Why I Gave Up $36,000 a Year So I Could Write THIS….

IMG_8899It all started in July 2008, when my blog, Good Financial Cents, was born.

I’ve always had a passion for educating people on the basics of investing and financial planning and I took that excitement to a whole new level with the creation of the blog.

I was fortunate in the sense that I had recently gone independent and after some convincing, my new brokerage firm allowed me to start blogging.

What was unfortunate at the time, was that I was a Series 7 Registered Representative, which basically meant that I could receive commissions off the sale of  certain investment products, and even though my Series 7 only accounted for a fraction of my overall business, I still fell under full regulation of FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory).

What does that mean?
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How Discipline Played an Important Role in My Evolution from an Employee to Entrepreneur

Mobile Office

Mobile Office

This post is not about the latest investment advice or a breakthrough trend in personal finance, rather a reflection of my evolution from a Corporate professional to a full time internet marketer and blogger living the mobile lifestyle.

While there are several factors that contributed to this successful transition, one of the more critical ingredients that made the transformation possible is discipline; discipline in living, learning, applying and giving.

It’s amazing how successful individuals, no matter in what field of practice, always share certain characteristics and discipline is one of them.

For example, without a strong and disciplined approach to living and saving, an average couple making the average annual income in the United States would never be able to retire on time or early and with financial abundance. Similarly, without a disciplined approach to learning, applying, monitoring and tweaking, an entrepreneur cannot be successful at his or her chosen field.
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Is College Overrated? The Top 21 Highest Paying Jobs with NO College Degree

“You have to go to school to get a good job.”

Looking for a fun job that pays well? Scared that the cause of unemployment may be growing? Sign for free at www.Job.com and see who’s hiring today!

That was a phrase that my father continually beat into my head harder than Lars Ulrich could pound on his bass drum. (In case there is a generation gap, Lars is the drummer from the rock band Metallica).

While I’m thankful that I followed my father’s advice and obtained my finance degree, an interesting article by Wallet Pop.com caught my curiosity. The article had taken a look at some of the highest paying jobs that one could get with no college degree.

top paying jobs no college degree required

College is freaking expensive! According to College Boards.com the average cost for one year of tuition is $7000. The cost of a full four year degree is increasing every year, making the idea of getting that beloved college a degree a pipe dream. So what are your other options?

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Break in the program. This is a good plug for joining the military. 4 years of college all paid for and then some. It worked for me :) Plug is over. Back to the post….

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There are many careers that you can obtain without an actual degree, but most require either a trade school certification, or just time on the job and working your way up through the ranks.

A trade school certificate can be obtained in as soon as six months, or as long as four years. Best part is that these jobs pay well – some very well!
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Why a Good Home Appraisal is Important

How much is your home worth?

A good home appraisal is one of the most important components of getting approved for a mortgage.

This appraisal ultimately decides just how much a bank is willing to lend to you, and a bad appraisal can kill your plans for a new home faster than a bad credit score.

A home appraisal is the best way for a lender to see if they wont lose their seat on the deal.

The lender wants to make sure that they have an asset that they can sell to get their money back in case of default. The home appraisal is also a way for you to see if the home you are wanting is overpriced or not.

Lets say that John Doe wants to secure a mortgage on a home that cost $180,000. His credit score is very good, yet the home only appraises for $150,000.
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How to Throw a Kick A$$ Conference and Get All The Cool Kids To Show Up

A year after graduating high school, I remember throwing one of the biggest parties while my mom and step-dad were out of town one weekend.   There were tons of people and for one night I felt like “the man”.

It was short lived as the police showed up to shut it down.

Nonetheless, it feels pretty cool to take a chance and throw an event that gets people excited to show up.

This past October I attended the first annual Financial Blogger Conference and it was, by far, one of the coolest events I’ve ever attended. It’s organizer, Phil Taylor, took a chance on putting on the event and to say it was successful is a major understatement.

For us personal finance bloggers, it was the “party of the year” and for that weekend Phil was “the man”.

Putting on a conference is a huge undertaking and I wanted to get the nitty gritty details on how to do it right.

If you ever wanted to put on a conference, get ready to take some notes.

Phil also did an awesome recap of organizing the conference on his own site. It includes every little detail you ever wanted to know in planning a conference.

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How to Find Your Local Social Security Office Location

Many services for the Social Security are available online. You can download forms and browse FAQs relating specifically to your social security application and concerns. Sometimes the technology doesn’t replace the need for personal attention and assistance. Often when dealing with your Social Security issues it is easier to speak with a representative face to face who can explain the process and your options if you are not able to file for benefits online.
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Should You Buy a Timeshare Now?

Buying a Time Share

Timeshare worth it?

When I was in college, one of my roommates’ parents had a timeshare.

They weren’t going to use it one of the weekends it was their “turn,” so we decided, as roommates, to take a mini-vacation and stay in the timeshare.

It was a lot of fun, and it got me thinking that maybe, when I grew up, I’d like to rent or buy timeshare.

I’ve changed my mind since then, however. I don’t think a timeshare is right for me — and certainly not the type of timeshare that locks you in to one specific location. What happens if you don’t want to vacation in the same place year after year? There are other timeshare options available out there now, and some might even be a good deal, if you are a certain sort of person. [Read more…]

Getting Denied For a Mortgage Was the Best Thing That Happened to Me

The Worst Best Thing...

Im a sucker for an uplifting personal finance story.

We’ve all gone through a situation in our life where it feels like you got punched in the gut. The key element about those situations is that you learn from it. If you don’t, then whole event was a wasted experience.

I emailed my newsletter subscribers and had them share with me what was the number one story or event that made the most dramatic impact on your life financially. I received some amazing stories.

Krissy, a GFC reader, was gracious enough to share her story. Enter Krissy…

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The Must Read Property Guide to Buy Foreclosed Homes and Make Money…Serious Money

This is the 2nd installment from my buddy Eric Moorman, who I consider to be a real estate investing genius. Be sure to check out his first post “How I make $250,000 a year investing in real estate“, in case you missed it.Also, if you want to learn more about real estate investing, be sure to subscribe to our free newsletter below.
How to Buy a Foreclosed Home

Buying a Foreclosure

I t is no surprise; there are a LOT of Foreclosures in the Real Estate market right now.

It is also no surprise these houses can be bought at steep discounts.

In fact, Foreclosures, in my opinion, are the hottest thing going in Real Estate investing.

The market is full of them, and the banks are holding thousands back, so as not to flood the market even more. As most of you know, banks are not in the business of Real Estate. They are in the business of loaning money. When a bank gets a Foreclosure, it is a toxic asset on the banks books. Now, more than any other time in history, banks are dumping these toxic assets for pennies on the dollar.
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What is a Bond?

Abond is a loan. That’s it.

You loan your money to a Government or a Corporation and they promise to repay you the money you lent to them at a certain date in the future.

To make it worth your while, they also pay you interest every 6 months. From the get go, you know when you’re supposed to receive your interest and how much it’s going to be.

If the Corporation or Government fails to pay you the interest on the dates that were set out, they are in “default”. You can then take legal steps against them because they had a legal obligation to pay you.
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Choosing a Credit Union

Bank or credit union?

In the last few years credit unions have seen a steady increase in customers and deposits.

A local credit union that I was affiliated with saw their total deposits more than double in the past 3 years. That’s amazing growth!

A lot of this increase has to do with “big banks” being harshly criticized in the news. Bank of America was hit the hardest when they announced a $5 a month debit card fee back in September.

Most recently was November 5, deemed “Bank Transfer Day”, a coordinated effort by consumer groups to stray away from “big banks” and their monthly charges. Since September, credit unions across the nation have pulled in 650,000 new customers and over $4.5 billion in deposits..

Whats the big deal with Credit Unions

Banks and credit unions render some of the same basic services, and each offers different types of benefits for customers. If you don’t belong to a credit union, you might not know how they differ from banks.
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8 Secrets Your Broker Won’t Tell You (and Why You Need to Know Them)

I have a secret...

I have a little secret for you.

Your broker might not have your best interest in mind when they make recommendations to you.

In fact, brokers can legally put their interests ahead of yours. 

Did you catch that?  

Translated that means that your broker can get a speeding ticket for going 75 mph on the interstate, but won’t get punished for selling you a crap investment that makes them a bunch of money.

This is because most brokers operate under what’s called the suitability standard, which simply means the securities they recommend must be appropriate for you given your financial profile; however, many of the securities that can be considered suitable may be far from the best investment options available at a particular time.

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