How to save and Grow Money?

My father opened a bank account for me, actually a saving account when I was 8. Well, my father was a banker, regardless it was a great gift, making me realize the importance of saving money. Over the years I learned how to save and grow money. I just want to share a bit of what I have learned over the years. So let’s see How to save and Grow Money.

How to save money? 

Saving money is a habit. If you have a social safety net, you might not realize how important it is to have your own safety net, so that on a rainy day you can relax a bit and may be enjoy the rain.

I am not your financial coach, so I am not going to preach, how much or how you should save money. You can read Tony Robbin’s MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom” and “Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook” to understand the importance of saving vs spending and how you can save. Personally, I always followe Warren Buffet’s advise. I save a portion from paycheck, does not matter how big or small my paycheck was or is and then I spent the rest. Read the books and develop your own strategy.

How to save and Grow Money?

Now that you have developed a strategy of saving money, you need another one to grow your money. And how do you grow your money?

With bank CD rates going down and the interest rate you earn on savings from bank, keeping your money your bank means allowing inflation eat away your purchasing power.

So what do you do? Stock and bonds can be your friend if you know how to play the game. And the books I recommended will tell you why you have to be in it to win it.

But I am sure you have questions.

Where should you invest? How to maximize your returns?

Or, what should be your portfolio allocation based on your investment horizon and risk tolerance?

Low Cost brokerage and robo- advisers are life savers to keep overall cost low. And how do the robo advisers keep the cost low?

They have automated the asset allocation part and they invest your money in index fund. Why index fund or what is so good about the index funds? To know you can read unshakable by Tony Robbins.

Low or Zero Cost brokerages and wealth managers

IF you want to buy individual stocks or REITS or MLPS use Robinhood app, and I have reviewed it here, this is zero cost brokerage account. For more details please check here.

Now, my most favorite is Wealth Simple – because for first $5000 investment there is no management fee. So you can automate your saving with WealthSimple and forget about it. May be it will be your emergency fund. Based on your risk profile, WEalthsimple will allow you to choose portfolio and type of funds you want to invest your money in.

Nest is Betterment. They have earned a reputation for being low cost and they provider you a great comprehensive view for your portfolio. Moreover, you can rollover your IRA or 401K or start a new one with them. Since they are low cost you save a ton of money in fees over the lifetime. And if you need help they have people who can help you out too.

Just to recap, automate your savings ( you can use Wealthsimple or BetterMent to do that) and keep your fees to minimum , hence I use RobinHood, because I do not pay any brokerage fee while I purchase stocks.

I hope you have read MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom and Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook and know why index funds are better. So just get in the game, because you have to be in it to win it 🙂

I hope you have better idea on How to save and Grow Money it, but if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me. I would be more than happy to help you out. And thanks for your time

How to make money with android wear?

If you have android wear and if you want to make money with your android wear, this is the article you need to read to find out How to make money with android wear

I am living in Boston since July 2016. And I was working on Boyle stone street. Although I used to take train to commute to work, I got some walking done too. I walked to my T station and then I used to get down at Park Street station to walk to walk. Boston commons was a good enough reason for me to walk when it is not snowing.

Anyway, last year fall I got an email from my insurer, they were having a competition. The competition was about walking for 6 weeks straight and whoever walked most was going to get $150. It was a good enough reason for me to enroll, ass I was already walking more than 5 miles everyday.

The competition ended and I did not win any prize, it was a team effort and my team did pretty bad late in last week and we finished at 2nd place that was as bad as finishing last.

I did not stop walking, and was searching another way to monetize my step ever since. I found https://www.myachievement.com and you can connect your “moves” app with this web site and let it track the steps you walk or any health related tweet you send out and you make few cents every day. But Moves was not good enough. Move itself does not work all the time as you do not have your phone on you 24/7 and moves does not track any step inside apartment.

How to make money with android wear?

After I got my new Samsung Gear S3 Classic from Amazon, I installed Samsung health on my motorola nexus 6p. Surprisingly I found out that Achievement.com supports Samsung health. And since my watch is always on my wrist, it tracks almost all the steps I take and tracks my sleeping timings too. And that converts to $ in https://www.myachievement.com/

 

How to make money with android wear
How to make money with android wear

Let me tell you few things about achievement.com –

It has an app , you have to install in your android device. And then connect it from Samsung Health. And Achievement.com will automatically track an data that gets recorded in your Samsung Health app.

You can redeem your points once you reach 10000 points.

The app does not drain out much battery out of your device. And this is how you can make money with your android wear.

And if you do not own an android wear, then just install moves and keep your pocket in your phone. As long as location is turned on, and you are walking outside, moves will track your step. And achievement.com can sync with moves. And you still make $ without an android wear. But now you know How to make money with android wear.

 

If you have any questions or you need help to make money with your android wear, then leave a comment below.

What did I learn watching Dangal on Netflix?

Well, before I start bringing up the ugly reasons, let me be very clear about one thing, I would like to see my Country ( i.e: India) winning all Golds in Olympic, Fifa world cup and ICC world Cup and any other competitions such as Asian cup or whatever. Of course I do not follow any sport but that cannot stop me from sharing my observation and points.

Social Problem – Growing up in India, I have seen, society has this perception that, if you are lean / fit, you do not eat enough or you do not have enough money to eat. So if you are fit / thin / lean, you might find your next door aunt telling you that “Did not you have anything to eat?” or “Is everything okay ? Did you lose job ?” You get the point. Now what should you do ? Ignore, I will explain why later.

No sports in Schools or Colleges – My complain is not that India sucks in sports, my problem is, the whole nation is not fit enough, the nation lacks sportsman spirit. And I am trying to find the reason in this article. I believe the main reason is ignorance. Nobody understands or recognizes the importance of sports. May be watching Dangal on Netflix taught me something last night. Why don’t we encourage kids to play sports? Kids want to play anyway, and they do, but why don’t we coach them? Why is it not like a subject like math? YEs, we are not a rich nation, majority of the population is still struggling to reach middle class-hood, and it is important to get a job, and to get a job it is important to study, but if you notice, in Indian cricket team there are lot of examples that education and sports can go hand in hand.

So yeah, parents want kids to study so that they can get jobs, school means a place where you get education, schools do not care to make you play a sport.

AS a result, we hardly grow team spirit or sportsman spirit, we often grow to become a sore loser. We do not learn discipline, and discipline does not mean studying 8 hours everyday. We do not know how it feels to be fit, we think low energy is the standard and physical activity is a curse. We end up stuffing junk food, with zero to minimum physical activity and living a super unhealthy life. And we try to justify that with great marks in exams, and afterwards, buying expensive stuffs because we can, we make that much money. We never understand health is wealth though.

Policies – What is Government doing to promote sports? I remember, in my government school, there was barely anything that told me that government cared. There was PT class for a year or 2 and it was just waste of time.

I think it is time, that the government learn something from American schools and promote different types of sports and rewards the players so that the society can reap the benefit in long term.

So yeah, I blamed the parents for being ignorant and not encouraging kids. I blame the government for not caring at all. I blame the society the least because they install wrong thoughts in minds. But I do not blame society that much, being a poor nation, being thin is mostly associated with malnutrition ( may be) and being poor is a social stigma, being fat and unfit is not. But, you need to ask yourself, what do you want? Do you want an unfit , fat body, and your activities would be limited, and you will have to take occasional trips to doctor to get medicines. Moreover, it is important to remember, what society thinks about you and imposes on you should not be your problem, because to appease the society when you get into problems, nobody will come to take a share of that.

Why should you invest in Bitcoin?

In 2016, I really got into Bitcoin or BTC. I think I heard about BTC / Bitcoin in 2012 first and I had zero interest in digital currency / internet money. I had no idea that “internet money or nerd money” , might have any price in actual $.

How stupid was I? in 2016 Bitcoin was $650 when I started paying attention. So, you can imagine, what I have lost already. After financial crisis in 2008, one person known as “Satoshi” came up with the decentralized currency, for the people, run by people and to be used by people, it is borderless but not limitless, there will be only 21 million coins, unless the community decides otherwise. Nobody owns bitcoin, the network or Bitcoin community owns bitcoin.

I cannot tell you everything here, so here is a channel in YouTube that will help you understand why and what is Bitcoin – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJWCJCWOxBYSi5DhCieLOLQ

So in 2016, my first reaction was “how do I get bitcoin”? And second reaction was “what is it? How does it work? Why is it so exciting?” Any technology is costly because of the intrinsic value, the usage. Hence I needed to understand the usage of Bitcoin, how does bitcoin work? Why is it better than fiat money or USD or any other such national currency?

Why do I invest in Bitcoin?

The blockchain technology that makes Bitcoin possible, or exchange of value possible is not the reason why I am interested in Bitcoin. You need to understand, what inflation is and why people actually invest in precious metals? 

WE hear the the term every now and then, but most of us do not realize, how it impacts us. Say you have $10 in bank account and you can buy 5 breads today. The current inflation rate is 2%, so after one year these same 5 breads would cost you $10.20. Now, the problem is, you still have $10 in your bank account, hence you won’t be able to afford all 5 breads anymore. Same way every year your purchasing power will go down and you will end up feeling poorer.

Now, why do we invest in precious metals?

WE invest in gold and silver to preserve our wealth or to save purchasing power. Gold or Silver does not generate value but as any other commodity it preserves your wealth.

Ok, so why Bitcoin?

Precious metals are tangible, bitcoin is not, then how come both are similar? Well, to start with, bitcoin is mined, which is transaction validation using lot of computing power , hence using electricity. After solving these mathematical computation Bitcoin is found in blocks. But forget about that, here are my reasons-

  1. bitcoin is safe – right now almost 30 billion USD safe
  2. Bitcoin is not owned by anyone – no government, no single person owns bitcoin
  3. Bitcoin can be used as exchange of value – all you would need is a phone and internet
  4. You do not need a bank to exchange value with bitcoin
  5. Bitcoin is borderless – I can send bitcoin to India in 10 minutes 🙂
  6. Number of Bitcoin to be issued is 21 million, not like central bank issued currencies, so Bitcoin will see deflation , not inflation. Your purchasing power will go up, instead of going down.

These 5 reasons were good enough for me to believe in Bitcoin. But just because bitcoin is not backed by Bitcoin, you might not be convinced, so here is another video for you, Venezuela is going through hyper inflation, the example I gave you, it is just say 200% and you can imagine how fast you lose your buying power, so, Venezuelans are moving away from their national currency and using bitcoin – reason being no one can produce fake bitcoin and there is no inflation in bitcoin – now watch the video

If you have any question feel free to email me or leave a comment, I will be more than happy to explain more, if you are interested exchange some of your fiat USD for some Bitcoin then visit Coinbase.

High Yield Savings with Prosper and Lending Club

Since savings accounts in bank do not offer much interest anyway, here are few high yield savings options for you. Prosper and Lending club are peer to peer lending portal.

If you need to borrow for your home re-modelling or healthcare needs, you can go to these portals to borrow money. These sites take care of all paper works and checking your credit score and all other formalities and basically rates your credit worthiness and assigns the interest they are going to charge you.

Now, you need to lend money to earn high yield on your investment. You go to the market place of prosper and lending club and find notes. Note is nothing but the people who is looking to borrow. You can see the rating, that is essentially the credit worthiness. Based on credit rating, income, past payment history, total debt etc.

How these high yield savings work?

High Yield Savings
High Yield Savings

You can invest as little as $25 on a note. My advice you get notes with the highest rating, although the return on your investment would be low but at least your investment would not go bad and you will keep on getting interest payment along with principle balance.

High Yield Savings 2017
High Yield Savings

And every month you can withdraw those funds back to bank account or re-lend it.

The business model is, the borrower pays interest and some principle amount , prosper or lending club take their cut as processing fee and then you get part of your income from the interest the borrower has paid. Remember, the borrower can default. And lower the rating they got, higher the chance of defaulting it. So it is safer in low yield notes those have highest rating.

These is one more high yield savings option, DCU.org, for first $500 you will get 3% and then the interest goes down for rest of the balance on your savings.

If you are interested to invest in gold and worried about storing then try out goldmoney.

How I have wasted money purchasing cloud mining contracts

Whatever amount of money I invested in cloud mining contracts was a waste. And I highly recommend that if you cannot market the crap out of your referral link ( and get thousands of referral incomes) then do not waste your money.

How did I get in to cloud mining Contracts –

I started looking into Bitcoin last May ( in 2016) when Bitcoin was about around $600. I was kind of sad that I did not pay attention to this digital money before 2016, although I actually heard of Bitcoin way before, may be in 2011 or 2012.

What did I do to own Bitcoin

When I googled “how to earn bitcoin” , I came to know about mining bitcoin. With my i3 CPU and no GPU laptop it was not possible to earn much from bitcoin mining and I did not have time for Bitcoin faucets. These are 2 easy ways of making some Bitcoin.

Then what did I do next?

I was trying to understand more about mining, not in terms of why mining is required and what exactly mining is, I was searching for “how to make money by mining bitcoin”. So I eventually stumbled upon cloud mining sites those offer these cloud mining contracts.

From my basic knowledge about investing, I did not buy cloud mining contracts from same site. I spread my money among 4 different sites, just to reduce the risk.

I purchased cloud mining contracts from genesis mining, hashflare, hasheer and eobot. Hasheer is already gone, they are not coming back. I already told you why.

And here is what EOBOT is doing, there is no return on my investment, because the return is essentially covering their fees and now they want to ship an asic mining device to me. So basically 2 of my initial investments have turned into non performing assets / investments already, and rest 2 are not giving me any great return, but I will make another post for those 2.

Now, you might ask since cloud contracts sites are bad investments, then what should you do?

Well, these sites might not be that for for people who have long list of referrals. They get bonus hashing power that they did not buy. It is like a ponzi scheme to me. As long as you can get early and get lot more people to join under you, you might get some profit.

Otherwise, buy Bitcoin directly, and save it. Read my previous article, why you should not invest in cloud mining here.

 

How to Maximize savings from BJs annual membership?

Well, I will keep it simple and silly. And share few tips to maximize savings from BJs annual membership. I usually get my groceries and pretty much everything from Bjs. Friday my coworker took my membership card so I had to go to Star Market. I wanted to pick up a fruit salad, the price kind of shocked me. I guess, I got used of seeing price tags in BJs. Same thing for eggs.

So my point is, BJs really help you save money on regular purchases. As long as you are not going to waste those big box purchases, may be you can save quite a bit every year. I got my membership with a deal from Amex, so it costed me $25. You might get such deals on Groupon too.

Maximize savings from BJs annual membership

To keep it simple and silly, I used my credit cards wisely. Chase Freedom and Discover IT, they have 5% cashback from wholesale club. I just made sure I used those cards to get 5% cashback from all my trips.

As long as you have a good credit score, you can get those cards too. Moreover, if you already have such credit cards that offer 5% cashback, you just need to use them.

That was my in store method, now here is another way to save, if you are shopping online. Use befrugal or ebates to earn more cashback, along with your credit card cash backs. You can read more about it here.

Okay, we are done about the cash backs we can earn online or in store. What about savings from coupon? BJs send a coupon booklet every month, and they do have in store coupons. On top of that they will accept manufacturer coupons too. All that means more savings for you.

I hope my tips above will help you maximize savings from BJs annual membership, if you have any more suggestion for me, feel free to share in in the comment.

How advertisers going out of Google will reshape YouTube and Internet?

“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
― United NationsUniversal Declaration of Human Rights

Advertisers going out of Google and content creators are freaking out. As I see it, advertisers just took a stand and made a statement that they are not Okay to people make money with the stupid crap they put up online.  YouTube is flooded with clickbait, copies of original videos, negative ideas that usually tell you that everything is going to crash, economy, and world everything. In the name of freedom of speech, people say whatever they feel like and of course finally Advertisers started showing that they are not ok to pay for just any crap.

YouTube is an ecosystem that consists of advertisers, content creators, and viewers. If anyone pulls out, YouTube would be in trouble. YouTube makes m0ney by letting content creators create and upload content online and then the viewer watch whatever they please, and of course the advertisers target the eyeball, they purchase eyeballs or views by paying YouTube. And that is why every minute YouTube let’s creators upload 400hrs worth of content.

Now, since we have freedom of speech and what not, YouTube got flooded with garbage. And it is not just YouTube but all websites where Google shows ads and let the website monetize their content.

Why are the advertisers going out of Google –

Because they did not want to associate themselves with the garbage it is out there. May be they are not happy with the ROI. They spend money on ads, but how many sales do they make ? Or how many of those impressions actually get converted in to sale? May be, they are reducing their advertising budget, I do not know, but it is possible.

Effects on Viewers –

If I were just someone who watches videos on YouTube, and if I see ads are going down in number. And that will make me happy. Who loves to watch the ads on ads or get the ad breaks? Same goes for the readers or visitors on web sites. Less the number of ads, better it gets. So I think the person browsing YouTube and reading websites will be happy that Google is losing advertisers.

Effects on the content creator –

So, broadly there are 3 types of content creator

  1. Original content creator
  2. Brands and sellers
  3. Copycat and click baiters

Original content creators will take the biggest hit. As most of them work full time on YouTube, if they lose revenue from YouTube videos, they will not be happy about it.

Brands or people who are trying to sell stuff, I do not think YouTube ad revenue is their main source of income. Their revenue will take a hit but as long as they do not lose viewers, I do not see a reason why they would be that much impacted.

Now, lastly the scammers – hopefully YouTube will finally get rid of these folks. These copy-stars and spammers were drawn to YouTube just because of the revenue. And only thing they made was copied videos. If money goes out of equation, they will not have reason to spread the crap they spread over internet.

Impact on YouTube –

They are losing advertisers, so of course they are losing money, in fact they are bleeding money. But they have huge operating cost to support all uploaders and the maintenance. Now, they have two challenges, first they need to get rid of the crap advertisers do not like, and content creators are not going to like it, some might say their freedom of speech is being violated. Apparently the bots those crawl through the videos and flag them are not enough, so they have to make the bots better and get a bigger team of reviewer.  So, investing in better technology and manual team will cost them more money and until they can prove that they can restrict the type of content that advertisers do not like, advertisers may not come back.

But then wait, we are talking about Google, nobody leaves Google, because Google is innovative. They will change their business model to bring back money into their system. So, they can pre-approve some content creator who will not violet the content creation guide. And advertisers will be okay with the content and secondly, the TV on YouTube will be a perfect place to display ads. So, what I imply, small content creators will lose revenue.

It will be interesting to see what really happens. I am hoping to see few leave the space, because the money won’t be worth it. May be it will be better for internet users to see less garbage. And may be advertisers will lose less money too.

Problems I face with Bitcoin wallet

https://youtu.be/kfLSwKhsflI?list=PLFtZcuTKDyM9drpoOsbyVHC6dj9GNxN1J

After touching all time high Bitcoin is trading below $1000 usd. Everyone is blaming the discussion about hard fork in Bitcoin, may be the hard fork will happen. And we will get bitcoin code and bitcoin unlimited. But, it is not just about forking the main blockchain. Although good news is, if the fork happens you will get both Bitcoin unlimited and bitcoin core in your bitcoin wallet.

What is the need to hard fork?

Well, longer time for confirmation on Bitcoin core and  High transaction fees – I think these are main problems.

Bitcoin unlimited wants to bring down the block confirmation time and the transaction fees. And I think that can be a better idea.

As a bitcoin user, the first problem I face is, the wallet. Wallets are not user friendly. The address or QR code is not super user friendly.

1.Opening wallet and paying with it takes a while, using  a credit card is way easier

2.Wallets do not have any easy to remember address or there is no easy passphrase to restore wallet

3.I do not use hardware wallet, so do not know much about those. But using paypal or credit card is way easier than using Bitcoin wallet. In fact, starbucks app is easier to use than a Jaxx wallet.

4. When I make a purchase using Bitcoin, I do not have any purchase protection. If someone wants to take my money for crappy service or product, there is nothing I can do about it.

5. I want to purchase something, and since I am a customer, I have to pay the premium also called transaction fee.

6. Due to smaller block size, a whole bunch of transactions have to be processed and that takes time, so in case I want to buy coffee with bitcoin, the line would move bit slow, well actually I will need to wait 10 minutes after placing order.

I do not use bitcoin to gamble to buy crap that is illegal, so I do not care about privacy much. I like the technology “blockchain” and decentralized blockchain is really exciting. But I am not so sure if bitcoin can ever be used as a currency. Although some might use it exactly as Gold, to store value. but then Bitcoin will never replace USD or any other currency for exact reason or other reasons I talked about above.Now the choice is yours if you want Bitcoin to replace USD or any other dollar or you just want to function as gold, and of course it does not really matter what bitcoin wallet you use at this time.

What is the future of blockchain?

Of Course I am huge fan of blockchain technology. After Internet I guess blockchain is going to revolutionize the way we do business. Not only business, our medical records, car maintenance, transaction financial or not every thing can be on Block Chain.  So let us discuss future of blockchain.

What is Blockchain?

For non technical people, it is a public ledger. So all transactions are registered on public blockchains. And , do not worry, nobody sees your name on any transaction, but I won’t go into those details, may be I will make a video about it some day, before that you can read this.

And yes, I strongly believe in blockchain, not sure if it has to be decentralized, and that one magic bitcoin has. Big companies and governments are already investing in block chain technology and it will grow.

Future of blockchain

Bitcoin introduced us to blockchain. All transactions are registered on public ledger, that is also known as “Block Chain”, and all these blockchains are residing in different computers, people on network dedicates their resources to host the blockchain, so this is known as decentralized.

So, say we want to replace, kelly blue book, you can put history of any car on blockchain,

  • when the car was purchased
  • when you changed the oil
  • did you get into accident
  • did your car have insurance
  • who were the owner of the car

all these information can be kept on block chain

Another example,  property records can be stored on blockchain

  • when was the building built
  • when was it sold
  • what was the price
  • then when was it resold and for how much

so on, records can be stored.

Bitcoin shows us, records can be made anonymous, or may be public, this can be changed per the need, I believe.

Can all these remain decentralized?

This is what I do not know, to keep these records decentralized, people lending their resources need to be rewarded. Some engineer will solve the problem of rewarding people who are lending resourcing. There has to a financial reward, otherwise why would someone let anyone use his or her computing resources?

I guess, these services won’t be free, and whatever revenue is generated that can be distributed among the network hosts who ever are hosting blockchain. Or may be this will be centralized, controled by one single body.

What is the benefit of blockchain?

Transparency, as the ledger is public, and information can be made public or private selectively, all transactions and records, when stored in blockchain, can end corruption. It will be harder to manipulate blockchain data, and hence the data maintained in public ledger may end bribery and corruption we know it.