Today is the 15th edition of our periodic guest post series called 10 Questions and a Pizza Place. (The 1500′s are pizza fanatics.) We have a list of 17 questions we pose to fellow financial bloggers, and they are free to pick and choose 10 or answer all 17. Let us know if you would like to be featured in a future edition of 10 Questions.
Today’s 10 Questions features Writing Your Own Reality (WYOR). WYOR took a break from blogging over the summer. This made me a bit sad because I enjoyed the blog and in the world of blogging, most breaks are permanent. However, he recently burst back onto the scene. Welcome back!
One aspect I’ve always enjoyed about WYOR is his writeups on peer lending. WYOR isn’t afraid to share his strategies either and this guy knows his stuff. If you’re a peer lender or just interested in learning more about it, I suggest that you follow this blog.
Oh, and next time you’re at the thrift store, be sure to pick up a Beanie Baby or two for WYOR.
Tell me about your blog and why it’s great.
WriteYourOwnReality is an investment blog tracking my peer-to-peer lending (invested in both Lending Club and Prosper), dividend portfolio, and unintentional rental property. While these three particular investments don’t house all of my assets, they are the ones I love to track and write about. I mean, passive income, who doesn’t love some of that?
In addition to tracking my investments, I look at other money-related topics such as the process I went through to refinance my underwater rental, how to start an investment club series, finding the right job and turning down a 30% raise.
What is the worst financial mistake you made?
Ah yes, has to be buying the unintentional rental by far. The house currently is a non-cash flowing property that was never purchased with tenants in mind. From this point forward my lesson has been learned. I will never buy a house in which I can’t create positive cash flow if I needed to rent.
What would you do if you inherited $1,000,000 (after taxes) today?
Easy! I’d do five different things with that money:
- First, I would take $100,000 and invest it into Lending Club and Prosper
- Second, as an accredited investor, I’d take another $100,000 and put it into some upcoming peer-to-business investments.
- Third, I would leverage $400,000 into 8-10 turnkey style rental properties in various markets around the country.
- Fourth, I would take $200,000 and invest into a combination of my dividend growth portfolio and a variety of other equity investments I have.
- Fifth, I would take the remaining $200,000 and use it as the start to my personal Buffett/Berkshire-styled holding company, where I look to own several small businesses with strong operating cash flows with management in place.
What kind of car do you drive?
A black, 2010 Subaru Legacy that I bought used a couple of years ago. I am a huge Subaru fan and love their all-wheel drive and reliability. Plan on having this baby until she dies or falls apart. Previously, I have owned a blue ’98 S70 Volvo, a Green ’97 Dodge Caravan, and my favorite of all, a blue with painted wooden paneling’92 Dodge Caravan. I have a twin, and he and I loved that thing back in high school. That baby was running like a dream, even at 267k miles! Parents snuck it to the dump when we went off to college.
Who inspires you?
Warren Buffett – do I even need anyone else?
What is the best financial move you have made?
The best financial move I’ve ever made would be starting an investment club with my two brothers and best friend from college over five years ago. While the returns have been great, the relationships and related learning have been far greater! Really a launching point of my love of all things investment related.
What is your favorite place to vacation?
Chicago. I stinkin’ LOVE Chicago.
What’s your favorite tip for saving money?
Quite common in the PF world, but pay yourself first. Set up part of your paycheck to a savings account and you won’t have to worry about seeing/needing the money. Automation is tremendously powerful in helping those who struggle with saving.
What is your favorite pizza place (I am a pizza nut)?
Matthews Pizza located in Baltimore, Maryland. This place has the best crab pizza I’ve ever had. Simply phenomenal. No other words to describe it!
What is your fondest memory?
The time my twin and I attempted to run away at five on Saturday morning (we were middle school age I think?). We figured a few all-in-one tuna lunches and $367 in cash would last us a while eating at McDonalds. Ultimately, we’d just find work somewhere and come out on top. We made it about 5-6 miles away (on foot) before my twin broke down and we headed back home. The best part? Made it back and were in bed before the parents woke up!
What are your biggest goals in life?
The first would be to develop multiple streams of income, not necessarily all passive, in order to allow me the freedom to manage my own investments full time. Ideally, at this point I would be in a position to purchase small, operating businesses with positive cash flow; a Main Street version of Warren Buffet if you’d like to make the comparison.
The second would be to utilize my future financial success to benefit others. An example of something I’d like to do is start a self-sustaining portfolio of 10-12 solid dividend stocks to create scholarships for those unable to afford a trade or college education. The dividend growth would allow this portfolio to operate in perpetuity.
Finally, the final goal is to be the best soon-to-be husband to my amazing fiancée, and future family, should I have kids. Parenting seems to be a forgotten concept for many in this world as people rely on schools and daycares to provide the leadership and guidance that should come from home.
If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be (don’t say ‘buy Microsoft,’ everyone says that)?
Just one piece? Hard to narrow it down! I would probably just go back and tell myself to slow down, be patient, and the right decisions will be made. You don’t need to check off all of life’s events so quickly.
What is your favorite movie?
Again, just one? Bourne Identity (and to cheat – the whole series)
What advice would you give to a 24 year old, just out of college?
Live lean, work hard, and invest diligently. Time won’t always be on your side.
Mac or PC?
PC because I can’t break myself of my addiction to Microsoft Excel
What are your favorite personal finance websites?
There are more, but these are some of the favorites:
Financial Independence/General PF Blogs
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
No one cares about your money more than you do. This has stuck with me as I have seen so many people carelessly waste away their hard earned dollars, or invest so poorly based on the advice of people with bad intentions. You and you alone, are responsible for your own wealth and financial success!
Dogs or cats?
Prosper or Lending Club? Please explain.
Both, and in large quantities! Very bullish on peer-to-peer lending and think it is a tremendous opportunity for individuals to invest in consumer credit (essentially). Banks have been making a killing for years on these folks and now we can too.
If you have children, how do you raise them to be financially responsible and frugal?
No kids, but if I did, yes, without a doubt.
What are the worst personal finance mistakes you see people making?
- Buying lunch out! That stuff adds up quick!
- Missing out on the “free money” in life. Things like retirement matches, employee stock discounts, or wellness programs to name a few.
- Overbuying on a house; one should never buy to the point of being house poor.
What product or service epitomizes consumerism?
Product fads in general. The perfect example was Beanie Babies and insanity that folks bought into. People like my grandmother who felt that we middle school-aged boys needed them as birthday and Christmas gifts. Blech! Crazy dollars were spent on something that cost a few pennies to make. Needless to say, like all fads, the bubble burst and tons of people were left holding the bag. I think mine got thrown in the trash…
What is your favorite recipe?
Annie’s Chicken (at least that’s what my mom calls it!)
- 2-3 lbs of chicken breasts
- 1 26oz can of cream of mushroom soup
- 1 packet of Italian seasoning
- 1 8oz package of cream cheese, warmed
Throw the chicken and Italian seasoning in a slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours
- Shred chicken while in the slow cooker
- Stir warmed cream cheese and soup together until well mixed and cheese clumps are minimal.
- Add mixture to slow cooker and cook on high for an hour
- Stir, serve and enjoy! My favorite is to serve it on top of white rice, but anything will do!
What was your favorite job (or worst job)?
Worst: Working as the controller for a used car dealership. I was working 80+ hours for an egotistical and emotionally challenged owner who defined being consistently inconsistent. Every day was a struggle as he would change his mind, get unbelievably angry randomly, and curse so much a sailor would blush. Never will forget the time he threw a brake rotor through the front window of the service building. Simply crazy.
Big thank you to Writing Your Own Reality for his submission today. Pay him a visit on Twitter and say “Hi!”.