Personal Growth/Advice Links
Art of Manliness -A men’s interest blog. It has practical advice on everything from developing charisma, to BBQ recipes and beer tasting tips, how to learn, and also philosophical discussions. As of this writing, their series on Men and Status is excellent at putting what many men struggle with in the modern world into perspective.
Tim Ferriss’ Blog – The author of the 4-Hour Body which changed my life as I lost 50 pounds when I was at a low-spot in my life. He also is the author of the 4- Hour Workweek, and the 4-hour Chef. He basically hacks life through slef-experimentation. He doesn’t do these “5 Life-hacks to Get Things done 2% Faster,” he finds the path of least resistance to get things done. He follows the 80/20 rules 20% of the effort gets you 80% of what you need to know, and finds ways to get that 20% done quicker.
Personal Finance/Investing Links
BiggerPockets – Bigger Pockets (BP) is basically a social network for real estate investors and the best starting spot. They have a free course called The Beginners Guide to Real Estate Investing. They have a weekly Podcast where they interview successful members of the website. Both of these are awesome ways to get educated. They have a blog where members write posts. They have calculators for rentals, flips, etc. to analyze deals.
The most important resource BP has is the BP Community. There are forums, ways to connect, etc. and it basically is a place for you to go give and get advice; share stories and information; and read through to learn. You can post your deal on the forums and ask people to analyze it, and they will usually look at your analyses and help you figure out whether it’s a good deal or not simply because they enjoy real estate. I have asked questions down to something about mudding drywall for my water heater closet.
Everyone wants to help other investors because real estate is not a zero-sum game and when you put good things out in the universe it pays you back with interest.
Also, totally worth it to pay for Plus, if not Pro membership if you are at all serious about real estate investing.
Vanguard – These are the most consumer friendly mutual funds on the planet. One of the big problems with retirement investing is that you get feed out the wazoo. So much so, that you might be losing 5% before your money even touches the market with front and back loads. Vanguard is a not for-profit company with low-fee, low-turnover funds. They have very good Target Retirement Date plans that automatically re-balance and invest based on the year that you plan on retiring and using that income.
If you open any sort of Roth IRA,IRA, or any other investment instrument, then use Vanguard. The only people who will you tell you otherwise either don’t know about investing, haven’t heard about Vanguard, prefer to self-manage, or work for the other guys!
Investopedia – Didn’t understand a lot of what was in the above link? Investopedia! It’s an opensource wiki for all things investing. It is a powerful tool to help you t know at least a little bit what your financial advisers are telling you.
YouNeedABudget (YNAB) – This is the budgeting program I use. I don’t know if it’s the best, but I like it. Their philosophy is to spend last months income this month, so you’re basically one month ahead on all of your expenses. I just like the interface.
Zillow – Find out prices, rents, expenses, home values, etc. about local real estate in any market. This source is sort of like Wikipedia in that it’s a good starting point for further research into real estate deals you’re looking at.. or to get a sort of rough snap shot of a market.
Nomadic Matt – When I was into extended round-the-world travel, I had two main travel blogs I went to for advice. This was the number one. Matt goes in depth into specific techniques to pull off extended travel such as travel hacking credit cards (taking advantage of sign-up onuses on travel rewards cards), city guides, as well as some food for the traveling soul to keep one motivated.
I also bought his book on How To Travel the World on $50 Per Day book. It was my bible for budget travel. If you want to travel for extended periods of time, this is THE book to read.
Wandering Earl – This was my number 2 resource. He does give a lot of specific advice (I would say Matt’s is better), but Earl has a lot better travel stories and experiences. He travels to some more dangerous places than Matt does too. He advocated getting work on a cruise ship as a way to travel around the world if you are penniless.
Couchsurfing – This is a site where people can stay at other people’s houses for free while traveling. It’s the best way to go since, yeah, it’s free, but it’s also great because you automatically are plugged in with a local. Sometimes they’ll want to hang out and talk; sometimes they have to go to work the whole time you’re there. I’ve had some give me a key to their house and go on with their lives, I’ve gone out on the town with some, and I’ve sight seen with some. Couchsurfing have been, by far, the best experiences I had while while traveling.
I know, I know, you’re thinking “super sketch” right? Well Couchsurfing has a review system. If you read the reviews people left hosts or surfers and they’re all good, then totally stay with them or have them stay with you. If you’re a female traveling solo, use common sense and don’t accept a request to surf with a guy who has no reviews and an incomplete profile.
Also, when you do send a request, send a personalized request, not some copy and paste message that you send out en masse. You’re more likely to end up with legit hosts. Also, send requests out like a month before if you can.
Help Exchange – Help Exchange brings together travelers and people looking for free help. You work in exchange for accomodation and/or food. This is how I came upon working at the Granada Inn in Granada, Spain and ended up doing historic walking tours, food tours, and pub crawls (although my original position was to change bed sheets). You could find a gig similar to this, or you may end up finding work on an organic farm in Italy. Or a Bed and Breakfast in Austria. Or volunteering at an English teaching school in Cambodia. It’s a great way to budget travel.
Another similar website is Workaway
Bleacher Report – Any sport or team that you like, you can get news and commentary here. It’s a great resource. It’s like part aggregator, part user-submitted content. I use this to get email updates about the 49ers and WWE.
Pro-Wrestling Torch – My favorite pro-wrestling news site. not sure why, but I like the commentary from Wade Keller and Bruce Caldwell who are the main writers. I like to read the opinions and get the backstage news. Read my post on Why I Watch Pro-Wrestling, How to Appreciate It, and a Brief Primer to understand why I like this sort of stuff.
Big Brothers Big Sisters – This organization matches under-served, mostly low-income youth who need adult role models with adult role models. I volunteer for this organization, but it’s not even really like volunteering. you get to hang out with someone and be a mentor. Often times these are children of single parents. They are usually good kids who are likely, with a little help and guidance, able to break the circle of poverty that plagues so many under-privileged youths. With your little you pretty much do fun things like laser tag, craft projects, or any activities that both of you enjoy doing or have wanted to try.
Dollar Shave Club – Order shaving supplies (razors, creams, etc.) monthly with a monthly subscription. Saves money on buying retail AND you don’t forget to buy razors and have to use the same damn razor for 3 weeks because you keep forgetting.
Wunderlist – My favorite personal productivity app. It helps you create lists of to-do, ideas, etc. It’s free for the basic and really, that’s all you need. I recommend just downloading it and trying it if you’re trying to find a good list app.
Screen Rant – My favorite movie/TV news site. I mostly only watch superhero/sci-fi stuff and this covers them really well. I check it every 3 or so weeks to check new news on Marvel/Starwars/DC movies, etc.
Richmond Tour Guys – My historic walking tour business. We do the best historic walking tours of Richmond.