How I Have 700+ Connections on LinkedIn at 23 Years Old

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Yes I have 700+ connections. Yes I am only 23 years old. But how? It’s easy!


At first I had the goal in mind, get to that illustrious “500+ Connections” mark. Once you hit 500 on LinkedIn your public profile no longer counts how many you have. You could have 501, 546, or 859 it will still say “500+”. Anything under 500 is that exact number. When I first started my LinkedIn it was 2010 and I was a sophomore in high school. I made one because I was interested in having a profile on a social media platform, and way back then LinkedIn was way more basic looking than what it has become today.

How I first started, even back then, is still the same way you start with LinkedIn today. Uploading contacts through your email, and the best part is you can now use every email you have. By uploading multiple contacts through different emails you can make connections with anyone you have ever had an email conversation with, if they are on LinkedIn. That is how i get (and got) the bulk of my connects I have today.

Another way I have made connections is by adding family and friends, people I went to high school and college with, and so on. Uploading your personal contacts will help with this, and then LinkedIn suggests certain users you may want to connect with because of who you just requested or who just added you.

Lastly the thing I try to do to make my profile on LinkedIn as professional as possible is i add people who i have made a legitimate connection with who can possibly help me in one way or another. I start with any professor I am (or have) taking a class with. They are people who are specifically hired to help students connect their experience to the real world of which the student is interested or studying to get better in. After a semester is over if I feel like the professor and I were on the same page, I usually find and add them. The same thing goes for when I go to a professional event, or a speaker series. You find out if that person is on LinkedIn and hope to make a connection either with them or someone else in their circle.

Feel free to connect with me:

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How to Win the SnapChat IPO Without Buying the Stock (Coming Soon)





The two leading underwriters of the SNAP IPO ($SNAP) recently were noted as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. A close third position was JP Morgan. It is important to follow how many shares each one offered and how each of those investment banks made off because of the IPO. Snap Inc is seen as a loser, namely because it has actually lost almost a billion last year. They spend way too much and have not yet found out how to capture their extremely young audience ad dollars. A lot of young people use Snap… And as a side note lets be real, they are not a “Camera Company”. They are a photographic social media company using real time technology.

Morgan Stanley led the way. Which is why they are the featured stock of this story. How do you beat a loser in the market when they launch their IPO? Buy the underwriter. In this case Morgan Stanley as the lead will make the most money from the offering because of fees charged to Snap for the process and how much they had to offer to funds and insurance companies.

“According to SEC filings, lead underwriter Morgan Stanley got 60 million Snap shares, or, 30.2 percent of the shares given to underwriters — which would mean $25.71 million in fees, the biggest cut of any bank”.

This is big because when it comes to quarterly earnings, especially year over year (YoY) Morgan Stanley should see a jump in earnings due to the slow growth of the IPO market from last year. So take a look at the numbers and perhaps Morgan Stanley is the real winner here.

One last thing to note: Saudi ARAMCO Oil deal scheduled for 2018 is also expected to have Morgan Stanley lead the deal, and will be if it goes through the largest IPO ever valued at pre-IPO around $2 Trillion. For more info on the Snap IPO, check out the links below.


** In interest of full disclosure the author does own shares in Morgan Stanley (MS), but not Snap (SNAP). **

** Please check out a prospectus and look at your own risk before investing in anything, if you choose to. **

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Why Millennials Are Not Leaving Home


Mortgage rates are down slightly again, but first time home buying has slowed down and even dipped. In 2015 the percentage of first time home buyers was at 32%. Contrary to the expectation, the reality is that recent grads and others in the younger portion of the Millennial group have more expenses than other generations.

  • Gas
  • Food
  • Going out
  • Rent
  • Student Loans
  • Car Loans
  • Insurance
  • Retirement

I could rattle off a few more but for now these will do. So lets pick out and explain a few:

Going out: This may seem like an easy one to cut out if your an older generation, but the truth is we like to have fun. Going out makes us forget the rest of the bullshit on this list so no we wont get rid of this one. Now, we might limit how much we go out in a week or month, but not going out at all is not an option when clipping expenses.

Student Loans: This one will keep us from buying homes and living at home the most drastically. The range for some loan balance a month is between $200 and $1,000. That additional expense should be a mortgage payment, and now it is not. The amount on average borrowed for a 4 year education is $30,000, or a good-sized down payment.


Insurance: The rising costs of insurance (Medical, Car, etc) is not cheap anymore. In 2015 the average cost for Millennials insurance was $486 a month. Insurance is not wanted but needed, and many of us see it as unnecessary, especially because we can stick to our parents plan until we’re 26.

Retirement: For older generations this might be the saddest reality for the younger generations knowing the fact that 80% of Millennials do not invest. Investing can be anything, but in this case it’s stocks, which are a basic form of investing when you do not know how bonds, annuities, 401k, ROTH or Traditional IRA’s work.

Photo Courtesy: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson

In turn, all these things add up. And if you look at this list of common Millennial expense, the fact that workplace wage increases have been happening do not really help. You can increase the amount of money you pay someone, but it does not matter when their list of expenses grows higher than your increase. One thing that some bigger companies how incorporated into their pay packages (Like having an automatic 401k option) is paying off their workers student loan debt.

Still, living at home seems like a good option and the housing market will continue to slow down if some of these things are not looked at. No one cares or looks at “Net Worth”, or considers the impact of owning a house with tax benefits and and tying it to retirement.


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Why Free College Is A Dumb Idea



                There are few things hotter in the mind of Millennial’s and the generation under us than free college. It is being talked about on the campaign trail and is being spoken of nationally as a debate raging on with the youth on one side and the older generations representatives on the other. It all stems from good reason: The student loan debt bubble that has formed. The younger generations either going to be, currently in, or have gone to college within the last lets say 10 years are in the bubble with an enormous amount of debt, so much that the cost of living rising and wages not growing enough across the board to keep up with both has brought us to the issue of free college.


Although I am part of this issue very much as anyone else in my generation of Millennial’s, I see the issue from both sides. Some of the arguments for free college are not feasible, which is what many of my peers fail to see. Another part is it is easy to say if you want to go to college you acknowledge the debt you will accumulate, or don’t go at all which is what older generations are saying really is not a great argument either.

Why it is a great idea; The argument for free college:

  1. Minimizing debt and shrinking it (You cannot eliminate it) would definitely help down the line. Older generations will not understand because they have made money through ups and downs of job and market volatility yet have started careers after attending colleges and university’s for pennies compared to todays costs.
  2. More people will go if the costs are lowered and that will lead to more leaders and innovation that come from post secondary education.
  3. The least the government could do is give interest free loans. The same consequences for default, just no profiting off kids who are in school.

Why free college is a dumb idea:

  1. Just because college is tuition free does not mean that the school cannot increase your fees. It is endless cycle if that happens because then if tuition is free and the protest get what they want, the school can raise the fees very easily and then there will be protests about that.
  2. Most students going to school today do not understand how economics and socioeconomics works. If you are in a Bachelor’s Degree program for art history or criminal justice you are not taught for the most part how certain things affect other when you give and take, just because the fact that’s not what your program involves. So to someone going to school free college sounds great, but they fail to realize the outcome is not feasible. Someone has to pay for the free college because states get “X” amount of money from the tuition paid, where would that money come from afterward?

These are the factors of the debate that is pressing this issue so much. As much as I am for free college, it just doesn’t work like that. I am a finance student and I can tell you from what I have learned in the classroom, to read from the experts this is not a possible long term solution.

My suggestion is to start with the loans by having them carry zero percent interest rates. After that a more sizable solution would be either no fees for out of state tuition at state schools, or tuition free community colleges.

Why Facebook Should Buy Square


The floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
The floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Facebook is coming off its highest stock price since… Well, ever. After hitting the $100.00 per share mark last week Facebook’s value was around $230 billion earlier this year (Pre $100.00 per share). Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014 and saw WhatsApp’s potential with its 450 million users. Now WhatsApp has grown to 900 million users, so whatever Mark Zuckerberg saw was very clear.

Facebook is becoming a behemoth. In a few ways Tim Cook and Mark Zuckerberg are very similar people when it comes to how they view competition and the importance of mergers and acquisitions. Cook and Apple bought Beats from Dr Dre in 2014 for $3 billion. Zuckerberg and Facebook bought Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion absolute bargain. Facebook has also bought WhatsApp and Oculus in 2014. Oculus was bought for $2 billion.1431862470600

What do a photo sharing app, an international instant messenger app, and a virtual reality video game company have in common with Facebook? Well if you break it down like that each one compliments a part of Facebook. Instagram with the photo’s uploaded, WhatsApp is like Facebook’s Messenger, and Oculus provides the option of virtual reality with not where Facebook’s position is today in social media’s intensive media sharing, but for where Facebook could explore going in the future.

Now how does Square come into play? if you think about how careful Facebook has bought the companies it has acquired, one could definitely see why Square and Facebook would be a perfect match. The prices Zuckerberg paid for Instagram and Oculus for the “bargain” billion and two billion dollar respectively make Facebook a visionary company to go shopping at the dollar store for billion dollar private companies in the lower range but could provide value down the road. WhatsApp could be considered a bargain for the $19 billion paid based on how many users it had at the time and how many Facebook not only projected but also guessed right to how many it has grown too.jack-dorsey-techcrunch-disrupt-sf-2012_pop_20294

Square is founded and run by Jack Dorsey, who also founded and is back as the current CEO of Twitter. Square filed for its IPO on 11/06/2015, and it came in lower than most expected… $2 billion under to be exact. This could be a play for Facebook, or any other large company with a lot of dollars to spend because of the low valuation. A mobile payments platform is what Facebook should turn to for its next acquisition. Square would be a perfect fit for Facebook for not where it is right now, but again where it could go. Having payments processed through Facebook should be something seen as a way to get users to have one-stop platform to do everything.

This could be seen as a conflict because Facebook is a competitor of Twitter, of which Dorsey also runs. But that could be taken out of his hands once Square goes public. Dorsey will probably stay with Twitter as CEO for the long term, because the task of trying to lift two separate companies from slow revenue growth problems will be too hard to handle all at once and he could probably do better with Twitter anyway.

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Why Technology Might Be The Saving Grace For Millennials When It Comes To Debt

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          Technology is changing so quickly today. Which could be an advantage for Millennials. After all, this is the generation that brought Baby Boomers and Generation X’ers Facebook. Now its up to the Millennials to figure out how to use their technological advances to their advantage. And that means making money.

When it comes to debt Millennials have to worry about their education undertaking more than anything. Going to school has never cost so much as it does today. As I mentioned in a previous post of Why College Today Is Like a Country Club, the cost to attend college and gain new perspectives and basic knowledge of the newest tech being released is considered astronomical today than it was even 10 years ago.

Technology today including developing of apps, new websites, interactive products like Amazons Fire Tablet or iPads, social media content is all in the hands of Millennials and the development is a dog fight for getting these things finished and out the quickest.

Now when it comes to making money Millennials need to steer these new products and advances toward figuring out their debt. Paying off debt is on just about every Millennials mind who is in college currently or already graduated. A Forbes article relayed how much Millennials think about their debt when they showcased how about 30% of Millennials surveyed said they would sell an organ to pay off debt.

That is extreme, which is why I am saying we need to harness this power of technology and use it to our advantage. The bubble of student loan debt could burst sooner rather than later and debt needs to be reconfigured to seem more

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manageable. Something’s got to give which is when a tipping point could be seen. How will Millennials use tech to their advantage when it comes to making money? Maybe something like the San Francisco Chronicle’s article about companies agreeing to pay off their employees debt (In one instance mentioned in the article) for about 6 years that they are with the company.

The SFC article is on to something. Tech companies and tech start ups should start offering such programs. This will almost all but guarantee top talent if you agree to sign on to something like that. Company-wise it makes sense too. In the instance of paying off employee debt for 6 years will this will create longer term employees. It is a win-win. If Millennials ask for it they receive it.


Why College Today is Like a Country Club



The Nitty Gritty Costs

Today’s post-secondary education is becoming more inclusive than it was even a few years ago. The average cost for all institutions (4 year and 2 year schools; Both public and private) for 2014-2015 school year, which is a full year or two semesters as a full time student $20,403. 10 years ago, the 2004-2005 school year was $13,793. In just 10 years total tuition, room and board has increased $6,610 for a school year (32% increase).

The reason I say country club is because an average per year spent on college where the usual 12 credit minimum or 4 classes is $20,403 as stated above, or $10,201.50 a semester for those 4 classes, some of which if you are a freshman are dummy classes. Dummy classes meaning things that absolutely have nothing to do with your career path but you have to take it because it supposed to make you more well rounded. If I am spending $10,201.50 for 4 classes how would you feel if what you learn is elementary or not gauging. But those are the college and university rules you have to play by which is really how they make money off you when it comes to classes, because you have to take not just one but many of these classes before you get to core classes.

$20k for just one year is back-breaking for many Americans to set aside or fork up for anything. College and getting a degree should be seen still as a higher achievement as its been. Now throw in considering dropping out because you were told that as a chosen marketing major you have to learn about art history, or do yoga, or geology. Not only did you learn absolutely nothing about marketing but now you are not in school and have to take a lower paying job because the horizon was not as golden as once thought to be. Not to mention the debt after one year.

What Is Offered


A college offers a few products that make it money on two fronts.

  1. A professors research: A university is a place where the faculty and professors are really there for one thing and that is research. The split might be 80% doing studies or research and the other 20% in class time. Anything the professor discovers will have credit be given to the school. In return they get almost a lifetime job (Tenure) and any awards in the field of the research they did.
  2. Sports: Updating facilities, fields, fitness centers to attract some of the most physically gifted and talented high school kids in the country. Then stadiums, pavilions, coliseums to draw large crowds and get as many fans as possible to watch and take in the experience of how the team was built to win and compete.

Both those things are really what makes a specific college or university a draw to the person applying (Undergrad or graduate). Athletic programs that build teams with talent will attract out-of-state applicants which means much higher fees being paid at public schools. A professors research will bring the minds and academically driven applicants. Professors are the product that a school offers because when you attend the learning experience is supposed to be the best.

Country Club Mentality

With high costs of college comes a more hostile relationship between teacher and student. Not only is a student biding their time for four years until they can get out with a degree, but they do it while going into a world of uncertainty when it comes to employment after finishing. Now that you are paying for school and competition between colleges in local and national settings is higher the goal is to have the best teachers with experience that the students can draw from. Realistically no one should fail a college class.

I am of the belief if you show up as a full time student to every class or just about every class there is no way you or anyone else can fail. This is why I say hostile. If you fail a class or are in risk of failing a class then you might be at that school for longer than expected and that is really not the objective when costs are so high. That can lead to arguments and who is right? You ” want to get your moneys worth ”  and you clearly are not if you are failing a class. Only those with money will be able to absorb failing a class. This sets the mentality that only the rich can afford to hang around college for four years. You cant fail or not graduate on time without a degree while costs are so high, so the gap will widen in low retention and high drop out rates.

The Bubble


Millennials face their own bubble and it will pop, possibly very soon. The bubble that is focused on is student debt, but another one could be forming in the attending of college. Not only for graduates who racked up high debt after leaving four years with a degree, but also the people who only spent one or two years in college but left without the potential for earning power that comes with a degree. The costs must come down or else the country club will be a very limited membership. The lack of jobs after graduating and slow rising income levels make attending college less and less what it used to be especially after throwing in the cost of attendance.