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!

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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: LinkedIn.com

Photo sources: https://business.linkedin.com/marketing-solutions/ads

https://www.princetonlibrary.org/event/linkedin-expanded/

How to Win the SnapChat IPO Without Buying the Stock

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04/06/2017

 

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. **

Featured image photo credit: snapchat.com

 

Articles used to back up stats:

 http://work.chron.com/ipo-underwriter-do-3841.html

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/03/snap-ipo-what-wall-street-banks-made.html

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/02/snaps-going-public-heres-how-an-ipo-actually-works.html

Why Millennials Are Not Leaving Home

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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.

SONY DSC
 Source: Unspalsh.com

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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Cover photo: Startup Stock Photos

 

Why Student Loan Debt Is Out Of Hand

 

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Let me start by saying myself, my sister, most of my friends, and even some of my other family members are in the same boat on this subject. Right now the average 4 year public college/university debt in Massachusetts (Where I live) is $29,391, and the school that I go to has 81% of graduates graduate with debt*. Right when you get out of school you already have almost $30k in debt, over 10 years and a 5% interest rate means $3,150 in repayments, or $263 a month for the next 10 years.untitled-infographic

If those numbers already gave you a headache, then good because you’re reading this and now start to realize how crippling this debt is becoming and it will only get worse. I myself am a Finance major so I will be seeing a lot more of those numbers over the course of my lifetime because everyone will be analyzing and waiting for the student debt bubble to burst.

It is called a bubble because certain people are affected and if it bursts, everyone including those outside of it are affected. The problem is in large part the Government. Since most public Universities are funded through taxes and fees, a schools tuition rises when taxes go up. This will cause a two fold outcome:

  1. More people my age and younger either will not pursue college at all, or choose to not add more to their personal debt by going for a Masters or Ph. D.
  2. People will default left and right because of this now additional expense has gotten so high.

As a society and Americans we pride ourselves on being THE best. That will fall off if more people around the world are either obtaining higher degrees elsewhere, or if Americans altogether cannot afford to get some type of degree. The Government can do something by not adding interest to Govt loans, and overall decrease the cost of going to a public 4 year University/College. It makes sense how private colleges and Universities increase costs because you chose to go there and most likely have the money to do so. But when a PUBLIC school raises costs, it affects the kids and adults who go there a lot more.

college-debt
Photo: cbsnews.com

Now it is not impossible to say that obtaining and  repaying your student loans is not impossible, as it is in most cases where you have 10 years to pay back. But the interest accruing should not be necessary for the U.S. Government. Think about it, the Government charges you to go to school while you pay taxes at your part-time (Or full-time) job to help pay off those interest charges. Double whammy on you.

For a great online calculator to show what your annual income needs to be in order to pay off the amount of loans you have: https://mappingyourfuture.org/paying/debtwizard/index.cfm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Numbers based on 2014 stats from http://ticas.org/posd/map-state-data-2015#overlay=posd/state_data/2015/ma

Other sources: http://www.cnbc.com/2015/06/15/the-high-economic-and-social-costs-of-student-loan-debt.html

Infographic By: Thinc Social

Why You Should Bank Locally

Lifestyle/Money:

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Money is always a sensitive subject. Where you put it and what you do with it should not be.

I for one, hate big banks. My first checking account was with Citizens Bank back in 2010 when I got my first job. I was with them for about 3 years, until I left the University I was at and came back home. The school I attended did not have any Citizens Banks around, and my mother was not a member. It was hard for her to transfer me money, and I did not have a job so me being away from home I could not make deposits or have others do it on my behalf. On top of that because I was not using my account very much and kept a low minimum balance of almost zero dollars, I was charged $10.00 a month in fees when I did not use my account and carried a zero balance. The second I got home I could not believe such a big bank did that kind of thing and I was pissed so I withdrew the little money I had left in it and closed the account.

Now the same thing can be said for the next big bank I chose, Bank of America. They have it setup so you have to have a minimum every month of $25.00, or where we rounded to $7.00 a week transferred between your checking and into your savings, in order to avoid fees. Now the real pain of it all that is you better not need that money because you’ll be slapped with a fee if that balance is not transferred every month. And then you can get around it by once a month, at the end of the month, transferring that money back into your checking. It is a useless cycle and a game I quit as well. When I went to close my account with BofA after almost 2 years of having it open, the guy behind the counter asked why and I told him I was going to a smaller bank, a local community one. He tried swaying me and even told me my account had been in such good shape, that I never carried a zero balance or overdrafted, that I could easily apply and be accepted for their credit card. I smiled and said “I’m all set, but thanks”.

The reason I say all of this is pointless is because now I bank with a very local community green_moneybank. One that donates money to a different charity every month based on a certain pledged dollar amount from however many checking accounts they open that month. There are only two locations of this bank, and yet they charge me absolutely zero fees a month for having an account and not using it if I do not want to. No minimum balances, and no monthly fees. All I had to do was start it with $10.00, that’s it. There are many deals like this if you look around you.

Some sources to bank at, other than a big bank:

  1. Credit Unions.
  2. Online banks (Simple, CapitalOne 360, Barclays.)
  3. Local banks (Such as the one I go to, they usually have no more than 2 or 3 locations.)
  4. Regional banks (Banks only found in your state.)

Many local banks will give you better options at getting a car loan, or a loan for a home with a good mortgage rate %. It is important to pay attention to how the banks go about their business, and what that means for you in return. There is no reason to pay ridiculous fees today to put your money someplace, and it is the ones who care the most (Like a local bank), that will show you. There is nothing wrong with banking at a big bank, just look at the fees and make sure you know how to get around being hit with them every month. And if that does not suit you, switch locally.

 

 

 

 

This was an unpaid post.

5 Ways To Save Money With Small Changes

 

Lifestyle/Finance:

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There are always ways in which we do things that might not always lead to the best outcome, and most of the time that involves how we spend money. Here are a few ways we came up with saving more just by not always doing exactly what you’ve always done:

 1. Not Driving: By picking one day a week, especially if you live in the suburbs, without driving can lead to spending less on gas. You can do this if you live in the city too. If you live in the city and commute to another place in the city or outside of the city, choosing to not drive on a Saturday or Sunday and planning ahead to driving to do activities or visit people on one of those days, but not both. Even with gas at low prices its better to save a day of not driving and hanging out at home getting things done.

2. Go Out Every Other Weekend: If you go out to a bar or club every weekend, assuming Friday and Saturday chances are you spend a lot every weekend. That’s usually how people blow their money on a weekend and I’m not knocking you if that’s what you do. bridge-beerBut going out every other weekend will save you a lot more in the long weekend. It might get old really quick if you go out every weekend already.

3. Budgeting For Quick Food Stops: This includes fast food, coffee, other things that if you are not at a restaurant or eating at home something you picked up from the store that should last a week is included here. Get a jar in put in it $20 a month. Every time you get coffee, a burrito, a pack of almonds or whatever use only that money and put the left over amount each time back into the jar, see how far it gets you if you are disciplined enough.

4. Bank Differently: If you are unhappy about how little you get in APY for your bank-buildingchecking/savings account at you big bank, try banking locally. Shop around rates and benefits and see who offers what. Most big banks charge monthly account fees for non-usage or require a certain amount be deposited every month to not get hit with a fee, look into a regional or local bank because they most likely will not do this. When I was younger my first account was with a large bank and when I went off to college away from home I was hit every month with a $10 fee because I did not deposit into the account, and that hurt. I learned my lesson and moved on to banking locally with a bank that donates to a different charity in the community once a month, support the small businesses and banks and they will support you.

5. Do All The Small Things: This could be getting air in your tires once a month, which will help save in gas mileage. Or take all your empty soda bottle or alcohol cans/bottles back to the deposit for the money. To also doing laundry once a week all in one day. There are a variety of small things  that we do day-to-day that sometime we do not realize add up to costing us.

The goal of this is to get you to think about what do you do in an ordinary day and how can you change what you do to not cost anything, or cost very little. When it comes to your bottom line. Most businesses (Or successful ones at that) do this at least every week to minimum once a month by tracking all the little things because sometime those go unnoticed unlike the bigger things, yet all add up to how efficiently you operate.

 

 

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Image sources: http://cdn.fiscalgeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/bank-building.jpg

www.esquaredelectrical.com

thebridgestl.com

 

 

 

 

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

Lifestyle/Personal Finance:

Photo Courtesy: www.apptentive.com

          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

Photo Courtesy: truthdig.com

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.

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Photos: http://www.truthdig.com/images/cartoonuploads/cbe0603cd-college-debt-500.jpg

http://www.apptentive.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/millennials-stock.jpg