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  • The median age in the U.S. is 36.8
  • The median income in the U.S. is $51,939
  • The average 401k match is $1 for $1 up to 6%

A 36.8 year old investing 10% of their $51,939 income with a $3,116.34 match:
With just average stock market returns of 10% would have $1,114,479.31 by retirement.

Join 33,000+ other readers who have learned how anyone, even beginners, can easily make this desire a reality. Download the free ebook: 7 Steps to Understanding the Stock Market.




How Much Should I Have Saved by 30? It’s Less Than You Think!

If you’re asking yourself “How much should I have saved by 30” then let me tell you this – you’re not alone.

No, for real, you’re really not. I just turned 31 this month and I still question if I saved enough by 30. Now I ask if I’m saving enough by 31. And next year I’ll be wondering if I saved enough by 32.

You know what’s worse than worrying if you saved enough? Not worrying about saving enough.

For me, saving money is always in the back of my mind, and I’m guessing that it is for you as well if you’re reading this article. Maybe you’re worried that you simply “started late” (although 30 is still very early) or maybe you’re wanting to retire at 35 and you simply want to know what to do for the next 5 years.

Regardless of your goal, you’re wondering if you’ve saved enough at 30. But the question is really this – what is your goal?

If you don’t know what your goal is then you can never know if you’ve saved enough, so that always has to be your starting point. When trying to determine your goal, these are the things that you need to consider:

What’s Your Time Horizon?

How much longer do you have that you’re going to be making money? If you’re not working, then you’re not saving. Sure, you might have some passive income coming in which is truly the dream for us all, but if you don’t, then you’re going to be simply depleting your savings.

The time horizon is imperative because not only does it tell you how long you’re going to have to actually save that money but it’s going to tell you how long you need to plan to live without income.

For instance, if you’re 30 and plan to retire at 65 and live to 90, then you have 35 more years to make money and once you retire you have 25 years to live off your savings.

If you’re 30 and plan to retire at 50 and live to 90 then you have 20 years to save and 40 years to live off that stockpile.

You see how these goals are related? It might seem very basic but it’s something that you need to strongly consider when planning your retirement.

How Much Do You Plan to Save?

“Andy, I’m reading this article because I need YOU to tell me how much to save!”

I know, I know, but what I’m asking is this – how much are you saving right now? Do you think you’ll be able to feasibly save that same amount the rest of your career? More? Less?

For instance, let’s walk through a few examples:

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5 Harsh Lessons About Investing in Raw Materials Companies

Raw materials companies are sometimes lauded by investors as great plays against rising inflation due to their hard asset nature. This can be true, but investing in these companies comes with its own risks—mainly that the P/E for these companies is often meaningless.

In this post I will reveal some of the most valuable lessons of previous cyclical bear markets for two differing types of raw materials companies:

  1. Distributor
  2. Manufacturer

You will be able to identify easy-to-find financial line items in companies’ cash flow statements which can signal an upcoming tough period for a very cyclical stock.

As we will see, the signals can appear very fast, and the drawdowns very swift, for very cyclical companies like those in the Raw Materials sector.

But for observant value investors, these lessons might help you clue-in on times where it’s better to let your cyclicals ride and when it’s time to cut your losses.

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Examples of Hard Asset Investing Through REITs and LPs with Eric Schleien

Welcome to the Investing for Beginners podcast. In today’s show, we discuss:

  • Investing in REITs with Eric Schleien of Granite State Capital Management
  • How to do due diligence and analysis for companies such as REITs, Limited Partnerships, and management for these companies.
  • How to find these types of ideas outside of the big world of Wall Street
  • Some of the ways to avoid fraudulent management and things to look out for when analyzing the management

Today’s show was sponsored by:

Otis Wealth

For more insight like this into investing and stock selection for beginners, visit stockmarketpdf.com

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Transcript

I love this podcast because it crushes your dreams and getting rich quick. They actually got me into reading stats for anything you’re tuned in to the Investing for Beginners podcast led by Andrew Sather and Dave Ahern with a step-by-step premium investing guide for beginners. Your path to financial freedom starts now.

[DAVE] Alright, folks, welcome to Investing for Beginners Podcast. Today we have our good friend Eric Schleien back with us; today, he’s back to talk to us about all kinds of stuff. Eric, for those of you not familiar with him, is the CEO and owner of Granite State Capital Management LOC. He’s also the owner of a great podcast as well called the Intelligent Investor. So Eric, thank you for coming back to see us again. And I’m gonna turn it over to you and Andrew, and we can go ahead and have our conversation.

[ERIC] Alright, thanks for having me on.

[ANDREW] Yeah. Thanks for joining us, Eric. So you and I had the pleasure to speak in a roundtable the other day with POD bean. And so that was a fun live stream that we did. And you had some interesting stock picks that you had recently in the real estate. And so it’s there, there’s a thing called an in the stands for a real estate investment trusts. And it’s a way for investors to get exposure to real estate without having to go out and buy the real estate themselves. So I was hoping maybe you could talk about a couple of REITs that you bought recently. And then maybe we can talk about how investors who are just starting out can think about REITs? And what kinds of things they should look for.

[ERIC] Yeah, sure. So, you know, I think to back, you know, it’s, it’s really having exposure to real estate, and you know, it means value investor, I don’t really care if I’m buying real estate, or say, buying a gold mine in Mongolia right now. I’m just looking for value. However, I think there is a lot of opportunities. And there, there certainly has been a lot of opportunity in real estate over the past few years. So REITs are, you know, certainly one way to go about investing in real estate; there is just also publicly traded, you know, the real estate available, you know, not every real estate play is structured as a REIT. Right? So there is a specific legal structure where they have to, you know, certain tax advantages to reach and they have, they have to distribute a certain percentage of income as a dividend. So there, there are, there are certain legalities and tax consequences for that. But so, so I would say that if you want, and I’m gonna, as someone who’s not a tax professional, but if you want exposure to real estate, I wouldn’t worry, you know, I wouldn’t have just bought a REIT for the sake of buying a REIT, as you know, sure, you might get certain tax benefits from a read, but then, you know, that might be made up for in the price, right? So markets tend to be pretty efficient. And if there are tax benefits, or some kind of security, that often will also show up in the price of the security as well.

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Durbin Amendment And Interchange Caps: Impact on Fintechs

One of the more disputed parts of the Dodd-Frank Act, passed in 2010 following the Great Financial Crisis, is the Durbin Amendment, which puts a cap on the interchange fees that banks can charge for the use of debit cards.

Those fees were in the billions, and they created two levels of routing for debit cards, signature and pin-less, which creates two different charges for retailers.

The retailers started the move towards capping the fees in the 1980s when plastic debit cards use started to increase, and make no mistake; retailers hate these fees because they eat into the profits they make. Banks loved the fees because it was easy money for them, but after creating the Durbin Amendment, banks turned to other fees to replace those lost revenues.

The capping of the interchange fees was no panacea for all sides; the fees for retailers decreased, and the banks increased fees for their customers. But along came Fintechs, which fall outside the Durbin Amendment, and with their ease of use embraced by customers, here came higher interchange fees for the retailers.

In today’s post, we will learn:

  • What is the Durbin Amendment?
  • What is an Interchange Cap Fee?
  • How Does This Impact Banks, Fintechs, and Retailers
  • Investor Takeaway

Okay, let’s dive in and learn more about the Durbin Amendment interchange cap.

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What Is a Sinking Fund? Only the BEST Way to Stay On Budget!

I’m not lying – having a sinking fund is literally the best way that you can stay on budget. I mean, sure – you could just go make a bajillion dollars instead but that’s not exactly a feasible path forward for most of us. So, what is a sinking fund?

Before I get into the “what”, let me get into the “why”.

I have a sinking fund for protection. Sinking funds help protect me from the inevitable, largely unplanned, massive expenses that I could occur at any point in time. Those massive expenses that might completely knock you off your budget and say “screw it” for the month are going to be completely avoided because you have a sinking fund in place.

Sounds enticing, right?

A sinking fund is basically a savings account that you have set aside for a specific purpose with the intent to spend. The “intent to spend” part is extremely important because this is not money that you’re saving for your retirement that you then must pull out for some reason. You have a true plan in mind for this spending when you start to save the money.

Example of a Sinking Fund

I personally have many sinking funds, one of which being a “Presents” sinking fund. Every time that I am paid a certain dollar amount comes directly out of my paycheck and goes into this savings bucket for presents. For the purposes of this post, let’s say that it’s $50.

I get my paycheck and it’s immediately $50 less because now that money is in my Presents Sinking Fund. I do absolutely nothing with that money. Nothing at all. It just sits there and sits there until I decide that it’s time that I want to buy a present for someone.

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Types of Inflation: Demand-Pull vs. Cost-Push Inflation

With inflation now running over 4% in the U.S. and other developed countries, investors are wondering how to classify the seriousness of the situation. As this article will discuss, the two main types of inflation are demand-pull inflation and cost-push inflation.

Both demand-pull inflation and cost-push inflation are likely contributing to the economic environment we are experiencing at the moment.

We will also look at one of the best leading indicators of inflation, the Purchase Managers Index, and what it is saying about future inflation trends.

It is hard to have a conversation about these inflation factors without touching on the dreaded “stagflation” word which is where inflation is rising yet unemployment remains high and economic output is decreasing.

The Two Types of Inflation

Demand-Pull Inflation

When the total demand for an economy’s goods and services increases faster than productivity is able to rise, this causes upward pressure on prices. Due to supply not being able to keep up with the strong demand for goods and services, businesses are able to raise prices without jeopardizing sales.

As can be seen in the graph below where the increase in demand is represented by a rightward shift of the demand curve, this causes a new equilibrium to be reached at a higher price point and a higher level of output (gross domestic product) in the economy.

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Building A Portfolio with ETFs: A Beginners Guide

Successful investing doesn’t have to be complicated; the most important factor is to find a method and strategy that works for you. Whether that be picking individual stocks or building a portfolio with ETFs.

The growth in ETFs (exchange-traded funds) since their introduction in the 1990s has exploded across the investing universe. Since the first ETF, created in 1993 to track the S&P 500, ETFs have grown to an industry valued at $3.9 trillion.

ETFs continue to grow in popularity partly because of their low fees, simplicity, and ease of use. ETFs make it easy for investors who want to invest in the market but don’t have the interest or time to analyze individual stocks. Over the last 100 years, the returns for the market hover around 10%, give or take, and investing in ETFs allows investors to partake in those gains with a minimum of effort.

In today’s post, we will learn:

  • What Is An ETF?
  • Pros and Cons of Building an ETF Portfolio
  • Five Steps to Choosing the Right ETFs
  • Three Steps to Building an ETF Portfolio
  • Creating A Sample ETF Portfolio
  • Investor Takeaway

Okay, let’s dive in and learn more about building a portfolio with ETFs.

What Is An ETF?

Before building a portfolio with ETFs, we need to understand what an ETF is and how they are built.

According to thebalance.com, ETFs are:

An exchange-traded fund (ETF) is a type of investment security that groups assets together and passively tracks an underlying benchmark index, such as the S&P 500.”

Think of ETFs as a basket of securities with a mix and match of different assets, including stocks, bonds, commodities, and gold, for example.

All of this makes them similar to mutual funds, which are also a basket of different assets; unlike mutual funds, ETFs trade like stocks, with prices you can buy at any time in the market.

Mutual funds and index funds only trade at the end of the trading day; in other words, you can’t buy in the middle of the day, only after the market closes.

ETFs trade on an exchange, like the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange), which allows you to buy and sell shares like you would Apple shares.

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Core Bank Processing: A Breakdown of the Sector

The history of banking and how we handle our money is a fascinating subject, and the evolution of how we bank has been an incredible journey. Not that long ago, we had to balance our checkbooks to ensure we had enough money to pay our bills, or we had to read our statements to stay current with our mortgages; now all of that is automated by core bank processing.

Core bank processing, led by companies such as Fiserv, Jack Henry, and others, allows customers and businesses to manage their finances electronically.

To better understand how to invest in these companies, we need to better understand their business operations and how they make money. Core bank processing is a big part of the evolution of how we manage our money, and these companies are on the cutting edge of that change, but they don’t get much love from the investing community.

Without core bank processing, companies such as PayPal or Square wouldn’t be able to do what they do, and we’d have to go back to the stone age and balance our checkbooks; yuck!

In today’s post, we will learn:

  • What is Core Banking?
  • Core Banking Functions
  • What Core Banking Systems Do Banks Use?
  • Leading Core Banking Providers
  • Investor Takeaway

Okay, let’s dive in and learn more about core bank processing.

What is Core Banking?

Most analysts describe core banking as the back-end system that processes banking transactions across the various bank branches. The core banking system consists of essentially all processes, including deposits, credit and loan processing, and ATM functions.

Central to the essential core banking services are:

  • Opening new accounts
  • Servicing loans
  • Calculating interest
  • Processing deposits
  • Withdrawals
  • Customer relationship management

Think of core banking as the daily functions whenever we interact with our bank, check our balances, pay a bill, take money out at an ATM, or pay our mortgage.

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IFB211: Brokers, Index Funds, and Cash Flow Statements

Welcome to the Investing for Beginners podcast. In today’s show, we discuss:

  • Finding and choosing the best brokerage account for you, especially ones that offer no fees, partial share purchasing, and DRIP options
  • The different options to build a portfolio using ETFs and some of the important details to look for when choosing different ETFs
  • The impact of the cash flow statement and some different items to look for and how to read the story they are telling

Today’s show was sponsored by:

Koch Industries – Good Profit

Wealthfront.com/investing

Charityvest.org/ifb

Nordpass.com/ifb

For more insight like this into investing and stock selection for beginners, visit stockmarketpdf.com

SUBSCRIBE TO THE SHOW

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Transcript

I love this podcast because it crushes your dreams and getting rich quick. They actually got me into reading stats for anything you’re tuned in to the Investing for Beginners podcast led by Andrew Sather and Dave Ahern with a step-by-step premium investing guide for beginners. Your path to financial freedom starts now.

[0:33] DAVE:  All right, welcome to Investing for Beginners podcast. Tonight we have episode 211. We’re going to go back to the well in terms of requests for questions that we got recently. So, without further ado, I will go ahead and read the first question, and then Andrew and I will do our usual give and take.

So here we go. Hi, Andrew, I just started listening to the investing for beginners podcast, and I didn’t know where else to get in contact with you. My wife and I have a TD Ameritrade and were wondering, the recommendation is Different for every trade and is that the same across all brokerages. Thank you, Christian. So Andrew, what are your thoughts on Christians questions. 

[00:39] ANDREW: The brokerages I use or do not charge me to make trades. So you know, obviously, you want to open a brokerage account if you want to buy stocks, you want to invest in the stock market, buy ETFs, anything of that sort. And so, the ones that I use personally are Fidelity. I use Merrill Edge; I use ally invest. One more than something like Schwab. So they all work pretty well, but none of them charge. Are you getting charged to charge?

[01:12] DAVE: No, I am not getting charged. I use Fidelity and Schwab, and I do not get charged for it. So I strongly, strongly recommend both of them. They’re both super easy to use, easy to open the accounts and do the funding, they have some pretty decent information on there and learn about different things we want to pick both of them also offer the stock slide or partial shares of stocks which I think is really beneficial, especially if you’re starting out, you don’t have a ton of money to throw at something like Amazon, at 3400, plus shares and dealing $50 You can still buy $50 with Amazon. It also allows for dripping on the stock. It’s super easy to do. So yeah, I’m a big fan of them.

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How Visa Makes Money: A Business Model Breakdown

Visa Inc (V) is one of the leading payment brands globally, as is its cousin Mastercard (MA). Visa provides payment services to over 200 countries, ranging from individual consumers, merchants, financials, and governments.

Visa provides a broad range of services, from authorization, clearing, and settlement for merchants and financials. Fun fact, Visa doesn’t issue any debit or credit cards; instead, the cards come from its clients such as JP Morgan and PayPal.

Visa makes money by selling its services as a middleman between the merchants and financials. Unlike American Express or Wells Fargo, Visa doesn’t make money on interest charged on credit cards.

Visa is one of the more dominant brands globally. It started as one of the first credit card programs in the 1950s and morphed into the global giant it is today by creating a network and protocol that enables it to ease the transfer of money between parties globally.

Learning how one of the global leaders in payments makes money helps us, as retail investors, understand how we can profit in the payment sector with others such as PayPal, Square, and Stripe. Studying some of the world’s best businesses is also a good idea to help us analyze others in the same field, but also others outside of payments and financials.

In today’s post, we will learn:

  • The Visa Business Model
  • How Visa Makes Money
  • Visa’s Competitors
  • Investor Takeaway

Okay, let’s dive in and learn more about how Visa makes money.

The Visa Business Model

Visa’s mission statement is to “connect the world through the most innovative, reliable, and secure payment network – enabling individuals, businesses, and economies to thrive.”

To achieve this vision, Visa works through the many different mediums of payment, such as:

  • Contactless payments
  • E-commerce
  • Digital wallets

Visa is the perfect example of a “multi-sided platform.” Visa’s platform creates cross-side network effects by enticing Visa cardholders more usage, which encourages more acceptance by merchants and round and round the flywheel goes. We can consider the merchants on the money side, and the consumer on the subsidy side of the equation. Visa spends the majority of its efforts to encourage the consumer usage side, which drives the adoption by merchants.

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