Friday, 25 November 2016

Where I'm Investing My House Sale Money

Hello friend,

It's been a while hasn't it. I hope you're keeping well. 

Lou and I have finally settled in to our new home in Cambridge. We still have work to do, but the tasks are becoming less relevant and most people wouldn't notice them. 

It feels like 'home' already, which I am quite surprised by, and most importantly, we're happy with our lives down here. 

I've received some emails from people asking me how I am, and what I'm up to nowadays (Thank you to those that have checked in - it's lovely to see that people care). I thought I would write a post on where I'm investing my money as I love this stuff, and thought a few of you might be interested too. But first of all.... 


Financial Independence is the point in which your income from passive streams (not having to work) surpasses your living expenses. 

My Kindle income dilutes this definition for me because it's semi-passive. I haven't worked on Kindle for about 6 weeks now, and yet I still earned over £8,000 in Oct and I stand to receive over £6,000 in Nov - Not bad for not working! My eBooks require re-promoting and attention, whilst my paperbacks and audiobooks are 100% passive once set up. Between my paperbacks and audiobooks you could say I've 'technically' been FI for over a year now but my original aim was to cover my expenses with income from stocks and shares alone. As of today, my forward dividends do not cover this. However, the recent house sale has freed up the capital that would allow me to become 'officially' FI if I were to invest it all now, which I'm not going to do. 

How I plan on investing my money

1) ISA - My first priority is to fill my stocks and shares ISA every year. I don't have a cash ISA, I use my full allocation on Shares. I've already paid a chunk into this years allocation, and I plan on continuing to drip money into this each month to ride the market wave. 

2) Personal Development - I've set aside money to invest in myself - arguably the most important investment you can make. I'm currently in the process of hiring a coach to help me implement my business plans for Kindle Publishing, my own coaching program, my Self Publishing course, my new business idea, Blogging, and general Self Development. I've also set aside money for attending a Personal Development course, which I'm yet to do this year, as well as money for books and online courses. Self Investment has changed my life, and I'll never cut myself short in this area. Each time I've invested in me the ROI has always made it worthwhile.

3) Property - I had a goal at the start of the year to invest in my first buy-to-let property. Off the back of my declaration, I received advice from multiple people suggesting that I don't as it requires a lot of time and effort. I still want to diversify my money into property, so I've invested a chunk of money into a P2P lending platform, secured against UK property called Saving Stream. They offer a fixed 12% return for investors, which they pay out monthly @ 1%. Even after tax is a fine income for me. 

I plan on putting enough money into P2P to cover my living expenses, as well doing the same in Stocks and Shares. The P2P will grow a lot quicker than my ISA due to it not having a funding restriction and a guaranteed high yield. The following formulas excite the hell out of me...

72 divided by x (interest rate) =  Time (in years) to double your account
114 divided by x (interest rate) =  Time to triple your account
144 divided by x (interest rate) =  Time to quad your account

If I take Saving Stream's 12% yield, I can forecast the following:

72 divided by 12 = 6 years to double my account
114 divided by 12 = 9.5 years to triple my account
144 divided by 12 = 12 years to quadruple my account

If I invest £20,000, it'll return £2,400 a year or £200 per month. 

If I choose not to contribute additional capital, and reinvest all of my income, I'll have the following capital and income in my account: 

In 6 years = £40,000 capital. £4,800 pa / £400 pm income
In 9.5 years = £60,000 capital. £7,200 pa / £600 pm income
In 12 years = £80,000 capital. £9,600 pa / £800 pm income

I've currently invested a lump sum of money into Saving Stream but I plan on contributing to it on a monthly basis after my ISA and Personal Development investments (and other expenses) have been funded. I currently forecast that I can cover my living expenses in under 2 years, and get to £100,000 in less than 5. I'm using this Blog post for accountability. 

I like the fact you can sell parts or all of your loans to get money back out of the company if needed. As a trial, I sold part of a loan to see what the process was like. I put over £1,000 on sale and it was purchased within 15 minutes. That's not to suggest that every sale will be that quick, but I was reassured. 

Saving Stream is not protected by the FSCS, like most UK banks, so if they were to fold, my money would be lost. I'm prepared to take on that risk after spending time researching the company, and being fortunate to know someone that has used the company for 3 years and has a considerable amount of money in them. Saving Stream will not be a safety net for me. It's just another finger in another pie. 

If you're interested in joining Saving Stream, I do have an affiliate link. As a thank you for using the link, I'd be happy to answer any questions you have about them, just drop me a note in the contact box on the right hand side and I'll email you direct. 

I've chosen not to include the link in this post, as I want this to be informative, rather than a sales pitch. I'd prefer you look into the company and benefit from them, than earn a few quid. 

4) Easy Access Cash - I have a lump sum of money in a savings account. It's a much smaller amount than 1 and 3, but I want to have some cash around in case I plan on setting up a new business or find a new investment opportunity. I don't like cash sitting around doing nothing, and at less than 1% it's doing nothing! Cash does give you options, but I'd prefer to receive cash in income from investments than have it sitting around. 

.....and that's it!

I don't plan on investing any money into my SIPP. The only reason I have one is due to me transferring my work pension into one after I left my 9-5. I'm 34 now, and I'm not comfortable with my money being tied up for 21 years (at least) before I can get to it. I can access money from my ISA, Cash Savings, and Saving Stream if I need to, although I don't plan on touching them for a while yet. 

It's also worth pointing out that I've allocated a chunk of money to guilt-free spending. I've bought a new smart phone, watch, clothes and other crap that I don't need to make me happy for 2 weeks. 

How about you? 

If you had a 5 figure lump sum, how would you invest it? 

Friday, 12 August 2016

Matched Betting - Have you blocked IE Snare?

Short post from me this morning, but a very useful one for those of you that do Matched Betting. 

My 'Blogging Buddy', Guy, from Early Retirement Guy and Matched Betting Guy has just created an excellent guide on how to block IE Snare. 

If you do Matched Betting, and you've not blocked it on your computer, or if you're like me and had never heard of it before, check out Guy's post for help on what it is, why you need to remove it, and most importantly, how to get rid of it. 

The post is on his Blog, and is totally free. For those of you that do Matched Betting, I highly recommend signing up to Guy's email list so you can get posts like this delivered to your inbox, and ensure you don't miss out. 

Click here for Guy's Guide to IE Snare

That's it from me. Have a great weekend all!

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

We're moving to Cambridge - We might be FI!

Where the hell have I been?

July has been a life changing month for me. I don't say that to exaggerate or to create drama. Seriously, it's been huge. There's a lot to update you with, so strap yourself in folks...

Lou and I have decided to sell our house and move to Cambridge. In fact, we accepted an offer over the asking price on Saturday 30th July. 

We spent the first chunk of July decorating the house and ensuring it was 'sellable' (is that a word?). We listed it on the market and 15 days later we sold it! 

Who cares, and why's that relevant?

I wrote a Blog post last year which detailed a potential move to Cambridge. Lou owns a house there and has since been paying for its upkeep. Its costs are low, but it's still been an added expense in her life. For the full Blog post and back story click HERE

I decided against it as I loved my job at PGL and didn't want to risk not finding a job I loved down there. Now that I've been working for myself, the option of moving down to Cambridge reared its head again. 

This house doesn't have a mortgage. With the impending sale of our current home, Lou and I will be fortunate enough to benefit from a substantial sum of capital we have in our current home, which can invest with.

Our new living expenses will be approximately half of what they currently are (living mortgage free), with the added benefit of receiving the extra dividends / investment income from the house sale.  

Based on my conservative estimates, it's fair to say that Lou and I will be FI. If not FI, we'll be extremely close to it. 

For the last 3-4 years, we've been working towards Financial Independence, and once our house is sold we'll be one massive step closer. 

With my kindle earnings, Matched Betting, Ebay and Dividends, I earn more than enough to cover both of our living expenses and more. In fact, my dividends and Lou's dividends are likely to cover our living expenses and bills, with any extra cash going towards 'fun stuff' or further investments. 

Now that we're in this awesome position, we've asked ourselves...

..."What do we do now?"

This opens up a range of options. Lou is contemplating not working again, and we can finally do whatever we want in life together. Travel, relax, take up new hobbies, and generally enjoy our lives together. 

I'm not one for sitting on my arse and doing nothing, and frankly, neither is Lou. Although we're yet to decide what we want to do with our new lifestyle, I feel so grateful to be in a position where we can take our time and make an informed decision. 

What's happening with the FIRE Escape in Sept?

I've been rightfully asked what's going on with the FIRE Escape in Sept. I have to be honest and say, nothing at the moment. The house move is likely to happen in September, and although we don't have a date confirmed yet. I don't want to take on something like this whilst the move is ongoing. 

I know that's shit and disappointing etc. But it's where I stand. 

If anyone else out there wants to organise it, use the name and/or advertise it on this Blog, you are more than welcome. Contact me via the Blog on the right hand side and let me know. 

What's happening with the Blog / Youtube?

Honestly, I don't know. 

The reason I haven't announced our plans sooner is that I didn't know what to tell everyone. I still don't...

Our new situation will allow me to do whatever I want, and I have to be honest and say I was contemplating not doing any Blogging/Youtube online ever again for a while. 

The truth is I need some time to consider what I REALLY want to do with my life, settle into my new surroundings and decide with Lou what we both want to do. Once I've established that, I promise you guys will be the first to know. 

What's happening with the Kindle Course?

Like the Blog and Youtube, I was considering sacking the whole thing off. I had become somewhat disillusioned with the whole thing. 

The course was set for release on 31st July, which obviously hasn't worked out.

I don't shy away from work, and I'm more likely to over-commit to stuff more than anything, but the thing that bothered me most was the potential ongoing work created in a membership site - dealing with issues (software, customer service etc), running the forum (and occasionally policing it), and ultimately ensuring that the members were getting exceptional value for money. If I couldn't commit to delivering excellent post-course service, I didn't want to do it. I wasn't comfortable with selling it and leaving them to it. 

I've talked to a several people about whether or  not to do it and I've decided that I DO want to proceed with it and get it out there. I will need to keep myself busy, and I believe I have too much to offer on this topic to just benefit from it myself. 

A recent Book Launch really helped me confirm that decision. This book personifies my message of Self Publishing - Being unique, standing apart form the competition, or simply put, being INNOVATIVE. 

This book has been a big, difficult, and expensive project, but has been totally worth it! 

I hired writers, editors, proofreaders, even translators to get it done. It was totally unique and no other book is available on this topic on Amazon (for now..). 

My Recent Ebook Launch Stats

Cost = £555.62 (This is usually £100-£200)

1-7 day sales = £655.50 
1-14 day sales = £981.91
1-21 day sales = £1,231.26

(These sales numbers are NOT Including KENP (pages read), which are averaging about 5,000 pages read per day = approx £14 per day)

Its results have reminded me how important these elements are to success and how my message differs from most of the other Kindle 'Gurus' out there. I know my results aren't JK Rowling status or anything, but how many other Kindle Coaches out there have made over $1,600 in ebook sales alone (not KENP) in 3 weeks from one book?

Note: I haven't included Createspace sales numbers nor ACX numbers either!

I'm not sure when I'll complete it with an upcoming holiday and the house move, but once I have a better idea, I'll let you all know. 

For those of you waiting for the course...

In the meantime, feel free to unsubscribe, wait or crack on with another option. I appreciate that I've let you down and I've let myself down with this commitment. For that I'm truly sorry!

To somewhat make up for that, I've tried to offer some alternatives. I'm going to be opening up my coaching service to a limited number of dedicated people, I'll work my nuts off to get this course done as soon as I can, and I'll recommend a course for those of you that are desperate to get going. 

I've been asked by a few people what course I would recommend and so far I would only recommend one!

I've completed many Kindle Publishing / Self Publishing courses and I would NOT recommend most of them due to their generic, lack of quality and sub-par detail. This includes K Money Mastery which I did at the very beginning!

The only course I would recommend to anyone interested in Kindle / Self Publishing is...

Steve Scott's - Authority Pub Academy

I've reached out to the creators Steve, Barrie and Ron and asked for an affiliate link - They didn't have one prior to me asking! They've created some test links which I'll provide below and in an upcoming Youtube video when I show you a behinds the scene look at it. 

>>Click Here for Authority Pub Academy

Steve and Barrie have written over 70 books between them and made over $600,000 in 2 years. Although I don't write my books, I've used a lot of their methodology to improve my pen name sales and brand. I've also used this course as a benchmark for my own course, and included a lot of the learning points from it. Their course was a big reason behind my initial delay in releasing my course in Jan this year due to it's quality. 

This is not a cheap course, and it will take some time to work through. It has over 90 videos, in-depth interviews with successful authors, and 6 bonuses. The content is second to none in my opinion! BUT is only for the truly committed. 

Kindle Coaching

I'm opening up my coaching once again, as I miss working with people, and I feel I have a lot to offer in the world of Self Publishing. I'll be restricting the number of people I take on, and I'll be looking for a particular type of individual. 

To allow myself the time to complete my course, I will only take on people that have ALREADY released a book onto Amazon, and know the basics. My coaching will be a form of improvement on what you've currently done, rather than teaching you the basics of getting started. 

Also, I'll only be willing to work with the truly dedicated people who are willing to work hard, make sacrifices and are willing to take a calculated risk. THIS IS NOT FOR EVERYONE!

If you've made a start on publishing and you'd like some help on improving your sales numbers, click on the link below and apply for a coaching spot. 

>>Click Here to apply for a limited Coaching spot

Please note: Most people will NOT be accepted due to my selection process. Don't take this personally! :-)

I hope either of these options can take the edge off letting down those of you that are interested. 

I've taken up enough of your time, so I'll wrap it up there. If you have any questions, as always, drop them in the comments below. 

Friday, 24 June 2016

EU Referendum - We're out! Does is matter??

It's just been announced that the UK are leaving Europe this morning. 

TV, Social Media, and the internet have all fired off on the topic. But, what does this truly mean to us?

I share my vote, and my view in this short video. 

Check it out, and let me know your thoughts!

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Matched Betting Q&A #2 - Join us Live!


Guy from Early Retirement Guy and Matched Betting Guy is joining me once again for another Matched Betting Q&A live on Google Hangouts this weekend. 

The last one went down really well from our perspective. It created a host of follow questions and we were delighted to see people trying out Matched Betting for the first time. 

We want to spend another hour trying to help more people out with this side income option - whether it's encouraging you to start, or improve on what you're doing. 

Guy made £2,427 in profit last month from Matched Betting. I've now made over £1,000 doing it very sparsely. Why can't you! 

What will we cover?

It's down to you! We plan on answering your questions live this Sunday. 

This post is designed to trigger your questions. So, what do you want to know? 

  • What are your biggest concerns about starting Matched Betting?
  • What problems are you currently encountering? 
  • What are your biggest frustrations?
  • What areas of Matched Betting would you like to have more clarity on?
  • How can you take your earnings to another level?

If you have a question for us, drop it in the comments section below or the 'contact me' section on the right hand side of the Blog. 

I'll be tracking the incoming questions from everyone on Youtube's live stream, so you can ask us a question live too. 

When is it?

Sunday 19th June @ 11am

You can join the call from the link I provide on this Blog prior to the call. 

You can join us at any time during the call. The last one was around 60 mins. 

It'll also be going straight onto Youtube once the call ends, so you can choose to watch it at your leisure instead. 

Will you Mess up the start again?

It's entirely possible! 

If you're not bothered about Matched Betting, it might be worth watching the call for the potential calamity filming once again, if nothing else.  

We've agreed to go onto it a little earlier this time - ie. before 11am to check that it works before going live and I won't press the stop button this time. :-)

Post your Questions below:

Drop your question in the comments below and we'll do our best to answer it in an open and honest way.  

See you Sunday!

Thursday, 9 June 2016

An honest video... I wanna quit!

I didn't want to film this video. I don't like to admit I'm struggling or feeling weak, but I want to be as real as possible in how I conduct myself in life and in these videos...

A lot of people on Youtube/Blogs talk about their achievements or about how cool everything is going in their life. I'm one of them, right. 

Well, in this video I want to be honest and open about my struggles on creating my online course over the last 2 weeks. 

In this video I discuss:
➢Why I felt like quitting
➢Why I didn't
➢How I'm moving forward

I hope you find some value in it. So here goes...

*This video was inspired by Chris Moore, from Barbell Shrugged and Barbell Buddha. He sadly passed away on Monday 6th June, at the age of 35, doing what he loved. 

Thanks for keeping me company during my 9-5 lunch breaks, and for sharing your wisdom on living a better life. 

Link to Barbell Buddha Podcast:

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Matched Betting: Profit Maximiser - NEW £1 Trial

The maker behind Profit Maximiser, Mike Cruickshank, must be tuning into these Blog threads or it's just a case of sheer luck, because he's finally produced something many people are looking for...

... a low cost trial of Profit Maximiser

£1 for 14 days in fact. 

I hope The FIRE Starter doesn't mind me sharing this - Although I'm sure he doesn't seeing he posted it in my comment section - but he asked the following on my recent Matched Betting Post just a few days ago:

"Can you post any screenshots of Profit Maximiser? They don't offer a free trial and all I can see is that awful sign up page which really puts me off. And I don't want to bother with their 30 money back offer, I would rather just have a free trial offer/account like OddsMonkey and Profit Acca do.
From what I've seen/used OddsMonkey is far and away the best and most technologically advanced product and the best value for money."
Just this afternoon, I've received an email from Mike Cruickshank highlighting his new trial membership at just £1 for 14 days. FYI - This email was sent to all members, not me personally!

It might not be free TFS, but £1 is a pretty good alternative, don't you think!

This £1 trial is also a trial for Mike too by the looks of it. He's going to do it for the upcoming Euro 2016 football tournament, and see how many takers it gets. No doubt his decision to continue with it or not will rest on how many people go on to become full members and the type of feedback he receives for it. 

So, I'm not sure how long this will be available??

I've used PM for a couple of months now, and as a matter of fact, it's the only Matched Betting membership site I've used. So, I don't have any experience in comparing it to other sites. But I have to say, I would happily recommend it to anyone! 

Guy from Matched Betting Guy summed it up very well on our recent Matched Betting Q&A

It's cheaper than Profit Accumulator (£150 a year), it's reoccurring offers are very lucrative (Guy's main earner), it's facebook group is excellent for providing great betting matches (saves time searching for them), and there's more information on areas that aren't as well covered on Matched Betting like Casino, Slots and Bingo offers (more options to earn money on).

...but it's far from perfect!

I've encountered numerous spelling mistakes, I think the site could be made more beginner friendly (although you get used to it), the general presentation is average at best, and the user experience isn't the slickest I've encountered with online membership sites. 

After speaking to Guy prior to investing in it, I felt the pro's outweighed the cons, and after using it for a couple of months, I would stand by that decision. 

As there is a lot of talk on Matched Betting right now, and this offer is out, perhaps even for a limited time, I thought I would share an affiliate link for those of you that are interested in trying it, but nervous about the initial £99+VAT outlay. 

Full Disclosure
If you click on the links within this post and sign up to the full membership after the 14 day trial, I will receive a commission from PM. 
This link adds no cost to you, and I have experience with using the site. I recommend this site because it's been able to make me money, very easily with Matched Betting, and not because I get a commission for it. 

I'm also happy to answer any questions on it's service based on my experience so far. So, please ask away!

The 14 day trial referral link is HERE

The full membership referral link is HERE

In any case, I hope some of you benefit from this £1 trial whilst it's running. Let me know if you try it out or if you have any questions on it. 

Have an awesome week everyone!

PS - I can't post it here on my Blog (that I'm aware of anyway), but if you'd like to use the same spreadsheet as Guy created for me to keep track of your Matched Betting bets, please send me a message on the 'contact me' section on the right hand side and I'll happily email you a copy.