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Showing posts from October, 2022

Investing 101 -- the very basics of stock market investments

This post is for those aspiring millionaires who want to get rich but do not want to learn about stock market investing.  I realize that it can be hard and confusing to study how Wall Street works, learn to review financial statements, listen to management's calls with investment banking analysts, and be able to make sense of investor presentations. So can one invest in the stock market without learning about the stock market? Absolutely.  As long as you have the capital to invest, and if you absolutely do not want to learn anything, but still want to take advantage of what investing can do to your savings, try these tricks: Invest in exchange traded funds (ETF) .  Do not invest in mutual funds since their fees are very high.  In other words you pay a mutual fund manager whether their work makes you money or not.  The fees for ETFs are a lot lower since no one is picking stocks for you.  It is just a basket of stocks and an algorithm trades automatically without much human involve

Savings from cooking at home all the meals to become a millionaire

I like to believe that a man or a woman should be even to feed oneself by cooking a proper meal.  Thankfully, we live in a world that we do not need to engage in farming or raise/hunt animals -- there are people who do it for us better and cheaper -- but it wouldn't hurt to actually know farming, raising cattle, and hunting.  After all, we need to eat well in order to live and food is something we need at least three times a day. Why is food more expensive outside the home? It's not the ingredients, folks!  These businesses use the cheapest ingredients they can find; it's the labor.  By cooking your food, they are adding value, and since labor is far more expensive in America than stuff, you will pay a lot more.  That is why, even when my wife and I have a gourmet meal at home with champagne or French/Spanish/California and using grass-fed/organic meats/vegetables/cheese/butter and so forth, we have done the Math and we find that it is about 20% the cost of going out.  And

Is Amazon Prime necessary if you are really trying to save money?

I do not have Amazon Prime At the same time, I opened my Amazon account in 1999 and have been shopping regularly since then.  The reason I do not have Prime membership -- call me a cheapo if you wish but I would rather be a millionaire -- is that it is one recurring expense each month and I hate to pay for things that I can do without.  Imagine paying $14.99 (October 2022 pricing) or $139 per year, which you could invest in the stock market instead? I am being told that I am an exception.There are as many as 165 million Americans with Amazon Prime accounts -- it means that once we exclude children, almost everyone who shops online already has this fixed expense. How do I manage without Amazon Prime? Easy.  Plan ahead.  Remember that prior to 2005, Amazon Prime did not exist.  So people like us simply shopped in such a way that we waited till the order was large enough to be eligible for free shipping.  For us, the habit has simply continued.  I still wait for my order to exceed $25 and

Own your damned house, people, if you want to be rich

My story of home-ownership Like many folks who did not have a trust fund (I am thankful to my parents for raising and educating me but they were never in a position to give any more money than that), my wife and I when we first started to live together, we rented an apartment in Connecticut.  In those days in the late 1990s, the rent was about $900/month for a 2-bedroom unit.  We lived there for over two years, and when we added up how much we had paid the landlady over that period, our jaws dropped.  Nearly $25,000.  Wow!  That was a lot of money.  Yes, we had a roof over our heads, but that is also so much money. So when I got a job offer in Massachusetts, and we had to move, my wife said that let us simply buy a home.   How we bought our first home? We looked around and found our dream home.  However, we did not have enough money and since this was 2001, the banks were very liberal.  They did not insist on 20% down payment and just asked us for 5%.  So we bought a median home around

Why do some people criticize the rich as greedy?

One of the challenges that I have faced as an upwardly mobile man is that many family members and friends time and again, sometimes making it appear as a joke or light talk, made me feel that I am greedy, stingy, cheapo, lacking fine taste, and unable to enjoy life.  And there is one common feature of these people:  THEY ARE POOR. Now, you can understand why these people criticize hardworking people like me, who analyze each situation so that we own only one car , we maximize the time that we use our cell phones , and avoid wasting money on things like expensive weddings . So why do these people say such negative words and refuse to respect us? Because they are jealous.  They envy the diligence of saving and discipline that couples like us have.  They are shocked that we always seem to have money for everything and that they are destined to retire in peace while they are always freaking out about paying their bills and do not know what will happen if the economy goes into recession or

To become a millionaire have the simplest wedding possible

How many of you hope to retire as a millionaire?   Well, if you are reading this, chances are that you do aspire to become a millionaire and retire in comfort.  You really wish that you would not have to worry about money at a time that you may be unable to work, if needed.  I have discussed how simple money saving techniques like owning just one car instead of two or stretching the life of your cell phone can add up to tens of thousands of dollars over time , but there is one thing that has the most profound impact on you retiring as a millionaire but so many people don't do it. Get married but have the simplest wedding If you were to ask me, well, in addition to saving diligently through 401(k) and IRA, investing extra money in another brokerage account, owning a home, and living modestly, you can add one big contributor: my wife of over 20 years and I simply went to an office in Las Vegas and walked out with our marriage license.  We had a nice meal later that night.  And by th

How long to keep a cell phone?

If you are wondering what does being a millionaire have to do with mobile phones, please bear with me.  While it is hard to find accurate estimates, but CNBC estimates that on an average Americans spend about $125 a month for their cell phones after accounting for the cost of the monthly plan, taxes, and the amount that goes each month to pay down the cost of the phone.  Think about it!  It is a cool $1,500 a year for simply being able to stay in touch with loved ones, get directions, search online, etc. How much do I spend on a cell phone each month? Well, I am a cheapo when it comes to spending money (and that as you may be learning by now is the secret to my being a millionaire ).  When Xfinity Mobile launched a cell phone plan, they want you to sign up for other services from them like cable TV, Internet, home phone, etc.  We were already their customers, so for us, it was not even an issue.  Initially, they gave us 100 MB a data for free and there was no other charge, except for t

How many cars to have when working from home?

When my wife and I started to work from home (WHM), one of the things we did was to downsize to one vehicle.  Now if you are wondering if that would cause problems, yes, it did.  There were a few occasions when both of us needed to have transportation and we were both used to having our own rides, but eventually, we figured it out.  These occasions were to rare that it was better for us to rent a car or use a taxi (when we first started in early 2000s, there were no rideshare services like Uber, Lyft, etc).   Benefits of having one car in the family Trust me, it brings down the cost of transportation by half.  You are not paying for ownership or lease, no need for insurance, and definitely no repair when you don't have the second car.  We estimate that it has put hundreds of dollars extra in our savings for just a little bit of aggravation in form of planning ahead and occasionally renting a car to get things done. I am convinced that managing with just one vehicle may have added t