Jamal Johnson

Let me tell you a story about Jamal Johnson.
Jamal had been fortunate enough to have parents that were financially responsible. Those parents made sure to invest consistently from his childhood because one day they knew they wanted to send him to college without the huge burden of student loans.

As Jamal graduated from college and started his career in 1999, his parent’s foresight allowed him, without having student loans hanging over his head, to begin investing a reasonable amount of his post graduate salary.

He only had $4k per year to invest in these early days.

In the November 1999, toward the height of the tech boom, he spent $1,000 on each of the following four stocks he chose at random:
Yahoo

Microsoft 

Sprint

Best Buy
Then in the year 2000 as the tech collapse got into full swing, he saw a bunch of layoffs around him. Those who survived these layoffs were forced to essentially double their workloads overnight to make up for the help from other team members that used to be available.

He noticed himself and all of his co-workers had essentially become caffeine addicts overnight.

He decided to keep investing and spent $1k each on the following 7 stocks:
Yahoo (added to his position)

Microsoft (added to his position)

Sprint (added to his position)

Best Buy (added to his position)

Monster Beverages (new position)

Starbucks (new position)

Keurig (new position)
Life happened and little Jamal Johnson never got around to investing anything else. But since he was debt free, he never had to touch his investments in an emergency.
Fast forward to 2016, his holdings looked like this:
Yahoo ($2,249.36)

Microsoft ($1,659.81)

Sprint ($225.65)

Best Buy ($3,078.67)

Monster Beverages ($616,347.81)

Starbucks ($4,545.21)

Keurig ($77,689.18)
Amount spent in 1999 = $4k

Amount spent in 2000 = $7k

Total spent for both years = $11k

Total portfolio value in 2016 (not even including dividends) = $709,029.12
And that was on two years of contributions to his portfolio.

You have any idea how many millions his portfolio would have had if he rented and used his cash flow to make the same $7k in investments every year since then?
But never mind all that. Back to your orderly complaining about there are no opportunities for people who look like you.
Investing in publicly traded companies is the most racially agnostic sport you can ever take part in.
Also, its not about “what if I lose all of my money in stocks”. The question is “what if I don’t?”

A company’s stock can only go to zero. It can rise through infinity however.

You only need one winner amongst dozens to make everything else not even matter.
Use ETFs to safely diversify during normal markets and individual stocks in market crashes. 
“the stock market is the only market where things go on sale and customers run out the store”
Be the person running IN the store. 

Yes 

Now thats a risk vs reward ratio I like to take part in.

The Top 3 Ways to Sell Your Car

 

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So what are the top 3 ways a smart person gets rid of their current car before obtaining a new one?

To find this answer, we will use a hypothetical 2010 Honda Accord LX with 85,000 miles with a TrueCar Market price of $11k.

Path #1: Sell through private party (direct)

The most money you’ll get is from doing the work yourself to list and sell via private party. This is where you can expect to get the $11k market value + or – 5%.

>Best sites to sell private party: Craigslist.org, Cars.com, Autotrader.com, 5 Miles app

But alas….most people are too lazy to sell private party and/or to research how to even do it correctly. Therefore that leads us to…

Path #2: Sell through private party (indirect)

There are new services coming online every year that are bridging the gap between your laziness and their know how. These sites are set up to do the heavy lifting of selling private party, for a fee of course.

> Best site hands down is http://www.shift.com.

For instance, on a Honda Accord with a market value of $11k, you will get a Shift guaranteed quote for $9,500. Though the guaranteed quote of $9,500 is what you will make from the car regardless of what it ends up being sold to someone for, Shift will attempt to sell it at that $11k market and split the difference with you for how much over the guaranteed price that they can sell it for.

You can check out reviews on how this generally works here: https://www.yelp.com/biz/shift-los-angeles-2

Note that Shift.com is currently available in Los Angeles, Orange County, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco & Washington, D.C.

Side-note: for buyers of cars through Shift.com, you have 5 days or 200 miles to return it with no questions asked too. (But never buy a car from the same place you sold yours to.)

Path #3: CarMax

> Know that your local CarMax should always be a last result. Where a trade in offer may give you $4,500, CarMax buys at wholesoale and will give you about $6,500 for your Honda Accord.

You should also know the two golden rules of CarMax: 1. there are locations with appraisers who are more generous than others. For instance, in California, the Burbank CarMax gives much higher purchase quotes than the LAX location. 2. You are never ever to buy a regular car from Car Max. They are overpriced AF. Which of course they are, they’re paying you more than a typical dealer, so they’re going to inflate the car price on the back end as well.

But what you never ever ever want to do is trade in your car at any dealership for a new one. Wrote a song about it, like to hear it hear it go: https://thisiswhyubroke.wordpress.com/2012/01/02/the-lost-decade/

**Bonus option**: don’t sell it at all and use it to generate income from Turo.com. For those who are interested in giving Turo a spin, use my code to receive $25 for a free car rental: https://turo.com/referral?code=833269rcY47f

Learn more about cars in general by reading the book:

http://www.BrassKnuckleFinance.com

Refund Advance Checks


This year’s TIWYB #1 Tax Tip:
Stay away from “RAC”s!
Marketing of “Refund Advance Checks” will be at an all time high. And equally at an all time high? The number of people who think these products are 0% loans without any fees or penalties.

The truth is buried in the fine print. You generally will be pushed into opening up a separate account where the tax refund anticipation check will be deposited into. The fee just for that deposit is $35.
If you elect to place that amount on a card that the issuer provides you, then you are dealing with a host of other fees such as $3 ATM use charges (one charge on the front end and another on the back end), fees simply to check balances and more.
These “advances” are provided in an amount of $500, $750 or $1,250 amounts to your account which triggers at minimum, the $35 fee for deposit. The account then deducts the advance from the tax refund that is forwarded to the account as well, generally within a month. 
If you take a $1,250 amount and apply a $35 fee payable for a month of using that money, you’re looking at an annualized amount of 40% interest.
But it gets worse. Maybe I shouldn’t tell you this but if you opted for the lower $500 amount, you’re still going to have to pay that $35 fee. Mathematically that equates to an 85% APR on that money.
Refund Anticipation LOANS have been made illegal. But they have been replaced by Refund Anticipation CHECKs. The latter is what we’ve been discussing here.
You’re still getting screwed, but now you you are forced to open an account that makes you a candidate for a list of ongoing fees when you inevitably slip up with use of that account.
And the reason they know they can screw you is because the IRS just notified everyone that those who claim the Earned income Tax Credit as well as the Additional Child Tax Credit will likely have their tax returns held unprocessed until February 15th. This means that many won’t be receiving their refunds until February 27th at the earliest this year.
But at the end of the day, just look at all the complaints about the H&R Block version of this here: https://www.consumeraffairs.com/finance/hr_block_ral.html
This has to stop.

http://www.ThisisWhyYoureBroke.com

The “Power & Purpose” Conference!

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BKF University has teamed up with South Los Angeles Saves to bring you the 4th Annual South LA saves conference!

When: Saturday, March 4, 2017 | 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM PST
Where: DoubleTree by Hilton Torrance
21333 Hawthorne Boulevard
Torrance, CA 90503

We have assembled our “Power & Purpose” Panel with you in mind! Our panel is sure to inspire you, motivate you, and ENCOURAGE you as 2017 gets in Full Swing!

The Panel features seasoned professionals sharing Real ~ Honest ~ Stories of their Successes and Failures. Our panel will share some of their greatest lessons in BUSINESS, RELATIONSHIPS, and LIFE!

I will be joining as one of the Keynote Speakers for the day ready to help YOU get on track with your 2017 Financial Goals! You do not want to miss, this talk!

Tickets and more info are available here:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/south-la-saves-power-purpose-c…

Please share with your folks!

See you there!