Heyoo, time for our November income report!
I’ll start with 2 life updates.
One, I started a new job. I’ll talk more about that in a later report perhaps since I’m still getting the lay of the land. But it’s definitely a waaay different business from my last gig at Redfin and it brings a whole new set of learning opportunities. I’m excited!
Two, as I mentioned last month, I’m working on a personal side project that’s taking a ton of time right now, so unfortunately I didn’t crank out a big new case study again in November. I did push an update regarding new tax rates and retirement account contribution limits for 2017, but that was it. Things will continue to slow down for the next few months, but I do still plan to push out case studies periodically, albeit at a slower clip for a while.
OK, onto our results! In November, I booked revenue of $4,410.
This was actually down -20% year over year. The reason is because of a one-time inflation in revenue last year. A year ago, I did some one-off consulting work that brought in a spike in revenue for one month. Excluding that consulting work and just focusing on the passive income part of the business, we grew +58% year over year.
What were our November highlights and what’s coming up next?
What progress did I make?
1. Continued to look for real estate
Our real estate search has slowed to a trickle. There’s basically zero inventory coming online right now. The market has hibernated for the winter, so we’re probably gonna have to grit our teeth and buckle down for the next 4-6 months and check back again next spring when new homes start getting listed again. By then, hopefully home prices soften a bit from their 2016 highs.
Unhappily, though, mortgage rates have also spiked – a LOT – since the presidential election:
This could make it significantly more costly to finance real estate investments if the trend continues through next year. Rates spiked half a percent in just a few days!
This is because the money markets expect Trump to de-regulate Wall Street, cut taxes, and spend a ton of money on defense and infrastructure, which will benefit corporate profits (and their stock valuations) while increasing the cost of borrowing for everyone, including homebuyers, as investors / companies compete for access to capital.
Looks like we don’t need to wait for that December Fed meeting after all: we’re getting our dose of interest rate hike now.
2. Twitter followers: ~866
HYW is getting closer and closer to 1k followers — hopefully we can break that milestone by end of year!
3. Credit card bonuses
We plan to get a new laptop in December (with a nice year-end tax write-off), so Kelly got a new BarclayCard Arrival+ World Elite Mastercard plus a new Chase Freedom Unlimited card. With the laptop purchase, we’ll fulfill the bonus spending requirements for both easily within a month.
Unfortunately, she got bounced on her application for a Chase United MileagePlus card. She hit that annoying 5/24 rule, which means both our card signup options will be limited for the next several months while we wait for our previous card signups to “work their way through the python” aka statute of limitations period.
So, we’ll likely down-pedal our new card activity for a while unless a great deal comes along that isn’t restricted by the 5/24 rule.
And we’ve got our calendars marked: when the rule expires, we’ll rev up our engines again. 🙂
Bonus points carry real rewards, friends.
1. Continue to search for real estate
We’re still looking to buy a new home, but given that the real estate market is in the lulls right now, plus with the way mortgage rates have skyrocketed following the presidential election, who knows how long it might be before the right opportunity comes up?
I am actively monitoring new listings every day, but geez, pickings are slim right now.
2. Grow traffic + roundup post
Given how busy my side project was this past month, I didn’t spend much time developing new case study material or growth hacking.
Bad on me.
Let’s see if we can score some small wins before end of year. Last month, I talked about wanting to set monthly email signup goals going forward. Here’s my December goal:
Current subs: 249
December target: 280
December is a slow month, but since it’s also end of year, one tactic I can do is a short year-end roundup post where I solicit advice from 5-10 experts on some personal finance, tax planning, or real estate investing topic and then share out that advice here. That’ll be some nice new content + help with a few traffic-boosting shares as well.
In fact, as I’m thinking about that while typing this, I’m gonna try that in December and let you know how it goes next month.
And, well, that pretty much sums up November.
Question: What topic are you curious to learn from other experts about via a roundup post? Let me know in the comments below!