What They Don’t Tell You – Fundrise

For those of you who are considering investing in Fundrise or just want some other thoughts about it, I’ll give you a snapshot of my experience. First off, I like Fundrise. I’ve been a member and active investor with them since mid-2016. I have a good amount invested in Income eREIT, Growth eREIT, East Coast eREIT, Heartland eREIT, West Coast eREIT, Los Angeles eFund, National eFund, Income eREIT II, Growth eREIT II, Income eREIT III funds. The great thing is, I’m invested in commercial real estate projects via eRIETs and I really don’t keep up with it all too much. Every quarter or so, I receive a nice divident payment.

What about performance?


Performance over the past 3 Years

Long story short, my current annual returns over the past three years have averaged 8.6% per year. Not terrible, but considering that the HPR for the SPY over the same period was 12% and even the CAGR was 9.82%, I think that I might have been able to do a bit been better. Fortunately, this was net of the 1.0% management fee.

What the problem. What are they not telling us?


How do You Get Your Money Back?

At first, redeeming your shares seems impossible. You will not find a link on this site that will let you get your money back. They make it nearly impossible to find this link. Luckily, it is really not that difficult and I will show you exactly where to find the link to Redeem Your Shares on Fundrise.


  • First

Go to your name, bring down the dropdown box, and click on the settings link.


  • Then

Click on the Advanced Options link under Account Settings.


  • Finally

Scroll all the way near the bottom of the page until you find the ‘redemption request’ link.

If you were anything like me, you would have thought that you would have to contact them directly and request your funds back.

Well, that wasn’t too bad

No, but it doesn’t have to be that difficult either. It really should be easier to locate, especially considering that I just recieved an email stating that one of my investments from 2016 just paid back successfully. So, of course, I may be considering cashing out.

So what else

Ok, so you might be aware of the upfront management fees that you have to pay. Of course, this is pretty typical with any managed investment. But what about the final redemption fees?

The assumption is that once you are ready to redeem your shares that you should receive 100% of your final value. Well, thats not exactly the case. Each investment fund has a holding period fee structure.


Holding Period Fee
Less than 90 days: 0%
90 days until 3 years: 3%
3 years to 4 years: 2%
4 years to 5 years: 1%
More than 5 years: 0%


They all very slightly, but this is the jist of it.


Of course, REITS are long term investments, so you shouldn’t really be surprised that there may be a penalty for pulling funds early, however, it would be nice to know this upfront. So, after about investing in Fundrise for a little over three years and having to pull some money out because of a home improvement project, I find out that my 8% returns are closer to 5%. A big shock/realization to me and further reason why you should really study the numbers for any investments that you make. The Up Front and Post Fees!

Deng Thiak Adut Unlimited

How Making Money Online Works: 4 Ways to Make $10,000/Month in 2018

No matter how scammy it may sound, and trust me I know, it does sound very scammy, it is possible to make money online. And a lot of money online. All you really need to have is an internet connection, a credit card, and.. commitment. Guess which one most people lack.. Commitment. There is not a crazy type system that you need to learn or a secret mystery that you need to solve, you just need to be committed.

Making money online is an option. And If you’ve tried before then you’ve likely failed. You probably tired try a few things to test the waters and failed a time or two then gave up. It’s time to commit.

In this post, I’ll go over 4 different ways that make money online in 2018.


First Things First

In order to make money online, no matter with route you take, one key ingredient if far more important than anything else: your audience – more specifically, the attention that people are paying you. Gaining attention and building an audience is the expressway to making money online.

Audience = Money!

You need to learn how to build an audience, which means getting traffic. If your able to get traffic to your site or blog, the your goal just go 10 times easier. Some people will tell you that you don’t need traffic to make money online, and their not wrong, however, it is much, much more easier and longer lasting with an engaged audience.

If you have a blog getting, lets say 100,000 page views per month then your probably getting at least 50,000 visitors to your site per month. Of those 50,000 visitors, a small percentage will click on links on your site and/or buy something. Thus your can make money selling an affiliate product or selling ad space on your site.

As the number of visitors that you have on your site increases, your chances of making more money also increases. Though, pretty simple many people do not put a lot of time into figuring out how to get traffic to their websites.

Make It Easy With a Good Niche

So, one of the biggest hurdles is figuring out how to build an audience from scratch. This is a challenge that everyone faces and I’ll admit it is difficult to do. However, one of the best ways to build up a new audience is finding a good niche and focusing your time and efforts into becoming relevant in that niche. Any niche that you can become relevant in is great, but there are only about 7 blog niches that get enough traffic to make money.

Most people think that if they follow their passion and blog about something that they really care about then the traffic will follow but that is not the case.

Though the market is already saturate in these niches and it will take a very long time to become relevant and build up a following you should still know about these Top 7 Niches for Blogs.

  • How to Make Money
  • Personal Finance
  • Health & Fitness
  • Food
  • Beauty and Fashion
  • Lifestyle
  • Personal Development


Way#1 Surprise! Blogging

wordpress blog

Blogging is one of the most popular ways to make money online. It gives you the opportunity to express your ideas and build an audience in a topic that you want. Now, nobody is going to pay you to blog, unless you get paid for guest blogging, but ct allows you to connect directly with thousands or millions of people and influence them to do something that you want. It opens up a ton of revenue streams that you can profit from such as affiliate programs, Google AdSense, paid advertising, etc. Plus it allows you to setup a network of other money making opportunities.

Selling ads or affiliate marketing on your blog allow you to have control over what is shown on your blog. Plus, they pretty much do all of the hard work for you. All you have to do is insert they link where you want it to show up.
For as, AdThrive or Mediavine are two of the better networks and for affiliate marketing Amazon, ClickBank, or Commission Junction are great places to work with. Check out my blog on how to start a blog.

Also, If you are looking for a good course on blogging and affiliate blogging, check out Rosalind Gardner’s Super Affiliate Marketing Program.


Way#2 eBooks


eBooks are an amazingly simple way to make money online. As with most thinks that you write, you can make the eBook in your typical word processing application (Word, Google Docs., or Pages) and export it as a PDF. Then you may want to create your own cover or go over to Fiverr and have someone else do it for you. Once the eBook is completed, you can either sell it on your website or you can upload it to Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing to sell your book. The great think about creating eBooks is that the subject matter completely depends on what you want to write about.



Way#3 Online Courses

online courses

Making money with online courses is one of the most lucrative and creative ways to make money online when you have a following. Compared to ads or an affiliate marketing program, online courses require significantly less customer purchases in order to make the same mount of money. For instance, to make $1,000 with ads or affiliate programs you would probably need 50,000 – 100,000 monthly visitors and hundreds sales. With selling online course you may only need 100s of visitors and a 2-3 sales. You can see how this gets more lucrative the more traffic that you get. Of course it does require a lot of expertise and time to setup. But if you have the inclination and the time to do it, it is well worth it.


Way#4 Membership Sites

membership website

Membership sites, whether you have annual or you pay monthly, is a great way to establish a recurring payments by your members. Membership sites typically work the best when you have an established audience who knows what to expect. It is also a good way to create an aura around you website and giving it the appearance of exclusivity. People like being part of a club, especially if they feel that can get value from being in the club. Thus, your membership site needs to add value for people to join. Once they join, the are committed to your site and would be a little more open to suggestions or recommendations that  you have 😉

Of course these are not the only ways to make money online. There are a ton of other avenues that you can go down. Some include:

  • Ecommerce Website
  • Paid to Take Surveys
  • Droppshipping
  • Podcasting
  • Offering services (Fiverr)
  • Virtual Assistance
  • Freelance writing
  • And on, and on, and on.



Below are a few complete courses that will guide you to make real money online. Taking courses severely decreases the learning curve and will allow you to begin making money much quicker.


If you’re interested in getting a blog started I, going over to my article on How to Start a Blog in 4 Easy Steps and start from there. Remember, it’s all about your commitment. Be committed to blogging, or writing an eBook, or creating a course, or a membership site. Be committed to making money online.

How To Start A WordPress Blog In 4 Easy Steps

I get many questions about how to start a blog and begin to make money online. Though I’m not a programmer, I have been building WordPress blogs for many years and it’s actually quit simple.

In this tutorial, I will go through how you can start a WordPress blog in 4 simple steps. It’s pretty easy and it could take just about 15 minutes.

As with anything else in life, there are two things that you really care about when starting a blog.. time and money. How long is it going to take and how much is it going to cost. And, of course how easily is it going to be. 😉

Luckily for you, I’ve broken this down into the simplest, yet, still cheap way to do this. Just follow the below steps then you’d be on your way to have your own blog
and making your own money!


How to start a WordPress Blog in 4 Steps

In this tutorial, you will learn how to start a WordPress blog primarily on Bluehost as it is really easy to work with.


Step #1. Naming Your Blog

All websites, begin with choosing and registering a domain name. It may be difficult to choose a domain name at first, but it needs to be given some serious thought.

Regiser.com is a good place to look for the availability of domain names and Domain.com is a good place to register, but I generally like to get them from my hosting provider. Most hosting companies will allow you to get your domain name through them and it typically makes the entire process much easier.


Step 2. Hosting Your Blog

Setting up a WordPress blog can be challenging, but Bluehost makes it very easy.

Typically the ‘Basic’ plan for Bluehost cost around $7.99 per month, however, they have a special for 50% ($3.95) per month which is pretty reasonable. Plus, they generally provide larger discounts and a free domain name if you pre pay 24 or 36 months in advance.

As far as the add-ons go, you really only need the basic hosting platform and the domain name from Bluehost. The extras are a bit excessive for just hosting a WordPress blog.

Once you’ve made a decision if you want to begin and you have chosen a domain name, then you follow the steps below to begin the process of hosting your blog.


  • Go to Bluehost Website and click on the “Get Started Now” button
  • Click on the hosting package that you want
  • Enter your domain name you registered with earlier, or sign up for a new domain name with Bluehost
  • Enter your personal and payment information
  • Create a password, and make sure it’s secure as this information is important


3. Connecting Your Blog

Note: If you bought your domain name through your hosting provider (Bluehost), then you can skip this step.

If you bought your domain through Register.com, Domain.com, or Go Daddy, then you will need to connect your domain to your hosting account. Go Daddy has a full support page for setting nameservers for your domain names if not hosted by them. Below is a snippet:

“When you register a domain name with us, we set it up on our parked nameservers so a temporary page displays when visitors go to your website. After you determine
which hosting provider to use, you can change your domain name’s nameservers to remove the parked page and activate your domain name.

If you registered your domain name with another provider, you can still purchase a hosting account with us, use our Off-site DNS services, or use our CashParking® or
Quick Content services. If you do any of those, you must view your nameservers in your account with us, and then set the nameservers with your domain name registrar.”

How to modify your DNS Nameservers when you are using Go Daddy for your domain and Bluehost for your hosting:
  • Log into the GoDaddy.com Account Manager.
  • Select Manage Domains from the Domain Names drop-down menu or the Manage Your Account list.
  • Select the domain name you wish to modify using the checkboxes and then click Set Name Servers.
  • Enter your updated name server information in the spaces provided under the blue Name Servers heading on the right side of your page and click Save Changes at the bottom. Your entries should look like this: ns1.bluehost.com; ns2.bluehost.com.
  • You will then need to add the domain you bought (such as through GoDaddy) as an addon domain to your Bluehost web hosting. You can do this by clicking on “Domains” when logged into your Bluehost web hosting account and then clicking on “Assign.”

Follow the steps and it is very easy!


4. Setting Up WordPress on Your Blog

So, I know this is what you’ve all been waiting for. How to set-up your WordPress blog on Bluehost. This part also, is pretty simple. And believe it or not, WordPress is FREE.

Once you’ve completed the initial domain name and hosting setup, Bluehost guides your through exactly what you need to do to install WordPress. Bluehost will first ask you to pick a theme. Pick a random one here is fine because you will be changing it later. Then click on the “Start Building” button. In this section you have to choose the category “Business” or “Personal”. Or you can simply click the link “I don’t need help.” THAT’S IT! You how have a WordPress blog on your Bluehost platform. Of course you will need to work on the design and producing the content but the hard part is done.

Some general tips for navigating WordPress:

  • To sign into your WordPress account, you will need to have your WordPress login information available that was sent to you in an email. That email will include your WordPress login URL, your username, and password. You should be able to login at your URL with the extension /wp-admin. Example youwebsiteurl.com/wp-admin
  • To create a new post on your blog click the “Post” on the left-hand side of the WP-Admin login page.
  • To add and image, click the “Media” on the left-hand side.
  • To add different items to your sidebar, footer, and so on, go to the “Appearance” then “Widgets” area
  • Newsletters or email lists are very popular tools that a lot of people use. I recommend AWeber or iContact for this purpose.
  • Designing your blog is pretty exciting, however, it can be difficult finding the right design or designer. There are many free themes on the WordPress platform and there are many great paid themes. You can hire an outsider person to do the work for you such as on Freelancer, Fiverr, etc.

How to Crush Dividends In 2018

If you are reading this then you almost certainly know what a dividend is. A dividend is a distribution of funds paid to shareholders (investors) based on company profits. These payments are typically made quarterly and are generally in the range of 2%-4% annual. These stocks are classified as income stocks because they provide a steady stream of to the shareholders.


Higher Yields Tends to Higher Risk

Investors like to own higher yield income stocks in their fixed-income portfolios in order to get a higher yield that what they can get from other fixed-income products such as CD’s or bonds. The higher yield from the income stocks comes at a cost as the stocks are inherently a bit more risky than the bonds or CD’s.


There is a lot to get excited about when considering what dividend stocks can do to your portfolio as many people use these payments as a significant portions of their income. You can use a dividend growth model in order to help you create a solid stream of passive income AND build a sold growth portfolio. Mike at Dividend Stocks Rock (DSR) has put together one of the best models that I have come across to achieve this goal.


DSR Model

The DSR model centers around 7 principles that will get to the core which stocks to buy, how long do you hold them, how to diversify them, how to these fit in with my investment goals, etc. The principle help to focus on building a rock solid portfolio.


DSR Model Principles

Principle #1: High Dividend Yield Doesn’t Equal High Returns
Principle #2: Focus on Dividend Growth
Principle #3: Find Sustainable Dividend Growth Stocks
Principle #4: The Business Model Ensure Future Growth
Principle #5: Buy When You Have Money in Hand – At The Right Valuation
Principle #6: The Rationale Used to Buy is Also Used to Sell
Principle #7: Think Core, Think Growth

They are succinct in nature but reflects a lot of value and thought consideration. Mike’s dividend growth model is clear, simple, and a home run if your looking to expand your fixed-income portfolio.


This was a Guest Post

5 Dividend Paying Stocks You Should Have in Your Portfolio (Dividend Aristocrats)!

If you are saving and investing money and you like the idea of receiving a safe dividend payment at the end of each quarter, then you should certainly consider the below stocks. Dividends are great for a variety of reasons, but they are not all created equally.


Dividend Aristocrat??

Many people are not aware of this but there is a list of companies known as Dividend Aristocrats who are recognized for paying (and increasing) dividends for at least 25 consecutive years. While steady paying out a consistent dividend year after year, the companies also routinely outperform the S&P 500. Most of the companies below are on the dividend aristocrats list and should have a place in every investors portfolio.


1. Coca-Cola (KO)

Coca-Cola is one of my favorite dividend paying stocks. They are one of the companies that helped make Warren Buffet wealthy. Heck, they helped make Santa Clause’s image recognizable everywhere. Coca-Cola is known for being marketing geniuses and will continue to innovate and grow their company.

Coca-Cola has paid a dividend since: 1893
They have 54 years of consecutive dividend increases
Their current dividend yield: 3.5%


2. Exxon Mobil (XOM)

Exxon Mobil is one of the most profitable companies in the world and a leader in the energy industry. They have the ingenuity (and cash) to leaded the worlds energy market for years to come.

Exxon Mobil has paid a dividend since: 1882
They have 34 years of consecutive dividend increases
Their current dividend yield: 3.6%


3. General Mills (GIS)

General Mills is a staple in the US economy. Their products are recession proof and a beloved favorite among many.

General Mills has paid a dividend since: 1898
They have 13 years of consecutive dividend increases
Their current dividend yield: 3.1%


4. Procter & Gamble (PG)

With the longest steak of consecutive years with dividend increases, Proctor & Gamble is the dividend aristocrat King! With their vast variety of products and consistent performance, it is hard not to have this stock in your portfolio.

Proctor & Gamble has paid a dividend since: 1891
They have 60 years of consecutive dividend increases
Their current dividend yield: 3.0%


5. Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF (VYM)

Although, technically not a stock but rather an ETF and not a dividend aristocrat, I am a big fan of Vanguard funds. With their experienced and talented fund managers and their extremely low fees, Vanguard provides the best results for the money.

Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF has paid a dividend since: 2007
They have 10 years of consecutive dividend increases
Their current dividend yield: 2.84%


Saving at a Young Age? How about Investing at a Young Age?

I have a bone to pick with people who are always saying “start saving young” or “begin saving when your little”. Now it’s not that that it is wrong to tell people to begin saving when they are young, its just incomplete.

Saving vs. Investing is a Mindset

I’m all for teaching children to begin saving when their young but I think that we also need to emphasis begin investing when they are young too. My son, though he is only 1 and a half right now, is going to be taught that saving for the future can be short sighted if your not investing. Granted, saving $50 to go on a date in a few weeks is somewhat different that saving $50 per month for college, but we can begin to start thinking about this concept.

To Save $50 or to Invest $50

Take the saving $50 to go on a date example. What if I were to offer my son (who is now a teenager) a return on his money if he were to let me hold his money and use it while he were saving it? Let say I would offer him a 10% return on his money if he were to let me hold on to his money until he was ready to use it. I think this is a good way to begin to differentiate the difference between saving and investing at a young age.

Too Early to Invest??

While were at it, why not begin sooner? Is it ever to early to learn the lessons of investing? Let say, I give my son (who is now 8) a bi-weekly allowance. Let say I give him $10 every two weeks and he could do what ever he wanted to do with it. Matter of fact, I’ll offer to take him to the store and spend it on whatever he wants. But I’ll also make him a second offer. Since I’m Bank of Dad, I offer to hold his $10 and for every day that he lets me hold it, and not spend it, I’ll give him $1 extra per day (up to a week). First, I wish someone would offer me these rates! Second, I think it’s never too early to begin the first lesson of savings vs. investing.



Warhawk Matt Scott Nike

2017 Investment Summary

2017 Highlights

*17.33% return for 2017! Great, however, considering the S&P 500 returned 18.74% in the same time period means that everyone did well in this time frame, thus my 17.33% (although good) was merely average for the year.

*BitCoin was the big story for 2017. An amazing 1197% return is incredible. Unfortunately I only had one bitcoin at the beginning of the year and sold it (in increments) early on. Again, I think bitcoin is the modern day 17th century TulipMania. I’ll expand on that later..

How I View Investment Returns

Albert Einstein is said to have called compound interest “the most powerful force in the universe.” Because I’m not nearly as smart as Mr. Einstein nor do I have the luxury time to test his theory, I’m inclined to believe him. My goal in chasing solid returns is to utilize the power of compounded interest by seeking different (high-return) investment ideas.

There are two key that everyone must understand when considering investments.. risk and time.

Investment Returns  =  Time + Risk

Everyone should understand that investment returns are inversely proportional to the risk of the investment.. meaning that the higher your returns are the higher risk your investment is (in most cases).

Everyone should also understand the time effect on returns. For instance, if you purchased a house in 1990 for $100,000 and you sold it 10 years later for $180,000 well you made a cool $80,000 and 80% on your money. That’s great, however, your annual return on your money is only 6.05%! And that’s if you paid cash and no fees have been included. In the same time period the S&P 500 index returned about 13% annually. More on this later, back to time and risk..

Given this, I tend to favor investments that have higher returns per my time invested. For instance, if I were to invest in rental property, I would prefer to invest in a REIT that returns 12% rather than buying my own rental and becoming a landlord and earning a 15% return. I value my time as I believe everyone should. Even going to work you make a certain wage per hour, week, day, year, etc. Thus, your job is an investment that pays a certain return and has a certain amount of risk. So again, my goal is to capitalize on the power of compounded interest by getting the highest returns possible, with the shortest time frame possible, and the lowest risk possible.