Working My Way, One Step At a Time

financial-planningAt the end of the year, I will be moving back to NYC. It’s exciting but also makes me nervous because I haven’t been home for an extended period of years. Anyhow, I want to continue learning to become a financial planner what better way to learn than in NY. For the past couple of weeks, I have been sending out emails to different financial planners throughout the five boroughs in search of someone who would mentor me, or give me an internship opportunity to continue learning. Unfortunately, it has been harder than I imagined even to get a response. BUT the few responses that I have received have all shared similar things in each. For example one said

“It is great to hear that you are thinking about getting your CFP. As of now, we are not taking on any interns, but if that is to change, I will be sure to get in touch with you!”

or

“Thanks for reaching out. I agree, the CFP curriculum is fascinating, but I can imagine studying biochemistry kept you busy!…You can learn a lot of great information from trustworthy blogs and books. Sounds like you’re on the right track!”

and then there are some that have offered great suggestions such as

” I would start with getting a good understanding of your expenses and cash flow….Then, you can move on to investments (the pros and cons of Roth vs traditional, how to choose a good mix of investments from your employer plan menu and what the right asset allocation looks like for you) and taxes (what deductions are you entitled to, what will your projected earnings mean tax-wise in the coming years and is there any planning you should do), followed by insurance (how much term life insurance do you need – this is a number that will change as your life unfolds – and what sort of disability coverage).”

“I think understanding cash flow, knowing how to build and keep track of a budget (just basic awareness) is a crucial building block as well as understanding the purpose and need for various types of savings and investment accounts (HSA, FSA, IRA, Roth, 401k…). Debt management and credit repair are under-taught in the CFP course.”

But out of the many emails, I have sent, none of them have had space to allow me to intern or suggested tips on how to land an opportunity. Quite frankly it’s a bit disappointing because on one side everyone is excited and happy I’m trying to learn this industry, but on the other, the opportunity to learn seems so scarce. That just doesn’t click in my head. Or maybe it is the fact that I have been approaching people in the wrong way. I did learn however that learning cash-flow statements, insurance, investments, and taxes are essential to working in this field, so I haven’t made up a plan yet on how to learn those topics but I have begun looking into different books and online video lectures. My goal is to learn as much as I can before taking my CFP classes and exam to speed up my learning process and because I’m just so excited to learn.

I also joined the Radical Personal Finance facebook group, and I introduced myself and asked how to go about asking to work for a firm for free, and the response was

“Go in person to the local financial planning firms and ask them for referrals. Tell the secretary why you’re there and ask to speak to the principal. Don’t ask to intern with them; ask them for who you should work with. They will either refer you to someone good, or they will offer you a job.”

I commented saying that I thought email would be the best way to communicate and Joshua responded saying

“Not really. Too crowded. I have 1100 unread emails in my box right now. Phone or walk-in. Email doesn’t convey personality. Your personality is very important.”

That is great advice because I spent time sending out emails personalized for each individual person and to know that they might not even get read is good to know. So tomorrow after work I will go to a financial planning firm here where I live, and I will ask for some suggestions. Since I know I’m not looking for an opportunity here, I don’t feel the nerves I would if this were a potential place I would work. I hope it goes well and I hope the people are friendly enough to answer some of my questions. If any of you have any suggestions or advice on this topic, I would love to hear your feedback as well!

I decided I won’t be reading any books until the New Year comes around so I have no books to share or talk about but, I do want to share some of the business ideas I am trying to do. I have three ideas which I am currently working on, and I have no idea how successful they might be but here goes.

  1. In New York we have Laguardia Airport which is packed all the time, parking fees are excessively high, and there is limited parking space. Well, what if I offered vault parking where I would take the car park it where I live (which is 15 mins away) and then drive it back to you just as you are coming back from your long flight. I would only charge a flat fee of $10/day. It might sound a little sketchy, so I would provide my home address, a picture of my license with a passport when we meet to confirm my identity.
  2. Everybody loves NY, well lots of people do. You usually go to Times Square, the Empire state building. The common tourist sites that everyone goes but what if you want to see more? How do you do it? Usually, you hire these expensive tour guides that charge you ridiculous prices. Well, I was born and raised in NY, and I can show you places you would never have thought of. My services would be 20/hr per person, and any activity you would like me to join on would have to be at your expense if not I can find a coffee shop and wait until you are ready to move on to the next place. So for example, if you were to go into a museum for 2 hours, that would not be charged because I am not personally showing you around. If you want more information, go to this website: http://hiddentourguide.webs.com/
  3. I thought of the idea of selling stuff on eBay or craigslist. Originally I was planning to sell ebooks, but that walking a fine line and I am not trying to get sued by agencies or companies for selling their products. Therefore this might be a no for me. Who knows I’ll think on it some more.

These are some of my ideas, and they may change may not, I might drop them who knows. It’s the start of my journey, and I need to figure out better ways to market them. If any of you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them. Otherwise, I’ll be here, fighting, trying, experimenting different ways to go AAO.

-P
© 2016 aao8894.wordpress.com ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

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The Start to Our Financial Independence!!

NEW-YEARS-RESOLUTION2.jpgI want to first apologize to everyone for not being active for a few weeks! My laptop recently broke down, and because it’s a six-year-old Mac, Apple doesn’t sell missing parts before five years from 2016. SOOOO that meant I had to look around in different shops, get a reasonable price, ship my computer and wait for the return. It sucks, and I really missed having my computer to look things up and write here. Anyways Christmas and New Years is around the corner, and that means that people have begun to make up their new year resolutions. I have been listening to a podcast called Radical Personal Finance for months now and made my personal, academic and financial list about a week ago. I didn’t do anything fancy, I took a notebook and wrote things out which I will share:

Personal: 1) Weight 160lbs by the end of March (I’m currently at 170) and weight 150lbs by November-December ’17

2) Get help on my emotional appearance (I tend to show limited emotions, and that can sometimes make a person think I don’t care when I actually do)

3) Be more compassionate (because of all my hardships, when I hear others hardships I don’t feel that sense of sympathy as other friends and peers do, and I think it is something I can fix a bit)

4)Read 120 books in a year (a large part of my list comes from the personal MBA list by Josh Kaufman, textbooks from the CFA, textbooks for the CFP, etc. Ideally, I would love to do 120, but if not a minimum of 70 is required.)

5) Finish up all my legal issues with my partner (divorce, child support, etc.)

6) Sleep better. (Fixing my circadian rhythm is essential to my well- being)

7) Save money and travel to Mexico in March

8) Study for my MCAT Jan 15th-April 15th, get a 500+ on my MCAT exam and submit all requirements by June 1st for early decisions (if I don’t get into med school this round)

9) Get a part-time job

10) Be happy again

Academic: 1) Get my real estate certificate

2) Get an internship at a financial planning firm

3) Find mentors in that industry

4) Join Toastmasters

5) Get a part-time scribe job (to fulfill job and hospital hours)

6) Get a part-time finance job

7) Help my little brother with his school work

Financial: 1) Build and fail at making business (making side hustles to learn what the market wants and how to show the market my products)

2) Deduct 1/10th of my income and place it towards my IRA

3) Deduct 1/10th of my income and put it towards investments

4) Have a net worth of >10k

5) If income permits, go to a conference or two

 

Realistically I don’t plan to achieve all of these goals in a year, but if I can accomplish 75-80% that’ll be amazing because this year sucked. A lot of times people usually talk about their successes, achievements, discoveries and that’s great I’m glad for them. But there are also others that simply had a bad year and they may feel they are the only ones. Well your not, I’m there right with you. Don’t believe me? Let me show you

  1. I spent the first half of 2016 feeling terrible for not applying to medical school last year. It was the first time in my life I felt I had failed my family, my friends and myself.
  2. Upon graduation, I moved out of my home to a Maine, got a full-time job, volunteered at two places, and tried to study late nights every day from 7 pm to about 12-1AM. I tried to do everything, and it blew up in my face, I scored a 490 on my MCAT which is horrendous, my chances of getting accepted is slim to none.
  3. During the year my marriage went down the drain. I fell in love, she got pregnant, and I gave up studying for the MCAT last year to work and save every penny I could for the birth of the child. However, her family influenced her thoughts a lot and convinced her to completely cut communication with me 2 weeks before the due date. That crushed me both emotionally and mentally. I put so much trust and effort for my partner, and I was stripped away from being a dad. I’m young, yes but that’s rough I never thought I would be denied the opportunity to see my child grow.
  4. A few months later I see on Instagram that my partner (she’s still married to me) is dating another person.

I’m not sharing my personal life to feel pity, it’s simply to show you that you’re not alone. But it’s ok! Sometimes life throws you down, puts your back against a wall and all one has to do is get back up and keep on fighting.

I plan to return to NY Jan 1st, and things will be different. I was starting to think of working, studying and volunteering. However, I learned a lot from being in Maine, and I refuse to make the same mistake again. I will be following the Examkrackers self-study schedule.  For 10 weeks, from Monday-Friday, my days will consist of working out, studying, helping my brother, reading finance books, helping with chores, eating and sleeping. I will get a part-time job as a waiter for weekends only. I will actually give myself a chance to make this work. Have you made your resolution? If so what are you waiting for? Why do you have to wait until Jan 1st to be a new you? If you could receive 1 million dollars would you wait until Jan 1st rather than having it now? We like to sound like we are the busiest people in the world during the holidays, but lets be honest, do you really have that many social events to go to? I’m sure there is some time during your busy schedule to sit down and figure out what you need to accomplish this coming year. Don’t make the same mistakes, learn from them and strive for greatness. You have to be twice as good to get half as much, and it begins now.

I will also be posting here my new finance discoveries and side hustles I have created as I go along so this will be tons of fun! I promise we will learn together and if not…… 😥 well at least I can go back and see how my progress is going so far. I have lots to share, though, and I’m excited to get back here and share my experiences with yall. Harriet Tubman once said “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” All you have to do is go AAO.

-P
© 2016 aao8894.wordpress.com ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

New Chapter New Journey


I have a tendency to sometime sit somewhere and let my mind envision different things. I imagine my future, my businessES(yes I plan to be very successful :)), my potential family (I want 4 kids or more! The more the merrier) and how if I can make some right calls everything will slowly begin to produce results and benefits. I’m very optimistic, but it’s difficult having that same mentality when so many people want to see you fail and so many things can go wrong in a blink of an eye. 

These past few days I have been doing research and web searches on the business I wish to pursue and I was going to write about what I did, BUT…. I realized I still haven’t talked about what I want to do. Can’t be jumping the gun too soon.
So before I give my business idea I’ll give a short summary of my life (don’t worry it won’t bore you too much).

 I grew up in Queens, NY with a community of people that were mainly immigrants. My parents arrived from Mexico about 30 years ago and we lived in a small 1 bedroom apartment. For my entire education I went to public schools and during those years I always wanted to do something big. I would tell my parents I wanted to be a president, lawyer and the two that I have mentioned since I can remember are business man and doctor(talk about high expectations huh?); but it was hard keeping my dreams in tact because I had no one around to guide me. Rather than being surrounded by college students or professionals, the only people I knew were people from crip, blood, Latin kings etc. Long story short I did well in school, always staying at the top of my class while also becoming emotionless, heartless and fearless in order to survive in the streets of NY(in college I met some great friends that have worked with me to fix those areas). So now that I graduated college and am waiting for medical school I wish to make a non-profit organization. I envision a program where it teaches academic enrichment (programs such as prep for prep, jumpstart, SEO) but also teaches students to learn financial literacy. Many programs in NY have one or the other, but I think this will be a unique program because I plan to take 6th graders and guide them until they are college graduates. I also want to pursue this dream because while it is so important to be well educated academically, what good does it do if we aren’t financially literate. What good will earning $60,000 do if we waste $65,000. In my opinion there is a strong corellation for success between education and finance. 

It’s a problem I grew up seeing and I haven’t seen ways to address these issues, so why wait? 

Why sit back and wait until someone solves the problem? 

I have the education, resources and dedication therefore I will go forward and start it myself. I have created a survey to begin compiling data and it would be great if you could spread my survey to others regardless of age or location. 

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/L6DTMXM

One thing I always tell myself is that regardless of how great my idea may be, there is always going to be someone who thinks it’s not. Sometime you just have to trust your gut, take a chance and go AAO. 
-P 

© 2016 aao8894.wordpress.com ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

What A Time To Be Alive!

   

Today I continued working my way through this process and I must say it’s CRAZY how much information is out there. You have forums, blogs and all types of media posts on F.I.T (facebook, instagram, twitter). I don’t know if anyone has had this problem but it’s quite intimidating because I don’t know exactly where to start and where not to. I looked at a couple of articles such as Matthew Torren, Brian de Haaff, Susan Sly among others and a common thing that an entrepreneur should ask themselves before beginning is to ask themselves why and what.

-Why are you doing this

-Why now why not later

-What is your missiony

-What are you aspiring to get out of this

-What are you willing to sacrifice to make this happen

Should I go continue? Sure!

-What skills do you bring

-Why do you think you belong in this industry

-What’s going to happen if you fail

The point is sit down whether it’s in your car, at home or while going to the bathroom and analyze critically why. For me it’s because of many reasons. I have been working for about six months as a laboratory technician because it’s one of the common jobs a pre-med student gets after finishing undergrad and before med school. Thing is I hate bench work, ABSOLUTELY hate it😡. I want to have patient interaction, have different cases and scenarios each day (because your biochemistry and mine work differently and has different tolerance levels), continue learning each day (not just medicine, but also the psychology of how patients react and respond to situational scenarios etc). The point is I want to constantly stay active and that’s far from doing what I do now. I was talking to a friend that aspires to obtain an MD/PhD someday and he told me that the fun part is when you are the one creating the projects and preparing grants. I can definitely see that happening and good for him I hope he becomes a great researcher but that is not a job for me. So anyways back to me (because its all about me 😁), I work for a small biotech company where I dissect marine creatures such as trout, salmon, oysters, clams, shrimp and then run PCR’s for detection of pathogens. It was nice for about three weeks while I learned all the different departments and procedures, but about a month in I felt like a stagnated. From then on to now I haven’t learned a single new thing. It’s the same procedure over and over and over and over again. The only thing that excites me sometimes is when the head of molecular biology experiments a different way of extracting for DNA or RNA and I get a chance to come up with different solutions. I can’t really talk about examples because of company policies, but the day is generally necropsy for certain organs, then homoganate and then inoculate. It’s like living in deja vu every single day Monday-Friday, 8am-4:30pm and sometimes till 5:30-6pm (and its not like we get compensated for extra time! not even some pizza or ice-cream 😔). So as I was working around mid August  (I started in June), I was thinking why am I still working here? I don’t like a 9-4:30 routine, I’m not excited to show up, I don’t have debt to pay off (that’s a hugeeeee plus and I am very fortunate and grateful for that), I’m not learning anything, I’m getting paid very little (I make salary but after taxes and if we were to consider it a per hour basis it’s like $10.67. I was a busser my last year in college and was making more in 30 hour week shifts than I do now.), I’m not making the impact I want on the world. Ok I’ll stop before I bore you with my reasons. The point is I want to be my own boss, I don’t want to live in this conventional box where you work, save money on 401k’s, IRA’s and HSA’s, let interests compound and retire at 65. Why retire at 65? What’s so magical about 65? No I refuse to accept that my outcome is to plant my behind at 65 on a couch and watch T.V until I die. I REFUSE TO BE A WAGE SLAVE!



So I think now that I gave you a short synopsis of my life currently, I think it’s only suitable to give responses to some of the questions I researched. 

Why am I doing this? It’s quite simple actually yet quite complex at the same time. I’ll save the explanation for another blog and just say I’ve observed for years what has been lacking in underserved communities and I think I’ve come up with an idea to close the achievement gap between the rich and the poor. I’m not saying it’s the solution, but it might be a step towards that objective.

Why now why not later? Why do you go to the doctor when you feel sick and not when your moments from dying? Why do you get your teeth checked out every six months rather than waiting until they are infected and decaying? The same goes with this. I saw a problem, so why wait when the problem has no solution when I can help now? Is it because I’m “young, stupid, naive or uneducated”? I am still a fetus (ok maybe not fetus but 22 is not anywhere close to old); I’m not stupid or naive or uneducated. Currently I’m not exposed to all my options but through connections, social media and the internet I can teach myself what I need to know to thrive and be a success. I am ambitious and I take challenges head on with total confidence in my abilities. That doesn’t mean I’m blind and won’t consider my options carefully because I make very logical and well thought out decisions.

What is your mission? That’ll be explained in another blog. 
What are you aspiring to get out of this? As corny as it sounds I aspire to make a difference in the world. I plan to start small and perhaps one day expand this project nationwide. One step a time though. 

What are you willing to sacrifice to make this happen? I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. I think there has been no better time in history where there are loads of opportunities and options to make dreams become reality. What makes great people great is persistency, drive and focus even when things seem impossible because if you look hard enough everything is possible. To be more specific, I’m poor with very limited resources to launch this idea but if I can come up with a solid plan I’m confident people will begin to understand and support the idea

 I think a lot of people see my generation as immature and incompetent human beings that can’t fend for themselves and I think while yes there are some people like that (but that’s not just my generation but in every generation across the board) there are others (like me) that have decided not to conform to the social norms that society has placed on us. I take this chapter of my life as an adventure, challenge and journey towards my financial independence despite going AAO.

-P

 

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/251838

http://blog.aha.io/4-questions-entrepreneurs-ask-before-starting-a-business/

Entrepreneur Tips: 10 Questions Entrepreneurs Should Ask Themselves

© 2016 aao8894.wordpress.com ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Open For Business

business-ownership

So I currently have five different projects I am very interested in

  1. Starting my business
  2. Learning to invest in stock, bonds, options, etc
  3. Learn personal financial planning for myself
  4. Learn about Real Estate
  5. Medical school (can’t do much here but to wait :/ )

 

Ideally, I would love to master them all at the same time and be rich in a few years and live happily ever after :). No, I’m kidding what fun would that be! Realistically I know I have to learn a few at a time and have to take into consideration the fact that I have a limited cash flow to work with. So I think the ones I am going to focus on are numbers 1,2 and 3 with the possibility of changing my mind.

For my business idea, I think there are many different routes to begin from. Usually, people will ask well What do you want to do? Who are you trying to target? Why do you want to do it? I think I have a good foundation of the idea of my business so that I will discuss that later. I am a science guy, so I have very limited experience in business, so I think for me it would be important to know what I am trying to make my business into. So I began googling around and started with standard searches such as what is a Sole proprietorship, Business Partnership, LLC (limited liability company) and Non-profit. There are many other types but these were the ones I started with. As always they all have their pros and cons, but I am looking for an entity that won’t be directly tied to my personal funds (I’d cry to see my Xbox 360 taken away).

A sole proprietorship makes the individual the owner and legally responsible for the establishment. You are also liable for business debts and any claims made towards your company. That was a no-no regardless of the fact that business profit can be used however I would want. So I crossed that out.

A business partnership is what a sole proprietorship, but instead of one person being in charge, it is 2+ people in charge. Again that is a no-no in my book because of what I’m looking for.

An LLC was more attractive because it offers protection from the liability of business debts. So let’s say you are in $250,000 in debt and declare bankruptcy, people cannot come to you in search of repayment for the debt. An LLC also has a lot of flexibility with tax options.

I really liked this option because it fits what I am looking for but, I don’t plan to provide a product but a service so I needed to find something that would allow me to get grants and donations.

A nonprofit organization is a tax-exempt organization that requires you to publicly show financial information so that donors can see where their money is going to. Non-profits also have limited liability like an LLC and if not insurance can be purchased to compensate for that part. I like this branch because it fits what I want to do and I’m not looking to make a fortune out of this currently. I am more interested in helping communities prosper and motivate people to aspire to bigger and better opportunities. Being a non-profit gives the ability to ask for charitable donations from both public and private parties. I don’t mention the cons because to me they aren’t that bad. One thing is that a non-profit requires a lot of work to launch and sustain especially in the beginning. I personally don’t mind working hard to make sure my organization flourishes, I’ve always been a hard worker and with this will be no different. Having a non-profit also means that one does not have the entire control of the organization because of all the laws and regulations in place. However, in my opinion, it is 100000x better than being a working slave (ill touch on that some other time).

I am still learning more about the options but it looks like a non-profit is my choice and as I continue learning I will continue writing about my discoveries and the next steps I take. In the meantime, I will email other non-profit CEO’s and see if they would be willing to meet with me and hopefully someone will take some time to have a chat with me. If you know someone that founded or started a CEO I’d love to reach out to them.

I know this may not be as in depth as you would have wanted it to be for a second post but I promise it will get better. I will get better at explaining things and being more technical. I guess I’m a little nervous of bombarding you with so much detail that you’ll be bored out of your mind. I also posted the links I used for this blog at the end because it’s important not to plagiarize! I may be over my head, but it’s a goal I wish to fulfill, and I will fight for it AAO.

 

-P

 

 

 

 

http://smallbusiness.intuit.com/news/Business-operations/19319168/Selecting-an-Ownership-Structure-for-Your-Small-Business.jsp

https://www.legalzoom.com/knowledge/limited-liability-company/topic/limited-liability-company

http://www.investopedia.com/terms/q/qualified-charitable-organization.asp

http://grantspace.org/tools/knowledge-base/Nonprofit-Management/Establishment/pros-and-cons

 

© 2016 aao8894.wordpress.com ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Against All Odds (AAO)

five-tough-challenges-uphill

 

 

Ever since I was a child I always challenged myself to do the seemingly impossible. Whether it was pushing myself to eat an extra slice of cake (hey not everyone likes cake), playing for the worst intramural team (with the intention of winning though!) or taking additional classes, I was always Against All Odds (AAO). I want to appreciate everyone that gets to read these blogs whether it be tomorrow, next week or many years from now. I’m excited and nervous because this is the start of my journey. I recently graduated from college with a Biochemistry degree and dream to become a surgeon. It is a goal I am currently working on and waiting for interview appointments and results (wish me luck!). Aside from that I have always had a huge interest in the personal finance department and entrepreneurship.

 

I grew up in a undeserved neighborhood where I didn’t meet a professional until I matriculated into college and the number of business owners I know might as well be in the negatives. HOWEVER, I am not here to talk about my unfortunate circumstances (that’s what common apps are for). I’m here to simply talk about my journey towards creating my business and learning everything that I can learn in finance. As an aspiring physician I want to help my family, friends, community and anyone else that can benefit from this blog. Even though I graduated college, I will forever be a student ready to learn something enriching and beneficial towards my goals and dreams.

 

My goal is to write about my new discoveries and decisions I make whether they be right or incorrect (I wouldn’t say wrong because I like to think I take time to sit down and analyze different outcomes). I hope that with time as I continue learning and growing more people will read and comment on what I am doing right and what could use some revision and work. If I fail (which I hope not) well at least you can use this information to learn what not to do. Honesty is a very big thing for me so I will deliver content that is true and honest no matter how bad it actually is. I’ll also be adding my own opinions and views as well as parts of my life that don’t pertain to business because every entrepreneur has a story and mine has been a bumpy ride so far. Lastly I would like to apologize if I start rambling too much. If I happen to do so please feel free to leave me a comment on that too, but I will get better. These are very unfamiliar waters I have entered. I have never blogged and I have never met someone that own a business so I hope we can all learn together and once again go AAO.