Monthly Archives: March 2005

Does Adsense Make Sense?

Well, judging from the comments, it seems people like Google Adsense slightly more than I do. Apparently I could make around $50 to $70 a month based on my site traffic (some sources I got elsewhere seemed conflicting), but I still will not partake in the program.

This blog was made in order for me to track my financial goals and track my progress, making money off the site would taint that. I know I would constantly check how much money I’ve made, and start making more posts that appeal to a broader audience if site traffic dictated how much money I make.

I generally wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to make an easy $50 per month, but this time I’ll let it slide! For all you bloggers who do use Adsense, I’ll continue to give you a click on each visit :-)
Might as well help spread the wealth!

On another note, I go back to Houston on Friday where I will be selling some condos over Spring Break!

Google Adwords

I’m a big fan of blogs which I can take some information away from, but one thing I’ve noticed is the very annoying presence of Google Adwords. They look disgusting, clutter the page and make it known the author wants some money for their blog.

That may be a harsh review, but I’d like to ask anyone who uses Adwords: How much money do you make off them per month? Also, how many clicks equate to what amount of money? Leave comments please, I am very curious.

Unless they generate hundreds of dollars per month, I refuse to put them on my site. I did a bit of research, and could find no reports of personal finance bloggers reporting their profits from Adwords.

I have a friend who runs a popular skiing website which makes a pretty comfortable living off Adwords, but his site gets a massive amount of traffic and draws people actively looking to make reservations, find new ski lodges etc.

Help me solve this question! Anyone with Adwords on their blog, let me know what you net!

Financial Update

Since January 1st, 2005 I have made $2,213 out of my $11,000 goal for April 31st, 2005. Need to step this up! I’ve got less than 2 months and the goal is only 20% complete so far.

My investment account topped $1,000 after I distributed my work paycheck into different accounts. When it does this I usually put $500 into my stock portfolio, but I am holding off right now as other projects are in the works and may need some captial. The permanent savings account has reached the $6,000 mark and looks like it may need a new home. It is sitting there gaining some paultry interest rate.

I got my paycheck from work today, and I immediately stashed it away with the following percentages:

Investment Account – 35%
Permanent Savings – 35%
Spending Account – 20%
Bill Account – 10%
So out of a $271 paycheck I get to spend only 54 bucks on entertainment etc.

Current Financials:
General Account – $ 1,654
Spending Account – $ 85
Investment Account – $ 1,085
Bill Account – $ 327
Permanent Savings – $ 6,052
Stock Portfolio Value – $ 9,278
Total Liquid Assets – $ 18,481 (+240)

Bright and Sunny Monday

Syntel (SYNT), a stock of which I own 180 shares is giving out a $1.50 per share dividend at the end of March. This equates to a nice $270 “gift” for me :-)
The dividend announcement and declaration of a strong financial future has sent the Syntel stock upwards the last few days, putting me back in the black on this holding.

I’ve been focusing lately on stashing away some stocks for the long long long term, 30 or 40+ years. I have a few stocks in mind, but one area I want to further explore is batteries. Regardless of its function, pretty much every mobile device is getting more advanced, and using more energy.

I would like to invest in several firms or a fund specializing in long-lasting energy supplies for mobile devices. Battery technology has perpetually lagged behind the devices that they supply, and within my lifetime I expect that to change. I love my tablet PC and the portability it offers, but I hate having to plug in every 4 and a half hours. The convenience of a device which does not have to be charged every day would be worth paying for.

A company with a patented battery that could power different devices (phones, laptops, radios, golf carts etc.) for long periods would be a sure money maker, and a great stock to own!

Money to Make Money?

I don’t like the phrase “It takes money to make money”

If this were the case, no one would ever obtain wealth. Someone who cannot make money without money, probably can’t make money with money either.

When you have money, you simply have a larger variety of money-making avenues to choose from. I’d like to revise the quote to say: “It’s easier to make money with money”

When you are strapped for cash you simply have to be more creative to make your money!

Crazy Business Ideas – Part 3

I’m sharing some more of the ideas I randomly write down in my tablet PC which could possibly be big money makers. Feel free to comment on these!

1.) Drycleaning ATM. Picking up dry cleaning during regular business hours is a pain, and very frustrating when you need certain clothes. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a dry cleaning ATM? Drycleaners would LOVE this since it would eliminate the need for a person to attend the store for long hours. You could pick-up and drop off clothes at this ATM which would hold your account information on a current credit card or something of the sort. You could even type special cleaning instructions. The drawbacks to this system are: it would initially be expensive to install, the building where the dry cleaner is located would have to be specially outfitted with this system. If you could find a way to make an affordable and easy to use system like this, it would change the face of dry cleaning!

2.) Wind Energy. Wind farms are popping up everywhere. The only problem with wind farms are the price. Wind generated turbines are absolutely massive. The blades get larger than the span of a Boeing 747. Once set up in a good location these things generate killowatts of energy every year that you sell to the power company. Most power companies will give you a contract that buys 100% of the electricity you produce. These also qualify to get certain tax breaks, great for any large investment. An interesting note: In Austin they have a program where you can opt to buy only “green” electricity from the city. In just two years the demand for this clean energy has risen over 5-fold, meaning this type of clean energy is in high demand. Be warned, the small investor will have a hard time breaking into this market….BUT…an enterprising person with a small budget but lots of motivation can get funding from other investors easier than with other large products. This is because you can easily get a contract from an electric company to buy 100% of your product (electricity) for 10+ years.

3.) Tablet PC’s. This is more of a trend than business idea. I have a Toshiba Portege Tablet PC, and I LOVE it. It is basically a regular laptop, but the mouse can be controlled with a pen. You can also flip the screen around and write directly on the screen, and it feels exactly like writing on paper. Have no doubt, the tablet trend will continue. I generally use it in regular laptop mode, but I use the pen instead of the mouse pad because the pen is FAR superior and faster. If you can identify a need for tablet PC’s you can make a ton of money by getting in this budding market early. A family friend who sells wholesale computer equipment said, “I sell A LOT of tablet PC’s, especially to large institutions and government agencies.” The only idea I have to improve my tablet experience is the pen. You use it a lot, and it might be cool to have “customized tablet pens”. These are more sophisticated than a regular stylus, as the screen is not touch sensitive (like a PDA), but the pen is what senses the touch. Most people don’t realize this important difference. I’m sure if you play around with a Tablet enough you can find some other device that can make the experience more enjoyable. The most money in the tablet-improvement field will probably be in the software area, not hardware.

Wall Street Journal Mention

I was interviewed by Wall Street Journal Online reporter Terri Cullen on Monday afternoon, and the article is out today:

Blogs Expose Personal Finance: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The article features other blogs such as:
The Budgeting Babe
Neville’s Financial Blog
Savvy Saver blog

Congrats to everyone who got a mention!

I really liked a particular quote Terri had:
“Another thing I liked about the blogs I visited was that most have yet to be consumed by the omnivorous beast that is GoogleAdSense.”

Robert Sek

Yesterday was an incredibly hectic day, but I just HAD to take time to see this guy speak. His name is Robert Sek. I first met him when he came to judge a Texas Entrepreneurs idea competition last year.

I think all the entrepreneurs out there would love to hear a condensed version of his story:

  • His parents immigrated from Poland to the U.S. in hopes of making a better life for their children.
  • He started his entrepreneurial career and the young age of 5 by selling bubblegum in kindergarten, mowing lawns in middle school and developing web sites in high school etc. to make a buck.
  • At 15 he researched during one summer break for 3 months about the legality of f ake I D’s vs. n.ove lty I D ‘s, finding that nov e1ty ID’s were 100% legal to sell because of a loophole he had found in the federal laws pertaining to ID cards.
  • With this information in hand, he knew there was a legal way to make the ID’s. He then researched the in’s and out’s of starting a business.
  • In his freshman year of college at the University of Texas in the Jester dorm (Same place where I lived!) he started his online n0v elty I D business.
  • He went around the campus door-to-door trying to sell them with no success and a lot of discouraging words from friends.
  • He then received his first order online. He charged $120 for an ID that cost him $.25 (yes, a quarter)
  • Everytime he checked his mailbox he got more and more orders, sometimes 50+ at a time.
  • In his freshman year he pulled in profits of $500,000! The next year he broke $1,000,000.
  • The next year, the Senate held a sub-committee meeting on F a k e ID’s and the internet to close the loophole Robert had discovered. As the current largest player in the online ID business, the government went after Sek’s business just 20 days before he was about to shut it down himself. They went into his West Campus condo and confiscated everything they could find.
  • No laws were broken and he decided to shut the business down.
  • With his new found wealth he became an angel investor for several startup dot com’s (This was during the internet boom in Austin).
  • He started a number of companies, some of which were bought out, some of which failed.
  • He lost a lot of money in the dot com bust, but then made it back through other ventures such as international trading, high-tech startups, online dating sites and much more.
  • He is currently the founder of an upcoming company ThermaCode which has patented a barcode technology that reports when changes in temperature have occurred. With a great technology and Robert Sek at the helm, I don’t think this company will have any trouble making untold fortunes!

The guy is a great speaker, extremely successful in his 20’s and mentors many college students on starting their own companies. It’s always great to hear him speak.

New Article

I had another article published today in the Daily Texan on savings for college students. You can check out the article online here.

The article has a few quotes from a fellow blogger at All Thing Financial. Thanks JLP!

February Goal

I set a goal for 2-28-2005 to have made $3,500 since January 1st 2005. The goal was not met. So far I have only made $1,942 since January 1st, that isn’t good enough.

I have a new goal coming up set for 3-15-2005 which looks like a challenge, especially since I have only 15 days left to accomplish it. It states “Have a third, steady, side income.” I currently have my online business and my job as steady sources of income. I will not count web design and other small projects as a steady source of income. 15 days to come out with a new business that brings in good profits month after month, can I meet the goal?

As for the February goal of making $3,500, it was made to keep me on course to making $11,000 by 4-31-2005. At the rate I am going I will only make half of that.

I’m still a full time student right now, but that is no excuse not to meet these monetary goals! Taking a look back to see why I didn’t reach that goal I noticed a few things:

  • I didn’t fully exploit the money making power of
  • Didn’t set up a 3rd, steady income. My current online business and job put together cannot make much more than they already are.
  • No shorter term stock trades. I do not claim profit on a stock unless I sell it. All my current holdings are long term. My last goals were met through big gains in stock.

On the other hand, I have another article in the Daily Texan, this time on personal finance and savings for college students. I will post the link tommorrow.