Time has flown and this blog has gathered some dust. I have been working on some other projects namely my affiliate site. My freelance writers haven’t been producing many articles, so I’ve stepped up to the plate. It has been fun to churn out the content. I mostly write product reviews, and it feels good to hit publish, knowing that each article is planting a seed that will result in more income. The Google gods have been fickle to my affiliate website. They always have, but in the past few months I saw traffic climb, only to plummet after a new algorithm update. In the past couple weeks traffic appears to have been coming back. Knock on wood. I won’t hold my breath, but I have invested so much time and energy into that site. It’s really a labor of love. It would be great to see it gain more traction and really take off.
I have also been spending a lot of time looking at real estate. I have been trying to study the market, and I even made an offer the other week. The offer was rejected without a counter, so it’s back to the MLS to hunt for more deals. I have been giving real estate a great deal of thought now that I have a little capital to invest. I was originally trying to buy based on pure cash flow, but I’m not sure that will work well. At any rate, I just need to buy something. You don’t learn anything sitting on the sidelines. I’ve been making a few moves and plan on making more.
So stuff has been going on, and I have a few draft posts that need to be polished up, but I wanted to put in an update.
I have been spending a lot of time with Personal Capital and reviewing my income and spending to date. I have found this to be helpful. So helpful, that I created a second account for my law firm’s accounts. This way I can get some more “on the fly” metrics and build some historical data. I think tracking expenses and income has been interesting and important as I try to get my personal financial life together, but I have foolishly not applied that to my law firm’s financials. Instead, I have been flying by the seat of my pants. I sent all my books to my bookkeeper this past week, so I should get some sort of idea from them, but Personal Capital seems like a great way to monitor things in real time and identify leaks in my business.
I have used Mint for almost 2 years now, and Personal Capital for about a year (for my personal accounts). Both programs are good, but for whatever reason I have been gravitating towards Personal Capital.
The stock market has been acting strangely. I am guessing the uncertainty with the election has something to do with it, but for whatever reason we appear to be treading water. I don’t know enough about this to make an educated comment so I’ll just leave it at that. I sense some hesitation in the local real estate market, but not enough to make it a buyers market. I am still investing monthly in my IRAs and brokerage account, and am slowly accumulating cash.
Things have been going OK with my law firm. I am right at my 4 year anniversary. Hard to believe this time next year I’ll have been practicing law for 5 years. I feel like monetarily I have done as well as I wanted to with my firm this year. I have been paying myself a relatively small salary, and chucking ~$1,000/month into a SEP IRA. I’m paying the bills, but it doesn’t seem like there is a whole lot left over. But I just made my last quarterly tax payment of the year, and a big insurance payment, so any cash I earn from here on out should be mostly gravy – unless I make more money and have to pay the IRS.
Things all seem to be more or less on auto pilot in my law practice. I have a few thorny cases, but most seem relatively routine. Each week I show up at the office, and legal problems somehow find their way to me, and I manage to get paid to solve some of them. There is an insane amount of stimulus between email, the phone, my employee, people in the office, and all the other things I do (networking related). Plus there is the actual practice of law. It’s a crush of stuff. I feel like most of my day is spent running around in circles. I have been working on the weekends to try to stay on top of things and get ready for the week.
Beyond that, I am still going strong with my limited drinking. I have been averaging a drink a week. I feel OK. The biggest impact has been on my wallet, although I think I look a little better. The changes, if any, have been subtle.
Things are beginning to cool off here a little in South Florida. It has gone from “hot as hell” to simply “hot”. Over the next few weeks lets hope it gets to “cool”. That would be a nice change of pace.