflection on you. This is not an indication of your self-worth. Especially at this time, thousands of people are being laid off.

Take a breather, relax, or, if possible, a mini-vacation. Let your mind recuperate from the stress.

Stay the Course or Change Direction?

The next step is to decide if you want to continue doing what you have been doing. Some of you have knowledge, skills, and talents that easily transfer to other industries while others may need to adapt their skills to new areas.

If needed, don’t be afraid to train for something new. We will discuss training in more detail below.

The point is, from my perspective, the oil and gas industry will not be booming soon, so don’t wait around for it to pick back up.

How Much Do I REALLY Need to Spend?

At this point, it is a good idea to review your finances. If you have not done so already, put together a personal balance sheet. This totals all of your assets and all of your liabilities. This will help you to visualize what resources you have and what debt you owe.

Then tally up all of your expenses. Look at this long and hard to decide what is essential and what can be cut or reduced. Examples can be premium movie channels, cable TV, any type of subscription that is not essential.

See posts on spending and saving money in the Personal Finance section.

What About Income?

File for unemployment benefits if you are able. The weekly payment amount varies from state to state and also depending on other factors like recent salary. In my case, I am eligible for $247 per week in unemployment benefits.

There should also be an additional federal benefit of $600 per week on top of the state benefit due to the pandemic. Your state employment website should allow you to indicate that the pandemic was partially or wholly the cause for your being released.

Now What?

At this point, you should have a thorough understanding of where you are financially, what assets you have, what bills you owe, and a good  idea on whether or not you will continue  doing what you were doing or establish a career in a  new industry.

If you are an IT Professional, it’s easy to transfer your capabilities to a different industry because the requirements are relatively similar, no matter what industry.

If your career was more specialized, say Drilling Fluids Technical Professional, that job description won’t show up in other industries.

Start to look at training opportunities for your new career choice. Your state employment website should have a section on training to prepare you for a different job. Pretty much every major job search engine provides you with a list of free training resources. Use them. Take advantage of the opportunity to add to your skill set.

You will get through this. You have the choice to be better for this. Seize control and be the best you can be!

 If any of you readers need to talk, have questions, or need advice, please reach out to me here(Link will take you to a contact form. Your information will not be shared or used to sell you anything.)

And, as always, let me know what you think in the comments. Ask questions, tell your story. If you like my posts, please share them with others and subscribe to this blog.

Personal – More Change – Opportunity Awaits!

The oil and gas industry is in turmoil and service companies, in particular, are reducing their footprint in an attempt to weather the double-pronged attack of oil price wars and pandemic lockdowns.

Until yesterday, I worked for one of those companies, as some of you long-time readers may know.

I received a phone call from my manager, and HR, telling me that due to the current environment, my position was being eliminated.

It is not a bad thing. I only took the position back in January because I was unsure of what I wanted to do when my regional position was eliminated. I figured that they went through a lot of effort to keep me in the company and I didn’t have an immediate alternative plan, so I worked the job in Houston.

Then the pandemic hit and everyone was on lockdown. Luckily, I was able to continue working, from home.

BUT, during this time, I realized that I did not want to go back to Houston for work. We decided that I would continue working, as long as I could do it from home, and as soon as I was told that I needed to show up in Houston, I would resign.

It seems things have worked out for the best, because instead of just resigning, I am leaving with an early retirement severance package!

Because of this, I am now free to explore other opportunities…One will be to continue to be involved in real estate, but to a larger degree. I will continue to invest, but now I am pursuing a realtor’s license.

I will also be available to consult on any innovation projects that might come my way. This will allow me to flex my mental muscle “coming up with cool shit” as a colleague is fond of saying.

I will also look for small businesses that the owners are preparing to retire with no one to take them over. I will only pursue them if they are profitable. It should be easy to make a good deal on something like that when the options are sell at a discount or shut it down.

Here’s to the future!

Personal Improvement – Change Is Coming…

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Happy Solstice! Happy Hanukkah! Joyous Kwanzaa! Yuletide Greetings! Joyeux Noël! Feliz Navidad! Season’s Greetings! Happy New Year! Joy! Celebrate! Be Merry! And most of all, wishing all of you who read this a new year full of peace and joy!

I’m sitting here between Christmas and New Year’s Day contemplating the future. To paraphrase Game of Thrones, “Change is Coming”.

As many of you know, we decided to start investing in real estate as a buffer to the ups and downs of my chosen industry, Oil and Gas Exploration. I was able to make it through some of those ups and downs in the past, maybe by luck, or because what I was working on was important. At one point, I did take a demotion and worked in the field (offshore, on the rigs, for about a year, but was able to move out of that role and on to greater things.

Which brings us to current times. Things have dipped again.

I usually take the last two to three weeks of the year off since I usually don’t use all of my vacation throughout the year. I was sitting at home and my supervisor called and asked if I was at the office. Since I wasn’t, he asked if I could come in. This told me that something was up because his office is over 100 miles away and if he is at my office, then it must be my turn.

And it was, but with a twist. I was offered a choice between an early retirement package or a rotational position working in Houston.

My darling wife and I contemplated the choices for a couple of days. Ultimately, we decided that it would be best to take the position in Houston. While we would be OK with me not working for a while, ultimately, it was our need of medical insurance that swayed our decision. Speaking of medical insurance, my next article will cover my experience in trying to get a quote for it and the fraud potential inherent in the Louisiana Medicaid Program.

Working a rotational job in Houston would mean finding a place to stay when working and time away from the family, but it also would mean that for two weeks out of every four, I would be off of work and free to do as I please.

This should allow for catching up on projects around the house and more opportunity to generate passive income.

The down side is that I will not be in town for some of the Bayou Real Estate Investor Networking meetings. I will continue to organize them, but will have to rely on other members to host when I cannot attend.

Additionally, if any of you live in or around North Houston / Humble / Kingwood and know of decent rentals at a good price, please contact me!

And, as always, let me know what you think in the comments. Ask questions, tell your story.

If you like my posts, please share them with others and subscribe to this blog.

Personal Finance – Why You Should Regularly Review Your Insurance

Actual Numbers. Blanks are where numbers were not needed.

Today’s topic is about reviewing your insurance coverages and ensuring that you are properly covered at the best rate. It also touches on customer service and some things that caused me to look for a change.

Isn’t it crazy that it is December already? The end of the year, the end of the decade. Here at the Galliano household we are busy buying Christmas gifts for the family and coordinating our schedules for band concerts, choir concerts, and a birthday.

It is also about paying year-end bills…we have property taxes on our rentals, but that is covered easily by the rent. We also have property taxes on our residence and another property. We can’t do a whole lot about what we are paying on those taxes.

Then there is insurance. Since we paid off our mortgage years ago, we have to purchase homeowners’ insurance outright. AND, since we originally moved into our house right before Christmas, our insurance comes due at Christmas time.

On top of that, our auto insurance is due on 02-Jan-2019. So that totals up to a lot of bills at the end of the year.

The current (as of this writing) agency we use has been providing me with insurance for around 20 years. But I am not happy with them. Over the last four to five years, my “agent of record” has changed at least four times. And the only way I find out about it is if I call with a question. On top of that, when the renewal notices came in this year, they totaled to a little over $6000! I asked for a quote at a lower home value, because the company we are covered with has an auto-escalate policy and increases the coverage value every year, thus increasing the premium. The renewal value was for $291,000. My home is probably worth about $250,000 on a good day.

I also asked for an increased deductible, increasing the deductible from $1000 to $5000. They couldn’t do that. They could only do two percent. So I asked the agent to quote me for coverage on a more accurate home value. Two to three days later, I get a quote for a home value of $232,000. Yes, it was $1000 or so cheaper than the renewal quote, but it was not for the home value that I requested. Because of this, my search for a new provider began.

One of my fraternity brothers offered to give us quotes. In going through that process, we were able to get the coverage we wanted at much lower rates. Between the home and auto coverage, it only cost us $3,744, for a savings of $2,347 between the two. That is almost $200 per month of savings! That will cover a trip to Disneyworld for Mardi Gras! LOL

Tips for Insurance

Below are some tips for getting the most for the least when dealing with insurance:

  • Review your policies annually to ensure accurate coverage – Make sure you aren’t paying for a home value above the replacement cost of your home
  • Try to pay your policy in a lump sum – Some providers will give you a discount for paying in full
  • It pays to shop prices every once in a while
  • Ensure you have a good relationship with your agent – Find an agency that provides you with a single point of contact and will notify you of any changes
  • Your home value is not your home replacement value
  • Depending on the age of your vehicle, you may not need comprehensive and collision insurance
  • Be in a financial position to be able to pay your policies lump sum

And, as always, let me know what you think in the comments. Ask questions, tell your story.

If you like my articles, please share them with others and subscribe to this site.

Personal Finance – Cutting the Cord Edition

Do you have cable and/or cable services like phone, tv plus premium channels, and internet? Does it seem like the cost keeps going up? ME TOO! LOL

Read on to see what we did to reduce our costs for these services.

Initial Setup

Our entertainment setup consisted of two Tivos, (1-Premiere model capable of cable & OTA Reception, 1-Roamio model-cable reception only), four TVs, (1-LR, 3-BR), two digital signal adapters for the Kids’ bedrooms, two Firesticks (LR & MBR), VoIP phone from the cable provider, mid-tier cable TV package with no premium channels, (up to) 150 MB/s internet connection, a family Netflix subscription (allowing simultaneous logins), Prime Video (complimentary with Prime account), and a promotional Hulu account for $0.99/month for a year. Our cable, phone, and internet were all with Comcast.

Our bill has gone up & down depending on what promotional package we would renegotiate for, but that involved going to the cable company office, in person, and asking for it, usually after waiting in line for a while. That was aggravating enough, but the bill would continuously increase, outside of the changes to promotional status.

We don’t watch a lot of TV. Just a few shows. And we never watch them live. We have too much other stuff going on. I started to evaluate our habits after our total bill came off of promotional status, raising the cost from approximately $137/month to $165/month. Then, for no reason, it went up to $174/month.

It turns out that most of the shows we watch are either only on a streaming service or show up on Hulu. It should be acceptable to only use streaming services. We decided to get an antenna to pick up local stations. We figured it would be hit-or-miss, because we live between 40-50 miles from the regular broadcast network towers. BUT, if we could get some channels, we could still get news during a storm if the internet goes down.

Click on this link to get your own free copy of the Rental Property Tax Guide by Stessa.

What We Changed

I discussed the idea with my wife and we decided to get an antenna and try it out. I researched antennas and almost bought a couple of different expensive ones, (amplified, slick advertising, etc.), but decided to start at a lower price point, always having the option to escalate, if needed. I settled on the GE Pro Outdoor/Attic Mount Antenna. It claimed to have a range that would allow us to receive the stations we wanted.

When it arrived, I connected it to the TV in the living room, (with the antenna sitting on my couch) and scanned for channels. It was able to pick up around 33 channels!

I then mounted it up in the attic and connected the living room TV to it, resulting in 38 – 42 stations coming in, depending on the weather.

I added a signal booster / splitter that would allow me to connect the other three TVs to the antenna. I was able to hook them up and get the same channels, so all was well.

The Tivo Premiere is able to receive Over The Air (OTA) signals to the tuner, so we set it up to record all of our broadcast network shows and we can use the  Tivo Roamio in our bedroom to watch the recordings via network transfer between the Tivos.

We additionally got Firesticks for each of the kids’ TVs, allowing them to access Netflix & Hulu on their TVs.

Because we were still using the “Triple-Play Gateway” modem-router-access point, it would continue to cost us an additional $13/month in device rental fees. I didn’t like that. Time for more research!

I found a cable modem, (MOTOROLA 24×8 Cable Modem, Model MB7621) that would continue to provide us with the same speeds we were getting with the Comcast gateway, but it was only a one-time cost of approximate $70, as opposed to the monthly charge for the device rental. I got it, hooked it up and was able to configure it online in less than 10 minutes.

Our plan was to keep the internet. During my research, I called Comcast and asked about the internet charges, because their website said normal charges for internet were $71-$80/month, and was told that the price would indeed be $80/month.

Now that all of the hardware was replaced, I went to the Comcast office to return all of the equipment. The guy behind the counter said “OK, we can set you up with a promotional rate of $54.95/month for internet only, at the current speed you have.” Bingo! This is the same promotional rate they are offering to new subscribers for twelve months! I was ecstatic!

Cost Reductions


Monthly recurring costs were $174 for TV, phone & internet = $2,088/year


Monthly recurring costs are $55 = $660/year

One-time costs were approximately $240 for the antenna, splitter/booster, 2 Firesticks, and a cable modem.

Net Savings of $1,188 in the first year (495% ROI) and continuing savings of $1,428 per year going forward.

Have you or are you thinking about cutting the cord? Let me know in the comments.

And, as always, let me know what you think in the comments. Ask questions, tell your story.

If you like my posts, please share them with others and subscribe to this blog.

REI – Free Rental Property Tax Guide!

A few months ago, I ran across an ad for a free rental property accounting web application on Facebook. I didn’t think much of it and continued on about my merry way. Then I started hearing ads for the same company on the Bigger Pockets Podcast. So, I decided to check out Stessa for myself.

I like it! Stessa is simple to use and allows you to output your financial data to hand over to your CPA at tax time. As a perk, the team at Stessa put together a free Rental Property Tax Guide. I liked it so much that I have partnered with Stessa to share that Tax Guide with my readers.

Click on this link to get your own free copy of the Rental Property Tax Guide by Stessa.

Let me know if you like this guide and if it is helpful to you.

I plan to do a more detailed review of my experiences with Stessa in the near future, so stay tuned!

And, as always, let me know what you think in the comments. Ask questions, tell your story.

If you like my posts, please share them with others and subscribe to this blog.

Personal Improvement: Podcasts – What I Listen To

I recently connected with someone on LinkedIn who is a Life Coach for High-Performing Remote Workers. As part of his getting to know me messages, he asked if I listened to any good podcasts lately. That got me thinking about the regular influence on my thinking of the podcasts I listen to. The more I thought about it, the better the idea to turn it into an article listing what I am listening to and why.

A little background on my interest in podcasts:

I have listened to podcasts for almost 12 years. Up until the start of this year, I always had a long commute. Whether a 200+ mile daily round trip to Lafayette, Louisiana or a 1,000+ mile round trip driving to Houston, Tx every other week, I had a lot of highway time on my hands. Podcasts allowed me to be entertained and informed, in addition to allowing me to utilize “dead” time for learning.

Podcasts I Listen To

Podcast Link Category
Bigger Pockets Podcast Real Estate Investing
Tim Ferris Show High Performance
DH Unplugged Stock Markets
Rich Dad Radio Current Affairs/Rich Dad Theory
James Altucher Show High Performance
Akimbo Personal, Professional Improvement
Private Lender Podcast Education on the Subject of Private Lending for Real Estate
Bigger Pockets Money Show F.I.R.E.: Financial Independence, Retire Early
Freakonomics Radio Various Topics

Bigger Pockets Podcast

The Bigger Pockets Podcast helped me to learn a great deal about real estate investing. I have the Bigger Pockets website listed as a resource on this site, but the podcast is an additional tool to learn about REI. Each week, the podcast interviews guests, most real estate investors, sometimes famous authors who provide useful tips for investing, business, and personal improvement, and every once in a while, they will do an occasional webinar-type podcast to educate listeners on a particular topic.

I especially like the investor interviews to get tips, tricks, and strategies that may help me in our REI business.

The Tim Ferriss Show

Tim Ferriss, author of numerous books on increasing performance (4-hour Workweek, Tools of Titans, Tribe of Mentors, etc.), conducts long-form interviews with high-performers across various domains. Even when interviewing guests who have been on EVERY medium you can think of, you always learn things no one else has ever asked. Tim listens to guests’ answers and responds to the answers with deeper questions. He also does extensive research on guests and does not rely on canned press release questions.

I generally like to listen to his interviews because the people he does interview are “Doing It”. They don’t have a theory, they are not selling snake oil, they have done/do whatever they are recommending to increase performance.

DH Unplugged

DH Unplugged is an unscripted conversation about markets between investment advisor Andrew Horowitz and pundit John C. Dvorak.

I like DH Unplugged because they discuss what is going on in the markets and aren’t trying to sell you anything. In fact, they frequently point out how most “Money” shows on cable news channels are always “BUY, BUY, BUY” no matter what is going on.

Rich Dad Radio

Rich Dad Radio is an interview podcast featuring Robert Kyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and his wife, Kim Kiyosaki, author of Rich Woman. The interviews are mainly related to money and economics, (in a broad way), and generally promote Rich Dad, Poor Dad Principles.

In addition to interesting information from guests, it’s fun to listen to Robert interpret the guests’ statements into Rich Dad principles.

James Altucher Show

The James Altucher Show is another long-form interview podcast, similar to the Tim Ferriss Show, that delves into what makes high performers “tick”. Where Ferriss delves into tools, self-talk, and motivation, Altucher focuses a little more on the path to peak performance, teasing out the development of “micro-skills”. Altucher’s overarching thesis on micro-skills is that high performers build up a toolbox of them that help them to succeed. Like Ferriss, Altucher goes far deeper in his interviews than you normally see in regular media.

Because of the depth of detail and wide range of topics covered in each interview, I really enjoy Altucher’s show.


Akimbo is a podcast put out by author and marketing guru Seth Godin. This podcast is a combination of self help and career advice for entrepreneurs. You don’t have to be an entrepreneur to benefit from the topics & advice given, either.

I enjoy the perspectives, suggestions, and tips provided by Godin in this show. I don’t necessarily subscribe to all of his philosophies, but that is OK. It is good to hear different perspectives from your own to allow a balanced understanding of the world.

The Private Lender Podcast

The Private Lender Podcast is a combination of interviews, case histories, and education with regards to the utilization of private lending in real estate investing.

I like learning about the details of the non-financial industry financing.

I actually met Keith Baker, the host, and have become friends with him. He’s a cool and funny guy. Oh, and he LOVES the band Rush!

Bigger Pockets Money Show

As the name indicates, BPMS is another podcast from the group at Bigger Pockets, focusing on F.I.R.E. (Financial Independence, Retire Early). The podcast is in an interview format, covering guests’ stories, tips, and tricks for becoming financially independent.

I like listening to the BPMS to better plan my own “retirement”. It has also led me to resources that allowed me to recognize that I could retire right now and be comfortable from a financial perspective.

I hope this provides you with some insight into resources to use for personal and financial improvement in your life!

And, as always, let me know what you think in the comments. Ask questions, tell your story.

If you like my posts, please share them with others and subscribe to this blog.

Personal Finance – What Can I invest In?

This week we are talking about different types of investments that you can utilize to better your personal finances. I’ll briefly touch on traditional investments (stocks, bonds, etc.), investing directly into a business, and various forms of real estate investing.

Additionally, I would like to give a shout-out to @DeliberateKevin for the guest post last week. Go check out Deliberate Consulting.


“Traditional” Investments

Traditional investments are what most people usually think of when they think of “Investing”. This can be stocks, bonds, Exchange Traded Funds (ETF), etc.

There are three main approaches you can use:

  • Investment Advisor
  • Robo Advisor
  • DIY


Investment advisors usually handle clients’ money for a fee. In most cases, that fee is a percentage of the total portfolio balance. Additionally, unless the advisor has a fiduciary duty to you, the investor, they may push you towards investments where they get better or additional commissions, as opposed to investments with less fees and/or commissions involved. Also, you need a sizable balance to start your account, say, in excess of $500,000.


Robo Advisors are basically algorithms that select the best investments based for you based on many criteria. They usually invest in ETFs and can automatically do things like rebalance portfolios, automate tax loss harvesting, etc.  They tend to operate on a fractional percentage commission, meaning that they are usually cheaper than a full-blown human investment advisor. Robo Advisors will also allow you to start an account with a much lower balance than a traditional financial advisor, with some allowing you to open an account with no money, though you will need to put money in to invest.


DIY or Do It Yourself is another approach you can take. It costs you no fees other than trade fees and you don’t need a large balance to start. But, you will have to spend a lot of time researching your investments and deciding where to put your money. You can start with as little as the price of a single share of stock and the trade fee.


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Direct Business Investment


You can invest into a business outside of stock. This can be in the form of buying a franchise, buying a share of an existing business, or even taking your non-retirement account money and opening a business. A word of caution: Be sure to perform thorough due diligence into any business you invest in like this and if investing with partner(s), ensure you have a sound operating agreement in place and that everyone abides by it.

See more on starting a business with partners: BUSINESS STARTUP: 9 TIPS FOR STARTING A SMALL BUSINESS WITH PARTNERS


If you only have retirement account funds available, either from a 401k from an previous job or an IRA (Individual Retirement Account), you have the option to buy or start a business using those funds through a Rollover Business Startup (ROBS) transaction, also known as Business Owner Retirement Savings Account (BORSA). This allows you to utilize the money you have saved to start a business without incurring taxes or penalty. There are specific restrictions that go along with it and it has to be administered by a qualified group. Companies like DRDA and MySolo401k can help you deal with this type of thing.



Real Estate


The last type of investing option I am going to talk about is real estate. As I have talked about before, I like investing in real estate, in addition to other types of investing. Real Estate has options that range from very hands-on and intensive involvement to very passive hands-off approaches.


Direct Investment – Real Estate

If you have money sitting around, or you decide you want to follow the Tim Ferriss approach and dreamline a muse to support real estate investing, you have lots of options.

You can wholesale, which is finding people with a need or desire to sell a property that doesn’t qualify for traditional financing or need the funds in a short time period (need a quick closing).

You can Fix and Flip. This involves buying a distressed property at 30% or more below market value (where market value is considered the after-repair value or ARV) and rehabilitating the property, then selling it at or near market value.

You can also buy and hold, the term for investors that buy property with the intention of renting it out over the long term. Generally, these investors like to acquire their properties in a similar state to the Fix and Flip investors, but do not sell the properties.

A less well-known approach is to invest in Notes. These are mortgages that the banks sell off at a discount to get their capital back & re-deploy it in another loan. There are note funds in addition to you being able to buy notes directly.

Most note funds require that you be a sophisticated investor. No, that does not mean that you have to drink your tea with your pinky out and wear a three-piece suit every day. It is a category defined by the government as having an income of $200,000/year if single, $300,000 if married, OR $1,000,000 in net worth, not including your primary residence.


Self-Directed IRA – Real Estate

Like the ROBS/BORSA methodologies mentioned above for direct business investments, there is a self-directed IRA (SDIRA) that can be used to invest in real estate. They can be used to buy investment properties or, in some cases, to actually BE a “bank” of sorts.

Some caveats with using an SDIRA to buy investment property: You cannot take advantage of depreciation on the property, so you lose out on some tax benefits; You cannot receive any immediate benefit from the investment. All returns from the investment belong to the SDIRA.


Another option is to become a private lender. Basically, you are becoming the bank, lending money on a short-term basis, to a real estate investor. They benefit from quicker and usually cheaper closings and you as the lender benefit from the interest earned by lending the money, which usually is more than you will make in the bank or other investments.


Hopefully giving you this overview of different types of investing will help further your knowledge and be a starting point for your own investigation into how best to invest your money.



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