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September 21st, 2010 — ,
I have been gone from this blog for a while because I have been busy with other things. I do want to update you all on what I have been doing. In the past month I have been working on reinvesting my blog income into more income producing properties. And no, I am not talking about real estate.
What I have been doing is looking for established websites to purchase, and so far I have purchased several sites for a few thousand dollars. These are sites that generate a lot more pageviews than my own blog, and I have been working on monetizing them. In the process of purchasing these sites and testing various monetizing schemes I learned quite a bit about internet marketing, and the valuation of a website.
I also learned quite a bit about what types of website traffic is valuable, and what demographic is more likely to go to certain sites. There is quite a bit of science behind this, and in the past month I have been reading and learning.
On the income front, so far I am on track to generating about 7% of my purchase price per month in income. So this means I will get my principal back in a little over a year as long as the sites are operating as they are now. If I increase the income stream I will get my money back faster. After I get my principal back all the income would be just pure profit because it doesn’t cost me a lot to hold extra websites. My hosting account can host an unlimited amount of sites, and the cost of renewing a domain is less than $10 a year.
My plan is to reinvest all of my internet generated income for this year back into purchasing more web properties, and eventually I will have enough income to quit my job. I am actually planning to use some of my money from my company’s sale to buy a site with 2 to 3 million pageviews a month, and see what I can do with it.
To be honest, established websites can be extremely good investments if you know what you are getting into, and you can effectively monetize the traffic. The general going rate for a website is 6 to 12 times the monthly income, and as long as you know how to maintain the traffic and income, then they are probably the best income producing properties out there. There is definitely risk involved, and you have to know how to pick the sites that are evergreen. I may write about this more in detail when I actually make enough to quit my job.
Right now I am happy with my initial experiment because I am collecting several hundred more a month on a very small investment. My parents are always talking about their real estate but their return is only a few hundred a month after taxes even though they invested 20 times of what I did. If I spent the amount of capital they did on websites then I would be making more than a fulltime income.
Anyway, I will keep you all updated on what happens. In other news, my hubby finally got his own domain for his top notch gaming blog . Hopefully he will soon start getting compensated for his excellent writing.
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August 21st, 2010 — , ,
A long time ago I wrote a post about stock options called Basically I wrote about why most people do not get rich from stock options here in the valley and I really hope that young folks coming out of college read my post. With that said, I am writing this post today because my company just got acquired by a huge company this week. This is one of the many mergers and acquisitions in the technology field this week and those of you who know me know which deal it is. As expected, I am not rich , but I will be getting enough from my shares to afford a decent vacation.
There were a lot of mergers and acquisitions in the past few years because having an IPO is becoming increasingly difficult. Although the stock market is a lot higher than last year, the truth is that the economy is still awful and is possibly even worse than last year. If you look at mutual fund flows, you will see that billions of dollars are still being pulled out of equities. Money is flowing towards gold, bonds, and just plain cash. Unemployment is actually higher than last year if you face reality and forget about the government swill in the mainstream media. Right now half a million people are claiming new unemployment benefits every week while only tens of thousands of private sector jobs are being created every month. It is basically like someone is trying to fill the Grand Canyon with a shovel and a bucket of sand. It is not pretty and I do feel fortunate to be where I am at right now.
Personally, I think that mergers and acquisitions make a lot of sense right now. Small independent companies like the one I work for have to work so much harder just to survive, and many small companies are dying out. I think a lot of small companies actually want to be bought right now because it would make life easier for them. Also, there is still a lot of money for the founders if they are acquired. One of my classmates from college just walked away with millions in the Disney/Playdom deal because he is a founder. You could say that he is just lucky, but he did found a company that has a product that Disney thought was worth buying, and his company does support many families. It takes hard work, dedication, and vision to build a company, and I do believe that founders of companies deserve the rewards they get in these deals.
I’m not sure what the future will be like with a big conglomerate, but for now everything should stay the same. After my last company was partially sold for a very high sum in 2007, recruiters descended like vultures and a ton of people left. I really hope that the same thing doesn’t happen here, but the culture of the valley is that once an exit event happens a lot of people will leave and try to strike it rich in another startup. I guess my take on that is the same thing I wrote years ago. If you are not a founder, then don’t expect to get rich. If you are a founder, don’t count on succeeding because most startups still die out or never reach an exit event. Anyway, I will still stick to my plan of early retirement, and this deal will hopefully put me a few months ahead of my original goal.
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March 18th, 2010 — ,
Today the workers of the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc.(NUMMI) plant in Fremont . The 4700 workers are getting an average severance package of $54,000 each. Here are some of my thoughts on this news.
First of all, NUMMI is a joint venture between GM and Toyota. The main reason that it is closing is that GM basically died and Toyota no longer wants to keep the plant open. It is true that most of the cars manufactured there were Toyotas, but it also produced a good amount of GM cars over the past few decades. Now I feel that its ironic that Toyota is paying for the entire severance package and still getting a ton of bad press for closing down this plant. Where is GM with its bailout money now?
On the radio I heard a NUMMI worker who said that she will be getting around $65,000 in severance and she thought that it was very generous. She will also get unemployment pay, retraining, and subsidized health insurance. It is actually pretty ridiculously generous. If my company shut down I think I would be lucky to get even a month of severance. This whole thing makes me wonder if non-US based companies from Japan or Europe are more generous in their worker benefits. If so, perhaps it is good for everyone to pursue a career with those companies?
Ultimately this comes down to the issue of an increasingly global economy. I have always said that it is short sighted for Americans to only buy things made by American companies because non-American companies do create a lot of jobs here. If the president or our governor wanted to create more jobs then they should really work on attracting these multinational corporations to come and hire American workers. If the NUMMI plant were cheaper to operate then Toyota may have kept it open because by all accounts I have read it was a great plant that produced cars efficiently for decades. It really doesn’t surprise me that Toyota closed it down because California is probably one of the most expensive states to do business in, and the Bay Area is one of the most expensive labor markets.
It is sad that the Bay Area and California as a whole will be losing thousands of jobs, but I wish the best to all the former NUMMI workers. Perhaps some of them could retire now since their pensions are still intact. If I were in their shoes I think I would enjoy the severance a little and perhaps do something completely different. It is really a great opportunity for them, and I hope they make the best of it.
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February 1st, 2010 — , , ,
It seems like it was just yesterday when we said happy new year to each other, but now it is already February. These days are passing by so quickly for me that I hardly know how I spent all my time. Oh right, when I am not working I am pretty much taking care of the baby. The cliche we often hear is that “time flies when you are having fun”, and I am having fun.
I tell my husband constantly that time is flying by for me and he replies to me that he feels like we have been married for ten years because to him it feels like time has been passing by really slowly. He said that the six weeks he took off for parental leave felt like it was especially long because he hasn’t had such a long break from work in a very long time. He enjoyed his break quite a bit and wanted to retire after that, but alas, we are not quite set for life, yet.
This year we are facing some new expenses and challenges with the baby, but so far it has been going quite well. I think one reason the days are going by so fast for me is that I am always looking forward to see how the baby has changed each day. Both my husband and I feel like we are now officially adults because we are now parents, and I feel a lot older than I was just a few months ago. I also find it funny because many of my friends and family have said something along the lines of “I can’t believe you are now a mom”. To be honest, if someone told me ten years ago that I would have a son and I would enjoy being a mom, then I would have laughed in that person’s face. Now I am one of the few people I know from high school that has a kid, and I guess that is somewhat surprising.
The more I look at the baby grow the more I think about the trade off between money and time. Now I am sure that I don’t want a job that pays a crapload of money but requires me to work 14 hours a day. I rather work the hours I have now and be home with my son at a reasonable hour. By now I am also sure that I need time away from my kid just to stay sane, so I pay for childcare so I can work. My husband and I also want to retire as soon as possible so that we can have some time with the kid before he is an adult, and we will reach that goal much faster if we both worked. Basically, we do trade our time for money, but eventually enough money will allow us to have more time to spend the way we want to spend it, and that is the ultimate goal.
Anyway, hopefully our kid will learn to appreciate time with family and friends more than random plastic stuff, because I will not be buying him action figures.
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December 28th, 2009 — ,
This week is my last week away from my day job. I am looking forward to going back, but also feeling a little bit of trepidation about leaving the baby. So far I have had a wonderful Christmas break with the hubby and our new child, and here are some highlights.
First we were able to attend a Christmas party at our friends’ house. There was a white elephant gift exchange, food, and a couple other babies. Our little ten week old is apparently almost as big as a 7 month old baby. Since we have not gone to any social events for a while this was a great break from staying at home all day and night.
For Christmas Eve the hubby created a menu and made a five course dinner. My favorite thing out of the whole meal was his butternut squash soup with ginger shrimps. It turned out beautifully and he was marveling at how professional it looked and took photos while I just slurped it down with gusto. I shopped for all the ingredients and he did most of the cooking. We are still eating the leftovers now but the whole thing cost around $3 per plate.
That night the hubby also sent me on a mission to buy a couple white elephant gifts for his family’s Christma party. When I drove out at 8pm the streets were completely empty. Most stores were closed and the only thing open was CVS Pharmacy. CVS just recently entered Northern California when it took over all the Longs Drugs stores. I have always heard of people talk about great CVS deals, but I have not ever visited one until this Christmas Eve. When I got there I found two things under $10 and took them to the register. It seemed like everyone had a CVS Extrabucks card except for me. I sounded stupid when I asked, “how can I get one?” At this moment a jolly guy behind me swiped his card for my purchase and saved me around $2. He cheerfully said, “MERRY CHRISTMAS! This is my gift to you!” To be honest that really made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside and I thanked him repeatedly. I will probably shop at CVS in the future more often because some of the Extrabucks awards seemed quite good.
This Christmas is quite different for the hubby since it is the first Christmas he is not spending with his parents. They moved to the Philippines last year and they visited this Thanksgiving, but the hubby sort of missed going back to Southern California and opening presents in front of a tree with his family. He did enjoy not driving for 6 hours in traffic, though. We went to his grandfather’s home in San Jose for Christmas, and unfortunately I forgot the two gifts I purchased from CVS for the white elephant. Nevertheless our baby was showered with a ton of gifts and now he has more clothes than me and the hubby combined. We had a lot of food and fun and the baby was totally spoiled by all of the hubby’s aunts and cousins.
My parents visited the day after Christmas and brought many gifts for the baby from China. My dad also brought a great letter from my grandparents hat expressed their joy and hopes for their first great grandchild. They hope that we can bring our kid to China to meet them in a few years. We will definitely try to visit China and the Philippines in a couple years with the baby. We will also take him on a few tours of China when he is old enough to appreciate it. There are definitely a lot of things to see and experience.
As this year comes to an end, I am very thankful for the very special new addition to my family and every existing family member and friend we have. It is impossible to purchase any of you with any amount of money. May God bless you and your family in the new year to come.