Author

net worth update
Reports,

August 2017 (251467.24€)

My current net worth is €251,467.24 (37.53% of my first goal – €670K).

august net worth

Errr… “why am I growing my net worth so slowly?” is the type of thought that floats around my head most of the time, when it comes to money. Although my company is doing relatively well, I planned to hit a net worth of about 300,000€ this year. Not sure I will able to (even though I will be withdrawing about 30,000€ in dividends from my company next month).

This month, my lower increase has to do with the fact I had to pay my IRS from 2016.

There is an elephant in the room that I must address. Although I feel comfortable with my current lifestyle (not my health – that comes below), I feel that my net worth should be increasing much faster. I see people becoming rich all around me, and sometimes I feel my own wealth should increase faster. Being anxious doesn’t help health or success, so I will try to work on this very hard, and learn to live calmly and stress-free. Enjoying life should be a top priority.

As for my lifestyle, I am living alone in a renovated rental and I drive a nice car. I’ve got plenty of time to rest and do my own things, as my job only requires my presence every now and then. Yet, my job is still causing me stress, because whenever I need to go to my employer I need to drive 300km and leave my home (and comfort zone) altogether.

As for my health, I am still struggling with permanent dizziness and that is why I haven’t been posting as regularly as before. It has been 8 months feeling dizzy now, and I hope this changes soon. I made some progress, but I am still not:

  1. Meditating for 15-30 minutes every single day.
  2. Going to bed between 10pm and 10.30pm.

Until the end of the year, I will:

  1. look into diversifying my investments to land.
  2. Be a silent partner in a bigger Real Estate company.
  3. Finish the renovation of Rental property #3, and start a line of credit based on it. 

Rental income

I am living in RP#1, as I said before. This property is listed for sale at the same time and I may actually receive offers soon, according to the broker. If I do sell, I will try to strike a deal for a 1-year leasing contract and stay here until the end of the year, while looking for another primary property and investing the capital somewhere else. The plan is pretty much the same: I will put €35k to work and throw €10k into P2P lending / the stock market, as I said before.

The rental income in August was €1,055. This was due to one my leasings, which exempts the tenants from the rent in August, as they are students. In September, I will cash in €1,270. Until December, the rental income will increase by 540€, as I secured a lease on the 3 units of RP#3, after I renovate it. Sadly, I could not start the renovation of the property yet, due to legal issues, but it will start next month for sure. This will increase the rental income to €1,810/mo. As I said last month, the garage of RP#4, which I bought last month, is rented for €190/mo, thus increasing the total rental income to €2,000/mo.

This is why I said I was positive I will hit €2,000 until the end of the year. After this year, I will start a 175k line of credit (I will write a post exclusively on this) giving RP#3 as collateral. This will enable me to increase my rental income to €3,000/mo, at least.

Online income

My online income for August was also bad, as I barely invested anytime online. I will comment on this in the online income report/income diary.

My Real Estate business

My Real Estate business is growing steadily. I still expect to make about €25,000 net with my company until the end of the year. Next year, I will try to make about €100,000.

 

Goals for August

August’s goals were reasonably achieved:

  1. Spend more time in nature and do things I love. DONE.
  2. Optimize supplementation. DONE.
  3. Take one week entirely to write my second book, relax a lot, watch movies. FAIL. Permanent dizziness was the reason though.
  4. Plan the renovation of RP#3 and furniture RP#1 entirely (so I can live there properly). DONE.
  5. Write a lot on the blog. Two posts a week and do not fail. FAIL. Permanent dizziness was the reason though.
  6. Make at least $200 online and write 1 guest post. FAIL. Permanent dizziness was the reason for this too.

Goals for September

  1. Calm the f* down, and enjoy life without thinking about Early Retirement and how to grow my net worth faster.
  2. Take 3 days off to write my second book, relax a lot, watch movies and TV series.
  3. Write at last 4 posts on the blog.
  4. Go to bed before 11pm every day.
  5. Start the nofap protocol (for health reasons, not social phobia or anything like that).
  6. Make at least $200 online and write 1 guest post. 

Enjoy life guys!

Ben

how to fight dizziness
Health,

What I am doing to fight dizziness

What I am doing to fighting dizziness and my foggy feeling

As a CFS sufferer, there is a number of symptoms that I need to struggle with. Since January, dizziness has been the worst of them all. Between 2014 and 2016 I only remember a quick episode of dizziness. Since January 2017, I have been having recurrent episodes of dizziness/lightheadedness/feeling foggy.

Dizziness can come randomly, although I feel that there is a connection to my stress levels. As for stress, I don’t put myself into much stress anymore, but my “stress handling system” is basically fried out. This means that even a very small stressful event can do a lot of damage to me (check out my post on adrenal fatigue).

When I suffer from stressful events, I can notice the harm any time after that. It could be on the same day, the following day, on the following week. There is no real pattern – neither regarding when I notice the damage nor how long it can last, or how it will affect me. Most of the times, it comes in the form of exhaustion and, more noticeably, pain neck and stiffness.

And I believe that stress and neck pain affects my dizziness – in one way or another.

Let us break it down. I have an illness, called CFS. I am using a specific diet and lifestyle to address it. This condition has a few consequences, one of which is the lack of tolerance to stress. I then have a lot of symptoms because I cannot handle stress, including neck pain. I am not sure whether dizziness is a symptom at the level of neck pain, something caused by CFS directly or by neck pain itself. Pain neck (and stiffness) can cause dizziness too.

How do I handle stress

Handling stress can be quite difficult, especially for people who suffer from anxiety as I do. Although I feel stressed out all the time, there is not much I do that positively impacts the stress levels I have to deal with. There are a few things that I came up with that do improve my stress.

Exercises for stiff neck

The most exuberant symptom that I have, with regards to stress, is aggressive pain neck and pain stiffness. Several sources on the internet suggest that there is a connection between neck stiffness and dizziness. Sadly, there seems to be a number of people suffering from this problem. Here are a few exercises to diminish neck pain and stiffness:

How do I handle dizziness

Because I don’t know exactly at what level dizziness is (meaning whether it is a symptom caused by stiff neck or directly by CFS), I cannot treat it by treating the cause of it. For instance, if it was caused by a stiff neck, I would definitely focus on my neck.

Therefore, I only do things that I’ve used before to make it better and avoid things that make it worse. In fact, I have started a very strict routine since August 1st. Here it is:

Improve blood circulation

Dizziness is often caused by low blood pressure. Blood circulation is highly affected by some substances, such as caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, and specific drugs.

I will try to keep blood circulation by: (1) having cold showers, (2) taking supplements and (3) exercise regularly.

Ginkgo biloba (I take this one) is a known supplement for boosting circulation of blood within the inner ear, thus correcting some problems. Feverfew is also used against dizziness, migraines, and inflammation in the inner ear while improving blood circulation altogether.

A crucial tool to improve blood circulation in the brain is ginger. Since August 1st, I’ve been taking ginger supplements (about 1g a day) and drinking ginger tea every single day, while taking ginkgo bibola (in a liquid form). Next, I will start feverfew supplementation on a daily basis.

Coffee

Although it is not 100% certain, coffee can worsen my dizziness. In fact, I think it depends on how bad I’ve been feeling the previous days. I’ve drunk coffee many times and noticed that my dizziness became worse. On the other hand, I’ve drunk coffee many times without consequence, even in the middle of a dizziness crisis. When it comes, tt can take between 5 minutes and one hour, but once it comes, it won’t go away until the end of the day (i.e. I have 8 hours of sleep).

The biggest problem of this is that I simply love coffee. I cannot even drink decaf as I’ve bad reactions with it too. This is really the only thing that I like that worsens my dizziness.

Either way, I avoid coffee as much as I can, if I am experiencing recurrent dizziness. Between June 1st and June 31st, I did not drink coffee and I only drank 1 decaf expresso per day. Since August, I laid off coffee altogether.

Posture

I found this one recently. I found out that adopting a posture (especially in front of the computer) helps a lot with my dizziness. I guess this is connected with a better blood circulation. This is actually the first thing that I started to do in order to improve blood circulation.

Staring at the monitor

Reading and staring at the monitor for more than 20 minutes in a row can be painful, especially if I look down. Looking up doesn’t result in dizziness as often, but can also make it worse. What I’ve been trying (not exactly doing it yet) is to stop starting at the monitor every 20 minutes.

Going for a walk

This is such a great tool against stress, favoring blood circulation and giving your body a break. I love to go out on a Summer night on a Spring day. Going for a walk for as little as 10 minutes can do wonders. At least it does for me.

Lying down

For some people, sitting down will do the trick, but not for me (sometimes I get dizzy while I am sitting). However, in my case, I have to lie down. This doesn’t always work, but it did before.

Water

Getting dehydrated can lead to dizziness, so drinking water more often can be a great tool against dizziness. I will try to drink about a gallon of water day in June.

Incline my head backward

For some reason, inclining my head backward seems to provide instant relief, as long as I keep it inclined for more than 20 seconds. Probably it helps to oxygenate the brain, but I am not sure.

Improve resilience to stress

CFS suffers tend to suffer a lot from stress. I am no exception. There are a few things that one can do to fight stress, including:

  • Meditation, which I already do.
  • Breathing deeply.
  • Be present and forcing ourselves to relax.

Check more techniques to fight stress here.

Medication

If my condition doesn’t improve until the end of August, I will experiment some over-the-counter motion sickness medication. I don’t recommend people to take any medication without talking to a doctor. I will test the effect of Dimenhydrinate (Dramamine), Meclizine (Bonine) and Diphenhydramine (Benadryl), by this order.

Check for other diseases

Shame on me, I wasn’t tested for other diseases that cause dizziness for more than 2 years. However, 2 years ago, when I had the first burst, I was tested for a variety of things and everything came up negative. If I don’t get better until the end of September, I will get tested for:
  1. Labyrinthitis, BPPV and Meniere’s disease.
  2. Anxiety disorders, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
  3. Heart problems.
  4. Circulatory issues.
online income report income diary report how to make money online
Blog, Reports,

July 2017 (Online Income: $215.35)

Welcome to my income diary. If you wonder how do websites make money and how to make money with a website, you may find my reports useful.

I release reports on my online income every month. In 2017, I am projected to make $15k on online income.


I’ve received many e-mails concerning this matter. Most people ask me “What can I do to start a side online business?” or “What can I do to make a few hundred bucks at the end of the month”? First, know that I offer consulting services for this, on 1:1 consultations. Either way, let me hash out a general recipe here:

0) Choose a niche. Many people choose niches based on keyword search. I highly recommend people to blog about what they are passionate about instead. If you add value, any niche will work out for you.

1) Set up a website. I host my website on Bluehost, which I highly recommend. For one, its cheap, two is highly reliable. If you are interested in starting a blog of your own, I created a tutorial here, to help you start off.

2) Blog. A lot. You may have noticed that I’ve posted twice in the month, on specific months when I started From cents to Retirement. Doesn’t work. It won’t tie people in, it won’t please search engines and your blog will rapidly be forgotten. Note that I am not saying “publish crap”. Do not, if you expect to have loyal fans and grow. But do not forget to publish.

3) Promote your blog. A big part of having your blog out there for people to see is through high-quality posts – eventually, people will share. Promoting your blog will not only get it out there faster but deeper. Promoting your blog can be very hard, but its necessary.

4) Monetize. Adsense is an option. I like Amazon a lot. If you offer consultancy services, as I do, you need to show you can do it yourself first, but clients will pop up eventually.


So, how did I make $215.35 this month? First, the breakdown:

Bluehost : $0 (vs $0 in April)
Affiliate marketing : $71.80 (vs $118.66 in June)
My book : $13.55 (vs $99.94 in June)
Consultancy fees : $130 (vs $0 in June)
Google adsense : gave up!
Paid surveys : $0 (vs $0 in June)

Total : $204.86

Disclaimer: the BlueHost and the Amazon links are affiliate links, which means that I get commissions if you buy products or services through them. The amounts reported above are before any fees, taxes or expenses. I can’t say exactly how much I will net from this.

As for consultancy fees: I haven’t consulted this month, for the second consecutive month, because as I said earlier this week, I’ve been very sick in the second half of June. If I am well, I plan to consult a lot until the end of the year.

Note that although I am committed to release my income diary and help those who want to know how to make money with a blog, if they and blogging for money, my primary focus is not to make money with the blog, but create a very valuable platform that people love.

Expenses

I didn’t have any expenses with the blog this month.

Views

Sadly, I am still sick – I experience nausea and dizziness on a daily basis. This makes me have way less time to write for the blog, produce kick ass content and promote it correctly.

This was the lowest month – in terms of views – in the past 12 months! I ain’t sad about it, though. As I said last month, I am looking to my blog on a 5-10 year horizon. I don’t care about money, I want to create value and a nice platform to deliver kick ass content!

views july 2017

and the number of sessions:

IMG

I am happy with the progress in terms of authority, but I know this will not keep increasing unless I re-start guest posting. Being this sick, it is impossible to keep up with the expectation of writing 10 guest posts a month. Even one ain’t possible – remember I am not producing enough content for my own blog at this point! My authority seems stable right now (Domain authority is at 34 and Page authority at 44). This will probably decline if I don’t post more often and I don’t write guest posts…

My Alexa rank also decreased accordingly but again, I am not that concerned:

alexa ranking july

 

Social Media

This month my Facebook page grew by 195 likes to a total of 999 likes, which compares really well against the previous months, representing an increase of 20%. As I said last month, I had a few tricks I could use to grow my Facebook page and these seem to work beautifully. Next month, I will go all in with this trick and hopefully grow beyond 1000 likes. I won’t hit 25k likes until the end of the year, which was my goal, but I think that I can still reach 5k without ads.

As I said before, I am not keeping track of Pinterest, and I will hire a VA to take care of it for me.

The subscriber count grew from 1091 to 1154, wich means an increase of about 6%. I didn’t grow as much as I expected because although I wrote many guest posts, most of them weren’t published yet. I am still convinced that the goal of reaching 6000 subscribers until the end of the year is achievable because I have a few tricks that I will use, and I still expect to be featured on major sites.

Goals for June 2017:

  • Increase the number of likes on my Facebook page to 1000. DONE! I’ve continued with the same technique I’ve used before, and it works really well. I believe I can escalate my Facebook page further, as long as I am not sick.
  • Increase the number of blog subscribers to 1200. ALMOST DONE. I have now a total of 1157 subscribers.
  • Increase the number of followers on Twitter to 350. FAIL. I haven’t promoted my Twitter account at all. I simply lack the time to do this.
  • Write at least 10 guest posts. FAIL. Having been so sick, I didn’t have the time to create enough content for my own blog, so I ended up not writing any guest posts.
  • Reach at least 40k views on my blog.
  • Make about $1000 online. FAIL. I have been sick, that says it all.

Goals for July 2017:

  • Increase the number of likes on my Facebook page to 1200.
  • Increase the number of blog subscribers to 1250.
  • Write at least 2 guest posts.
  • Make about $500 online.

In the meantime, let me know if this information is useful to you in the comment section down below.

Your biggest fan,
Ben Davis

net worth update
Reports,

July 2017 (250930.54€)

My current worth is €250,930.54 (37.45% of my first goal – €670K).

july net worth

OK, I am onto something now. Not only I was able to increase my net worth by 2000 euros, as I was also able to spend more money with my lifestyle (aka healthcare costs). Plus, my company is doing well and I am loving it.

I am also way less anxious, in general. This is also true for my early retirement plan. I will tell you why:

  1. I am living alone, in one of my previous rentals, spending tons of money with my dizziness and adrenal fatigue, and yet I am able to increase my net worth.
  2. My company is doing well and honestly, I don’t think I must running like Bolt (or Gatlin, for that matter).
  3. I am positive I will be financially free when I turn 33.
  4. It is time to finally calm the f* down and enjoy life. I’ve been running my entire life and the result hasn’t been that I was looking for.

This month I was still very dizzy. However, after a lot of reading, I am finally improving my adrenal fatigue. These are the things I want to do regardless of what happens:

 

  1. I will continue to meditate for 15-30 minutes every single day.
  2. I will go to bed between 10pm and 10.30pm.
  3. I am looking into diversifying my investments to land.
  4. I will still try to be a silent partner in a bigger Real Estate company.
  5. I am relaxing and doing sports like no other time in the last 4 years. The next things to do is to write my following books and escalate my online businesses.
  6. I will start a line of credit based on my current portfolio.

As far as posting on FCTR, I am sorry but I’ve been so dizzy this is nearly impossible now.  I even struggle to write the net worth and online income posts. I promise to try to write at least a post every week. Hopefully, I will treat my dizziness in the next months and then come back to post as often as I was posting.

Rental income

I am living in RP#1, as I said before. This property is listed for sale at the same time. I believe that I will be living until the end of the year, until when I expect to acquire a new property to live in myself. I will get another mortgage for this new home. If I do sell RP#1, I will put €35k to work and throw €10k into P2P lending, as I said before.

The rental income in July was €1,195. This month, it will be slightly higher and then increase substantially until the end of the year. I actually believe that I will hit €2,000 until the end of the year!

In the meantime, I gotta tell you that I bought RP#4! This is a fix and flip without any fixing. I was able to acquire this property for €50,000 and I am confident I will sell it for about €75,000. The garage of the property is rented for €190/mo, so I won’t even be concerned while the property is listed (probably for €99,990).

 

This month, I will finally start the renovation works in RP#3. Like I said, I estimate they will cost me about €25,000. Last time I said I was not sure where I was going to get the money from. Well, now I know: my company has enough money lying around and I will withdraw some dividends – just enough to pay for the renovation works. In fact, I think that I will use a €5,000 bonus I will get from my employer. After this renovation, I have already agreed to rent out 3 units to a sub-leasing company, for a total of €500 per month (which is an essential step to hit €2,000 until the end of the year).

Online income

My online income for July was also bad, as I barely invested anytime online. I will comment on this in the online income report/income diary.

My Real Estate business

My Real Estate business is growing steadily as I was able to do some small biz. I expect to make about €25,000 net with my company until the end of the year. Next year, I will try to make about €100,000.

Goals for July

July’s goals were mostly failed:

  1. Make sure I take medication that works, keep calm, do things I love (like sports, great food, etc) and enjoy life (sounds crazy but I haven’t been doing this). DONE. I will though to learn more and more about adrenal fatigue and neck pain.
  2. Take one week entirely to write my second book, relax a lot, watch movies. FAIL. Permanent dizziness was the reason though.
  3. Plan the renovation of RP#3 and furniture RP#1 entirely (so I can live there properly). FAIL. Pushed this to August.
  4. Write a lot on the blog. Two posts a week and do not fail. FAIL. Permanent dizziness was the reason though.
  5. Start leaving medication and introducing supplements gently. DONE. I will learn more and more about adrenal fatigue and neck pain and introduce more and more supplements as time goes by.
  6. Make at least $200 online and write 1 guest post. FAIL. Permanent dizziness was the reason for this too.

Enjoy life guys!

Ben

adrenal fatigue
Health, Lifestyle,

Adrenal fatigue – a major cause of pursuit for financial freedom

Just like myself, many people I got in touch with regarding financial freedom suffer from some type of condition that makes them pursue financial freedom. I have CFS as you know, but from my experience, the vast majority of these fellas suffer from adrenal fatigue.

I decided to take a look at this condition and find out how it relates to CFS and treat myself as if I had adrenal fatigue myself.

The first thing is to understand what Adrenal Fatigue is.

Let us first go with big channels and known people. Dr. Axe does a good job at explaining that in this video, while providing some initial tips to fight it:

The takeaway is that if you’re sleeping a lot and still waking up tired, struggling with major fatigue issues and other signs (such as feeling overwhelmed, stressed, you feel poor memory, etc), chances are you’re suffering from Adrenal Fatigue, according to Dr. Axe. Some other signs can be storing extra fat.

I realised that this person he is describing is me.

Plus, he says that if you consume a lot of caffeine (and sugar, for that matter), that will burn out your adrenal glands.

Now, let us talk about what is important to improve adrenal function and overcome adrenal fatigue. Of course that reducing stress (both directly and indirectly – such as by exercising) and get good quality sleep at night, and do stuff you like are key to start the recovery, but it goes way beyond that.

Let us have a look at what other people has reported helping with adrenal fatigue.

Dr. Axe partnered up with Jordan and hashed that out in this video:

In this video, Dr. Axe and Jordan recommend a few things that generally help with Adrenal Fatigue:

  1. Foods: remove sugar, carbs, use bone broth (mostly because of collagen), clean sources of protein (such as salmon), dark colour fruits and vegetables. Also, sour and fermented foods are the best. I LOVE sauerkraut – and I actually do it myself.
  2. Herbs: here’s a major help for supporting adrenal rejuvenation. Adaptogens such as Ashwagandha, Holy Basil, Liquorice root, Ginseng and Rhodiola are the most popular ones.
  3. Spices. Jordan and Dr. Axe recommend stuff like Licorice and Nutmeg.
  4. Essential oils. Holy Basil, Rose Mary, Lavander (for relaxation, anxiety and good sleep) and a few others. Dr. Axe says Rosemary and Lavander work even better together. I’ve used Lavander myself before, but maybe because I used it alone, I didn’t notice good results.
  5. Mushrooms. Reishi and Chaga are popular on various sources talking about recovering from Adrenal Fatigue. Reishi is often said to be the most powerful substance known to men!
  6. Nutrients. B12, B5, Magnesium, Vitamin D3, Potassium, Selenium.
  7. Supplements. Probiotics and digestive enzymes top my preferences too!

Thomas DeLauer has also come up with what he calls an “Adrenal Cocktail”:

This cocktail is composed of 4 ounces (10cl) of Orange juice, a 1/4 teaspoon of Cream of Tarter – because is incredibly high in potassium – and pink salt – which according to him relieves stress from the Adrenals and the kidneys.

Thomas also recommends Ashwagandha – as it increases GABA – which in turn reduces the impact of cortisol on nerves. His third recommendation is taking fish oils, which also reduces cortisol.

Finally, Thomas recommends to lay off stimulants, such as caffeine.

If you are unsure how to test yourself for adrenal fatigue, check out this video:

And here is a totally different approach to heal your adrenals, which I found excellent:

Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum’s suggestions are: increase water, increase salt, and take vitamin C, B5 and Licorice. Multiple small meals throughout the day and high protein. This is it!

And finally, three first-person testimonies, which are concise and that go against some of the things listed before:

I loved them.

Let us then sum all this up:

  1. Cut off every stimulant you’re taking. Coffee, sugar, etc.
  2. Start getting your cortisol levels normalised. The first single most important thing that people referred in this direction is fixing your sleep patterns. Go to bed early! I will try to go to bed before 11 pm every single day, and meditate for at least 10 minutes so that I change my brain to a beta state faster.
  3. Get into a freaking awesome diet and drink lots of clean water. Some of the videos did a great job at explaining what that means. Find what works out for you.
  4. Get plenty of sleep and stop physical stress. One thing is your sleeping patterns. Another one is sleeping more than usual. Your body is recovering, so it makes sense to give it more than it usually needs to function.
  5. Take adaptogens. I’ve done Ginseng cycles before and they were super effective. I am excited to get into others. Many people referred to them as scams, but I believe they will do well because I’ve used Ginseng many times before, as I said.
  6. Stop all harmful/toxic stuff that goes in or on your body.
  7. Address emotional stress. Most of your daily thoughts are recycled from the previous day. Meditate. Enjoy life. Be grateful. Go into nature. Whatever works for you.
  8. Stop activities that produce cortisol, because you’re already having too much of it. Sex and masturbation included, sorry.
online income report income diary report how to make money online
Blog, Reports,

June 2017 (Online Income: $204.86)

Welcome to my income diary. If you wonder how do websites make money and how to make money with a website, you may find my reports useful.

I release reports on my online income every month. In 2017, I am projected to make $15k on online income.


I’ve received many e-mails concerning this matter. Most people ask me “What can I do to start a side online business?” or “What can I do to make a few hundred bucks at the end of the month”? First, know that I offer consulting services for this, on 1:1 consultations. Either way, let me hash out a general recipe here:

0) Choose a niche. Many people choose niches based on keyword search. I highly recommend people to blog about what they are passionate about instead. If you add value, any niche will work out for you.

1) Set up a website. I host my website on Bluehost, which I highly recommend. For one, its cheap, two is highly reliable. If you are interested in starting a blog of your own, I created a tutorial here, to help you start off.

2) Blog. A lot. You may have noticed that I’ve posted twice in the month, on specific months when I started From cents to Retirement. Doesn’t work. It won’t tie people in, it won’t please search engines and your blog will rapidly be forgotten. Note that I am not saying “publish crap”. Do not, if you expect to have loyal fans and grow. But do not forget to publish.

3) Promote your blog. A big part of having your blog out there for people to see is through high-quality posts – eventually, people will share. Promoting your blog will not only get it out there faster but deeper. Promoting your blog can be very hard, but its necessary.

4) Monetize. Adsense is an option. I like Amazon a lot. If you offer consultancy services, as I do, you need to show you can do it yourself first, but clients will pop up eventually.


So, how did I make $204.86 this month? First, the breakdown:

Bluehost : $0 (vs $0 in April)
Affiliate marketing : $118.66 (vs $72.60 in April)
My book : $86.20 (vs $99.94 in April)
Consultancy fees : $0 (vs $0 in April)
Google adsense : $0 (vs $0 in April – I removed all ads from the blog)
Paid surveys : $0 (vs $0 in April)

Total : $204.86

Disclaimer: the BlueHost and the Amazon links are affiliate links, which means that I get commissions if you buy products or services through them. The amounts reported above are before any fees, taxes or expenses. I can’t say exactly how much I will net from this.

As for consultancy fees: I haven’t consulted this month, for the second consecutive month, because as I said earlier this week, I’ve been very sick in the second half of June. If I am well, I plan to consult a lot until the end of the year.

Note that although I am committed to release my income diary and help those who want to know how to make money with a blog, if they and blogging for money, my primary focus is not to make money with the blog, but create a very valuable platform that people love.

Expenses

I didn’t have any expenses with the blog this month.

Views

Sadly, being sick and having way less time to write for the blog, produce kick ass content and promote it correctly is obviously not let me achieve the expectations I had before. This month, I didn’t experience any growth in terms of views – they are essentially going sideways. I am still happy with a steady, slow but consistent growth, as I look to my blog on a 5-10 year horizon. I don’t care about money, I want to create value and a nice platform to deliver kick ass content, and blow people out of the water.

I am happy with the progress in terms of authority, but I know this will not keep increasing unless I re-start guest posting. Being this sick, it is impossible to keep up with the expectation of writing 10 guest posts a month. Even one ain’t possible – remember I am not producing enough content for my own blog at this point! I actually had a domain decline (from 37 to 33) and a slight increase in page authority (from 43 to 44).

Although I didn’t have many guest posts published in June, my traffic stayed constant. I am still waiting to be featured on a major site.

views june 2017

and the number of sessions:

sessions june 2017

My Alexa rank is good and there is not much to say about it:

alexa stats 2017

Social Media

This month my Facebook page grew by 195 likes to a total of 999 likes, which compares really well against the previous months, representing an increase of 20%. As I said last month, I had a few tricks I could use to grow my Facebook page and these seem to work beautifully. Next month, I will go all in with this trick and hopefully grow beyond 1000 likes. I won’t hit 25k likes until the end of the year, which was my goal, but I think that I can still reach 5k without ads.

As I said before, I am not keeping track of Pinterest, and I will hire a VA to take care of it for me.

The subscriber count grew from 1091 to 1154, wich means an increase of about 6%. I didn’t grow as much as I expected because although I wrote many guest posts, most of them weren’t published yet. I am still convinced that the goal of reaching 6000 subscribers until the end of the year is achievable because I have a few tricks that I will use, and I still expect to be featured on major sites.

Goals for June 2017:

  • Increase the number of likes on my Facebook page to 1000. DONE! I’ve continued with the same technique I’ve used before, and it works really well. I believe I can escalate my Facebook page further, as long as I am not sick.
  • Increase the number of blog subscribers to 1200. ALMOST DONE. I have now a total of 1157 subscribers.
  • Increase the number of followers on Twitter to 350. FAIL. I haven’t promoted my Twitter account at all. I simply lack the time to do this.
  • Write at least 10 guest posts. FAIL. Having been so sick, I didn’t have the time to create enough content for my own blog, so I ended up not writing any guest posts.
  • Reach at least 40k views on my blog.
  • Make about $1000 online. FAIL. I have been sick, that says it all.

Goals for July 2017:

  • Increase the number of likes on my Facebook page to 1200.
  • Increase the number of blog subscribers to 1250.
  • Write at least 2 guest posts.
  • Make about $500 online. 

In the meantime, let me know if this information is useful to you in the comment section down below.

Your biggest fan,
Ben Davis

net worth update
Reports,

June 2017 (248842.76€)

My current worth is €248,842.76 (37.14% of my first goal – €670K).

net worth june

Finally, a small increase in net worth. Nothing really important happened except for moving my emergency funds to government bonds and saving €1000 from my salary. Yet…

I am SO frustrated…

I live times of anxiety, to be honest. I want to accelerate my dream to be financially independent, especially whenever I get worse from CFS.

It seems that I am walking very slowly towards my dream – not RUNNING like Bolt…

This month, I got a lot worse. As you may have noticed, I haven’t posted much this month. That is because I was dizzy for like 90% of the time. Fortunately, this got better last week. I can see a few things that affect my health in a negative way:

  1. I am not really living the life I want. I want to do business. Make serious money fast. Not making collecting 200 buck rents every month while sending someone over to check
  2. I am not into my research job. It doesn’t excite me anymore. Getting to the best conferences won’t even change my mood. I’d rather be running a business selling homes for most of the time.
  3. I get frustrated if I see people making money really fast. It is taking me for god damn ever to do that.
  4. I am not really improving my life, although I live where I want to live. I am not 100% free as I use to be. Small deals and responsibility fill up my mind constantly.
  5. My body doesn’t seem to relax and enjoy the moment like it used to. I can’t really understand why.

A few things I started to do, which I believe will improve all this together:

  1. I will start a 90-day 15-30 minute meditation challenge. I don’t care which day it is or what came up. I will meditate no matter what.
  2. I will try to be a silent partner in a bigger Real Estate company. The bottom line is, I don’t want to be there (as I have a job and a gazillion of things to worry about), but I want to be part of something greater.
  3. I am going to diversify my investments to land. There is a ton of subsidies nowadays, so I will meet up with someone who knows what this market and start acquiring land.
  4. I am taking one week every three weeks to (1) relax and do sports, (2) write my following books and (3) escalate my online businesses. I am seriously committed to this.
  5. last, but not least, I will carefully study a line of credit based on my current portfolio (a post is coming soon). This is the equivalent to cash refinance in the US, just so you know what I am talking about. This will be a huge step in enlarging my real estate portfolio, should it be taken.

Rental income

I moved temporarily to RP#1, as I said before. This property is listed for sale at the same time. I believe that I will be living until the end of the year, until when I expect to acquire a new property to live in myself. I will get another mortgage for this new home. If I do sell RP#1, I will put €35k to work and throw €10k into P2P lending, as I said before.

The rental income in June was only €1,195 because some of my tenants on RP#3 simply vanished! Remember I was going to have a contracted automatically bumped by €50? Yeah, forget that. Those tenants are gone! They haven’t damaged the property at all and actually left it completely cleaned. However, they left without a warning – which is a contract break. 

Now, the good news. I rented out another unit in RP#3 (for €240) starting from August 1st. Again… on the last day of the month! 🙂 This means that RP#3 alone will be collecting €755.

The other good news is that without the tenants who left, I can start working on the renovation of the remaining units in RP#3. I estimate this will cost me about €25,000. Not sure where I will get the money from, to be honest. After this renovation, I have already agreed to rent out 3 units to a sub-leasing company, for a total of €500 per month. This will be an 8-10 year contract. This means that RP#3 will yield €1,255. Considering the rental income from RP#2 (and assuming 0 dollars from RP#1), I will total €1,770/mo until the end of the year, assuming I don’t buy further real estate.

Online income

My online income for June was bad, as I barely invested anytime online. I will comment on this in the online income report/income diary.

My Real Estate business

My Real Estate business didn’t really witness a growth but I hope to change this quite soon.

Goals for June

June’s goals were miserably failed. A lot happened, but I was sick for most of the time. Being sick most of the time sucks. I really need to work on my health. Moving to RP#1 and a few other things I’ve been done will pay off in the long term, I hope!

  1. Make at least $1000 online and continue to promote the blog aggressively.  FAIL (I was sick for most of the time)
  2. Bring down RP#3 last bills to less than €1000. DONE (I paid off all the bills on RP#3 there were)
  3. Read one book. FAIL (I was sick for most of the time)
  4. Rent out another unit. DONE (This is a 2-year leasing contract)

For the next month:

  1. Make sure I take medication that works, keep calm, do things I love (like sports, great food, etc) and enjoy life (sounds crazy but I haven’t been doing this).
  2. Take one week entirely to write my second book, relax a lot, watch movies
  3. Plan the renovation of RP#3 and furniture RP#1 entirely (so I can live there properly).
  4. Write a lot on the blog. Two posts a week and do not fail.
  5. Start leaving medication and introducing supplements gently.
  6. Make at least $200 online and write 1 guest post.

Enjoy life guys!

Ben

listing properties to sell
Daily life, Real Estate,

I am listing two of my properties!

Hi fellas,

Last week I decided to list two of my properties: Rental Property #1 and Rental Property #2. I want to keep you posted regarding why I did this.

Rental Property 1 – my first rental ever!

First, RP#1. I moved to this property this month, and I love living in it. My tenants left the property in a perfect shape (pretty much how I handed it to them) and it looks lovely. Here is the data as of today:

  • Acquisition cost and remodeling = €31,500.
  • Balance on the property (deducting net rents) = €28,000.
  • Current property value = about €50,000.
  • Listing price = €54,000.
  • Commission to sell = €5,000 + VAT = €6,150.

This means that if I sell at market value (€50,000) and I have to pay a 5k+VAT commission, I will end up with €43,850. From this, I gotta pay 28% on capital gains. This property VPT is almost €40,000, so there is no actual profit until €40k. If I sell for €50k, I can write off the 5k+VAT commission and therefore end up with a taxable capital gain of about 4k. From this, I can write off about 1k in expenses, including property transfer taxes (when I bought it). This means that the final taxable capital gain is about 3k and I need to pay 28% of that, which is about €850.

So, if I do sell for €50,000, I end up with €43,000. The Real Estate agent (I’ll explain in a bit why I am not selling this property through my own company), however, told me we may sell for €52k or even €53k. This sweetens the numbers up. In the worst case scenario, though, I will end up with a net profit of about €15,000 on this property. Not bad for a €31,500 – I’ll end up very close to a 50% cash on cash return!

Why sell?

…especially if I just moved in? I realized that with this kind of money, I can buy another property for myself (hopefully a 2-unit property, so that I live in one and rent the other out), remodeling it, and put €10k to work! This stroke me when I recently found a very nice condo for less than €20,000. I am not sure yet where I would put the €10,000 to work, but I’d probably split them between P2P, bonds, and stocks (a third each). More than the €10,000, I am particularly eager to buy a 2-unit property. This is the last proof that I have an investing-tailored mind: even my primary home has to return something financially.

Rental Property 2 – a great buy and hold

OK, RP#2 is a totally different ball game. When I mentioned the agent that I wanted to sell RP#1, he told me “don’t you want to sell RP#2 too? I may have a buyer for around €80k”.

RP#2 is one the best deals of my life. It generates almost €6,200 per year, and generates extra cash after I pay the mortgage off. Plus, it is a nice 3-unit property that I bought for less than €40,000. Because I got a mortgage on this property, I only had to put in about €9,000 so far (because I pre-payed 3k of the mortgage!), and I’ve collected about €6,500.

If I sell for €80k, I need to pay a €5,000 + VAT commission, which leaves me with €73,850. Then, I need to pay the mortgage off (currently at €34,500 with a 2% pre-payment penalty). This leaves me with €73,850 – €35,200 = €38,650. I also need to pay high capital gains, because I only have tax-free gains up to €64,000. This leaves me with a taxable tax gain of about €10,000, from which I can only write off about €1,000. On the €9,000 I need to pay about €2,500 on property taxes. So, at the end, selling for €80,000, I’ll end up with about €36,000, with is a 400% cash on cash return. Selling for €75,000 calculates into great numbers still, so I do hope this deal goes through.

I am not yet sure what I will do with the €30k+ that I will net from this property, should I sell it. Most likely, I will find a fix and flip deal and put the money to work there, or find another buy and hold that I buy with this money exclusively. I don’t mind making about €250/mo (vs €500+ I am making with this property), if I lower my liabilities (before the bank) AND I go after a deep value deal (meaning I buy for €30k+ but the property is worth at least €45k+). Ideally, I want to put the money to work fast and extract a high return until the end of the year.

Changing strategy?

As a buy and hold preacher, am I changing my strategy? No. I simply acknowledged that I can make quick money this way, and I believe that in the long run, I will achieve higher volumes of rent this way.

Why not selling through my company?

If I have a RE company, why not selling these properties through my own company? RP#1 is not adequate – I only have investors as buyers and RP#2 may fall short in terms of ROI. Note that if I sell for €80,000, that will mean a gross annual return of less than 8%. After taxes and property taxes that may mean about 4,5%.Also, this is an old property and renovation may be needed at any time.

To investors that look for our company, we usually propose properties that can are distressed and needed to be entirely rehabbed or properties that expectantly won’t need much maintenance over the next years. This property can actually be attractive before the local market, for investors that are happy with moderate returns. At the same time, I don’t lose anything to list it – there are absolutely no costs and it will continue to be rented in the next years.

how to set up a real estate business
Lifestyle, Planning, Real Estate,

How to set up a Real Estate business

Many people ask me how the can set up a Real Estate business as I did. Just to be clear, I am not talking about my Real Estate company or my consultancy business; I am talking about a Real Estate business composed of many properties that you buy and rent out (typically kept under an LLC). This is comparable to your own Real Estate Trust. Currently, my Real Estate includes 10 units and generates about $1400 in passive income every month.

How to set up a Real Estate business

You can certainly set up a Real Estate business in many different ways. However, what I explain in the following is the way I used to set up my own business. Not only my business is working fine, as I also witnessed at least one of my clients to experience the same degree of success. So, without further due, let us get to it.

Step 1: Save some money

I would attract way more viewers from Google if I wrote: “buy Real Estate without any money down” or “invest in real estate without money”. However, I will be pretty honest with you… You’ll need some money to set up a real estate business as I did. I personally bought my first property (a condo) all cash, after liquidating my stock portfolio. It was about 35K for me. However, I invest in Portugal, where properties are cheap (especially if you compare them to most markets in the US).

Say you don’t have a good pay and you really have to struggle to save some money. Well, I am not going to lie to you, this may be time-consuming. If your salary is low, you need to find other ways to increase your income and save money aggressively.

If your salary is high enough, you’re all set. Simply throw money to a savings account every single month. The minimum you need to spend is 20% of your first property (for the down-payment to the bank, assuming you need 20% down) plus the closing costs on the property. Those you need to check from property to property.

Step 2: Get credit approval first

I’ve seen a lot of people making this mistake: going out for shopping without credit approval. This is a big mistake because you may never get approval, which means that the entire period you were looking for a property is wasted. It may also mean that you submit an offer for a property which you don’t have enough money to back up.

Don’t waste time, or even worse… get yourself into trouble. Simply get your letter of approval from the bank before anything else.

Important note: in many countries like Portugal, you must have a property under contract before the bank gives you approval. Talk to me if you have questions about this process.

Step 3: Find great, honest contractors

I always invest in distressed properties because typically rehab costs are not priced correctly in distressed properties.

As such, I need to surround myself with great contractors. I always get to know if contractors are legit and honest. The truth of the matter is, there are many dishonest contractors. Their job is simply favorable to report extra hours or extra materials: nobody is there to really check how long they worked and what materials were in fact used.

My recommendation is not to go shopping without getting to know two different contractors. Here are some great tips to hiring contractors.

Step 4: Make friends with proactive Real Estate agents

I can’t stress this enough.

Unlike the stock market, where pricing rules don’t really depend on the brokers you know, Real Estate is not like that. Real Estate is a much more personal business, and most of the aspects of your deal depend on other people. But it doesn’t end with the tenants…

Knowing proactive Real Estate agents is the key to finding great deals. At least it has been for me. I made sure I got to know many real estate agents and became friends with them. Eventually, I was offered many deals before they were actually released to the public. I highly recommend you to check local legislation and check whether this is legal in your state or country. This is absolutely fine in my markets, according to the local legislation. Make sure you don’t get yourself into legal problems.

Step 5: Find deep value deals

This is probably the hardest step to accomplish. It also shows why you need to be good friends with Real Estate agents: this will accelerate and make the process a lot simpler.

If you check my real estate and previous posts, you’ll see that I focus on multi-units that I can buy at a huge discount. For instance, I explained my strategy to find awesome multi-units for low prices. I am not saying you should necessarily go for multi-units. I am simply saying that for me, they are like a sweet spot in my markets. Maybe they won’t be the sweet spot for you, I don’t know. But my point is… come up with a sound strategy and test the market until you find your sweet spot. Your corner. Once you do, stick to it.

Regardless of what corner you choose, make sure you always go for the deep value deals. What is the most effective way to make money through Real Estate. I always buy properties that are worth 2-4 times more. How can I possibly lose money that way?

The trick to finding deep value deals? Seeing value where nobody does. A distressed property that looks like the last place where you want to live is likely to be undervalued. The reason for that is because people look at Real Estate emotionally. They wouldn’t live there, so it is must be worth little… they won’t do the math and sum whatever they would have to spend to make it look good.

You, as a Real Estate investor, have that ability. Just find those properties. Instruct the agents you work with you to find them. Look for them yourself. Relentlessly. That is the secret.

Step 6: Always inspect the properties before closing

Remember I advised to get to know good, honest contractors? They will come in handy in this step: just call them up and let them know you are considering a property. Asked them to visit the property with you and estimate rehab costs. They may be wrong because contractors won’t be able to accurately estimate the costs unless they usually check the foundation (which is not always checkable without damaging the property). However, this will give you an idea of how much you should look at. My advice? Increase the estimate by at least 20%. Play safe, no surprises.

OK – you’ve got the numbers. Run them. Is it a good property (I use the 7-year rule to check that)? Close, then!

Step 7: Remodel the properties… intelligently

Renovating a rental is a heck of a whole new topic. You can simply remodel the property and throw a lot of cash into it, or you can do things intelligently. The truth of the matter is that you can rehab one property in various different ways with the same budget, but some make it look much better. I provided several examples on a different post, which show that 10 dollars worth of tiles can make a bathroom look way better:

kitchen remodel kitchen design home renovation costs

I also suggested having a look at magazines to have ideas for your remodeling!

Make sure to track the expenses on the property since day one, too!

Step 8: Monetize!

Any investment has to yield a return. Unlike stocks and bonds, in Real Estate, it is up to you to monetize it. Your properties won’t return any money unless you monetize them, that is the cold hard truth. There are some tricks to monetization, though.

The first thing I recommend is to use craigslist (and craigslists competitors) to advertise your properties. Note that there are many housing scams on craigslist, so do not strange if people ask too many questions and double check data often. I like to use facebook pages. The big advantage to Facebook pages is that you can invite your friends to like it and you can ask your friends to invite their friends. I talked about this in my series of tips to Real Estate investors).

The key trick is to have as much exposure as possible. If a lot of people see your property listed for renting, you’ll rent it out eventually. This is not rocket science.

Remember… always create value!

If you follow my blog you already know my philosophy, when it comes to Real Estate investing… above-average quality for below-average prices. In fact, that is my philosophy for every single one of my businesses, including my consultancy business.

The truth of the matter is that if you want to buy and rent one home, you don’t have to be concerned with value markets. However, if you set up a business, you’ll have to make sure that you know the market numbers and you pay with them. Setting above-average quality to below-average price is really how great businesses are built. If you wonder why this is sustainable, be aware that I recommend you to find deep value deals. That means that you will have huge margins to play with. And what I suggest is to leverage those margins to offer great products at great prices. This will not only make you find tenants quicker – it will also make you have tenants for longer periods. And vacancies must be taken into account when calculating ROIs too!

There are a few other things that you should consider when starting a Real Estate business, including insurance and a solid business plan for real estate investing.

Is there anything missing in this strategy, in your opinion? Let me know, I will cover that too!

banknote-1396286_960_720
Lifestyle, Planning,

Spend money to make money

Over the years, I changed my philosophy as far as spending money is concerned. Today, I think that it makes sense to invest money, but it wasn’t always like this…