How To Save Money With Your Cable / Satellite TV Provider

I just went through this exercise yesterday and was able to save a substantial amount of money!  First research what options are available for you, in my market it is primarily Spectrum (local cable company), Verizon Fios, and Directv.  Besides your local cable company here are some options:

Directv

Dish Network

Frontier

Verizon Fios

Wow!

Next find out what specials/pricing each one has for the package you want.  Now call up your current provider and tell that you wish to cancel and see what they say.  I currently have Directv and when I called to cancel they were all of a sudden able to offer me a monthly price of $40 which is 60% lower than the $102 I am paying now!!

Saving-Money

 

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How Is Rental Income Taxed?

I have been a real estate agent for past 11 years and before that was in the mortgage lending industry, and I still find this topic confusing.  I am looking to purchase my first rental property in the next 12 months and have been working with investors for last 15 years.  Here is best article I have found on how rental income is taxed and the potential tax benefits:

How Is Rental Income Taxed and What You Need To Know

If you are looking to start buying investment properties, I high recommend reading The MIllionaire Real Estate Investor.   The Millionaire Real Estate Investor represents the collected wisdom and experience of over 100 millionaire investors from all walks of life who pursued financial wealth and achieved the life-changing freedom it delivers. This book–in straightforward, no nonsense, easy-to-read style–reveals their proven strategies.

 

8 Great Stock Market Websites

Here are 10 of the best websites I have found to research the stock market and individual stocks:

  • Investors Business Daily  This is a great daily publication, but it is subscription based.  There is a wealth of information to learn about investing and about the current market.  My favorite aspect is The Big Picture and it is updated everyday after the market closes.
  • Seeking Alpha  Here there is a wealth of information posted by a very large number of individual contributors.  What I like most is that when you read an interesting article, you can select to follow the writer and then you get notified whenever they post a new article.
  • Marketwatch  and CNBC are great places to get news during the day and to find some great commentary.
  • Finviz is great for charts on everything and for news.
  • Marketedge is a subscription based service and I find it very useful.  The daily and weekly commentary is great and I love their Trading Ideas section.  Here you can find all kinds of long and short trading ideas.  You can get a discount to this service if you have an account with Charles Scwabb.
  • Zacks Investment Research has been around forever and they rank most all stocks on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being the best).  They have a very strong track record and a lot of the features on their website is subscription based.
  • Zero Hedge has some great and very interesting articles and commentary that you will not see on other sites.

Alternative Sources to Borrow Money

Over the last 6 months I have been doing a lot of research on alternative sources to borrow money.  What do I mean by alternative sources?  Basically anything besides credit cards and home equity lines of credit.  The best sources I have found are:

Peer to Peer Lending

Peer to Peer Lending (P2P Lending) is the practice of lending money to individuals or businesses through online services that match lenders with borrowers.  So basically you go to one of these P2P lending sites and you enter in some personal information (income, length of employment, etc), how much money you are looking to borrow and the purpose.  Then they will pull credit and may ask you to verify some of the information you are provided.  At this time you will be quoted the interest rate and terms of the loan.  If you accept the terms, then investors on the site will be able to fund a portion or all of your loan.   I have seen a wide range of interest rates offered, and generally they are much better than a credit card.  There are many P2P Lending options and here are a 3 of the most popular:

UPSTART

Founded by ex-Googlers, Upstart is the first lending platform to leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to price credit and automate the borrowing process. Upstart has demonstrated strong credit performance1 and maintains one of the industry’s highest consumer ratings according to leading consumer review sites.  Upstart is one of the first to apply AI/ML to the multi-trillion dollar credit industry. Upstart goes beyond FICO, using non-conventional variables at scale to provide superior loan performance and improve consumers’ access to credit.   According to Upstart, “You are more than your credit score. On Upstart, your education and experience help you get the rate you deserve.” Thus, loan eligibility is decided on factors that go beyond the FICO score, such as the school of graduation, academic performance, area of study and work history.

PROSPER

Prosper was founded in 2005 as the first peer-to-peer lending marketplace in the United States. Since then, Prosper has facilitated more than $14 billion in loans to more than 860,000 people.  Through Prosper, people can invest in each other in a way that is financially and socially rewarding. Borrowers apply online for a fixed-rate, fixed-term loan between $2,000 and $40,000.

LENDING CLUB

Lending Club Corporation is a premier player in the peer-to-peer lending space. Lending Club is a giant in the online market place that connects lenders and borrowers; the total loans issued as of March 2018 amounted to $35,940,013,016.

According to Lending Club:  We’re a technology company built on the belief that innovative, creative solutions deliver more value and a better experience.  We’re leading the governance of a new industry, developing ethical, responsible ways to bring greater value and better opportunities to customers.  Accessing credit should be seamless. We’re committed to making borrowing and investing simple and easy for everyone.  Everyone deserves a better financial future if they strive for it. We’ve built a marketplace that keeps costs low and opportunity high.

2 other very exciting sources I found are SOFI.com and Lightstream.com.

SOFI is an online lender that uses technology and innovation to keep their expenses low, which enables them to offer very competitive rates on personal loans.  During my research I applied for a loan with SOFI and was offered a rate of 7% fixed for a term of 3 years.  But I found their process cumbersome and after verifying my income, they changed my terms and increased my rate.  In all fairness I am self employed and my last year tax returns have income from 2 companies in 2 different states (I was splitting time between the 2).  I understand their process and imagine it would be much easier if you have w2 job or very simple tax returns.  However see my experience with Lighstream below.

 

Lightstream is the internet banking division of Suntrust Bank and is my personal FAVORITE!  I am self employed with complicated tax returns and a credit score of 800+.   I applied for a loan on their website at 5:30 PM and requested a 3 year loan of $15,000 for some home improvement projects.  I was offered a rate of 4% (this is unheard of for unsecured loan and interest rates have gone up a little since then) and was approved 20 minutes later.  The money was in my account 36 hours later!!  I was completely amazed by the rate, simplicity, and speed which the loan was approved.  Check out their video: